Thirsty Thursday: The Greatest Bond

I saw an article about addiction on The Huffington Post website. In the article, the premise as to why some people become addicted to substances and others do not is because of their need to bond. According to the article, humans are bonding creatures that crave bonding so much that they will bond with substances if needed. It hypothesized that if people with addictions had families and friends that loved them and people who did not judge their actions, they would not use substances.

I was totally 100% in agreement with the findings of this article until God reminded me of someone. Someone who had a successful business. Someone who had a loving wife and loving children. Someone who was respected in social circles. This person had everything the article said a person should need to refrain from addiction and yet this person abused alcohol. This person was my Grandfather.

The one bond this person did not have is the one bond that can save him. It is the only bond that can save. It is the bond between us and God. A bond that can only be achieved through Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6

We can’t love anyone enough to help them. We can’t love ourselves enough to change. We need God to do that. We can’t get to Him without Jesus.

Thirsty Thursday: We’re Thomas

What happened after Jesus rose from the grave?

He appeared to different sets of people to let them know He was alive. He appeared to His original eleven disciples, but Thomas wasn’t there. When they told Thomas that they had seen Jesus, he didn’t believe them.

But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of His nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe.” John 20:25b

Thomas gets a bad rap for this: “Doubting Thomas.” But in reality, Thomas loved Jesus and did not want to believe something about Him that wasn’t true. Everyone was talking about seeing Jesus, but he hadn’t seen Him. What if everyone were lying? What if they were hallucinating? What if they wanted to see Jesus so badly that they believed it happened even though it really hadn’t? Thomas needed more than his friend’s word.

Eight days later, all the guys were together in a locked room. Jesus showed up.

Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” John  20:27

When Jesus saw Thomas, He didn’t condemn him or judge him. He knew Thomas needed proof and He gave Thomas what he needed.

Do you think God doesn’t know your thoughts? He knows every one of them. He knows you are wondering if He’s really there. He knows that you think He doesn’t see you suffering. He knows what you need. He wants to show His love for you. He will show His provision in your life, and He will prove that He is real in a way that is meaningful to you.

You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Thirsty Saturday: Loving You

Yes, it is supposed to be Thirsty Thursday, but I did not have my laptop or any means to write a post. My laptop is back and I MUST continue sharing why there is an Easter celebration: Jesus. In the first post, I wrote about how Jesus willingly left heaven to be the son of an unwed mother. The second post talked about God’s love for us. In this third installment, I’m letting you know an important fact that gets over looked from time to time. Jesus openly loved the people around Him even though they were awful and horrid.

Excuse me?

Jesus hand picked twelve men to be His main disciples. Out of twelve men; who saw Him all the time: traveled with Him, listened to Him, prayed with Him, ate with Him, saw miracles He performed; only ONE followed Him to the cross. ONE.

Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus. They were His friends. Lazarus got ill and then died. When Jesus showed up with the express purpose to raise Lazarus from the dead, Martha starts in on Him. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” (John 11:21) Jesus didn’t stop loving her.

Think about the last time you were in a large crowd of people. What was running through your mind when you were amongst all those people? Were any of those thoughts kind or nice? Compassionate? Jesus looked at the crowds and had compassion on them (Matthew 9:36). He saw all the people who needed Him, and He loved them.

Palm Sunday is tomorrow. That is the day we remember all the people shouting, “Hosanna, Hosanna,” and waving palm branches at Jesus. These are the same people who will shout, “Crucify Him!”

It doesn’t matter what you do, did, or are about to do, Jesus loves you. He always has and He always will.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friend. John 15:13

 

Thirsty Thursday: The Sound of God Walking

For Project Positivity, I am meditating on Bible scripture daily.  I’m starting in Genesis and reading until something strikes me and then I meditate on it.  I would like to share what I meditated on the other day:

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day… Genesis 3:8a

Wow.

I’m pretty blessed to be one of those people who has heard the Bible and been able to read it from childhood.  But I have never really thought about this.  I always think about Jesus walking on the earth.  He’s the God Man.  He was baptized in the Jordan River.  When I think about God the Father on the earth, I think about His presence: the burning bush, passing light to make a covenant, and lighting Moses’s face.  I don’t think about Him physically walking on the earth.

But He did.

And it made a sound.

Close your eyes and imagine what sound that could have been.

What did you hear?  Did you hear the rustling of leaves?  Did you hear something musical?

This also makes me think about listening for God’s voice.  Elijah went out to hear God’s voice:

.. a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind.  And after the wind, an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.  And after the fire, the sound of a low whisper.  And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. 1 Kings 19: 11b – 13a

Maybe the sound He made in Eden was a quieter sound.  Maybe it was a sound that you can’t hear with your ears, but you hear in your soul.  Maybe.

Thirsty Thursday: Bilhah and Zilpah, You and Me

Reading through the story of Jacob, I came across two practically unknown women: Bilhah and Zilpah.  Have you ever heard anyone talk about these women?  I haven’t.  When I think about Jacob and his family, I think about Rachel, Leah, and the twelve tribes of Israel (And I think about Joseph because he’s my favorite).  Something about these women struck me, so I thought I’d investigate.  Maybe I could do a character study about these women.  But they are never quoted in the Bible.  There are very few facts listed about these women.  Here’s what we know for sure:

  • They were originally Laban’s servants.  He gave them to his daughters when they married Jacob.
  • They were given by Rachel and Leah to Jacob as wives when Rachel couldn’t bare children and Leah had stopped bearing children.
  • Their children were named by their mistresses, Rachel and Leah.
  • Jacob never talks about them as his wives.  They are even described as his “female servants” in Genesis 32:22.

Let’s put aside the fact that they weren’t able to chose a husband for themselves and they didn’t even get to name the children they had.  The most outrageous story about these women is this: Jacob’s brother Esau is about to meet him in the country.  Jacob fears that Esau has come for revenge and will slaughter him and his entire family.  Jacob decides to butter up his older by two minutes brother by sending him presents of cattle and servants.  His messengers tell him that Esau is still coming and he’s bringing 400 men with him.  Jacob gets really scared.  So he divides up his people and cattle into two camps.  Jacob figures one will die and one will manage to get away.  Then Jacob has his personal servants and cattle meet Esau with gifts a second time.  Esau is still coming with all those men!  Jacob divides up his family to meet his brother.  He sends Zilpah and Bilhah and their kids first.  Then he sends Leah and her children.  Rachel and Joseph are the very last.  Maybe by then Esau and his bandits will be too tired by all they slaying that Rachel and Joseph will be spared.

Wow.

Can you imagine being married to someone and they place you ahead of the family they consider their “real” family to be a human shield for them?  That’s what Jacob did.  To Bilhah, Zilpah, and even Leah.  He didn’t want to be married to Leah in the first place, but that’s another story for another time.

So what’s the deal?  What can we learn from Bilhah and Zilpah?  Except for the cruel conditions with which Jacob treated them, they are a lot like us.  Followers of Christ are called to lay down our lives to follow Him.

im.  We learn that this earth is not our home and nothing we have really belongs to us.  Our children belong to God.  Our money belongs to God.  Our families belong to God.  Our friends belong to God.  Our time on earth no matter how short or long is His.  Everything we see is His.  We are to be good stewards of the people and things He has given us.

Rachel and Leah claimed Bilhah and Zilpah’s children as their own.  They even named them.  Did you know that Jesus is going to give us names when we get to heaven?  He’s going to bestow names to us that only the recipient knows.

I think Bilhah and Zilpah are good examples to us.  There is no account of them complaining, which we aren’t to do either.  Even when Jacob sent them to be human shields.  There is no account of them not loving or taking good care of the children that were only considered theirs by Jacob.