Good morning! Busy morning for me as I just realized I am about to run out of some of my "meds" and there are two doctor's offices involved. I don't know about you, but I still have not become accustomed to recordings and you have to leave a message, hoping they will respond properly. So, I have started this morning on high hopes!!!
And I promised myself I would introduce you to someone who has me excited about the word of God and how it really ought to be interpreted by those of us who have placed our trust in our Lord. She is a real lady who has been through the kinds of struggles in her personal life that makes too many of us give up hoping. That is not her testimony, but it is mine. I still weep when I know what has happened or is happening in the lives who give up, give in, too soon.
OK, here goes... her name is Beth Moore and she can be "heard" through her blog and that address is: http://blog.lproof.org. She has a web site at "livingproof.com.
I have never met her in person, but she has appeared on James Robinon's program - over TBN and others, I assume. I have known of James for many years and - at first, I was really angry about the way he was preaching. Now, however, he seems to have repented and with his beautiful wife, they are living witnesses of the power of God to change lives for all who will listen,
Speaking of the power of God, I witnessed it again last evening - at church. In my "heart of hearts" I weep over the direction of the messages I hear coming from many churches. Not my church, the church worldwide. Yes, I know of the "good works" being delivered to those in need in many faraway places and even here in our cities and towns across America. But it appears to me that we are being torn apart by voices that demand we will all bow down to their interpretation of the Bible. I don't understand it. Over the last forty years, I have read my own Bible cover to cover many times, so often that I dare not believe otherwise. But there are those that will take their interpretation of what they have read and use it against others they do not even know and want the rest of us to believe they understand what Jesus meant when He said, "By this all will know you are My disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35) Note the italics. All will know, if you love one another. In another verse, He talks about laying down our lives as evidence of our love for Him.
And please note, all - in Jesus' times, still means all today and forever. Then there is that little word, if. A friend of mine, many years ago insisted that it is the word - if, that we find implanted in another word that ought to mean everything to us, the word life. Think about that for a moment.
I still can not understand why brothers and sisters who claim to love God and agree to love one another are so intent on believing that others are going to Hell, just because everyone does not agree with their interpretation of the words and meaning of words written thousands of years ago.
Then the Pastor referred us to the verses starting with Luke 15:25. It concerns the return of the prodigal son and the Father's immediate acceptance of his return, in spite of the life he had been living.
Everything seemed to working out well until the scriptures reveal another side of the story. Verse 29 records the words of the other son... "Look, for so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours, and yet you have never given me a kid that I might be merry with my friends. but when this (other) son of yours, who has devoured your wealth with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him."
Reminds me of pages from the American history books I have read over the years. We are privileged to live in a land dedicated to the One who we want to call our Creator, but the history books reveal the fact that we have not always been God fearing people. First it was the Indians who inhabited their lands that we confiscated and how did we treat them? Then along came the emigrants, many of whom were rejected out of hand and how did we treat them? Then, we divided our own selves and fought a war that still rages in the minds of some. We continued to insist those who were "freed" in that war must live as second-class citizens until we changed our laws. And of course, there was the way we treated our mothers, our wives and our daughters in the workplace until we began to come to our senses and do what was right for all of us.
Now, we are faced with an even greater challenge and as has happened throughout our history, we will either change or we will be forced to change by others and - in my opinion, by the One who spoke so eloquently, so many years ago, "By this, all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
It was on May 12, 1975 that I asked God what He meant by the word, repent. (Matthew 4:17) and to my amazement, my mind was suddenly filled with reminders of those years when I was angry because I did not have a Father like my friends, nor the nice clothes that others wore, and there was more, much more. With those thoughts overwhelming my mind, I began to realize that I had reasons to repent, many reasons and I did. From that moment on, my life has been blessed over and over and over again and yes, there have been hard times - in my mind. But my heart clung - and still clings, to the realization that there is a God and in spite of my foolishness at times, He still loves me and blesses me.
It's like that old song from many, many years ago, "Every body ought to know, every body ought to know, every body ought to know, who Jesus is. He's the lily of my valley, He's my bright and shiny star, He's the fairest of ten thousand, every body ought to know."