Many Members One Body

During Springtime, life begins to bloom and blossom! All creation becomes vivacious from flying insects, leaves on trees, furry walking friends, singing birds, busy people, and a host of other springtime fevers.

Also, during this time, school comes to an end an outdoor activity begins. I have started enjoying the warm weather and the scenery of flourishing life. One day while thinking about the last days of school and my final Bible lesson, I began to look up and notice this beautiful blossoming tree.

This tree sheds its leaves during the winter, but as I gazed at the blue sky, shimmering water, and the blessing of this beautiful day, the fullness of the tree caught my eye. Observing the leaves on the tree made me think about my Bible lesson – Many Members One Body.

For the past week, I taught the kids that we are many members- diverse people but one body being believers in Jesus Christ. However, as I thought about this lesson and studied the tree, the tree’s appearance became symbolic.

A tree’s typical characteristic is to have one main trunk with many branches that stem from the trunk. The branches are of various sizes and lengths with numerous leaves, pinecones, and/or berries. As I examined this one tree, I began to look at other trees noticing their differences. But the apparent similarity was the trunk.

As a diverse inhabitant, we are many members but one body! As humans, there are varied races, cultures, languages, appearances, abilities – thus many members. As believers in Jesus Christ, there is only one God- our vine and life source. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV 

Looking just below the tree were branches that had broken off and were lying on the ground. Scripture tells us that we cannot bear fruit if we do not remain in the vine.

The branches that had broken off were no longer bearing fruit!

They were dry and brittle, no longer alive!

They were no longer growing!

They no longer had a thriving existence!

As Christians, our existence is the same as a tree. A disconnect from God is a disconnect from the One Body! Though branches may fall, the trunk of the tree stands firm and tall giving constant life. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

Do not be a fallen branch. God loves you and desires to guide, protect, and provide for you. His help is just a personal relationship away. “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalms 91:2 NIV

So, my friends, as we begin to enjoy this warm weather and become more active outdoors, stay connected to Jesus like a branch to a tree. Look at what HE has created with each new day. Notice the existence and breath of life in all things. But be the image-bearers of the One True God. We are salt and light, many members of one family. Different in nature but identical in Jesus Christ.

Be Blessed in the Mighty name of Jesus Christ! ~ Amen

Fall at HIS Feet

“When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:32 NIV

For the past two months, I’ve been reading a devotion on the Book of John, and yesterday I got the chance to meditate on the story of Lazarus. Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus that Lazarus was sick; however, Jesus decided to stay in his present location for two more days instead of leaving immediately. As Jesus arrives at Bethany, where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus live, many people inform Him that Lazarus has died.

Now with all the miracles Jesus performed, raising Lazarus from the dead would not be a challenging task. Jesus, all-knowing, informed the disciples that Lazarus was dead, but he would be raised from his sleep (John 11:14 NIV). Therefore in reading these verses, I was prepared to hear how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. However, what illuminated from the scripture was a gesture that I needed to take to heart. A characteristic of God that beckons His presence, His provision, and His miraculous power.

God drew my attention to Mary falling at the feet of Jesus. In Mary’s anguish, hurt, and discouragement, she still fell at the feet of Jesus when she saw Him.

Mary, who loved and followed Jesus!

Mary, who poured perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped it with her hair! John 12:3 NIV

Mary, who believed that Jesus could heal her brother from any sickness! John 11:3 NIV

Mary, who dropped everything to sit at the feet of Jesus listening to Him teach while Martha was busy doing other chores! Luke 10:39–40 NIV

When you are in pain, discouraged, stressed, or anguished, do you fall at the feet of Jesus Christ?

When your back is up against the wall with various trials and storms, do you fall at the feet of Jesus Christ?

When you don’t know where to turn or go, do you fall at the feet of Jesus Christ?

When your skills, abilities, and talents don’t produce favorable outcomes, do you fall at the feet of Jesus Christ?

As I read Lazarus’ story, God revealed that He desires His children to fall at the feet of Jesus in times of clarity or confusion, success or failure, test or trial, righteousness or sin.

Even in a pandemic as we see lives and jobs lost, uncertainty, isolation, and separation, our help and hope is in the Lord. So, as you go about your day, remember to fall at the feet of Jesus because He cares for you.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

Scripture tells us when Mary, crying, fell at the feet of Jesus, He not only felt her pain but also acted on it. He performed a miracle that no human could do. He resurrected Lazarus from the dead, and He can do the same for you! Whatever your circumstance, God can resurrect it! When you fall at the feet of Jesus in a submission posture, you give up the human effort for supernatural resurrection power.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

In the Mighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen ~

Whose Interaction Do You Seek?

Today we are living in times of unfamiliarity and lack of normalcy. Our nation has been struck with the devastation of sickness and loss, causing fear, worry, doubt, uncertainty, anxiousness, and isolation. However, during this time of insecurity and human quarantine, I have chosen to spend more time with God, family, and nature. 

Today as I walked through the neighborhood because the local trials are closed, I stopped to talk to an older man who was checking his mail. I said, “Good morning, how are you doing,” and he said, “good morning to you too!” He asked me how I was feeling, and I said, “Great,” then I asked him the same question. However, his response to how he was feeling intrigued me because it signified what every person is feeling right now! He said, “BORED!”

Now, his response is not peculiar, but I was not expecting that to be his answer. He was an older man, which I assumed would enjoy the slow pace of life, but how quickly I learned that boredom has no respect of age! I laughed and told him, “me too, but God’s in control.” He said, “You’re right,” and we parted ways.

Now, as I continued walking and thinking about our conversation, the word “human interaction” came to mind. The older man was probably tired of being confined to his home and missing human interaction, as we all are experiencing. His response was a natural, valid response for this day and time, which we are living due to social distancing.

But, God spoke to me immediately, saying replace your human interaction with spiritual interaction. In this time of being alone and isolated from work, school, extended family, and extracurricular activities, God desires to have spiritual interaction with His children. As a society, we’ve replaced spiritual interaction with human interaction placing God at the end of our day, if at all. Human interaction is visible and tangible, and as inhabitants who place more value on what we see, God requires us to seek Him!

Adam and Eve saw the desirable fruit on the tree – “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Genesis 3:6 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/gen.3.6.niv

But God tells us- “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/mat.7.7-8.niv 

So, in this time of lack of human interaction, spend time with God. Seek to increase your spiritual interaction with your Heavenly Father! 

He longs to hear from you!  

He longs to commune with you!

He longs to free you!

He wants to give you life abundantly more than you can think or ask!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NASB https://www.bible.com/100/jhn.10.10.nasb

Peace, Joy, and Happiness from boredom are just a spiritual interaction away! 

Be blessed, in the Precious name of Jesus Christ ~ Amen 

God is a God of Timing

“He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”  Ephesians 1:9-10 NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/eph.1.9-10.niv

In Chapter 1 of Ephesians, Paul is speaking to the people of Ephesus, the newfound Christian believers in Jesus Christ.  Paul is reminding them that they are a chosen people predestined to accomplish good works for God!

As Paul shared this message over 2000 years ago with the people of Ephesus, this same message is prevalent for today’s Christian.  As I was reading verse 9 & 10, God gave me a fresh perspective that I had not thought before.  What caught my attention was the phrase, “to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment.”  

My first thought was that God is a God of timing!  Whatever God plans to accomplish, it brings all things and people into fulfillment.  God’s plan does not just touch one individual but many.

My second thought was, “What am I trying to accomplish alone?”  “What am I trying to make happen but God is saying, “Not yet?”  MY plan has not reached fulfillment!  So, how is your current situation causing you to become anxious and make moves God did not design for you to make? 

“All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  Acts 2:44, 46-47 NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/act.2.44,46-47.niv

God added to the believers’ daily- unity! God caused the multitude- increase!  God bestowed the people with favor – fulfillment!

Let’s look at what fulfillment means – achievement, completion, realization (dictionary.com).

This tells me that when God has decided that the “time has come” according to His Will, fulfillment of His plan in your life will happen.  And, when this happens “unity” between earthly and heavenly realms will also take place. 

So, whatever you are discouraged about job, spouse, child, relationship, finances, health, loss, betrayal, or anything know that in God’s timing ALL things will come under His fulfillment for the good of God.   

“Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:32-33 NIV https://www.bible.com/bible/111/mat.6.32-33.niv

Jesus Christ came into this world at the proper time to redeem every living soul.  He was predestined for this task just as you and I are predestined for our task.   And, what you are purposed to do will come to fruition as long as you trust, believe, and let God lead.  

My friend, remember that when God plans to transform your life, it will not only be at the right time but also change the lives of others invoking unity and oneness. 

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me?”  John 17:20-21 NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/jhn.17.20-21.niv

Be Blessed in Jesus Christ name, Amen! ~