Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Mark 1:10-11 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (NIV)
A couple of days ago, I reminded myself that it was my Dad’s 90th birthday – or it would have been had he lived. My Dad was part of that great generation of hard-working determined people who lived to protect and provide for their families. With six kids to raise and feed, he had to work long hours and was often exhausted when he came home. He was a typical Stoic Scotsman who kept most of his feelings to himself, but he was also a fair man who treated us all well.
Dad was proud of what each of my siblings and I accomplished, but he never really expressed it in words. However, we felt both his pride and love in other unspoken ways – a brightness in his eyes, a pleasant smile, or even just a pat on the back at the right time. As he grew older, he became more comfortable in communicating his feelings and we all cherished his approval.
Today’s highlighted verses tell us about God’s great love for Jesus and how He expressed His love for His Son. We see God’s wonderful affection and deep pride in Jesus. It must have been a beautiful moment and blessing to each of them. The great thing about this event is this: Jesus has provided each of us with both God’s favor and delight. Christ’s death on the Cross not only paid the price for our sins, it also opened up the way to the loving-kindness and great goodness of God. Just as the Father was proud of His Son, God can now cherish and embrace us in the same way.
No matter who you are or what you’ve done; no matter how you’re feeling or what you’re going through, please know this: You are a beloved child of God, lifted up by His grace, and cherished by Him forever.
Do I know that God loves me? Am I willing to share that gift with others?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for restoring us to God’s love. We are truly grateful for all that You have accomplished with Your sacrifice. Help us to share this great news with our families and friends. In Your Holy Name, we cheerfully pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s drawing is one of John’s Bible drawings called ‘The Baptism.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Baptism.
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)
We all woke up to a different world today. For some folks, it appears to be a new beginning; for others, it seems like a fearful time. Whatever we feel, the real work of healing begins today and, as I have written and preached for the last couple of weeks, this is why the Church exists and this is what we as Christians are called to do.
It won’t be easy, but our faith has always had to climb mountains and struggle with society. As Christians, we believe in the Sovereignty of God, so we have to find His purposes and follow His path. If, like the Apostle Paul, we earnestly believe that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, then we understand that God is in control. For some folks, this may not be easy to accept or even see right now, but this is why we are called to be servants of God’s Kingdom, especially here on Earth.
The future may appear uncertain and insecure for a while, but it has never been held in our hands anyway. God always holds tomorrow in His hands; our role is to ensure that He holds us in His hands today. Or to paraphrase what Jesus once said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow; there is enough to deal with what’s going on today.”
May God be with you wherever you venture today. May His Spirit abide within you and may Christ always direct your path so that you keep traveling with Him. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s old crayon/digital drawings called “A New Earth.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: New Earth.