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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Jesus Loves Us

It is so easy to pass over - Jesus loves you - as a platitude.

It has become a bumper sticker equivalent of "how are you," said without thought, heard without meaning.

How do we reach large numbers of people with the truth, when the truth becomes a marketing slogan?

We don't.

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. - I Corinthians 1:17-18

The wisdom of this world, the wisdom of marketing slogans, is of no value to the gospel.

Each person with which we converse, and we ourselves, are unique. It is the Holy Spirit working in us that helps bring an individualized message of hope to everyone.

God may lead someone to him from your bumper sticker or a single statement. The hope someone else has planted may be watered by you.

The key is to pray - and then to obey. Study the Bible so that you will recognize God's voice, he will not contradict himself. Ask The Holy Spirit to assist you as you read.

Prayer is the conversation of friends united in love, join with God in prayer constantly.

God attends to the miracle of growth, and will be there for the harvest. Be led of God, and you will share with all the workers in the rewards of the harvest.

God knows what each individual needs to hear or not hear, the Holy Spirit will guide you.

I remember a fellow in a music group that at the start of a service felt God leading him to share a specific word with the congregation. He resisted because it was so specific. Impressed through the whole service - he finally blurted it out before the final song. Someone who had just entered burst out crying. God touched the listener with exactly the word he needed. God also touched the singer - God had known how long he would have to speak with him so the message was perfectly timed for the hearer.

God knows us intimately and individually, God is also smarter and wiser than we are. If we want the best for his kingdom, for our loved ones, for ourselves - we need to listen and act as the Holy Spirit directs.

God is more than big enough to work all things to good when we act in faith at his word.

Jesus loves us, and will only direct us in our and everyone else's best interest.

Lord God,

Thank you for placing your hand on us.

Thank you for that touch that heals and instructs.

Thank you for the love that binds us to you - and you to us.

We come to you now, knowing that none of us is preferred in your sight. We all have equal access to you, your wisdom and knowledge, and your love.

In Jesus Christ's holy name we come to talk with you.

Let love shape the language as we talk ---


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