With the Mindset of Christ: Skipping Stones Upon Water

 

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice

 is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24)

 Was it so very long ago . . .

The child in us built sand castles

On the seashores of our youth,

And skipped stones upon water,

Awed at the extending ripples

Growing outward beyond us,

Wondering at their impact–

As sand castles washed away.

How much time do we spend on the shifting foundations we try to build in our adult lives, those “sand castles” that cannot maintain structural integrity—when, instead, we should turn our focus to the ripples that we can extend outward from ourselves to others?

“Skipping stones upon water.”

 “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.And great crowds gathered about Him, so that He got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And He told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  9 He who has ears, let him  hear.’ ” (Matthew 13: 1-9)

We do not have Christ directly before us in a boat extending ripples of wisdom outward to us, but we have the Word and the capacity to envision this scene. We have the ears to “hear.” And we have the ability and opportunity to be like Him through the ways we can individually reach out to others and find good soil to plant seeds. Every single person impacted, rippling outward to how many others over time?

 The “sand castles” we attempt to build in this life will not endure.

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 2The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7: 24-27)

The foundation from God with Christ as the cornerstone is everlasting. Our focus doesn’t have to be on trying to hold the structure together when winds and rain come. We can, instead, place our time and energy on “skipping stones upon water” to reach outward and beyond self as Christ did during His time on earth.

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. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3-5)

Skipping stones upon water,

Awed at the extending ripples

Growing outward beyond us,

Wondering at their impact—

Building upon the firm Rock

With focus, humility, and love.    

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/27/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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HEAR MY VOICE: I WANT TO LIVE!

MOTHER:

Within yourself, I became

A living soul without a name;

An entity not yet formed,

Sheltered against outer storms,

By walls created to sustain

God’s breath of life in me–

The tiny child yearning to be.

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ME: I came from you, Lord.

                For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

ME: You knew me even before.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . .” (Jeremiah 1:5)

ME: You are the Maker of how I am being formed.

As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.  (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

 ME: I have been created to be a blessing from You, a gift and legacy to my parents.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3)

ME: I want to live.

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How many children never had the chance to be? How many scientists,  artisans, poets, doctors, teachers, preachers, disciples of the Lord have been lost to us through abortion? Could cancer, MS, and Alzheimers have been cured by them? Was there a great leader in their midst who might have been a peacemaker during national or international strife and war, saving thousands and even millions of lives?

Who might God have created to help mankind deal with our human frailties and problems? Yet, these babies were not given the opportunity to live.

Can we hear their cries? Can we feel their pain? Can we give them voice? We must—by praying for the “unborn” who are actual human beings with a soul instilled by the Maker who breathed life into each one of them. Let us pray for those babies who are kicking and moving inside their mothers, visually seen in ultrasounds, and heard through stethoscopes- beating hearts that must pulsate with our own to have a voice.

ME: I am here. I want to live!

(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/20/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

FULL CIRCLE WITH GOD

13 For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  14 I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.(Psalm 139:13-14)

Winter comes to every child born. It may arrive early in one’s life, during youth, in mid-life, or at a more expected older age. When that time comes, the child, the youth, the adult, or the elder returns to the Father, the Creator who masterfully made each one of us in the beginning. We come from God, and we return to Him.

FULL CIRCLE.

Our spring, summer, and fall within that life circle become our life choices. God is always present, but the life we live through each season is one of personal decisions. Where will we turn to help us make these life choices, so we have the assurance that the Father will welcome us into eternity with Him?

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 The answer is in His Word, but our hearts and desires often forget this as we try to direct our own paths, becoming entangled in the world’s ways which lead to heartache, grief, loss, distress, chaos, turbulence—SIN.

We may face heartache, grief, and loss when we seek God’s direction as well, but there is the promise of peace and calm when He is with us in our choices and decisions.

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  7 And the peace of God, which transcends  all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

WE ARE NOT ALONE.

 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13) 

WHEN WINTER COMES.

 (1) For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. (2) Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, (3) because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. (4) For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (5) Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (I Corinthians 5:1-5)

During the seasons of our lives, when we long to be with Him yet live in this “earthly tent,” we must prepare for the winter when our burdens are lifted, and we meet Him again in the eternal dwelling.

 FULL CIRCLE WITH GOD.

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 01/13/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

I AM RESOLVED: 2019 BIBLICAL RESOLUTIONS

               

As we form–and affirm–our own resolutions for this new year, may we take to heart the Word of the Lord our God; the counsel of His servants Paul and Joshua; and the prayers of David, whom God called a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22).

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.   

Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.                                 

Colossians 3:14-15 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.       

Luke 6:31  And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.        

 Ephesians 6:17-20  17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.                                                                            

Luke 6:27-28 27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”          

Psalm 139:23-24 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.                                  

Joshua 24:15  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.   

Isaiah 43:18-19 This is what the Lord says: 18 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”

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As we contemplate a new year of promise, let us follow Biblical examples of resolve. What “new thing” can we do for the Lord? What “road in the wilderness” can we tread daily so others can clearly see the path to follow, joining us in our walk with Christ? What “rivers in the desert” will flow with Living Water when we share Jesus with those who thirst?

With man alone, resolve fails. With God, all things are possible.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: 365 DAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE LORD.

(Sharon G. Tate  blog 01/06/19)   teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word