Meet Jesus : Fisher of Men Matthew 4:18

meetjesusfisherman

Matthew 4: 18: And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19: And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Peter and Andrew were never the same after meeting Jesus.   His nature as a gatherer of men for His Father’s family became their nature.    He took a part of them and changed it to work for the kingdom. They gathered fish.  He needed men gatherers.  Meeting Jesus will change you to gather men and women and children to Him and His Father’s family.  No matter what you gather now, He will add gathering men to His family.

My son and I were at the quick gas spot the other evening.  A furtive man jumped from behind the car.  Assuring us he only wanted to beg some money, he approached.  I signaled to him to stay at a distance.  This was not the time and place.

The next day, a half a block a way, we went to lunch with my wife.  The man slipped from behind a car.  I engaged him in conversation as my wife and son went into the restaurant.  On the streets over time, I have talked to many such men.  Some are harmless.  Some are dangerous.  Some are unpredictable.  This one seemed the latter.  He was desperate, either on drugs or suffering from having none, and persistent.  Eye to eye, we talked.  He began to give me a string of problems and diseases.  Mid course, I stopped him and asked him what he was doing with what he was given.  He told me he worked painting and then quit in the last seven days.  He had already spent the money.  It would have been enough for several days in his lifestyle.

He was quick witted.  He was strong.  He was trapped in somebody done me wrong songs.  It would be pitiful to give him a dollar and say the inevitable Jesus loves you stuff.   I gave him a few dollars, and I gave him straight advice.  Sure, Jesus is my motivation.  Do something with what you have.  Take your mind and body and put it to work.  Quit dwelling on the problems and get focused on the solution.  People are helping.  Use their help to get up and out.  Let Jesus pull you from the sea of problems through His fishermen.  Don’t just jump back in the water.

ACT!  Think of one person around you that needs to be gathered to Jesus’ family.

What do you need to do to invite them to be a part?

PRAY!  Father, help me to be a fisher of men.  Jesus has come to my life.  He’s met with me and called me to be a fisherman with Him.  Help me to see those around me that He wants in the family.  Help me to know how to draw them to Him and Your family.

Meet Jesus: Full of Life John 20:19

refreshJohn 20: 19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,[c] for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

This Resurrection Morning brings freshness to my soul.   Due to some incredible betrayals and organizational insensitivities last year found me looking for new answers. I did not find any new answers.  The old ones are just great.   Life is fresh.  Life is full.  Friendships are plenteous.  Family is solid.  My Good Friend, Jesus, continues walking with me along this narrowed and interesting path.

When Jesus’ closest allies thought they had been left alone, he met them fresh and alive with peace, forgiveness, appointment, empowerment, and a gift of His own Spirit to sustain.  That is resurrection.

So I wrote my prayer in poetry and reflection.   Find hope in here.   Find a new day.  Find a resurrection.

Death came for me.

Morte had me in his sights.

Death narrowed his focus to take my life.

My livelihood was damaged.

My soul was ripped in many pieces.

Friends scattered.

Family mourned.

Few came beside me.

The stench of death is potent.

There were friends and fiends.

Those for whom I had labored turned on me.

They had been made rich and prosperous.

Yet, their greed was too large for their souls.

Blackened in greed and jealousy, they turned fangs to my throat.

I escaped to the caves.

I fled to the crag of the rock.

The Creator met me there.

For months we talked and cried.

He molded a new man.

He made something different something new.

Strong steel has been woven into my forehead.

Titanium plates are fastened all about.

Today is Resurrection Day.

The pain is Passed Over.

Death has lost and met only blood on my doorpost.

Today I walk out of the cave.

Today I walk into the streets with the riches of my enemies.

That which they meant to destroy has become my strong armor.

Their weapons have not met with success.

My Friend has come for me and taken my punishment.

He took the pain.

He took the shame.

He took it all.

That’s what Friend can do.

Mi Buen Amigo.  My Good Friend.

He has surrounded me with angels.

He has surrounded me with hosts of friends.

He has surrounded me with those that support me.

That is what Friend does.

He Passes Over.

He brings life.

He brings peace.

He brings a resurrected morning.

Meet Jesus: Near At Hand Matthew 4:17

meetjesusnearathandMatthew 4: 17: From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 Meeting Jesus is so easy.  He is near at hand.  When Jesus declares the kingdom, it is His kingdom.  Access to Him and all He is is as close as your hand.  Your hand is attached.  His kingdom is attached.  Access to Him is attached to you.    He is not a distant God.  He is an ever-present, ever-available King.  Turn around.  He is near at hand.

Jesus is near at hand in us to others.  Brad was talking to his friend at work.  For many months this friend had been disconnected from fellowship in a congregation.  Sure, they went to church.  Sure, they talked to other Christians.  But they really were not in fellowship.  They were not in real communion heart to heart with other Christians.  Brad challenged the friend.  Brad encouraged them to reconnect with some kingdom friends.  Brad was being Jesus, declaring the love of the kingdom.

ACT!  What could be keeping you from meeting with Jesus?  Turn away from it.  Turn to Him.  He is exactly at hand.

PRAY!  Father, I turn from my way to Jesus’ kingdom.  I turn from my thoughts to Jesus’ kingdom.  I turn from my ideas to Jesus’ kingdom.    Let Him be near at hand to me.  Work in me to remove any block to receiving Jesus’ kingdom near at hand.

I loved this perspective on another blog….

http://fungirlslivebetter.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/is-god-really-dead/

Meet Jesus: Great Light Matthew 4:14

meetjesusgreatlightMatthew 4: 14: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15: The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16: The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

Too many times in life we live in the shadow and region of death. Darkness surrounds us in our minds in hearts. Meeting with Jesus means meeting with light. His light dispels the shadows and puts us in a bright place.

When Jesus is on the scene, there is a springing up of light. That is active. That is powerful. Darkness causes us to sit and be inactive. Jesus springs with activity and light to get us back into motion. Death is brown. It is the refraction of light that lets us see color. His light brings back color.

The prayers of the saints for each other are wonderful. Struggling with many trials can get old and cold. When another saint sees and takes prayerful action, it is a blessing. It brings light to a dark situation. That happened to me recently. As I worked through many items for others, other saints prayed for me. The light of that prayer sustained me so I could sustain others in their hard moments. It all works together.

ACT! Describe a place of hurt and pain to Jesus. Imagine what it would be like in that spot with bright, brilliant light shining all over and colorful plants growing all around.

PRAY! Father, there are areas of my life that need light. I have given up on anything other than death and despair in that room of my heart. Give me the courage to let Jesus meet me in that room. Surely, He will bring light and color back to my darkness.

Meet Jesus: Human Matthew 4:2

meetjesusokMatthew 4: 2: And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

 There is a fallacy in meeting Jesus that bears great correction.   At times we approach Him as if He had some special advantage while He lived in that body born of Mary.  Jesus was fully human.  He got really hungry.  He dealt with conflicting emotions.  He lived as a human equipped with the Spirit of God even as He asks us to live.

In being human, Jesus sanctified humanity.  He made it okay to be fully human.  He made it a good thing to be all the human we could be, to live up to our human potential – with God.  Remember, while being fully human, He was fully God.  Our task is to work on being fully human, with God.

Being fully human, for us means being full of mistakes.  Being fully human, means being able to correct those mistakes.  Today I had a great opportunity to change my mistakes.  A co-worker was upset with me about my actions.  I had presumed what I did was okay with him instead of asking.  It was okay.  If I asked.  Not asking was presumptive.  It was inconsiderate.  By repenting and asking, my mistake was changed to okay.  He gave me that grace.  It was good.  Jesus helped me be human.

ACT!  Think of your most human moment this week.  Thank God for making you a human.

PRAY!  Father, thanks for making me a human like Jesus.  It must be really special to you, this human thing.  You sent Your own Son to be one, just to make it special.  Wow!  I really don’t deserve it, but I really appreciate it.  Thanks.

Meet Jesus : Pleasing God Matthew 3:17

ImageMatthew 3:17  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 When we connect with Jesus we connect with pleasing God.  Jesus pleases the Father.  When we are with Him, we are pleasing the Father.  That is important.  So often in life, we want to please our Father.  When you meet with Jesus, you are in the environment of pleasing Him.  You can’t miss pleasing Him.

Pleasing God may mean doing tough work.  While working through some conflict mediation, we came to the point of closing in prayer.  It had been a tough night.  Everyone had spent emotional energy to embrace peace.  It was the right thing to do.  It is greatly pleasing to God to do everything that leads to peace and building each other.  That does not make it easy.  But it is pleasing.  The scripture came to mind as we prayed from Zephaniah 3.  God joys over us with singing.  That word joy means to jump up and dance and pirouette. What a picture of God singing and jumping and spinning over us with joy!  Doing the hard thing is pleasing to Him.

ACT!  Take one item you are unsure about in your relationship with God.  Examine it.  Is Jesus involved in it?  If you were doing it or being involved in it would you invite Jesus to be a part?

PRAY!  Father, help me to please You.  Help me to meet with Jesus when I plan an activity.  I can always be sure it will be pleasing  to You when I meet with Him to do it.  Help me keep that focus, Father.

Meet Jesus: The Series

logoblackandblueIn 2001 it impressed me to spend some time every day answering this question, “What would be my impression if I met Jesus doing what Matthew recorded?”  Well, there are over 400 devotions that came from that adventure.  You will be able to access them over time on this site.  Thank, Brandon.  He is a new friend, who asked me about the series.  So I am putting them here for him and others who really want to Meet Jesus .

Powerful Healing: The Saints – Path to Healing

Psalm 16:3 As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”

live prayer time…http://youtu.be/yZuYPLgy8Cw

There is no faster and more effective path to healing than good relationships with healthy people.  Surrounded by positive expression and strong affirming resolve, it is hard to stay sick.  Surrounded by negative expression and strong depressive resolve, it is hard to stay well.

Those partners in our day with whom we make interchange of ideas and smiles and emotions have great affect on our health and balance.  A good morning every day can do wonders from a positive person.  A good morning every day from someone we know has underlying agendas can steal our strength.  You get it.  You’ve been there.

The saints on earth are a joy and a health.  There are plenty of saints in heaven.  The ones who love God and work to follow Him here on earth help me.  They have a spirit of excellence in them that is contagious.  They have an expectation of joy that is infectious.

Stay surrounded by excellence people with positive attitude.  It is a source of healing and a great inoculation against insidious mental attacks of envy and strife and gossip and slander and backbiting.  Those diseases can cause you to be tired and hate getting up.  Those diseases can cause your body to take five times as long to recover from a simple cold as they drain energy and restorative life source.

Yesterday, I spent a good day encouraging others.  In the workplace, at a downtown mission, at a restaurant, and over the phone across the nation, it was good to pray and speak good words with some of those saints of excellence on earth.  Being with them and seeing God do good through them is good for me.  Praying for them and expressing the goodness of God through me to them is good for me.

The smiles of good friends bring such life with them.  I laugh as I think of a good friend who came three buildings travel to see me.  She bounded down the hall and gave me a big hug.  What a joy to be loved like that.

Find some excellent saints on earth today and exchange your spark.  It is good healing.

Pray:  Father, what a wonderful plan You have launched.  You have given us others to hold us up when we are down. You have given us to others to hold them up when they need it.  How excellent You are in the lives of Your saints here on earth.  Thanks, Father for this great family we have.  let our friends be a source of health and healing in our lives as they bring love and joy to our day.

live prayer time…http://youtu.be/yZuYPLgy8Cw