Romans 3:23, 5:8, 10:9-13

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Luke 12:22, John 1:1, John 14:27

My family receives e-mail from Web MD and one was entitled, “Nine Ways Worrying Can Wreck Your Health.”  The subsequent slideshow revealed that worrying can “speed up heart rate” and “raise your blood sugar.”  Also, “Your body may not fight germs as well.”

Jesus doesn’t need to subscribe to Web MD health tips.  Jesus was with God in the beginning and knows what we need and don’t need.    While on earth, so long ago, He instructed others not to worry.  At one point, Jesus specifically mentioned the heart.  He didn’t want our hearts to be troubled.  If you look up troubled on thesaurus.com, a synonym is “worried stiff.”  Jesus doesn’t want us to be worried stiff.

Jesus said He can give peace.  Whenever we’re tempted to worry, let’s remember to trust Jesus for the peace only He can give.

John 14:27

While on a walk at a nearby park on Friday, I heard an elderly man from a bench call out to me, “Where’s the flowers?”  I approached him and let him know that if he veered right on the path, went over the bridge and straight over, he would find the flowers.  From his view, instead of flowers, he could see a lot of tall weeds and an area under construction.

Let’s say the weeds and construction represent stress and flowers represent peace.  If you’re at a point in your life where you’re surrounded by weeds and construction, go to God in prayer, and ask Him to show you where the flowers are.  Giving peace is Jesus’ specialty.

 

Luke 12:1, Romans 10:9, John 14: 2-3, 15

When I was a kid, my parents took my sister and my grandma to the Grand Ole Opry to see Loretta Lynn.  Mom said that the crowd was calm getting tickets, but since there was no reserved seating, when only one or two gates of all of the gates, opened, the crowd changed to a swarm, pushing to get through.  We had no choice but to submit to the momentum of the crowd.  Mom and Dad held on firmly to us and we reached seats in safety.

In Luke, there was a crowd of thousands upon thousands trying to experience Jesus.  In their struggle to get to Him, they began “trampling on one another.”  Jesus was and is famous.  If you want to see Him someday and you’re not saved, you can ask Him to forgive your sins, believe He rose from the dead, proclaim that He is Lord, and follow His commands.  Then, He will make arrangements for your reserved place in Heaven.  He already knows your name.  Place your reservations today!

Acts 27:1-26

I have been following news on Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas.  My Aunt Alice lives in Houston, so I became concerned when I got an update on my phone today.  I called my mom who let me know that the flooding is about a mile away from Aunt Alice and that her area is also in a tornado warning.

There is one mention of a hurricane in my NIV Bible.  It’s the account in Acts of Paul sailing to Rome.  In that adventure, there was, “a wind of hurricane force, called the ‘northeaster.'”

God knew about that hurricane long ago in Paul’s time and he knows about Hurricane Harvey.  God is in control.

Psalm 119:48, John 14:15

Not long ago, I was flipping through a wildlife magazine for kids.  A small picture of an elephant caught my eye.  It was standing, in what looked like an unbalanced stance, with its tail swished to the side and its trunk reaching straight up into a tree’s leaves.  The elephant looked willing to fall in its attempt to reach those leaves.

It’s good to reach for Jesus’ commands with the determination of that elephant.  And if we obey Jesus’ commands, we show we love Him.

Matthew 10:33

In the past two weeks, I saw three men wearing Christian clothes.  The first man shook hands with a cop at a community event while wearing a shirt that said, “Jesus Freak.”  The second man chatted with others at a festival while wearing a shirt with Reese’s colors and design that said “Jesus.”  The third man put groceries on a conveyor belt at a natural food store while wearing a shirt that said, “Messiah.”

Jesus said that if someone disowns Him, He will disown them before God.  The word “will” is a promise.  Jesus takes promises seriously.

The men that wore Christian clothes publicly showed their love for Jesus by acknowledging Him.  I don’t know about you, but shopping for Christian clothes is sounding pretty good to me right now.

Psalm 34:18

Last Monday, my kids, Emily and Ethan, noticed tattoos on a cashier.  One tattoo especially caught Emily’s attention.  It said, “Psalm 34:18.”  She told the cashier, “I like your tattoo.”  Those kind words sparked an unexpected heartfelt story.  The cashier told us that three years ago she lost her 30-year-old son.  It was discovered that he died of an enlarged heart.  She pointed to her Psalm 34:18 tattoo, saying how that verse is about God being near to those who are brokenhearted.  She shared her frustration that there is a word for a woman or man who loses a spouse, and that there is a word for a child that loses their parent or parents, but there is no word for a parent who loses a child.  She said she believes there is no word for it because it’s not supposed to happen.  The cashier continued, saying that her son would do anything for her.  As she was talking, I was thinking that her son not only had a big heart physically, but also a big heart emotionally.  She shared that her son would get her a rose just because.  She explained that that’s why she has a rose tattoo.  She said how she misses her son and believes she’ll be with him again one day.

I’ve seen God’s Word shared in many ways, but never via a tattoo.  God is using that cashier to share His Word in a special way.

Ephesians 5:19-20

One morning last week, I heard our little neighbor girl, Makaiya, singing the tune of Row Your Boat.  She sounded so very happy.

Those that know Jesus should sing with thankful hearts to Him.  When we do, singing joyfully like Makaiya will probably make our Savior smile.

2 Chronicles 34-35

Today after church, my family stopped by a nearby Hy-Vee to get a few groceries we needed.  At checkout, my husband noticed that the clerk’s name was Josiah.  That got us thinking about Josiah of the Bible.  Maybe he was named after the Biblical Josiah.

King Josiah was eight years old when he became king.  At the age of 16, he sought God.  He got rid of idols, smashing them into powder.  At one point in his life, the king of Egypt, Neco, came and Josiah decided to fight him even though Neco didn’t want to fight him.  Neco wanted to fight someone else.  However, Neco asked Josiah not to oppose God.  Despite the warning, Josiah fought anyway, in disguise.  Then, arrows sailed through the air and fatally wounded Josiah.

We all make mistakes in life.  If only Josiah wasn’t itching for a fight.  Jerusalem could have enjoyed their beloved king longer.

 

 

 

1 Samuel 17:34-35, John 10:28

Last week at church, Bernie Hayes gave a sermon entitled, The Living God. http://noelridge.net/ He talked about how David, in 1 Samuel, took a sheep out of the mouth of a lion and bear.  I found that fascinating and revisited the Scripture later.  In the account, David said that if a bear or a lion picked off a sheep, he would chase it, hit it, and retrieve the sheep from its teeth.  When countered by either predator, he would grab its hair, strike it and slay it.  To follow through with the previous actions, I think David probably put the sheep down for a moment, and then maybe lovingly picked up its scared, saliva-soaked self.

That Old Testament account of David keeping sheep safe from a predator is similar to a New Testament situation.  Once Jesus saves one of His “sheep,” Jesus said, “…no one will snatch them out of my hand.”