Sunday, September 26, 2010

True Poverty

It's hard to escape the horrific images of human suffering in many parts of the world that bombard our minds through television,internet and photos. Images of naked starving children, poorly built shelters, and people looking helpless and hopeless, may move our hearts, and quietly we might say to ourselves, “I am so fortunate. I have a home, a job and a family.” But do you have Jesus?

“What does Jesus have to do with poverty?” you maybe thinking. “Why doesn’t he do something about it?” or possibly, “Jesus doesn’t care, we’re on our own here.” The scriptures are very clear that God is all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present, nothing escapes his sight. What we see in our world today is the evidence of the broken relationship of man with God.

Genesis tells how with a word God created an ecosystem bursting with plant and animal life, but he fashioned humans by hand. The power of his voice keeps all of creation producing and sustaining life. The fact that God is still in control is why all life continues to exist.

“If this is true” you might say, “Then why hasn’t God ended all this poverty?” The answer is a simple one, He has! Now that might sound like a contradiction, but the truth is the Cross ended poverty.

The significance of the cross is far more than most people can comprehend. We have heard that Jesus loves us and died on a cross to save us. All people who have accepted this fact know that he rose again to life, as he said he would. This is the foundation of our faith. So, why does all this tragedy continue? It is a prospective of the eternal value system.

Our human economy is based on a temporal system that began with the original sin. Because of our inheritance of sin, we can not think the way God desires. In our depraved minds, we think, “That it’s all about me and my happiness,” In God’s economy it is all about loving, healthy relationships! We tend to think that those who have power, money and position are those who are rich, but in God’s economy, they are the most poverty stricken.

All the wealth and power of the earth belongs to Jesus; those who possess it now only have a small window of opportunity to use it to honor him. As God's masterpiece,we are given cetain abilities that bring him glory. Those who choose to use their position for their own pleasure will suffer eternal consequences for misappropriation of these resources. This is the judgment that weighs heavy on those who refuse the gift of salvation.

The salvation that Jesus brings is complete forgiveness of sin. We are restored to a pure and innocent relationship with God, like the time in the garden. As we grow in his love we begin living for his glory, developing loving, caring relationship with others, which was our original purpose.Jesus said “You will always have the poor among you,” we know this is a true statement, because not everyone has heard or believes that Jesus is the sustaining power of all life. (Ephesians 1:22-23).

Behind the scenes, the Lord continues to rise up his people to be his hands and feet to all the world, in meeting the needs of those who have suffered under greed, injustice, persecution and disaster. He uses every opportunity to touch people with his love and truth, so that they may come to him and be reconciled. By his great love and passion for all humanity, he calls to his people and waits patiently for their response.

Jesus said, “You say, “I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing! And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you to buy gold from me, gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so that you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see” (Revelation 3: 17-18 NLT)

True poverty is living life without the richness and fullness of life found only in our great God, Master and King –Jesus Christ! To him be all the honor, glory and praise! Amen!!

Copyright©2010 – tathorpe- All Rights Reserved-

Sunday, September 12, 2010

True Security

When we think of security, we might think of a vault; an alarm system or an armed guard, to protect something of great value. Something of lesser value like our trash can or garden tools, we’d never dream of stationing a guard around those things. Why do we place a higher value on somethings than others? Each has a value and serves a purpose, in our minds everything is on a sliding scale of importance.

Would it surprise you that God has stationed angels around his people and their property that guard these kinds of things. Psalms 91 describes this protection. “No evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your dwelling. For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go” (Psalms 91:10-11 NLT). Amazing security system, the mighty angels of God protect you, there is one catch, “If you make the Lord your refuge, If you make the Most High your shelter” (Psalms 91:9 NLT).

When we try to go it alone, thinking we are masters of our own destiny, then we are unprotected. The storms of life will happen to the godly and the ungodly, but the difference is the foundation. Those who don’t know God’s amazing love and favor will rebuild the wreckage of their lives on the sand, while the child of God can receive forgiveness and continue to build on a solid foundation (Matthew 6:46-49) which is the blood of Jesus Christ, our savior.

True security means we have a sure foundation. We are protected, loved, provided for and no failure is fatal. Proverbs say of the godly, “They may trip seven times, but each time they will rise again. But one calamity is enough to lay the wicked low” (Proverbs 24:16).

Our lives have a greater value than what we can possibly understand. On the cross Jesus paid the penalty of our sins, which is our desire to do things our own way, to be the masters of our own universe. We have the promise of the Father that he will never leave us or forget about us in our troubles (Deuteronomy 31:8). He guaranteed that promise with the gift of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us (John 14:15-17) and eternal life with him (John 3:16).

“The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, he rescues those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous may face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one. For the Lord protects them from harm, not one of their bones will be broken!” (Psalms 34:17-20 NLT). Now that’s security!

Have you placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your savior? There is no greater security than know Jesus as your savior, don’t wait another minute, call on his name right now! To those who have placed their trust in Jesus as savior, my question to you, is he the Lord of your life? We get tangled up in sin and don’t realize we are working in our own strength trying to live the Christian life. Listen to the Holy Spirit and get rid of those sins that are holding you back.

We have been set free to live a life that is pleasing to God, through the blood of Christ. Just let go and love God with all your heart, soul and mind.

Copyright©2010 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Thursday, September 9, 2010

True Love

Ahh, a wonderful subject, we all love, love. We dream of it and hope one day that we will find that perfect one who will make our lives complete. It is one of the passionate pursuits of our lives to find love and thereby achieve fulfillment, or so we think. Love and hate are the two strongest emotions we possess. They operate on the opposite side of the spectrum, where love equals completeness, hate equals retribution and justice.

How is it that these two strong emotions live within one body? How can someone whose love is so strong turn to hate so quickly. Anyone who has experienced rejection from someone they have loved deeply, sacrificed for and built their life on, knows how quickly the pendulum swings. What’s funny this is how some people think about God’s love for us.

I have recently had to rethink my definition of true love. Although I have the impression defined in me everyday since birth; first by my parents, family and friends, but sometimes the definition becomes clouded or unclear in my heart and mind. Our fleshly love is fickle, we love one thing one day and another day we wonder what we were thinking? It is constantly changing in parameters and degrees.

I am grateful that the Lord did not leave us to define love on our own, but constantly reminds of his unchanging love. So what is True Love? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes it this way, “Love is patient, kind, is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable and keeps no record when it’s wronged. It’s never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”

Whenever I review the true definition of love, that is described so beautifully here, I realize that my definition falls short. I know that this is how the Lord responds to me, and I am so thankful that he does. I can not say that I respond to every situation I encounter in life with this kind of love, but it is my deepest desire to develop it.

The Lord’s love for us is not fickle and it does not change depending on what we do or don’t do. His love is stable and a sure foundation on which we can grow in. There is nothing we can do to stop him from loving us and pursuing us, he never gives up!

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though some might be willing to die for a person who is exceptionally good. But God showed us his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment.” (Romans 5: 6-9 NLT)

You can not truly love someone until you are loved. We can not fully understand God’s great love for us, but his actions showed us the depth. Have you received his unconditional love? He is the perfect one we are seeking, the only one who will make our lives complete. It is a gift beyond all comprehension of how a Righteous and Holy God would make a way for his enemy to become the object of his affections, instead of his wrath. God’s love for us is our source strength, courage and faith.

“This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10 NLT)

Copyright©2010 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-