A Little Prince

 

He stood alone. The little prince was lost in a world so full of wonderful, beautiful things. He saw bright colors, red, yellow, blue, green. All of the beauty he had imagined was here. He tasted sweet foods. They filled his mouth with flavors that could only be joy. All of it was so wonderful, and yet as he was swept up in the flow of beauty he realized that here he stood alone. All of these amazing things, and yet the most amazing thing of all was missing. The King was not there. The prince was alone here, and without the king all of the colors were just gray, and all of the foods were bitter sand. Without the King the world of amazing beauty fell as ash. There was nothing here, so the prince left. He would find the King, for there there would be beauty. Not the fading beauty that the prince had just seen, but the true lasting beauty of the King.

Where the little prince went next was just as ugly, and just as beautiful. People with twisted faces offered him things he wished he could have. Some offered fruits that looked like they would burst in the princes mouth, some offered statues, that looked alive. Still others offered other things, some happiness, some peace, and some offered life. The prince saw these things, and he tasted the fruits. He asked about the happiness that they offered. They said that it was pure ecstasy, but the prince heard a whisper in his ear. This is not Me. He turned away and left. The hungry merchants shouting at him as he walked away. This also was not the King, and only the King could offer true joy, and true peace. Only the King’s fruits were truly good. 

The prince continued his journey, and soon he came to the hills of rolling gold. Now he knew that the king was close. He had kept moving through the dark places, and now he had come to the light where the King was. The prince started to run. He would wait no longer. He came over a hill, and there was the king in all of his true beauty. The king turned to the prince and ran toward him. The two met and the king held the prince in his arms. “You have done well, my prince.” said the King. The prince freed himself, and fell down. “You do not know what you are saying my king, I was lost. I thought the world was beauty, and I nearly stayed!” The King lifted the prince off of the ground, “I know, my prince, but when the time came you saw the truth, you heard my voice, and left. That is why I said you have done well.”

Don’t Miss Love

Psalm 86:15 — “But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

In my opinion one of the most important parts of who God is is love. It is so important! There are whole books of the Bible about love (If you don’t believe me read Hosea), and much of the New Testament is about this great command: to love. It is not only part of who God is, but it is also one of our duties as Christians, no, it should be part of our lifestyle.

 

The sad thing is that many Christians seem to miss this important message. We are called to love all people, even those who are standing in the gates of Hell. We are also called to be loved by God. 

Zephaniah 3:17 — “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

Loving, and walking in love have benefits for the believer, and I think the powerful Christian life isn’t possible without it. Colossians says that “love ties everything together perfectly,” and I John says that if you love you know God. Love also empowers us: “perfect love drives out fear.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 — “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Love is so important don’t miss it by getting caught up in fear, hate, or pain.

The Night Before

I’m waxing poetic this evening so I want to post this thought:

 

I know the truth. And I know that this life is but a flash at the start of eternity.  Therefore I have one task: I must tell the truth, the only truth of consequence. I must shout with every bit of energy. I must chase the truth through the twist and turns, past the roaring lions and through the dark places. I must take every risk to hold the truth. This life is but the night before eternity, and if I do these things I know that when I rise at dawn I will have the prize, and the King.

The Tragedy of Hate

The church is supposed to represent Jesus here on earth, and it does a very good job of that, but ,being made of humans, it is not perfect. One of the most painful scars that affects the church is hate. At all times hate is wrong. It affects everyone, the hated, and the hater.

1 John 2:9 — Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.

I have had multiple people tell me how they have been hurt by someone hating them, and we have all heard the stories about people leaving the church because they were hurt, or shunned. This has to stop. We are the body of Christ, hate isn’t in our DNA. We are supposed to love all people. Anyone can love some and hate others. Jesus puts it this way:

Matthew 5:43-48 — You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Here’s what I’m trying to say: Love everyone. Don’t hate anybody. I don’t care who they are, or what they’ve done. This is easier said than done. Could you love a murderer? Your called to. Politics have been crazy recently. Love all the politicians. Love the atheists. Love the LGBTQ people. Love the crazy conspiracy theorists. Stop hating.

Proverbs 10:12 — Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

A Good Shepherd

Life’s hard. Sounds comforting, I know, but its true. Life is full of trouble, temptation, persecution, and the bible is very clear about this:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 — But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

This doesn’t sound encouraging to most of us, but it’s all about perspective. Our lives should be all about God. We know that God works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). We need to trust God to do the right thing, lead us to the right place, and mold us into the right person. In the book of Job a whole bunch of horrible things happen to Job, and Job , while not turning away from God, asks Him why these horrible things are happening to him. When God replies it is with questions.

Job 38:4-5 — Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?

God goes on for a whole chapter pretty much asking Job if he has any idea what God is thinking. Here’s the next place that Job speaks:

Job 40:1-4 — The LORD said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the almighty correct Him? Let him who accuses God correct Him!”

Then Job answered the LORD: “I am unworthy–how can I reply to You? I put my hand over my mouth.”

The rest of the chapter is God explaining that His plans are higher than Job’s.

This is the perspective that we need. We need to see that God’s plans are higher, and that they are for us not against us.

My last point is this: we shouldn’t be walking around life as if everything is turned against us, even if it is. We should be rejoicing because our God is for us, and His plans are good.

James 1:2-4 — Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

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A Message In a Bottle

You are not alone

Even when you’re so far from home

Even in the dead of night

When all around you are weapons

If you stand in the silence

Afraid to even whisper

Know that you are not alone

In the darkness let it be known

That there are those who stand

Whether beside you or behind you

Standing with you, standing for you

And let it be known here and there

That there is one who stands

And has conquered the evil of our lands

Sons and Daughters of the King

Romans 8:16 — The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.

Jesus died to let us once again enter a loving relationship with our God. Part of this relationship is being a child of God. We are called Children of God so many times that it is undeniable. One of the most famous parables (the prodigal son) talks about this father child relationship. This relationship is so close. Let me explain.

Luke 11:11-13 — “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Jesus compared our relationship with that of natural fathers and sons. All of the loving things (even common sense things) that fallible, human fathers do are less than what God does to show his love. I recently read a story about a man who had disowned his father (like the prodigal son) and was living a horrible life in order to avoid him. The man said that almost every day his father would come looking for him. Every time the son would ignore his father and leave the door unanswered. It wasn’t until the son overdosed on LSD that they were brought together. The son was in a semi-comatose state for days while his father sat by him repeatedly saying how he loved him. This is the picture of a human father that showed unrelenting love. If this father, though he was evil, knew how to love his son relentlessly, how much more will God love relentlessly. imagine how much greater God’s love is!

God loves us in a way that only He can. His love for His children is unrelenting, unashamed, amazing love!

Galatians 4:6 — Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”