I want to die. That's what Paul said in his letter to the church in Philippi, which he was writing from a prison cell in Rome. And mind you, death was a very plausible thing for Paul at that time. He was awaiting trial, and as far as he knew at the time, he could have been facing execution after the trial.
With one skim through the gospels, we see, over and over again, giant crowds of people following Jesus everywhere he went, swarming him, and clinging to him, almost desperately. They couldn't get enough of him! That alone should tell us something about Jesus.
In the beginning verses of Mark 8, Jesus, for the second time, feeds a huge crowd of people with very meager means.
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." - Matthew 28:19 (NLT) It's the great commission. Almost all Christians know about it; most can probably quote (or at least paraphrase) that verse. But what does it mean?
Very recently, I received news that a friend passed away in a car accident. He was 22. It's something we all hear about - you know, a young person passing away, before his/her time, and when I hear those stories, I think about the friends they left behind, the people who were just as young. I think about how hard that must be. Because when we're young, we think we're invincible. We have our whole lives ahead of us. Nothing can stop us.
Recently, I've noticed quite a few people requesting "good vibes" or "good thoughts" or something of the sort be sent their way because they're in some sort of bad situation. And it's really starting to break my heart. Good vibes and good thoughts will not help anyone out of a bad situation.
"All you can do is pray." A lot of well-meaning Christians say that. We can't help actively, but we can certainly send our prayers. We're sorry we can't do more. But stop. Stop right there. We can't do more than simply praying. That's right. But not in the way it's meant above.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. Psalm 1:2 (NLT)
God is faithful. He is there through the seasons. He is there through it all. Scripture says that there is nothing that can separate from His love. That means nothing of this world, no external forces, no one, and nothing can create a rift between us and God.
Sort of in the same line of thought as last week, all too often we let fear control our minds. God sets an opportunity before us, call us to do something that's, admittedly, maybe a little crazy, and we respond to God with a list of ways we aren't qualified to do that job. Moses did the same thing. Moses, the man who parted the Red Sea, told God that he wasn't qualified to do what God called him to do.