Welcomed at this table

antique-1870000_1920

Recently this month, I attended a conference where the Lord’s supper was given during the worship service.  The conference was held prior to Easter Sunday, and what held me in awe of God’s reach of power was that over one hundred representatives from other countries were present along with thousands of other attendees.  During the Lord’s supper each one was given time to dip their crust of bread into the grape juice.  The length of the service was obviously longer than any other service I had been to, but the metaphor for what the future awaits for all those believing and having taken of the same offer was lasting.

When I seek to gain a better appreciation for the sacrifice of Jesus, I think of his pouring out of his own blood with a demonstration of honor to the people he would then and now reconcile for.  I think of those then that he thought of as not any greater than those of us now.  All were on his mind and equal in value to him by his death on an unforgiving cross among a quarrelsome crowd.  God and He were not mindless and unaware that such a sacrifice needed to be made, but perhaps the appreciation of mankind would grow for such a display of love, salvation, and deep concern.

In this everlasting sacrifice, we know Jesus loved his own disciples personally, and I believe he thought about the others in the same way around him during his crucifixion.  As it takes time for any ceremony to be carried out, the heart of Jesus was to uniquely give gratitude for the calling and ministry that was upon each one at the Last Supper with his disciples.  He also warned the betrayer and the denier that would come in His path to the cross.  No cross would be easy for him to carry, but it was required that he would make the sacrifice himself and rely upon the strength of the Almighty for all of mankind.

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19 (N.I.V.)

When I look at the Lord’s supper, my desire is to remember the sacrifice that was needed to be made to all that were willing to believe in God’s masterfully crafted plan for all of eternity.  Does this add to your remembrance of Him?

Truly,

 

FAITH

Triggered to Love

man-1895084_1280.jpg

Trapped in the middle of going forward, staying where you are and backtracking is a state that seems to perplex the mind relentlessly.  For those of us that like to hold to a very strong conviction to serve others in our community, school, workplace, church sometimes these areas of service can be very difficult in measuring success or growth for others.  Following through on our convictions to serve, there will be times when it doesn’t all look positive.  One of the books that I ran to in my faith research was a book titled, Willing to Walk on Water, by Caroline Barnett.

To introduce her and recommend her book, Caroline Barnett married Senior Pastor Matthew Barnett and the two currently serve thousands of inner-city families and individuals with the basic necessities of life at the Dream Center in Los Angeles.  Her story is beyond miraculous as to how God has grown this ministry in “God sized” ways including the support of volunteers and financial resources that have been provided.  With all of the growth and visible favor, she describes the challenges that come with not always being able to calculate the good that is actually accomplished.  She recounts stories of families that have been greatly impacted by the ministry as well as those that seem to have relapsed.

While reading, Willing to Walk on Water, there were a couple of key reminders that one in a state of indecision needs to resort to and gather concretely in the constructs of the spiritual mind.

First, don’t let your mind play tricks on you.  What is healthy is that you love wherever you are and much of the time you will be asked to love in “less than lovable” circumstances.  Just as you go about loving them, go knowing God loves you dearly.

Second, let God love you.  Being willing to fall in love with who God is and that you were a part of his plan all along to bring him glory.  You can be one to show his handiwork, his interest in your soul, and his patient plan from the beginning to bring a Great Savior to redeem the souls of man.

Third, read God’s truth because it will put your mind at ease if you believe it to be the word of God.   His word is the source of all timeless truth.  I can remember plenty of times in sorrow that I found Jesus to be a Savior that sorrows with those that sorrow.

“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.  Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3 (N.I.V.)

Indecision and lack of self-assurance can creep up on us, but I find when I lack control, God is willing to direct me if I submit to his ways which are better than my own.  Have you become at times less than assured of God’s providential care; I pray you will find rest of mind as you go to him.

Truly,

 

FAITH