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John 1:1-5, John 8:12, 1 Timothy 6:14-16

Recently, I went out at night to shop.  Driving home, I saw a motorcycle with purple and blue LED accent lights above the kickstand.  I stared as long as I could, lifted by the shining light display in the dark.

Jesus’ light breaks through darkness on a much larger scale than the motorcycle.  Jesus is “the light of the world” and God is “in unapproachable light.”  It must make them laugh to see that I’m wowed by little LED lights knowing the light I’ll encounter in Heaven someday.

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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!

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.

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.

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.”

Matthew 24:12

In my opinion, Matthew 24:12 is one of the most fascinating verses of the Bible.  In response to His disciples about signs of His coming, Jesus let them know that since wickedness will rise, “…the love of most will grow cold…”

I witnessed a couple of situations that I think can fall within the category of love growing cold.  I was driving in construction and the road narrowed with orange cones flanking both sides.  Without construction, there is a clear left lane to turn left plus a lane to go forward.  The driver of a van tried to get as far left as he/she could.  The light for the main lane was green.  The driver of a large pickup behind the van moved in closer.  The van could only inch forward, still waiting for the opportunity to turn left.  The pickup driver managed to pull around to the right of the van, yelled something at the van driver, made a sustained angry gesture, and drove off.  Love was absent and he acted in a cold way.

Another example of cold love involves a mean girl and an autistic boy.  At our church, there’s a young boy who’s autistic.  Sometimes, he has a troubled look on his face, but a lot of the times he’s excited about something, usually music or geography.  One day though, he heard that “Chloe”, a teenager, was going to be helping in the class.  He suddenly acted in a way we hadn’t seen before.  He went to a corner of the room, facing the wall.  He was very disturbed and said, “She’s my annoyer.  She comes to annoy me.  She’s been here since 2000 and I’m allergic to her.”  It turned out to be a different Chloe, but it was evident that another Chloe hadn’t shown him love and acted in a cold way.

If Jesus said something, it’s true.  If He said that most people’s love will get cold, it will.  So, if a random yelling man makes an angry gesture, a familiar “annoyer” slings more hurtful comments, or any other near-loveless or loveless action happens, just rationally remember that Jesus called it.

Luke 5:1-11, John 8:32, 14:6, 18:37

Before my family and I went on vacation recently, I picked up a National Geographic magazine with the title, Jesus and the Apostles on the cover.  I wanted to know what was being said about my Jesus.  On one page, I was pleasantly surprised to read a caption in support of what was called a “Jesus Boat.”  Apparently, scholars used to doubt the fishermen of Galilee could have boats that could have held the number of disciples mentioned in Scripture.  But, a drought that affected the Sea of Galilee in 1986 led to the discovery of an old, 27-foot-long boat (Get out some measuring tape for the full effect), and  “…scientific dating revealed it was built within decades of the birth of Jesus and could have been used during his lifetime.”

On another page of the same magazine, however, an author said, “It may be, in the end, that the Jesus of history isn’t what matters most.  It’s what we believe about him that counts.”  It seems the author is sowing seeds of confusion.  It sounds like he’s trying to separate the Jesus of history from the Jesus of the Bible.    If that’s what he’s saying, that’s a lie and not truth.  To know Jesus is to understand that Jesus is truth!  Whether you are or aren’t on the side of truth, check out part 1 and part 2 of Who is This Jesus:

As my family and I were vacationing in Virginia, we drove by a church sign in Big Stone Gap that read, “Prevent truth decay.”  That’s good advice.