Grieving the one who is lost

Pr. 15:8:  “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.”

My friend’s mother passed away yesterday morning.  She was a Christian who had lived a full life.  She was ready to go home to be with the Lord, and what more fitting day than Valentines Day to go home to her true love.  

Even though her family has some peace in her passing, she is now very absent from their lives, and there is still grief in loss.  When someone we love dies, we are keenly aware of the fact that they can never be replaced.  We experience a void that can never be filled.  There is no one who can step into the place of anyone who has passed and fill their spot.  The person we have lost will always be lost, and that brings us very real pain.

There are also families who have a loved one who is missing.  The family has no clue if their loved one is alive or dead; they just know they are gone.  The void that’s left if palpable…unrelenting.  The grief they experience is never-ending.

This made me think about God and how He must feel when we are lost to Him.  Sin separates us from the Lord.  He is Holy, which means He cannot tolerate sin.  Even as Jesus hung dying on the cross, the Lord could not look upon Him.  The sin upon Jesus separated them.  When we live our lives in sin, and are separate from God, do you think He grieves the way we do when we lose the one we love?

In the parable of the lost son, Jesus illustrates what happens when a sinner, who was lost and dead, comes back.  When the father saw his son, he ran to him, fell on his neck, and kissed him.  He was overjoyed and called for a celebration.  He said, “for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”  Isn’t that how we would feel if we could possibly be reunited with the one we love who was lost or dead?  Imagine the joy we would feel!

The Word tells us that when someone who was lost comes to the Lord there is rejoicing in heaven.  I truly believe that being created in God’s image means that our emotions are not unique to us, but are part of His own make up.  This brings new meaning to the fact that the prayers of the upright are His delight.  If our loved one, who was lost or dead, comes back to us, wouldn’t we delight in their words, as well?

This makes me look at living a life separate from God very differently.  If, in understanding grief, we can put ourselves in His place…imagine His grief for one who is lost…could we more understand His love for us?  We are His children.  He desperately loves us!  He wants us to be with Him—forever.

His,

jamie

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To persuade a ruler

Pr. 25:15:  “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.” 

I am reminded of the story found in Luke 18:1-8 of the judge and the persistent widow.  The judge eventually avenged the widow, saying, “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

The point Jesus was making in that parable was that we always ought to pray and not lose heart.  Hearing what the unjust judge said, how much more will our Father answer our requests?  When we pray, God hears our cries.

Mark 7:24-30 tells the story of a Gentile woman who asked Jesus to cast a demon from her daughter.  Jesus was not yet prepared to help the Gentiles, but the woman was simply persistent.  He was impressed that she did not quit and did as she asked.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, forbearance means:  the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.

We see no evidence of anger in the widow or the Gentile woman, but we certainly see patient requests given more than once.  Is there something you’ve been asking the Lord to do?  I encourage you not to give up.  I encourage you to forbear with a gentle tongue.

God did not put these parables in the Bible for no good reason.  He could have left them out if He didn’t want us to follow them.  The truth is that these aren’t even the only times in the Word where the Lord tells us these things.  Over and over, He tells us to present our requests to Him.  Sometimes it takes time.  That is where patient forbearance comes in to play.

If you know the Father, and you know His love for you, then you know that He will not leave you or your family broken.  Perhaps that is why we see in Ph. 4:6-7 that we are instructed, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

We request with forbearance and thanksgiving, (with a gentle tongue), and God’s peace guards us.  Our Father loves us.  His plans for us are for good, and truly He has an eternal plan for those who love Him.  Do not give up.  With forbearance, ask your Father for what you want.  You will find Him faithful to answer you with what is truly needed.

Patiently,

jamie

He speaks

Pr. 28:14:  “Happy is the man who is fears the Lord always, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.”

This morning I read Mt. 13:1, “On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.  And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.”

Multitudes traveled countless miles and gathered to hear Jesus speak.  They stood in the crowd to glean wisdom from Him, possibly to receive healing from Him, or maybe just out of curiosity.  The point is that they so wanted to see or hear Jesus that they came to find Him.

Ps. 117:2 tells us, “And the truth of the Lord endures forever.”

Like the multitudes, we need to seek Jesus.  We need to find Him so that we may hear the enduring truth that He and the Father speak.

In order to fear the Lord, keeping ourselves to His will and His precepts, we must know what He has said to us.

Had the multitudes not gathered that day, they would not have head the parables of Jesus.  They would not have heard about the kingdom of heaven.  The judgment would not have been revealed to them.

In order to keep our hearts from hardening in sin and against the Lord, we must find Him and hear Him.  Lest we fall into calamity, we must remain close to His teachings.  Having heard Him, we can then turn our lives fully over to Him and His will.

When we know the true God, we do not desire to turn our backs on Him, but to walk with Him and keep ourselves holy unto Him.  This fear of the Lord makes us happy.

Find Jesus today.  Seek Him out.  Do whatever you must to hear His words of truth which endures forever.  I pray that in your hearing, you also understand.  True happiness and joy await.

Smiling for you,

jamie