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Desire. We all have it at different levels. It’s desire that drives us to work every day. It’s desire that fuels our relationships. It is desire that drives us to fulfill, or attempt to fulfill our dreams.

Desire in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s an emotion God has created and placed within each of us. Desire can be destroyed by constant criticism. Desire can be wounded by our tendency to focus on failure and our past. Desire can be crippled by outside forces beyond our control or choices in our past that disqualify us.

On the other hand, the psalmist frequently tells of his desire for a closer relationship with his God. The Apostles tell us in the New Testament writings to ‘earnestly desire’ the things of heaven.

Society tells us to desire those things our eyes can see, our hands can touch, our pride can rest in. If you gain all those things, we are told, you will find fulfillment, contentment and happiness.

But those things will never give us the peace and satisfaction we seek because they are temporal. The secret to contentment is a close walk with Jesus Christ Don’t be sucked in by the things of the world, bask in the fulfillment of eternal things: love, grace, mercy, goodness, kindness, gentleness, peace, joy. These things can’t be bought or stolen, and they last for eternity.


“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Malachi 3:6 (NIV)

I’ll admit it right from the start. I hate change. Always have and most likely, no matter how hard I may try, I always will. Maybe hate is too strong a word, but I miss gas prices at 25 cents a gallon. I miss movies that made you laugh, not blush. I miss music you could understand the words to…okay, I guess my parents said they couldn’t understand the words to my music either now that I think about it.

Change is inevitable in our lives and seems to come faster and faster every year. For example, it’s impossible to keep up with technology. I don’t feel that old but I remember when telephones had one use only…talking to people. Now you can fry an egg with them! I remember when the only way to change the channels on the television was to actually have to get off the couch, walk ALL THE WAY across the room, and turn the dial. In my rural area that also may involve moving the rabbit ears (you who are younger than 30 may not understand that statement. Google it!)

I also am not a fan of change because of what I see it do in our society. Families were a source of stability and commitment when I was growing up. Now the definition of family has changed and most of them are anything but stable. Kids are forced to grow up much faster than they used to and endure much more pressure than in the past.

Most times change comes into our lives because of failure. The thing that changes either changes for the better or the worse, either way, it’s not the same as it used to be. Sometimes the change is forced upon us. Other times it comes willingly, or even at our hands. Some changes are reversible, some aren’t. But once change happens, the thing changed is never ever the same.

In a world of inevitable change, is there anything that stays constant? Anything you can count on to be consistent every time you try it? Thankfully, the answer is yes! God never changes. You can count on him to react to you the same way every time. Human relationships will fail or fade. Technology will continue to change. Health and environmental concerns will continue to perplex us. But God will never ever change.

The real beauty of God’s unchanging character is that even though he never changes, he never becomes outdated. No matter how much other things change, he’s always just what you need. He’s been perfect in the past, he’s perfect now and he’ll be perfect when you need him tomorrow! And that’s something you can count on!

PRAYER: Father God, I thank you for the promise I have that I can always count on you. I see the things going on around me and get confused, scared or frustrated. It’s so comforting to know I can always rely on you to be just what I need. I praise you! Amen.


Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. Galatians 4:7 (NLT)

A slave has no decisions to make about daily schedules, what food to eat or where they will live. A child is given new choices every day.

A slave has no future other than that decided by the master. A child is groomed every day to believe that they can be anything they want to be.

A slave lives every day with the fear that they may be ripped up from where they are and taken from their family. A child is secure in the knowledge that they are loved and that they can always come home. 

A slave lives knowing that all relationships are temporary, that those closest to him may be gone tomorrow. A child lives with the assurance that those who love him will always be at their side.

A slave lives with the presupposition that love is based on performance, that he is loved for what he does. A child lives with the foundational truth that he is loved for who he is, not for what he does.

A slave lives for today because tomorrow there is no hope for tomorrow. A child endures the struggles of growing up because he knows that his future is full of hope because someday he will receive the inheritance.

A slave knows that if he leaves, death is certain. A child knows that if he wanders he can always come home. Always.

A slave, even if he were to become ‘legally free’ still holds the DNA of slavery. A child will always bear the genetic marks of son-ship.

A slave sees a master. A child sees a loving father.

Brothers and sisters, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a child of the living God. You no longer need to live as slaves. You are a child of the King. Regardless of where you are, or where you have been. You have hope based on the person of Jesus Christ, not of yourself.

PRAYER: Father God. Daddy. I’m in awe as I’m reminded once again of who I am. It’s so easy with life circumstances to be deceived into seeing myself as a failure rather than your child. Forgive me for my doubt. Empower me with your spirit to live as your child. Thank you again for Jesus. Amen.


When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

Sometimes we have to read between the lines when we read the Bible. Sometimes just looking at print doesn’t tell us the whole story. Sometimes, we need to remember that what we call stories in the Bible are much more than mere stories, they are life events. Disney, the Grimm Brothers, Pixar and others tell stories. The Bible talks about life events of people like you and I who are just trying to make the journey as painlessly as possible.

Forget for a moment that Jesus was son of God; that he was deity; that the creator was living among the created as one of them. He just received word that his cousin had been brutally murdered by a lust-filled king because of a stupid promise made during a drunken stupor. They were only a few months apart. They held the same passion for God, the same message for the people. Now John was gone.

Jesus got into a boat to get away from the crowds that were pressing against him. There motives were self-absorbed. They had sick and crippled children; they were the blind, the lame, and the demon-possessed. They had needs and saw Jesus as the fulfillment of those needs.

Jesus’ escape, so to speak was much-needed. Nothing like a boat ride on a quiet lake to give you time to think, time to remember, time to worship. Time alone with your God is never a bad thing, but especially when you are hurting.

His trip was short and when he arrived on the other side another crowd was waiting for him. If it were me, even though I love being with people I’m quite sure I’d look at the crowd on shore and drop anchor. Although he was man, he knew these people. He knew that some would not even say ‘thank you’. He knew that NONE of them were deserving. He knew that some of them were simply there to see a good ole’ fashioned healing service.

In the midst of his sorrow and grief, in spite of the things he knew about the crowd, Jesus had compassion. Read that again. He had compassion. It wasn’t compassion built on the status of the people; it was compassion because of the character of God.

Jesus hasn’t changed. Although he is in heaven at the right hand of his Father he still sees your need. He doesn’t look at whether you deserve healing. He isn’t concerned about how you got to where you are on the journey. He isn’t expecting any payment in return. He may not choose to heal you physically, but his touch can give you the strength to endure. He’s not interested in your ‘get me out of this one and I’ll …” promises. He only wants to make you whole.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. When I read this story I am once again reminded of your great love. What a wonderful Savior who reaches out to us in your own sorrow to lift us from despair. Thank you for loving me. Touch me with your hand of grace and mercy. Empower me to live free of the inner pain I’m in. In your name I pray, Amen.


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

As Jesus traveled along the dusty paths and streets of Israel he met many people from many walks of life. Some, like the woman at the well who had been divorced five times and the woman caught in adultery were struggled with emotional issues, feeling the guilt, shame and embarrassment of failure.

Others had more physical issues. The blind, the lame, the leprous suffered daily in a world of pain and darkness. Socially outcast and physically in pain they lived a life of pain and misery.

Then there were those who marveled at his teaching. For their entire lives they had been held captive by a religion which offered no hope. Strict rules and empty hope were just another irrelevant part of the journey they called life. It was a religion built on guilt, shame and fear.

Then Jesus came along. He offered rest to those who struggled with relationships. Don’t think for a minute that kids didn’t rebel back then. Pornography and lust were different then, but not non-existent. Feelings of failure and desperation were just as real then as they are today in your life.

One would think that the people who saw the miracles would follow. You’d expect that every person healed and all their families would give up everything to become his disciples. Some did. Most didn’t. In fact the very people he offered rest to from their physical and emotional trials were the ones who shouted ‘Crucify Him!’

Seems outlandish doesn’t it? Then again, maybe not. Over 2000 years later we are still doing the same thing. Jesus offers us hope. He offers us emotional healing. When he doesn’t offer physical healing he offers us strength to endure the pain. But people still seek religion over relationship; rules over freedom; death (spiritually due to sin) over life.

There is no religion on earth that offers us the things that Jesus does through a relationship with him. All he asks is that he be the only source of your praise, worship and love. Friends will mislead you. Religion will use you. Only Jesus gives you rest.

The hard truth is, as in any love relationship, you can’t experience the total joy Jesus offers without total commitment. Darkness has no place with light. Sin has no place in the life of a Christ-follower. Can you be forgiven? Yes. Can you live comfortably (physically)? Sometimes. But you won’t experience the total joy and peace Jesus offers until you come to him, only him, for rest.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I confess to you that there are so many times I seek pleasure, peace and comfort from things and people rather than you. My focus shifts from the eternal to the temporal. I want, so I go after it even if I know it will hurt my relationship with you. Forgive me for my refusal to sell-out to you completely. Empower me by you Holy Spirit to live completely for you. In your name I pray, Amen.

 

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