John the Baptist began his ministry preparing the way for the Messiah. He wanted everyone to be ready for Him. He was also present when Jesus was baptized. A few years later, in his darkest hour as he sat in his jail cell, John doubted what he once knew as fact. Haven’t we all been there? I know I have. When situations become exhausting and there seems to be no way out, before my faith kicks in I wonder if God will ever answer my prayers.
John sent two messengers to find Jesus and ask this question, “Are you really the Messiah or should we look for another?” How easy it would have been for Jesus to say “YES I am, what was he thinking?” But instead, He turned and began to heal the sick, command the lame to walk and cured diseases. He told John’s messengers, “Go and tell all that you see. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised.”
After the messengers left, He faced the crowd and told of John’s ministry and that he was a great prophet (in spite of his doubting questions.) Jesus quoted the Scripture in Isaiah predicting John’s ministry. Had the messengers heard Jesus’ statements and delivered this news to John, it probably would have turned Johns sorrow into joy, and brought comfort from a friend while locked in jail. Instead, Jesus knew what he needed. John didn’t need someone to tell him how great he was, he needed his faith rebuilt. He reminded John’s messengers to tell of the miracles John witnessed early in his ministry. This is a lesson for us today, when our troubles become overwhelming, we don’t need people to make us feel better with flattering words, we need to be reminded of the gospel message, Jesus heals, and saves!
Luke 7:18-35 Matthew 11:1-19
Inspired by my coach, Dr. Mike Harrison, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree from Liberty Theological Seminary. “If you don’t apply yourself to personal growth, you will be in the same place next year that you are right now,” is a quote of Dr. Mike’s that still rings in my ear today. Among the many biblical courses he teaches, leadership coaching is his passion.
Fulfilling the requirements of college at a master’s level, when one is well past 50, can be challenging. I felt I had earned the right to whine and complain – several times a day. Let’s face it; college was made for twenty year olds.
As I prepared to teach at Walk in the Light, my subject was “Your Future is in Your Mouth.” While studying Scripture, I clearly saw how I was getting ready to tell others how they can speak life instead of death, and how they gauge what is in their hearts by what is coming out of their mouths. I was speaking about success, but doing just the opposite. My joy was draining as every negative word left my lips. Conviction flooded over me! I was hearing the word, but not doing the word. Gently the Holy Spirit began to minister to me.
He encouraged me to call those things that are not as though they were. He showed me the story of Abraham and how God changed his name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (a father of many nations) when he had no children and his wife Sarah was 90 years old, (Genesis 17). Abraham wasn’t pretending to appear successful nor was he using “The Power of Positive Thinking.” What he was doing was putting himself in agreement with what God had already spoken. The light bulb came on!
When people ask me now, “How is school going?” I smile and say, “Great! Things are getting easier each day.” Just hearing those words makes me happy!
Did you ever wish you could be someone else? Do something else? Live somewhere else? Do you really like yourself? Are you too fat, too thin? Big nose, bad skin? Being content is a hard place to be. We are so critical of our looks and actions. Liking yourself just the way you are can be challenging. In Hebrews 13:5 we are told to be content with what we have, because God will never leave us nor forsake us.
When it comes to loving others, we are very accepting, kind, generous and forgiving. We have no trouble letting the past be the past with someone else. We can freely love and accept others, but when it comes to ourselves, we judge harshly. We remember all the mistakes we have made. We remind ourselves of how imperfect we are and the foolish things we have done.
One day the revelation came! God loves me as much as He loves everyone else. God doesn’t like us to be cruel, not accepting, unloving or hateful to each other. So why would we treat ourselves like that? If we say we love people, we are “people” also. God said I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I am created in HIS image.
Through the strength of the Holy Spirit, and the knowledge of the love God has for us, we can love ourselves as much as we love others. We are assured that the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The love of God in me, empowers me to love others and MYSELF.
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God Glasses BookHardcover