Don’t Waste Your Time

I’m amazed by how much time some people spend on trying to predict the end of the world.  There are whole religious groups that keep coming up with a new ‘date’ when Jesus is coming again to earth.

I know other people – and not just a few people – who study Revelations excessively, tearing it apart and memorizing it in an effort to figure out the final events leading up to Satan being thrown into his eternal lake of fire.   Yep, Satan is finally going to get his reward for messing around in our lives, lying to us and distracting us.  That’s my favorite part of Revelations.  And it will happen after Jesus comes back so I don’t have to watch for that –  he will have all of my attention.

All of this effort people put into predicting the end of the world doesn’t make sense to me.

Jesus told his disciples (and us) that it is not for us to know the date and time the Father had chosen for his return.  What part of that don’t we understand?

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians that ‘the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night’.  After reading this, my conclusion is that all the predictions are going to be wrong.

All of them.

I shouldn’t waste my time on them.  You shouldn’t waste any time on them, either.  Trying to figure out the events leading up to the end of the world is not how God wants me to use my time here on earth.  I have personally learned a huge lesson on just how short my time is here – I’m a whisper.  I need to use that time well.

Paul goes on to say, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

THIS is what I need to be doing.

Encouraging others.  Building others up.

Loving God.  Loving others.

Jesus was very clear on how we are to spend our remaining days here on earth.

The end will come when nobody expects it.  Don’t worry – none of us will miss it because……

 

Please help us focus on the right priorities during our short time here on earth, Abba Father.

 

I Have Received the Message

A message has been sent to me and to you.  And part of the message is to pass the message we hear on to others.

Paul tells us in Acts. 23, “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.”

I have heard this message because God sent it to me.  You have heard this message because God sent it to you.

When I heard this message and accepted God’s free gift of grace, I became free.  My eternal life with God started right away – while I am still here on earth.

Life here on this broken planet makes more sense to me the closer my relationship with God becomes.  God’s blessings flow down on me despite my circumstances here in this place where Satan prowls.

After receiving the message, I have the responsibility to pass it on to others.  That’s what I’m doing.  And I will continue to do this until the day that Jesus takes my hand and I step into heaven.

This same message of grace and freedom has been sent to you.  Have you accepted it?  Have you passed it on?

Please help us share your Great News with others, Abba Father.

What’s Next?

I know God is in control.

My entire life, I have experienced the goodness of God and his faithfulness.

I trust God’s promises that he is working things out in a good way for me.

It’s just hard to see the good sometimes.  It’s difficult to understand how God will accomplish his plan through the circumstances he has orchestrated in my life.

As I’m reading through Acts 10, I just have to stop and underline, “While Peter was wondering about  the meaning of the vision.”

Peter had just seen a vision of a sheet coming down from heaven containing all kinds of animals which Jewish law forbade him to eat. “Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter, kill and eat.”  Peter responded that he had never eaten any of these unclean animals.  And the voice replied, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

This happened 3 times before the sheet was taken back up to heaven and didn’t appear again.

What was that all about?  The law about not eating unclean animals went way back to Moses’ time.  Surely God wasn’t changing the law after hundreds of years?  What was going on?

I’ve been there.  I am there.  I know God is working his purposes out in my life but I see things happening that just don’t make sense.  Then I’m left wondering about the meaning of what just happened – just like Peter.

And, while I’m wondering – just like Peter – God starts to reveal his purposes.  While I’m wondering, God opens my eyes to the next step of his plan.

One of the next lines in this scripture is “while Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you.  So get up and go downstairs.  Do not hesitate to go with them for I have sent them.”

Do not hesitate.

I have experienced the Holy Spirit actually talking to me in my mind – explaining what is happening.  More often, he will direct my attention to what’s happening in a way that opens my eyes to what God is doing and the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place.

The Spirit told Peter, “Do not hesitate.”  That takes a lot of trust.

This account of Peter’s experience encourages me.  God was changing the law and he was accomplishing it through Peter’s immediate obedience.  God was teaching Peter very important lessons regarding his plan for the Gentiles.  God was flipping Peter’s religious world upside down, making him lead the way into this new and controversial area.

Peter obeyed.

And the Holy Spirit poured out upon the the Gentiles through Peter’s words.  Everyone believed and was baptized.

Peter would never be the same.  He didn’t know any of this was going to happen when he started getting the vision.  He just hung in there, believed, trusted and obeyed.

Just like I need to do when I’m left wondering what God is doing.

Just like you need to do.

Please help me be obedient, Abba.

Suffering

I’ve never talked to anyone who liked to suffer.

It feels like being a child of God should equate to an easier life filled with beautiful moments.  But that’s not reality.  Life on this earth is heart-breaking and painful – even for the children of the King.

At least we’re in good company.  Look at the suffering of God’s perfect son – Jesus.

And the suffering of the apostles.  In Acts 5 we read that the apostles were whipped by the Sanhedrin for teaching the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ and then released.

“The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”

Rejoicing because they were worthy of suffering disgrace for Jesus?  What a surprising attitude!  The apostles are role-modeling for you and for me a life that is totally sold out to Jesus.  They had given up all the joys and comforts of this world and had fixed their eyes on heaven.

Amen.  Let it be so with us, Abba Father.

Words that Changed My Life

They challenged me.

They held me accountable for what I had been saying my entire life.

These are the words Jesus said in John 14:

“If you love me, keep my commands”.

I had been saying I loved Jesus since I was old enough to talk.  I was brought up in a Christian family who lived out their faith in a small Christian town.  For much of my childhood, I thought everyone was a Christian because everyone in my life went to church.

I remember seriously being in love with Jesus when I was younger.  I read my Bible and talked to him all of the time.  Somewhere along the way, I slipped into being more of a ‘cultural Christian’ than actually having a relationship with God.  I went to church, I served at church, I gave money to the church, I participated in small group Bible studies and I talked about loving Jesus but God really didn’t have a big place in my daily life.   My Bible was gathering dust, but I still said I loved Jesus.

Then the Holy Spirit convicted me with these words, “If you love me, keep my commands.”  He made it clear to me that he wasn’t talking about the 10 commandments in the Old Testament.  Jesus had fulfilled all of the old law and given me two new commandments.  Only two.

The first – I need to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my mind and all my soul.

The second – love others as myself.

These are it.  Everything else falls under these two commandments.

The Holy Spirit told me, if I really loved Jesus, I would strive to keep these two commandments.  If I didn’t start sincerely trying to obey these two, I needed to stop saying I loved Jesus.

I was blown away!  I had never taken the commandment to love God first seriously.  I was a wife and a working mother of two small kids at the time.  I had so many responsibilities and things to do I just couldn’t imagine adding all the stuff it would take to love God first!

But there was no way I was going to stop saying I loved Jesus.  No way.   I knew it was a part of who I was at the center of my soul.  So I was going to have to go for it and figure it out as I went.

It didn’t take me long to realize, when I put God first, he helped me with everything else.  He grew me into a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter and sister, a better employee, a better boss, a better friend – he made my entire life better.  Putting him first in my life made my existence so much more meaningful and ‘worth it’.  He filled the empty spots in my heart and made me whole.

When I put God first in my life, he taught me how to love others.  As my life filled with his love, it overflowed to those around me.  I didn’t have to try to obey the second command – it naturally happened as the love of my Father transformed me from the inside out.

One verse piercing my soul through the Holy Spirit changed the tragectory of my entire life.  It put me on the path on I am on today – my Journey towards the Truth.

Thank you for joining me on this journey

Thank you for loving me first, Abba Father.

What’s the Answer?

How can I help make this world a better place?  Wow!  That’s a big question.

How can I hep those who are hurting and feeling all alone?

How can I, just one person, really make a difference in my neighborhood, in my circle of friends and in my family?

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  He left behind a legacy of love by reminding us how important it is to tell each other ‘love you’ and to show it.

And I have discovered that love is the answer.

Love is a gift given to all of us directly from our Father God.  Jesus spoke very clearly about love in John 13, “Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Before he was killed, Davey made sure he said ‘love you’ to everyone when he said good-bye to them.  As a police officer, he also persuaded his squad to say ‘love you’ to each other before going out on their calls.  Now we all understand what a blessing it is that these were his last two words he ever said to each of us.

Davey knew how important love was and he was great at saying it.  Even more important, he was great at showing people – all kinds of people – that he loved them.  This was his legacy of love.  And honoring his legacy has helped all of us through the many dark and painful days that have followed his death.

There is a supernatural magic in love that I had never experienced before these last 2 1/2 years.  Jesus knew this thousands of years ago when he told us –

‘Love one another’.

Thank you for giving us such a clear answer, Jesus.

Worried

Anxious.

Not sleeping.

Grumpy.

On edge – ready to snap at the next person who looks at us wrong.

Does this describe you at times?  I know I can go here if I’m not aware of where my mind and attitude are wandering..

Do you remember the biblical account of the disciples in their boat in the middle of a huge storm on the lake?  I visualize all of  them trying to row against the giant waves that were breaking over their boat.  The waves were filling the boat with water and almost capsizing it.

That’s you and me.  Worrying.  Anxious.  Fighting the waves all on our own…….and losing.

While Jesus sleeps in the corner.

Jesus never sleeps now but he does wait sometimes to get involved in a situation until we ask.   Throughout his ministry, he constantly told listeners to see and to knock and to ask.

But do I always remember that?  I wish my answer was yes because I know Jesus is always there to help me solve my problems.  He wants me to recognize my need for him at the beginning of the trial and ask for his intervention.

Before their boat totally sunk, the disciples finally got it and woke up Jesus.  That’s all they needed to do – he took it from there by supernaturally calming the storm.

Why don’t I always remember this when waves start rocking my world?

Why don’t you always remember this when the night is dark and long with worries and anxiety?  Are there waves breaking over the edges of your boat right now trying to swamp you?

Have you ‘woken up’ Jesus?

Thank you for your faithfulness, Lord.

Let Me Hear

There are times I hear the truth but don’t want to believe it.  If I don’t open my mind and own it I don’t have to do anything about it, right?  I can just go on my way without having to change a thing.

Does this describe you?

Jesus talks about us in his parable of the sower.

The farmer scattered the seed, some fell on the path and the birds ate it up.  That’s you and me when our hearts are closed and we ignore the truth.

Some of the farmer’s seed fell on rocky soil where it sprang up but was quickly scorched and withered by the sun.

That can be you and me, too.  On those Sundays when the sermon we hear is right on target and hits home – do we let the truth change us?  When we watch a video broadcast and we get excited about what the Pastor is sharing with us – how much of that truth do we remember 1 hour later?  Do we remember anything about it beyond the next click on our phone?

Other seed fell among the thorns so they grew but were choked by the weeds.

Oh, yes.  That’s us.  God reveals truth to you and me and we think we get it and we make some temporary adjustments to our priorities and behavior.  But they become very temporary because other priorities squeeze to the top of our list and the changes don’t stick.  Our Bibles gather dust.  Lack of forgiveness and grace creep back in making us bitter instead of better.   Our lack of love sometimes makes it hard for others to love us.

But then there is the seed that falls on the good soil and produces a magnificent crop!

Isn’t that what you want your life to be?  I know that’s my goal.  I want to let the truth of God permeate my mind and my heart so that God can grow fruit through me – today and every day.

How about you?

Open my ears, Abba, so that I can hear.  Please open my heart and mind so your truth can make a permanent difference in my life.

Regret

It’s very painful.

We regret things we did…..

and we regret things we didn’t do.

One of the reasons regrets can be extremely difficult to deal with is because the action or lack of action is in the past.  Sometimes we can go back and apologize.

But there are times when we no longer have the chance to go back and try to make it right – we’ve lost touch with someone, situations have moved on to where there can be no positive conversation or, the big regret, someone has died before we got a chance to mend the rift.

Several times we read in the Bible that people were ‘gnashing their teeth’.

When I read that, I automatically think of the anguish of extreme regret –

I can’t believe I did that.

I can’t believe I didn’t notice that and say something or do something about it.

I should have called him as soon as I thought about him.

I am so sorry I didn’t tell her I loved her – now it’s too late.

Regret.

When it’s too late to try to make it right, you and I are left ‘gnashing our teeth’.  It hurts every time we think about it.

This phrase is always used in the Bible in relation to our final judgement.

For those of us who have believed and accepted salvation through Jesus, God has forgiven our sin once and for all time and we will go to our eternal home with our Father when we die.

Those who have not accepted salvation will have to pay the price for their rebellion and sin by being separated from God.

And they will experience the ultimate regret of missing the most important and beautiful and fulfilling relationship they could have had here on earth.  They will be ‘gnashing their teeth’ because the Light will leave their world.  They will exist in a dark and evil place under the rule of the Father of Lies.

Regret for missing the truth.

Regret for not admitting their sin and accepting the free gift of God’s grace.

Forever ‘gnashing their teeth.”

Please open their eyes, Abba Father.

 

It’s Intimidating

If you live in the United States and are employed, you are rich by the world’s standards.  You are in the top 3% of the world population if you make at least $30,000 a year.  Many of us are in the top 1% because we make more than that.

It may not feel like it since I live in the US but the truth is –  I am the rich person that God talks about so often in his Word.

Are you that rich person, too?

God gives us this truth in Luke 12, “From everyone who has been given much, much more will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Wow!  Intimidating!

I am definitely in the group that has been given much so much more is demanded of me.

I know I don’t actually own anything.  Everything I have has been entrusted to me by God.  And he expects me to use what he has given me for his purposes.  Years ago I also recognized that my children were his.  He loves them more than I do.  They are a gift to me to love and mentor during our time here on earth.

God demanded a very high price from me when my son, David Glasser, who was a police officer, was killed in the line of duty.  I know God is working his plan out here on earth but that doesn’t make the loss any smaller.  It doesn’t make the pain any less.

And ‘much’ is still being expected.

My son’s death was not all God is asking of me.  Now I have a new story of God’s love and faithfulness that I have to share.  Other people need to hear my story.  And that story is just beginning.

“From the one who has been entrusted with much, more will be asked.”

Please give me the strength and wisdom, Abba Father.