The Thankfulness Train Day 26. I am thankful for the opportunity to travel and see loved ones. Thankful for the means, the opportunity and the health to go. I am so thankful that God has a plan for us and it includes so many things that we never imagined that we could do. Go see or call someone you love today and let them know that they are loved. In person or over the phone–not a text or a post!!!
The Thankfulness Train Day 25. I am thankful for the Word of God. As the Psalmist says (paraphrased by me), we are to hide it in our hearts to guard from sin, to have it as a light and lamp for our path that we don’t stumble, and it helps us see God in all of creation. Without the Word/Bible we would be guessing as to God’s ways and desires. With it we can ‘study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed’. It is ‘profitable’ for spiritual maturity. Help me Lord, to continue to “hide it in my heart” that I’ll be pleasing to you and a faithful testimony to others.
The Thankfulness Train Day 24. Today I thank God for Christian radio and television. Not that all that is on “Christian” media is necessarily Christian, but there is a great host of marvelous Christians reaching the world through this format. I remember when we here in Southwest Oklahoma had no Christian radio station. I am grateful to have been a part of KVRS, the first Christian radio station in Lawton. I thank God for the influence of godly music, preaching and service going out over the airwaves today. If you listen to a Christian station, take time to tell them thank you. And a gift of support financially is always welcome, as most of these stations are listener supported. Remember you could turn the dial and hear ‘dead air’. Thank you Jesus, for this blessing and may we support it.
Bible Ballistics: Heartache? November 24, 2013 Volume 3 No. 2
***I am posting a bit early today, but we are expecting bad weather later on Sunday and I wanted to get this out. It is an article that is deeply on my heart and I didn’t want the chance of ice and snow to keep it from posting today. Thanks.***
I have experienced grief this week and had some unique thoughts I’d like to share today. It may surprise you that I have concluded that we can be thankful for ‘heartache’. As we think of Thanksgiving this week, I know it will seem strange that one of the things we can be grateful for is ‘heartache’? How?
As I sat earlier this week grieving with a dear friend who is miles away and deeply grieved over the loss of his mother, I pondered on the depth of grief that we feel and experience in such times. ‘How is that something for which we can be grateful’, you might ask? Well, let’s look and see if I can back up my premise?
John 11:35-36 tell us that, “Jesus wept. 36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!”
Only one who loves deeply can grieve deeply. To love and be loved is a blessing from God. We see that Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters and can learn a lesson about grief. I think Jesus was weeping not only because of Lazarus’ death but also because of the “dead” people all around him who were walking and talking yet unwilling to believe on Him—those who were spiritually dead. Jesus knew that He would raise Lazarus from physical death and that because of the hardness of men’s heart (their sin) He would lay down His own life for the sin of the whole world. YET HE LOVED ANYWAY. Love has a cost—and grief is one of those costs. Even Jesus felt it!!!
John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Jesus loved us so much that HE was going to lay down his life for us. But even more mind-boggling than that, is what Paul tells us in Romans 5:6-8,
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus not only lay down HIS life for his friends, those who were following him in an earthly mode already, but Jesus lay down HIS life for ME–
When I was without strength (to save myself)
When I was ungodly
When I was a SINNER
CHRIST DIED FOR ME.
THAT IS LOVE!!!
Love that cares,
love that gives,
love that sees truth
and presses on anyway.
Love isn’t an ushy-gooshy ‘feeling’. Love is an act of the will. In the Greek the word used to describe God’s love is a verb.
Love is an act of devotion,
a commitment to do that which is best for the recipient.
To be willing to sacrifice for the welfare of the ‘loved’ one,
is TRUE LOVE.
Not the lustful,
self-gratifying behavior and
consumerism that we see in the media
but the selfless,
and generous love
that drove Christ to give Himself that we might have eternal life. Jesus grieved over Jerusalem’s rejection. (See Matthew 23:37+) What about our rejection of Him and His Love?
The kind of love, which reflects our God. And when we come to know Christ Jesus, we receive His love within us to share with the world.
Romans 5:1-5 describes this for us, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
God’s Spirit filling us with HIS LOVE….when we are His !!!
When we are justified by faith, we are made right with God because Jesus paid the penalty for our/my sin, death. We also have ‘peace’ with God, we are no longer God’s enemy. ‘Well’, you might say, ‘I was never God’s enemy’. God says different.
Romans 5:10 declares plainly, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Because we are born in SIN, we do not have peace with God unless and until we come to Jesus in repentance and faith in His payment for our sin on Calvary.
What does all of this have to do with “heartache”? A lot, I think. To receive love in any form (love not lust) we are abundantly blessed with a priceless gift, a gift that touches us in the deepest parts of our being. That part of us which is “created in God’s image”. The God who gave His only beloved Son for us–intentionally.
Acts 2:22-24, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”
And Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
God planned it,
worked it out in HIS time
and carried it through for you and me.
Jesus willingly came to earth, broken earth, and lived without sin to pay for our sin.
The highest and deepest kind!!!
So? — Jesus wept. He was grieved for the ones that He loved.
So? — We weep, grieve and sorrow for the ones that we love when they leave our midst (or are hurting or broken). Think of the tragedy if we didn’t know love? What if we were never loved and/or never gave love? Oh, the sadness of that thought. When I see all the abuse and neglect in our world, I grieve the most. Many of these precious one’s will never have the gift of “heartbreak” for they have never known the love of God. Many have never known the love of anyone… We must take the good news of Jesus to the world, whether it’s next door, across the street, across town, at the diner or across the world. Jesus, experienced total heartbreak for me—and only in being loved and loving like that can we truly appreciate the heartbreak that comes because of love.
No true, loving heart=no heartache. Think on it. I’m thankful for love at all cost. Are you?
The Thankfulness Train Day 23. I am thankful to God for the opportunities He has given me to minister and share HIS word with others. I am grateful for each of you who read, like, share, post and follow these writings on Facebook, bibleballistics.org, or by email, as well as those who sit under my teaching physically. It is such a privilege to share together in the spreading of God’s Word. Without you the scope of this ministry would be much smaller and I thank each of you for helping me in this endeavor. Please continue to share as you feel led—each like and share on the Facebook/bibleballistics and this blog helps get the word out and I ask your continued support in this outreach to the world. Enjoy each day with Jesus—we’re working together by His grace and power.