Song/Light of the world

Jesus is the Light

Praying to keep my eyes focused on Jesus.

Jesus may my eyes be continually focused on you, and let Your Light shine upon me and direct my path as I walk through this world. Fill me with your love, peace and truth. May Your love flow through me and touch every life I come in contact with. Let me a be a blessing and not a curse. I pray to be your vessel of light. Amen.

John 8:12 ESV Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Notes on message on love /Jan 6, 2021

Notes on message on love /Jan 6, 2021

1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us.(ESV)

We are only capable of love because God loved us first. Without God there is no love. Desire, affection, and passion are often used to describe love, but when you read 1 Corinthians 13 these words are not found in what God says love is. Those are only feelings, and they change with the wind and the waves. They are not stable, and you cannot build on them. They can make you feel good, but then they fade and can turn into pain. Pain turns into resentment, bitterness and hate, which then turn into actions that hurt others and the damage continues.

So then how can we love, if our knowledge of love is from the world and not God? My answer is that we can’t. Just because we call something love, does not make it love. we have all heard of knock off designs. They look like the original but they cost less. Just because someone put a label on it saying it was an original but they got you a deal so it cost less. Ye it is nothing more than an imitation of the real thing. Yet you got a deal right? It barely cost you half of the cost of the real thing, but you have a poor quality imitation of the real thing. God’s love number one is real, and number two it cost Him everything. Yet there are a lot of imposters in the world all around us. They say and do things in the name of God but they do not have His love, and these are the ones Jesus tells them to go/depart(Matthew 7:23/Luke13:27) His love when it gets deep down in you like a seed planted in good soil. It grows and produces His fruit. You can see the changes in a person who has the Love of God in them. Love changes a person. It may look like the change starts on the outward appearance, but it is on the inside where the real change begins.

Questions:

Will you allow God today to plant His love in you?

Will you allow His love to grow in you? Will you allow His love to change you?

Will you allow His love to be seen?

Notes for a message on love Dec. 15, 2020

I have been asked to help prepare a sermon on love. Normally I would keep my notes on any lesson that I was going to teach on to myself and then present the lesson when it was finished in the classroom. Since I am not a pastor/preacher and do not feel called to this position feel lead to share my personal notes and hope for feedback from those who are. I do feel called to be an armor bearer, a support to the leadership role of the pastor. So being asked to help in preparing a sermon can be a task that I can be requested of, and I am happy to do. I also know the accountability I have in doing this is important and do not want to present any wrong thoughts or teachings. So I will share my notes here and welcome any insight or corrections any of you who are pastors and would like to share your insights. My notes here will not list all of the scriptures I was given on this subject because that list is extensive, but would love to hear any scriptures you may suggest as well. These are just notes and not the message but I hope they speak to you.

Today’s notes:

The purpose of this is for the pastor to take the teachings taught by teachers on the subject of God’s love and transform them into a message that not only penetrates the mind, but transforms the heart with the Love Of God, and with His Word, Who is Jesus Christ, The Word made flesh.
Comparison – God is Love, Jesus His Son is that love made flesh – Teachings and knowledge of God is in our minds, We know God is love but that knowledge has only been stored in our minds. (remember that even the demons knew who Jesus is, and they had to obey Him when He cast them out of the demon possesed man. They Knew Him, but they did not love Him. Matthew 8:28-34, Luke 8:26-37)
So my question to myself is this, ‘How do I take the lessons/teachings I have learned, and taught into a message/sermon that can penetrate and transform the hearts of the listener of this message?It is not my teachings, or even the lessons that I have learned but it is what His Word has taught me, and how He has been transforming me through His love and His Word that needs to be expressed. For I am only the clay and He is the Potter. He is taking this lump of mud and transforming me into His creation, not something the world has made on some assembly line, but a work of a true craftsman. Remember, while Jesus was on this earth, he was also known as a carpenter, before people came to know him as The Messiah.

The Moon / Thoughts on being a Christian

Photography by Julie Sheppard

With all the sleepless nights I have had, I have spent many nights looking up into the night sky praying to God and thinking of many things. One thought that I have had is the comparison to the light reflected from the moon and Christians. The moon is not the source of light. It reflects the light of the sun. It has many phases from full to not visible, and it can even eclipse the sun. We who have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior are called Christians. We are not the source of light, Jesus is The Light. His light shines through us. Some of us shine like a full moon, and others are like the different phases of the moon.

His light can shine through us in the darkest of night or even during the day.

Then there are people and things in this world that try to eclipse His Light. God created the sun and the moon and all the stars in the sky. The moon does not think or have choices in where it will be in the sky, but we do. We make choices every day. We decide if we go to work, go to school, go shopping, sleep in, etc… We choose to repent and follow Jesus. We choose to love or hate. We make so many choices, and our choices can reflect His light if our actions and choices reflect His love. We can be a vessel filled with His Love and Light giving to others what He has given to us.

Thought for the day February 24, 2019 / All For One And One For All

All for one and one for all! A phrase you have heard, especially if you have ever read or seen any movie on the Three Musketeers. For what ever reason today the phrase came to me and made me think of Christ Jesus, God who is our Heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit.

The three are one, all though they are separate beings. You cannot get to the Father except through the Son and vice versa. They are One. All for one is taking on a new way of seeing. For though they are all one and they are also one for all. Who is all? We are the all, for we are all of mankind.

God the Father did not send His Son to redeem men of one race or breeding, of one class, of one country, of even one religion. Jesus did not die for religious purposes. He died paying for the sins of every person who would ever live on this earth. Why because He loves us,and Our Father loves us. It was for love that He died. ‘For there is no greater love, than for one to lay down his life for another.

All you have to do to receive this gift is to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  The Helper he sent was His Holy Spirit, and it is available to anyone who receives Jesus they have received His Spirit, and if you have received Jesus, you have received the Father. All for one and one for all.

In the story of the Musketeers, they made a choice to serve and fight for what they believed in. What do you believe?

Just a Thought.

Have You Really Looked At The Cross?

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I made this cross a while back. The clay did not bake as it had before. Instead it came out black and cracked. I was going to throw it away but I couldn’t. You see various places decorated with beautifully crafted crosses. Some even dedicate a wall in their home to crosses they have collected. Each one beautifully decorated with jewels, or flowers. Some are painted. They are made from various materials. I have made a few myself as gifts. I had looked at this black and cracked cross and thought it would never be a nice gift. It was not beautiful. I could have painted it but it was not smooth and it was cracked. To be honest when I looked at it, I thought it was ugly.

Then I thought about the day Jesus was nailed to a cross. The cross was not beautiful, they had not sanded it smooth. It was rough and stained with His blood. Pierced by spikes driven through His flesh, nailing Him to the instrument of death. When Mary looked up at her son Jesus, she did not see beauty. Her heart was torn, as she watched her son suffer and die. Innocent blood stained that cross. A life freely given to pay the price for the sins of all mankind, no matter when they were born or if they are male or female. He went to the cross without a fight, and then spoke forgiveness.

You know how badly He had been beaten and how distorted his face must have looked like. The pain that He felt. Not the pain of one man did He bear, but the pain of every person who would ever be born on this earth, and all of the sins He took on Himself. He redeemed us, because He loved us.

The beauty is not the cross, no matter how you decorate it. The beauty is the love of Jesus given on the cross. This cross is a reminder of how ugly my sin is, and what my sins cost. So I will be keeping this cross. Not for decoration but as a reminder of how much He loves me.

Is it time for a change of your name?

As you read through your Bible you find that names were changed by God. In Genesis 17:5 You read that God change Abram to Abraham and in verse 15 Sarai becomes Sarah. Jacob becomes Israel, Simon becomes Peter, and Saul becomes Paul are just a few names that were changed by God.

So why the name change? When a woman marries a man she then takes on his family name which identifies her as his wife. Think about that we are called the bride of Christ. Who we were before we came into the knowledge and relationship with Jesus is now a part of our past. That is who we used to be, but now we are made new by Jesus.                 2 Corinthians 5:17  (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.                                       Isaiah 43:18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
Ezekiel 36:26″Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Most of us still identify with the person we were and still hold onto the traits of the person we were before we received Christ Jesus as our Savior and repented of our sins. When we repented, we turned from our sinful way of living and turned to Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father but through Him.

I can try to change my behavior on my own, but this is nothing more than what is called behavior modification. My actions have changed but the desire to do the things I once did is still there. There are two things that I need, but not limited to, and they are (1) The heart of Christ Jesus.  James 4:8  – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. 1 Samuel 16:7  – But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (2) I need the mind of Christ. For how I think and see things are not how God sees or thinks. Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I have to make the decision to submit to God and allow Him to transform me into the creation He wants me to be so that I can better share the love of Jesus and testify what God has done for me through His Son Jesus. How He changed my life in ways that I never could on my own.

Questions;

If God changed your name today, what do you think He would change it to?

What part of the old you are you holding onto? (like an old pair of jeans that do not fit anymore but you hold onto because one day they might fit again)

 

 

 

Would you die for your enemy? Lessons of love /January 8, 2018

It is written, ‘No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.’ John 15:13.

Now think about this; ‘Would you die to save the life of your enemy?’

Many would easily give up their life to save their child, their spouse, family members,  friends, and some would do so for a stranger they see in danger. To give up your life for someone who hates you, who despises you, who wants you to you to feel pain, have your life destroyed and even wants you dead, could you sacrifice your life for these people? Would you want to? If we were to be honest our first response is a big fat ‘NO!’.

Yet as I have meditated on the sacrifice our Heavenly Father gave, when He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins and the fact that Jesus did not have to do this but that He loves us as much as our Father does, He surrendered His life. Before He was crucified, He was mocked, ridiculed,attacked, falsely accused beaten and spit upon.then crucified still being mocked, and what were His words? “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.’ How much mercy and love He had not only for those who loved and followed Him, but He loved those who were His enemy. He died for to save the lives of those who were and are His enemy. We have all sinned. Those of us who have not only acknowledged our sins and repented, we have also received Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Through His sacrifice we have been adopted into His family and have become children of God, but before this we too were His enemy.

Can we love others as He loves us, or do we continue to only those who love us, and that we feel are worthy of our love?

Is there anything you can do today to show love to someone who has made it clear that they hate you?

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (NET Bible)

December 17, 2017 Sunday

I have not spent much time writing here for a little while and a few months back I did say I was going to be taking a break from blogging. We have all had our ups and downs this year. For some of us it seems there have been more down times than up, but we have made it through another year. We are still here and God is not done with us yet. In the year to come there will be much for each of us to do. There are so many hurting and lost people in this world and they are all around us. You do not need to travel to another country to be a missionary for Christ, you have a mission filed all around you. Friends, family, neighbors and strangers who cross your path every day are in need of love and comfort every day. We are His vessels who carry His Spirit and love in us and we should share this love with everyone we meet and see, each and every day. Life is not easy but you are alive. Let us do good with the life Jesus has given to us all. Love and peace to you all.