We Are His Creation, Wonderfully Made!

 The spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4) ***********************************************

How often do we think about and reflect upon–

**breathing–unless there is a health concern that affects that life necessity?

**walking–unless something happens which impairs or prevents our ability to move?

**seeing--unless our vision is reduced, diminished significantly, or gone?

**hearing–unless communication becomes challenging or lost through this sense?

We, often, take much for granted in this life—until something is missing, changed, or gone.

Maybe by taking the essentials of our creation for granted,

we are taking God, our Creator, for granted.

 So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

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

Yet You, Lord, are Our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  (I Corinthians 3:16)

 We should daily think about and reflect upon God’s gifts of–

**breathing —taking in every breath gratefully as it is given from God.

**walking —moving forward in the moment and experiencing joy in the ability to do so.

**seeing—beholding the creation around us, including family, friends, and family in the Lord.

**hearing—listening to the sounds of God’s nature, the voices of loved ones, the praises to God.

His gifts to us, just in the creation of our own being, are beyond what we can comprehend. Even when impairments occur within our mortal forms, there is so much wonder in how we have been “knit together” by God that we should still be in awe. We can–and must–daily appreciate, in wonder and gratitude, our created existence in all its complexity and simplicity from our Father, our God, our Creator.

Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3)

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/05/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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Walking on Water, our hand in His Hand

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. 23 After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a  considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were  terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s You,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to You on the   water.”

29 “Come,” He said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came   toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”               (Matthew 14:22-33)

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Walking on water. Have we tried it?

“I can do this alone!” boasts self,

Boldly venturing out in defiance

Against depression, loneliness, fear.

 

Seeing only the murky depth below,

Our belief in self reveals false hope;

Sinking into the sea of doubt, failing

To look up at His outreached Hand.

 

Lord, save me!” is the utterance

We should speak first in humility,

Acknowledging Jesus gives courage,

Offering His firm Hand, a sure hope.

 

Come,” He speaks with gentle voice,

Leading us through our fear and doubt;

We hold onto His Hand without release,

Walking on water, our hand in His Hand.

 

Thank You, Lord, for waiting with outstretched Hand.

We need You to hold our hand through troubled waters.

“Truly You are the Son of God.”

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/29/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

God is Always Near

 

I call on you, my God, for You will answer me;
    turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. (Psalm 17:6)

   *********************************************

Surgery

Finances

Jobs

Young children

Older children

Elderly parents

Disease

Diagnosis

Trauma

Depression

Treatment

Abuse

Losses

Marriage

Loneliness

Addiction

Chronic pain

More . . .

More . . .

More . . .

PRAYERS!

–I have a prayer ministry. Receiving prayer requests can be an emotional experience.

–Emails, texts, messages, voicemails, calls, encounters: PLEASE PRAY!

–I read. I listen. I hear. I cry. I pray.

–I send out the prayer request if it is meant to be public. The message may be sent as written.

–I am, at times, asked to phrase the request better or not include all the information just shared. I must decide how to do that with discretion, empathy, kindness,  urgency, importance.

— I am there in heart with those involved when prayer requests come one after another after another with updates for the outcome of a surgery, major health  concern, or trauma.

—I must walk away and break temporarily from the situation at times when the    emotional level is too high.

At those times, especially, I think of our Father. He never walks away. How many prayers go up to Him in a second of our time here? How does He bear the load we send to Him moment by moment across the globe?

The Lord is near to all who call on Him,
to all who call on Him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)

He never walks away. He is God.

So, we pray to Him in this manner:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

********************************************************

PLEASE PRAY!

I read. I listen. I hear. I cry. I pray. I send.

The prayers go by email, in the bulletin to the church.

The requests are heard by God, always near.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/22/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

The Light that Beckons

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)

***************************************

Eyes fixated, focused above;

Necks straining, heavenward,

Waiting for bursts of light

To break through darkness;

The spectacle of fireworks

On a humid summer night

The Fourth of July, a time when many gather together at dusk to meet the darkness and enjoy the array of lights, from wide-eyed children in their parents’ arms to elderly grandparents sitting in lawn chairs, each looking up at the sky with oohs and aahs, laughter, and smiles to watch the colors splash against the night.

A night to remember and talk about the next day. Yet, these lights, in all their man-made ingenuity, are but a dim, dull attempt at creating light.

Light beckons and leads. We are drawn to it, the escape from darkness. One day soon, the eyes of all humankind will be fixated and focused above, not on fireworks, a mere pinpoint when considering the Father of heavenly lights, but on the Son, who is Light. We will all, one day, see the Lord in His glory, a brightness we cannot imagine, breaking through the darkness of this world.

Many are waiting and watching in eager anticipation for this day, while others are looking down in fear.

That day may be on a humid summer night, a frigid wintry day, a stormy summer afternoon, or a calm sunny morning.  But we will all see Him coming:

26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And He will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. (Mark 13:26-27)

Are we the ones watching with eager eyes for the Lord?

OR

Are we the others trying to avoid the sight of Light?

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Heavenly lights sparkling in the night,

Glimpses of promise from the Father.

How often do we gaze above in awe,

Longing to touch the Light beyond?

Are we watching intent with eager eyes,

Waiting with faith through the darkness?

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 07/15/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the Word of our God endures forever.” 
(Isaiah 40:8)

Time passages . . .

Our parents age and pass to another life.

We mature and watch gray hairs multiply.

Children are middle-aged in shortened years.

Friends become distant with life changes.

Once familiar voices are muted in lost tones.

Memories fade with diminished retrospect.

Time unmeasured. . .

God’s unchanging hand to hold onto. . .

The eternal constancy of God’s love. . .

His ever-present Presence with us. . .

The enduring, living Word of God. . .

Our Father’s voice echoing through ages. . .

Life forever alive with the Father and Son. . .

 

Time passages to time unmeasured.

Do we not long for this forever with God.

Amen and Amen.

 

(Sharon .G. Tate blog 07/01/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

LUKEWARM-Neither Hot nor Cold but LOST

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth . . . 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:14-16, 19-22)

Lukewarm water. Comfortable to touch but not warm enough to cleanse and purify. Bacteria can still be present in the dishwasher with lukewarm water. Sickness may result from using these dishes or utensils that have been washed in this water.

Lukewarm Christian. Neither hot nor cold. Without passion. Possibly doing the job but not on fire for the Lord. Maybe acting from duty without but not love from within. The Lord said, “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of My mouth.” A harsh rebuke from the One who loves us enough to discipline and urge us to “be earnest and repent.”

Lukewarm faith: Love without utmost awe and adoration of the Divine Lord, the One and True God.

Revelation 2:4 NIV translation:“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Good News translation: “But this is what I have against you: you do not love Me now as you did at first.”

Lukewarm church: Have we tested the water? What temperature would we find inside each one of us for the Lord? Are we fervent in love for the Lord? Are we sincerely ardent in our faith? Are we wholly dedicated and devoted to Him– and Him alone?

19 “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.”

Temperature taken: LUKEWARM—Neither Hot nor Cold but LOST.

They-We-I didn’t hear His voice and never opened the door. *********************************************

When I was baptized, the water was very HOT.  I remember my feet burning. It felt like I was going through some form of fire to scorch away my sins. Relief came when I arose from the water to a “comfortable” room temperature. What I felt in the water was not lukewarm. I felt the Lord’s presence more in the discomfort than in the comfort. I was opening the door while immersed in that water and saw His face as that of my Savior.

Perhaps we need the cold and hot times in our lives to truly seek the Lord, open the door, and find Him there—waiting. We must not be lukewarm in our love, faith, and walk with the Lord but, instead, be fervent, ardent, dedicated, and devoted to Him alone.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/24/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

ABBA, Father.

Almighty

Benefactor

Bestowing

Absolution.

 

Forgiving

ABBA.

Trusted

Heart Reader.

Everlasting

Refuge.

ABBA is Love personified: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)

ABBA adopts each of us as His own son or daughter: Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6)

 ABBA gives us understanding and comfort: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort . . .     (2 Corinthians 1:3)  

ABBA provides strength and support: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6 )

ABBA sends the Holy Spirit to watch over us, His children: 15 “If you love Me, keep My commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.  (John 14:15-17)

ABBA has love enough for everyone: You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You. (Psalm 86:5)

ABBA is the Father we share, as His adopted sons and daughters. To Him, we owe our obedience, our devotion, our love. He first loved by giving us this mortal life. He loved us more by offering eternal life through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son.

Every day is Father’s Day to honor our Eternal Father: ABBA.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/17/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

LISTEN–AND HEAR THE LORD.

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” 1

 Do we have daily conversations with God where we make sure we are heard—but forget to listen? Are we really even conversing at all in this situation–or are we just presenting a one-sided monologue to the Lord, consisting of our personal list of requests, wants, and needs?

“The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” 2

To engage in true conversation with our God, we must also be silent and listen to what He has to say to us. There is much that can be heard in silence. Noise drowns out the Word, which the Lord wants to impart to us. Our own words can interfere with and block out His part of the conversation. Maybe WE TALK TOO MUCH–without letting Him speak.

Listening involves a focused mindset. In our society today, such a mindset is difficult to develop and sustain: short quotes on Facebook, short blurbs in ads, condensed recaps of news, texts and tweets, instant messaging. We move from one item to another quickly on Google. In fact, in a recent Microsoft study reported in Time, the results indicate that our focus of attention has declined to a mere eight seconds. The title of this May14, 2015 article by Kevin McSpadler is “You now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.” 3

So how can we listen and be silent before God to hear all He has to say when our attention span is so lacking? It is possible! Each one of us can remain absorbed, engrossed, riveted and totally engaged for a longer duration of time in something we love to do—fishing, reading, cooking, sewing, a sport, exercise, camping, etc. We can develop and maintain this intentional focus when the “want to” is there.

“Hearing” God and “listening” to His Word are referenced many times in scripture:

Psalm 85:8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2  “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.

Matthew 4:4 But He answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

If we are to truly live “by every Word” coming from God, then we must love this conversation with God more than our desire for anything else—and we must learn to listen and be silent.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 

 

1William Hazlitt

2 Alfred Brendel

3 time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/10/18)  Meditations on God’s Word  teacherforjesus.com

Finding Wisdom on the Narrow Road

                “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,                                                    it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” ― Mark Twain 1

The Lord had a select few at His side during His last years on this earth. They were the ones who were taught the wisdom that comes from God. They walked with Wisdom, ate with Wisdom, and sat at the feet of Wisdom. From Wisdom, they gained– and later preached –wisdom.

It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (I Corinthians 1:30)

Jesus was not on the side of the majority. He reached out to the minority– the leper who wanted to be healed, the Samaritan woman at the well, the blind man who wished to see, the sinners He ate with, the tax collector whose home He chose to visit.  He did not choose to be with the Pharisees who desired celebrity from others through their public prayers. His sentence and crucifixion did not come from those who entered the narrow gate, seeking Him and His wisdom– but from those who believed in and purported their own “wisdom” as they boldly walked through the wide gate that led to the broad road where many would see them, hear them, and acknowledge them. Jesus acknowledged them by condemning their hypocrisy: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13)

True wisdom can only come from God. That wisdom is identified through the Word:

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.              (James 3:17)

These were not the traits of the Pharisees who chose their own version of self-wisdom instead of seeking the truth from God.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 
(Proverbs 4:6-7)

What gate do we enter every day in our choices? What road are we on as we follow our life path? Are we in the crowds of many? Is wisdom drowned out by the noise of confusion from the voices of the majority?

Leaving that road and entering the narrow path, we can commune with God and hear His voice: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

 We need to ask; we need to seek; we need to pray. Wisdom is what the world needs, and we are the select few who must share Him through the example of our lives.

 1Twain, Mark. twainquotes.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/03/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

The Ultimate Sacrifice: Soldiers for the Cause of Christ–Against the Father of Lies

soldier spiritual warfare

SACRIFICE

S:  Soldiers, when committed to a task, can’t compromise. It’s unrelenting devotion to standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it’s been done. (John Keegan)

A:  A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. (Joseph Campbell)

C: Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often affected. (Billy Graham)

R: Remember fallen heroes. Remember fallen angels. “My father used to call all soldiers angel warriors… Because usually they get boys to fight wars.” (Lt. Carroll, pg. 44, Fallen Angels)

I: I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. (Nathan Hale)

F: For love of country, they accepted death. (James A. Garfield)

I: I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism. (Bob Riley)

C: Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. (Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I hero)

E: Each man is a hero or an oracle to somebody.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

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Going to War as a Christian

(Deuteronomy 20:1-4) 1 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Some of us may actually engage the enemy in another country, while others watch as sons and daughters depart to a foreign place in preparation for battle. Although most of us will not physically go to a war front in another land to face an enemy, there are many battlefields we confront as Christians. The manner of battle is different, being more spiritual than physical, although we may have physical confrontations with those who do not support or defend the Word of God. The Lord may require sacrifices of us in these battles against the Father of Lies, including the ultimate one–the giving of our own lives–as Christ did before us. God’s promise is that we are not alone. He is with us and goes before us. The victory is His.

Each quote cited applies to our personal Christian duty and responsibility. We must each have the commitment, courage, love, and devotion of a dutiful soldier to further the cause of Christ in a world that is moving away from Him, either through passive/aggressive unbelief or confrontational verbal and/or physical acts. We are soldiers for Christ, and we have a solemn duty to fulfill. Our courage comes from God’s promise to us.

We know Who wins.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/27/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word