Coffee in the Lake

canstockphoto2147501My pastor told a personal story during his sermon last Sunday.  Pastor was fishing and tossed his coffee dregs over the side of the boat into the lake.  He watched as the coffee instantly disappeared into the waters of the lake and described the Holy Spirit as telling him,

“That coffee is your sin and this lake is My grace.”

The sermon topic was about the people of Nineveh and how the greatness of their sins had reached God in Heaven (Book of Jonah); yet God loved them in spite of their sin.  God sent His servant, Jonah, to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh. The people did repent so God forgave them.

I hope that sharing my pastor’s personal testimony about the sufficiency of God’s grace encourages repentance in someone out there today.  God loves us, and His mercy is so wondrously kind – He forgives “seventy times seven“.

“And the grace of our Master was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Messiah Yahshua.” ~ I Timothy 1:14 RSV

 

Photo Credit: ©Can Stock Photo Inc/michaelmill

Leading Quiet Lives

Keeping our focus on living the way Jesus lived; humbly and with solid purpose for doing the will of our Father in heaven.

TLP

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1Thessalonians 4:11-12

What great advice! Paul’s instructions here need little amplification from me or anyone else, but I might just add this…

Leading quiet lives is out of fashion these days with tweets, texts and people sounding off all the time.  I used to tell my kids that their friends don’t need to know about every little thought that passes their consciousness.  Of course teenagers tend to think their parents don’t know anything and they texted or posted or spoke frequently, and frequently got a face full in return… Hardly an example of leading a quiet life.

Back in Paul’s time, working with your hands would…

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Stranger on the Road to Emmaus

How could a personal friend of two men seem to be a total Stranger on the road to Emmaus?

Read Matthew 28:1-10, Luke 24, Mark 16:12-13, John 20:1-18 NIV

The Morning of Resurrection Day:

Mary Magdalene and other women visit the tomb of Jesus early on the third day after His crucifixion to discover that His body is missing.  Two angels are there and one tells them that Jesus has risen and go tell the others. As they are leaving, a man notices that Mary Magdalene is weeping and asks her who is she looking for?  She mistakes the man for a gardener and asks that if he knows where the body of Jesus has been taken, please tell her so she can go get Him.  She does not recognize that the man is Jesus, until He said her name, “Mary.”  She instantly recognizes Jesus, and the women run to Him, but He instructs them to go tell the disciples that He is risen.  They obey.

The disciples do not believe the women, but Simon Peter runs to the tomb and finds nothing but the burial linens of Jesus.  No evidence that Jesus has risen from the dead and no angels.  He leaves disappointed and perplexed.

The Road to Emmaus:

Then two disciples set off for a village about seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus.  On the way, a Stranger joins them.  As they continue to walk with the Stranger on the road to Emmaus, the Stranger casually asks what the two men are talking about.  His question stops the two men in their tracks.  One of the men, Cleopas, seems incredulous that this visitor has not heard the news:

Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?

What things?” He asked.

About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied, “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.  In addition, some of our women amazed us.  They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” ~ Luke 24:18-24 NIV

The Luke Gospel account states that they were kept from recognizing him (Jesus).  Mark’s Gospel account states that Jesus appeared in a different form.  Obviously, both men’s ability to recognize Jesus was altered supernaturally for a purpose.  Just like Mary.  Doesn’t this sound like a familiar pattern in the Gospels?  How many times have we read where the disciples, followers and crowds were spiritually dulled or blinded to the Truth?  Jesus spoke in parables and then explained the parables, and still, there was little discernment.  Throughout the ministry of Jesus the hand of God had veiled the minds of Jesus’ followers in order for His divine purpose to be fulfilled.  God was not taking any chances for humans, devils, or Satan to thwart His divine plan of redemption.  That veil remained in place until the fulfillment by Jesus of every Messianic Prophecy recorded in the Old Testament.  However, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, follower disbelief plays a part (these men have just left them – (the disciples who have heard from the women that Christ is risen, but doubt).

So we have evidence of disbelief by Jesus’ own followers.  The women do not believe the angels at the tomb. The disciples do not believe Mary and the other women.  But Jesus IS RISEN and appears on the road to Emmaus to set the record straight by being His own witness.  He calls the two men foolish, and expounds once again what the Scriptures foretold about Himself beginning with Moses and the Prophets.  When the three arrive at the village of Emmaus, Jesus stays for dinner at the invitation of the two men.  He breaks bread with them.  As soon as Jesus gives it to them, the veil drops from their minds and they recognize the Stranger as their very own Jesus of Nazareth.

And then He disappears!  Mission accomplished?  Well, not quite.

The Evening of Resurrection Day:

The two men hurry back to Jerusalem and announce to the disciples that the women are not crazy.  They have seen Jesus alive, too!

As soon as the two men share their astounding news with the disciples, Jesus appears with a greeting of,  “Peace be with you!”  Now all of the men recognize Jesus but think they are seeing a ghost.  Jesus patiently shows them the wounds on His hands and feet, and since they still do not believe it’s true (mostly from shock and joy), He eats a piece of fish and opens their minds so they can at last understand the Scriptures.  One detail recorded in John’s Gospel is that Jesus also breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, the are not forgiven.”  So Jesus immediately imparts authority to His disciples, once they believe that He is the True Messiah.

And then He disappears again!  Third time’s the charm, right?  Well, not always.

Read supporting scriptures John 20:19-30:

Time for a head count: Thomas was missing from the group when Jesus met with them, so there were ten disciples present plus at least the two witnesses that met up with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.  Including the women who saw Jesus at the tomb site, the disciples have been told by two different groups of witnesses that Jesus is alive.  They have just seen Him appear before their own eyes in the flesh.   These disciples tell Thomas later that they have personally seen Jesus alive and the sad part?  Thomas doubts:

Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” ~ John 20:25b NIV

At the End of Resurrection Day:

So what has Jesus accomplished by the end of His Blessed Resurrection Day?  He has gathered His flock of followers and shared the Truth about Himself.  He has been the first witness to His own resurrection.  He has testified in person that He is, indeed, the promised Messiah who has conquered death and the grave.  The sheep have all become believers; not just followers.  All but Thomas.  Does Jesus leave it there and just let Thomas go on with his life in unbelief?  NO!  Jesus never lets go of His own!

Fast forward one week to all eleven disciples gathered in one room with the doors locked. Suddenly Jesus blows through the wall, stands before them, and greets the terrified men with, “Peace be with you!” (again, He doesn’t want to scare anybody).  Of course, Jesus has come there for Thomas – just like in the Parable of the Lost Sheep:

Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God.” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~ John 20:27-28 NIV

Yes, that is the best part of this story.  Jesus makes it so clear – not only to His disciples, but for all generations to follow.  In every case of  spiritual or even physical blindness (Paul on the road to Damascus), there is a joyous instant when the Light of recognition is allowed to shine through for every believing sinner.  That moment when Jesus is recognized in all of His glory!  It is the life changing moment of victorious realization over doubt.  Praise God!

You could say that this story is really about the “Doubting Thomas” – and yes, it is.  But we are all “Doubting Thomases” until we kneel at the feet of Jesus.  I believe that God is Wisdom.  He knew that without the meeting between two men and His Beloved Son on the road to Emmaus, an important opportunity would be lost.  It was necessary, for we all need to hear that personal testimony from Jesus Himself that all Scripture about His coming is fulfilled.  Until Jesus appeared alive and proclaimed Himself as the promised Messiah, He would always be a Stranger.  There would be no redemption, due to lack of faith resulting from lack of evidence plus corroborative testimony.  We need to hear from the two men on that road, who personally testified that they walked with, talked with, and saw Jesus in the flesh as He broke bread and handed it to them.  We need to hear from the women who saw, spoke with, and clung to His garments at the tomb site. We need to know that the disciples were convinced, and personally witnessed Jesus as risen and transformed bodily – that Jesus bore the wounds of the cross that they personally touched; that Christ ate real food but also had the power to pass through walls.  Without these events, there would only be a legend or myth today about a great prophet named Jesus who claimed to be the Son of God and was then killed; and the disciples and ultimately, the lost world, would have only kept doubting.

Jesus Himself testifies that HE LIVES.  Let there be no doubt!  There is no more reason to keep God’s plan a mystery.  Jesus finished God’s perfect plan of redemption.  The whole world has to know; both then and now.  Jesus showed plainly by His example to us that personal testimony is the way to share the Good News.

This is the reason there had to be a Stranger on the road to Emmaus.

 

Note:  For those interested in where this village of Emmaus may be located near Jerusalem, check out “The Identification of Emmaus” from Selective Geographical Problems in the Life of Christ, a doctoral dissertation by J. Carl Laney (Dallas Theological Seminary, 1977).

Photo Credit: ©Can Stock Photo Inc/nicku

 

Living Water at the Well

Jesus stopped at Jacob’s Well located at Sychar while traveling through Samaria on His way from Judea to Galilee (John 4:1-42 NIV).  He was tired and thirsty.  It was about noon, and His disciples had gone into town for food.  When a Samaritan woman came by to draw water from the well, Jesus asked if she would give Him a drink.  At first she questioned His intentions, since it was not the custom of Jews to interact with Samaritans.  Jesus simply stated that if she knew who she was speaking with, she would have asked Him for a drink of water; and He would have given her Living Water.

Jesus the Sower:

Most people have heard this story, but many only remember about the sins of the woman, since she admitted to Jesus that she currently had no husband, but had been married a total of five times.  But this story is really about how Jesus worked His ministry here on earth.  It is about sowing the seeds of Truth, and reaping a harvest of souls.  The divine appointment between the woman and the Holy Son of God at Jacob’s Well was just the opportunity Jesus used to sow His Good News to a whole town of Samaritan residents .  Jesus already knew about the marital history of this woman.  She confessed that what Jesus said about her was true, and He agreed with her honesty about it.  She recognized Jesus as a prophet but her reaction was doubt.  She evaded the topic of Living Water that He introduced.  Realizing that He knew personal details of her life may have made her uncomfortable or distrustful of how those facts played into the mysterious Living Water topic Jesus mentioned.  Instead of being immediately receptive to His Word, she changed the subject to a long standing controversial religious topic .

20Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem. “

Jesus patiently explained that neither place is a valid location for true worship any longer.  She must have been shocked when Jesus said,

23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Jesus had just made an earth-changing prophetic statement, and she blew it off.  Of all things!  A prophet who sounds like a false teacher! – One who speaks with authority claiming the only acceptable worship to God is something called “worship in the Spirit and truth”!

25The woman said, “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.” 26Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you – I am He.”

Whereupon the disciples returned with lunch, and the woman made her hasty escape; leaving her water jar at the well.  She missed the most perfect opportunity of a lifetime to ask important questions of the True Messiah, for He had just told her, in effect: “You are speaking to Him.  What would you like for Me to explain?”  Instead of receiving His teaching right then and there (perhaps intimidated by the arrival of the Jewish disciples), she dropped everything and ran straight into town.  She spread the news that a prophet had just arrived at Jacob’s Well claiming to be the promised Messiah; and convinced the town folk to follow her back to the well for further investigation into the matter.

39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”

It sounds like they only believed that he was a prophet of God, however.  Jesus stayed two days at Sychar at the invitation of the Samaritans in order to teach them the Truth about Himself – That He IS The Living Water.

Jesus the Reaper of the Harvest:

41And because of His words many more became believers. 42They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

See, the woman only spread the news that a convincing prophet was traveling by, and asked the townspeople to investigate as to whether he might be the promised Messiah.  “Is not this the Christ?” she asked of them.  I have to believe, as do many Bible scholars, that the Samaritan woman truly accepted Jesus as her Savior Messiah at some point during His visit to her town.  The scripture account does not specifically say either way, but she did testify of Jesus to others, and because she blew the shofar, so to speak, many became believers.  Aside from John the Baptist, she is known as one of the first or possibly the first witness for Jesus as the Messiah.  Her example for spreading the news of His arrival has been told for centuries. This story of a woman who took immediate action and verbally testified of her meeting Jesus, has inspired thousands of believers to share that Jesus is the Messiah.

I am not surprised that many more believed that Jesus was the Messiah than the first bunch of “prophet followers” after the whole town heard His complete teaching on Living Water. That was His true purpose for stopping in Sychar and asking a Samaritan woman for a drink of water.  He used the woman to announce His coming into the town.  He wanted to give a drink of Living Water to as many as would believe more than He wanted to be given a drink of well water.

Through Personal Testimony:

In verse 37, while the woman was heralding the town for a trip back to the well to confront Jesus about who He was; Jesus had just spent his lunch teaching His disciples about the truthful saying, “One sows and another reaps”.  Yet Jesus was not only the Sower in this story, but He was also the Reaper of the harvest.  Here is a wonderful example of Christ’s zeal for serving the Father.  He did the Father’s work, and did it with perfect completion.  He gave His own personal testimony to the world.  He planted.  He taught the Truth.  Before He left town after a two day visit, He reaped a big harvest for God’s kingdom.  Jesus showed us that personal testimony is crucial to sharing the Good News of His Gospel.  Throughout His ministry He taught new believers to give personal witness to His works of healings, miracles, signs and wonders; so that many more would believe.  HALLELUJAH – PRAISE HIM FOREVER MORE!!!

Sharing the Good News:

Have you believed in Jesus, The Living Water?  If not, I encourage you to trust Jesus with all your heart now, for today is the joyful day of salvation.  Here is a helpful link:

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God bless.

The Eastern Orthodox Church tradition about the Samaritan woman at the well is found at wikipedia.com under Interpretations.  The traditions tell of her faith, baptism, persecution, and martyrdom.  Interesting stuff.

Encouragement – “turn to pg 296”

The message I discovered that Dad carefully wrote in his little New Testament Bible is so simple and yet so precious.  It is precious to me, of course, because my own Dad wrote it; but he wrote it for himself, not me.  It is only God’s grace that inspired the Apostle Paul to write his encouraging letters to the church in Corinth, and only God’s divine hand that preserved His Word for centuries to encourage us today.  Dad was only His instrument; just like Paul.

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So Dad circled verse 17 of I Corinthians 9 on page 296 in his Bible: For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission.  The Apostle Paul explained this statement in detail clear to the end of chapter 9.  We all pretty much understand “of my own will”.  Paul was a free man.  He was a Roman citizen, which guaranteed him certain rights under Roman law to live his life the way he pleased.  He was slave to no man.  Americans enjoy similar freedom under our “Bill of Rights” today.  Paul chose to share his faith in Jesus.  He was not under force to witness – But what about reward?

He explained that all participants run a race, but only one wins the prize (verse 24).  If the race is run willingly, then the participant is much more likely to win.  Win what?  In this case, SOULS.  Yes, more saved souls are the reward!  It’s not for heavenly crowns, positions of honor, medals or status as an Apostle or church leader.  Paul’s message of “running the race” for Christ was written in order to encourage every witnessing believer by teaching 1the proper way to do it and 2the right reason for doing it.  I don’t know about you, but I am vastly more encouraged by success than by failure.  The Apostle Paul is basically saying:  Join up and run, but run smart; don’t just run because you learned about “The Great Commission” and feel compelled to serve Jesus.  Yes, it is a very big deal, because Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” ~ Mark 16:15

That makes it the highest priority in this life for the believer.  Jesus wants us to know that the stakes are high.  I firmly believe that Dad was keenly aware of it.  Obviously, he was determined to stay the course not only to win the race, but like Paul, to bring more lost souls across the finish line with him.

But do we share our testimony as just a duty, or willingly?  Paul cautions, “if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission.”  In other words, our Master has commissioned us to perform this duty regardless.  Our efforts have less chance of winning souls for Jesus if people see that our words lack enthusiasm.  There is no fire in the belly; no burden for the lost.  Instead of achieving reward for more souls saved, we are diminished by the less.  “I am entrusted” means each believer is accountable either way.

Are our hearts truly burdened for the lost?  Even though we have been freed by the blood of Jesus, have we made ourselves a servant to all?  Don’t be timid in sharing God’s Word.  We can’t all be missionaries serving in foreign lands.  God knows that we can sow seeds and reap a harvest for His kingdom right in our own communities.  God will provide opportunity because Jesus gave His life for this message to be shared with all who will listen – or not listen.  Seize opportunities that the Holy Spirit creates for witnessing.  Remember that believers are only responsible to act on opportunities; and then let the Holy Spirit do His work.  II Timothy 1:7 is the most encouraging verse to the timid believer: For God has not given us a spirit of fear (timidity in some Bible translations), but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

 

Consider the “Parable of the Pounds” in Luke 19:12-27:  A certain nobleman traveled to a far country to receive a kingdom and then return (Jesus).  He left ten pounds of money (Gospel) with ten servants.  When he returned he found that nine had increased the master’s money (Shared the Gospel), but one servant had not.  He had hidden the master’s pound in a napkin (gotten saved and then kept the Good News all to himself), saying, 21“For I FEARED thee, because thou art an austere man” (excuses and blaming the Master!).  The master judged the servant by taking the pound (Gospel) he had entrusted to him and giving it to the servant who had increased his master’s one pound by ten pounds (Evangelist) – Sort of like taking away what few souls may have surrendered to Jesus as a result of one timid believer, and crediting those souls to Billy Graham’s service record.  AYIYIYI!  When the other nine servants questioned the master’s judgement, 26“He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

I think I have written somewhere previously that God sets aside those who do not serve Him.  After repeated attempts by the Holy Spirit to energize a person to live for the Gospel, that person may resist; won’t let his light shine; has no salt.  This grieves the Holy Spirit until God just sets that person aside to live out the rest of his or her life in worldly pursuits; thereby suffering spiritual loss.

I don’t want to be set aside.  Thank you, Dad, for circling verse 17 on page 296 of your Bible.  Your witness is still bearing fruit!

“If we have Christ, we have nothing to fear when sharing the Gospel. We may not be trained speakers, gifted salesmen, or educated preachers or teachers. But if we’re empowered with the Spirit’s love, we’ll be effective. We can’t win others through our personalities, persuasive techniques, or promotional campaigns, though the Lord can use some of those things. The real secret is the Spirit-empowered love and power, and a sound mind that presents a hope-filled Gospel to a downtrodden world.” ~ Dr. David Jeremiah

Lord, may my witness be as powerful as the blasting shofar; and full of Your love, not “words as a tinkling cymbal”.  Give me a fearless and sound mind; that I may recognize and respond to the opportunities for witnessing that You set before me today; and know that I believe in Your call.  I am your willing servant.  Thank you, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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There is more coming soon of Dad’s New Testament message on Encouragement  – “see pg 317”.  Don’t miss the next part of the message by following importantstuff.live.

Encouragement – “see pg 194”

God sends encouragement to the believer in amazing ways through His Word.  Personal witness can be challenging as we share our testimony of faith to others.  Sometimes we don’t see the fruit of what we have sown; but never doubt God’s authority over growing His Gospel.  Our personal abilities, opportunities and circumstances to witness for Him pale by comparison to the power of His Word.  Do you doubt the power of His Word in your life?  God’s Word reaches across both distance and time to bring fruit to the labors of soul winning believers, as I am about to show you.

My father was a Christian who shared his testimony with many people during his lifetime.  Although he passed on to be with Jesus almost 40 years ago, God recently used my dad’s strong faith to encourage me quite unexpectedly when I found my dad’s pocket New Testament lying on a book shelf undisturbed.  I placed it there years ago.  The condition of this little Bible is beyond use, as its binding is a rubber band holding the pages together.  I thought its only use was a keepsake – a cherished memory of Dad.

For some reason I felt led to open the Book, just out of curiosity perhaps, to see if Dad underlined a scripture or left something of him inside.  What I found was a treasured message from my Heavenly Father pointed out by Dad that brought tearful joy to my discouraged heart.  Isn’t it amazing how God zaps us once in a while with His love?

Before I reveal the message, I want to share that Dad witnessed about the Gospel to just about anyone who would listen.  He didn’t drink alcohol, but would visit the local taverns in town to share Jesus with the bar patrons.  He worked in the oil fields of California and Alaska and shared his faith with co-workers; a rough crowd by some standards.  He frequently was met with ridicule for being a Christian, but he was not dissuaded.  He encouraged some men he knew to put God first in their lives if they wanted to have successful marriages.  There were many instances of divorce happening at the time.  Alaska was tough on marriages in the 1960’s.  The lack of conveniences drove many wives to leave their husbands for civilization back in the “lower 48”.  One man in particular scoffed at Dad’s notion that God’s love could mend a marriage.  Anyway, that is just a brief glimpse of my father’s personal testimony throughout his life.  He stood strong for Jesus; was not dissuaded; but now I see evidence in his little Bible that he may have been discouraged at times.  So what did he do about it?

Dad searched out God’s Word for encouragement and outlined God’s answer in the Bible so he could refer back anytime he was feeling rejected, tired, or defeated by the enemy.  I also believe that it was God’s plan for Dad to leave the following message so that I would find it so many years later; so that I would be encouraged; and so maybe whoever reads this will be encouraged to strive to be an overcomer – as Jesus plainly instructed believers eight times in the Book of Revelation.Hollis1

When I opened Dad’s little New Testament, on the very front inside cover was his name and the instruction written in his own handwriting: “see pg 194”.
My first reaction was, “REALLY?”  Some loose pages flew out of the Book in my haste to get to page 194.  Verse 26 of The Great Shepherd’s intercessory prayer for His flock as recorded in John 17 was circled: “I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

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Jesus was the First Witness!  He broadcast the Father’s Name, and wasn’t ashamed!  He spoke to thousands about the Father’s love for mankind! – The very thing He commanded His followers do.  So He never asked us to do something that He never did first.

I encourage you to read the entire chapter to learn how great is Jesus’ love for us.  At a time when He was about to be betrayed by one of His own (Judas) and delivered up for torture and crucifixion – He, who was without sin – prayed for us first, and then gave Himself up willingly to the cross.  He sacrificed Himself for us not because He was guilty of any crime, but out of love for sinners and nothing else!

If I knew that I had but a few hours to live, what would be my priority?  Some are told by doctors to “put your things in order” if diagnosed with a terminal illness; as if “your things” are the priority.  Some people rush to do the things on their “bucket list”- those dreams or goals in life that are unfulfilled.

What did Jesus do?

He prayed.  He gave the Father glory – the number one priority and what we should do first when we pray. Then He prayed acceptance that His life on earth was done.  Then He prayed for us: I am praying for them: I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine. ~John 17:9.  Jesus became first because He always put Himself last.  This principle is taught throughout God’s Word, and if it was the priority for Jesus, it should be embraced as priority by His followers as well.

I don’t know what my priority will be when my time is at hand to experience passing out of this life, even though I know what it should be.  I can tell you that Dad knew beforehand that he would be joining Jesus in heaven soon.  Yet he kept his priorities squared away.  He gave the Father glory in all things, even though his life was cut short and it may not have “seemed fair”.  He accepted that God’s purpose in his life was finished.  He had lived his bucket list, so that was done.  He prayed for others as church brethren prayed for him.  He continued to read God’s Word as long as he was able.  He continued to love others and shared his faith with not only his friends, but complete strangers that he met at the hospital, community – everywhere his journey took him until he passed out of this world and into the arms of his loving Savior. Matt28-19-20copy

Reading Dad’s Bible message is working a new thing in my life.  I am just beginning to appreciate more than ever what a wonderful gift God gave me.  What started out as curiosity over a family keepsake has set me on a journey into a deepening re-connection to my Heavenly Father.  I’m getting a glimpse of God’s love being greater than distance or time, and obedience to His will being the priority.

There is more to come (Lord willing) as I explore more of Dad’s New Testament message in “Turn to pg 296”.  Don’t miss the next part of the message by following importantstuff.live.