Category: <span>Suffering</span>

Jean Valjean, a vagabond in the classic “Les Miserables” was a just released prisoner in midlife. “Nineteen years in French prison have left him rough and fearless. He walked for four days in the Alpine chill of nineteenth century southeastern France, only to find that no inn will take him, no tavern will feed him.” Max Lucado tells the story in “Grace.” “Finally he knocks on the door of a bishop’s house. Monseigneur Myriel is seventy five years old. Like Valjean he has lost much. The revolution took all the valuables from his family, except some silverware, a soup ladle, and two candlesticks.” “Valjean expects the religious man to turn him away. “ “But the Bishop is kind. He asks the visitor to sit near a fire.” “He explains, ‘This is not my house, but the house of Jesus Christ.’””…  They dine on soup and bread, figs, and cheese with…

On this years Labor Day, I can only think of one laborer; our Merciful Savior. He came in the volume of the book to do the will of His Father. He finished the work that was set before Him, and faced a bloody cross and death. Do any of our “works” compare with His? His was “vicarious.” “performed or suffered by one person as a substitute for another or to the benefit or advantage of another.” Not like working for our families, friends, or government which deserves commendation when we do it, but He stood-in as a substitute for a deeper need, the redemption of our fallen souls. Without His work, a sacrifice which led to His death, all of our works would merit little — a few dollars and perhaps a good night’s rest. Yes, a few hours of peaceful mind often appears inviting, as life offers little rest.…

Peter fished: “Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. Matthew 4:18 He walked on the water: “Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. Matthew14:28-29 He spoke well: “Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16 He rebuked the Lord: “Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” Matthew 16:22 He queried Jesus: “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Matthew 18:21 “Behold, we have forsaken all,…

We can know that God loves us. How? The Bible tells us so. “Knowing” proceeds on several levels, so “knowing God loves us” is perceived in several abilities. First the mind can grasp a truth from the Bible translated into our language. Our language learning has given us an ability to take hold of meanings. If the Bible has meaning to me, it happens because something in me can relate to something outside of me. The relating brings the Word in. In me are the tools of creation, the faculties of humankind, created in His image and likeness. Outside of me, the Word initiates a friendship. This friendship occurs as we give authority to this Word by lending a worshiping ear to it; this implies that we comprehend it, believe it, reckon on it, position our focus on it, become a willful servant to it. (see Roman’s 6) God Himself…

When disappointments would come my mother would say, “its not the end of the world.” Since those days I have had many “end of the worlds.” Perhaps some of us are having a doomsday even as we write — a grand parent, mother or father, even a son or daughter have gone away. Friends, Jesus is the glory and the lifter of our heads. Psalm 3:3 Robert Nathan wrote his poetic cry: God of pity and love, return to this earth, Go not so far away, leaving us to evil, Darkness is loose upon the world, the Devil Walks in the land, and there is nothing worth. Death like a dog, runs howling from his lair; His bite has made men mad, they follow after All howling too, and their demoniac laughter Drowns like a sea our solitary prayer. Return, O Lord, return. Come with the day, Come with the…

I’m so glad, He saved my weary and wayward soul! I will go to heaven one day, because He came to earth and died. Through His blood poured out, I was washed. Some folks feel He came to give us a second chance. Sorry, that would not be enough for me because I am a hopeless sinner. A second chance would imply that I could change myself; I could not. I write with thanksgiving deep in my heart, but many do not have this. They are still trying hard, religiously dedicated. They feel that some day their fervency will measure up to a reward from God. It will not. More honest are the drunks, addicts, and prostitutes; they are closer to the kingdom. But will they come to God for cleansing in His blood? If not they will die in their sins. A third group have adopted one of many…

  Paul considered himself less than the least. “…these have the meanest thoughts of themselves, and the best of others; they rejoice in the grace of God manifested to others; they are willing to receive instruction, nay admonition, from the meanest believer; they have the least opinion of their own works, and are the greatest admirers of the grace of God”  “they have the largest discoveries of the love and grace of God and Christ, which are of a soul humbling nature; they are the most sensible of their own sinfulness, vileness, and unworthiness, which keeps them low in their own sight; they are commonly the most afflicted with Satan’s temptations, which are suffered to attend them, lest they should be exalted above measure;” Gill I spoke to a fisherman and found out he was a believer in Christ. He exhibited confidence, and a positive outlook. I wondered how much…

” For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Our lives are hidden lives, we are with Christ, and we are with Him in the Father. Who is to call into question the Chosen ones of God? God justifies. He declares them legally righteous. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died and rose again, and He is at the right hand of God, making intercession for us. Who can separate you from the love of God? Tribulation or imprisonment or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? Romans 8:33-34 All is actual in the place of “dead and hidden.” All is legally ours, but what about in our experience? The plan of God goes to work. “According as it is written, For thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we have been reckoned as sheep for…

Job 5:7  …man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. KJV — (As sure as the wild birds fly, Aramaic; and even so the vulture’s young seek the high places, Septuagint.) As sure as the laws of nature; as birds of prey scavenge from on high or fire flickers upward, so men will see trouble. Psalm 119:67-75 teaches, ” Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” …”It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”… “I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” It seems that trouble should not surprise us, but must come. A word from Jeremiah: ” …the Lord will not reject for ever.” ” But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.” “For he doth not…

  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, as it was the substance of things which have come to pass; and it is the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 Lamsa’s translation “The apostles said to our Lord, increase our faith.” The Lord’s reply: “If ye have faith even as a grain of mustard seed, ye could say unto this mulberry tree, be uprooted, and planted in the sea; and it would obey you.” Jesus tells a story then: Now, which of you has a servant who plows or feeds sheep, and if he should come from the field, would say to him, ‘enter in and sit down?’ But he would rather say to him, ‘prepare something that I may have my supper, and gird yourself and serve me until I eat and drink; and then you also can eat and drink. What! Will the servant receive…