The Intent of This Blog

This blog is intended to be a tool for the growth of whoever wants to use it. It is a daily journal intended to help us be more introspective. Every day I will do my best to supply a motivational quote, a Bible verse, a vocabulary word, and a personal message from myself. Use these if you like as motivation to improve yourself. Then, simply answer the daily questions provided honestly and see if it has an impact on your life. Zig Ziglar said, "If you don't have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer." Lets not be just dreamers but doers. Remember Martin Luther King Jr not only had a dream, he also had an objective. Thanks for reading, Jake

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Monday, September 16, 2013

The Promise, The Hope, The Miracle


“Don’t believe in miracles, depend on them.”  Laurence J. Peter
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved.  Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  Romans 8:22-25

Hope:  “to cherish a desire with anticipation”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

As I was writing today’s message it came over the news that a shooting was occurring at a Navy shipyard in Washington D.C..  It appears at this point that there are three gun-men and multiple victims, some dead.  I thought about searching for details.  About waiting until “All the facts” were in before writing about it, but no.  Of course it makes a difference how many people were killed.  Of course the lives of those people are valuable to their families and loved ones.  Of course we will want to find out why the shooter or shooters wanted to do harm to other people.  Of course we’ll want there to be justice.  However, I don’t have to wait for the gunshots to stop to say something about it.  I don’t have to wait until every echo of violence has subsided to say something about good and evil.  We don’t have to have all the facts to know that there is a right and a wrong.  
History has a way of revealing sides and identifying justice.  But we don’t have to wait for history to tell us how we should act today.  Today we should act in compassion.  Today we should protect the innocent.  Today we need to find the empathetic recesses of our hearts and act on the motivations that arise from sympathy and love.  Right now people are dying needlessly all over the world.  Right now children are left without families.  Right now someone’s heart is breaking in the need for love.  
Shootings seem to be a common occurrence these days.  However, so is love.  There is a work for evil in this world.  There is a motivation to hurt and kill.  Don’t let it drown out what so many of us know.  That is, the love that is in our hearts and the love we see lived out every day.  You may be reading this wondering where that love is in your life.  You may be reading this doubting whether compassion really exists, because you haven’t seen it in a long time.  You may be reading this with the idea that no one loves you.  If so, I’m about to repeat a much used, but never over used cliche.  Jesus loves you.  Jesus loves all of us.  He’s the source of life and the source of love.  And so, if you’re searching for love today.  You just found it.  The love of Jesus in our hearts can change our worlds.  
Sometimes it’s hard to find and feel love because we have no love.  You’ve heard the phrase, “It takes money to make money.”  It’s true with love too.  It takes love...  Often people love us simply because we first loved them.  The Bible says, “We love because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:19  Can you feel His love?  The love of God?  The love of Jesus?  The love of the Spirit?  They’re not necessarily found in the church down the street.  They don’t necessarily come from reading the Bible.  And they aren’t necessarily manifested in service.  Here’s what the Bible says about love.  “If I speak in tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  1 Corinthians 13:1-7  Today, like any other day has seen the opposite of love.  But it does not, cannot, and will not destroy it.  Because the source of love cannot be harmed.  His love perseveres, and through it so can ours.  
Today, no doubt you’ll hear the statements. “God failed again.”  “If God is so loving why would He allow...”  Perhaps you’ll say them.  Maybe you’ve already thought them.  It’s easy to say that God is love to those who are healthy and prospering.  But what about to those who’ve lost a loved one.  What about to those who are going through the worst.  To those who’ve died.  What does God’s love and compassion mean for them?  You can only really ask those questions once you’ve forgotten about the Cross.  Because through the Cross those problems are solved.  Through the Cross, Jesus’ love shines through to save.  The Cross offers a life of perfection.  The Cross means that suffering is temporary and death a relief.  Through the Cross the ultimate form of evil can be transformed into the ultimate act of love.  To die and be resurrected in perfection in the presence of true and almighty love.  That doesn’t mean our hearts are healed.  It doesn’t mean all hurts are gone today.  It doesn’t mean we won’t cry.  However, it does mean we have a hope.  The hope of the promise of eternal life.  A hope that requires a miracle.  A miracle that occurred when Jesus rose from His grave.

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

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