Stumble Bum Charlie Browns?

CBrown

Have you ever felt that you were too insignificant to make a real difference in the world?  We find insight into this question from the biblical parable of the mustard seed.  This story illustrates that even the smallest of herbs grows large and fruitful.  Christianity also began small but has grown into a worldwide community of believers.   No matter how unimportant we feel, if we trust in God our faith will gradually grow strong and be used in truly unexpected ways.

Did you know that God has dynamic power available for the ordinary Christian?  For instance, when a believer prays things happen.  “The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results.” James 5:16 TLB  A life of loving God produces amazing results.  “For the Lord says, ‘because he loves me I will rescue him.  I will make him great because he trusts in my name.’” Psalm 91:14 TLB  Through God’s kindness we receive everything we could ever need to share in His greatness.  “For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us.” 2 Peter 1:3 TLB

As unbelievable as it may seem, God uses everyday stumble bum Charlie Browns to do remarkable things.  We are the people of God.  Because of His unlimited resources we can excel in the small as well as the big responsibilities of life.  When we are devoted to following the example of Jesus He gives us an admirable first-rate life exemplified in loving and caring for others.  The truth is, “Your care for others is the measure of your greatness.” Luke 9:48 TLB

Whenever we feel alone or overwhelmed let us remember that God can take just a mustard seed of faith in a believer’s heart and multiply it into a kingdom of faithful followers.  “I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him.” Ephesians 1:19 TLB  May we never underestimate the power of our great God.  Wherever we are in our faith walk God can enable us to grow and flourish, transforming our ordinary efforts into His extraordinary Christ life.

Click here to read another bloggers encouraging thoughts on God’s grace.

A Love Far Greater

myth-buster-welcome-to-heavenYesterday I celebrated my special friend Geraldine’s home coming.  She was 95.  As believers we look forward to being with God one day, to have completed our life’s journey.  But whether here on earth or in Heaven we have been given a love that is far greater than any person could ever give us.  By ourselves we simply don’t have the capacity to love unconditionally like God.  Nonetheless, the remarkable truth is that in spite of all our weaknesses and limitations we are His bright lights sent to illumine and fill the world with this incredible love.  David Smith shares, “The love of God is the ultimate reality, the deepest and strongest force in the universe.”  So amazing is His love, a love that reaches out and draws us to Him.  Geraldine is now with the One that loves her perfectly.  She is truly happy, a soul satisfied in Jesus.  “At last I shall be fully satisfied.” Ps 63:5

For the believer death has a whole new meaning that removes both fear and anxiety.  “He died for us so that we can live with Him forever.” 1 Thes 5:10  Elizabeth Goodrich wrote “Death to the Christian is the funeral of all his sorrows and the resurrection of all his joys.”  Norman Macleody said it so well.  “We picture death as coming to destroy; let us rather picture Christ as coming to save.  We think of death as ending; let us rather think of life as beginning and that more abundantly.  We think of losing; let us think of gaining.  We think of parting; let us think of meeting.  We think of going away; let us think of arriving.  And as the voice of death whispers You must go from earth, let us hear the voice of Christ saying, ‘You are but coming to Me’”.

Geraldine was a very special lady, a true believer in Jesus.  I miss her very much.  And now we call out to the God of heaven to reveal to us who remain this love that is so measureless and strong, the love that shall forever endure, the saints and angel’s song.

Click here to read a wonderful article by another blogger about freedom in Christ.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

harvest_basketHave you ever gotten tired of weeds continually popping up in your garden?  If you could would you banish them forever?   Matthew 13:24-30 gives this a spiritual application that can be helpful for every person.  The weeds in this passage represent people that cause us a great deal of grief by hindering our progress in Christian growth.  But removing the proverbial weeds would remove these challenges that God intends to use for good.  Without the unbelieving person to keep us alert, on our toes, making sure we are relying on God, we might not make the needed transformation to become like our life leader, Jesus.  Experiencing hard times and seasons is crucial for building up a believer in their faith walk.  Many have discovered firsthand that persevering under pressure and accepting God’s grace in suffering makes us spiritually strong and healthy.  We have tremendous resources for growth in spite of the difficulties we often face.  “…out of his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 3:16 LB

Living in an agricultural society Jesus used farming, weeds, crops and soil to hit home many of his lessons.  Farmers, no doubt, listened with interest to Jesus’ parable because they understood the importance of the quality and yield of their fruit.  In this story the good seed represents the believers who produce fruit in their lives.  In contrast those who have only an empty profession produce no lasting fruit.  The enemy sows the look-alikes for he has a counterfeit for everything God has made real and authentic.  These are people who may look like, talk like, and even to some measure walk like disciples of Christ.  But they are not genuine followers of Jesus.  They imitate Christian behaviors but don’t actually change within.  “We should look for a growing awareness of Christ’s presence and power in our lives.  Only then will we know if we are true Christians or imposters.” Living Application Bible footnotes (pg. 1785).

Each person should examine his own relationship with Jesus.  For in Romans 2:29 it says “…he is looking for those with changed hearts and minds.”  LB  Today the enemy tries to destroy Christ’s work by placing false believers, teachers and even politicians in the world who lead men astray.  Friends, it is truly challenging to realize that from our transformation we find the wisdom and discernment to make correct evaluations of what is true and false.  As we change under the instruction of the Bible and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit we can say with certainty that even in the difficult winter seasons of our lives we are becoming God’s fruitful garden.

Click here to read another bloggers thoughts on listening to God.

Click here to read about living a radical life under the authority of Jesus.