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

COMMUNICATION WITH GOD–UNBROKEN

The brief Messenger “talk”, a Snapchat moment, an abbreviated text, the selected”like” or “love” click on Facebook , an appropriate emoji—such is, often, the essence of our connections with each other today.

In contrast, we have lengthy books and letters in God’s Word. The communication is deeper, personal, and involving. The “reaching out” from God through His Word is a “reaching in” to our thoughts, where we can respond back to Him and converse with Him:

God’s Word to us,

Through scripture

Inspired by Him,

Penned by men,

Speaking through ages.

 

The written Word

Communicated–

To those who hear,

To those who read,

To those who hunger,

To those who thirst.

 

Those who believe,

Our prayers to Him

Sent to be heard,

Sent in petition,

Sent for response,

Sent to communicate.

 

Reaching out to God

Who first spoke to us;

Yearning for contact,

Spoken and unspoken

Communication

With our Creator.

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In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2)

 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John 1:14)

 13 I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence which we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will he hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of Him.   (I John 5:13-15)

Our communication with the Father, through His Son, becomes an enduring relationship through all time when we deeply engage with Him in prayer and the study of His Word.

Spoken and unspoken communion with our God– unbroken.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/27/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

THE LORD WAITS FOR ME

In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before You
    and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)

W

A

I

T

I

N

G

Why do I have to wait, Lord?

Anxious during this wait,

I fret more and think more;

Trying to reason out the answer,

I become more focused inward,

Never understanding the why as . . .

God, You are waiting for me.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Waiting for answers to requests we ask before the Lord are sometimes trying and difficult. The difficulty lies within you and within me, however. We need more hope, more faith, more trust in Him. We truly cannot see or understand what God sees and knows ahead and beyond anything we can comprehend.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.

(Isaiah 55:8-9)

Lord, help us to wait patiently with the faith that You are always with us. Help us to fully trust in Your goodness and wisdom to direct our paths in this life.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/20/19) teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word

THE AROMA OF CHRIST IN US

 

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  (Ephesians 5:1-2)

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NOTICED: “Domino’s Pizza in Australia posted a job for ‘chief garlic bread taste tester.’” 1

Any applicant of a job like this must be willing to deal with the consequences of “garlic breath,” which is “pungent, sharp, spicy, and strong. Bad breath or halitosis is associated with “garlic breath.” 2

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Most of us would not regard this position as a desirable career choice or even want it as a temporary job. We would, likely, need to rinse repeatedly with mouthwash and chew a lot of gum to try and dispel the “aroma” as we engaged with friends and family. Yet, that scent would remain with us beyond opening our mouths. Daily, repeated encounters with garlic would permeate our clothes and our very bodies. We would never be able to fully rid ourselves of that odor.

The metaphor of this situation is applicable to the person whose words and presence do not exude a “fragrant smell” to those he or she encounters.  The smell of garlic breath might be associated with works of the flesh in this comparison: 19 Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5: 19-21)

As a Christian, we are to have Christ in us through our words, actions, deeds, and mind. What comes forth from us to others should be a “sweet smell,” one that is recognizable as the “fruit of the spirit”: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5: 22-25) 

In our world today, “garlic breath” seems to be overwhelmingly prevalent. We can “smell it” from the internet and all forms of the media. We can “smell it” while waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, in the hallways of our schools, at the sports events of our children, in our workplaces, while waiting at the stoplight, in the restaurants where we eat, as we walk down the main street of our towns and cities, in the houses of friends and relatives, and maybe in our own homes and even in our own church buildings.

The world needs the sweet aroma of Christ through us to be the ever-abiding fragrance, to permeate all walks of life and to dispel the foul odor of the “works of the flesh.”

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.  (2 Corinthians 2: 14-17)

Let us, “in the sight of God,” Who is ever-present, “speak in Christ”

and “{spread}the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere.

 

1Time Magazine. Source: ABC, Reuters. UPI. October 14, 2019. “For the Record.”

2 The Smell of Garlic. Google.com

(Sharon G. Tate 10/13/19 blog) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Words “Fitly Spoken”

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

(Psalm 25:11)

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“A word fitly spoken”

Must the speaker be–

Articulate?

Eloquent?

Expressive?

Fluent

Grammatically perfect?

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I received a thank you letter from my granddaughter, who just started first grade.

Words not “fitly spoken” in this letter?

Numerous errors in spelling.

Omission of punctuation.

Lacking in articulate fluency.

Incorrect letter format.

Yet, to me, every word in this letter was

 “fitly spoken”

and beautiful,

“like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

Her words were expressive, impassioned, moving, meaningful, touching, heartfelt—

and, thus, “fitly spoken” and precious.

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To God, our words might seem like the wording of a child, like my granddaughter’s in this letter. We cannot speak with His authority, His eloquence, His wisdom, His perfection.

HOWEVER,

We can speak as His children,

Whom He loves.

The words we offer to Him,

In thanks and praise,

Will be beautiful to Him,

As we speak with the openness,

Honesty and love of a child–

His child,

With words from our heart,

“Fitly spoken.”

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/06/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Coming to the Place of Healing: Seeking the Great Physician


“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” 1

The man on the gurney, immobilized by straps across all limbs;

A woman in a wheelchair, pain grimacing through her face;

The toddler coughing and wheezing in his mother’s weary arms;

A man at the door, eyes widened with fear and uncertainty.

                        The Hospital ER Waiting Room

 

A man sitting in the back pew, held back by unseen bonds;

The woman in the middle pew, struggling with inner pain;

A toddler, tired and whining, cradled by a weary mother;

The man in a front pew, uncertainty and fear behind his eyes.

                      Sunday Worship from the Pew

 

The struggling, the hurting, the innocent, the fearful;

Coming to this place for a remedy, a respite, a release;

Seeking a physician to heal hurts within, pains without;

Finding him in the Man of Sorrows, who died, yet lives.

                          Golgotha, at the Cross

 

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 2

 

His promise, our need, our action to “Come.”

We are the hurting, the desperate in ER;

We are the struggling, the bound in the pews;

We are the ones who need His healing touch.

         Arriving at the Place of Healing

 

The struggle ended, fear dispelled, bonds broken;

Hearts open to receive healing from within;

Mercy and Grace beyond our comprehension;

Love enduring, joy unending, hope fulfilled

         Reaching the Place of Restoration 

 

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 3

Isaiah 41:102

2 Matthew 11:28

Revelations 21:4

(Sharon G. Tate 09/28/19 blog)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

BE THE ONE WHO ACTS FOR THE LORD

  “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.                It’s not.” 1

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have. 2

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NOBODY

10 “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring My people the Israelites out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”  (Exodus 3:10-11)

 Do we feel like “nobody” at times when we are aware of an important job that should be done for the Lord, but start questioning our abilities, our talents, our enthusiasm, our time, our responsibilities–and even our want to?

WHO? ME?

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12)

Our questioning and so-called “reasoning” fall short every time, because God always promises to be with us. We are never alone as the “nobody” or the “somebody” or the “anybody” in the task.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

 (Isaiah 41:10)

 Unfortunately, even when God makes this promise to us, we, like Moses, often still question.

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites:  I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)

 And God answers all our “supposes” too. To Moses, He said, Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.” (Exodus 3:16)

 To us, He, also, says, “Go.”

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 29:19-20)

And He watches over us and is with us

As we go forth to do His work.

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 09/22/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/dr_seuss_

https://www.lollydaskal.com/leadership/story

GOD BREATHED INTO MAN THE BREATH OF LIFE

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

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BREATH

OF
LIFE

BREATHED

INTO

MAN

FROM

THE

LIVING

GOD.

 Have we truly tried to envision this picture of God breathing the breath of life into the man that He formed from the dust of the ground, so this new creation could become a living being? Do we feel, with awe, the intimacy between God and His creation captured in this moment when the life of man began?

 The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

(Job 33:4)

Without this breath of life, we are as dust again. God’s breath inside us maintains the life within. Yet, what we do with the Word of God, “breathed out by God,” creates the living being we each become in this life. Are we a living example of His Word– or are we just living beings?

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 We are living beings with a choice.  God never breathed into us His Word as robotic obedience. He offers us the best way to live through His Word, “equipped for every good work,” the way He hopes we will live in order to return to Him when our bodies do become as dust once more.

What have we inhaled from His Word?

What do we exhale to those around us?

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23)

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/15/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

“HERE AM I! SEND ME.”

 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”       Then  I said, “Here am I! Send me.”  (Isaiah 6:8) **********************************************

Opportunities

Waiting . . .

For someone.

I am someone.

Am I the one?

Am I willing?

Will I hear

His Voice

Ask “Who?”

Will I say,

“Here am I!

Send me.”

And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Luke 10:2)

 We know the world needs the Lord. Where can we make a difference in our part of the world?  The opportunities are many. We just need to look and listen: Our communities need the Lord. Our neighborhoods need the Lord. Our families need the Lord. You need the Lord. I need the Lord. Every single day and every moment in each day.

Opportunities to share Christ are waiting for each one of us. Some surprise us by their delivery right to us: A message from people we knew ten to twenty years ago and haven’t had any     contact with since then—until now, reaching out. We may hesitate before deciding to open the messages, but if we do, we can see the possibility of sharing the Lord. Just a chance occurrence? I truly believe not. The Lord allows us to hear someone knocking. Do we have the ears to hear? It is our decision to open the door and walk into that person’s life once again. This is my testimony recently. I opened those doors, walked back in, saw a need for the Lord, prayed, and left the door wide open, continuing to connect, pray, and share the Lord.

Why do we hesitate to enter those doors that seem to have opportunities waiting behind them? Do we fear involvement, engagement, a personal cost?

Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually! (I Chronicles 16:11)

 We won’t go alone when we seek to do His Will. We won’t be afraid, knowing His Presence is with us continually. We won’t be weak in the task when we lean on His strength to guide us and keep us strong. Yes, there will be involvement. Yes, there must be engagement. Yes, there is a personal cost. That is discipleship with Jesus.

Many doorknobs are waiting to be opened. People are knocking on the other side. Maybe faintly, wanting to be heard but fearful to be heard. Maybe aggressively, demanding to be heard in a way that seems the opposite of need and, yet, strongly suggests a need. Maybe just hoping someone will interpret the knock and open the door. Maybe not knocking at all but waiting for us to knock and ask to enter.

Maybe we know them. Maybe they are strangers. Maybe they are close to our heart.

Everyone is an opportunity placed before us.

Will we say-

“Here am I!

 Send me.”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/25/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

The Great Physician Who Has Been There— And Can Empathize

 

12 And His disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus. 13 Now when Jesus heard this, He withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed Him on foot from the towns. 14 As He went ashore He saw a great throng; and He had compassion on them, and healed their sick.

(Matthew 14: 12-14)

Jesus had just been told that John the Baptist was beheaded. He sought a place away from the multitude to grieve this loss privately. Yet, moved with compassion and empathy, understanding the needs of the people seeking Him, He left His solitude, putting aside His personal grief, to minister to them and heal their sick.

How many times have we gone to a doctor seeking help and left feeling that the physician just didn’t understand our needs and didn’t have the compassion to make that extra effort to find a cause, a solution, a treatment, a referral. Have we wished that doctors could just experience what we are enduring for a day or even a week, so they could have the empathy needed to walk as we walk, day-by-day?

“The great Physician now is near,
The sympathizing Jesus;
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer,
Oh, hear the voice of Jesus.” 1

 Ultimately, we can find only One who has been there with us and has endured what we have experienced.

For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet He did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Jesus heals both body and soul. He IS the Great Physician. Turning to Him, we find a balm for whatever suffering we are experiencing. He hears with ears that listen, watches with eyes that see, feels with a heart of compassion, touches with the power of healing.

Do we seek the Great Physician in those times of struggle, sickness, despair, loss—and even in the day-to-day trials that weigh us down? He is ever near us. No appointment necessary. No waiting to be seen. No fee as we leave; it has been paid by Him.

“Sweetest note in seraph song,
Sweetest name on mortal tongue;
Sweetest carol ever sung,
Jesus, blessed Jesus.” 1

 Will we speak His Name and go to Him for healing?

 

 1 Hunter, William. “The Great Physician.” https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/The_Great_Physician

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/04/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word