Monday, June 23, 2014
Recently, a friend moved back into the area after ten years. The move happened to coincide with my pastor's message series on heaven. As I thought about my joy at greeting my friend, I couldn't help but compare it to the joyous reunion celebration there will be in heaven. Looking over the faces of family and friends will be inexpressibly sweet.
But there is one face in the crowd for which I'll earnestly seek. His face will be one I've never seen but know by heart. The face of my Creator. My Savior. My Rescuer. He'll hold out a hand of welcome, and I'll see the nail prints--those wounds He gladly suffered for my redemption--and I'll finally be home.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4
Friday, June 6, 2014
Stopping at an intersection on my way to work this morning, I happened to have my window rolled down. Over the noise from my radio, I heard a bird. We're blessed to hear lots of birds, but I turned my head to see this dark, drab fellow perched on a telephone wire and singing his little heart out. Beneath him, traffic rumbled ever on, the bustle of the street all but drowning out his little tune even though his body was so puffed up with his singing that he was practically in flight.
The light turned green, and I left him behind. But as I drove to work, I thought about that little bird. I thought about me. About us. How we all have this amazing opportunity, every day, to impact the lives of those around us. By our actions, our words, and our attitudes, we can aid in a person settling for selfishness, for greed, for a narrow, windowless life. Or we can sing our little hearts out. We can, by our actions, our words, and our attitudes, encourage those we meet to be something more. To be someone greater. To be kinder, wiser, more merciful, more compassionate, even more creative. Which kind of person am I? Which kind of person will I choose to be today? Now. Even in this very moment.
My prayer for you today, my prayer for me, is that God will grant me the ability to be greater than myself. To stand up for right. To be kind to those who seem uncaring. To show love and compassion without thought of return. To sing even when no one seems to be listening.
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:14-21