Have you ever wondered what effect your environment has on you? It’s amazing how your perceptions and assumptions shape your experiences. For example, what is it like to be expecting milk when your glass is filled with orange juice? Your mind has you prepared to taste milk, but you are quite surprised when it tastes all wrong. The missed expectation causes you momentary disorientation.
My youngest son was busy with something the day after I mailed the September Newsflash. He had created on his own newsletter. My family and I had a lot of fun when he read it to us. We especially enjoyed his paraphrase of one of our memory verses! His version of Philippians 2:14 read like this: “Do all things without murderings and disputings.” I’ll get to the correct wording of that verse soon, but when you think about it, My son’s version is not far from the truth!
I had originally intended to post the continuation of “The Father’s Role as Shepherd” in weekly installments. However, it developed into a full-fledged message. This post includes my sermon notes for a message I gave on September 21, 2003. I pray that it will be a help to fathers and their families.
I write for a local homeschool support group’s newsletter. This is an excerpt from an article I wrote for the latest edition. I plan to continue with this study over the next couple weeks on closetoJesus.org.
There are great benefits to reading books about missionaries. I find that they stretch my thinking and my faith in new and challenging ways. God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill is such a book.
And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:31-32 KJV Have you ever met someone who wants to be right with God before they come to him? Or, how about the person who thinks that they are “good enough” or “better than most?” While it is a noble desire to be right with God, it is a very dangerous thing to think that you are good enough! What both of these kinds of people don’t know is that they are sick with a disease that has no human cure. It is a cancer of the worst sort. Jesus calls himself a physician who has come to heal the sick. The sickness he specializes in is sin. Who are the ones that are sick? Sinners in need of repentance. This can only come as the result of the Lord’s work in our life. The righteous in this example refers to the religious leaders of Jesus’ time. The sinners were referenced as a “great company.” Come to Jesus in repentance for your sins. He can heal you for eternity!
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 Sometimes when we are fearful, we need someone to tell us what to do. When you have doubts, a person you trust can tell you what to do and it helps you conquer your doubts. Joshua is leading Israel into the promised land. Fear was one of their enemies, not just the inhabitants of the land. Joshua had to remind them several times of God’s command and his promise. We too can be paralyzed by fear. Remember that God commands us to “be strong and of a good courage.” We are not to be afraid or dismayed. How can we do this? It is through the sure knowledge that our Lord and our God is with us, withersoever we go!
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: Luke 1:41 The babe, John, leaped for joy at Mary’s voice. Mary, the mother of his saviour! Here we see the Holy Spirit at work in a child, not yet born. What a precious miracle. Have you ever wondered how often the Holy Spirit moves in the lives of unborn children? What a question to ponder! Elisabeth was also filled with the Holy Spirit. Read on in verses 42 through 46 of Luke Chapter 1. She testifies as to who Mary is and to what her yet unborn child has done. Elisabeth tells Mary that “the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” The Holy Spirit also blesses Mary for believing the Lord. How different than what Elisabeth’s husband Zacharias did. Have joy and believe! The Christ Child is here. The Holy Spirit can give you this.
It is interesting to note that when Jesus teaches in the Bible that the people noticed something different about his teaching. “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” Matthew 7:29 The teaching of Jesus is worth studying, because it has with it the authority of God.
I recently launched this website to write about God and especially his son Jesus. Right now the site is under development. Please check back to see how it is coming along. I would love to have you register for an account and participate in closetojesus.org. In Christ’s Love, Mike