Does the story end in death?

But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”
John 11:4 NLT

How often do we pray for something,  expecting both immediate results and for it to be done “our way”?

I’m sure there were those who remembered Christ saying this and when someone came to tell them Lazarus was dead,  their lack of belief,  their lack of faith was proven, because they couldn’t yet see how Christ was going to use this circumstance to demonstrate the miraculous where people were used to the ordinary.

How many times do we put God into the box of operating within the confines of c what we understand about the world?  How often do we learn about the sciences which measure how we expect the world to operate under normal conditions – and we expect God to only work within the normal bounds of His creation?

But sometimes the Lord has something miraculous and unexpected in mind. And sometimes the answers to our prayers will extend beyond what we even understand as possible. Sometimes the healing takes place after the death. Sometimes the blessing comes after the breathing stops. Sometimes the fruit is being grown and the change is happening during an excruciating trial.

His ways are very different than our own. But He is always faithful and true. For Lazarus,  his death was not the end of the story,  for He was raised to life, after death – just as I hope each and every one of you will experience one day. Know the path and walk the path. Start at John 3:16 & Acts 4:12 and never stop digging,  never stop running this race to the finish. So that the Son of God will receive glory in your story as well.

What is grace, and why do I need it?

What is grace, and why do I need it?

Search your heart and ask yourself if there are selfish, prideful things that you have done that benefitted yourself in the short term, but that have negative consequences – either unconsidered costs that you came to realize later, or costs to others that were not a concern to you at the time, or even the bad example that your life choices served for those little eyes around you watching to later replicate your actions.

Does your heart not cry out to you and press you to examine your life and to see a change? And have you not found that your imperfections, your flaws, your addictions – these unseen enemies within you that drag you along in chains into consequences that you would rather avoid – that they are strong and overcome you when you battle them alone?

You are not meant to make war on your own against these unseen enemies,  man of flesh. You are not meant to accept defeat or to be content participating in war against your fellow brothers and sisters. You can know victory.

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
John 1:12-13 NLT

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17 NLT

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.  But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:13-14 NLT

The battle is not yours to win alone,  but you can choose to be on the winning side. You can choose to bring positive impact and love and change to the world around you. You can live a life guided by the strength that overcomes. You can be alive to a renewed life in Christ, and freed from the slavery of your old life of sin.

I’m not selling you a religion, friend. I’m not convincing you to buy into a once a week religious practice. I’m not manipulating you to put part of your money into an offering plate,  friend. I’m telling you that religion will send many to hell.

What I am telling you is that Christ can take hold of your whole life. He can live in you and through you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – and even more importantly,  breath by breath,  thought by thought, loving action by loving action. You can realize that everything that you have is a blessing rained down upon your life by the creator. You can realize what you deserve by your life’s works is nothing c short of hell,  but that by His grace, He offers you nothing short of heaven, of being a born again Child of God.

We are not just men and women of flesh and blood,  friends. Know your true self,  know your true value in eternity as a Child of God. Cling to your right to become a Child of God. Seek first the Kingdom of God and those things eternal. See past the veil of this world’s lies and substitutions that have no glow at all beside the light of His grace and glory.

Know victory.
Know His grace.
Celebrate His Glory.

Ask for Rain

Today’s Manna – Our Daily Bread
Ask the Lord for rain in the spring,
for He makes the storm clouds.
And He will send showers of rain
so every field becomes a lush pasture.

How rarely do I ask God for the things that I need? How often do I find myself overlooking the pattern of the Lord’s prayer and leaving out one of the crucial components necessary for a full spiritual life?

You see,  rain to a shepherd is everything. It is what brings life. It is not something trivial and unimportant, but it is what either brings crops and fruit and growth, or what never brings life to the parched and empty soil.

For us believers, the Holy Spirit is our rain. He teaches us and guides us and comforts us. He is that part of God that comes and lives in us and through us as we are sanctified.

Continue reading “Ask for Rain”