I attended church service today and the Pastor shared a story that speaks to God’s love and how we should share His love with others.
A friend of the pastor’s visited the countryside in Ghana where he was on assignment at a government hospital. He noticed from his office window that daily the sick passed the government hospital to travel on foot to the missionary hospital which was many miles away.
He watched people take the trek to the missionary hospital for a week and finally asked his friend why they chose the missionary hospital instead of the government hospital that was better equipped.
His friend replied that the medicine is the same. The people chose the missionary hospital because the hands were different.
In effect, they felt the hands of God upon them in every nook and cranny throughout the missionary hospital. They knew they were well cared for because God was present. The government hospital was medically far superior, but the atmosphere in the hospital was sterile and loveless.
My question is – are your hands different? How do people see you as a Christian? Do they feel the love of God emanating from you? Are you warm and welcoming, or cold and remote? Do you reflect God in your actions? Do you love as God loves you? Do you reflect Christ’s love, compassion, and strength in your convictions, or do you represent the emptiness of a sterile government hospital?
Scriptures and scripture images (Biblestudytools.com)
We know so many partial scriptures and tend to recite them in daily conversations, but part is never the whole. Let’s dig deeper into Psalm 118.
We will begin with Verse 1, “Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, because His mercy endures forever.” Psalms 118:1 MEV https://bible.com Each morning we are to give thanks, why, because the Lord’s mercy endures forever. That means everyday until the end of time.
There is so much to unpack in this scripture, it would become a thesis, so let’s focus on verses 1, 24, 27, 28, and 29 today.
“This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Palm 1818:24. It is the day the Lord has made and, yes – we are to rejoice in it. But as we read further we find that Paul is encouraging Christ’s followers to thank God for this day and rejoice in it. You see it doesn’t matter what you have lived through. It doesn’t matter who you were before Christ entered into your life. It doesn’t matter the crowd you followed, all that matters is that you are now a child of God and should be thankful for all of His blessings.
Verse 27 stresses that God is Lord, and He has given us “light”. Christ is the light. His light is nestled inside us and radiates out to those around us. The light much like a beacon, is a guiding light drawing in the lost bringing them closer to our Lord. They poise the question, what is it about you that makes you different? Our acts should represent the same characteristics as Christ. Our behavior should emulate His. Our language and disposition should reflect what we are told in Galatians 6. We should walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh. We should demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in our walk, and it begins with recognition of the new day as a gift from God.
Being like means that on dismal days, do we present a grey attitude or do we rejoice in the day? This day too was created by our Lord and we should rejoice. Often, I find myself complaining and have to reflect restructure my thinking to rejoice in the day, Why? It is simple, He loves me, woke me up, and gave me new mercies. I should be glad in it and rejoice. My focus should be on the things above and not on the earth which is full of sin. If I reflect on the things of this earth, it changes my inner atmosphere by giving over to the present evils.
When we look at the news, do we grumble and sink into the malaise of the day, or do we focus on the Lord? Do we get lost in the thoughts of negativity, or do we, instead, rejoice in the fact that no matter what is going on around us, our Lord is still King and remains on the throne? Do we praise Him for who He is, or cower down to the evil, consumed by what we see, experience, or feel?
Verses 28 and 29 refocuses our thoughts on our purpose. We are to continually give praise and thanks for the day, knowing that in the best of moments and the bleakest, God is still in control.
“You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You. Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” Psalms 118:28-29 MEV https://bible.com
When digging deeper we see we are blessed to awake to a new day. We are to give thanks, rejoice, and be glad (grateful). We are to recognize who God is in our life and behave in a way pleasing to Him. We are to look for God in all things and reflect on them and not what we lies before us. The Lord is the lamp that guides us through this life. We are nestled in His love and His mercy endures forever.
Many years ago, God impressed upon me that our children begin life reflecting on Bible stories as just that, stories. Over the many years, I served as a K-8 principal and a Bible study teacher, I learned that our children are eager to learn more than the character traits and behavior told in school and at home. Once exposed, they want to emulate Christ-like behaviors. They want to apply the Word in their day-to-day living. This blog will assist you in developing your child’s application season of living by the Word of God.
I have two sites. My first website, Youngchristianwarriors.com, initially focused on our children, answering the question parents often posed – when should we begin training our children to live like Christ? Below is a partial list of posts I wrote in 2017, focusing on Christian child development. The later posts mirror lisasdailyinspirations.com posts and are still worth perusing. I hope all parents find the posts beneficial.
We are all peacemakers. It is a natural practice and as Christians, we benefit by implementing the characteristics of Christ and therefore are described by God as His children.
We are all peacemakers. It is a natural practice, and as Christians, we benefit by implementing the characteristics of Christ and therefore are described by God as His children.
Mathew 5:9 says peacemakers are blessed because they will be called children of God. So, who are peacemakers? Barnes Notes on the Bible-biblehub.com informs us that they are the people who work to prevent contention, strife, and war. They are the people who use their influence to reconcile opposing parties, and who prevent hostilities in families and neighborhoods.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of competing or fighting. That’s when you discover who you really are and your place in God’s family.” ~ Matthew 5:9 MSG
We can influence others in our homes, between friends, at work, and in social settings. We are the peacemakers. We can promote peace.
As Christians, our call is to share the gospel. The gospel can be shared in several ways: we can share the Word of God, i.e., scripture, ensure our behavior reflects the character of Christ, and mediate verbally.
I believe if any of us retrace our past experiences, we have already established ourselves as peacemakers from a very young age. Given our pasts, some of those experiences were done before and others after being saved.
Our goal should always be to live as a peacemaker whenever the opportunity arises and not to shy away It may call you to share a scripture or scriptures with others, offer to listen to others in distress, and offer options if it is the right time, or volunteer to serve as a mediator.
In doing these things, God says He will call us His children. As peacemakers, we abide by the characteristics of Christ. We are acting under our primary goal in life to share the scripture and reflect on how the scriptures frame who we are and how we live. We should not only share what the Word of God describes a peacemaker to be, but we should act as peacemakers. You never know who is observing you. Some people will reflect during trying times about how you present yourself as a peacemaker; others may ask why you feel comfortable being a peacemaker.
Reference: Matthew 5:9, biblehub.com; biblegateway.com