Tag Archives: Focus on Jesus

THE WORD GOD HAS PLANTED.071615

Mother and daughter planting flowers together.“So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” NLT

Most of my life, in fact until this very morning, I have read this passage from James 1, verses 21-27, and I’ve focused on 22-25, where it talks about being doers of the Word and not hearers only, about how if you don’t do what the Word says, you’re like a man who looks at himself in the mirror and as soon as he turns away, he forgets what he looked like.  Almost exactly the same guy that Jesus talked about when he said, “A man who hears My Words and does what I say is a wise man, who built his house on a rock, but a man who hears My Words and doesn’t do them is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  He’s a fool!  Matt. 7:24-27.

But today, I really saw and paid attention to verse 21 for the very first time, and God said, “The word God has planted in your hearts” is the real meat of this passage.  Continue reading

Advertisement

Letter to Prison.070615

hands of a prisoner behind barsDear John, I got your letter dated June 7.  I’m very glad you wrote me.  I can see from your letter that you are feeling pretty stressed about your situation, and I don’t blame you.  I can tell that you are struggling with many things in your life, and I hope I can help you a little.
First, I certainly understand why people don’t attend church.  They have a lot of other things on their minds and they kinda lose contact with the people they know in church, and then they don’t really have any reason to go.  They don’t think they’re getting much out of it anyway, so why waste the time on it?  I’ve been there many times in the past.  Continue reading

DON’T BE AFRAID, JUST TRUST ME.052515

There Are Miracles All Around You card with sky backgroundMark 5:22-24 says, “And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.  .  . some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” Continue reading

WALKING IN GOD’S GRACE.050715

[The following are excerpts from a Kairos talk called “Walking in God’s Grace”.]                  Religious Words on Grunge BackgroundI wish I could tell you that living the Christian life, after you really commit to God, is going to be easy, that you’re going to feel God’s presence every day, more and more; that you’re going to be obedient, that you’re not going to do anything stupid, that you’re going to trust God all the time, that you’re going to love everybody and they’re going to love you; that there’s going to be a steady shining light in your life all the time and no more darkness.  Sorry, it’s just not going to be all sweetness and light, because we’re all still a bunch of sinners.

Let’s say that because of this Kairos weekend, everybody here has made a commitment to Jesus.  We’ve had good food and good fellowship; we’ve felt God’s unconditional love through the brothers, both those from inside and those from outside the prison; and we’re excited about the prospect of going back out in the world to share Jesus with other people out there in the dark.  How are we going to do that?  We can’t.  Why can’t we?  We’re heard the message; we’ve accepted it; we’ve made a commitment to Jesus; and He’s definitely made a commitment to us (to each one of us).  So what is holding us back? Continue reading

DELIVERANCE TO THE PRISONERS . 050515

Abandoned Jail in TallinnIn Luke 4:16-20, is the story of when, shortly after Jesus returned from His temptation wilderness, He first appeared in the synagogue at Nazareth to announce His ministry.  It goes like this: ‘And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

In a number of places in the New Testament, Jesus says that those who believe (trust) in Him will receive the Holy Spirit (That’s Jesus’ Spirit), like John 7:39; John 20:22;  and Acts 1:8; I take these verses to mean that because you and I trust Jesus, His Spirit lives in us too, and the passage in Luke quoted above applies to us, just as it applied (applies) to Jesus.  We too are to proclaim deliverance to the prisoners.   Continue reading

BE LIKE JESUS. 042815

Teacher talking with students in the clasroomIn Matthew 10:24-25, Jesus said, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough that the student be like his teacher, and a servant be like his master.”  Like it says in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind (this attitude) be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.”  (That’s humble and willing to serve)  I pray these verses for you and me.  I pray we can BE LIKE JESUS.  That will definitely change our lives.

WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE? 041615

Coin. Coin pyramid.“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be too.”  Matt 6:19-21

Le Christ du Corcovado et la Baie de RioSo I’ve got a few questions for you: 1] Where is your heart? 2] What do you treasure?  I mean, what do you really care about?  What do you focus your attention on? When you’re not really thinking about anything in particular, what does your mind keep coming back to?  If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?  Here’s another way to say it: What do you really love, with all your heart?

Continue reading

WALKING ON WATER.040415

HIn Matthew 14: 29-30, it says, “So [Jesus] said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid; and began to sink .  .  .”

Usually when we talk about walking on water, we’re referring to Jesus.  If you’re perfect, like Jesus, you can walk on water.  LOL.  We just don’t quite measure up.  But here’s ole Peter, throwing one leg over the side, then the other, and sliding down till his feet touched the water, then turning and walking away toward Jesus.  Just a regular human, like you and me.  Maybe the only difference was Peter was seeing Jesus do it, so he actually believed that under the spell of Jesus’ power, even he might be able to do some miraculous thing like walk on the water. Continue reading

VINE and BRANCHES. JOHN 15.030115

VINE BRANCHES FFRUIT. 030115John 15 1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. .  .  .  4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with Me.  Continue reading

COPING WITH LIFE.021615

Stress Burdens Sticky Notes Reminders for Stressful LifeYou know, every day with Jesus really IS sweeter than the day before; but sometimes the cares of this world just get you down.  There is too much to do and not enough time to do it all in. The bills are more than the income and lots of people standing in line waiting for their part.  You’re tired, exhausted, and you get depressed from all the toxins in your system caused by the fatigue.  There’s nothing you’d like better than to have one whole day just to sleep, and maybe another day to get organized, but all this stuff is still there demanding attention.  What do we do? Continue reading