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Posts Tagged ‘The Message’

you will see

 
“Come and you will see.”
 
Jesus

 

Jesus still invites us to “come and see” (John 1:39) what He has to offer.  As “the Author of life” (Acts 3:15), Jesus wants us to come and see His plan for our lives.  He then wants us to show God’s passionate love to others. 
 
There are those who are in a spiritual desert, longing for a cool drink of water.  Will we take the time to see them and to lead them to the place of abundant life?   
  
The first thing he did, after finding Jesus, was find his own brother telling him, “We have found the Christ.”  He immediately led him to Jesus (based on John 1:41-42, The Message).

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“I am the voice of one
 
Calling in the desert,
 
Make straight the way
 
For the Lord.”
 
John 1:23
 
 
“Who are you?  What do you say about yourself?”  John the Baptist was frequently asked these questions, (questions nobody has asked me!)   His life was radically different from those around him, and people wanted to know why.
 
John knew his purpose in life was to “show everyone where to look, who to believe in …” (John 1, The Message).  As a result, he was extremely focused.  He was able to give an answer to those who asked who he was, because he knew his life’s work was to show people the “Light of the World” (John 8:12). 
 
I have been thinking about John the Baptist, because I am studying the gospel of John with an amazing group of women.  When we read slowly, mediate on what we are reading, and then discuss it with each other, we see scripture in a fresh way.  I would like to invite you to study the gospel of John and share your thoughts and insights with me or a friend. 
 
Questions of the day:
Who are you?  What do you say about yourself?  (John 1:22)
 
“I’m the voice of 1 calling u in your pain. 
Create space 4 God.”
 
(My texting paraphrase of John 1:23.) 
 
  
Thank you to Kristie for sharing thoughts about John the Baptist’s life.

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– light –

 
You are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14
  
~

From Matthew 5, The Message

 
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.  If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?”

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept.  We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.  If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you, … do you? I’m putting you on a light stand.  Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!”

“Be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

 

For Renni, my mentor, who is generous with her life.  She reflects God’s light and brings out the God-flavors and the God-colors in the world.

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Jesus turned and saw her.
Matthew 9:22

 

Seeing how Jesus turned and not only saw the people in his path, but also responded to their needs, inspires me to do the same.  It is so easy to focus on my own life and the plans I have made.  My heart’s desire, however, is to steep my life in God-reality and God-initiative and to give my entire attention to what God is doing (based on Matthew 6, The Message).

I can remember a time when I saw a woman who needed help, but I didn’t stop to help her.  She was standing on a corner by a broken-down car and I was at a stoplight.  I could tell she needed help, but I didn’t want to become involved in her problems.  I had a really “good” reason for not having time for her, so I drove away.  I know I could not have rescued her, but I could have offered her a “cup of cold water” (Matthew 10:42).   

A continual challenge is to turn and see the people that God puts in our path, and willingly give them whatever we have to offer.

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“If you knew the generosity of God … 
you would be asking me for a drink, and
 I would give you fresh, living water.”
Jesus
 
 
When my dad was only eight years old, his mother abandoned her family.  He found her, years later, after I was born.  She was a modern day “woman at the well”.  She had been married five times, and the man she was living with was not her husband.  Like the woman in John 4, my grandmother (after a lot of care and love) experienced the grace of God.
  
As I have been thinking about my grandmother and reading about the “woman at the well”, I have been struck by the verse, “For the Jews do not associate with Samaritans” (John 4:9).  Many Christians would not have associated with someone like my grandmother.  She was an alcoholic, an adulteress, and poor. 
 
Recently, I have been thinking, “Why are there people that Christians do not associate with today?”  Intentionally, and more often unintentionally, there are people that many Christians do not include in their circle of friends.  The people that we do not associate with are the very people Jesus would be around.
 
As author Mary Snyder states, “We, as Christians, have turned faith in Jesus into something that requires you to fit into a mold that is of our own making.  I know that Jesus is not pleased with what we are doing.”
 
“I’m after mercy, not religion, I’m here
 to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.” 
 Jesus
 
 
 
Thank you Landon Saunders and Mary Snyder, for contributing to this post.  Scripture references from John 4:10 and Matthew 9:13, The Message.

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