Thought For The Day 05/26/14

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The Gospel Of The Son

Post 1169

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Jesus (1)

 http://redalertpolitics.com/files/2013/05/Jesus.jpg

 

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The name of Jesus is the one lever that lifts the world. 

Author Unknown

http://www.quotegarden.com/jesus-christ.html

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I don’t know about you, but when I write, my thoughts seem to somehow reproduce in my head based on something I have just posted. It is almost as if I am having some mitosis or cell division (as what happens to the fertilized egg) of thought! Yes indeed! I am a new parent! A blog I had once shared has given birth to an offspring! You see, as I was thinking and looking about the years Jesus traveled and preached, I began to wonder if there were common themes that he shared with his followers. Is there somehow, a summary of the things Jesus preached during those three short years where he actively traveled and shared his Father’s message?

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Well, if ever there was a unifying theme in his messages, it had to have been LOVE, first and foremost. In fact, when he was asked which of his Father’s commandments was the most important one, was not his answer, LOVE (Matthew 22:37)? Not only did he reinforce the need to always LOVE God with every fiber of your being, but he also commanded all to LOVE their neighbor. Jesus did not say LOVE only those who are loveable. He taught that even those who hurt us are deserving of our compassion, forgiveness and our LOVE! It is not just our responsibility but, in reality, has been given to us as a moral imperative that we care for and help always, those who are least deserving of that compassion. And even more that this, we must do it selflessly and without expectation of getting something back for our efforts!

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PRAYER is perhaps the one thing that cemented his communion with God and he spoke of it often. Moreover, Jesus prayed. Often! We read again and again of the times Jesus retreated from everyone to pray. And when Jesus prayed it was not a simple distracted closing of the eyes and rote reciting of entreaties. Jesus prayed with heartfelt supplication, communing with his Father in a way that demonstrated the depth of his love. Jesus prayed based on a truthful understanding of God and what He had revealed to his heart. He knew that not all PRAYER would be answered. Remember the Garden at Gethsemane? Did Jesus not ask in PRAYER three times that God grant him an easier journey? One thing I find interesting is that only one of his Disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, just as John the Baptist had done for his followers (Luke 11:1). And the PRAYER that he gave them is the one every Christian church shares, even today!

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 The Lord’s Prayer”

And he said unto them, When ye pray, say,

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Give us day by day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Luke 11:2-4 KJV

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Another theme that permeated nearly all of his teaching was FORGIVENESS (Matthew 18:21-22)! Now we know that the capacity to forgive those who sin against us was a HUGE reason Jesus was hated by the Pharisees. It was a belief of the day that only God could forgive the sinner and so the thinking of some of the more conservative Jewish sects, was to condemn this man who claimed that he had the authority to forgive the sin of another! And yet we know, even today, the righteousness that is FORGIVENESS! Man is as imperfect a creature as any living thing God placed on the Earth. We have the capacity for independent thought as well as action. The problem is that we are NOT infallible. We ALL sin! Now I don’t know about you, but I can not even comprehend living in a time and place where those who share my life, and who would be the most impacted by my error, would choose to hold those mistakes against me forever! But, blessedly, Jesus made it understood that even as our Father forgives us our sins, so it is necessary that we share that blessing by forgiving another who asks for FORGIVENESS from us!

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How many people out there take a quick glance at another person and quickly jump to conclusions, acting sometimes not just as judge, but juror, as well? But just as being able to forgive others allows us to also receive forgiveness when we need it, so does this reinforce one absolute. Except for Christ himself, no one is, or ever was, for that matter, without sin! And it is that fact alone that should be enough to keep us from ever taking a position of JUDGEMENT (John 7:24) on another. I will never cast a stone for fear it might just shatter the glass walls of my own house. And while I may not agree with the stand another chooses to take on certain social, as well as ethical, issues that permeate society today, it is not my lot to pass JUDGEMENT nor is it my place to sentence any other. Jesus not just had the capacity for mercy but he lived his conviction as well. Even in his agony as he was dying on the cross, he asked for God’s mercy on those who tortured him. Jesus also knew that, in the end, the final JUDGEMENT for the actions and lives we all live, will be made by the one who reigns supreme!

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WEALTH, or our lack of it, is perhaps the biggest thing to ever have impacted the lives of human beings!  If there ever was anything that man has created that has the capacity to alter not just the judgement of, but the actions as well, of most people, it is money! And yet it is an inescapable sin of living in the world. Well even Jesus recognized the idol that WEALTH seems to create in the heart of man. He never said it was a sin to have money but he did teach that having money can sometimes cause people to become so focused on their pile of gold, and in making that pile grow, that they fail to remember the things that really matter in life. We are a member of the human race for such an infinitesimally tiny part of what is time, that Jesus wants us to remain focused on loving and serving God. After all, when we are gone, we will not be taking that money with us. When he was sitting with his Disciples, did Jesus not value the gift of money the poor widow (Mark 12:41-44) who had nothing, sacrificed, over the many coins given by the wealthy? So why not make sure we give what we can of our WEALTH to benefit those who desperately need it?

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We find so many people in today’s world that must announce to the world their righteousness lest there be some out there who doubt it. But what people like this are really showing to others is HYPOCRISY! Why do so many act one way in public only to transform into some perverse doppelgänger in private? Once again, some of the Jewish religious leaders during the time of Christ’s teachings comes to mind (Matthew 23). They gave all appearance of being devout by loudly praying to God and maintaining strict adherence to Hebrew law. But could their hearts hold up to the scrutiny of God’s all-knowing eye? Our faith is born within each heart and grows with tender nurturing and care. It is more the kind things we do as well as the way we treat our fellow man that will be most pleasing to God and Jesus reinforces this even as he asks for our honest assessment of the motives for how we live our lives of faith!

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Jesus’s ministry was for a short time and there were times when his preaching focused on preparing the Disciples for a world in which his physical presence would no longer be with them. Some of these things came as no surprise to many of them since most believed with all of their hearts that he was, indeed, the Messiah promised by the early Hebrew prophets. Andrew knew almost from the first day as he went to his brother crying out that he had found the Messiah. For others, the news was known much more slowly. After all, Jesus was not the king or mighty warrior many believed would be the bringer of all salvation. However even more than the Messiah, Jesus began to reveal the very nature of his birth. He referred often to God as his Father but as he traveled, the close bond he shared with God became more and more evident. Indeed it became clear that while fully human, Jesus was also GOD, THE SON. He performed more than 30 miracles that are recounted in the Gospels including his virgin birth (Matthew 1), turning water into wine (John 2), healings of the infirmed, walking on water (Matthew 14), feeding of the multitudes (Matthew 15) and lastly, his own resurrection and ascension (Acts 1). While GOD, THE SON had all of these gifts, there remained one very important difference. He remained totally under the will of God, the Father.

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Perhaps the greatest of Christ’s unspoken messages to mankind was in teaching that simply by believing, God will live within each of our hearts and be with us as we struggle with the daunting task of living lives worthy of the trust he has placed so firmly on our shoulders. It follows then, that our SAVIOR, Jesus Christ, is the pathway that will lead each of us to his Father’s house on high, when our earthly lives are done! This was, after all, the reason our SAVIOR was sent to earth in the first place. It was the reason Joseph protected and cared for his espoused wife during her confinement and journey to Bethlehem (Luke 2). It was the reason the Magi chose to avoid King Herod and return to their homes a different way after witnessing that the Christ Child had arrived (Matthew 2:12). It was the reason Mary and Joseph and the child fled to safety in Egypt (Matthew 2: 13 – 23). It was the reason that Mary fled Nazareth to the home of her brother, when Jesus was 4 years old, and when an illness began claiming lives in her homeland. All sought to protect the child they knew would guide the hearts of man on a pathway to salvation. They may not have known the extent of what God the Father would ask of Christ, but as the child grew in stature, so did he grow in the spirit of communion with his Father. And while the Disciples did come to the true knowing of him as SAVIOR, he was not as forthcoming with the masses, often admonishing those he healed to show the miracle but to say not how it happened. To what end? If he announced his role as SAVIOR, would they somehow assume he was something he was not? Or was he, by his omissions, allowing people to learn at a pace they would be able to understand? Ask one scholar and you will get one answer. Ask another, and the answer will be totally different. However, all are in agreement that Jesus was and always will be, the greatest teacher ever to walk the face of planet Earth and that to seek to gain a better understanding of the life he lead and the messages he preached will provide rewards to each of us, more precious than gold!

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We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

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About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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