On Wings Of Eagles

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Look Up

Psalm 98:1 (ESV)
Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.

Years ago, a young sailor went to sea for the first time. Not long after setting sail his ship encountered a heavy storm and the sailor was commanded to go aloft and trim the sails. About three quarters of the way up, the young sailor made the mistake of looking down. The roll of the ship combined with the tossing of the waves made for a frightening experience. The young man started to lose his balance. At that moment, an older sailor underneath him shouted, "Look up, son! Look up!" The young sailor did as he said -- he looked up, and regained his balance.

Similarly, when our focus is on the circumstances that we face, the waves of life, we can easily lose our balance and our direction. But when we change our focus and simply "look up", our internal spiritual compass fixed on the Lord will restore our stability, and enable us to finish the assignments we’ve been given and get to the top!

Are you feeling unstable today? Look up! The Lord will steady you. Heaven is your goal and God will provide the power and direction to bring you safely there!


Dear Lord, help us to keep our eyes up. Help us to keep our eyes on You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Happy Memorial Day


2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Those who have given their lives for our country have experienced the tragic bloodshed that conflict brings. Our world is rocked by strife and division, but one day there will be peace and the author of that peace is Jesus himself.  Jesus is described in Scripture as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).  On Memorial Day we recognize the valor of those in military combat, but a day is coming when we will live in a time of unparalleled peace, brought about by Jesus Himself.

We hold the deepest gratitude for the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who have given their lives over the ages, defending our freedoms and families.  As we remember them, let us also remain aware that Jesus, too, gave the ultimate sacrifice.  He laid down His life to secure a freedom which transcends any earthly freedom. Jesus gave His life to gain spiritual victory over sin, death, and hell.  Memorial Day gives us a chance to praise our Lord for the price He paid, and the triumph He secured.

George Washington once said, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”  Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”  We need for God to bless America once again and bring us back to “One Nation Under God.”


2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Today and every day let us humble ourselves and pray for our nation and leadership.

Dear Lord, we lift up our nation to You.  If ever it needed your guidance, it is now.  We ask You to guide those in leadership that they would follow You in the way You would have us to go.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Thankful for hospitals


Mark 2:17 (ESV)
And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Maybe you’ve heard the saying “The church is not a museum of saints but a hospital for sinners.” Whoever said that might well have based it on Jesus’ words in this passage.

Levi was a tax collector, and when Jesus had dinner at Levi’s house, they were joined by other tax collectors and sinners.

Tax collectors helped the Roman Empire by collecting money from the local people, so they were not very popular in the community. To help pay themselves, they were also known for collecting extra money for their own pockets, which made them even more disliked. In Mark 2, we hear that the religious leaders criticized Jesus for spending time with tax collectors and sinners.

But Jesus reminded the religious leaders that sinners were ­exactly the kind of people he had come to save. Jesus offered his love to everyone, even sinners. In fact, since every person sins, it may be easier for those who know they are sinners to admit that they need Jesus. They do not have so much of their own pride getting in the way.

It is wonderfully honest to admit that we are sinners in need of God’s grace. We can have the courage to make that confession because Jesus is ready to receive us. If sin is the sickness, Jesus is the cure.

Dear Lord, we confess that we are a sinner in need of Your grace. Thank You for sending Jesus; he forgives our sins, heals us, and makes us whole. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Love


Matthew 5:45 (ESV)
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.

God’s love falls like rain on all people, even evil ones. “God so loved the world,” says Jesus in John 3:16. God loves wayward children. He loves wounded and despised people. And if God loves in that way, Christians must love in that way too.

We can churn up a lot of unhappiness for ourselves and for others by trying to control, manipulate, or condemn other people. We can burn a lot of energy getting angry with secular people and shouting at them. But God’s love rains down on all people—good and evil alike.

Jesus does not give me permission to hate and despise any other human being. If you’re a human being, I am supposed to love you in word and deed, whether you are a Christian or not.

A soup kitchen in an inner city is a great place to practice this, because you don’t have to ask anyone any complicated questions like “How did you get this way?” or “Are you ever going to change?” You just have to scoop some chili into a bowl and smile at another human being and say, “God bless you.”

That’s a good way to start. But somehow I think Jesus would do more than that.

Love. This is so difficult for us. But it is a happier way to live.

Dear Lord, we know we need to be an agent of Your love, but we have so many barriers and attitudes that hem us in. Lord, show us how to love. Help us to love as You have loved. In the Name of  Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Thoughts about the eye


Psalm 139:16 (ESV)
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

I had a cataract removed from my right eye this week and it made me think about the eye.  Have you ever had the wonderful experience of being present when a baby was born? Maybe you were there for the birth of your child, a grandchild, or another family member. You watched those little eyes light up or, more likely, struggle to stay open as they adjusted to bright lights. The baby saw the real world for the first time, a dramatic change from the view inside the womb.

Researchers say that a baby’s eye sockets begin to form in the fifth week of pregnancy, but the eyelids will not open until the seventh month. Even after birth, the eyes and their relationship to the brain continue to develop. Our Creator God definitely knows us as individuals before we are born. Life is a continuous process of growth and development in God’s care, even in the womb. He knows us and loves us even before our parents realize we’re there. That’s how much God pays attention, even to you and me. As God told the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:5).

As our eyes continue to open up to the world around us, we will not only gain knowledge of the created world but also of its Creator. We will then be able to live our days according to the way ordained for us, written in God’s book.

Dear Lord, thank You that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Open our eyes to see You and know You as our Lord and Savior. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Reaching out to our community


Genesis 18:3 (ESV)
And said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.

I read a story about a woodworker. Caleb wasn’t looking for a mentor or a friend when he went to work for Joe. He simply wanted to learn about woodworking. But the relationship became much more than that. Instead of assigning tasks, Joe asked Caleb what he wanted to learn through this experience. That set off a years-long friendship that went much farther than simply working together. Joe and Caleb shared meals and books together. Joe introduced Caleb to the details of selling his house so that Caleb could learn. Joe also introduced Caleb to his friends. Joe invited Caleb into his life and included him in all kinds of ways.

Community is about more than just a surface relationship. It calls for hospitality, and that often means putting oneself in a place of risk and vulnerability to include others. It means inviting others into your space to include them in what is going on.

Abraham and Sarah invited three strangers to rest, wash up, and eat. It might not seem like much, but this is an example of inviting strangers into our space so that they are not strangers anymore. Abraham and Sarah gave of themselves in order to make the strangers feel welcome, and they were blessed in amazing ways.

The ways we make room for others in our community is important.

Dear Lord, help us to invite others into our community as we invest in each other. Help us to see and serve you in the strangers and in our community. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Doubt


John 20:29 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

As he prepared his followers to live faithfully after his return to heaven, Jesus addressed the challenge of doubt and unbelief. Thomas was a realist. He knew that resurrections were not everyday events, and he feared that his fellow followers of Christ might have gotten it wrong. He wanted evidence. He demanded proof.

It’s easy to criticize Thomas for his doubts, but the truth is that many of us live with similar hesitations. After all, Jesus is no longer on earth for us to see and touch. We cannot have the same experience as the first disciples who walked with him after his resurrection. So we need Jesus to prepare us for the challenges of skepticism and doubt in our own lives.

What does Jesus say to struggling followers? “Stop doubting and believe.” We may not have the opportunity to feel the wounds of the cross with our own hands. But we have the testimony of lives changed by the Lord’s power. We can seek out the fellowship of other believers in the church and be encouraged by their words. And we can watch for the glory of Christ to appear around us, joining in with Thomas’s beautiful confession: “My Lord and my God!”

May the ascended Christ prepare you today to meet the challenge of doubt with the blessing of faith.

Dear Lord, it is sometimes hard to believe. We live in an age of doubts and lies, and our human minds constantly demand proof. But we believe; save us from unbelief! Fill us with faith. In the Name of Jesus,  Amen.