Archive for July, 2007

Precious Feet

Friday, July 27th, 2007

“When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.” John 4:1–6 KJV

I have been thinking about Jesus all day long. I wonder how many miles He walked when He was here on earth. He didn’t have a car to take Him places like we do. There were no buses or taxicabs. Jesus was human and He got tired just like we do so He certainly understands when we get weary with our journey.

I’m sure that His heart also grew weary from all the criticism, ridicule, sarcasm and rejections that He had to endure every day. I believe that to Him the longest walk He ever took was the day He walked to Mount Calvary to be crucified for us. Imagine what must have been going through His mind while He was taking His last walk on earth.

Being human, I’m sure that He was feeling very lonely, hurt, and rejected. He was in pain because He had been beaten but I believe with all of my heart that the pain He felt in His heart was greater than the physical pain He endured for us.

There is a beautiful song that I have heard many times and it never fails to inspire me. “Trying to walk in the steps of the Savior, Trying to follow our Savior and King; Shaping our lives by His blessed example, Happy, how happy the songs that we bring. How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior, Stepping in the light, stepping in the light, How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior, Led in paths of light”.

Are we really trying to walk in His steps and follow His example or are we still walking the way we want to go? Are we still doing the things that we want to do even though we know that it is not His perfect will for our lives? Do we go to places that He has told us not to go? Are we walking in the light of Jesus and His joy, His peace and His unconditional love or are we walking in the darkness of Satan with hatred, bitterness and resentment in our hearts?

Thank God that one day our precious Saviour walked to the cross so that we might have the forgiveness of our sins and have the assurance of a home in Heaven for all eternity. He gave His life to prove how much He loves us. What are we doing to prove our love for Him? Our Saviour not only is wonderful, gracious, kind, understanding, tender, compassionate, forgiving and merciful, He also has precious feet!

Joanne Lowe

When She Went to Bed

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Psalm 16:8-9, 11, KJV

I talked to a friend of mine on the telephone last night and she told me that when she retired she took a trip to another country and was away from her husband for four months. I said “You must have really missed him”. She replied “I was so busy and was so involved in doing things and going places that I didn’t have time to miss him until I went to bed”.

I think that there are times in our lives when we do the same thing to Jesus. We get so involved and busy during the day with our schedules that we don’t have time to miss Him until the day is over and we go to bed. Perhaps if a crises arises, we might go to Him and ask Him to help us but other than that, we focus on accomplishing the things on our schedules.

We wonder why we have so many problems and heartaches. It is because we take our thoughts off of Jesus and concentrate on what we need to get done that day. When it comes right down to it, the only thing that needs to get done every day is to be certain that we have told someone that Jesus loves him or her. You have probably heard this saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. I believe that keeping our minds on Jesus each day keeps satan away.

I have lost count of the emails that I have received over the past two years from people who have told me that they are fine during the day because they are busy, but when they went to bed at night all of the doubts and fears about a situation came back. O that we would set the Lord always before us! I believe we would have more peace, more joy and a lot more happiness during the day if we will only take time out of our busy day for Jesus. Unless we tell somebody every day that Jesus loves him or her, everything that we did that day means nothing.

We can’t take our money and our material possession with us when we die and we certainly can’t give them to Jesus. What we can give to Him are the people we have loved to Him. Let’s make a special effort to keep Jesus in the midst of what we do during the day. If we can’t involve Him in our activities during the day, then we shouldn’t be doing them. Jesus must come first in our lives before anyone or anything.

Joanne Lowe
July 25, 2007

It’s Contageous

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. All of the days of the afflicted are evil, but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! Proverbs 15:13,15,23 KJV

Yesterday while going to Wal-Mart the driver kept yawning and every time she yawned, I would yawn. It was contagious. We have other things that are contagious, some good and some bad. If we form close friendships with people who are negative and judgmental, we will become like them. If we form close friendships with people who love Jesus and are cheerful and compassionate, we will become like them.

We are to witness to and befriend everyone and tell them the good news of a risen Saviour. However, it is extremely dangerous to become close friends of people who do not love Jesus. I am very selective about my close friends because it only takes one person to discourage you. On the other hand, it only takes one person to encourage and inspire you. A true friend is someone that you can share everything with knowing that the person will still love and accept you without judging. Isn’t that what Jesus does for us? There is no greater friend than Jesus!

Have you ever noticed when someone is smiling and laughing, you find yourself starting to smile and laugh also? This is especially true around babies and children. Every time that I see a little baby smile, I automatically smile. I love babies and little children. When we are around people who are negative and complaining all the time, instead of being encouraged, we become discouraged.

There is someone who loves them more than you or I could possibly love them and His name is Jesus. He is very protective of children and He expects us to also protect them. Children tend to trust and that is how Jesus wants us to trust Him, in simple child like faith. O that we would become like little children and trust Jesus no matter what the situation or crisis in our lives. I think a lot of times we hurt Jesus because we don’t trust Him.

So often we have a frown on our faces or we are so involved in what we are doing that we forget to smile at people. If Jesus lives in our hearts, then we have His joy, peace, love and happiness and that is enough to make anybody smile. How can we not smile and radiate joy and happiness when the Saviour of the world loves us so much that He died for us?

Is the joy and love of Jesus evident in your smiles, your speech and in your actions? More important, when people look at you and hear you talk, do they know without a doubt that you love Jesus? Are you bragging on Jesus and telling everyone how wonderful and precious He is? We brag on our children. How much more should we brag on the Saviour of the world, the one who gave His life on a cruel cross of agony and torture that we may be saved and live with Him in heaven for all eternity! Do you love Jesus? If so, what are you doing to prove it?

Joanne Lowe

One Day He Went Home

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1: 1 – 3, King James Version

I saw a soldier being reunited with his family after he had come home. They had a party for him and tears of joy flowed from their eyes and rolled down their cheeks because He had come home to them. One day, our blessed Saviour arose from the grave and went home to be with His Heavenly Father. On that day, I believe there was a homecoming party that you and I have never seen before. I think God put His arms around His Son and held Him close and whispered softly in His ear “I love You so much My precious Son and I have missed You more than I can tell You. Welcome home, My beloved Son”.

The difference between our Heavenly Father sending Jesus on His mission to earth and the parents sending their son to war is that God knew that His Son would be killed. Do you think that parents would willingly send their sons and daughters into battle if they knew that they would be killed? Absolutely not! There is no love like the undeserved and unconditional love of our Heavenly Father and His precious Son, Jesus.

Think about it. God knew in advance that His Son would be tortured and killed but He sent Him anyway. What kind of love is this? It is a precious and pure love that comes straight from the compassionate heart of our Heavenly Father for us. Thank God that He had mercy and compassion on us and sent His Son to become our sacrifice. Jesus, who had never sinned, took our sins on Him so that we may be saved and assured of a home in heaven with Him for all eternity. He paid a debt He did not owe because we couldn’t pay it.

One day there is going to be the greatest party that the world has ever known. One day our blessed Saviour is going to return for us with a triumphant shout of victory and take us home to be with Him. On that wonderful and glorious day, we will have a celebration that will never end. We will see Him face to face and we will be with Him for all eternity. Are you going to be there at that celebration of victory and joy?

If you have never humbled yourself, admitted that you are a sinner and asked Jesus to forgive you and wash your sins away in His cleansing atoning blood and come into your heart to be your personal Saviour, I urge you; I plead with you to do it right now before it is too late! One day, it will be too late for you to say “yes” to Jesus. Don’t put it off. Don’t miss out on spending eternity with Jesus. You will either spend it with Jesus or with satan. Who is your choice, Jesus or satan?

Copyright 2007 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved
The author may be contacted via her website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com

A Birthday of Love

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2: 6 – 11, King James Version

Today is my birthday. I am sixty four years old and I am very excited because should Jesus tarry His return for us, I will have another year to serve Him. What a joy; what a privilege to be in full time service to Jesus as a missionary on my birthday. What is sad and what breaks my heart is that there were many years when I was not serving Him on my birthday.

I have another birthday on August 14th which is far more important. It was on August 14, 1980 that I admitted that I was a sinner, asked Jesus to forgive me of all my sins, cleanse me in His precious atoning blood and come into my heart and be my personal Saviour. If I didn’t have a spiritual birthday, I would not be assured of a home in heaven for all eternity. I would spend all eternity without Jesus and spend it with satan. Thank God for the mercy, unconditional love, forgiveness and grace that bought my salvation on the cross of Calvary.

My prayer partner just celebrated her spiritual birthday two days ago and I will celebrate mine next month. However, the greatest birthday of all was the day our Saviour was born. It was on that day that real love came into the world. What a day of rejoicing and happiness when we invite Jesus into our hearts to be our personal Saviour and we are born again! Unless we have been born again, we are still in our sins, lost and without any hope of happiness because only Jesus gives true happiness and joy. He is the only one who can take the darkness of sin from our hearts and replace it with His light of unconditional redeeming love, mercy and forgiveness.

How many birthdays do you have? Have you been born again through the precious blood of Jesus? If so, are you serving Him full time? You don’t have to be a pastor, missionary or evangelist to serve Jesus full time. All of us have a mandate and commandment from Jesus to love one another unconditionally and to tell the good news of a risen Saviour.

Loving one another unconditionally as Jesus has commanded us to love each other is not easy and it is impossible for us to do because we aren’t born with that unconditional love. It is only through our spiritual birth and with the help of Jesus that we can love people unconditionally and it is a full time job. It is His unconditional love that He deposits in our hearts when we are saved that enables us to love as He wants us to love each other.

Are you loving people with the unconditional love of Jesus as He has commanded us to love? Do others see the love of Jesus on your face and in your words and actions? Thank God for the baby Jesus who grew up and gave His life sacrificially so that we can have a spiritual birthday. Is your name written on the spiritual birth certificate that God is keeping?

Copyright 2007 by Joanne Lowe, All Rights Reserved
http://www.heavenwardbound.com/

The Truth Shall Make You Free, Part 10

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

When I started this study, it was in the spring of my last semester of my teaching career. A lot of things were on my mind. I was sad…very sad. Earlier in the year I was pretty depressed about retiring. As I reviewed the various options in my head, I still had to come to one conclusion: I should retire. I just am no longer the man I once was. I just didn’t have a lot of the energy you need to really do a good job. I readily admitted to this; it did not take any rocket science to figure it out. I accepted it easily: it was time to retire.

Teaching was my life. Sometimes it was the best part of my day…being in the classroom. But, it was not my entire life. I led with my heart, and that is probably one of the reasons why I got tired at the end. Emotions such the energy right out of you. I loved it so much…teaching.

I remember Ernest Hemingway. Writing was his life. The trouble was, writing really was his life. That was it. Nothing else. This focus made him to be a very important writer of our time, but this focus lead to his suicide, I believe. He could not write any more. What was the point of living?

Teaching was my life, but it was done in Jesus’ name. Therefore, Jesus is my life. I could have been a plumber or a used car salesman, but as long as I did those things in Jesus’ name, He would be my life, not my vocation, not my loved ones, not anything. Jesus is my life. My life is hidden in Him.

So, yes now that I am retired, it is sad to know that a very important part of my life is over. But, a very important part of my life is now beginning. Actually, this ought to be His time, not mine. So many retired people live what seems to be an idyllic life. They always make that quite clear: time to enjoy family, to travel, to do new and different things. All of that sounds good, and if that is idyllic, than I am happy for them. Perish the thought that I would ever be jealous of someone who had a happy life. There was a time when I was jealous. But, no more. I would never ever want to do anything that would rob a person of their happiness. Gee…I hope I have never done that.

Jesus is my life because it says in John 8:31,32 that if I continue in His word, I will be a disciple of His, and I will know the truth and the truth will make me free. I am free. I could have a horrible day teaching (been there done that) and walk out feeling really bad, but somewhere within me there I was with Jesus. I never have a horrible day with Jesus. Never. I could do some really dumb things and hurt myself and others and feel really bad about that. In fact I feel pretty bad about something I just did in the past 24 hours. But, those emotions are going to pass. I could never feel bad about anything that involves me and My Lord. He loves me unconditionally. That is the truth that sets me free: His love. It is up to me, however, to claim that love. How? First, by understanding my position in Jesus. If I am in Jesus positionally, I am clearly in the Kingdom. I am never alone. I am in Him with the entire kingdom. Friend…knowing this has kept me away from loneliness for a long time now, and being lonely was my M.O. for just about my entire life. That is what comes from being in Jesus.

Second, I need to claim the love of God by understanding my personage in Christ. I need to accept that I am (1) a Saint; (2) an Ambassador for Him, (3) His workmanship to bear the fruit of good works; (4) light to the world; and (5) salt. Wow…what a mix!

Third, I need to claim the love of God by understanding my possession in Christ. For instance, even before I was born, God blessed me spiritually (Ephesians 1:3). In addition, He gave me an inheritance (Ephesians 1:11 and Romans 8:17). He deeded to me something as if it was part of a will. In order to execute the will, someone must die. That “someone” was Jesus. Who is the executor of the will? The Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, I have peace with God because of Jesus (Romans 5:1-2). Can you imagine that? Peace with God, the Almighty who created the heavens and the earth. I… Michael the Penguin…just one speck of life in the entire milieu of life that has marched across His creation from day one till now, have peace with God!

There is more. He has granted to me His precious promises. Please see this. These are not just promises…these are precious promises. Precious means: extra large, magnificent.

And more: I can have victory over sin by being a partaker of the divine nature. Not to be sinless, but to sin less.

I am a partaker of His grace because I am in Jesus (Ephesians 1:6). We don’t take grace for granted, but often we fail to see the extent of it. Very often I view His Word as grace. It is so full of His riches…so honest and so true…so helpful…just saying the Words bring comfort and peace. Grace…it is more than amazing. It is precious.

And most importantly, I have fellowship with God through Jesus (1 John 1:3). I am not into religion. I dislike the word. The other “r” word that marks us as Christians is the word Relationship. I have a relationship with God. Just that alone is grace. I can come to Him personally. I can approach His throne boldly. Why? Because of my possessions in Jesus.

I am Michael the Penguin and I am a Christian in Recovery