Daily tasks, great and small – 2018.10.31

Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things,
but few things are needed- or indeed the only one.
Mary has chosen what is better,
and it will not be taken away from her.
Luke 10:41

As Jesus  and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord`s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked: “Lord, don`t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:38-40)
When reading above sentences many readers of the Bible are tempted to think that praying and studying the word of God has a greater value than doing the daily necessary work. This is really not the case. Both are equally appreciated by our Father, both are important to Him, nothing comes to Him at the 2nd position, everything in its time.
One can compare it with a wheel and its spokes. Is it reasonable to ask which spoke is the most important one, or which one you can put away. These questions make no sense! They are all needed!
It is not alright for the Lord when people are only praying and reading the Bible and are neglecting the normal daily work leaving same to other human beings.
Jesus Himself had worked with His own hands as a carpenter. Even when He was called to serve and healed the sick, cast out the demons, He surely did the daily work together with His disciples, and it was never boaring.
The Lord looks very carefully at how we do our work, fulfill our duties. Are we true to it in the smallest, working for Him and not for our interest then He can use us. But when we do the work unwillingly bad tempered, and only looking for our own advantage He definitely cannot put us into His service. No, in our work for the Kingdom of God everything, inclusive the 1000 small tasks are important and have to be done for the glory of the Lord. He definitely appreciates the practical person as for instance Peter the fisherman, Matthews the customs officer, Paul the tentmaker, David the shepherd and also the housewifes Maria and Martha.
However, we never should forget to pray daily, to sit at the Lord`s feet and listen to His words, so that we can fulfill our tasks diligently, do our work with His love for His kingdom. He then will always be with us!

Thank You, Jesus, You are wonderful and passionate in all spiritual and practical matters. You are our great Example, did your work without complaining that encourages us to follow You, to glorify You in our daily work.

Have mercy on me – 2015.10.29

God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Luke 18, 13

Jesus told an example: Two men went up to the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and spoke softly this prayer: God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of my entire income. But the tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his chest, saying: God, be merciful to me a sinner! I tell you, this man went home justified unlike the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.
In general we like to admit that we are sinners. But we defend ourselves with all our strength, if one accuses us of something concrete. Only other people and the enemy, the accuser of the brethren and the father of lies, see our offenses and bring them to light. This is extremely unpleasant for our big, fat, proud self. We do not want that and defend ourselves, because it hurts.
We can’t see our faults. Our pride would suffer, it will not allow this. We are rather like the Pharisee and to see our good deeds and hide our guilt.
God can also see our fault; He knows you best. He sees it and brings it to light, so it can be cleaned off and forgiven. Then it’s gone, there’s no accusation. It is much better if Jesus brings our guild to light as if someone else does it. He does out of love, so that we are free.
He wants carefree people, happy, free, humble followers. That is why he takes the blame, which burdens us, and gives us His Spirit. He makes us capable to fight against our pride and self-praise. No one is free as the one who can apologize and stands to his guilt. Yes, I did it wrong, please forgive me. Humility is one of the highest Christian character traits. God stands by His servants!

Thank you, Jesus, I have nothing to hide and cannot pretend, I was already completely holy. You forgive and you say yes to me. You know me through and through, and dare to show my fault and clean it off. With you I’m sure, you do not condemn or mock me. With you I’m free!

Hospitality – 2018.10.29

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers; for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels.
Hebrews 13, 2

When the angels visited Sodom and Gomorrah to see if it was really so bad there, Lot (Abraham’s nephew) harboured the angels. The inhabitants wanted to abuse the three handsome men, but Lot defended them with all the means he had; – hospitality was sacred to him, and he respected it more than his life. He did not yet know that the men were angels who could have easily defended themselves.
I know a few people who love to have guests. One simply feels comfortable with them and is relaxed and warm. This gift of God’s hospitality is worth a lot! How many guests have already poured out their hearts because of the love of the hosts, how many have been refreshed and found new courage!
It is important that we develop this hospitality anew. God can use this gift gloriously! We should not be so standoffish, not wanting to pass on any information about ourselves. What do we have to hide? What is there to fear?
When I opened my house for the boys, new life came into the house. My boys felt strengthened and influenced others positively. Sure, some things got broken, but that was limited. I am glad that we practice openness; it has been good for us.
Of course the guests also see what we would prefer to hide or that which embarrasses us. My untidiness, for example. But should that be a reason for me to lock myself in? People talk anyway! I had to overcome a lot within me to open up the house and myself. But I think it was worth it. – I enjoyed and needed the hospitality of others very much when things weren’t good in my life.
Hospitality is a characteristic of God. He loves it. We are also like guests at the heavenly table of gifts. HE likes it when life centres around Him. Let us only think of the feast that the king gave and the invited guests made up excuses, and the king then invited all the people on the streets to fill the hall. Or the return of the Prodigal Son, what a joyful celebration!
Hospitality has a good evangelistic aspect. Friendships develop and people take part in our lives, also in the life of faith. And then at some point they join us at church. Or you feel like having your own discussion group.
Please, let us not seal ourselves off! Let us to reflect the love and friendliness of God through openness and hospitality!

Thank You, Jesus! You are friendly and without secrets. You love me and also show it. Oh, Lord, I want to open my house and heart to others so that they may feel Your friendliness.

To Praise – 2018.10.28

Yet You are enthroned as the Holy One, You are the one Israel praises.
Psalm 22:3

Yesterday I visited a church service. During the worship I looked at the parish from behind and I perceived the people as little circles. Most of them red, but some of them blue. The red ones were shining brightly and little flames blazed up from them. The blue ones were cold, but quite a lot got lit by one of the red ones and became red as well. As the flames rose up, strips of silver, like tinsel, started to rain down on the people. As a result the flames became larger and even more tinsel started to rain down. And again, larger flames led to more tinsel. And the tinsel started to change color to gold. Now, everywhere the flames were blazing. And the golden tinsel changed into flames, and it was raining flames. Like a spiral, it became stronger and hotter and the flames became larger until everything was glowing.
God encourages us to thank and praise him! Those are the little flames that rose up from the people. He returns mercy and blessings, since His throne is not one of judgment but one of mercy. The more flames of thanks, devotion, and love for Jesus raise up the more blessing comes down again. Its a synergy between God and the people! This fire is like an oven that head up everything around it. This is how an awakening gets started. The tinsel, that God sends down, are his blessings: unfathomable and heavenly joy, forgiveness, the love of God, mercy, grace, placidity, acceptance, Gods hot love for His church and the people. It brings freedom, joy, love for each other, forgiveness, healing, and everything else we need.
God encourages us to expect more. The silver tinsel was only the beginning. We should not stop moving, but we should keep searching. We should not move away from the presence of God until the oven is truly burning, we should not be satisfied with less. In Him is plenty.

Thank You Jesus, for You will meet us! We will not be send away empty handed by You, but you will fill us with Your joy, forgiveness, and love. With You is the life in plenty! Thank You for meeting me in daily life and for the joy that dominates my life. You are so good for me!

Self Praise and Praise of Jesus – 2018.10.27

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. … And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Mathew 6, 1+4

We like it when we can better portray ourselves as others are. Our children are better educated, our car is more powerful, our speech more powerful, our appearance more groomed …. Yes, we want to be something!
Also in the Christian churches there are again and again “special” people who like to stand up in front and talk big. Or people who know (almost) everything about the Bible and faith and also how to solve the problems of others.
We should never show our strengths or compare ourselves with others in these things. Jesus never did!
He was humble. He rested in Himself and did not need the praise of others. HE rested in God, so His life was marked by the power of silence. He never needed to point to His good sides. He never needed to say how good He was.
This trait seems to be common to all of us. Even the silent, grey mice want attention and come to life when their ministries are appreciated.
Only a Heart of Jesus frees us from this. When we have Him in our hearts, we no longer need to insist on our authority and knowledge. Then we are authority.
When HE rules in us, it is only important how He thinks about us. And even that is still too much for us. We do our service quietly, without wanting recognition. For we do it for Him; – HE shall receive praise. He shall grow, but I shall lose weight; – said John the Baptist.
Our whole life has Him as its goal, and we are only signposts to Him.
We get this security through Him. He says yes to us; He accepts us as children; He appreciates us immensely; He takes us as His co-workers. He gives us a value that no one else can give us. Why should I still do great things when HE has a Yes to me? I have His Yes, I don’t need any more.
The Holy Spirit wants to put this certainty, this basis of life, into our hearts. Then all great doing ceases. We no longer need it.

Thank You, Jesus, for accepting me. You say yes to me and write it firmly in my soul. Yes, together with You I no longer need the praise of other people; I am free of it. Thank You for this salvation!

Incurable wounds – 2018.10.26

This is what the Lord says:
your wounds are incurable,
your injury beyond healing. …
But I will restore you to health
and heal your wounds.
Jeremiah 30, 12.17

The Lord knows us through and through. All the seconds of our whole life are before His eyes. That is why HE knows exactly what is going on inside of us. He knows all feelings, all thoughts, every pain, every joy; – simply everything is known to Him.
He watches us, but without condemnation. Of course, He does not like sin, but He also rejoices in every good thing, just as a father is proud of his children.
Our heart has many wounds. Parents are not always perfect, teachers sometimes punish us wrongly and the neighbours speak badly of us. All this and much more causes wounds in the heart, in the personality and in the memory. Many therefore build a wall around themselves so that they no longer get hurt. However, they are then isolated, can open up only with difficulty and feel lonely and misunderstood (which is also true).
God wants to heal these wounds, just as a father comforts his children and sticks a plaster on the wound. But HE does it on His terms, not ours. We often moan only because our old self has been offended. God allows this to happen because He wants to bury our old blown up ego. As soon as our heart belongs to Him, He heals everything and our heart becomes invulnerable; – only the egocentric me can be hurt, not the heart of Jesus.
Deep injuries caused by shock or crime can be healed by Him. It is not too difficult for Him. He is very loving and patient. But HE wants us to forgive the perpetrator first, no matter how hard that is. If we decide to forgive, HE helps our feelings become reality. Then healing happens. As long as we are stubborn and moan and lament, God unfortunately cannot intervene and He cannot heal. HE has patience with us and waits until we are ready. Why torture oneself unnecessarily? Why drag the burden itself? Why roll in pain? He is the Saviour who binds every wound, who carries every pain and makes us happy again. Oh, how good HE is to us!

Thank you Jesus that You really heal every pain and every wound. Yes, sometimes I am vindictive and evil, forgive me. You have forgiven me so much, I can forgive others as well. You are wonderful with me – patient, friendly, gentle, healing, comforting and forgiving.

Keeping God’s Commandment – 2018.10.25

The Word is very close to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart, you can keep it.
5 Deuteronomy 30, 14

The commandments that God had given Israel were too heavy for the people. It constantly deviated from him.
We think it would be easy to do everything right, because the commandments of God are actually quite simple and easy to understand. But we do our calculations without the power of sin that dwells within us. It constantly seduces us to tell or live small untruths, to take possession of something that does not belong to us, or to talk or think badly about others. Strangely enough, it is impossible to keep the simple rules of God! Because our heart is contaminated with sin.
That is why our living together does not work, neither in the big, in politics, nor in the small, in family and friendship. All forms of government, whether monarchy, democracy, communism and others have failed because of man. All forms of living together have failed, with a few exceptions. And if you have a good marriage, it is a great grace and exception. Does one have the greatest part in it himself?
God sees our dilemma. We do not create the good that we want, and we do the evil that we do not want. But HE has a way out. How good for us!
He wants to put His word in our heart. This is not only His commandment in general, but also His instruction for all situations. He does not only want to write the words of the Bible into us, to write them on our heart, but also His current word for the special situations in which we are. In this way we can walk on His ways, if the Spirit is allowed to guide us. He wants it, and we?
He wants to put the word of grace deep into us and realize it. I am wanted. I am forgiven. God has become my friend. He loves me. These are the foundations of life! How many of us are unwanted, are full of complexes, are full of blocking guilt feelings, are unloved and feel lonely and abandoned. But Jesus makes life totally new by filling us with His good Spirit, the Spirit who enables us to believe Him.
Yes, with Him in our hearts we can do it. Without Him we continue to cramp with sin, guilt and failure. How good HE is to us!!

Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, Jesus! Thank You for salvation and deliverance! Thank You for helping me to live according to Your Word!  Thank You, You are with me, You are in me, You reign!

Calm, safe, and secure – 2018.10.24

I have calmed and quieted my soul.
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
Psalms 131:2

Whenever restlessness attacks me and I am agitated, become anxious and worried, I turn to God and ask for tranquility, safety, and comfort. These words sound very simple as if I can do it alone without help. How can I calm an agitated heart?
Well, do it in faith, cling to Him like a child in the womb of his mother which surely take more then moments. It takes time and a lot of faith, active struggle too, before the peace returns, the faith is built up again, and my heart feels secure in the presence of God.
Yes, I believe in Him, my Savior, Helper and Redeemer! He saved me, healed me, repaired all the harm I had suffered. He protected, warned me, gave me all! He was there when I needed Him!  Should it be now otherwise?
Yes indeed, sometimes I need those reminders. It may be good if you write down where and when God intervened and helped you, so you can read it, be encouraged when you are in great trouble again.
Never get stuck in complaint!  Pour out your concerns before Him, newly learn that He is there and begin to thank Him. Do that in confidence in His mercy. Trust Him. Otherwise your lamentations are for nothing. Do not try to make God fulfill your own wishes. Truely,this is not very easy to confide all the problems entirely to Him. But your faith, the Holy Spirit will help you to let them go and not be captured again by them to bear them on your own shoulder. May be, you have to forgive when somebody has attacked you. The Lord will bless this with great peace.
I have to relearn the knidness of our Lord, to newly see His goodness. Then I cannot but praise Him and it will be easy for me to find security in Him again as a little child in the womb of his mother. My work is to trust Him in every situation. He always will be at my side and make me more confident, more secure. With Him all my problems are in good hands. I can trust Him. He shows me the way. How wonderful, He is there!

Thank You, Jesus, that You tenderly surround me always and make me feel so calm.

A good relationship – 2018.10.23

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoices over you.
Isaiah 62, 5

I had lived alone for a long time and had coped well with it. But everything changed when we fell in love. Oh, it was nice to see the moon together, the clouds, the sunsets, the wide sea ….. My heart was full, happy, contented, in harmony … it was simply wonderful!
And the times while walking or on the bench in the sun, – it was nice to talk to each other. Conversation never ran out, we talked about everything. You could pour out your heart and say the deepest thoughts freely. There was no fear of being ridiculed or of saying something wrong. We were one heart and one soul.
This is the relationship God wants with us. Of course, we can also get along on our own. But together is so much nicer, or with couples engaged to be married, or already married, together as three; – one with God; HIM in the center, without the partner becoming unimportant. With God there is harmony and no jealousy.
Just as a man rejoices in a bride and sees in her only the most beautiful and the best, so God rejoices in us. As intimate and harmonious as the relationship between lovers is, God wants such a relationship with us.
It is so wonderful to go with Him through the day, the year and our whole lives! He should dwell completely in our hearts, feel comfortable there and be at home. HE and I, we want to forge a bond of unity anew every day, we want to start the day together and end it together. Nothing may stand between us, everything must be cleared up immediately; – every dark thought, every quick, bad word, every selfish wish, every bad deed. Then truly nothing can separate us anymore. Oh, yes! The distrust or the no-confidence that can separate. Jesus is often sad because we do not trust Him, do not entrust everything to Him, have too little faith. With this we grieve Him and the fellowship with Him.
How good it is that HE has so much patience with us and always starts all over again with us. He has within Himself the love that carries through, that is faithful even when we are unfaithful, that jealously watches over us, that is incapable of lying, of not keeping a promise or of forgetting us. HE is wonderful!!

Thank You, Jesus! You are wonderful and I enjoy being with You. Then joy and peace, harmony and acceptance can spread within me. There is forgiveness of all guilt and no shame. There is hope for tomorrow and all days. Yes Lord, it is good with You!!

Those who plant with tears – 2018.10.22

Let those who plant with tears
reap the harvest with joyful shouts.
Let those who go out,
crying and carrying their seed,
come home with joyful shouts,
carrying bales of grain!
Psalm 126:5f

There is a weeping and wailing and everything just revolves around the man himself. We call it self-pity, when it never comes to an end.
Sometimes we cry because we have to face a heavy burden. But God will comfort us and lift us up again. And sometimes we cry because we are ashamed because of our sins and mistakes. But God wants to forgive and does not want us to worry and struggle.
Today we want to talk about another type of crying. Jesus wept over Jerusalem: How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you did not want it. He sees the misfortune coming and weeps about the people who reject Him, the Savior. It is a burden for Him.
We often have a burden for others. Perhaps for the children, parents, relatives, neighbors, friends, colleagues, our city, our country or for other peoples and countries. God Himself puts them on our hearts and wants us to stand up for these people.
When I imagine that Jesus might come back tomorrow and the world is passing away, then I pray all the more urgent for the people God has laid on my heart, so that they will not get lost. God has promised to hear my prayer. When I think of the people who do not know Jesus yet, a deep sadness comes over me. As they are lost forever! I constantly remember Jesus of them. I do not know His ways with those people and do not know how He wants to save them, but I know that He is not inactive. He knows the right way and knows the correct time. I am sure that He hears my prayer!
My tears and my sadness for others will bear fruit. It is not in vain! And then I will cheer!

Thank you, Jesus, that You make my heart glad! Yes, I have a burden for my mates and relatives, but You will help me to carry it. You promised to hear my prayer – I can surely rely on it. Your word makes me happy!