To work with your hands, to take time to make something beautiful and intricate, there must have been something satisfying about that.
In a fast paced world where production speed means everything, the thought of craftsmanship, of taking and investing time, energy, skill, and effort,for God’s glory is appealing. Sometimes slowing down, patience, and attention to detail are good qualities and characteristics to develop and possess in the service of God and his Kingdom.
In what area of your life are you developing this craftsman mindset?
Am I willing to love others, not just in the moment, but to the very end?
A sacrifice in a moment may not be easy and, it should not be diminished. Still, Jesus loved through the good times, the failures, the imperfections, the misunderstandings, the arrogance, and even the betrayal.
He loved not just in word, but in deed, continually, and then picked up a towel and served…and sacrificed as an outpouring of His love yet again.
Can I do the same? Will I surrender and experience His love so greatly that it flows out of me in this way…to the very end?
It’s so easy to make “going to church” routine (speaking for myself). But coming to worship corporately doesn’t automatically change us, we must purpose to leave different than when we came in.
Coming simply to fulfill an obligation, won’t help us much. But coming purposed to worship, to set our hearts and minds on God, to see him in His glory through and with His body, sets up for the rest of the week.
Do you prepare for times of corporate worship? (It’s something I need a to work on). How has it affected you when you have?
“This will not end in death” does not mean we’ll never experience death. God may not always come through when we want and, deliverance doesn’t always come “in the nick of time.”
Sometimes we do experience death. But death is not the end, it doesn’t have the final say.
When it seems God is not there, when He fails to show up in a timely manner, remember the resurrection, THE RESURRECTION.
It’s just another opportunity to experience Him in a whole different way, at a whole new level. Will you keep trusting Him even in death?
It’s so easy to judge. Sin abounds and so do the opportunities to condemn others.
But what if God is actually giving us opportunities to minister His healing and bring life in those moments?
The religious rulers had no room in their hearts for the words of Jesus. They had their own agenda, priorities, ideas, and desires. Jesus upset their proverbial apple cart so they wanted to kill Him and restore the order they had long established.
The same can happen to us. We set the course of our lives and leave no room in our hearts for the words Jesus speaks, the things He wants to do, and the way He wants to lead.
What can you do to make room in your heart for His message to you?
A man, disabled for 38 years, 38 YEARS! Then Jesus comes, says the word, and suddenly the man picks up his mat and walks!
Yet what do the leaders see, what do they focus on? The man has the audacity to carry a mat on the Sabbath. Oh the horror of it all! How dare he do such a thing!
How many times do I miss the point of what is going on because I’m looking at (focusing on) the wrong things?
Sometimes there are things that we want (desperately) but we don’t think we can get because circumstances are beyond our control. Such was the case with this man, lame for 38 years. The only possible hope he saw was to get into the pool…something he could not do.
Then Jesus comes.
Our circumstances may seem (to be) beyond our control, but then, like with this man, Jesus comes. Can we hear what He says or will we be stuck in our circumstances?
In a polarized world it’s hard to avoid self-righteousness, hard lines, suspiciousness and offense. Walls go up, real care and communication go down, and hackles get raised. Such was the world Jesus lived in when He encountered the Samaritan woman.
Yet, in all graciousness, Jesus pierced the veil between Jew and Samaritan. He reached across the divide and made a connection without any compromise. And life came not only to a woman, but an entire village.
What cultural norms and personal preferences am I holding onto that may keep me from bringing life to another?
Jesus HAD to go through Samaria. Certainly not a comfortable thought for any respectable Jew. Later, Jesus HAD to go through pain, shame, isolation, humiliation, and death, a path even he would avoid if he could.
The journey in the life of the Kingdom is not always easy, and there will be many circumstances we will HAVE to go through, but there is glory and life on those paths. A woman and village redeemed. Salvation made available to all mankind.
What is God calling me to go through that I would rather avoid? Am I living for my own comfort or for the Kingdom?