Love Like Jesus–A Church Feeds Four Thousand: Matthew 15:32

Love Like Jesus Feed the HungryA Church Feeds Four Thousand

My church is located pretty much in the middle of nowhere. If you want to see just how remote it is, you can look at it on a Google map here. It’s in a very beautiful part of God’s creation, and a very beautiful thing happens there every Sunday. See, even though this church is in the middle of nowhere, thousands go there to worship. And in the summer, after service, my church feeds people. I mean like, sometimes, a thousand people. (So times 4, that makes 4,000–a month, hence the subtitle) And they do it for free! Can you believe it? And no, that’s not why thousands go there. Attendance was like that before the free lunch. But still, they feed four thousand a month–for free.

How Jesus Loved People Continue reading

Love Like Jesus–A Storm and a Wedding: Mark 4:37-39

Love Like Jesus Calm the StormA Storm Hits a Wedding Ceremony

I went to this wedding once where the person who took charge of planning the wedding had a beautiful vision for it. It was going to happen outside and it was going to be done in a very particular way so as to make the setting spectacular. The only thing was, everything was geared for outdoors. The venue was an outdoor venue, so the wedding and reception depended on dry calm weather. And whenever the person who was planning this thing was asked what she would do if it rained, she simply said: It won’t rain.

Well guess what?

A storm came through, and it rained.

And the weather outside wasn’t the only storm happening that day. With no indoor venue or arrangements made whatsoever, the wedding planner just shut down. Panic and pandemonium ensued as the bride, the bride’s mother, and many others frantically attempted to put something together.

Then in stepped these two women who were friends of the bride’s mother. In a very gentle and gracious manner they just sort of, took over. They found a gym they could use at a Christian high school. They figured out how to arrange the outdoor tables and chairs to accommodate the guests, even though the gym was much smaller than expected. They found a place for the caterer to set up. They improvised with the decorations designed for the outdoor venue. They were amazing.

It wasn’t long after these two engaged the problem that the storm subsided and a calm came over the bride and the rest of the wedding party.

How Jesus Loved People

When the disciples took Jesus across the sea of Galilee and the storm came, there was panic and pandemonium. The disciples in the boat were freaking out–because of a storm–so Jesus calmed it.

How to Love Like Jesus

Jesus loved the disciples by calming their storm. You and I can’t command the wind and the waves, but there are other storms we can calm.

Just like Jesus, God has put you in a boat with a group of people. They’re the ones in your family, in your workplace, in your circle of friends. And just like the disciples in the boat, they’ll experience storms. And sometimes, like the two ladies at the wedding, you’ll have the power to calm those storms.

When someone you know is freaked out, maybe you’re just the right person to bring them peace. Maybe their storm is a computer that’s down, or a car that won’t start, or the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job.

You just might be uniquely qualified to calm the wind and the waves.

Jesus calmed the storm for the disciples.

When you see an opportunity to calm someone’s storm, calm it.

Jesus did.

You can too.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. -Mark 4:37-39

[Image via Green Destiny – Creative Commons]

Love Like Jesus–Even When It’s Less Than Ideal: John 19:26-27

Mothers Day Love Like Jesus Honor your mother

Mothers Day Meal

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. -John 19:26-27

How Jesus Loved People

They just scourged him. They just pressed the thorny crown into his head. They just made him carry his own cross, as far as he was able, up the hill called the place of the Skull. And he was just crucified, they just nailed him to the cross, I mean, he’s actually hanging there, on the cross, between two criminals. And in the midst of all that, Jesus had the presence of mind to arrange for his mother to be taken care of after his death. (John 19:1-27)

How to Love Like Jesus

I’m guessing your circumstances are better than Jesus’.

Go and honor your mother.

[Image via Andy Ciordia – Creative Commons]

Jesus in the Old Testament (Part 5): Isaiah 53

Jesus in the Old Testament Isaiah 53

Christ’s wounded hand, Unterlinden Museum, Colmar, France by John Kroll – Creative Commons

“But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
 All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah 53:5-6

(You can read Isaiah 53 in its entirety at the bottom of this post)

Isaiah 53 Written After Jesus’ Death and Resurrection?

Isaiah chapter 53 is so descriptive of Jesus Christ it seems out of place. There’s just no way this should be here. It should come after the New Testament, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, not before. Continue reading