Tag Archives: thoughts

LOVE AND JOY

A couple of weeks ago I was beginning to get ready for Sunday services at our Church, and there were many things on my mind.  A friend had called on my telephone and left a short message that really blessed me.

Trying to pastor people can be wonderful when everybody is happy and trying to live a good Christian life, but it is not always peaches and cream, if you know what I mean.

We had just passed through several weeks filled with great blessings in the services, and we found ourselves reaching out for souls in the community.  It does not take a lot of effort to get people to come to Church when you have been blessed and filled with a desire to please God more.   People are hungry for somebody to care about them,, and when a child of God will sincerely show kindness and make a little effort to help them to move forward toward hope, they will at least visit the Church when they are invited in most cases.

When new people start showing up, they bring many problems with them.  Each new soul is a challenge, because they have a very small amount of understanding about what is going on in our services.  These new people have not been present through the years to hear the good preaching and teaching coming across the pulpit resulting in our great victory for those that were here, nor have they experienced the joy of knowing Jesus, and they sometimes find themselves not being able to relate to the testimonies or the preaching. They do not know what we are talking about when we are shouting praises about the Holy Ghost and baptism in the name of Jesus.  Most of them seem to think they are already saved, and they know more about how we should conduct our services than we do.

As the members of the Church gather their families up to head home after Church, the new sinners that just came to visit find themselves sometimes confused and needing to talk to the pastor.  Sooner or later they make their way to the pastor’s office where they talk about how terrible life has been to them.  They have many questions, and sometimes confusion is all they have as a result of visiting the Church.  Many of them need money and they seem to think the Church is there to give them some of that money that was collected in the offering.  Somehow it seems that most of these new souls have come to the conclusion that pastors have nothing to do between services, and they are free to give them undivided attention until the next service.

As I allow myself to become the city dump for the hurting people of the community, I try to give them the only answer that can fix it all for them, but they do not seem to understand that Jesus is real.

That phone call came at a time when I needed to hear the words that were spoken.  A friend in Texas had called and left a message.  Here are the words that were spoken several times.  “Love and joy will conquer all.”  Those words were repeated several times.  When I listened to that message something happened to me. Just thinking about love and joy brought me back to the peace I had enjoyed before all the problems of the world had been poured into my life by people I do not know.

Every time i fall in love with Jesus, I experience joy all over again.  All I needed was a reminder, and the  peace that passes all understanding returned.  No matter how many sad things I had listened to during the past few days, the answer for all of those troubled souls was the same answer I needed also.

Today I am feeling happy as I listen to my new friends talk about the problems of life.  I am still being treated like a garbage bag that can hold all the years of junk that needs to be poured out, but somehow I am finding joy as I listen to every soul because the love of God that has blessed me is right here for each one of them also.

Thank you sister Cathy Shelton, for listening to the Lord and making that phone call.  Your love and your joy helped me to once again find my peace that passes understanding, and your words helped me to renew patience and compassion as I love the souls that are trying to make their way to the kingdom of light and happiness.  With joy I am once again drawing water from the wells of salvation.  The older I get, the more I am learning about the love of our God coming into our hearts and flowing out to others from our hearts. Thank God for joy flowing like a river as deep as the sea.

In the wisdom and all knowing ability of our wonderful Lord,  one child of God 1500 miles away listened to his tender voice and made a telephone call.  She left a message from God, and those wonderful words changed my life again.

Today I am here in my office, and the garbage from last week is gone.  I am waiting for that next phone call and looking forward to the next truck load of junk to come walking through my office door. This office is filled with living water today, and those thirsty souls are coming to get a drink. I love these people, and my heart is shouting “PRAISE THE LORD…” as I draw water from the wells of salvation. Something within me wants to shout today, “WHO’S NEXT…COME ON IN…”   HALLELUJAH!!!   Ren Rutledge

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE CROSS?

When Jesus died on the Cross, all creation stood at attention.  This was the moment of fulfillment for all generations past, present and future on this planet.  All the sacrifices of generations past, and all prayers that had ever been prayed or would ever come forth in the future would meet at the cross as God once again would speak life and new beginnings into the face of the deep . Once again light would come forth. and those that sat in darkness would be able to see this great  light. The supreme offering of the Almighty God for all mankind was hanging on that cross providing hope and solutions for all who would believe and accept this gift of God for mankind.

We find ourselves almost two thousand years after this mighty event rejoicing in the knowledge that everything we need for success in life and for eternal happiness is available as a result of Jesus hanging there. God made it possible for anybody anywhere at any moment to be able to enjoy the happiness that can result from the creative power of the everlasting Father who created man from the dust of the earth.  God knows that we are made of dust, and he still has the power to breath life into the dust regardless of how much dirt is in our lives.

A great and mighty door was opened up to us as the mighty God invited all creatures to experience the joy of accepting God’s invitation for all to come to Jesus and experience the creation power of God.  This door can only be opened by the eternal God, and no other creature has the power to shut this door as long as God wants it opened.  When God shuts the door, nobody will ever be able to open it again.

We have an opportunity right now at this very moment to enjoy the blessings that are available on the other side of that open door.  The Almighty King of Kings has invited all of us sinful human beings to walk right up to that door and allow God himself to wipe away our tears, disappointments and shame.  He knows that we have sinned, and he is against the problem that caused it.  God is not your enemy, and he wants to be your friend no matter how you have lived, because he can fix anything for anybody at any time.  God hates sin, but he love the sinner, and thus the cross was provided to help us to get sin out of our lives.

The effect of the blood on that cross is so powerful that God sees us as his own children once we have embraced his plan of redemption.  God made it possible for a sinner to become a saint when Jesus was hanging on that cross.  The blood that spilled from his body streaming down the wood underneath his feet provided healing and cleansing for every soul that would call upon the name of the Lord.  There is power in the name of Jesus, and that power when spoken from the heart of a believer who is willing to obey the Lord’s plan of Salvation is the most amazing grace we can ever know.

The grace and mercy provided at the cross has made it possible for us be happy and victorious in this present world regardless of any  pain or disappointment we may experience along the way.  As long as we are mortal on this planet we will have sickness and pain, and sometimes things will not be comfortable in our lives, but the gift of God that has been provided makes it all worthwhile.  Jesus endured the suffering and death on the cross, so that we could have strength to endure the problems of life and find happiness along the way as we follow his example of forgiving others on our way to abundant  life forever beyond the grave.

God has promised eternal joy and happiness to all who will humble ourselves under his mighty hand and accept his invitation.  This is all made possible as a result of the wisdom and mercy of a caring creator who loves you more than anybody could ever love you. The almighty God provided salvation and endured the cross despising the shame for the joy that was set before him.  You can cause that joy to spring forth as soon as you finish reading this blog. You have the power in your hand right now to cause rejoicing in the presence of angels to break forth so powerful that all creation will take notice and celebrate your decision as soon as you are willing to come to repentance and accept the gift that is waiting for you as a result of what happened on that cross.

0 votes