Wouldn’t you?

After this Jesus went across the Galilee Sea (that is, the Tiberias Sea). A large crowd followed him, because they had seen the miraculous signs he had done among the sick. Jesus went up a mountain and sat there with his disciples. It was nearly time for Passover, the Jewish festival. Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, “Where will we buy food to feed these people?” Jesus said this to test him, for he already knew what he was going to do. Philip replied, “More than a half year’s salary worth of food wouldn’t be enough for each person to have even a little bit.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that for a crowd like this?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted. 12 When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw that he had done a miraculous sign, they said, “This is truly the prophet who is coming into the world.” 15 Jesus understood that they were about to come and force him to be their king, so he took refuge again, alone on a mountain. 16 When evening came, Jesus’ disciples went down to the lake. 17 They got into a boat and were crossing the lake to Capernaum. It was already getting dark and Jesus hadn’t come to them yet. 18 The water was getting rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When the wind had driven them out for about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He was approaching the boat and they were afraid. 20 He said to them, “I Am. Don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and just then the boat reached the land where they had been heading. (John 6:1-21, CEB)

If you had heard and seen what Jesus was doing, wouldn’t you follow to see more or to witness the miracles first hand?

We want to be amazed.

And here Jesus amazed not only the crowd, but the disciples too. Jesus asked Philip where will you buy food to feed these people? Jesus already knew what was going to happen. But Phillip was like most of us would have been, are you crazy Jesus! We don’t have any where near enough money to buy food for all of these people and even if we did, there isn’t any place close to get the stuff we need. We doubt what can happen. We try to figure things out based on our knowledge of the world not based in God can do what God wants.

We need to let go of our understanding and look at the world through the eyes of God. To see as God sees, and to understand as God understands.

We don’t have to understand it. We just need to trust God.

Trust God.

Love People. Love God.

the will of God

31 In the meantime the disciples spoke to Jesus, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 Jesus said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” 33 The disciples asked each other, “Has someone brought him food?” 34 Jesus said to them, “I am fed by doing the will of the one who sent me and by completing his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘Four more months and then it’s time for harvest’? Look, I tell you: open your eyes and notice that the fields are already ripe for the harvest. 36 Those who harvest are receiving their pay and gathering fruit for eternal life so that those who sow and those who harvest can celebrate together. 37 This is a true saying, that one sows and another harvests. 38 I have sent you to harvest what you didn’t work hard for; others worked hard, and you will share in their hard work.” (John 4:31-38, CEB)

Jesus is fed off of doing God’s will.

We are all called to go into the fields and harvest that which we did not plant or that which we did not toil to help grow.

You see we all play a part, Paul planted, Apollos watered, and God brought the growth. We need to be ready to go and do what God calls us to.

Are you in tune with the will of God so you are fed by doing and being who God has called you to be?

Love People. Love God.

whatever

12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. 14 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. 16 The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17, CEB)

Whatever you do do it in the name of Jesus.

Be tolerant of others and forgive as God forgave you.

Treat everyone with love, compassion, kindness. Be gentle and patient in all you do and say. I can say this isn’t always easy for me. But I sometimes need to remind myself that God is patient with me, so I need to treat others as God has and does treat me.

In moments when I want to lash out I remember the words spoken at Via de Cristo, “God loves you, and so do I.” And if I am loving as God loves, then I forgive and over look shortcomings. I lift people up and help them.

Let us all remember that there isn’t a single person we will come in contact with that God does not love. God loves you, and so do I.

Love People. Love God.

Praying for you

Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. 10 We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; 11 by being strengthened through his glorious might so that you endure everything and have patience; 12 and by giving thanks with joy to the Father. He made it so you could take part in the inheritance, in light granted to God’s holy people. 13 He rescued us from the control of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. 14 He set us free through the Son and forgave our sins. (Colossians 1:9-14, CEB)

We have not stopped praying for you. We are always asking God to fill you with knowledge and understanding of the will of God. We are asking that your lives will be beacons for those around you to see and point towards God.

Do you pray for those who you know like this?

These are people at this point that Paul may not actually know, but he has heard about them. Paul is praying for those who he hasn’t met yet, that they would point people to God.

How can we pray for people in our neighborhood and around the world that they might have knowledge of God’s will and the power to be lights in the darkness?

Love People. Love God.

Lost sheep

All the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around Jesus to listen to him. The Pharisees and legal experts were grumbling, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose someone among you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them. Wouldn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the pasture and search for the lost one until he finds it? And when he finds it, he is thrilled and places it on his shoulders. When he arrives home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes both heart and life than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to change their hearts and lives. (Luke 15:1-7, CEB)

This is the first of three parables in one of my favorite chapters in the bible. Luke 15.

The parable of the Lost Sheep, the parable of the Lost Coin, and the parable of the Prodigal Son as most of us know them.

This parable is interesting because it is about leaving 99 sheep in a pasture and going and looking for the one lost sheep. We leave 99 in danger out in the open with no shepherd to watch them while we go and look for the one that is lost, and when we find the lost sheep we throw a party because what was lost is now found. But is the parable really about the sheep or the shepherd?

The shepherd is the on who had 100 sheep, and goes and finds the lost one. The lost sheep just wondered off and caused issue for the shepherd. The shepherd did the searching and worrying.

God is the shepherd that will leave those who are not in trouble to find us when we stray away.

Be like God.

Love People. Love God.

watch out

17 From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus calling for the church’s elders to meet him. 18 When they arrived, he said to them, “You know how I lived among you the whole time I was with you, beginning with the first day I arrived in the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears in the midst of trials that came upon me because of the Jews’ schemes. 20 You know I held back nothing that would be helpful so that I could proclaim to you and teach you both publicly and privately in your homes. 21 You know I have testified to both Jews and Greeks that they must change their hearts and lives as they turn to God and have faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 Now, compelled by the Spirit, I’m going to Jerusalem. I don’t know what will happen to me there. 23 What I do know is that the Holy Spirit testifies to me from city to city that prisons and troubles await me. 24 But nothing, not even my life, is more important than my completing my mission. This is nothing other than the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus: to testify about the good news of God’s grace. 25 “I know that none of you will see me again—you among whom I traveled and proclaimed the kingdom. 26 Therefore, today I testify to you that I’m not responsible for anyone’s fate. 27 I haven’t avoided proclaiming the entire plan of God to you. 28 Watch yourselves and the whole flock, in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as supervisors, to shepherd God’s church, which he obtained with the death of his own Son. 29 I know that, after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and won’t spare the flock. 30 Some of your own people will distort the word in order to lure followers after them. 31 Stay alert! Remember that for three years I constantly and tearfully warned each one of you. I never stopped warning you! 32 Now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all whom God has made holy. 33 I haven’t craved anyone’s silver, gold, or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that I have provided for my own needs and for those of my companions with my own hands. 35 In everything I have shown you that, by working hard, we must help the weak. In this way we remember the Lord Jesus’ words: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” 36 After he said these things, he knelt down with all of them to pray. 37 They cried uncontrollably as everyone embraced and kissed Paul. 38 They were especially grieved by his statement that they would never see him again. Then they accompanied him to the ship. (Acts 20:17-38, CEB)

“Savage wolves will come in among you and won’t spare the flock. Some of your own people will distort the word in order to lure followers after them.” It’s almost as if Paul was writing to a congregation today.

People will distort the message of God to get what they want. We need to be diligent in our study of the word and following after God. People will try and convince us our understanding of God is misinformed and not what God is leading us to do and be. But we must hold fast to what Jesus has told us and follow where we know God is leading us.

Paul gave us many letters to many communities with different issues that can be a guide. But we must hold true to the gospel and live as God has led us to live.

Love People. Love God.

equip

17 Rely on your leaders and defer to them, because they watch over your whole being as people who are going to be held responsible for you. They need to be able to do this with pleasure and not with complaints about you, because that wouldn’t help you. 18 Pray for us. We’re sure that we have a good conscience, and we want to do the right thing in every way. 19 I’m particularly asking you to do this so that I can be returned to you quickly. 20 May the God of peace, who brought back the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, from the dead by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with every good thing to do his will, by developing in us what pleases him through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory forever and always. Amen. 22 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to put up with this message of encouragement, since I’ve only written a short letter to you! 23 You should know that our brother Timothy has been set free. If he comes soon, we will travel together to see you. 24 Greet your leaders and all of God’s holy people. The group from Italy greets you. 25 May grace be with all of you. (Hebrews 13:17-25, CEB)

No matter what is happening in your lives may you know that God is always with you. And may the understanding that God is with you bring you peace. Knowing that God raised Jesus from the dead and is able to do the same with you. And through this being raised you have the ability to do all that God has for you to do. To share love, grace and mercy with all of the world.

Know that you are able to do what God has called you to do and have been gifted with the tools to get the job done.

May you always know that God’s grace is with you.

Love People. Love God.

Rest

30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. 31 Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” 32 They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place. 33 Many people saw them leaving and recognized them, so they ran ahead from all the cities and arrived before them. 34 When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things. 53 When Jesus and his disciples had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret, anchored the boat, 54 and came ashore. People immediately recognized Jesus 55 and ran around that whole region bringing sick people on their mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 Wherever he went—villages, cities, or farming communities—they would place the sick in the marketplaces and beg him to allow them to touch even the hem of his clothing. Everyone who touched him was healed. (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56, CEB)

If you are a person that finds it hard to say no to someone, this passage is for you. Jesus tells the apostles “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.”

You see everyone needs rest and time away. It is not good to always say yes, not only do you run yourself down, but you do not leave space for others to become a part of the mission.

We all need to rest. Jesus went away by himself to pray and be alone, and we all need this.

Take time away to rest. It is good for everyone!

Love People. Love God.

Blind man…

35 As Jesus came to Jericho, a certain blind man was sitting beside the road begging. 36 When the man heard the crowd passing by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus the Nazarene is passing by.” 38 The blind man shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy.” 39 Those leading the procession scolded him, telling him to be quiet, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, show me mercy.” 40 Jesus stopped and called for the man to be brought to him. When he was present Jesus asked, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, I want to see.” 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” 43 At once he was able to see, and he began to follow Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they praised God too. (Luke 18:35-43, CEB)

This passage reminds me of the camp song Blind Man, which is also a sung done by the band The Kry. I have included the lyrics and a video for the song below.

The interesting thing about this passage is the man had heard about Jesus and knew, trusted, believed, had faith that Jesus could heal him and allow him to see.

Do you or I have that kind of trust in God? Do you believe God can heal you? Give you the life that you want/need?

How can we have the faith of this man, and trust that Jesus is the best thing for us and has our best interest at heart?

Love People. Love God.

The blind man stood by the road and he cried 
The blind man stood by the road and he cried 
The blind man stood by the road and he cried 
He cried oh, oh, oh

The woman stood by the well and she cried
The woman stood by the well and she cried
The woman stood by the well and she cried
She cried oh, oh, oh

Show me the way 
Show me the way 
Show me the way 
The way to go home

Jesus hung from the cross and He cried
Jesus hung from the cross and He cried
Jesus hung from the cross and He cried
He cried oh, oh, oh

Show me the way 
Show me the way 
Show me the way 
The way to go home

Jesus rose from the dead and He cried
Jesus rose from the dead and He cried
Jesus rose from the dead and He cried
He cried oh, oh, oh

I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life
And the way to go home
You are the way, You are the truth, You are the life
And the way to go home

Unkown

16 While Paul waited for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to find that the city was flooded with idols. 17 He began to interact with the Jews and Gentile God-worshippers in the synagogue. He also addressed whoever happened to be in the marketplace each day. 18 Certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers engaged him in discussion too. Some said, “What an amateur! What’s he trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods.” (They said this because he was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 19 They took him into custody and brought him to the council on Mars Hill. “What is this new teaching? Can we learn what you are talking about? 20 You’ve told us some strange things and we want to know what they mean.” (21 They said this because all Athenians as well as the foreigners who live in Athens used to spend their time doing nothing but talking about or listening to the newest thing.) 22 Paul stood up in the middle of the council on Mars Hill and said, “People of Athens, I see that you are very religious in every way. 23 As I was walking through town and carefully observing your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an unknown God.’ What you worship as unknown, I now proclaim to you. 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples made with human hands. 25 Nor is God served by human hands, as though he needed something, since he is the one who gives life, breath, and everything else. 26 From one person God created every human nation to live on the whole earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God made the nations so they would seek him, perhaps even reach out to him and find him. In fact, God isn’t far away from any of us. 28 In God we live, move, and exist. As some of your own poets said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 “Therefore, as God’s offspring, we have no need to imagine that the divine being is like a gold, silver, or stone image made by human skill and thought. 30 God overlooks ignorance of these things in times past, but now directs everyone everywhere to change their hearts and lives. 31 This is because God has set a day when he intends to judge the world justly by a man he has appointed. God has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:16-31, CEB)

They would sit around all day and talk about what the newest teaching was.

Can you imagine?

But Paul tells them that what they worship as unknown, can be known, and lived here among us to show us that God wanted to be known.

God is not something or someone far removed from our daily lives, but is here with us, and wants to be a part of your life everyday.

God has given us all kinds of proof of God’s existence. It is all around us in nature and in the fact Jesus died and was raised from the dead.

So know that God can be and wants to be known by you and be a part of you life.

Love People. Love God.