Tag : jesus-2
Tag : jesus-2
Every year I ask God for a word to live by, but some years I like the word more than others. I remember the year my word was “sacrifice.” In 2016, we downsized our home and I went back to work part-time. We sacrificed so I could continuing doing ministry.
This year I believe my word is “humble” so what does that look like? Living out this word results in a lot of daily questions like: “Was that a humble thing to say?” “Was that a humble way to act?” “Do my thoughts reflect humility?” I am thinking more before I speak in an effort to avoid creating any insecurity in the person to whom I am speaking.
We are only eight days into the New Year and I have already failed. We are in Florida this weekend and last night we were out to dinner with a childhood friend of my husband’s and his wife. At some point he said, “Weren’t you working on a book?” I should have responded, “Yes, I wrote an apologetics book last year to reach my Jewish brothers and sisters.” Instead, I said “I’ve written ten books.” Do you see the difference? I wanted him to know that I had not written only one book. There were more. This was not humble! So, I am not perfect, but I have another 357 days to get it right.
Jesus wants us to be humble like He is humble. Philippians 2:3–4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Do you put others before yourself? Do you speak only of yourself in a conversation, rather than try to engage the other person? Do you try to one up someone’s story? In that same passage it says that Jesus, even though He was God, took on the form of a servant, and made himself nothing. I have had to undo some pride learned in a near twenty year television career, and I’ve realized while I am valuable to God, I am not that important in the world. I am just a microscopic part of a mammoth plan formed by the Creator.
So as I round this bend into 2022, I also desire to be like John the Baptist who said, “He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30, NIV).
Happy New Year and I pray that God will give you a word for the year as well.
Thanks for hanging in here with us! Over the past couple of months, our website has been going through a server changeover so we were unable to post blogs. However, we think the process is done and we are back! We hope you will now enjoy uninterrupted Pearls of Promise messages that we feel are divinely inspired. Have a blessed 2022!
If there was ever a time to pray, it’s now.
I have been busy lifting up prayers for my friends in Louisiana who endured Hurricane Ida.
I have a friend in the Sacramento area, watching the fires approach her home. I have been asking God to pour down rain on that area so the wildfires will subside.
The husband of a friend of mine is in ICU with COVID. He’s made progress but is far from being out of the woods. Every time I think of him, I lift up a prayer.
Now, I am asking for prayers for myself and my husband. Yesterday, I tested positive for COVID and today my husband will see if he has it as well. It was a shock because I was vaccinated, but I was exposed to the virus last week at an event and I guess the exposure was too close and too great. My doctor had no openings, so I believe God led me to the perfect place for treatment, “777 Urgent Care.” The Nurse Practitioner who examined me said, “The vaccine will probably keep you out of the hospital.” That’s an encouraging word. But I am counting on that word and following instructions—taking medicine, Vitamin C, D and Zinc—so I can recuperate at home.
But more than that, I am trusting in the healing power of God.
This morning I was reading in Matthew 8 where Jesus healed a man with leprosy. The man knelt before him and said, “’Lord, if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.’” “Jesus reached out and touched him. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be healed!’ And instantly the leprosy disappeared.”
I feel COVID is a little like leprosy. It takes over your body. You have to isolate, and until you are deemed clean, no one wants to get near you. For a people person, ten-fourteen days in the house seems like a life sentence.
I know Jesus still heals. I’ve seen it numerous times. But I am asking him today, “Are you willing to heal me?” I am praying the answer is yes. I feel there is more work to do for the kingdom.
Do you label people for the bad they’ve done—or the good?
Most of us remember the disciple, Peter, for the fact that he denied Jesus three times in the courtyard as Jesus stood trial. Here’s the account:
“One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, ‘You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.’ But Peter denied it. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, ‘This man is definitely one of them!’ But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said ‘You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.’ Peter swore, ‘A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!’ and Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: ‘Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.’ And he broke down and wept.”
On the surface, this scenario looks like failure and weakness on Peter’s part. How could he deny Jesus, knowing what he knows and after seeing what he saw for the past three years?
But what I realized while reading this passage this week, is that Peter was the bravest of all the disciples. He actually made himself vulnerable by going to where Jesus was on trial. There was no mention of the other disciples being there because they were probably still in hiding. Peter was brave enough to be in the courtyard, most likely close enough so he could hear the proceedings.
After seeing Peter from a different perspective, I realized I needed to give this future bold man of faith a break. If I had been in that band of early disciples, I know the courtyard outside Jesus’s trial would have been the last place I would have gone for fear of being arrested. Who am I to judge Peter?
So this can apply to current day. Sometimes we expect too much of our religious leaders and we are quick to judge when there is a chink in the armor. Maybe it makes us feel better to be critical, because deep down, we know we could never do what they do.
Perhaps today is the day to look at any perceived weaknesses in our faith leaders from a different perspective. Peter did not stay in that place of rejection for long. As we know, he became one of the boldest disciples who was not afraid to proclaim the truth. He was eventually martyred for his beliefs. The failure at the courtyard represents the failure that we all experience as we follow Jesus. Some days we are closer than others. Other times we are in hiding. Over the years I know there have been times when I, too, have denied Jesus. But I am thankful that my past rejections do not define who I am as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ.