Category: Inspiration

Fallen, Broken – Restored!

Try as we might to walk in the light, our goals are soon fractured by falls. At times accidental, mistakes elemental confront us with bruises or brawls. The flows of a season, or change without reason, bring pitfalls and pratfalls unseen. We try to avoid them; we thought we destroyed them! (Surely, you know what I mean.)

The coin’s other side, the one that we hide, is: we bring sabotage to our way. I dare what’s denied; I follow my pride and determine that I’m going to stray. Mea culpa, we moan, and we try to atone for intentions that brought us to ruin. Bad decisions, mistakes, evil actions, sharp breaks – these sins are beyond our undoing.

The Lord, mighty Savior, looks on me with favor, uplifting me out from my doom. He takes broken pieces, creates what he pleases, reveals his new life in my tomb. Restored and forgiven I’m freed now to live in his wonder-filled mercy and grace.  The burdens are lifted; my life has been gifted to serve and to love for God’s praise.

 

Do restoration and redemption seem too good to be true?

Are the hurts and hang-ups so huge that not even God can heal the hatred?

How do I respond to a message of submission, salvation and service?

 

Lord, lift me from the pits and lead me in the paths of renewal and reconciliation. You are the Shepherd; I will follow You, Jesus.  Amen.

 

 

Please take the time to find and read Psalm 30. Psalm 130 and John 8:1-11.

Pastor Martin Doering

Confused? The WAY of life

Migratory birds are known to fly thousands of miles to find places for feeding, mating and nesting. Sea creatures can navigate through vast oceans in their life cycles. Ants cooperate in excavating nests, building food reserves and enlarging their colonies.

Why are we humans so confused about our lives and our plans?

The apostle Paul wrote of the internal struggle in each of us: “I do not understand what I do! For whaqt I want to do — I do not do. But what I hate, I do!” (Romans 7:15 NIV) Not only do we hear competing voices and viewpoints around us, but we also conduct inner conversations between wisdom and folly, conscience and desire.

The proverbial writer put it like this: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12 NIV) Because our nature has been distorted and warped by sinfulness, our intellect and our desires are not always trustworthy. There are times when we choose to do forbidden things, deadly games, destructive activities or malicious gossip. We follow the temptation; we devise our own sabotage; we wallow in selfishness.

Different thoughts, differing desires, and disparate goals are the ingredients for the confusion in which we stew. Our Lord knows this about us, and provides our rescuer, our redeemer, our restorer. Jesus of Nazareth made what seems to be an audacious claim: “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6 NIV) Instead of confusion, Jesus grants us correction and cohesion. Our Lord guides as a shepherd guides sheep; our Lord teaches the way of mercy, peace, forgiveness and life; our Lord becomes our saving light and our driving force.

Can you hear the voice calling out into your confusion? Do you see the light shining through your darkness? Do you sense the Spirit seeking your soul? Is there someone knocking on the door of your heart?

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through him, might be saved. (John 3:17 NIV)

Lord Jesus Christ, show me the way of wisdom and understanding, of healing and hope, of love and life.

 

Please take the effort to read and pray about John 14 and Romans 8.

 

Help! More than we can imagine

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the words for generations: “Help me, if you can, I’m feeling down — help me get my feet back on the ground.”  Another of their hits celebrated: “We get by with a little help from our friends.”

A Facebook meme observes that some of us have reached the wonder years — I wonder where my glasses are; I wonder where I parked the car; I wonder what I was supposed to remember!

Every computer software, game, hardware and device come with a HELP button or page.

And yet I still insist on being independent and doing things MY WAY. My own sinful nature gets me into trouble, sabotages my success, and separates me from those who could love me most. Going it alone, however, is my preferred method.

The One who died and rose again for our salvation has promised never to leave us alone and forsaken. Jesus endured those horrors while he was dying. He did it so that no one else should ever have to  face that terror.

The Gospel writer Luke recorded these words of Jesus: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13 NIV)

The Father who sent his Son to die and rise again for us is ready with help far greater than we can imagine. God is ready to provide help when we finally admit that we need it.

Jesus’ words used familiar images: fish, snake, egg, scorpion. You have learned already that the early Christian church started using the sign of a fish as a mark for Jesus.  You also remember that the Scriptures often show Satan as a snake. We just passed the holiday when children search for colored eggs. Perhaps you have already learned that scorpions can be deadly.

Trying to get through life on our own — that’s about as wise as fooling around with snakes and scorpions. Asking for help, especially from the One who promises to give good gifts to those who ask, is our first step on our journey of recovery from mistakes, from bad decisions, from addictions, from guilt and shame.

These are some other words from Jesus of Nazareth: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10  NIV)

When we trust our Lord’s invitation to ask for help, we begin to understand that our Father is always around us, blessing, helping, guiding and directing our lives,

Let’s pray:  Lord, have mercy upon me. Lift me from my depression. Fill me with your Spirit, Work in me the resurrection life, helping me to live and love abundantly. I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Take some time to read these bits of Scripture. Psalm 130; Jonah 2; and Luke 11:1-13