JESUS DEFINES LOVE FROM THE CROSS

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

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Jesus gave us the example of what love is through His actions.

“(16)This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (17) If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? (18 ) Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18)

Our Lord exemplified humility on the cross as He took our sins upon Himself. He showed great patience with us, even as sin continued while He endured this trial. He acted in gentleness, not lashing out at those who were crucifying Him, but instead asking the Father to forgive them–to forgive us.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)

The love Christ showed to us all that day on the cross, with outstretched hands held by nails, has endured past those dark hours to the sunrise when He arose and to every sunrise thereafter and yet to come. Love knows no boundaries of time.

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are    tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”           

(1 Corinthians 13:8)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/23/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

God’s Valentine to Faithful Christians

V ictory through Jesus

A bsolution from our sins

L ove that never fails

E mpty tomb of Risen hope

N ew body incorruptible

T omorrow-eternal promised

I  nheritance of adoption

N ever-ending Light

E ternity with God our Father

1 John 3:1 – See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:10 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 4:9 – This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.

1 John 4:8 – Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/14/2020)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

HE Waits at the Door

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door,  I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.  (Revelations 3:20)

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“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.” 1

Jesus waits at the door. If we just open it to Him,  He will enter. When we open our inner selves to Him, He releases us from the bondage of self.

The door will open

When we pull it toward us.

Yet, we push and push outward,

Exerting our own strength

In an attempt to escape

The imprisonment of self,

That inner room

Where we dwell alone.

 

 

If only we would pull,

To open ourselves to the Lord,

Allowing His entrance inside,

Freeing the self of us

Through the sacrifice of Him,

Our inner room filled

With the sound of His voice,

The fullness of His presence.

 

WHEN WILL IT OCCUR TO US TO PULL OPEN THE DOOR–

AND GREET THE MASTER?

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/19 2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Ludwig Wittgenstein. http://www.wiseoldsayings.com

RESOLVED TO SERVE GOD IN 2020

                      

Ready for the Lord’s Will in my life.

Enlisted in His service as a Prayer Warrior.

Servant to others in His Name.

One with the Lord, able to make a difference for God in word and deed.

Leaning on God for daily strength, decision-making, and wisdom.

Vocal in spreading His message of hope, truth, and salvation.

Embracing the call of discipleship, following Jesus all the way.

Devoted to God, first and foremost, in my life.

With man alone, resolve fails.

With God, all things are possible.

 I AM RESOLVED: 2020 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?

   NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION:

366 DAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE LORD.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/05/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

The Wise Seek Wisdom: The Journey to Worship Christ

 

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” 1

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1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king,  behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and have come to worship Him.”

. . .Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found Him bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.” When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. (Matthew 2:1-2, 7-10)

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The wise men did not need Herod to prod them to follow the star in search of the Christ child. They had already determined in their hearts and minds that this was their path. They had traveled far and would not be deterred from seeking and worshipping Him who was prophesied.

The guide: A night light in the sky to lead them to the Light

Who would extinguish all night, all fear of darkness.

They had seen His star in the East.  Significantly, the east is the place of sunrise.  A new dawn for mankind was beginning in a birth that would change the world. The wise men came to worship this child who would grow and keep “increasing in   wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). As a young lad of twelve, He would be found “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; 47 and all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers”  (Luke 2:46-47). As a grown man, He would teach in the synagogue; and the teachers would be awed by His learning: “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to him, and such miracles as these performed by his hands?” (Mark 6:2)

 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and    righteousness and sanctification, and redemption… (I Corinthians 1:30)

The wise men sought the one who, they believed, had “been born king of the Jews.” They had traveled a great distance to find Him. The star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was” (Matthew 27:9).    Although they did not understand His kingdom would not be of this earth, they were right to seek Him and worship Him, the embodiment of “wisdom from God.”  When we,      likewise, choose to seek and worship the Lord, He will go before us, guide us, and lead us through the darkness, even if by a glimmer, until His full glory is revealed.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being,     sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins,   He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3)

And the wise still seek Him– not by a star, not by fate, not by destiny but by

earnest desire and need to find the Christ and worship Him.

( Sharon  G. Tate blog 12/22/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

1 Lisa Mantchev, Eyes Like Stars. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/stars

SINGING TO GOD WITH THE VOICE OF THE HEART

 

“Music is well said to be the speech of angels;
in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man
is felt to be so divine.
It brings us near to the infinite.” 1

 “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”  (Psalm 95:1)

Through the music, we sing to the Lord–

**expressing our joy, adoration, love, and thanksgiving;

**requesting His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy, and His hope;

**reaching up to Him in awe, in wonder, and in praise;

**crying out to Him in distress, in loneliness, in despair, and in grief;

**worshipping Him with the outpouring of our souls through song.

Through the music, we connect with each other on a spiritual level:

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:19)

Through singing, we are in harmony before the Lord, lifting our voices and our hearts in one accord to Him. The words of the music become our devotion, our prayer, our praise, our thanks, our joy, our hope, our confession, our penance, and our love to the Father.

Through the music, that which truly dwells within us is given voice:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

How we sing the music is an indication of the nature of our inner being. If the Word of the Lord is deeply rooted within us, firmly secured in our hearts, our voices will sing spiritual songs.

Through the music, we proclaim His Glory:

“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.” (Psalm 101:1)

“I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.” (Psalm 7:17)

“I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:2)

As we sing to our Lord and our God, let us remember that He is listening. As we sing to the Most High, let us not forget that He is hearing. As we offer our voices in song to our Father, let us bear in mind that He wants us, His children, to acknowledge Him with due respect and honor.

Let us each search within and ask:

What voice will the Lord hear from my heart today?

                                                                                                                                                                                      

 Thomas Carlyle (1795 –1881) was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/15//19) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

IN AWE OF MY CREATOR

 

Through Him all things were made;

without Him nothing was made that has been made.

(John 1:3)

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Looking outside my window at the accumulating snow falling from the sky and the formed icicles decorating my deck rails like tinsel, my mind wanders back to a time when I looked forward to these days. Living behind the high school, there were always mountains of snow pushed up at the ends of the parking lot during the winter months. When school was closed, my brother and I, along with the neighborhood kids, loved playing in the winter wonderland of Michigan. Heavily bundled by our moms to endure the cold, we trudged off to the mountains to play out our imaginative stories of adventure.

Do my weathered eyes view this scene the same today? I am not one who engages outside in winter freely now due to health concerns. However, the beauty of God’s changing seasons always amazes me. In Michigan, it is never static, always changing, seasons within seasons intermingling, intertwining. God is an artist, Creator of snowflakes differing in form and shape; Creator of you and me differing in form and shape; Creator of individualized and unique patterns, differing in form and shape—all bearing the same label: Made by God.

Imaginative stories of adventure on mountains of snow are in my memory. The present view from my window reveals to me the beautiful reality of creation. With absolute awe of my God who can and does continue to amaze me, I am blessed to behold the falling snow draping the trees, resplendent; the forming icicles, glistening wet; the unadulterated blanket on the ground– pure and untouched beauty just for you and me.

“Worthy are You, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for You created all things,
    and by Your will they existed and were created.

(Revelation 4:11)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/01/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Blessed by God–Beyond Human Understanding

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;

give thanks to Him and praise His name. (Psalm 100:4)

AMEN! AND AMEN! AND AMEN!

Gratitude, appreciation, obligation, indebtedness, thanks…

How can what we express ever be enough for what God gives to us.

Love beyond our capability: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1)

Gifts beyond our asking: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  (James 1:17)

Peace beyond our conception: 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)

Strength beyond our capacity: I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Forgiveness beyond our expectation: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ( 1 John 1:9)

Salvation beyond our understanding: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Grace beyond our worth: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (Ephesians 2:8)

Eternal life beyond our mortal grasp: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

Thanksgiving and Praise to Our Lord, Our Savior, Our Father:

I will give thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness;

I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. (Psalm 7:17)

                                             Let us daily remember to Whom we owe                                                                                    our thanks and praise for the blessings we have.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/24/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

REMEMBRANCE SECURED WITHIN OUR HEARTS

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. (Philippians 1:3)

It will be the tenth anniversary of my mother’s passing on the 21st of November 2019. I do thank my God in all my remembrance of her. She was a special lady who, in many ways, was the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31. Her impact on my life, my brother’s life, and my father’s life was profound. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” (Proverbs 31:28) This verse is what I cited at her memorial service, and we did stand, including all those present whose lives she had touched.

 What remembrance have we, as individuals and as the Lord’s church in my city/in your city, left with others? In the church, what memory and impact have we left with those who visit us; with those who were members and moved on to a career opportunity; with those young people who left for college or trade school, the military or the work force; with those who got married and left home to start their own families?

REMEMBRANCE

An excerpt of Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

(Philippians 1:3-11)

Can it be said, individually and in my church and in your church, that we began a “good work” and “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ?” Will the “good work” dwell in the hearts of those who move to a new location that they, too, “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ?”

REMEMBRANCE

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(2 Peter 1: 3-8)

12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to arouse you by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 And I will see to it that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.                 

(2 Peter 1: 12-15)

We need reminders to keep us focused on our purpose of serving Christ and serving others through Him. Many aspects of our life today draw us away from remembrance of how we must live and work for the Lord. The television in our living room, the movie posters outside the theater, the purposeful placement of items for sale at stores, the magazines at the checkout aisle, the language we hear around us, the internet posts, and more all test our remembrance of how we should act, speak, think, and live.

Who will be the remembrance of Him? We must show Christ to the world, to our neighbors, to our families and friends, and to our brothers and sisters in Him through our lives. In us, He lives as we follow the Word and show that Word to those we encounter, that they will remember and follow through in their own lives, showing Christ to those they encounter.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians reminds us that we need to pray for each other. Peter’s letter reminds us that we must hold ourselves to “faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness.” The reminders of remembrance are crucial to helping us sustain our commitment to Christ.

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REMEMBRANCE

My mother developed Alzheimer’s in the latter years of her life. During those twelve years, she had a progressive loss of memory to the point of not even recognizing herself in the mirror. One day, as she looked into the mirror, she offered a friendly, gracious invite to that person she saw in the reflection to come into the room, welcoming her with a smile, a gesture, and the greeting “You can come in.” The remembrance of the identity, personality, and essence of my mother was still present within and that came through outwardly in that moment and many others. She still touched lives around her at church, in the mobile park, in the nursing home—and yet today and still tomorrow.

I believe what we place securely in our hearts will not be lost. What we develop within ourselves will come through outwardly in our actions and words and how we live. If Christ is within us by our need and desire for Him to be there, He will not be moved, even by a memory disease like Alzheimer’s.

The remembrance will remain.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/17/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

LONGING FOR GOD’S PEACE

 1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 
(Psalm 42:1-2)

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P resent with Him.

E ngaged with Him.

A ttuned to Him.

C lose to Him.

E nduring with Him.

Amid chaos, the world in which we live,

there is a place of refuge.

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. (Psalm 46:1-3)

He is that refuge, Provider of the peace

for which we thirst, hunger, seek, and need.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:5-7)

To live in His refuge of peace daily,

we must practice these things in our lives:

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in Me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

P resent with Him.

E ngaged with Him.

A ttuned to Him.

C lose to Him.

E nduring with Him.

DWELLING IN GOD’S PEACE

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/10/19)  teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word