Be My Baby
One of the first gifts GOD gave me was big brothers and a big sister. And one of the first gifts they gave me was music. I grew up with their recordings of the wonderful music of the 50s. And the lyrics went mostly like this: “Baby, baby, baby…be my baby….I love you baby, baby, baby.”
Why? You see it today on Facebook. They’re mostly baby faces. Smiling and laughing and being loved on. Being a baby being loved on is the best place of all. We all want to be loved on like that. And that is all GOD is saying to you. “Be my baby.”
GOD has always called Israel His child. He says He birthed them and raised them. And He wants to sing over them in joy like parents singing lullabies to a child. Although He had to punish them, sometimes very painfully from time to time, He promises that they are His baby and He will love on them again. He will sing over them again.
And that is wonderful news if you’re a Christian. Some very smart men think that when JESUS came GOD suddenly broke His promise to His baby, Israel, and replaced them with Christians. But that is not true. It is much better than that. JESUS made those who trust and believe Him for eternal Life His baby, too. We don’t replace Israel. We are adopted into them. We become the baby of GOD He wants to love on. The love of JESUS for Jewish people brings them back to their Father to be loved on in Christ. And when He lifts them out of the cradle of this life to Life with Him, with other Christians, they will return when He rules Israel as He promised. They will see the descendants of Israel in the land He promised ruled by Him as He promised.
As Christians all GOD wants to do is love on us and have us love on Him and other people who love Him. He wants us to love on those who don’t know Him. And by loving on others, like babies who freely love other babies, we bring those others to be Christ’s babies, too.
GOD is singing to you today, “Be my baby.” Enjoy life and love and share it on the way Home to the Father, playing and laughing as you work with Him. You may be called to do great things. You may not. Babies don’t worry about that. Whatever you do in life will be the result of being loved on by JESUS and sharing love as His child.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
One More for Glory
I can wait as long as I get what I want immediately. You might be able to tell from that statement (or if you know me personally) that patience is not a natural talent of mine. The scary part is that as a Christian I know I have been given patience as a gift! So without that I would probably be expecting results before I even started something.
There were hints of this when I was a boy. I killed untold flowers because I couldn’t wait for them to bloom to see what color they’d be. My future as a potato farmer was ruined when I kept digging up the potatoes before they could fully grow.
Christians need to be patient in waiting for results for what Christ does through them. When we give our lives to JESUS His Holy Spirit works in and through us. We might feel shocked ourselves at His strength to talk to others about JESUS. Or to do some loving act for someone convinced it will bless and change them. But then we see nothing. So we start poking up our Spiritual potatoes before they can grow and breaking open Spiritual buds before they can bloom.
From front to back the Bible warns us to be patient. The Christian timetable stretches from Christ’s Cross giving us eternal Life from before JESUS created the world to eternity with Him after what we think of as death. Our potato patch may only give results in Paradise. Our blossoms may only bloom when we are beyond death. But GOD says to keep planting. Keep waiting. Keep walking. Keep working.
It may be just one more person you tell about JESUS before they meet Him. It may be one more thing you do in His love for others that leads them to Glory. And you love out of love for His love in saving you not to see results from your efforts.
GOD says to keep acting out of His love without seeing results. Give one more try for Glory knowing your reward in Glory is within your grasp though the results may be beyond your sight.
“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”
Hebrews 10:35-36 ESV
#Patience #Endurance #Resilience #Goals
My Size JESUS
When my nieces were about 3 whenever I did Christmas shopping for them I would always think about getting them a My Size Barbie because they’d be the same height and I remember how much my little sister loved a huge doll about her size. I don’t remember if I was ever able to afford it. But the principle applies to our relationship to GOD.
There is no way any human being can fully visualize or understand the concept of an invisible, immortal, almighty, all-knowing GOD. We can’t imagine the concept of three Persons being One. Much less that such a GOD would care about us. Especially when we, powerless to control much of anything, make gods of ourselves.
So on the first Christmas, humanity was given the first and greatest Christmas present ever: GOD the Son. Just as My Size Barbie teaches little girls how to take care of themselves and others by taking care of a doll they can relate to in their size, GOD brought Himself to our level. We had GOD in flesh, fully GOD but in a form humans could see and touch and relate to. My Size JESUS. By seeing Him suffer everything we suffer, temptation, hunger, pain, and still maintain His relationship with GOD we could relate to GOD. Hearing Him refer to His Father and our Father, His GOD and our GOD, we understood that His being in flesh was an opportunity to be loved as we understood loving that an invisible GOD couldn’t relate. We experience through those that saw and spoke to Him in His humanity the fullness of His deity. And we have an opportunity to know and love Him for ourselves.
Little girls outgrow My Size Barbie. They quickly learn that all the complexities of life and love of a little girl, themselves or their daughters or others, can’t be contained in three feet of plastic.
And once we come to know JESUS we understand that thinking of Him as My Size JESUS doesn’t last for long. But in the process we learn the best news of all time and eternity that He creates and fills.
GOD almighty became like you so you can become like Him. He suffered a life of temptation for us, yet never failed in faithfulness to GOD, and proved it by not just death in our place but Life on our behalf to offer us. His perfect humanity provides the means to grow from thinking ourselves gods to having the Spirit of GOD and growing to be like Him in eternity when we become JESUS-sized reflections of the Father’s Love.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Hebrews 4:15 ESV
The Trust Test
How often do you beg your spouse or children not to let you die? How often do you call the supermarket and ask if they still have food? Do you call the garage every morning and afternoon before you get in the car and ask if it’s safe or ask the attendee at the gas station to help you pump gas so it doesn’t explode?
Hopefully you don’t do any of these things because you trust in the people you deal with every day to have better intentions than to kill you or hurt you. We trust everyone and everything we meet each day. But how much do we trust GOD?
Sure, the LORD’s Prayer that JESUS taught us does teach us to ask for food but our attitude shouldn’t be one of begging in fear but like a child asking for what we know He is pleased and waiting to give. We are not starving beggars pleading an evil king for bread but children telling our Father we want the cookies He promises to delight us with every day.
Have you ever noticed how many things you fear? We go through life begging GOD to be saved from what we are afraid of and hope to make it to Heaven as if it’s Board Walk and Park Place in Monopoly. But the irony is that JESUS tells us Heaven and Earth will pass away.
In the end, we have no home but JESUS. We don’t have any hope or option other than trusting Him as our only Connection to an invisible Father and a home beyond our understanding. We must trust Him above anything we have known or can imagine as a place of ultimate good.
Our only choice, our only hope, is to trust JESUS more than anyone or anything else we know for the Great Unknown known only to Him. And we can be unafraid because His love for us fills the gaps with His own Body and reassures us with His Presence, risen from the dead, alive forevermore, and waiting to be trusted and unfeared by us, His children.
The Cross is the answer that we can and should trust the One Who gave us eternity there. But do we? Do you?
“”Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.””
Isaiah 12:2 ESV
One of the happiest moments of my life was sitting in the back seat with my little sister as we went for a Sunday drive as a family. I saw her take a big lick of her Italian ices to reveal a frozen roach in the cup. Seeing (and hearing) her reaction (and just missing having her do it on me) inspired me to find various other members of GOD’s creatures to sneak into her food. The point is: You’ve got to protect what you eat from nasty things (including brothers).
The Bible says the same thing. All of our issues come from a poisoned heart. Satan makes it his business to try to put the nastiest stuff he can think of in your head and heart. Nasty “jokes”, gossip, sex you have no business having or thinking about, “what if I…”, “I should…”, “I bet I could…”, “I deserve…”, “She deserves…”, horrible thoughts & things. All are spiritual roaches in your sweet, blue shaved ice. Then everything you say and do is poisoned from what comes out of that poisoning.
JESUS freely gives you eternal Life. It is yours for the taking when you acknowledge that your heart is poisoned to death. Only He can give you a new heart He paid for and which His Holy Spirit continually refreshes when you give your life to Him. Then, with a new heart and the Spirit of GOD calling you to remember the Cross and Christ’s forgiveness refreshing you, anything that comes from your heart will affect everyone and everything in life with His sweetness.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
I see so many posts on my Facebook wall that say #NeverForget But we have already forgotten.
We forgot 8 years ago when we chose those without American values to lead America. We forget every time we allow an act of treason and disrespect to go unchallenged and unpunished. We forget every time we choose the rights of the mentally ill and morally bankrupt to hijack our society with consequences no less deadly than hijacked planes.
The survivors of 9/11 looked like ghosts covered in the ashes of the Twin Towers and their fellow occupants who did not survive. Now their images are like ghosts of an America we let die for fear of another attack.
The blood of those murdered cries out no less than that of Abel murdered by Cain. “If you remember, ACT and stop those who killed us and those who empower them from taking over the country we knew. Return to American values founded on the Bible and not the so-called rights of those who deny The GOD we say we trust and are destroying you.”
I would never have imagined 15 years later we’d be treating those who attacked us better than our citizens and military.
I’m Still There
There must be a name for it, the psychological condition where you keep trying to think of ways to help but being blocked by someone or something that can’t be changed. Whatever it is, I have it. It’s frustrating and saddening and it’s the reason my heart is still at Ground Zero and, unable to stop it, or change it, or curse it away, I cry.
I was home from work on sick leave switching through the TV channels to distract myself from my cold when I saw the plane…I can still see it now. And I began to yell out as if my beagle companion could understand, what an idiot this pilot must be and why were there no police helicopters to stop him. Somehow the thought of the Empire State building with King Kong snatching planes from the air came to mind. All in a second.
Then I saw the second plane and knew it was an act of war. I grabbed the phone to report it to my boss as if I were an eyewitness to something no one else was seeing. I must have sounded like Donald Duck on drugs between my speech defect, cold and hysteria (though my friends know what a calm person I am…ahem.). His secretary hadn’t heard what was going on yet and told me that I was over-reacting to whatever I’d seen. I hung up the phone and of course by then the world had changed.
It’s not logical and I can think of as many Scriptures as anyone else why it shouldn’t matter whether a mosque is built at Ground Zero. But it does. Because somehow I feel as if I’m there, still trying to figure out how to help those people killed by others who frightened them. And since there is no way to stop it, I think of how I would feel if, irrational as it is, what seems like a tribute to the people that terrified them were built on the site where they were murdered, as if they are seeing the planes and the mosque at the same time. Helpless to help them, in my indignation, my Spirit says “No. We will not allow what frightened you to be memorialized on the spot where you were killed.” And I cry.
Happy in Hope
You’ve heard the saying “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” But the opposite is just as true. Where there is hope, there is Life.
Elie Wiesel and other survivors of death camps can tell you that when demons in flesh denied them food or water, they fed on hope and survived. When they were beaten and tortured beyond their endurance, hope kept them strong.
Doctors will tell you that those with hope heal faster and even those unexpected to do well or even survive often do, even when given “medicine” with no known proven effect, healed by hope.
Steve Harvey, Joel Olsteen and many others will tell you a hopeful heart is the best way to be successful in this life. Success depends on hope.
But the Bible says there is only one hope that matters. That is “Christ in you, the Hope of Glory (Col 1:27).” That is the only hope that can really give you joy and happiness because it is the only hope that points beyond death, where it stops.
The Apostle Paul told other Christians that those who believe JESUS has already given them eternal life mourn for those who die. They miss them. But they do not mourn as those who have no hope. Without JESUS we don’t know what will happen to us much less to those we love who died. But when we know JESUS we have joy in hope. Because He went beyond death and not only came back to tell us about it but to tell us we will never die because He bought eternal Life for us. And that includes anyone we love who loves Him and died before us.
I remember the moment I first realized this. I was in school and was writing an essay about what made me happiest. I could have written of family and friends and the existence of chocolate. But as a new Christian I wrote that what made me happiest was hope: happy expectation. That happy expectation was that I am standing on a mountain in front of a foggy valley. And no matter what happens as I go through that valley on the other side I will have joy I can’t even imagine, forever, in a place prepared for me by the One Who created me, died for me and rescued me to bring me there. And you can be happy in that hope as well if your happy expectation is in JESUS.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Romans 15:13 ESV