Tuesday, June 19, 2018

COME TO THE LORD AND GO OUT FOR HIM


Coming to the Lord for salvation is just the beginning. We must then be willing to go out for Him, obeying His will to reach others with His love and mercies. Through His Word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers, He will guide us in so doing. Blessings as you come and go for Him.

Eternal Perspectives               By Sally Bair

Comings and Goings
           
The squirrels and chipmunks are everywhere, it seems. They hurry and scurry from one backyard tree to another. They run across the patio and climb the bird feeders to steal food from them. It’s fun to watch their endless comings and goings.

Watching the critters, I’m reminded of my own comings and goings. Some days it seems that’s all I do—come and go, with nothing of value to show for my hurry-scurry.

Jesus, on the other hand, had a special coming, to earth, and a special going, to the cross. Since we believers are to follow His example, our comings and goings should have value as His did.

Jesus invites every one of us to come to Him—for healing, deliverance, and salvation. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The best way we can come to Him for rest and sustenance is through daily, intentional, committed prayer and Bible reading. Once we come to Christ, we are told to go for Him. In fact, He commands us to “follow” Him. That going means we must be willing to go to the cross—that is, humble ourselves as He did, and deny ourselves so we will be holy, sacrificial servants of His love. Jesus means that we should make our love, devotion and service to Him our highest priority, even to the point of being willing to give up our physical lives for His sake. Followers of Him throughout the world have died and are still dying for their faith in Christ. Can we be willing to do less for His sake?

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)

Lord, forgive us for our frantic comings and goings. Give us the will and strength to take up Your cross and follow Your will, not our own. Help us remember to spend special time with You daily. In Jesus’ name, amen.




Tuesday, June 12, 2018

MEMORIES ABOUT GOD ARE THE BEST



Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair

I recently spent time with my sister to edit our life stories. We’re each writing a memoir about our childhood spent as identical twins. Along with her husband, who also grew up in the same area, we reminisced about the past. Many events and details that we thought we’d forgotten came back to mind.

Memories are like that. We recall them through our journals and diaries, and we share them during family get-togethers. As we remember a few, we recall others, and others, until they fill our minds like a tapestry waiting to be finished.

Memories can help us understand our present circumstances. As I write my memoir, I’m surprised how many of my remembrances show me a different perspective about my life. And they also remind me that I have the choice of which memories I want to keep and which I need to erase. When we keep the negative ones alive, we may tend to view our world as dark and dangerous. Positive memories, however—the ones that bring a laugh or a smile—can bring healing, health and joy. Others who hear us share good memories, and even bad memories that we can laugh about now, can’t help but rejoice with us.

God shows us the value of good memories through His Word. After He led His people across the Red Sea into freedom, He told them through Moses to “remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place ….” (Exodus 13:3)

King David, who faced many hardships and threats, took refuge in his memories of the Lord’s past help. “I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.” (Psalm 77:11)

The more time we spend in God’s Word and in remembering the good things, the more we will remember His mercies. In doing so, we will keep a positive outlook regardless what is going on around us. And when we do tend to forget, God sends help. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [Jesus], will … bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

Lord, thank You for memories. Show us by Your Holy Spirit how best to use them for Your glory and our spiritual, mental and physical health. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

DO YOU KNOW JESUS?


To know Him is to love Him above all others.


Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair

I met a woman whom I admired so much that I wanted to get to know her better. But circumstances prevented me from further exchanges. Others admired her, too. They shared their good thoughts about the woman and then asked, “Do you know her?” My answer always was, “No, I don’t know her personally, but I hear all about the good things she’s doing so I feel like I know her.”

Sometimes we may feel like we know God, too, through the beauty of nature or the peaceful music of a symphony. But can we trust our feelings? They come and go and are undependable. What brings us up one moment can cause us to plummet the next. The question therefore begs, do we really know God and His Son, Jesus? If so, how do we know Him?

“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is in him.” (1 John 2:3-4)

As humans, we’re unable to keep God’s commandments. To love God with our whole heart, soul and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves, we need His help. And as the psalmist says, our help comes from the Lord. We can overcome our human desires, such as putting ourselves before God and others, through His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The value of knowing Jesus surpasses all else. Paul writes: “I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may … know Him and the power of His resurrection.” (Philippians 3:8-9)

We would be wise to take daily inventory of our lives—those things we hang onto and consider too important to lose—so that we too can begin to count all things as rubbish compared to the greatness of God’s mercies.

 Lord, thank You for showing us, through Your Word and Spirit, the knowledge of Jesus. Give us a hunger to know You better, to know You personally and to surrender our selfish will to Yours. Renew our minds so our every thought will be to know You, to worship You and to glorify You. In Jesus’ name, amen.