Wednesday’s Words

Some random thoughts on this first day of July:

  1. If you claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ, where is He leading you?
    1. How well are you following – reluctantly, enthusiastically or not at all?
    2. If you don’t know where He is leading you, why not?
  2. Do you love Jesus Christ for who He is, or what He does for you?
    1. If He withdrew His blessings, would you still praise, worship and honor Him or withdraw yourself?
      1. He is worthy to be honored, praised and worshiped because He is the King of Kings, not a genie.
      2. We owe Him all, He owes us nothing.
      3. Any blessing He gives is out of mercy and grace but not because we somehow deserve it.
    2. Peter’s declaration should ring true with us. In John 6:68, when the crowds stopped following, Jesus asked the disciples if they would leave also. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
  3. Is Jesus, alone, enough for us or are we still looking for something extra?

Hanukkah Lessons

During this season of celebration named Hanukkah, there are many lessons we can learn. The Festival of Lights, while a holiday pretty much exclusively celebrated by Jews, should be held in high esteem by Christians as well. (Also by Muslims if they were honest but that is a different thought for another time). The miracle of God extending the oil so that the menorah remained lit until more oil could be made ready for use, was a great miracle indeed. It showed that God was with His children and pleased with them and their zeal for His Holy Name. That was only one of the miracles God performed, though. The entire Maccabean rebellion should have been crushed by the overwhelming forces arrayed against them. God’s granting victory to them is reminiscent of the victories during the time of the Judges. Jesus observed the festival (John 10:22-23) as did His disciples. What could possibly be wrong with a festival honoring God’s provision and care?
We are reminded during this time that God cares for His people. He provides for His people. He protects His people. He remembers His people. He helps His people. It would be a good idea for everyone to read 1 and 2 Maccabees and learn of God’s care for His people during the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments.
It is also a good time to speak with our Jewish friends. To celebrate with them the miracles of God. To use this time as a bridge to communicating with them how Jesus is the Light of the World. That the God of Lights, who delights in giving His children good gifts, gave one in the form of His Son.
Wish them a Happy Hanukkah. Teach the meaning of the holiday to your children. Remind yourself that candles are not lit to shine in the home. They are meant to shine out, to tell others of the miracles of God. Let that be a lesson to take home – that the best way to honor God is to tell others about His greatness.