Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Talking about Simon Peter

Out of fear, Simon Peter denied the Lord Jesus Christ 3 times. (Luke 22:57, 58, 60)

Simon Peter was broken by his spiritual failure. He went out from the courtyard, into the darkness, and wept bitterly.

But God loved Simon Peter despite his failures.

God restored Simon Peter and placed his focus back on the ministry to His sheep.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Even when we fail, God continues to come to us in mercy and compassion! God’s mercies never fail; our God is overflowing with compassion!

We may be imperfect but our God is perfect! Great is His faithfulness!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Going Home

Jesus emphasized the importance of every person to God with three stories about something lost: a sheep, a coin, and a son (Luke 15).

In each story, a person has lost something of great value. When it is found, friends and neighbors are called to celebrate and rejoice together.

The point is clear: We are all of great value to God, who offers us forgiveness and new life through Christ. And He faithfully pursues us with His love and grace.

We were the lost sheep that God found and brought back into His fold.

We were the lost coin that God searched for His treasure store.

We were the long lost son that God brought home again.

We are special to God because we belong to Him. Don't bring Him shame.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Justice and Mercy

We live in tension between things that save us and kill us. With fire, we cook our food and keep warm, but in it we can be consumed; with water, we keep our bodies hydrated and our planet cooled, but in it we can drown. Too much or too little of either is life-threatening.

We see the same principle at work spiritually. To thrive, civilizations need mercy and justice. The Lord Jesus scolded the Pharisees for being sticklers about the law but neglecting justice and mercy and faith. (Matt. 23:23).

The Lord Jesus keeps justice and mercy in perfect balance. His death satisfies God’s need for justice and our need for mercy. God’s justice and mercy met at the cross.

How about us?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Receive Love and Give Love

The greatest love that we receive is the love of God.

"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." (1 John 4:9)

We receive God's love when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name". (John 1:12)

After we have experienced God’s love, we then learn to give love.

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." (1 John 4:7)

God’s love enables us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

God's love enables us to love our enemies.

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Matt. 5:44)

We are able to give love to others because God first loves us.

"Receive love. Give love." Make it our goal today.