JESUS WEPT: Tears that give us hope.

 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.  (John 11:32-35)

Jesus wept. Why? He could—and did—easily bring Lazarus back from the dead. He knew He could exchange their tears of sorrow for tears of joy. Jesus told the disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” (Matthew 28:18)  There was no logical reason for Him to weep. Yet, He wept-with deep feeling.

He wept with empathy: “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings.” 1 Jesus witnessed the great sorrow of Mary and the Jews who were with her and was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  He understood what they were feeling and shared this grief and loss with them, even though He knew what they didn’t know or understand—that He could bring Lazarus back to them.  Jesus was a brother in this moment, a man who shared the human sorrow of Mary and those Jews who came with her. Then, Jesus called Lazarus forth from the grave with the power given Him as Lord and Master.

Jesus was both man and God. Yet, He was not above meeting us at our human level. He came to this earth to become human.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7)

And we are called to become like Him in our relationships with each other, taking on the nature of a servant,” not to be above others—but to meet them at their level with understanding and empathy.

Jesus goes with us through our sorrow, our pain, our loneliness, our desperation, our darkest hours-and weeps with us. He knows what we are experiencing and can empathize fully. The hope we have to overcome these times in our lives lies not in our tears- but in His. If Jesus did not understand us from the human level through His time here on this earth, He would not be as approachable and could not truly hear, see, sense, feel, and share in our daily struggles throughout this life. It is why we can go to Him in prayer with the confidence that He understands and cares.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for “being made in human likeness” for us.

Thank you, Jesus, for your tears.

1 Empathy.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/18/18)  Meditations on God’s Word


WHAT WOULD I HAVE DONE? The question seeks an answer.


37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You.” 38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for Me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown Me three times! (John 13:37-38)

What would I have done?

The question seeks an answer.

Lay down my life for Him

And never disown my Lord.

Like Peter, I would boldly speak.

 17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.”

25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow. (John 18:17, 25-27)

What would I have done?

The question seeks an answer.

Within myself, I find doubt-

Denial, fear, guilt, sorrow.

Like Peter, I am also weak.

60 Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the words the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:60-62)

What would I have done?

The question seeks an answer.

I feel the Savior’s eyes on me-

Peering, knowing, forgiving.

Like Peter, I am weeping too.

13 . . . “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”

14 And they said, “Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.”

15 He saith unto them, “But whom say ye that I am?”

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:13-18)

What would I have done?

The question seeks an answer.

Respond with “some say” or declare-

“My Lord is the Christ, the Son of God.”

Like Peter, let me boldly speak.

A weak vessel becomes strong. His actions declare, “I am His disciple.”  His faith speaks God’s Truth, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He follows the command to go and spread this Truth to others.


The question seeks an answer.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/11/18) Meditations on God’s Word

The Empty Seat


Attendance taken.

Missing today.

 Check mark. √

Absent—beyond the check mark:

My day off, so I slept in.

Other things were scheduled.

Just didn’t feel like coming today.

I won’t be missed anyway.


24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.       (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Your presence is an important encouragement to my growth in the Lord as my presence should be to yours. When we are absent from one another on the Lord’s Day, it involves more than empty seats.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship,  to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42) 

The fellowship of our church family is less with your absence or my absence. When we commune together during the passing of the bread and cup, a seat—mine or yours– is skipped over. Our family is missing an important member.

11 So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Together, we are strengthened and unified in the faith. We help each other strive to attain maturity in the Lord.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (Colossians 3:16)

To “admonish” is to advise, counsel, urge, take to task. I need you and you need me “to teach and admonish one another” in the Lord.

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ . . .15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (I Corinthians 12:12, 15-20)

The Lord misses you, and He misses me when we are absent. The body is not whole with the empty seat. He is there. His seat is never empty. For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

Let us be present with each other in the Presence of the Lord. You matter. I matter. 

Christ gave His life for you and for me.

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 03/04/18)  Meditations on God’s Word

HOPE, JOY, FAITH, PEACE vs A Meaningless Life

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?

(Ecclesiastes 1:2-3)





8All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 1: 8-9)




15 Then I said to myself,

“The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
    What then do I gain by being wise?”
I said to myself,
    “This too is meaningless.”
16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
    the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise too must die!

(Ecclesiastes 2:15-16)






22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 2:22)






Which daily mindset will you choose?

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 02/25/18 )  Meditations on God’s Word


A child dies tragically from malnutrition, a teen dies tragically from violence, a young adult dies tragically from abuse, a grandparent dies tragically from neglect. We don’t know them. But do we cry out to God for those lives lost and pray for this not to happen again!

As followers of Christ, we should be the ones who weep. As adopted brothers and sisters of Jesus, who wept with compassion and love, we, too, must have that deep compassion and love for others that would bring us to this point of empathy.

We are the “called out” who have His Light to share:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful Light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (I Peter 2:9-10)

 The time of caring and praying cannot be measured through increments of time or in time lapses. We cannot put in our time during a few minutes of prayer, a ten-minute phone call, or a half hour visitation– and be done. It must be ongoing. “Pray without ceasing.” (I Thessalonians 5:17) Yet, we are called to do more than this:

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstancesfor this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).

How do we do all this always, in all circumstances—even when the circumstances are so tragic? The plan is not mine or yours in life and death. It is His. The vision is not mine or yours to fully see beyond the circumstance of the moment. It is His. The strength to endure through life’s hard times and heartaches is not mine or yours. It is given to us by the Lord when it is upon Him that we depend.

“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

And, thus, we weep and pray through the trials and tragedies of life. And we give thanks and rejoice that we have the Lord who shines His Light to help us find our way to others in their time of need, while we are still holding onto His hand through our own time of need.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)


(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/18/18)  Meditations on God’s Word

His Voice Speaking, His Light Penetrating Through Our Darkness

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)



Dusk wrapped in night.


Stars invisible to sight.


Moon hidden from light.


Mankind’s common plight.


When we are so lost into depths of adversity and affliction,

Where it seems hope cannot exist,

It is in these moments the Lord can be heard speaking,

His Light can be seen showing direction,

Breaking through darkness to remove the grip of fear

And the hopelessness of despair.



Have you been there, in that place?


Have you heard Him, in that blackness?


Have you seen Him, through the gloom?


Have you thanked Him, for His Presence?

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:5-7)


We only fully experience these when we are without Christ, when we don’t hear Him and see Him at our side as we go through the afflictions and trials of life.

Lord, help us hear Your Words of guidance and sense Your Abiding Presence with us through times of suffering and of joy.  Help us accept and understand that our lives  are being shaped and molded through trial and adversity for Your higher purposes.  Amen.


(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/11/18) Meditations on God’s Word


Ultimate Selfie: Idol of Self



God is God and I am not“To whom will you compare Me?
    Or who is My equal?” says the Holy One. (Isaiah 40:25)

“The image of man: idol”

In unnatural, unflinching stance,

 The model lifeless posed,

Before a block of solid stone,

   Which soon his likeness bore.


From chiseled fragments, features

  Formed upon that marble mass,

A human image cast in white,

   Polished smooth—but cold.


Feverishly, the skillful hands

   Worked the tools on stone,

The model’s figure to impose,

   Unnaturally on the mass.


The sculptor laid the tools to rest,

   His masterpiece complete,

And beheld the beauty captured

   Within that marble mold.


Toward the image stiffly walked,

   The model man without,

Confronting himself—yet not he,

   So lifeless caught in stone.


The image idol stood unmoved

   As its human form wept

Bitter tears of erring pride–

   Fallen , beneath an idle stone.


IN CONTRAST: The Creation of Mankind

Living creation, purposeful caretaker, thinking being from GOD—the ONLY CREATOR.

“The Image of God: man”

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his  nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:7)

27 So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and     increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  (Genesis 1:27-28)

 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 40:28)


Cloning, DNA manipulation, Gene editing, Resurrecting extinct species. Scientific realities, attempts at breaking the “Divine Safe’s combination lock.” 1 Whatever image mankind “creates” can never completely replicate God’s living, breathing creation. It is hubris to think otherwise, and pride’s end is a destruction as sure as the eventual decay of the chiseled image.  WE ARE NOT GOD.

What idol(s) have each one of us chiseled, shaped, and molded into our own lives

 in an attempt to form something we think could be a substitute or wanted addition

that might seem better, more, greater than what the One God has created for us,

 has offered to us, has waiting for us?

WHEN will we direct our focus toward the outward/other purpose from God here on this earth, instead of continuing our absorption with and into ourselves?

1 Frost, Robert. “The Last Poem.” Robert Frost Poetry and Prose. 1972 Rinehart Editions. p. 480

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/04/18) Meditations on God’s Word

Our Seasons with God

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter,day and night will never cease. (Genesis 8:22)

White raiment
Crystalline sparkle
Powdery wisps
Silent echoes
Dormant life
Resting hope
In God’s time.

Winter, the season often associated with an end and death, actually signals the onset of new life and hope lingering beneath the soil–waiting. This is God’s promise—“as long as the earth endures.”

And what of our winter season here on this earth? Writers have linked youth with spring and summer, fall with aging maturity, and winter with our final years of decline. Can we not reframe the picture and see a different view of this stage in our lives:

White raiment: Donning a garment of greater purity before the Lord.
Crystalline sparkle: Shining in the Light of His Glory.
Powdery wisps: Rising above earthly ties for a closer view of heaven.
Silent echoes: Listening to the voices of those before us in the Lord.
Dormant life: Believing more is yet to be—beyond the “me” I now see.
Resting hope: Waiting patiently for new hope and life with God.
In God’s time: Trusting that His time is best in all seasons.

The winter years for disciples of the Lord should be ones reflecting a closer relationship with God, a greater purity within, a stronger belief held, a deeper longing for heaven, and a patient trust that the Lord will walk with us through this final season in our earthly lives.


Seasons praying hands of ages

–A white-haired woman in a wheelchair, focusing intently on the preacher’s message, whispers “Amen.”
–The younger woman sitting beside her, hearing the whisper, invokes “Amen.”
–An elderly man with a cane, standing before the congregation praying, speaks “Amen.”
–The younger man beside him at the table, following the example, echoes “Amen.”
–An older woman sitting in the pew, hearing both the message and the prayer, reaffirms   “Amen.”
–The young child beside the woman, looking up at her with innocent eyes, repeats “Amen.”

SO BE IT. Let us rejoice in the God-given seasons of our lives, being the lead and example for those passing through the seasons we have already experienced, as we prepare for our own winter that will come with its hope of promise. Thank you, Lord.  AMEN.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/28/18) Meditations on God’s Word

“Follow Me”: The Meaning of Love as His Disciple



There are consequences to being a committed disciple of Jesus .Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be My disciple

must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24)


“Gotta go. Love ya.”

 “Love ya back.” Turning.

 “Love ya more.” Waving.

Has the use of the word “love” become more and more casual in our communications?  What have we lost in the translation by possible overuse of this word that may result in the absence of true commitment in relationships?

For the Lord, who asked Peter three times if he loved Him, the meaning meant a deep commitment of sacrifice—even onto death.

The Cost of Love in Discipleship

12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love You.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love You.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love You.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then He said to him, “Follow me!” (John 21: 12-19)

Master and disciple


Three responses,

In so revealing

Love, Love, Love

Profound Depth

Beneath the words–

Follow The Master

With commitment

In shared sacrifice.

When we say to the Lord, “You know that I love You,”

We must remember His words of commitment–

“Follow me” –and what they mean in love to Him.

(Sharon G. Tate 01/21/18 blog) Meditations on God’s Word

The God-Given Breath of Life

Behold, You have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before You. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah  (Psalm 39:5)


Penetrating cold. The mother shivers and heads back inside to add more layers, returning to brave the weather with the little boy who has begged to go outside all morning. The cold doesn’t seem to penetrate him though, as he laughs and plays in the snow. Happiness wraps him in warmth, while his breath expels odd shapes in the air. His mittened hand reaches out to hold captive the puffs which only elude him, dissipating too soon in the air. Yet, the hand reaches out again and again to try and capture those fading wisps in the frigid air.


Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. (Psalm 144:4)

Someone described seeing your breath when it’s cold “like a puff of warm fog intruding on the cold air.”1 That warmth is the visible presence of life in a cold atmosphere. It is the proof that we are alive, yet it is, also, the warning that this breath lasts only a little while before it expires and is no longer visible. We cannot grasp it in the air and hold onto it.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. (Proverbs 27:1)


The young boy and his mother return inside to the warmth of the house, huddled close on the rocker. He blows outward, but sees nothing and asks his mother why this is so. She ponders how to answer and, finally, tells him that God provides the warmth of a home secure from the cold, so he can’t see his breath inside. She asks him to breathe deeply, hold his now unmittened hand in front of his mouth, and expel the breath. He feels the warm air and blows again and again. This is life, his mother tells him. When we can see and feel the breath from inside of us, we know God has blessed us with more time to be together. The boy smiles at his mother, snuggling closer, the mother capturing the moment in her heart, knowing this time will only last a little while.

For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. (I Chronicles 29:15)

The time of our sojourn here,

Though transient,

 Is a blessing from God.

Breathe deeply. Exhale.

Smile and laugh.

Thank God for the moments.


1 Anonymous.

(Sharon G. Tate  blog 01/14/18) Meditations on God’s Word