Dealing with Grief
When Job's friends came to see him after his children had died they sat with him for seven days and nights without saying a word because they saw how grief stricken Job was. Sensitivity in the presence of grief should make us more silent, more ready to listen. See Job 2:11-13.
Jesus wept at the tomb of a friend, in the presence of the person's sisters. Tears it seems are a valid and helpful expression of feelings. See John 11:35. Our response to Grief should be simple and matched to the needs as we see it. Time heals grief; love prevents scar tissue from forming.
Good News Cannot Be Contained
The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee,
and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me."
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the City of Andrew and Peter.
Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, "We have found Him
of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote Jesus of Nazareth,
the son of Joseph."
And Nathaniel said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
Philip said to him, "Come and See."
Jesus called Philip to be his disciple and Philip was so enthusiastic about Jesus that he ran to Nathaniel with the news that he had found the Messiah promised in the scriptures. The good news can not be contained. Our challenge in this text it seems is merely to share what Christ means to us and invite friends and neighbors to come and see for themselves.
Why do you seek Christ?
Jesus observed in John 6:24-35, "Very truly I say to you, you are not looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate your fill of the loaves."
Some of the people following Jesus did so because they sought to have their physical appetites satisfied. People follow Jesus for many reasons, not all of them good. We need to ask ourselves, why are we seeking Jesus?
In our time a lot of people are locked into what some call a welfare mentality. They are given money from the government. They have taken advantage of the welfare system for a long time and seem to be interested only in what they can get for themselves. They do not know how to live life abundantly through Christ. In Christ we are a new person, with new opportunities for spiritual and personal growth. So why do you seek Christ?
The Power of Scripture to Enhance Your Prayers
Jesus prayed we would become followers of the Word of God.
For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them.
The power of prayer is increased when we combine it with the study of the word of God. It brings vitality, meaning to our lives and is relevant to what we are facing now.
The power of your church's prayers increase and it motivates your church to grow, change and be obedient to God and God's purpose for his church. Amen.
Seek Out and Save the Lost
In John 17-18 Jesus asked God to sanctify us so we would be prepared to go out into the world, like the apostles. Sanctify means to be set apart and equipped for a special mission. That mission is to seek out and save the lost. Pray your church remembers to seek out and save the lost. Pray your church does not forget its mission, which God has given to them. Amen.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
True spiritual peace begins within our hearts and shows itself in our actions about how we treat other people. In this world there are many people with points of view different from our own. Some of these points of view can be quite radical.
How do we deal with people who are not like us? If we look at the 12 disciples who followed Jesus we may learn something to apply to our lives. You had a terrorist, a tax collector and a couple of wealthy brothers who made up the disciples of Jesus.
Take time to study the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ because I believe they can teach us something today about receiving the peace which passes all human understanding.
Free of Fear
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
— John 14:27
Prayer is the foundation of all peacemaking because through prayer we realize we do not belong to this world. We can say, we are for peace, only when we are not anchored in this world. Or when those you are fighting have no power over us. We can bear witness to the prince of peace only when our trust is in him and him alone.
A Glimpse of the Divine
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory,
the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.
— John 1:14
Lord Jesus, you became flesh and dwelt among us so you could speak with us, walk with us, pray with us, and even die with us. You became a human being among other human beings so nothing human would be alien to you, so in everything but sin, you could be like us. By doing this you showed the immense love of your heavenly father. Through Jesus we catch a glimpse of the father's divine love for humanity.
Let us pray. Jesus, in you the father's loving heart is glimpsed. Amen.