Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Father and Son

I don't know why my thoughts travel through my mind the way they do sometimes, except that on many occasions it is the Holy Spirit driving.  I think today was one of the times.

I was cleaning the house and thoughts of my 14-year-old son came to me.  I was thinking about what a fine young man he has become.  When his father is not home, I can depend on Dawson to handle most, if not all, of the things that his dad usually does.  This gave me pleasure and comfort.  An imaginary conversation of sorts entered my mind.  I wondered what I would say if someone were to ask me, "How can you have such confidence in your son?" and I would reply, "Because I know his father."  Then I had an "Aha!" moment.  I realized that's what Jesus meant!  

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it".
 John 14:1-14

This is something that I have "known" in my head for years.  But today the Holy Spirit just made it more real and personable to me by showing me the analogy of my husband and my son.  By intimately knowing my son's father, knowing his character and his ways, I can have confidence in my son. Also, because I see character and strength in my son, I can have confidence in his father.  

I don't know, perhaps this doesn't seem that big a deal to anyone else, but it meant a lot to me.  I was grateful to have been given that insight from the Lord.  

 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.  In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
 John 14:15-31
(all emphasis mine) 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Living, Breathing Miracle!

I am currently reading the book, Welcome, Holy Spirit, by author Benny Hinn. The chapter I am reading is about the different names of the Holy Spirit.  Among those names He is known as The Spirit of Life. I want to share this portion of the book from pages 109-110 with you:

     I love the words of the Lord Jesus, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).  Abundant life - there is something so compelling about that.  Something that says within us, "Yes, I must have this." And who ministers this abundant life to us? The Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).  Now the life that's being referred to is salvation, but it is also true that "what God promises for eternity, He begins to do in this lifetime." 

      Oh my dear friend, when the Spirit of the Lord comes, He brings life, breaking the power of canceled sin and death as the hymn says. And not just endless life, but better life right now.  Paul says, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2). 

     Are you experiencing all the life the Holy Spirit has for you?  Someone gave me this quote, and I think it sums up the issue so magnificently: "I believe that only one person in a thousand knows the trick of really living in the present. Most of us spend fifty-eight minutes each hour either living in the past, regretting for lost joys, or feeling shame for things badly done (both utterly useless and weakening); or living in the future which we either long for or dread.  The only way to live is to accept each minute as an unrepeatable miracle, which is exactly what it is - a miracle that will not be repeated."  The Spirit of the Lord is waiting just now to heal your past, guarantee your future, liberate you to experience abundant life right now.

I thought this was very relevant considering we just began a new year.  The quote the author shared talks about how we waste our time by not living in the present. But this part particularly spoke to me: "The only way to live is to accept each minute as an unrepeatable miracle, which is exactly what it is - a miracle that will not be repeated."  I started thinking about how we typically take life in general for granted.  Sadly, many people, including Followers of Christ, don't think that miracles still happen today.  So what I want to challenge you to do, and I'm including myself in this challenge, is to take time each day to stop and think.  Think about the fact that your lungs are taking in air, your heart is beating, your eyes are blinking, you are regularly swallowing - ALL without you telling your body to do these things! The fact that we are alive IS a miracle!  And if you are a Follower of Christ, not only are you physically alive, but you are spiritually alive as well!  That means that you will only experience physical death!  That is what Jesus meant when He said that He came to give us "abundant life".  How amazing is that?! 

Again, my challenge to you this year is to stop and think about what a living, breathing miracle you are! 

Psalm 139:13-19 

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.