pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Modeling God’s Love

Reading: Psalm 24: 1-2

Verse 1: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”.

Today’s passage connects back to Genesis 1. There we find the familiar words, “in the beginning”. When there was nothing, God created – first the heavens and earth and then light, sky, and land. God would go on to create all living creatures, including humanity. It is from this place of understanding that the psalmist writes, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”. God is the creator.

It did not take long for mankind to question our place in the created order. Almost since the beginning of time mankind has wrestled with our position in the world. Consequently, God’s role as supreme, all-powerful creator has been questioned too. “Progress” in many fields has led to a questioning of God’s role in creation and the world and even of God’s existence. Yet, when push comes to shove or when we find ourselves in a time of trial and testing, we come to the honest realization that we have very little control. When one breathes their last, we are helpless. When cancer or other diseases set their course, in spite of our best efforts, we are powerless. When mother nature gathers power and moves across land or sea, we cannot deter her or alter her course or lessen her might.

Even though God is creator and is in control, we do have roles to play in the world. We are called to partner with and to work with God to love and care for the earth and for each other. We love and care for the earth and all of creation the same way we love and care for our fellow human beings. We model the love of God that we find in Jesus Christ. It is a love that considers others before ourselves. It is a love that sacrifices for the good of the other. It is a love that seeks what is best for the other.

When we live out this type of love and allow it to lead and guide all of our decisions and choices, then we honor and glorify God’s intent for all of creation. May it be so for you and me this day and every day.

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Focus on Jesus

And thus endeth the story.  On this Ascension day we believe Jesus rose up to “heaven”.  Christ risen and Christ glorified!!  The gospel story concludes with this grand finale.  But is it really the end of the story?  No!  Jesus left the disciples with two great promises.  First, He promised that the Holy Spirit would come upon them in great power.  This power would lead them to preach the good news to all nations.  Second, He told them, “I will be back.”

From the time of the ascension to now and on into the future, the followers of Jesus are to work on the first promise until the second comes to be.  It could be tomorrow that Jesus returns.  It could be a long time from now.  No one knows except the Father.  When we allow the Holy Spirit to work fully in us, it is easy to share the good news of repentance and forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.Without the Holy Spirit, trying to do it on our own, it is hard to share the message of Jesus Christ.

The Ascension represents Jesus returning to the Father in heaven, wherever that may be.  Conceptually this places Jesus right next to God.  In this thought is the idea that Jesus is supreme.  He is above all.  Above my life, my desires, my priorities.  He is Lord of ALL.

How is that lived out?  My focus must be on sharing my story of Jesus with those who do not know Him.  In my community that is a large task.  This is OK.  I do not labor alone.  The Spirit goes with me and there are many coworkers as well.  May our mighty God provide the opportunities this day!

Scripture references: Luke 24: 44-53 and Acts 1: 6-9