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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Everyone, at times, experiences the pain of love given but not returned. But, are we too quick in giving up; in turning away those who have disappointed us? Maybe we do, but God does not.

God is self-giving love.
Of himself he says, “Love suffers long and is kind.”

We see the love of Father God in the parable of the prodigal son: the son seemed to do everything wrong. Already the father has given him his inheritance.

Do we not see that even the opportunity of life is a gift from another; and inheritance not deserved, not asked for.
And the “bad” son spoils his life. Using the gift of life-his potentials-
so selfishly.

Let’s not be too quick to judge him. Are we not are looking at our selves?

Perhaps we have not gotten so caught up as did this “Prodigal,” but we are near of kin to him in many ways.

Given his set of circumstances are we so confident that we would not have fallen so deeply as did he?

Perhaps we had someone in our corner. Someone that helped us more than we realize – and this boy did not.

Yet the Father was watching. He was not judging. He was just there – watching, waiting, knowing that life must come crashing down – – – and He would be there; not to scold but rather to reassure. And the time came.

“Kill the fatted calf,” shout the Father, “my son has come to me hoping that I can help him. My son has come home!”

No confession comes from the son’s lips: nor any correction from the Father’s.

Can we do better? Surely not! Is this a picture of happiness? There is none better.

The Father had been long in suffering his son’s plight. Certainly he did not stoop to blaming. The stakes were too high for that.

Oh, dear friends do we not see that happiness can be contaminated before it is allowed to happen – if we do as we are told not to do?
“Judge not that ye be not judged.”

The difference between Father God and us is that He alone has the right to judge but chooses not to. And we, who are hypocrites to judge, do so quite easily; and destroy rather than heal those in our paths.


“I get no respect?”

I’m certain the Phoenician woman, (Matthew 15:28); and the Centurion (v.8), came to Jesus knowing they deserved nothing from the Lord.

They came interceding for another, though they knew not that they were.
Their hope that Jesus would help them was based on their estimation of His kindness, of His authority, of His willingness.

Has not the Lord made it clear that He wills to “Save lives from destruction and to crown our lives with loving-kindness?”

Religious leaders then, and ministers now, may not take to heart that the One who sent His Son into the world did so for loves end; not for condemnation; but for personal salvation.

Most ministers do not preach with confidence that the Lord desires to bless the whole person; body, soul, and spirit. Yet that did not stop the Phoenician woman and the Centurion, whose value was not seen by the religious leaders or by the Lord’s disciples. They had not yet caught on to the immensity of the love of God.

Our Bible tells us that the Lord wills to bless body, soul, and spirit; that is, to make us “whole.”

The Centurion came to Jesus asking the Lord to heal his servant. He came believing that Jesus had such “authority” and also the will to carry out this request.

The Phoenician woman came asking the Lord to help her daughter. Neither came to Him considering the free will of the one for whom they were “interceding.”

Both of them heard Jesus marvel at their faith. All of us should pay attention.

These people were outsiders: Gentiles. Jesus’ words of approval should awaken our dull minds. Are we not taught “Without faith we cannot please God?” Have we not read and understood that, “He could not do many miracles there, because of their unbelief.” But these outsiders did believe in “The goodness of God in the land of the living.” They embraced a practical trust in the loving-kindness of God. And they based their hope in God’s loving-kindness.

The Phoenician knew her unworthiness was not an issue. She must have known the grace that is greater than all our sin. She was unworthy – like a dog begging – she answered, “Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters table.”

Jesus said to her, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” Oh, that some parent out there might grasp this. The will of the daughter was bound, not free. Do we not sing, “Satan had me bound; but Jesus set me free!”

“By grace are we saved, through faith.” Salvation involves being made whole by a Savior who alone gets the glory.

Based on faith in Him and Him alone – nothing else – The Phoenician woman came to Jesus pleading for her daughter.

To the Centurion came believing that Jesus not only had the power, but that it was His will – willingness; do we see it?

Coming to the Lord both with a plea and also believing that He hears and will grant our petition is faith.

Does not “Oh, Lord if it be thy will:” reveal un-belief? Not faith – definitely not “great faith.” Better to pray, “Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief.”

“Verily I say unto you,” Jesus told this man, “I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.”

Beware of mere church people: the may kill your simple faith.

Beware the minister who can tell you what is not promised; but is weak in claiming the “abundant life” which Jesus brings.

“The thief comes to steal, maim, and destroy.” Many will believe that our fate is settled; that an abundant life claim is false religion. “But I have come to give you life, and life abundantly,” Jesus retorted.

Where is the faith? Is it not “Our faith that overcomes the world?”

Let us be among those who seem religiously strange because we believe too easily for “Our God is great.

Our God is mighty, there’s nothing that our God can’t do.” We taught this little song to our young children, but did we believe it before them?

Do we love them unconditionally?

“Love never fails.”

Hypocrisy puts barriers to God’s care for us that He never intended.