If This Was My Last Post…

I had a thought yesterday of if this was my last post, what would I want it to be about. What would be most important for me to communicate. The answer was in one word- Jesus. But behind that one word, that one name, there is so much meaning for me.

If this was my last post, I would want to make sure to communicate that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the way to having a relationship with God and the way to eternal life. He is the truth. There have been others claiming to be spiritual leaders of sorts, but Jesus is the only Son of God who came to die for our sins, so we can be forgiven by God when we place our trust in Jesus alone.

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There is more to that one word, that one name. If this was my last post, I would want to share that Jesus is more that able to help in any circumstance. He is always with us. He is an ever present help in times of trouble.

If this was my last post, I would want to share that Jesus understands our weaknesses. He is our Sympathetic High Priest who wants us to come to him. There is no pit too deep for Jesus to come to us, help us, and bring healing to our souls.

I don’t think this is my last post, but when I hit a block of what to write, I prayed and the thought came to me of what would I write if I knew this would be my last post. But again, I don’t think it is. We will find out tomorrow. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Ephesians 1- Because of Jesus, We Can Be Forgiven

Becoming a Christian is a humbling thing because we have to acknowledge we have sinned and need our Savior Jesus. At the foot of the cross is the one place where we are all equal, equally guilty of sin and equally in need of Jesus. Jesus himself said in John 14:6:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Because of Jesus, we are not only forgiven when we trust in him, God lavishes his grace upon us. In Ephesians 1 we see:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding

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It is not a matter of God saying, well you don’t deserve it, but have eternal life because of Jesus. That is not at all what God says and does. He LAVISHES his grace upon us. He LAVISHES his love upon us. We do not deserve it, but he LAVISHES upon us his grace, mercy, and love because of Jesus. He chooses to love us. That is worth more than all the gold in the world.

If we have come to know Jesus and trusted in him, we can say with all certainty, “God has lavished his grace upon me.”

Remembering Jesus’s Death on the Cross

Today we remember Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf. He died to take on our penalty for sin. He did so out of his great love for us. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s forgiveness. We can only trust in what Jesus has done for us and believe in him.

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Becoming a Christian means to humble ourselves before God at the cross of Jesus. It does not matter what our station in life is. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, successful or unsuccessful, there is only one way to receive God’s forgiveness and eternal life. That is to humbly come to God realizing we needed Jesus to die for us. The cross of Jesus is truly the most equalizing place. No one is rich, poor, educated, uneducated. successful, or unsuccessful at the foot of the cross of Jesus.

Likewise we cannot earn God’s love. God loves us because he is God. He wants relationship with us. His love is a free gift for any who will receive Jesus. But it came at a great cost, Jesus dying on the cross for us.

Jesus loves us so much, so deeply, it is amazing to ponder.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Time to Breathe

After a hectic week, it is time to relax, time to breathe. It feels like a stay home, do some writing and blogging, and order delivery food kind of day. My week started with an Abdominal CT, then three more days of teaching morning, afternoon and evening, and no visits to the coffee shop.

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I am thinking about doing a series in my blog on forgiveness which will include issues such as retaining boundaries, holding people accountable etc.

More writing ideas keep coming to me for the bible study guide for people dealing with trauma, depression/anxiety, so today will be a writing day.

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Today will also be a time with Jesus day. I have worship music playing while I write this post and will keep it playing while I write more of the bible study guide.

Oh and about coffee, no need to worry. I have some Brazilian coffee brewing right now and of course no cream or sugar in my place. There is no need of such substances for a coffee purist. 🙂

How is your day?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- I Forgot My Gum Last Night

Last night I had the urge to stop at a restaurant I like in the downtown of my city to get some food to go. The restaurant is Ali Babas. I had a craving for a gyro plate which comes with steak fries, gyro meat, and is topped with onions, a sauce, tomatoes, and cheese crumbles. It was so satisfying.

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There was a slight problem. As you can imagine, the onions and sauce might have done a number on my breath. I didn’t think about or worry about that when I got the food. My college is also downtown only a few blocks from Ali Babas. When I got to the college, I went to the adjunct office and sat down to savor my delicious food still no concern at all about what the onions and sauce did.

It wasn’t until I reached into my laptop bag that I realized my dilemma. I forgot to bring my gum and had no time to go buy some. Why is that an issue? I am glad you asked.

We have to wear masks in the college, so as I taught for three hours, I was wearing my mask with yes, the onion and sauce still on my breath. I think that is enough said.

Did you know that fortunately for us there is actually something that God will not remember? Isaiah 43:25 says

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

If we come to Jesus, God forgives us and will not remember our sins against us. What a wonderful gift from God.

By the way, I put a few packs of gum in my laptop bag.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Peter’s Failure/Our Failures Are Why Jesus Came- John Chapter 18

Last week’s post in the study from John was Jesus Healed Someone Even While Being Arrested. Peter cut off a man’s ear and then Jesus healed the man. Peter was impulsive at times. He had a tendency to say the wrong things at times. Jesus had told Peter that Peter would deny him three times.

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Peter cutting off the man’s ear and denying Jesus the third time tie together in John 18.

Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”

He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?”  Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

Jesus would go on to forgive and restore Peter in front of the others after Jesus’s resurrection.

Peter’s failure and subsequent restoration underscore why Jesus came. Jesus came as a human baby to grow to be a man to become our Savior. Jesus came for us even though we fail, sin, have faults etc.

Jesus chose Peter knowing all of Peter’s faults. Jesus chose Peter knowing Peter would deny him. Jesus knew something else. Jesus knew the whole picture. He knew Peter would regret denying Jesus. He knew he would restore Peter.

Jesus knows our faults. He chooses to love us and chose to die for us to save us knowing we would mess up even after coming to know him as our Savior. But Jesus also knows the whole picture. He knows how he will work in our lives to help us grow. He knows one day we will be in heaven with him and sin no more.

Jesus came to be our Savior knowing our faults because he loves us. Remember that the next time you mess up. We all mess up. But Jesus loves us and walks alongside us knowing our faults because he loves us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thanksgiving-The Day After

Thanksgiving Day I spent time with a family who are friends of mine from church. It was a blessed time of friendship, food, and fellowship. After we ate, they introduced me to a Christian Comedian I had not hear of before Tim Hawkins as we watched videos after dinner. I am sharing his parody song about coffee for my fellow coffee lovers.

They sent me home with leftovers, so my day is one of blogging. eating leftovers, and watching college football. My only dilemma is whether to go out to the small nearby grocery store to buy some ice cream to go with the pie I took home with me.

My friends know I con only eat gluten free, so the whole meal was gluten free. It is a blessing to have friends who accommodate dietary restrictions. Before I left, we spent a little time in prayer. Jesus has blessed me with good friends.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Flawed Participants at the First Lord’s Supper- John Chapter 13

Coming to communion to remember the death of Jesus on our behalf is special and serious observance. We are instructed in 1 Corinthians 11 to examine ourselves before partaking of the bread and wine or grape juice.

 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup

In 2 Corinthians 13 Paul again instructs to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.

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This can lead to us feeling we need to come to communion having been nearly perfect before we can partake of the elements. However, when I reflect on who was at the first Lord’s Supper, it sheds some light on who can come into his presence during communion.

There was a former tax collector, rugged fishermen, and among them was one who would betray Jesus and one who would deny Jesus.

Judas was there. We read in John 13:

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus

Judas would go on to betray Jesus with a kiss as Judas led the soldiers and religious leaders to the garden where Jesus was arrested.

Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him.

Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 

Jesus also knew that Peter would deny him three times and told Peter it would happen.

Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

So what is the difference between Judas and Peter? They were both sinful and flawed. One betrayed Jesus and the other denied Jesus out of fear. The difference was in how the two responded after they sinned.

Judas only felt remorse and hanged himself but his remorse did not lead to repentance.

In contrast, Peter felt regret and guilt when the rooster crowed. His regret led to repentance. He came into the presence of Jesus after his resurrection even though it meant at least one awkward moment when Jesus asked Peter three times in front of the other disciples if Peter loved him.

King David expressed something in Psalm 51.

My sacrifice, O God, is  a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

and in Psalm 34

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Peter was broken in his spirit. He knew his need for Jesus’s forgiveness and grace. He came to Jesus seeking that. Judas never did.

We are all flawed. No one is perfect. No one comes into the presence of Jesus, whether in prayer, reading the bible, or during communion, with a spotless record.

When I partake of communion, before partaking of the elements, I come to Jesus in prayer. He knows all about me, so there is nothing to hide. He knows all about us and loves us even though we have sin in our lives. What he is looking for is a broken spirit and a contrite heart.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.