Tag: Restoration

a simple reminder…

A New Day

We may struggle remembering things such as names, dates, assignments, and the like. But God has given everyone a way to NEVER FORGET the important things.

Just a simple reminder. As simple as the dawning of a new day.

Each time the sun rises in the east, signifying the beginning of a new day, let that ordinary event remind you of God’s extraordinary promises!

See the rising sun as a simple reminder of “NEW”:

Covenant – 2 Cor. 3:6
Creation – 2 Cor. 5:17
Freedom – 2 Cor. 3:17
Mind – Rom. 12:1,2
Provision – Matt. 6:11
Power – Acts 1:8
Things – Isa. 43:19
Comforter – John 14:26
Coming of the Lord – 2 Pet. 3:12
Heaven and Earth – Rev. 21

and also Lam. 3:22,23
Compassion
Hope
Mercy
Faithfulness
Living

Just God’s simple way of saying to us, “If I can make the sun rise each and every day, please know you can trust Me to help with the small things.”

The Younger Son A Story – chapter two

A Story

As I have said before, everyone has a story, and every story should be told. Here’s one Jesus told about a father and his two boys.

“To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet and kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” (Luke 15:11-24 NLT)

Here’s the story of a father and two sons. Notice, two sons. This chapter will discuss the younger prodigal only. I’ll reserve comments pertaining to the older son for the next chapter.

Note that Jesus told this story to further illustrate a point He made earlier, which was “there is great joy in Heaven when something lost is found.” And if there’s great joy in Heaven, there should be great joy here on earth as well.

If you lose something as common as a paper clip, not much effort is exerted in finding it. Why? Because it is easily replaced and has so little value. But if you lose something, say, your wedding ring, you will not stop looking until it is found. Then, when found, you rejoice with joy unspeakable! The value of the thing lost determines the degree of gratitude.

Remember this: most of the time the thing lost doesn’t realize it’s lost until it’s found. I didn’t understand how lost I was or how much He loved and valued me until He “reached down” through His Son Jesus, and made me a new person.

“A man had two sons. The younger son told his father…” Say what you will, but I really doubt the younger son intended, or planned, on living a wild life separated from his home. He did not plan on getting “lost” anymore than you or I do when we start on a trip with or without directions. Part of growing up is developing independence, which would include trying to make it on his own. Whatever the motive, the father granted his request and divided his wealth between his two sons. Shortly afterward, the younger one hit the road and traveled to a distant land.

Distant land. Ever visit one? So exotic, so appealing, and so much fun! Meet new people, try new food, take gobs of pictures, and experience a side of life many, if not all, of your friends and family have never known.

But this young man didn’t buy a round trip ticket to the distant land. His trip was not a vacation, but a permanent move. He was going to make something of his life. He soon began to walk, talk, think, dream, spend money, and party like the locals. And for a while, all seemed fine.

It’s amazing how well and how quickly the young man could adapt to such a different way of living. Though new to the area, he learned the customs and culture of the land that was far from Father’s Farm.

Popularity. My, how popular this young man became. All the city leaders, merchants, and entertainers welcomed him. His winsome smile, bulging pockets, and small town ways made him an easy target for their schemes designed to separate the man from the money.

Women! He’d never even dreamed of a world like he was experiencing! Why hadn’t his father told him about this side of life? Did his father even know such a place existed? What about his older brother, the “never-spend-a-dime-of-my-own-money” guy? What was he doing with HIS inheritance? Probably the same thing he’d always done with his money. Nothing!

Well, he wasn’t going to act like his older brother! No, sir! He was going to get the most out of life, even if it killed him!

So…

With every pretty girl hitting on him, merchants and peddlers selling him everything but what he really needed, it didn’t take too long to waste his money, lose his companions, and find himself alone. Alone. Something he hadn’t experienced since leaving home. Alone.

Kind of funny, the things you think about when you’re alone. Memories continue to wash over your mind like waves upon a shore; washing away the hamburger wrappers, used napkins, beer cans and cigarette butts left over from last night’s party. Cleansing your mind, revealing memories of life like it used to be. Life with love. Life with father. If only…

“Go and do the same”

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“One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.””(Luke 10:25-37 NLT)

The “Good Samaritan”, a story of hope, restoration, encouragement, healing, and compassion. It’s ALSO a story of people who COULD help, but for some reason, chose not to.

It illustrates the truth revealed in 1 Corinthians 4:20 – “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.”(NLT)

I ask you, what greater power is there than love?

I think everyone in the world can quote John 3:16, “for God so loved the world…”, but there is a verse in First John 3:16 and 18 that is a Word from the loving God to us, and one we need to know as well- “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters…Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”(NLT)

The Good Samaritan had the opportunity to help because at least three others chose not to! The robbers left the Jew naked and dying, the lead pastor (by the way,not responsible for the Jew’s predicament) chose to cross the road and walk on by, and the associate pastor did the same.

Each person COULD have and SHOULD have helped. I suppose the lead pastor and the associate pastor could have given the dying man some cash and some booklets on healing and prosperity before they crossed the road. They may have even given the guy a copy of my book, The Power Of Encouragement.

Regardless of the fact those two weren’t responsible for the condition they FOUND the dying man in, they WERE responsible for the condition they LEFT him in.

Maybe the preachers thought someone else would come along with more time, more resources, and better trained. “After all”, they thought, “there are people a lot more suited for this type of work than I am. Besides, he has lots of friends throughout this area who can help.”

But the man was dying, already half dead. No guarantees more help would come. But the first two men chose to walk on by.

Think about this: if the lead pastor would have stopped to help, the associate pastor and the Samaritan would have been available to help others; and The Lord knows there’s plenty of needs to go around!

Let’s do good as we have the opportunity. Usually, hurting people aren’t real picky about who drives the ambulance.

Jesus described the Samaritan as, “Good”. How would He describe you?

Call the Contractor

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Suppose you need a roof fixed, house painted, or sidewalk repaired? What do you do?

Well, you probably call a friend, ask the computer, or ask the audience…oops, that’s a game show. Sorry.

Back to the call a friend. You call someone you trust who has had sort of the same experience. Or, if that doesn’t work, you look in the phone book and check out the ads. Another possible idea would be to visit a business and pick up some literature, such as a brochure or business card, describing the work the company does.

Of course, you’ll be very interested in the warranties and guarantees. You’ll probably look for the little triple B icon, indicating membership to the Better Business Bureau.

That’s all fine and dandy, and a good place to start. It can help you decide your next step in getting your work completed.

But all the warranties and guarantees won’t get your house painted. Having good friends that point you to a reputable contractor won’t fix the roof! And just because the company is the largest in the state won’t repair your sidewalks!

No, there’s one more thing to do before any repair or restoration can take place.

You have to ask the contractor to come to your house! Until he starts doing the work the promises, warranties and guarantees mean nothing.

You’ll also discover, after the contractor begins his work, that a new relationship is forming. He used to be someone only others talked about. Now he’s someone you know. His promises used to seem too good to be true. Now you know they’re both good and true. You may have thought that because your house wasn’t as bad as someone else’s, the contractor couldn’t possibly have time for your project.

Or maybe you really didn’t think the roof needed repair. But now…

Once you call him, everything starts changing. With each visit you see evidence that your house can really be just what the designer intended it to be. Every time the contractor unloads the tools from his truck, you have an assurance deep within that everything is gonna be alright. Blessed assurance!

And to think, all you had to do was ask.

When you finally realize you’re broken, call your friend, visit a church, read about the warranties and guarantees. But don’t stop there.

Call the Contractor and give Him the job. Repair and Restoration is His specialty.

His phone number is JER 33:03 “Call unto Me and I will answer you; and show you great and mighty things which you don’t know.

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