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Stop in for some Refreshment

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After giving a lecture to the people who were standing around gawking at a man who had just been healed about how the power to perform this came from the Jesus they rejected and hung on the cross, Peter says this:

 

Repent therefore, and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.  Acts 3:19

 

We’ve talked a lot about repentance here, but today I want to talk about the last part of that verse.   Have you ever felt the need for refreshing?  I know I have many times.  “Life do get tedious sometimes” as my mother used to say, and we get tired in our walk.  At such times, we long for a time of peace and refreshment.

 

Here he is specifically discussing those who are sin-sick and in need of refreshment.  The principle works for all, however, because Jesus is the source of refreshment, peace, rest, and everything else we need.

 

For the lost:

 

Those who have rejected Jesus walk around in the darkness.  They seek to meet their needs in sin, but sin leads to death.  It’s like having a cancer that slowly eats you away from the inside.  I heard recently of a woman who found out she had cancer two weeks before she died.  She had walked around with this cancer around her and had no idea it was killing her.

 

Jesus is the healer:

 

Jesus heals the sin-sick soul.  He brings His righteousness and His refreshment and His healing to the person who turns to Him, the great Physician.

 

For followers:

 

While we have the refreshment and healing that comes from choosing to repent and follow Jesus, we still have a rough row to hoe at times and need refreshment.  Imagine a farmer out tending to his crops.  Those of you who do farm will understand the work it takes to bring in that crop.  It’s long, hard, exhausting work.  When you come in from the field, you need refreshment.  You don’t just think, hmm, I’d like some refreshment; you go after it.  You probably need a drink the most, but you also need sustenance and rest to rebuild you for the work to come the next day.

 

Jesus is the refresher:

 

Esau, after a hard day of hunting, came in to smell the stew his brother, Jacob, had prepared.  He needed refreshment so much; he was willing to give up his birthright for it.  He is an example of a person trying to get refreshment through sin.  It may have felt good for a while, but it was very temporary – unlike his decision to give up his birthright.

 

Jesus is the Living Water: 

Falling Water Falls

Falling Water Falls (Photo credit: dbarronoss)

 

When Jesus refreshes, it’s not a temporary thing.  As long as we’re walking with Him, we will be refreshed.  It’s like having a living water IV.

 

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.   John 4:14

 

Bread

Bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus is the Bread of Life:

 

Along with providing Living Water, Jesus also provides the Bread of Life.  This bread fills us and gives us the strength to keep going.  It refreshes and provides life – abundant life!

 

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.  John 6:35

 

Jesus is the Light of Life:

 

Have you ever walked into a dark house and stumbled over something?  It refreshes to turn on the light so you can see what’s in front of you.  Jesus provides the eternal Light that shows us the way.

 

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)

 

Refresh

Jesus: He’s the real thing! Refresh (Photo credit: katerha)

Jesus is Everything we Need:

 

Do you need refreshment?  Take a moment to cuddle up close to Jesus and receive the refreshment He offers.  It’s better than anything sin has to offer for sure.  Taste and see that the Lord, He is good!

 

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.  Psalm 34:8

 

Descriptions of Christ  http://www.parentcompany.com/awareness_of_god/doctoc.htm

 

If It Were All Up To Me

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Hello!  I have been ill, but I think I might live.  While cleaning today, I found a Parent Newsletter from 2002 from my daughter’s school.  On the front was a poem by one of her classmates.  After sending a copy to her via facebook, I decided I would like to share this with you, my dear readers, as well.  I hope you enjoy it.  As an Idealist, it sounds like Heaven to me 🙂

 

If It Were All Up To Me

If only life was fun and games,

And never could there be any pain.

No violence of any kind,

Nothing like what happened at Columbine.

No knives, no guns, no dirty look,

No terrorists; the lives they took.

No thieves, no drunks, no robbers or crooks,

No spells that might have come from a book.

And there would be not one disease,

And not one person would ever leave.

No one would commit suicide,

And we would admit if we stole or lied.

There would be enough money to go around

Therefore, no one would sleep on the ground.

There would be no name calling allowed,

Therefore, everyone could stand proud.

Animals would be taken care of,

With food, a friend, and lots of love.

There wouldn’t be any stress,

No crying, no sighing, no being depressed.

And this is how the world would be,

If it were all up to me!!

Courtney B. Eichholtz

Grade 7

We know the world doesn’t look like this because there is sin in the world, but Christians should do their best to not contribute to the sin problem in our world.  And, it never hurts to dreeam, so . . .

What would the world look like if it were up to you?

The light version

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Esau Selling His Birthright (painting circa 16...

Esau Selling His Birthright (painting circa 1627 by Hendrick ter Brugghen) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once again I taught a lesson to Jr. High students and they had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned Jacob and Esau.  Church kids who do not know the stories of the Bible.  Where have we been?  How have they made it this far with no knowledge of these things?

 

One problem is the onset of what I call “Christianity light”.  The Bible is no longer a focal point of teaching in many churches (and families).  I remember having to deal with students (and my kids) boredom at Bible stories they heard repeatedly.  But, I would rather have that problem than this one.

 

Even then, students often failed to see the stories of the Bible, the people of the Bible, as real:  real people with real emotions, real desperation, real problems, real joys, real lives.  Jacob was a real person who became the father of the Israelites.  Esau, his brother, sold his birthright for one bowl of stew!  Have you ever ‘sold your birthright’ (lost something important) for a momentary pleasure of sin?  Do you identify?  How about the drama that went on in this house as parents favored a different twin and Momma helped Jacob take what wasn’t his.

 

bibles

bibles (Photo credit: fancycwabs)

These people are very real people, whose lives were often better than any soap opera.  They are fascinating.  Do we not see them as thus because they’re in the “Bible” so it  must be a lesson or something?  Have we become apathetic about the contents of the Bible and the stories it contains – the HISTORY it contains?

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Bible Study 2

Bible Study 2 (Photo credit: DrGBB)

I guess this post could classify as a rant, but it really isn’t.  I want to understand so I can make a difference.  How can our kids (or we) learn the meat of Christ if we’re not even getting the milk?  How real are these people to you?  Do you tell your children about them?  Grandchildren? Others?  Do you have any ideas about how we could solve this problem?

 

It so makes me sad that I have to spend so much time just telling the story, giving little time for building faith or even learning the basics.

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What about the story of Jesus?  The movie, “The Passion of the Christ”, probably has done a

The Passion of the Christ

The Passion of the Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

great deal toward making the story of Jesus real.  The scenes are difficult to watch at best.  They bring home the very real brutality of what Jesus took for us.  And we have no idea what it was really like, physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, the absolute torture He chose to endure for us.

 

If we really understood, even at a basic level, the reality behind the “stories” we treat so lightly, we would begin to see changed lives.  We would change.  We would become passionate about telling others.   We would understand the depths and height and breadth of His love for us.  Without this understanding, how can we expect the next generation of Christians to really be Christians?  Maybe that’s what was meant by “will I see any faith on the earth” when I return.

 

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Christmas ball - Christianity

Christmas ball – Christianity (Photo credit: nabeel_yoosuf)

Do you get it?  Do you have ideas for ways I can bring this alive to my students?  What went wrong?  What can we do to fix the problem?  . . .

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