Powerful messages  that encourage, inspire, and convict “People of the Way” to enter into the presence of the Living God and to mirror the image of the precious Lord Jesus, bringing his life to this hurt and broken world. The messages are mainly written by a retired pastor whose prolific writings have spanned six decades.

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Richard E Bieber passed into the Lord’s hands on Monday December 27, 2021. We know he is now rejoicing with Jesus in Paradise. Please pray for his wife and family and the many, many friends who will miss his kind, loving, and ever thoughtful and caring heart. 

Lord, I thank you, like so many thank you for the life of Dick Bieber. A man who laid his heart before you in such a way that your living water poured through him to thousands. Only you, Lord, know the full impact. I thank you for how he cared for the flock you put in his care. I thank you for his love for you, his commitment to follow you wholeheartedly. I thank you for his fervent, faithful prayers. I thank you for his caring heart, his uncanny ability to remember not just names, but details of  lives. I thank you for the gift he had of speaking and writing words that caught us on fire, enflaming our hearts with a love for you. May we like him, turn our hearts, our ears, our eyes to you so we never stray far from you , so that your tender love is able to permeate our whole beings…and the power of it touches many…like it has for our dear brother, our dear friend, our dear pastor Dick. Lord bring comfort to those  who are going to dearly miss him, especially his wife Jean, his children, and his grandchildren. Lord, I thank you that Dick is now free from darkness, that not only is he wrapped in joy but I am confident that as you grabbed his hand to pull him into your eternal embrace you said …well done, my good and faithful servant. May his life continue to bear much fruit…even to the very end…helping many to seek you, to serve you, to love you, to draw strength from you no matter what faces us.  Amen

The piece below was one of the last ones he sent me. He prepared me for this time by encouraging me to continue sharing his many messages after “he crosses over the Jordan”.  There are a few thousand messages in “the pile” as he called it. So there will be plenty to choose from to continue posting messages that fit the hour.  My prayer is that Dick’s powerful, moving messages continue to draw us closer and closer to the Living God, getting us all ready for the “big day”.   

GETTING READY FOR THE BIG DAY

The day of our Lord’s return is known to no one but the Father.

When it arrives, all humanity will be there.  

       Darkness and Light will part forever.

       There will be glory on this earth.

There is also a Big Day which for many of us is a near certainty:

     The day we leave our bodies behind and “cross over the Jordan”.

     Any life spent unaware of this day is the life of a fool.

“The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, `What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, `I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’

But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

                                              Luke 12

There are those who are convinced that the day of our death is the end of everything.

“When you’re dead, you’re dead.  So get all the gusto you can while you’re alive.”

 There are those who believe that everyone who dies ends up in a “better place”. 

   Hitler is in a better place?

   Dead tyrants are in a better place?

There are those who see death as the beginning of Purgatory.

A place where our spirits get cleaned up through suffering.

Jesus keeps it simple.

He tells the thief dying beside him,

“Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Jesus tells us to make friends for ourselves “by means of the unrighteous mammon” so that when it fails, they may receive us into the eternal habitations.”

  In his parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus Jesus describes a realm divided by a vast chasm.

  Lazarus the beggar dies and is lifted to a place of peace in the presence of Abraham. Across the chasm the spirit of the dead rich man is in anguish, suffering in flames (of sadness and regret?).

Jesus prays for his disciples the night of his arrest…

…“Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.”

                                   John 17

According to Jesus each of us, at death, will await the resurrection at the place assigned to us by God.

If we have lived our lives under the power of his Cross, the Master has prepared a place for us.

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

                                   John 14

So how do we get ready for the Big Day?

    By living each day in the light of Eternity.

    By walking in the footsteps of the Master here in this realm of flesh and blood.

 “And this is eternal life: that they know thee,

the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”

                                John 17

If I truly know God, if I know the Son, I will walk the eternal road God puts at my feet.

I will walk with God.

I will follow Jesus to my cross.

I will trust God in all things.

I obey the Master in all things

I will serve God wherever he puts me.

I will focus on the “one thing needful”: God’s Kingdom.

 If this is my day-by-day life, I’m ready for the Big Day whenever it comes.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  And I give them eternal life.

And they shall never perish. And no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

                                                       John 10

Prayer: Oh Lord how we look forward to that Big Day when darkness and light are parted forever. May we also be prepared for our own big day so that we can enter into your glory. Oh Lord, separate the darkness from the light in us each day. Lord, help us to know you now, walk with you now… yes to walk whatever road you put at our feet following your voice our beloved shepherd.  Maranatha Mirror
Message by Richard E. Bieber November 2021       Printable Version
Featured Art: Mindi Oaten  mindioaten.com

 

Short Messages/Tracts

 

THE HERD OR THE FLOCK?

Where do I fit?

 Am I in the herd or the flock?

The Herd

Millions are moving in sync with each other and with their leaders.

They have taken a detour, veering away from the footsteps of Jesus.

They have marched with great zeal into the political sphere.

Consider carefully:

Does the message of the herd sound like the voice of Jesus?

“Love your enemies.”

“Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you.”

“Beware of false prophets.”

Jesus’ teaching about the herd:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

The Flock

The flock is smaller than the herd

The flock has a single focus:

to follow Jesus.

The flock relies on no power but the power of the Spirit.

“Fear not, little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

                                Luke 12

The flock is made up of many branches connected to one Vine:

 Jesus.

They abide in the Vine.

They bear fruit.

This kind of fruit:

“I was hungry and you gave me food.

 I was thirsty and you gave me drink.

 I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

 I was naked and you clothed me.

 I was sick and you visited me.

 I was in prison and you came to me.”

So where do we fit?

 We are either in the herd or in the flock.

By the life we live day by day….

By the way we treat our neighbor—every neighbor….

By the way we handle the truth….

…we put ourselves in the herd or in the flock—-forever.

 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

And no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

                                 John 10

Message: REB November 2021                        Printable Copy
Featured Art:  Signe Flink    https://www.deviantart.com/signeflinkart
Prayer- Yes, Yes, Lord Jesus… May we continue to be those of your flock. May we continue to flock around you and you alone… our gentle, masterful shepherd. May we keep hearing and truly heeding your voice. Give us your kind and gentle heart so we may care for the wounded, the lame, the lost, the lonely, the fearful, the sick, the hungry, and the thirsty sheep in the fields. Protect us from wandering away and following any shepherd or voice that leads us away from your gentle presence. And thank you for holding us close, keeping us in your hand, and leading us to your present and eternal kingdom.                                            
Maranatha Mirror

LISTENING

And he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him,

“What do you want me to do for you?”

He said, “Lord, let me receive my sight.”

                                 Luke  18

Jesus was never too busy to stop and listen.

Maybe it was two brothers fighting over an inheritance.

Or a man with a dying daughter.

Or a woman touching his garment as her last hope.

 Always he stopped and paid attention.

He listened.

Who knows how many thousands of forgotten ones are falling through our “Christian cracks” simply because no one has time to listen.

We want Jesus to listen to us, as we cry to him for help.

We want him to pay attention to our cries.

So why are we too busy to answer that phone?

Why does it take us a year to answer that letter?

You’re sitting at the lunch counter minding your own business.  A broken soul sits down beside you and starts to unburden their heart to you, a perfect stranger.

 Are you going to listen?

Or are you going to brush them off?

Many a wandering soul stumbles into our lives looking for a listening ear.

What if God sent that soul to us, and we calmly shut the door?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength….

……and your neighbor as yourself.”

Maybe we can’t afford to buy them lunch.

Maybe we feel drained of advice.

But we can at least listen.

 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13)

 
Prayer: Lord help us stop and listen, really listen to those who need a listening ear. Forgive us for neglecting to be attentive to the hurting souls you bring to us. As we listen, Lord, ignite our hearts with the love and tender compassion that the wounded truly seek. May listening not only bring them the healing they need, may it bring us closer to your merciful presence as well.  Maranatha Mirror 
Message: REB  November 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Elizabeth Wang at radiantlight.org.uk  R-60096-CW T-11442-CW, T-10048-CW

 

TECHNOLOGY, MONEY, AND GOD

Technology is great.

It speeds things up.

It connects us to each other across the world.

But something weird is going on.

Technology is starting to take over the world.

And technology has a partner:

 Money.

If we want to know how to handle technology, all we have to do is pay attention to how the Master tells us to handle money.

“He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”                 (Luke 16)

Jesus never begged for money.

He never “raised funds”.

Yet the money they needed for food and lodging was always there.

We deal with money’s twin sister, technology, in the same way.

We use technology, but we hold it loosely.

If we find ourselves chained to our phones day and night, Technology is taking over.

If social media consumes our days, Technology is crowding out the life of God in us.

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and technology.”

If God is our master, technology will be our servant.

If technology is our master, God says, “Have it your way,” and leaves us to live with our choice.

Jesus tells us that one day money will be obsolete.

“And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.”    (Luke 16)

And in the kingdom of God, technology is already obsolete.

Where technology is obsolete. 

When we enter our room, shut the door, and pray, we bypass technology.

Our prayers for others pass through heaven and touch the lives we pray for in a nano-second.

Our prayers connect us with a future which technology knows nothing about.

God’s World.

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Technology and money.

Technology and money are twins.

 They cling to each other.

They sustain each other.

 So we use technology like we use money.

Looking to God alone as our Master.

Following Jesus moment by moment toward a world where technology and money will be no more.

Prayer- Lord we need your help, we need your forgiveness. We have sought our comfort, security, and solace either in money or technology. They master our lives. Help us to hold them both loosely. Lord, we need you to master our lives. Help us to let go of these distractions, so we can truly hallow your name, so that we can connect with you, connect to your world where we find comfort, security, and solace that never ends.                           Maranatha Mirror
Message- Richard E Bieber  November 2021  Print Version
Art work:  Distracted by Kevin Carden via Good Salt license. Other photos from Unsplash… Money-Travis Essinger, Prayer-Jack Sharp, and Follow Jesus -Rasmussen

THEY WERE NOT STUPID

The Bible is the witness of people who had encounters with God over long centuries.

People like we are.

Their “technology” was primitive.

No smart phones.

No computers.

No rockets to the moon.

But they were not stupid.

In many areas they were way ahead of us.

Many of them had a grasp of reality that surpasses ours.

Peter was a rough fisherman, but he knew when he was in the presence of the HOLY.

Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

The woman at the well had no running water, no indoor plumbing. Things were primitive.

But she was smart enough to recognize the truth.

The wisdom of Eternity burned in their ancient hearts.

They had vision.

They found the door to the kingdom and entered it.

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.”

 Matthew 11

It is helpful to see the people we encounter in the scripture as contemporaries.

The Spirit wipes away time and distance and connects us with Andrew and Matthew and Mary Magdalene, and Martha.

Jesus is as close to them at this moment as he is to us.

All the basic problems they faced we face.

All the temptations that came to them come to us.

If they could walk by faith, so can we.

If they could live lives of forgiveness, so can we.

If they walked in the light of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, so can we.

All we have to do is listen to the Master.

And walk with him,

as they did.

 
Prayer: Lord, we confess that we allow technology and the access to vast amounts of information to distract us from the knowledge and presence of you, the Eternal One. Oh Lord, help us to seek the wisdom of eternity like the early disciples did. Help us to stop stupidly ignoring your holiness and seeking this trivial knowledge. Nothing, no technology, no information, compares with you and the truth of who you are and your way. May we recognize the truth of how awesome, majestic and holy you are. May this vision of you… lead us to pursue you with all we have, convict us to live lives of forgiveness, inspire us to live the truth of your perfect teachings, and yes Master never stop listening to your voice.  Maranatha Mirror 
Message: REB  November 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Bernadette Lopez https://www.bernalopez.org/

THE INDESTRUCTIBLE GIFT

When the risen Lord returned to the Father, he left nothing tangible behind.

No writings.

Not a scrap of clothing.

Nothing that could become a shrine. 

Jesus left no structure, no organization, only a warning:

“If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

                                                  Mark 9

Jesus left his followers a single indestructible gift:

….. his Word.

That word was burning in their hearts even as the cloud enveloped him.

“I have given them thy word.”

                                                  John 17

When the Holy Spirit arrived, he poured out the same gift.

“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

                                        John 16

 With this gift they set the world on fire.

They didn’t waste time building churches.

They didn’t waste time creating a “permanent institution”.

They set the world on fire with the words of Jesus.

Confident that Jesus lived in those words.

Confident that his words were sufficient.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

                                                  Matthew 24

The one thing needful.

The Christian world is anxious and troubled by many things”.

The Christian world is weighed down and burdened by many things.

“One thing is needful.”

Jesus’ words.

His words burn with heaven’s fire.

His words heal the sick and raise the dead.

Jesus speaks through the gospels.

He speaks through the prophets.

He speaks through the Spirit.

If we needed money, he would have left us money.

If we needed an institution, he would have built one.

If we needed a hierarchy, he would have set one up.

Jesus gave us the only thing we need:

His word.

All we have to do is listen.

Believe.

And obey.

Wherever his word is heard, there is the kingdom of God.

Wherever his word is obeyed, there alone is the Body of Christ.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

                                        John 10

Where two or three are gathered in his name, Jesus is there.

Where five or six are striving to walk in the light of his word, there is the Body of Christ.

Wherever Jesus’ words alone occupy the throne, there is the kingdom of God.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…..

….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.

                              John 1

Prayer- Oh Lord thank you, thank you…what a gift …your Word… Such truth… words that touch us to the core, that set our hearts on fire, that connect us to the Living God, that dispel darkness, that draw us together to seek your face. May we truly listen to, believe and obey them. May this perfect gift be the center on which our lives turn.                                              Maranatha Mirror
Message: REB  November 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Mindi Oaten    mindioaten.com

THE PATH OF LIGHT

It’s not what we claim to believe.

It’s not what we claim to know.

It’s not what we have experienced.

It’s a daily walk on the Path of Light.

The early believers called it the Way.

Jesus puts it bluntly:

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life,  and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7)

Eternal life begins when we start walking on that path.

Our steps are illumined by the light of God’s Spirit.

The glory of the world to come envelops and comforts us, as we follow Jesus to whatever cross he has for us.

 Jesus tells us all we need to know, when he says,

“I AM the way.”

Faith in Jesus is not a static “belief system”.

Faith in Jesus is what we do.

Whoever hears these words of mine and does them…..”

“Whoever hears these words of mine and does not do them…..”

 “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

We get all the help we need.

Like the cloud of glory by day and the pillar of fire by night, guiding the Israelites through the wilderness…

We are guided by the light of heaven.

 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name sake.

The minute we start to wander off the path the Spirit convicts us, shows us what we need to do, and helps us to do it.

“I am the light of the world;  he who follows me will not walk in darkness,  but will have the light of life.”

John 8

We are never alone as we walk this path.

As they made their way toward Emmaus those men felt abandoned. The one they hoped would redeem Israel allowed himself to be executed.

What was left for them?

A stranger draws up beside them and asks,

 “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleophas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see.”

And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

                                       Luke 24

In one form or another, the risen Lord is beside us as we walk the Path of Light.

Lifting us up, when we’re down.

Bringing us down, when vanity has inflated us.

Giving us hope.

Imparting his strength.

“I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

No one comes to the Father, but by me.”

Jesus promises in John 12:32 that sooner or later every human soul will be given a chance to follow the Way.

Our chance is now.

 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep us walking on your path of light. We want to be people of your way. We want to follow you, wherever you take us. Lead us, restore us, convict us so we may remain walking in your light. And yes, protect us from our own vanity, lift us up, give us strength, give us hope… Hope that we are not alone and you are walking with us on this path leading us to the light of life. Maranatha Mirror 
Message: REB  November 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Stephen Hanson stephenhansonartist.com

HARD BRAIN, SOFT HEART,

SOFT BRAIN, HARD HEART.

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.

(Soft brain, hard heart.)

So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

(Soft brain, hard heart.)

But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’”

(Hard brain, soft heart)

Hard brain.

Our Lord keeps reminding us to put some muscle in our brains.

Are you still without understanding?” he says to us, as he said to those first disciples.

A hard brain pays attention.

A hard brain weighs what it hears against the facts.

A hard brain is not gullible.

When a Christian leader stirs up anger and suspicion a hard brain asks,

“Does this sound like Jesus?”

A hard brain checks the prophet’s sheepskin for wolf hairs.

Soft heart.

A soft heart is tender toward God.

A soft heart is tender toward the forgotten ones.

A soft heart listens to the words of Jesus like a trusting child.

A soft heart sees Lazarus at its gate and shares what it has.

 A soft heart reaches out to the wounded man on the Jericho road.

Soft brain.

A soft brain is a lazy brain.

A soft brain believes absurd “truths” without ever checking with the Master.

A soft brain claims to “believe in the Bible”, yet It rarely looks to see what Jesus actually said.

A soft brain is a sucker for false prophets.

Hard heart.

A hard heart talks, but never listens.

A hard heart is always cocked and ready to strike back.

A hard heart collects grudges like silver and gold.

A hard heart despises “Samaritans” who look different and talk funny.

So what’s the point?  

The point is that Christendom is beginning to split in two.

   An invisible sword has come between the hard brains and the soft brains.

   A flame is dividing the tender hearts and the hard hearts.

“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”  (Luke 12)

Prayer- Oh Lord how we mourn the division among your people. How we hurt when our brothers and sisters harbor hard hearts toward us and revile the lost and wounded ones of this world. How we feel shame when we ourselves turn away with hard hearts. Lord make our hearts tender again. Give us the insight, the wisdom…. the hard brains… to realize when the deceiver is luring us to harden our hearts, when his ugly voice, his lies, his rage drowns out your call to love our enemies, to forgive, to heal. Soften our hearts since this is where we will find you, this is where we long to be. Bring us back to the joy of dwelling with you God of Love, Mercy and Compassion.                                               Maranatha Mirror

Message: REB  October 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Ramone Romero   Weeping Jeremiah blogspot

DID JESUS CARRY A FLAG?

  Don’t laugh.

All over the earth people are trying to put a flag in Jesus’ hands.

And why not?

Think of all the nations that were established on Christian principles.

   “In God we trust.”

   “God, keep our land, glorious and free!”

 In these dark times why shouldn’t Jesus carry a flag to help us keep things going in the right direction?

Our father’s God to Thee,

Author of liberty,

To Thee we sing.

Long may our land be bright

With freedom’s holy light;

Protect us by Thy might,

Great God, our King!

Bad news.

Jesus cannot carry a flag. 

His hands are full.

He carries a cross.

For all nations.

For all people.

For good people and bad.

For rich people and poor.

For high people and low.

Yes, Jesus is risen from the dead, but the power of the cross goes wherever he goes.

And here’s the kicker:

If we want to follow Jesus,

our hands will be too full to carry anything but a cross.

And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Luke 9

If we are crucified with Christ,

   if we carry a cross in our hearts…

We belong to God.

We are aliens and exiles in this world, just like our Lord.

We vote and pay our taxes, but our real citizenship is in God’s kingdom.

And our power is the cross we carry day and night.

I am crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  (Galatians 2)

Prayer: Jesus may our souls be so brimming with your Holy Spirit, our hearts so drawn to you, our feet so willing to follow after you and our hands so full with carrying your cross that we have no room or desire to carry anything else. May our hearts sing… “you are who we belong to, Precious Lord…not a flag…not a cause…to you beloved Lord. We love you; we trust you and you alone are our banner.”  Maranatha Mirror 
Message: REB  November 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Ramone Romero   Weeping Jeremiah blogspot

RULED BY HIS PEACE

“Peace be with you,” said the risen Lord, when he suddenly appeared to his disciples.

   The peace that stilled the storm now stilled their hearts.

But will that peace be there tomorrow?

Will these men have peace when the storms break around them?

 The peace of Christ will be theirs as long as it is allowed to rule their hearts.

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”

 Colossians 3

__________________

“Peace be with you,” says the Lord to us. 

    Suddenly all the storms within us vanish.

But will that peace be there tomorrow?

Christ’s peace is ours forever, if we allow it to rule our hearts.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”     (John 14)

Strange thing about the Lord’s peace.

It remains only if we allow it to rule.

How does the Lord’s peace rule?

It convicts us when self-righteous anger rises up in our hearts.

It nudges us when we lose our focus.

It warns us when we climb the judgment throne.

It calls us to repent of our arrogance before it’s too late.

It opens a path of peace for us to walk.

__________________

The peace of Christ and the Body of Christ.

The Body of Christ is a Kingdom of Peace.

It is not an institution.

It is not an organization.

It is not a religious club.

The Body of Christ belongs to those who walk in peace with God and with each other.

 “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in the one Body.”   (Colossians 3)

When we refuse to let the peace of Christ rule our hearts, we are no longer the Body of Christ.

We are just another sect.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us!

Lord, come back to us!

   In his mercy the Lord returns.

“Peace be with you,” he says.

Our hearts are revived.

But will that peace be there tomorrow?

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in the one Body.”

 
Prayer: O Lord, our hearts are not truly at peace, and how we need your peace, not just fleeting moments of peace, but deep abiding, healing, overcoming peace. Father, we come to you for this peace you offer, rule our hearts, truly rule them. Bring us to the point where our hearts are no longer troubled, where we are no longer ruled by fears and concerns. Bring us to the point where we no longer fret, we longer judge, we no longer need to control, where we lay it all before you and are able to trust your hand in everything.  Maranatha Mirror
Message: REB November 2021  ……   Printable Copy 
Featured Art:  Ramone Romero

 ALWAYS

 “And lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

Jesus commanded them to make disciples of all nations.

To baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

To teach them everything that he had taught them.

Such things were impossible to accomplish, unless they would have his constant help.

So he promised,

Lo, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Always.

After the resurrection, they knew that Jesus was with them as never before.

They knew it by faith.

And when they became distracted, Jesus was there with a “wake up” surprise.

 One evening shortly after the resurrection, Peter decided to take a break and go fishing.

“We’ll go with you,” said his friends.

 They fished all night and caught nothing.

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea….

Jesus served them breakfast.

 Then he got to the point.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”

 He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  (John 21)

“Do you love me more than this pile of fish?”

“If you love me, forget your fishing and feed my sheep!

_____________________

“Lo, I am with you always.”

Without a doubt this promise applies to all disciples of all time.

“I am with you as you make disciples of Jews, Gentiles, Samaritans and terrorists.”

“I am with you as you baptize them into my death and resurrection”

“I am with you as you teach them what I taught you.”

And when we decide to “go fishing”, Jesus has a surprise for us.

He lets us sit there with our empty net and wonder what’s wrong.

Then he fills our net, serves us breakfast, and confronts us with the truth.

“Do you love me more than this pile of fish?”

“Yes, Lord, you know that we love you.”

“Feed my sheep.”

_____________________

“Lo, I am with you always.”

As long as there’s a spark of faith left in us, the “Always” remains.

                        The Master is there.

To help.

To encourage.

To empower.

To wake us up and call us back.

To hold us safe, as long as we are willing.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”   (Matthew 28)

Prayer: Oh thank you kind, wonderful Lord for remaining with us always… through all things, in all things. What a precious gift. May we reach out and embrace the gift of your presence. May we never be so busy fishing that we take your presence for granted. Help us to love you enough, adore you enough that we have the desire, the love, and the food we need to feed your precious lambs.  Maranatha Mirror
 REB… October 2021   Printable Copy               
Featured Art: Rik Berry  at Brush of the Wind Gallery https://www.rikberry.com/   and Cooking by Chris Higham

IN MY NAME

“In the name of Jesus!” shouts the evangelist as he lays hands on a weeping man kneeling before him.

A hush sweeps over the crowd.

“Hallelujah!” says the evangelist, and raises the man to his feet.

 There is a roar of clapping and praising and foot-stamping and the smiling man returns to his seat.

When it’s all over the man goes home empty and confused.

Nothing happened.

But why?

“Whatever you ask the Father, he will give it to you in my name. 

Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

John 16

So why did nothing happen when the evangelist called on the name of Jesus?

The evangelist did not realize he was trifling with the HOLY.

How is it possible that men and women can prophesy in Jesus’ name, cast out demons in Jesus’ name and do many mighty works in his name, and be told by Jesus in the last hour, “I never knew you.”?

 They were trifling with the HOLY.

Those who actually know Jesus never use his name lightly.

They would never use it in a curse.

They would never tack it on the end of a prayer to make it official.

They would never use it to advance their own agenda.

  To those who know him, Jesus’ name is wrapped in blinding light.

   His name is like the flame in Moses’ Burning Bush.

   Like the fire that fell on Elijah’s sacrifice.

And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2

 If Jesus is my Lord, I cannot take his name lightly.

The woman who touched the hem of his garment did it with fear and trembling.

Blind Bartimaeus honored Jesus as the Son of David as he cried out for help.

The “name of Jesus” is only truly the name of Jesus when it is uttered with the humility of faith.

It is not a formula.

It is not a magic incantation.

It is not a password.

The name of Jesus is holy.

Only those who understand this ….

Can truly pray in Jesus’ name.

Or preach in Jesus’ name.

Or heal in Jesus’ name.

If Jesus is Lord of our daily life,

  If we walk with him through good times and bad,

  If we abide in him, and his word abides in us….

 His name becomes our protection, power, and joy.

In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; or the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father.   

 John 16: 26-27

Prayer: Lord Jesus teach us, show us what it really is to ask in your name. Keep us from trifling with your holiness. Keep us from using your name as a magic chant, or exploiting it to meet our demands or as just an addendum to our prayers.  As we approach you in prayer, make us aware of your holiness, aware of our need for you, aware of the tender love the Father has for us…and ever so grateful to you and for everything you have done.  May we ask in your name out of our relationship with you… because we love you, we trust you and we are committed to you.  And yes, Jesus, may your holy name be our protection, our power, our joy.  Amen
Maranatha Mirror
Message: REB July 2021    ……   Printable Copy 
Featured Art:  The generosity of Chris Cook   Chriscookartist.com

Below are some modern translations of John 16:26-27

When that time comes, you will make your requests to him in my own name, for I need make no promise to plead to the Father for you, for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.      (Phillips)

And I will not need to ask the Father on your behalf, for you’ll ask him directly because of your new relationship with me.[c] For the Father tenderly loves you, because you love me and believe that I’ve come from God.      [c] “in my name”         (TPT)  

Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly.         (MSG)

PREOCCUPIED WITH CAESAR

“Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”

But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a coin. Whose likeness and inscription has it?”  They said, “Caesar’s.”

He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

                                                     Luke 20

 Jesus did not tell them to fight against Caesar.

He told them to go ahead and pay their taxes.

 But Jesus also told them—and us—something far more important:

“Render to God the things that are God’s.”

 When we forget that part, we are in trouble.

Caesar represents government.

Caesar represents political power.

Caesar was not nearly as important to Jesus as he seems to be to us.

 We think that if we can convert Caesar we can change the world.

But Caesar—government—belongs to the realm of powers and principalities which are immune to conversion.

You can preach the gospel to Satan and his principalities all day long, and it will go right over their heads.

The gospel is beyond Satan’s grasp.

Instead of trying to Christianize the government (Caesar) we need to make sure we are rendering to God the things that are God’s.

 We owe God our love.

 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6)

Obeying that command brings more light into this world than a thousand favors from Caesar.

To love God takes focus.

It takes discipline.

Jesus added one essential:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”    (Matthew 22)

As we try to get Caesar to change the laws in our favor we often forget what we owe God.

 We owe God our bodies.

 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12)

Spiritual worship begins by daily offering our bodies to God as a living sacrifice.

Our redeemed bodies belong to God.  If we don’t take the time to present them to God daily, we will begin to think our bodies belong to us.

                      Big mistake.

We owe God our minds.

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

                                                  Romans 12

If my mind has been redeemed, it belongs to God.

I need to keep reminding myself of this fact.

 Otherwise my mind will soon sink back into the arms of the world.

A renewed mind is a mind that turns to God daily in thanksgiving.

A renewed mind deliberately turns away from the world and soaks itself in the Master’s words.

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

 If we render to God the things that are God’s, we will bring more light into this world than a thousand “Christianized”   Caesars could ever offer.

Prayer: Forgive us for being preoccupied with our rulers and lawmakers, Lord. Bring us to a place where we render our hearts to you, and to you alone… Holy Father; Bring us to a place where we are consumed with such a love for you that we willingly offer you our bodies, our minds, our every thought. Take our minds and transform them so that your words and nature penetrate us to the core, so that our need to control is turned into a steady trust in you and thankfulness as you perform your perfect works.  Maranatha Mirror
 REB… November 2021   Printable Copy               
Featured Art: Malczewski Jacek- Render unto Caesar Public Domain, Beloved and Present Your Bodies by Suki, Titian- The Tribute Money (1540)

SHALOM

“Peace be with you!”

His peace fills the room.

It’s his Shalom, his Sabbath Rest.

These men are now enveloped in the atmosphere of the world to come.

That peace becomes their companion day and night for the rest of their lives.

It rules their hearts.

It keeps them focused.

When Jesus says it to us, 

             “Peace be with you!”

His peace fills the room.

   But has it entered us?

   Are we wrapped in his Sabbath Rest?

Jesus’ Shalom is always the starting point.

To know his Sabbath Rest,

To walk in it every day…

   ….is not an option; it is a necessity.

Without his Shalom we are always distracted,

     always upset about something,

            always at war on some level,

     always afraid.

Jesus is our Sabbath.

“Come to me all you who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

                                                Matthew 11

The present turmoil in Christendom,

   The increasing conflict among believers,

      The discontent in our own hearts…

       ….. is evidence that our Lord’s gift of Shalom has been bypassed.

Have we forgotten?

The love of God,

The wisdom of the Spirit,

The power of the Crucified Lord,

           …. can only thrive in hearts that are ruled by God’s peace.

So the Master says to us,

“Peace be with you!”

Will we receive it?

Will we walk in it?

Will we get under his yoke and learn from him who is meek and lowly in heart?

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were called in the One Body. And be thankful!

Colossians 3

Prayer-Lord how we need your true Shalom. Without it we are restless, conflicted, distracted, loveless and lost. We admit we have bypassed your peace for the troubles of the world. Yoke us to you again so we may find the rest for our souls that you promise to us. May we hear your words calling to us “peace be with you” may it flood our hearts and fill the atmosphere around us. May our love for you and the joy and thankfulness we find in your peace lead us to let your peace rule in our hearts each day of our life.                                                 Maranatha Mirror
Message: REB  September 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Georges Rouault (public domain) and Beverly McCluskeybevmccluskey.webador.co.uk

YOUR WORK SHALL BE REWARDED

“In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands.

They were broken in pieces, nation against nation and city against city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress.

But you, take courage!

Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

II Chronicles 15

   ….. The words of Azariah the prophet to Asa the King of Judah

The Spirit is now speaking to those who have left the clatter of Christendom and found their way to the cross of Jesus with contrite hearts.

The power of the cross clears our heads.

It cleanses our hearts.

We find ourselves nailed to the cross with Jesus.

“I am crucified with Christ; it is not longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”

From the cross the Master points us to the harvest.

Take courage! Do not let your hands be weak!

We lift up our eyes and see a troubled world.

A world with weather we cannot control.

Pandemics that baffle the experts.

Nations in turmoil and confusion.

A shaky economy.

Multitudes like sheep without a shepherd.

Do not let your hands be weak!

For your work shall be rewarded.

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest.

He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.

For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’

I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

            John 4

 That harvest is waiting.

We reap the way Jesus did as he sat by the well.

God will give us eyes to see them.

God will send them by.

God will give us words to help them.

God will  give us power to open their eyes and set them free.

“He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life.”

Salvation is a gift, paid for by the blood of the Lamb.

 Heaven is a gift, paid for by the Lamb’s blood.

The Holy Spirit, ruling our hearts, is a gift, paid for by the Lamb’s death.

Yet the Master promises us a reward, on top of all these gifts.

“When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6

If we answer the Master’s call to reap, his gifts will make our work effective.

“But you, take courage!
Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

Prayer: Lord in these tumultuous times it is difficult to find peace. O Give us courage that will keep us from being caught up in the turmoil and despair. Help us not to let circumstances keep us from the work you call us to. Help us to keep our eyes on you, our hearts ever bound to your cross. Keep our hands strong to do what needs to be done. Help us to be confident that you have given us what we need to get the work done, that we can’t help but reap what your very hand has sown. And may we be flooded with joy as we see your living power touch others through our strengthened hands.     Maranatha Mirror
 REB… September 2021   Printable Copy               
Featured Art: Rik Berry            rikberry.com

WHEN HE TAKES US TO THE MOUNTAIN

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart.

“What are we doing here?” says Peter.  

Suddenly Peter is stunned speechless by blinding light. 

And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli’jah, talking with him.

Peter pulls himself together and regains his voice.

And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli’jah.”

He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 

And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

                    Matthew 17

When they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Jesus only.

Not Jesus plus Moses and Elijah.

Not Jesus plus Peter’s proposed shrines.

Just Jesus.

While Peter was trying to figure out what it all meant, the words that came from the cloud came back to him.

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

“Listen to him!”

“Don’t let anyone or anything distract you from his words.”

Why the mountaintop vision?

These men were about to descend into a valley deeper and darker than they had ever known.

To make it through the coming darkness they would need to cling to the light they had just seen.

The vision had power to hold them steady.

The Valley of Pain.

As a foretaste of the darkness ahead, Jesus took these men down into a valley of pain.

And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and kneeling before him said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.

Those disciples were called to proclaim the kingdom.

They were to manifest the kingdom by healing that boy.

But they were not up to it. 

Are we?

Jesus did not coddle those men. He sighed with exasperation and said,

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And when the disciples asked why they could not heal the boy, he told them straight. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

Matthew 17

When Jesus takes us to the mountain.

When Jesus takes us to the mountain and opens our eyes to his glory, the light we receive is given to prepare us for an approaching darkness.

It is not a time to talk.

It is a time to listen.

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; 

listen to him.”

To make it through the dark valley we are now approaching we need to clear away all distractions, all “secondary faiths” and focus on one thing only:

Jesus.

His words alone are the light that illumes the way.

Prayer- Sweet Lord, Beloved One of the Father how good you are to bring us to the mountain, to allow us to experience the glory and joy of your presence. This is a gift from you. Help us to cling to it, to keep our vision steady on you as the darkness approaches. May we continue to see you and trust you and to know that your words will light the way into any dark valley we must travel. Help us to continue to lift our eyes to you, only you for guidance, for answers, for meaning, for comfort. We expect to find the same joy in the valley as we have on the mountain top.
Maranatha Mirror
Message: REB  October 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Courtesy of  Melani Pyke at melpyke.com

WHAT AM I DOING HERE?

Is this a bad dream?

How in the world did I end up here?!

At this dead-end job.

In this church that’s going off the rails.

With this friend who turns out to be a sleaze.

Stumbling through this crummy life!

What am I doing here?’’

After the Prodigal Son blew his money, the world turned cruel.

His friends disappeared.

He was abandoned by everyone.

He found a job feeding pigs, but he wasn’t allowed to eat their food.

Then one day he said to himself,

“What am I doing here?”

“But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘

He didn’t mull it over in his mind for six months.

 “I’m going home!”

 I’ll say to my Father, “I don’t deserve to be your son any more.  Let me be a hired servant.” (At least I’ll have something to eat and a place to sleep.)

 “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

 When we finally come to our senses and cry out to God, we are in for a surprise.

 The Father is waiting for us with open arms.

“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.    (Luke 15)

 It’s called repentance.

We get over ourselves and cry out to God.

“Forgive me!”

“Help me!”

“Show me the way!”

Soon we find ourselves walking a new road.

The road of faith.

It’s a road of daily repentance

Daily focusing on the Eternal Way.

Daily walking in the Light.

Daily knowing we belong to God.

 Never again will we have to ask,

 What am I doing here?”

 

 

Prayer: Loving Father, when we find ourselves hurt, disappointed, ashamed, lost help us to return home to you. Where even after our rebellion we still find your loving embrace. Help us to daily see ourselves through your loving, forgiving eyes. Help us to rest, truly rest in your loving acceptance and to live our lives bent in awe of your precious love and amazed by your tender forgiveness. And because we belong to such a one as you, may we be ever willing to walk in your light and always find ourselves returning home whenever we start to wander from your loving arms.
 REB… October 2021   Printable Copy               
Featured Art: Courtesy of Grace Carol Bomer at  gracecarolbomer.com

SHORTCUT TO GLORY

“For just a little compromise I will put power into your hands.

A little nod in my direction and I will open doors for you.

A tiny lie here and a little wink there and gold will fill your pockets.

Do you understand?

I’m offering you a shortcut to all you came to achieve!

Did you not come to redeem the world?  I’m putting it into your hands without a fight.”

It happened right after Jesus was baptized and received the Spirit.

It happened before he preached a single word or performed a single sign.

 And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”

                                Luke 4

One way or another it happens to us.

The same shortcut to glory is offered on a silver platter.

The offer is subtle.

“Look at how much good you could do if you had some influence with the government!”

“Look at how you could expand your ministry if you had more money.”

“Listen to my offer with an open mind.  I only want to help.”

The shortcut to glory is awesome.

 “I want you to dream big!” says the deceiver.

 “Does not scripture say, ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’?

    Well here’s my vision for you.  Success and prosperity beyond your dreams!”

The Shortcut to Glory is hard to resist.

Satan offers you the very thing I’ve been dreaming of.

“You are going to make a difference!”

“You are going to make this world a better place.”

“You are going to leave a legacy behind.

Your name will go down in history.”

The Shortcut to Glory is a bottomless pit.

The minute you take the offer a strange force whisks you along the path of “success” —-until you begin to spin down,

down,

       down.

 Forget the short cut and answer the call.

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'”

Jesus set his face toward the cross and continued his journey. 

There is no shortcut.

There is simply the call.

“Follow me,”    

Where to, Lord?

“To a cross.”

Along the way you will bring good news to the poor.

Sight to the blind.

           Deliverance to the captives.

Hope to all who seek God’s kingdom. 

What more could you want?

Prayer: Holy Father, alert our hearts, keep us wary of seeking glory, of making compromises that lead us to achieving our own ends, that lead us far from you. Lord help us to recognize and resist these subtle temptations. Instead may your words burn in our souls, exposing the deceptive, insidious lies of evil. And may we be so aware of you and thankful for your love that this gives us the strength to say to the tempter, “our Holy Lord is worthy and we shall serve him only”. And may we be so strongly attuned to your call to “come, come follow me” that we willingly journey to any cross you have for us because we know that wherever you lead us we will find you and the only glory worth living and dying for        
Maranatha Mirror
Message: REB  October 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Chris Cook    chriscookartist.com

ANGER

Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.   (James 1)

Not since the Thirty Years’ War has there been so much anger among Christians!

 Look at our hard-set faces.

 Listen to our shrill voices.

Observe the wounds we inflict on believers and nonbelievers alike.

Notice how far into the wilderness our anger has carried us.

We wrestle not against flesh and blood.”

Our present conflicts are definitely of flesh and blood.

Demonic darkness may be behind our anger; but it is wounding flesh-and- blood people.

Our anger is tearing families apart, dividing churches, covering the land with a mean-spirited despair.

 The time has come to back off, close our mouths, and listen to the voice of the Spirit.

 Let every believer be quick to hear.

 Quick to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus.

For too long we’ve been quick to hear the voices of wrath and suspicion…

       …and slow to hear the voice of the Master.

 The same Lord who said to the storm, “Peace, be still!” is now saying to us…

“Peace, be still!”

“Put your sword away!”

“You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Matthew 5

Let every believer be slow to speak.

We need to make sure that the words we speak are coming from the Spirit of God…..

  …since we are accountable for every word that comes out of our mouths.

“You brood of vipers! how can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12

It’s far better to hold our peace than to blurt out words that will one day be our downfall.

Let every believer be slow to anger.

…..For the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. 

If we are crucified with Christ,

If it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us,

If the life we now live in the flesh is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us,

the Lord himself will keep us slow to anger.

Why waste time accusing each other?

Each of us will answer before the Lord for our own anger.

Each of us is under the judgment of God for the harsh words we speak.

 When Jesus says to us,

“Peace be with you!”

….it is not only a blessing.

It is a command.

Prayer-  Lord we cannot find the peace you call us to when we are wounding others, when we are mean spirited, and tearing others down. Holy Lord so many of us have been stirred by anger that the powers of darkness are luring us to. Forgive us Lord, O forgive us, free us from anger. And yes, help us to back off, close our mouths and listen to your Spirit. Help us to be still and to put our swords away. We cannot do this unless we draw close to your heart, to your perfection… until your nature not only fills us but flows from our lips. So draw us Lord, draw us to you….help us to truly find the peace you command us to embrace   Maranatha Mirror
 REB… September 2021   Printable Copy               
Featured Art: Melani Pyke

WHEN FAITH BECOMES SUPERSTITION

And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.”

Mark 11

Jesus never stopped calling people to faith.

When he found faith, he rejoiced.

“Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed,” said the Centurion.

  And Jesus marveled. “Nowhere in Israel have I found such faith.”

Jesus had little patience with doubt. 

“Believe!  All things are possible to him who believes,” he said to the anguished father.

How many times we hear Jesus say, “Your faith has made you well.”

“Your faith has saved you.  Go in peace.”

The faith Jesus calls us to is always simple.

He calls us to faith in God.

He calls us to faith in Jesus himself.

Jesus never calls us to faith in an idea, or faith in a set of doctrines.

He does not call us to faith in a lifestyle.

He does not call us to faith in faith.

Jesus is looking for people who will trust him.

Who will trust what he says.

Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

                                                John 11

Mary and Martha stood by the tomb with Jesus and simply trusted him. 

They were not burdened with a system of beliefs.

Their faith in Jesus was not tainted with politics or religion or opinions about what to wear or what to eat.

Their faith was focused on Jesus only.

So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Laz’arus, come out.” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

                                                                       John 11

Satan knows all about faith. 

Satan has ways of inspiring faith in himself. 

Satan inspires faith in himself, just as he did in the Garden.

   “What do you mean, you cannot eat from that tree? 

   God is holding out on you! 

   He knows that the minute you eat from that tree you will be as gods, knowing good and evil.

   God is unreliable.  I’m the one to trust!”

Faith in Satan’s promises is nothing but superstition.

Faith in Satan’s warnings is pure superstition.

Satan sprinkles a little superstition into our faith and smiles his sinister smile. 

Now it’s no longer clear faith in Jesus.

Now it’s faith in an opinion, in matters of health, politics, “spirituality”.

The deceiver who spoke to Eve now speaks to us. 

“True Christians assert their constitutional rights.”

“True Christians exercise their freedom.”

“True Christians rise up and fight pagan values!”

Satan leans back in his recliner and smiles his sinister smile. 

The instant faith in God is mixed with additives, it is no longer faith in God.

It is superstition.

It is as useless as refusal to walk under a ladder.

As ridiculous as fear of breaking a mirror.

As childish as wearing our “lucky shoes.”

Christendom is loaded with superstition masquerading as faith. 

Faith is God is always simple.

Faith in Jesus is always simple.

Lord God, bring us back to the cross!

Enable us to know Jesus in the power of his resurrection!

Keep us focused on the words spoken through the Master’s mouth!

Enable us to clear away the clutter and simply walk in the steps of our Shepherd!

Message: REB  October 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Melani Pyke melpyke.com

AM I TOO FAR GONE?

I blew it again.

I’m down in the mire.

Am I too far gone?

   What else can I do but cry out to you, Lord, one more time!

 Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment.

Lord Jesus, I know that I put myself in this mess.

My strength is gone.

I’m too weak and bound by my own sins to help myself.

Cleanse me, Lord!

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Only you can make me clean.  Lord Jesus, I throw myself on your mercy!

Raise me from this death and set my feet on the path of Light.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Lord Jesus, I want to serve!

Send me into your Vineyard and show me where to start!

Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.

Let my praises spread your fire into this dark world.

 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation,

and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.

O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.

For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.

Lord God, let my offered life be spent to your glory from this day forth!

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.

Psalm 51

 
 REB… August 2021   Printable Copy               
Featured Art: Melanie Havnaer  prophetic-art.com

DUBIOUS CERTAINTIES

 If Jesus is our Lord, we are rooted and grounded in only a few things of which we are certain:

By faith we are certain that Jesus died on that cross to break the power of sin, death and the devil.

We are certain by faith that Jesus rose from the dead as the Firstborn of the New Creation.

We are certain by faith that Jesus is now Lord of heaven and earth.

We are certain by faith that Jesus will soon return to judge the living and the dead.

We are certain that Jesus calls all who follow him to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow him.

Yet there are things of which some believers are certain of, that other believers simply do not believe.

Doctrinal certainties.

Prophetic certainties.

Political certainties.

Public health certainties.

Certainties about modes of worship, forms of baptism.

When other followers of Jesus see it differently…

The wisest thing we can do is back off from our certainty.

We need to confess before the Lord Jesus that we could actually be wrong and those other believers could be right.

Any “certainty” that falls outside the essential gospel from Jesus’ mouth may not be a certainty at all.

Any “certainty” which is not shared by all committed disciples of Jesus may not be a certainty at all.

At the present hour the Body of Christ is being torn apart by “certainties” which never came from the Master’s mouth.

These “certainties” do not require faith, they require repentance.

Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Master is able to make him stand.

One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let every one be fully convinced in his own mind.

He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.

If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God;

for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

So each of us shall give account of himself to God.

Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Romans 14:4-13

 
Prayer: Holy Lord, we mourn all the division in the church at this time. It’s tearing us up, dividing us. Gracious Lord, forgive us for being part of this division. Help us to lay down our certainties as readily as we say we are willing to lay down our lives for you. Help us to lay down any attitude that keeps us from loving who you call us to love. Keep us from being stumbling blocks and hindrances to our brothers and sisters. Instead help us to hold onto the certainties you call us to… to seek you, to draw close to you, to love you and to love and honor one another. Oh Lord, help us to live for you with every word that comes from our mouths and with every interaction in our lives. Make it easy for us to let go of our certainties… because we trust you, because we know you are in control, and because we are yours.           
Maranatha Mirror

 

Message: REB  July 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Krieg Barrie via Good Salt license

NO PROTECTION, PROGRAMS, OR PATRONAGE NEEDED

When Peter pulled out his sword, Jesus said, “Put it away!”

He didn’t need Peter’s protection.

And he doesn’t need ours.

If a stranger curses in Jesus’ name, let him curse.

Jesus can handle it.

If some celebrity belittles Jesus on his show, don’t waste time rebuking him on Facebook.

Jesus heard it all before.

And by the way, Jesus never sent us to make the world conform to “Christian Values”.

He sent us to proclaim the kingdom of God—-and to live like sons and daughters of that kingdom.

 If we want to be of use in God’s kingdom as the End draws near, here are four things we need to remember:

Jesus is already Lord of heaven and earth.

Jesus calls the shots.

Jesus measures our faith by our obedience.

Jesus holds us to account.

Jesus is already Lord of heaven and earth.

Since Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth, we take our orders directly from him.

He is the Vine; each of us is a branch.

We draw our strength, not from some leader or teacher or politician, not from the group we are part of, but from the Lord Jesus himself.

  “I am the Vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing.”

                                John 15

There is unity in the Body of Christ only when we are all in true submission to our Master.

Jesus calls the shots.

All the crusades and programs and strategies that clutter Christendom are tainted by human ego, and produce tainted fruit.

As surely as the Spirit directed the believers in Antioch to “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them,” the Spirit of the Lord will direct us, if we abandon our “programs” and pay attention to his voice.

Jesus calls the shots.  Those who pay attention to his voice are the ones who get the job done.

Jesus measures our faith by our obedience.

We are connected to Jesus by only one thing:

                     Faith.

Faith that believes in him all the way.

Faith that obeys him all the way.

 Which means….

We pray for our persecutors.

We love our enemies.

We do good to those who hate us.

We speak the truth.

We share what we have with those who have less.

We pray without ceasing.

We treat all people with honor.

We live the mercy God has shown us.

Jesus holds us to account.

 “Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, `Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’

And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, `Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, `Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

But his master answered him, `You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.

So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.

For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’”

                                                       Matthew25

Paul tells us that our work will be tested by fire.  He predicts that much of what we have done will be consumed by those flames.

Jesus knows—-and we know—whether we’re doing things his way, or building with straw, hay or stubble.

Lord Jesus, turn on the light!

 Show us whether we are serving your kingdom or our own!

Prayer- Jesus, Jesus Lord of Heaven and Earth help us to put our swords away, help us to stop listening to the voices and forces that call us to draw our swords out, telling us we need to intervene for you. Lord, we believe you, we know you are in control of all things.  Help us to let go of our egos, our pride, our principals, and our opinions and just be obedient to your call…. Without reservation, without fear or the need for control, help us to freely invest the precious talents you have given us… seeking to be merciful, loving, forgiving, prayerful, and trusting you even when faced with evil.   Yes Lord … turn on the light so we may obey you all the way.   Maranatha Mirror
 REB… August 2021   Printable Copy               
Featured Art:: Ramone Romero at Ramone Romero blogspot   

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MUCH FRUIT

“If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

By this my Father is glorified: that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”   (John 15)

Much fruit?

Where is it?

Seems like I’ve spent all these years following Jesus, and still can’t see any fruit.

Who said we would see fruit piling up before our eyes? 

We will see our fruit at the appointed time.

For now, our fruit is piling up before the eyes of God alone.

The fruit of prayer.

“If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”

If we are abiding in the Vine we will be praying—interceding for our loved ones, our neighbors, our enemies, world leaders, trouble-makers, refugees.

Rarely will we see the answers to these prayers.

Nor can we see how instantly and powerfully the Spirit of God visits those we pray for.

 Not one of those prayers is wasted.

Nothing produces fruit for God’s kingdom like prayer!

Fruit from our words of encouragement.

The Lord GOD has given me

the tongue of those who are taught,

that I may know how to sustain with a word

him that is weary.

 Morning by morning he wakens,

he wakens my ear

to hear as those who are taught.

                                Isaiah 50

The power “to sustain with a word him that is weary” comes to us daily, as God “wakens our ear morning by morning”.

Then we move out into the day and connect with people as they come across our path.

Sometimes it’s a sustaining word for a weary soul.

Sometimes it’s a word of encouragement or a word of hope.

Sometimes it’s an introduction to Jesus himself.

              Or a simple, “Good morning!”

Only heaven sees the fruit that flows from those words.

 So we leave it all to God, and give him thanks.

Kingdom fruit from washing feet.

Simple service to our neighbor.

A visit.

A ride to the doctor.

A financial boost.

 “I was hungry and you gave me food.

 I was thirsty and you gave me drink.

 I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

It’s not how many souls we think we saved.

It’s not how many sinners we brought to repentance.

 It’s everything we do, done in thanksgiving and praise to God.

 “If you abide in me and my words abide in you,

ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

By this my Father is glorified: that you bear much fruit,

and so prove to be my disciples.”

 
Prayer- Gracious, wonderful Lord draw us to you so we can abide in you. May our ears be so tuned to your words and our hearts be so close to you that we can’t help but carry your fruit. May this fruit include loving intercession for others, words of encouragement that do sustain the weary, and actions that express loving concern and bring relief that comes from your throne. As we do this, may our hearts and voices sing of who you are, of your loving, merciful nature and of your overwhelming kindness to us.    Maranatha Mirror
Message: REB  July 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Courtesy of  Signe Flink  at  deviantart.com/signeflinkart   and a detail of Jesus Washing Feet  (robed version) by Ford Madox Brown 1856  (public domain)

WHO OPENED THAT DOOR?

Did you open that door, Lord, or was it the enemy?

If it was you, Lord, give me the courage to walk through.

If it was the enemy, give me the wisdom to walk away.

Sometimes, when we forget to hallow God’s name, our unfocused prayers echo across the emptiness, and reach the ears of the enemy.

Satan loves to offer “answers” to our heart’s desires.

Shortcuts to freedom.

Fulfillment of our dreams.

Victory over enemies.

All of which end in disaster.

“And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.”

                                           Matthew 6

If we hallow God’s name and focus on his kingdom,

our prayers will always find their way to the throne.

Hallowed be thy name

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him and delivereth them.

O taste and see that the Lord is good  Blessed is the man that trusteth in him!

O fear the Lord, ye his saints, for there is no want to them that fear him!

                                Psalm 34

The love of God is a River of Living Water.

The holiness of God is a Terrifying Fire.

The River and that Fire are never apart.

When we pray, we are in the presence of blinding glory, holy love.

So we take off our shoes and worship.

Thy Kingdom Come

God’s kingdom is the focus of all prayer. 

All the things we seek in prayer are simply foretastes of God’s kingdom.

Healing.

Forgiveness.

Provision.

Protection.

Blessings for our neighbor.

Blessings for our enemy.

Wisdom.

Peace.

Love.

Joy.

We frame our petitions inside the ultimate vision:

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

Where all is forgiven.

Sickness and pain are gone.

Death is defeated.

Evil is no more.

Joy, peace, love, are the air we breathe.

Once I cry out to the Father to open a door, I wait until heaven does the opening

My focus is not on “results” but on the Father who answers prayer.

And on Jesus, who opens the door and welcomes me into the Kingdom.

Prayer- Our dear, beloved Father may the focus of our prayers be to love you, to honor you, to lift our hearts in awe of you and to desire that your goodness, your Spirit be poured on our fellow man. May our hearts be so focused on loving you and seeking your kingdom that we know to the core of us which doors are the ones that you have truly opened. Help us to be less concerned about the provisions, answers, and victories you bring to us. Instead may we be awed that you are the great provider and be thankful for whatever you give us and wherever you lead us. Maranatha Mirror
Message: REB  July 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Chris Cook  chriscookartist.com

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IT’S IN GOD’S HANDS

You laid it before God.

That burden, that problem, that fear.

“Lord it’s beyond my power. I put it all in your hands!”

So leave it there.

There’s nothing wrong with laying it before the Lord every day, as long as you keep your hands off it.

There’s nothing wrong with giving God thanks.

Beyond that, you back off and leave it with God.

How the kingdom works.

“The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”   (Mark 4)

The farmer does not dig up the seed to see if it’s sprouting. 

He allows the seed to be hidden in God.

He lets God run the show.

In God’s time the farmer has a crop.

Once I put my problem in God’s hands, God does things his way.

He does not need my help.

He does not need my advice.

He wants only my faith.

We spare ourselves tons of grief, when we back off and give God room to do things his way.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one.” (Mark 11)

God will take care of his part.

All you have to do is take care of yours.

Believe

Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Obey

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one.”

 
 
Prayer: Lord we admit that the burdens, problems and fears that trouble us are beyond our control. We can’t solve them, we can’t see beyond them. Lord we give them to you, we place them in your capable and loving hands. Lord help us to leave them to you, to keep from interfering, from advising you and from manipulating situations to our will. We trust you. We trust your sovereign will. We trust your love. And as we lift our hearts to you seeking relief from our distress may your tender mercy strike us to the heart… to extend the same tender mercy and forgiveness to all in our circle. MM
Message: REB  July 2021         Printable Version
Featured Art: Rebecca Brogan at John the Baptist Artworks
 

PRAY FOR ME!

What an awesome thing!

 Someone unburdens their soul to us.  And then they say, “Pray for me!”

Who of us does not feel inadequate when we hear those words?

Who am I to pray for this person?

To lift them before God.

To pray for their healing.

To ask the Father to raise them out of that danger and misery.

They didn’t go to the priest.

They didn’t reach out to the preacher.

They came to you—because God sent them to you.

So pray for them, trusting the Spirit to give you words.

If possible, pray for them right there, confident that the Father is listening and not one word of your prayer is wasted.

And now this person is added to those you pray for every day by name.

Every day your prayer follows this person, wherever they are, with light from God’s World.

“Pray for me.”

 Once we hear those words, we are accountable to God for what we do with them.

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.

I John 5

 “I’m not righteous!

The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.

God knows that I am far from a “righteous person”.  So how can my prayer have “great power in its effects”?

Let the Lord Jesus worry about that.

He sent this person to you.  His blood covers you.  And his Spirit is guiding you.

Just get on with it and keep praying for this troubled soul who found their way to you.

And leave the rest with God.

Prayer: Lord give us the tender hearts and the urge we need to lift others before you. Give us empathetic hearts for their burdens. Give us compassion for their weaknesses. Give us the insight that you sent them to us with their troubles. And Holy Lord, give us the faith to know that you have them, that you love them and for some strange, beautiful reason our simple prayers hold the power to pour blessing and healing into their lives and into our own as well as we enter into your precious presence. MM
Message: REB  June 2021         Printable Version
Art: Kindness and permission of Deedra Everett   at facebook.com/deedra.everett.5 

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