No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. – John 15:15
What does it make you think of when you consider that God calls us friend? It’s easy to think of God in typical ways. He’s my Lord. He’s my Savior. He’s the King. He’s all-powerful. God has many formal ‘titles’ and they are all true and meaningful, but how often do I think of God as a friend. A friend that loves me and wants to walk through life with me. A friend who cares about my thoughts, my feelings, my hurts and my joys. A friend who cares about me and the details of my life.
It’s easy to ask, Who am I that God would consider me a friend? But He does and I should value myself knowing that God values me.
Father, help me to see you as a friend as you see me and help me to draw close to you knowing that life is always better when I walk side by side with You.
The more we get to know God, the easier it is to see that He knows us better than we know ourselves. It’s a simple truth, but one with a lot of meaning. So many times in life when we are in the midst of the storm it’s hard to see past the clouds, past the haze that blocks our view. But, thankfully, our God is bigger than the storm. Read more…
“Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path.”-Joel 2:8
Locusts always keep their rank, and although their number is legion, they do not crowd upon each other, so as to throw their columns into confusion. This remarkable fact in natural history shows how thoroughly the a Lord has infused the spirit of order into His universe, since the smallest animate creatures are as much controlled by it as are the rolling spheres or the seraphic messengers. It would be wise for believers to be ruled by the same influence in all their spiritual life. In their Christian graces no one virtue should usurp the sphere of another, or eat out the vitals of the rest for its own support. Affection must not smother honesty, courage must not elbow weakness out of the field, modesty must not jostle energy, and patience must not slaughter resolution. So…
View original post 207 more words
Throughout the Bible, the picture of thorns is often employed at various times to communicate difficulties, treacherous paths, and barren wastelands where God’s blessing has ceased to fall. Where thorns flourish, movement is hindered, fields lay choked, and life is bitter for the inhabitants of the land.
Perhaps the most well-known reference to thorns in Scripture is located in Paul’s writings to the church in Corinth in 2 Cor. 12:7, where he speaks about having a “thorn in the flesh”. In the classical Greek, the word “thorn” is ‘skolops’, meaning a “stake or a sharp wooden shaft used to impale.” There have been many theories regarding what Paul meant by this phrase, everything from a chronic illness, to an eye disease, to sorrow, and to a literal ‘messenger of Satan’ meant to keep him humble in light of the revelations given him. Whatever this “thorn” was, it served to hinder Paul and made his journey much more difficult. Most importantly, it forced him to rely upon God. For when Paul prayed to have the “thorn” removed, God answered with, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness”. (2 Cor. 12:9)
As those who are in Christ Jesus, we too are not immune to the effects of the thorns, nor are we exempt from having to traverse through them from time to time. In fact, the Christian life seems to be fraught with thorns, ripping through our clothing, tearing into our flesh, and even causing us to become stuck at times. And the more we fight, the more we seem to be ever more stuck, bleeding and agonizing until we realize that the only thing that will get us out is to simply “be still” and do nothing. In those moments, we are mercifully brought to our knees before God as the only One who can bring us through the briars. Thorns are never pleasant and they always leave their mark, but it is only through the thorns that we are able to grow and move forward in our spiritual journey. In that most beautiful hymn, “Be Still My Soul”, we read,
“Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”
As in all things, we would be wise to look at the example given to us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus, for even He experienced the thorns in a very real way. Upon his “coronation” at the cross, Jesus received the wicked crown of thorns which tore cruelly into his righteous head. In that terrible moment when He died upon the cross, He issued forth the words, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46), placing all into the Father’s hands. Jesus, in the midst of the most severe physical and emotional pain, was “still” before the Father, trusting in Him to do what seemed good to Him, knowing that God would see Him through. Jesus knew what lay beyond the thorns and He stayed the course set before Him by the Father. In doing this, He has given us an example of what it means to be faithful and to trust in God to lead us through the trials of life and to come out the other side in victory.
Thorns might come in very obvious forms such as persecution, physical illness, or loss. One only needs to flip through the annals of history, or even to simply live on this earth for any amount of time to see the truth in this. But thorns can also come in more subtle forms which make their way insidiously into our very cores, rotting us out from the inside. Even those of us in full-time ministry are often left wondering, “Why do I feel so dead inside? Why do I feel so stuck?” Stress, anxiety, depression, pride, the quest for possesions, and sheer busyness tend to mark our lives. Less and less are we able to simply “be still”. The thorns come and we begin to feel choked and barren. We fight and fight until their is no fight left in us.
Thorns are inevitable on the path of faith. There is no way around them, only through them. But they are also a very neccessary component to true and lasting growth. However the thorns manifest in your life and wherever you happen upon them in your journey, the question is this: “How will you meet them?”
Having been a Christian for awhile, there have been times when, upon coming to certain passages of Scripture, I have found myself saying something to the effect of, “I don’t need to read this.”, or, “I’ve heard this all before.”, or, “That’s for new believers.”, or some other such rot. Doesn’t that sound terrible? I mean, what a positively arrogant stance to take; as if I had it all figured out already! Yeesh… Read more…
This is one of those basic and simple truths that we MUST hold to. Thanks to Daily Encouragement for this wonderful reminder and prayer.
Father, You want us to have peace instead of fear. Therefore You speak to our hearts many times, “Fear not” and give us many reasons why we are not to be fearful people. The most compelling reason that we need not fear is that You promise never to leave us nor forsake us. You are our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. So we ask that You embolden us and fill our hearts with courage in place of fear. As someone once said, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”
This Daily Prayer is from this Daily Encouragement message.
What a profound statement. What a call to self-examination.
Somehow, through the day-to-day, normal events of my week I managed to really cause some major discomfort in my feet. My hope was that a little sleep and a lot of rest would ease the pain I am now feeling (this is different then the low back, knee and ankle pain I normally deal with). But last night the pain escalated and my reaction was not made in grace, nor was it very manly. Instead, I reacted in fear, anger, despair and a little more anger. Read more…
We will use this blog to share stories of our life, ministry and travel. We pray that what we write will bless you.
Photography, memoirs, random thoughts.
Inspiration, Motivation, Encouragement
Letting go of my super powers and letting God help me fly.
Jack Kerouac with a scent of Henry Vaughn
Godinterest is a place to talk about God, Culture, Life and all that other stuff
Finding the Rest Jesus Promised ~ Matthew 11:28
...all the words of this life...
is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life
Scottish Warriors for Christ- http://www.facebook.com/acalltotheremnant
The daily prayer from Daily Encouragement Net
Word(s) . Light . Life
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Psalms 19:1
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (Psalm 29.2)
Ringing the bells for Christian traditions and getting our story out there. If we don't, who will?
“Our hope is found in JESUS CHRIST” : Helping Catholics rediscover their faith; whether they are non-practicing, just returning to the faith, or a weekly worshiper. Sheding light on the meaning behind what the Church teaches and believes.
Refining theological understanding. Sharpening ethical rigor. Heightening devotional intensity.
"Discussions on faith and perseverance"
Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.
Building a Better Team
portraits.weddings.landscape.all-around seer of sites