Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cloudy Outlook or Son Shine?



Rain pelted down, soaking the ground as the ominous forecast began to materialize. The threat of gray skies, lightning, thunder, tornadoes, heavy winds, and hail dominated the day. Fear of possible outcomes prompted changes in regular routines. Many folks hunkered down waiting for the approaching storm. 

Whether it’s a physical, mental, or emotional tempest, an impending eruption of any kind appears threatening and foreboding, gloomy and disheartening. Only hovering clouds of misery visualized. Hope, quite possibly, eludes the optimist as clouds conceal the sunshine.

Does your life’s situation resemble a dark, overcast outlook? Maybe you recently walked out of a doctor’s office with a forecasted disease in your body, facing numerous treatments with a slight chance of healing. Or possibly a short time ago you and your siblings gathered around a hospital bed where your mother lay, imminent death on the horizon. Perhaps your child chose the path of a prodigal, walking away from your safe zone. Or you recently received devastating news of a disastrous car wreck involving both of your sons. Looking beyond the clouds when a veil of grief blankets our lives seems impossible. We doubt the sun will ever shine again on our existence. And we wonder if the Son of God even cares what happens to us.

At times a dark and cloudy circumstance obscures every indicator of hope. Yet reality tells us the sun shines every day and Scripture contains words of promise from a faithful God. Reading some facts about both the sun and the Son can increase our confidence in the truth. It then becomes our choice whether or not to believe and live by faith.


The Sun
The sun does not go anywhere. No matter whether day or night, the sun hangs suspended at the center of the solar system where it has always been, and will be for the next few billion years. The sun seemingly disappears at night as the Earth rotates. Even though it continuously shines on the Earth, the sun cannot provide sunlight to all parts of the world at the same time.

The part of the world facing the sun experiences daylight. The rest of the world experiences night. As the Earth continues to rotate, the “day” side turns away from the Sun giving the impression that the Sun is going down. This is known as sunset. The exact opposite happens when the “night” side gets nearer the sun’s direction. This is known as sunrise.


The Son
The Son (of God) does not go anywhere, no matter whether day or night. He lives, Jesus lives eternally, to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25). He came to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted. He came to comfort the brokenhearted and all who mourn. He came to announce freedom to captives, and to open the eyes of the blind (Isaiah 61:1-3). Jesus died and rose again to give us new life in His name that we might obtain victory through our faith in Him, the Son of God. 
The Bible


Whenever your part of the world faces the sun, you experience daylight. If clouds conceal the light and darkness moves in, the sun remains in place. The sun is always there.

When your own personal world functions in a seemingly perfect way, you experience delight. If and when clouds hang over your circumstances, bringing gloom and doom, KNOW the Son is interceding to Heavenly Father on your behalf. He is present in your troubles. The Son is always there. 

Facts about the sun prove its permanent state in the center of the solar system. Factual evidence for the Son of God proves His presence in the center of our lives. May you be encouraged as you reflect on reality. May the following Bible verses strengthen your faith, increasing your reason to trust Jesus Christ, the Son of God.



Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.  Hebrews 7:25 (NASB)

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Luke 19:10 NASB (NASB)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  1 John 5:4-5 (NASB)

O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.  Isaiah 25:1 (NASB)

…and if I ask a question, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.”  Luke 22:68-70 (NASB)

I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”  John 1:33-35 (NASB)

…and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”  John 11:26-27 (NASB)

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.  John 20:30-31 (NASB)

But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  Acts 7:55-57 (NASB)

But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no. For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.  2 Corinthians 1:18-20 (NASB)

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  1 John 4:9 (NASB)


Look To The Son - Hillsong Worship....

Sunday, April 23, 2017

God's Abiding Truth



I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.  ~Anne Frank


A young Jewish girl named Anne Frank witnessed much destruction before she died in the midst of extreme hatred. Yet in the middle of her holocaust, she held onto hope for something better. What about us? Do we cling to hope when everything around us screams devastation? 

Our world looks no different than the days of World War Two. Perhaps it’s worse because crowds of people use tolerance to deflect wrongs. They turn blind eyes to truth, choosing to believe lies. Rather than tear down walls of deception, people all over the world hide behind fortresses of lies. Satan, the father of lies, appears to be winning the battle of good and evil.

The collapse of truth began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Satan deceived God’s new creation, causing sin to enter the world. God planned a path of salvation for His people and fulfilled it through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Even though victory is gained through Christ Jesus, battles continue to be waged in this world.

Our modern-day world resembles the time of the Old Testament judges when a generation arose that did not know the Lord or the work He had done for the Israelites. They were plunged into darkness as they continually did what was right in their own eyes, resembling the world around them rather than living as children of God. Instead of obeying God’s truth, they acted in accordance to their own truth. They spiraled out of control into a cycle of sin. When bad things happened, they cried out to God for help. He sent a judge to lead them and for a time all was well. Then the sin cycle would begin again until another judge prevailed. This occurred for over 300 years until God granted the Israelites a king. 

For more than 300 years, the morality of the Israelites deteriorated as everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Wickedness increased as they relied on individual truths instead of the certain truth of God and His Word. Sound familiar? Is the modern era spiraling out of control into sin’s darkness like the Israelites in the time of the judges? 

Yes I believe so because truth appears relative instead of absolute. The footing of age-old foundations is crumbling as people refuse to stand firm on God’s holy Word. His Word has remained consistent for millennia. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Yet some believers of Jesus look no different than non-believers. Many church-goers allow the changing culture to shift their belief system to popular opinion. Truths continue to change with the times as everyone does what is right in their own eyes. Is there no stability? Where is God’s truth in society?

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  James 1:17 (NASB)

God’s holy Word answers our instability. The Father of lights, Jesus Christ, doesn’t vary or shift with the wind. His truth doesn’t fluctuate with changing ideas. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His Word stands the test of time. 

Yet society disregards His morals and changes the long-standing rule of law. We are literally spinning out of control from the dizziness of different “truths” that constantly change. What can we do?

We can follow Jesus’ teachings, His Truth. In one of His parables, Jesus described what happens whenever one builds either on shifting sand or solid rock. He said,

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.  Matthew 7:24-29 (NASB)

When we walk away from God’s solid Truth and choose to live in contradiction to His Word, we’ll eventually find ourselves on shaky ground, conforming to anything that feels right. Biblical history confirms the lack of a godly firm foundation during the time of the judges. The history of World War Two demonstrates how the neglect of God’s absolute Truth created the unstable ideas of a murderous madman and his followers. Our modern era is spinning out of control in a cycle of sin because everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. In times like these, people lose hope. Only by adhering to God’s Truth can we stand firm on Christ, the solid rock.

Whose truth do you follow—the majority, your own, or God’s? Jesus is the only way, the only truth, the only life. His Word stands forever—it never changes. Find hope in Jesus and follow Him for a better way. 

The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.  Isaiah 40:7-8 (NASB)


Heavenly Father, draw us closer to you and your will for our lives. Let us plant your Word in our hearts in order to stand firm on your perfect principles. Keep our feet from slipping and may we faithfully follow you forever. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.


Reba McEntire - Back To God....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9q-08aTNh8


Prayer does not change God, but it changes the one who prays.  ~Soren Kierkegaard 


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Resurrection



When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’”  Mark 16:1-7 (NASB)


He is risen.

Jesus, crucified, dead, and buried, is alive. He has risen from the dead. Don’t stand there in amazement. He is not here. See the empty tomb where they laid Him. Believe the miracle of His resurrection. And go tell others that they may know of this Savior Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. 


Hallelujah! Praise His holy Name!







"Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" & "Thine Be the Glory" - Duke Chapel, Easter 2012.....

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Rejoice!



Hillsong - Days of Elijah
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg1erjHNfCE

Cleansed by a Holy God

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:14-16 (NIV)

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
    but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.  Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.  Romans 1:28-32 (NIV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NIV




Sin. Oh no, not me, Lord. I try to do good all the time everyday. I’m not like those other people.

How arrogant I can be sometimes. Have you ever spoken these words or even felt this way? Don’t be fooled. We are all sinners in big and small ways.

Believe it or not, King David of Israel, a man after God's own heart, sinned greatly. A quick look at his life's experiences offers insight into who he was. He watched over herds of sheep, proving his worth as a good shepherd, killed a giant with a rock and a slingshot, fought many battles and won, wrote psalms and spiritual songs, and committed adultery and murder. Yes, adultery and murder—evil in the sight of the Lord. David sinned with another man’s wife and then had the man killed. Yet God called him a man after His own heart. How could David love the Lord wholeheartedly and commit grievous sins against Him?

The answer lies in David’s response to Nathan. God utilized His messenger, Nathan, to confront David after he committed offenses. Nathan narrated a story to David about injustice done by a rich man against a poor man. David grieved and burned with anger over the rich man's actions. Nathan then declared, “You are that man!”

Immediately David recognized his guilt. He realized he sinned not only against human beings, but against a holy God. In humility he asked for forgiveness and Nathan spoke God’s redeeming love over David. (If you desire to discover this impressive story, read 2 Samuel 11-12.) In full repentance of heart, David penned his sacrificial offering of a broken spirit to His Heavenly Father. It’s written in the book of Psalms, #51.

Recently God revealed to me my sins. No, I’ve not murdered anybody, but I’ve murdered relationships with gossip. And God says of gossip, “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,” (Romans 1:29).

What God? You mean I’m as bad as THOSE people. I hear God’s response in His living Word, saying, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Immediately God humbled me causing me to realize that I'm no better than anyone else. He is holy and I am a sinner. But I desire to serve Him with a heart like David. When I offered repentance for my sins, God supplied grace to me as He did to David. Praise His holy name.

Have you been confronted with your shortcomings, your sins? Ask God to reveal your wrongs to you and repent of them to Him. Then serve Him with a clean, undivided heart. And offer Him praise.

Oh Lord God, Heavenly Father, my Savior Jesus Christ, please forgive me. I’ve sinned against you and your people. Clean me up, Lord, and I will be free of wrongdoing. Turn my heart against evil and toward you. May I serve you with an unblemished and undivided heart. In your holy name, Jesus. Amen.




But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.  Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV)


Clean by Natalie Grant....