Light. Life. Jesus.

Jesus is the Light. He shines in the darkness. He brings Life!

Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus the Messiah. There is something very powerful and yet peaceful when His name is spoken in reverence and worship. His very name conquers fear. His very name lights our way when we feel trapped or alone or lost or consumed with darkness.

Remember when you were a kid and you were afraid of the dark? Maybe, like me, you had to have a light on in your bedroom at night. What was it about the light being on? It shined brightly in the darkness, didn’t it? It showed us that there was nothing else in the room, nothing would harm us or hurt us. The light was a comfort, wasn’t it?

Jesus said in John 8: “I am light to the world and those who embrace me will experience life-giving light, and they will never walk in darkness.” John 8:12 (Passion)

Light is not only a comfort, but it brings life! Like the sun on the leaves of a plant, Jesus, the light of the world, brings life!

Do you believe that? Let His light shine in you and on you to give you His life. As the dawning light of a new day chases away the darkness of night, the comfort and peace of Jesus can do the same thing in your life. There is nothing so dark that His light can’t shine through and bring calm.

Maybe you need His light to bring you comfort today? Ask Him to shine His light in your life. Ask Him to let His life drive the darkness out of your life! He loves you and He will do it.

 

(c) Rich Ronald. 2019.

We need a Comforter because we need to be comforted

Sometimes our world can be rocked like wind blowing against a dandelion where it feels like nothing of our life is left except the stem.

Have you ever picked up the phone only to have someone on the other end give you some “rock your world” news?  Perhaps it was news of an accident… a medical report… a death… an arrest… a confession…

In that single instant your world was shattered like a gust of wind against a dandelion where it feels like there’s nothing left except the stem.  It happens to most of us, if not all of us, at one time or another.  And, what did you do?  Panic? Cry?  Punch your fist at God?  Did you ask, “I’m a Christian, for goodness sake… how did God let this happen to me?”

May I encourage you to remain calm in the crisis.  Maybe it is because you are a Christ-follower that this has happened to you.  I’m not saying that God causes bad things to happen, but this world is full of weeds and thorns… and you’re going to get stuck from time to time.  Yes, God’s Holy Spirit surrounds you and protects you. But the Word also says the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, is a comforter.  Now why would we need a comforter if we didn’t ever need comforting?  God knew we would all go through seasons of great crisis.  We all need to be comforted when we are in a crisis.

Is your world being turned upside down right now?  Finances in a mess?  A diagnosis in a medical report?  A spouse calling it quits?  May I encourage you to lean into the Comforter.  Wrap yourself in His arms.  Let Him hold you.  It’s going to be all right.

Continue reading “We need a Comforter because we need to be comforted”

Advent Day 7, the Gift of Ministry

December 7th

The Gift of Ministry

One of the things that is fascinating about being a Believer is that God calls each of us to act. And He does so through our spiritual wiring… once we bow the knee to Jesus there is something that prods us along to engage others in care, compassion and service.  The next Advent gift is found in Ephesians 3:7… the gift of ministry. 

This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. (Ephesians 3:7-8 The Message)

Do you know that every believer is a minister?  On the letterhead at the first church where I served, it listed all the staff pastors.  But at the top of the list it said “Ministers, Every Member.” If you were an active part of the congregation you were expected to also be a minister.  Not in a vocational position, but in the day to day community life of the Fellowship.

That’s truly how it is.  Paul says if you are Gentile, or non Gentile, Christian or Jew, if you partake of the promises in Christ Jesus, if you have received His grace, you are a minister… one who God will use for His Kingdom purposes.

Can people come to know Jesus in a tattoo parlor?  There is a ministry in St. Louis that focuses just on that group.   How about motorcycle gangs?  I passed a guy on a Harley recently that had a “Bikers For Christ” patch on the back of his leather jacket.  There is a Christian legal group for attorneys, there is a Christian Medical and Dental Association, there are professional sports ministries, Christian pilots, Mothers of Preschoolers… you name it, whatever the group of people, there are Believers who are ministering to one another.  And most are doing so without an ordained, pulpit pounding, seminary trained “professional minister” at the head of the organization.  And that’s the way God wants it. 

It’s a gift to be able to minister to one another with His grace.  Every Believer has been given the ability — by the power of the Holy Spirit — to listen, to pray, to encourage, to minister.

God has uniquely equipped you to minister to your neighbor.  Scripture says that one of primary reasons we go through trials and difficulties is so that we can encourage others when we get to the other side of that challenge.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV)

May God continue to give you grace and blessing as you minister to one another.  So, receive this gift and use it often, the gift of ministering to one another.

Father God, thank you for the gift of ministry. May the Holy Spirit lead me to minister to those who need to see your love, grace and compassion.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

(c) 2011. Rich Ronald