Listen Carefully

I found this picture today and decided it is pretty comical.

Sadly many think the Gospels are just four different version of the same story.

The Gospels are not four versions of the life of Jesus; they are four accounts.  Each author had a specific audience he was trying to reach with his account of the life of Christ.  2 writers were disciples of Jesus, 1 writer was a disciple of Peter, and another was a disciple of Paul (who began his research as a skeptic). Each has his own purpose.  Each illuminates the glory of Christ in his own unique way.

If you want to know how Jesus fulfilled the Law, study Matthew.

If you want to concentrate on Jesus’ ministry, the miracles, and healing power of Christ, read Mark.

If you want to read a biographical account, read Luke.  The guy did his research, and it took years!

John is separate from the Synoptic Gospels because it begins by acknowledging Christ as the Everlasting Word. This gospel shows the life of Christ in the realization of who He is from the beginning.  Whereas the Synoptic Gospels reveal Christ as the Messiah as the story unfolds, John reveals Him as that immediately.

If you want to really challenge yourself, read the four Gospels, one right after the other. Don’t just read them; meditate and learn them.

After all, this is the Christ we pledge our adoration to.  Isn’t it important to know Him in our minds as well as our heart?

I challenge you, no matter how old you are, or how many times you have read them,  to read these Gospels separately  but as a whole in a short period of time.

Your mind will be blown away by His glory.

Notes carried forward

This was originally written to my ladies for our Bible study, but I was burdened to share with YOU. 
What does it mean to be in Christ?
 Where can He be found?
Are we following Him? (in Bible study, and in our daily activities)
We need to become disciplined
 FOCUS: put (and keep) eyes on Him.
“I cannot judge myself; Lord, please judge me”
What word would God use to describe you?  (Pray about this)
The source of depression is evil
Distraction is evil.
How do our trials effect others–those we love so much and those we are acquainted with?
THE LORD IS MORE POWERFUL THAN OUR FIGHT!
He is always doing work in us!
He is our Lion, our Warrior!
He is my Knight in shining armor .
Jesus’ business is to heal the damage we inherited.  His power takes the place of that which we let go of.
Surrender and focus.
If you do nothing else today, watch this!

Karma barks, but does not bite…

If I believed in karma, I would be in fear always.  What an awful idea.

In modern terms, karma means, “you have it coming to you.”  In other words, every bad thing that happens to you, happens because you deserve it. On the flip side, every good thing that happens is a direct result of some good you have performed.

Karma is a belief that originated in Hinduism. While it is quite complex, it basically means that every action, thought, or piece of advice you give that is “bad” is put into an account (as a debt).  As you live your life, that account needs to be balanced, so the bad is returned to you in circumstances.  If you die before that account is balanced, you will be reincarnated and have to repay all that bad karma you created in the past life in addition to the bad karma you cause in your new life.  Good deeds cancel out bad deeds. The cycle continues until you have a balanced account.  This ideology explains why people suffer.

Is that why my best friend died when she was only 17? Is that why I had to endure a plethora of horrifying assaults against my body as a teenager? Is this why my grandpa got cancer?  Is that why I lost my unborn baby? Is that why I wrecked my car? Is that why I stubbed my toe this morning?

No.

Here is what happened:

I was born into a broken world.  I sinned.

Therefore…..

I owed a debt I could not pay.

I needed Jesus to wash away my sins

And now I sing a brand new song

“Amazing Grace” all day long!

My Jesus paid a debt.

A debt I could not pay.

 

See? Karma is a fallacy. I get nothing I deserve!

 

Consider the Duck

When I was in college, I used to go down to the river in between classes and sit on the bank.  I would pray, read the Word, or just meditate in His presence.

I haven’t done that in a very long time…

Every Thursday, I go to the park at the river and sit in my car and pray for the Bible Study.  Last week I was running late- I only had 15 minutes before Bible Study started.  No matter what Thursday it is, I always get butterflies before the group meets.  I wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and failure in Him.  Well, on that particular day, I was really struggling and felt under-prepared.

When I got to the park, without thinking, I got out of the car and walked down to the bank of the river.  I found a huge rock that looked like a chair. I sat down and began to pray.  A few minutes went by and I looked out onto the water.

I saw two ducks washing themselves.

The Spirit of the Lord said to me, “Consider the duck.”

Slightly confused, I focused my attention on the duck. I began to consider him.

What problems does a duck have?  None.

Does a duck ever wish he was a better duck? No.

Does a duck struggle with feelings of inferiority with other other ducks? Nope, not at all.

I duck innately knows his purpose, it is a part of who he is.  He doesn’t need to seek a purpose; he just needs to live it. He flies north in the summer, he mates, he swims and eats, he sticks his head under the water, he plucks his plumage when it gets heavy, and when he feels a chill he flies south again.

He happily lives his purpose without wanting to be anything more than the duck he is.

We need to be like ducks. Everyday we need to be ourselves – the people God created each of us to uniquely be. There is no reason to want to be anything more than who we are. When there is something more for us, it will become our instinct to move towards it.

Abide in Him today.  (John 15)

Instructing the Lord

Have you ever heard yourself saying, “Oh God, please don’t make me (insert worst case scenario here)…

I have.  It usually turns out that He doesn’t make me do whatever it is I don’t want to do, but I somehow end up doing it anyway.

Well, I found myself saying it again.  Before I could get the words out, I realized what I was doing.  So, instead of asking Him to “not make me do that” I changed my prayer to “Please align my heart with yours.”

Phew!  That was close!  I don’t want to be wanting anything against His will. Furthermore, I don’t want to be running from something He has called me to do.  When I run, one of two things happen: either I run around in circles until I obey, or I miss out on the thing He has called me to.

There are two types of people in this world: those who are used through God; and those who are used by God.

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ”    (1 Cor. 2:16).