Though a heavy blanket of darkness threatens to overwhelm me I search through its suffocating fabric for a spot of light and tear it open.
Someone needs Jesus.
When I’m bound up in my troubles and can’t seem to get out of my own head, when my biggest issue is my list of issues, I set them aside.
Someone needs Jesus.
When any effort I make seems to be just a drop in the ocean of the world of troubles, I take up an oar anyway and row with the strength I do have.
Someone needs Jesus.
Walking down a crowded street people part around me like water swirling round a stone. How many are really drowning while pretending they can breathe? How many? God could use me to lift them out of the water and point the way home. Will I reach out? Lord, give me the courage to reach out.
Women who feel weak and used, men convinced they’re not enough, children forced to grow before they’re ready need real help and compassion fueled by Jesus. For those cast aside by those who should have cared, for the people even advertising ignores, let them know they are precious in the sight of Jesus.
Lord, please keep in the front of my mind names of those I know who don’t know you. Help me take down barriers while it is day and there is time.
God of wonders, author of the world, each soul is precious to you. Give me a heart with a burden to share and proclaim your good news. This is my prayer, Amen.
Nope, this isn’t a financial post. Although that’s a good subject too. This week I’m writing about change. Okay, timeout. The picture is of a jar of change, and you’re writing about change, but you’re not writing about money? Exactly, and consider reading this an investment. Stop!
If you’re like me, you come home with some extra coins. None of us like standing in line, and the extra time it takes to fish change out can require some patience, both from ourselves and maybe the other folks in line. “Did you say 38 cents? Okay, here’s a quarter, a dime, and three pennies. Wait, I want to use the rest of these pennies. Make that a quarter, a nickel, and one two three four five six seven… Oh, shoot. Do you have a penny?” As Charlie Brown would say, “AAUGH!” Or maybe you just like saving your change. Sort of a rainy day or vacation fund. It all adds up, and voila! One day you have some real money.
But this is about another kind of change, the change God begins in us from the moment we begin to follow Jesus. You may have heard, “God loves you just as you are, but he loves you too much to leave you that way.” While that may be true, the changes he puts us through are not always big ones. He made you, after all, and he knows sometimes the best and most lasting changes we can make are incremental ones. Dropping small habits might represent a few coins. A bigger issue might be worth half a jar! While you may be going through a season of painful change, or a relatively quiet time, it’s worth remembering you never have to go through it alone. Jesus, your advocate, knows you better than you know yourself, and he will see to it that the changes you go through will never “break the bank.”
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
Our relationship with Jesus Christ, is not predicated on our ability but on surrender of sin gravity that holds us down
All glory and honor to the Spirit that empowers our journey that nourishes and refreshes our souls
Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:22 English Standard Version
The Summer of 1972 I was 13-years-old, and in between falling in love with girls, I managed to fall in love with Jesus. It was the height of the west coast Jesus movement and the week-long church camp I attended that August was infused with joyful gospel music and the promise of an exciting life following the Lord. In the Fall several members of our church youth group formed a lunchtime Bible study and we experienced misguided pushback when the school told us we couldn’t hold our prayer meeting on school property. Looking back, I think this only served as encouragement for me. After all, didn’t this reaction from the adults in our life prove we young people were doing something daring and rebellious? Whether we fit the classic mold of rebels or not, God used those early experiences to bring many of us to what would become a lifetime commitment to seeking God’s way. I may not have felt like a revolutionary, but, as my faded blue jeans jacket with “Jesus Is The Way” on it indicated, I wanted everyone to know where I stood. In the years since, my devotion to God has waxed and waned, but true to His Word, the Lord always sought me out, drawing me back to Jesus, where I belong.
Today is truly a concerning time for those committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In some countries, societal pressures and trends have led to the watering down of God’s message, while others have taken a more direct approach by simply outlawing the gathering of Christians altogether, even threatening with death Christ followers who persist. However, attempts to marginalize, politicalize, or weaponize the Church have always ultimately been overcome by the simplicity of Jesus’ message. The power of the Bible lies in its mind-blowing resistance to change and misinterpretation, its ability to bring redemption to fallen man, no matter the forces arrayed against it.
They didn’t know, God,
when they drove you to the cross,
that the message they considered
as so much dross
would change the world.
They might have read, Lord,
their own prophets had preached,
but they lost their ears to hear
and shortened their reach
instead of taking hold
of the only lifeline that mattered.
But as the years continue,
Lord, we’re forced to ask,
how long our world has
before it’s taken to task?
We know you are patient
but now call for us to decide
to be gathered up
as your flock and bride.
For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 New Living Translation
Even the darkness is not dark to You.
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Sing to the Lord the new song He gave.
Sing to the Lord, and be amazed.
Oh ohh, never let go.
Sing to the Lord when the battle seems lost.
Sing to the Lord when the cost seems too high,
and you want to cut and run.
It’s easy to give up on supernatural.
It’s easy to abandon what isn’t naturally known,
even when the known is getting you nowhere.
We cling to familiar like a broken-down car,
sit in the seat though we can’t get far.
allowing our lives to be run by fear and regret.
Since you are with me wherever I go,
since you know my every thought,
I might as well get to know you.
I can’t run so fast as to get away.
I can’t stop the sunrise by holding down the curtain.
Of all these things I’m certain.
You formed me, designed me,
made me unique for a purpose.
When I was still an unformed substance,
you saw me, you knew me,
you knew where my piece fit in the puzzle.
Lord, help me find my way in the puzzle.