This is just a quick reminder for you that we are on chapter 7 in the Believe series this week. Please be sure to spend some time with your young ones reading and discussing the lesson.
The streets of Seattle are filled with all sorts of people. It is easy to tell some of these folks are from India or other countries that have distinctive clothing. Most of the people seem to be much younger than I am. We see many more dogs than we do children. In fact, some store owners put out bowls of water for the dogs. Too many of these people are homeless. We'll see them camped under the bridges, sleeping in the entry of buildings, and sometimes begging for money. There is one young homeless guy we've see a few times who gets around on a bike. He has a dog who will sometimes pull him on his bike. He also has a cat that stays at the top of his backpack. Most of the people here will not make eye contact or acknowledge a 'Hello' as we pass them on the sidewalks (and there are lots and lots of people). Every now and then there is an exchange of friendly greetings.
All these people, you and I, need Jesus. God never gives up on any of us. It took 18 years before I found out I really needed Jesus to get to heaven. I thought it was all about my good out balancing my bad. If only I had known how far short my best was... God never gave up on me and He is still teaching me and changing me to be THE person He wants me to be. I doubt I'll ever get there this side of heaven, but He'll still be there to give me a great big hug when I get there.
God so loved the world that HE gave His one and only Son. ANYONE who believes in HIM will not die but will have eternal life. John 3:16
I love you all! May God bless you as much as He is blessing me!
Identity. Lately that seems to have become a loaded word. Most of the time, it’s what gender or non-gender we identify as. But, I realize that we identify as much more than that. If you think about it, you probably identify as a son or a daughter, parent or sibling. Then you might identify as something work-related like a teacher, plumber, scientist, engineer, nurse, accountant, receptionist, cashier, IT tech or whatever. Sometimes we even identify as customers of Fred Meyer or Taco Bell. I know that there are many, many other ways that we identify with things or people. Still, we are so much more than how we feel we identify while here on earth.
Many of you know that my mother-in-law is nearing the end of her life here on earth. There is one thing that I have been thinking about constantly throughout this battle. Her identity as a daughter or mom, receptionist or manager, renter or owner doesn’t ultimately matter. It’s not the fact that she identifies as an interior designer or safe driver that matters either. No, none of those identities make a hill of beans. As she gets closer to death, the only identity that matters is not found in the things of this world or in what she has done. Her identity as a child of the Most High God is the only identity that matters for her life both now and forevermore! Her identity as an heir of the one Who saved her soul and Who guarantees her safe passage to paradise is the only one that makes a difference.
Someday in the future, you will have to ask yourself the very same question that Ruthie has, “Is my identity found in the One that matters eternally?”
I am always amazed at the faith of Abraham. I don't know that I could pack everything up and go where God was telling me to go. I'd wonder if it was really God talking to me. I'd think of excuses why I shouldn't go. Abraham listened and Abraham followed God.
We hear about tiny Zacchaeus a lot. We sing songs with our children about how he climbed up a tree to see Jesus. We forget that he was an evil person who spent his day looking out for himself. He was always demanding extra money from the people as he collected their taxes. The people did not like Zacchaeus. Yet somehow, God tugged on his heart and had him all excited about seeing Jesus. And that changed his life.
God loves all people. But there is a special group of people He has adopted to be His own children. If you believe Jesus died for your sins, you are a part of that group.
Please read Chapter 5 with your children and teens. Help them know you care about them and love them just like God does. Help them understand how special they are to God.
God bless you all!
In our chapter this week in the Believe book, it asks the question, "Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God and has the right to command your beliefs and actions?" This is such a fundamental question and I believe that each one of us needs to answer it. Sometimes we believe that we have to figure out which words of the Bible are true and which are not. Pastor Jon Courson says it this way: "If I adopt this stance, however, I have to decide what’s inspired and what isn’t. And in so doing, I become the judge of the Bible rather than allowing the Bible to judge me." So what do you believe?
We take turns writing when God gives us an idea. The author will be noted.