The Father’s Gift to Jesus

By , February 11, 2019

“…those You have given Me…”
John 17:24

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A few years ago I did what I was dreading for years, I moved house. I had lived in the same house for 28 years and packrat that I am had accumulated an amazing lot of really “great” stuff. Great at least in my own mind!

But, the fact was, I was downsizing to a home half the size and simply could not take it all with me. I vividly recall purging a 5 drawer lateral filing cabinet. I had documents there from 40 years earlier that had to go to the shredder for disposition. There were all kinds of things I had not seen in decades.

But there were a hand full of files that I simply could not trash. Had anyone other than myself seen the contents lying around or blowing down the street they would have immediately trashed the papers without another thought. They were simply garbage to anyone but myself and to me they were priceless treasures that I would keep no matter how small the house to which I moved.

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Deserted But Not Alone

By , February 10, 2019

“No longer will they call you ‘Deserted’
…for the Lord will take delight in you.”
Isaiah 62:4

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When we think of someone deserted we may think of a lost child who is frightened because of the loss of mother’s visual presence. Or we may consider parents’ whose only child has no time for them any more and only wants to know what their inheritance is.

Then there is the enemy called death that relentlessly steals from us our most beloved ones. Or the faithful wife whose spouse is not so faithful.

Perhaps one of the most haunting and frightening cries of desertion was heard outside of the walled city of Jerusalem a couple of centuries ago when Jesus uttered the words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

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What makes God sing?

By , February 9, 2019

“He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

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Have you ever thought about the emotional life of God? Certainly we are full of emotions, some good, and some not so good. At times our emotions get the better of us and cause us to do things we later regret. Other times our emotions run strong and it is an absolutely wonderful to experience.

But what about God? Some think of God as having a long white beard, dressed in white and perhaps a little stern. Someone to be afraid of or who is unapproachable.

In our verse today we have God described as delighting, loving, and singing! What a contrast to the common image of the divine, especially the singing idea. Where does that come from? Well, it was not humankind who invented music and harmony that delights the hearer.

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“I’m kinda left to die, and it’s hard to do.”

By , February 8, 2019

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It was Friday morning October 2, 1999, and I was busy studying about heaven.

Monday and Friday are days I leave totally clear to study and prepare for Sunday. So there I was immersed in jottings, books and commentaries piled high on the table when the phone rang. As usual I had no idea of who it would be or what they would want when I picked up the receiver.

The voice on the phone sounded weak and frail. He told me his name and then commented that he had occasionally attended a church I pastored many years ago.

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The Biblical View on Forgiveness

By , February 7, 2019

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The Greek word for forgiveness is pronounced Ôapse a miÕ. The word means to send away, to dismiss, to depart.

To forgive is to send away that for which there was a breach in the relationship.

When a person confesses their sin to us, we are to remove the offense from the relationship and receive the person back into our society. Clearly then, only the one who was offended can extend forgiveness and reinstate the offender in the relationship.

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