If you missed Lucy's nature report (Classic Peanuts) when it appearedin the Sunday Comics, here it is again.Standing in front of the class with her best academic expression, she reads proudly:
"For my nature report today, I am bringing you an exclusive!ROCK SNAKES!!What, you may ask, is a rock snake?That is a good question!A rock snake is a snake that sneaks up behind you, and throws a rock at you."
"Now, here is my exclusive...it used to be thought that rock snakes were dangerous, but my authority says this is not so..."
"A rock snake cannot throw very high, you see, so therefore, all he can do is hit you on the back of the leg...so says my authority!"
Responding to a question from her teacher (who obviously is curious about"the authority," ) Lucy says...
"Linus Van Pelt...yes ma'am."
The final frame shows Lucy eating lunch with Linus on the playground."She said she remembers you from when you were in her class!"
Authority was a big issue when Jesus taught during the New Testament times.One day while Jesus was preaching and teaching the gospel, the local religious leaders came up to Him."Tell us by what authority you are doing these things...who gave you this authority?"Luke 20:2 NIV
For almost three years, Jesus had been healing the sick of disease, opening the eyes of the blind and bringing peace to the hearts of men and women who had been cast down, stepped on and all but destroyed byreligion.During that time, our Messiah literally rocked the world of the Jewish leaders.By now, they were ready to kill Him!
They saw Jesus as arrogant.No teacher was allowed to present a lesson in the synagogue without quoting from one of the Rabbi's as their authority.That's the way it had been done for centuries until Jesus came along.But those Hebrew teachings did little to relieve the masses of their burdens...the Jews were living examples of hopelessness and despair, burdened with rules they could not keep.They were tired of being put down by the Sanhedrin and intimidated by thousands of laws which no one could remember.The joy had been snuffed right out of their souls; they were ready for a fresh authority upon which to build a new life.
Where do you stand today?Is life about to get you down with deadlines to meet and people to please?Are you working for a boss who manages by intimidation?Do you feel like a huge football on the bottom of a pile of 22 NFL players?
Unless you build your foundation on the authority of Jesus Christ, you will never reclaim your happiness.Jesus was teaching His disciples and he said to them,"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."Matt 7:24-25
Beloved, Jesus is the only sure way to find real joy.Why not give Him the opportunity to be your authority in life.There is no other philosophy, religion, teaching or sect which can give you the stability in life that He can.Life begins with Jesus!
This has been an exciting summer for the Harrison family.It was a time of reunion.
My grandfather, Walter Harrison, was the oldest of seven children and every year in June the Harrison’s get together in Louisiana for a family reunion.Every year all of the other brothers and sisters are represented except for Grandpa Walter’s relatives because we had become disconnected.Through the efforts of my cousin (whom I had never met until this summer), Walter’s side of the family was located.My wife and I attended the reunion held at CampPearl, a Christian encampment.It was a wonderful time to reconnect with our family and meet cousins I never knew existed.I thought at the time how appropriate it was that we selected a Christian Encampment to host the reunion.
Through the years, Christian encampments have been places of “reconnection” for me; a time when I have renewed my commitment to God.
I learned to sing at Peach Creek Baptist Encampment in Southeast Texas.It was a place I visited every year as a teenager (sometimes twice a year) for eight years in a row.God would always meet me there and surprise me in some wonderful way.It was there that I heard His call to serve Him in ministry.
One chorus which still comes to my heart from those formative years is "Christ for Me."
Christ for me, yes, it's Christ for me.
He is my savior my Lord and King.
I am so happy I shout and sing!
Christ for me, yes, it's Christ for me.
Everyday as I go my way
It is Christ for me.
Is this your time for a “reunion” with God?If there has been a major disconnect in your relationship with Him you should know that He never left you, but you may have left Him.He always has and will always be FOR you.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, the songs of my youth lift my heart today!You are the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow!Though I grow older and change with the years, your presence is always with me.Amen and amen.
≈ Devotional for Thursday, July 15, 2010
"Curious... but not committed"
We had an election in our state recently to determine if we were going to raise taxes for schools.I'm a school teacher and I have two school-age daughters; so, I was very interested in the outcome and became active in campaigning for a "Yes" vote.I was committed to the cause.
When approaching a friend to solicit his vote, I was told, "I'm curious to see how everyone will vote; but, I really don't care because I have no children.I just can't commit myself to a cause that doesn't affect me."
I was disappointed; but, I understood his reasoning.The outcome didn't affect him personally; so, it was difficult for him to get excited about the election.What if it had affected him personally?Would he have become committed?
We all know John 3:16 - possibly the most quoted passage in the Bible:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Maybe that's enough to make you curious.Maybe that's enough for you to show up a few times and see what this "Jesus stuff" is all about.Perhaps your curiosity was sufficient to lead you to join a church or to read the Bible a few times.But, are you committed?Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ?
Before you answer, let’s skip down just a little and read from John 3:19:
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
John 3:16 essentially says, "Do this and I'll give you this."That got you curious.John 3:19 says, "If you don't, this will happen."Now what?Pick one...
Got your attention?All of a sudden it became personal.You're the one who will stand condemned or will have eternal life!If you believe that the Bible is the Word of God then I suspect your curiosity just started moving toward commitment.If so, you don't have to wait for the results of an election.You can settle the matter right now - wherever you are, no matter what you're doing.All you have to do is ask Jesus into your heart.Ask Him to become the center of your life and to begin an eternal relationship with you.Commit yourself not to just knowing about Jesus; but to a having a never ending, all consuming relationship with Him.All of Heaven is waiting for your curiosity to become commitment.He's coming soon; please don't wait...
≈ Devotional for Friday, July 16, 2010
“Are You Older Than You Think?”
Reverend Bill Hinson preached his last sermon on Sunday, June 3, 2001, as pastor of the 12,500 member First United Methodist Church of Houston, TX, which was established in 1839.His visionary leadership directed the congregation to maintain its downtown ministry while building a large second campus in the suburbs.No one preaches like Pastor Bill.He was a shepherd of love to his flock and ministered faithfully for eighteen years.At age 65, He and his wife will retire to a new home in Huntsville, Alabama.He will be missed by his church family and the thousands of Houstonians who watched him on television every week.
"I got here too soon," Hinson said."I don't feel 65; I don't think 65.It just snuck up on me."Wow!What a blessed way to live, so wrapped up in serving the Lord that time is irrelevant.Now that's the way the Christian life ought to be.Regardless of age or circumstances we will never grow old in our thinking or our witness because every day is a fresh new experience in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. (Adapted from the Houston Chronicle, Sat., June 2, 2001)
GospeLines Prayer: Father, sometimes I get so involved in making a living that I forget how to live!Renew my spirit, revive my joy; let me find the good in every day and not live so much for tomorrow.Lord, make my heart sensitive, my eyes clear and my mind fixed on your present greatness so that when I am 70 I will not think like I am 85.Amen and amen.