“Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock.”
Matthew 7, 24
Our God is a living, acting, practical God. He is not content with that the faith in Him is logically packed into articles and paragraphs. It may be good to know a lot about God, but if you don’t know Him and don’t live with Him, it’s completely useless. He is an acting God! Faith is, to let Him work practically in your own life. A faith which remains theoretically, is only one of many opinions about God. We want to build our life house on Him, the living rock! Jesus’ teaching about God was more of a narration, how our heavenly Father is. He told many parables to describe God’s nature. And through His acting He constantly showed the greatness of God’s mercy and how He is engaging in our lives.
When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he was teaching them like someone with authority and not like their legal experts. (V. 28f) Jesus always acts practically! When He finished the sermon, He climbed down from the mountain. A man with a skin disease came, knelt down before Him, and said, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do want to. Become clean.”
So shall be our faith: Our life house shall be built on the living rock, Jesus. Then no storm or tempest can harm it. Our faith should be an acting faith; – Because of Him we do this and that. Our faith relies on the fact that Jesus intervenes and confirms His Word.
Thank You, Jesus, you are here today! You stand by my side and take part in my life. You are helping me and care for me. With You I can talk about everything. How good that You are not a God who is sitting on the throne somewhere far away, just observing everything. No, You are my loving and caring God who is right beside me – I love You!
I call all this to mind –
therefore, I will wait.
Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended;
certainly God’s compassion isn’t through!
They are renewed every morning.
Great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3, 21ff
This morning I took my children to the bus stop. On the way back I recognized how wonderful, colorful and varied God has formed His creation. Therefore I started to worship Him and my heart became happy. I could cheerfully greet the people I met on the street and they smiled back. Yes, life is beautiful!
Actually I am a real grumpy in the mornings! I am still tired and there is much need to be done. Then I take a look at the street dust at my feet, briefly greet the pedestrians and remain silent. No, this is not what God has imagined!
This morning he’s back again, with His grace and mercy He wants to meet me. Even my phone I found in the rubber boots of my smallest one! I thought the guys, who were at our farm yesterday had stolen it; …. so we can deceive ourselves.
He is the merciful Lord who is standing above my life, above every little thing, and He says: I love you! I like you! I like your hair, your hands and feet, even your nose! Yes, you are my wonderful creation. The mix of talents and the things you are not so good at, is just right! I don’t like everything that you make of yourself, but you yourself, I like! Today I’ll be with you again and my grace shines on your life. Let’s make this day together!
Yes, so is our God: Every bad things of yesterday are over now. Also this morning He says YES to us, full of mercy and hope. He is there!
Thank You, Jesus, You are my best friend! With You this day will be successful, as Your mercy and grace reign! Thank You for your wonderful creation! I can be glad about this and my heart is happy! Yes, You are my wonderful God!
It’s a good thing for the heart to be strengthened by grace!
Hebrews 13, 9
A strengthened heart: That means, somebody has found his place, has a meaning and an aim for his life, is safe and secure, has a firm opinion and is living a conviction, and he is solid as a rock – short: a strong, solid human. At the beginning of the verse it is written: Don’t let all kinds of strange teachings lead you into the wrong way. All thinking, which is not the gospel of Jesus, is this strange teaching. Many people constantly change their minds and their thinking. A friend of mine has a new diet every few weeks. He always tries to explain this in all details and is very excited, – but he has never lost a kilo. A friend is always anxious to what the community might think about her. She never risks something but limits her freedom through her anxiety. Some are constantly trying to please God. The list can be continued almost endlessly. But the Gospel of Christ will set us free! It wants our heart to get strengthened!
Our own activity and effort doesn’t make a strong heart. Only through the bondage or rather the solidarity of the Heavenly Father, we become strong. He is more important as everything others think about us! His grace, His mercy and His love for me are an undeserved gift. I want to grab it and hold on to it! I don’t need to work hard, because this grace I can not deserve. I can only bask in it and feel relaxed. Yes, He makes my heart firm, firm in himself. I am safe and secure. I will fear no evil. I can always look forward. At all times I can thank Him. As well, this solidarity in Him!
Thank You, Jesus, You have opened me the way to God’s heart. Now I can rest in Him and His peace. Nothing can worry or disturb me, because your kindness is on my life. You care for me wonderfully!
You are saved by God’s grace!
Ephesians 2, 5
Yesterday I asked the Lord, how He is able to love all these people. They are all just liars, thieves and egoists merciless with each other and brutally against each other, ungrateful, bitter and without any remorse. Then He said: They can also be different! And He showed me, how lovingly a reckless man is taking care of his garden. And how an embittered mother is caring for her children. And how a violent father is playing with his dog. Yes, they really can be different, I thought. But… Do they not want, or do they not can?
His grace can make every man a loving, caring, pleasant, friendly people! But as long as we wear us down, make an effort and require things from God, grace certainly will not reign. It makes me soft, I’m grateful to Him and I give up fighting. I become dependent on Him, who wants to give me everything. In his gentle hand I become like soft wax he can mold now. He can put His spirit inside of me and can live in me. I want to listen to Him and talk, as he tells me and act, as he likes it. Just this way earth can become a piece of heaven. Although we know that we are dependent on His grace, we live differently. Grace is a gift, an undeserved gift. But we really want to try to be friendly and good.
Oh, if we finally could understand, how extensive His Grace is! Then our heart would be quiet in His presence. Grace is bigger than every problem, bigger than every sin and can even make you and me a good human. Just let God work! Today we rather look at the grace, the whole day, let us deliver to His grace with our shortcomings, unkindness, errors and problems – HE will do it!
Thank You, Jesus, I can entirely rely on You. Your grace is above my life! Your mind inside of me is doing, what I can’t do! I don’t need to deserve anything, but may accept Your love and grace – Yes, You are my wonderful God!
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge.
I will tell of all your deeds.
The psalmist David takes a closer look at the people around him and ponders. He does not seem well because he is keeping the commandments exactly while the wicked and the loudmouth seem to be so fine. He writes in verse 4 : “Their body is healthy and fat”.
They can do nothing but having parties. They lie and cheat and still get richer. People seek their favor because everything seems to be working out for them. And he himself? He is poor, lives on dry bread and water although he kept his heart pure for God. This grieved him and he became depressed. Was everything in vain? Do people rightly laugh at him, the fool?
Then he entered the sanctuary of God and came before God in silence. There he saw how all these rich people, the nobles, big boobs, swindlers fell into an abyss. Today they are the big ones, tomorrow they will sink without warning into the grave where hell is waiting for them. They will stand before the almighty judge whom they cannot bribe. They will realize that they missed the most important thing in life, will fully understand the error they have fallen into, what deceipt they have believed.
Money is not everything! It is God who provides us with all. Do not look at those, do not envy them who swims in richness. You don`t know what it looks like inside them, what kind of troubled dreams they have at night. Their wretchedness is hidden behind a glittering facade. The psalmist finds peace in God who reveals to him meaning and truth, who controls everything. Nothing happens without His will. From the tangle of thousand threads He will build a way for you on which you safely can go and your life will be successful. In His presence there is peace and joy, all comfort you need, new courage, new hope, and a completedly new perspective on things.
It is so wonderful to live with Him and finally to die with Him. Here on earth we are already near to Him, in heaven we will see Him from face to face. Then we are at the goal of our longing, all pain is stilled there.
Thank You, Jesus, with You life has a meaning and a purpose. Yes life is not only a festival, it is sometimes a severe fight. A fight which I will go through always with You. And this comforts my soul. Only in You my heart finds rest and peace.
He brought me out to wide-open spaces;
he pulled me out safe
because he is pleased with me.
With you I can charge into battle;
with my God I can leap over a wall.
You’ve let me walk fast and safe,
without even twisting an ankle.
Psalms 18, 19. 29. 36
These are just a few verses from the 18th Psalm. They describe the ease of faith. King David wrote this Psalm, after God had freed him from all his enemies. It was important for him to write everything down so that he never will forget it.
A friend of mine writes down all the great things God did in her life. If doubts or difficulties come, she reads in her book and gets new confidence. In my Bible there are many marginal notes next to the verses. Often it’s just a word, such as “flu 2007”. If I see it, I remember how God has healed my heavy flu and how wonderful He carried me through. Another: “Feet”. My little one had burned both feet with hot oil, but God healed them, not the smallest scar is left behind. These little asides are very important to me, because they show me how great God’s love and mercy to me are. Because sometimes bad days come and our faith is only a small, almost extinguished flame or just a smoldering wick.
Here God wants to give us courage and confidence: If we remember His intervention, we are thankful to Him, and look at the future with confidence and calm. Let us create characters and memories that we can always go back on, then we will not become discouraged so fast, but we will look at our great God, our savior and helper!
Thank You, Father in heaven, You have never forget me so far and You will never do so! Thank You for Your miracles and acts of love in my life! I never want to forget it. I want to make signs of memory, so that I’m always grateful to You. Because You are the Lord who loves me!
The angel also showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, and coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Revelation 22, 1
This river is also described in Ezekiel 47. First, it is not deep, the water reaches to the ankle. Later, it comes up to the knees and then to the hip. Now you can’t go further through the stream, you have to swim. Wherever the water flows, everything is healthy.
God invites us to this river, this water of life, because there we are healed. We can wade through it, when the water just reaches the ankles, or we can swim. Some really are content with trying something of the water of life – but we, we are so tired of it! We want to swim and dive in this healing, crystal clear water of life! We can not get enough of it!
When I was at a seminar, we wanted to make an experiment. We should be quiet for half an hour at midday to hear, if God personally speaks to us. I was lying on the grass and felt completely at ease. And I realized how God wanted to say to me: I will always care for you (independent contractors often have existential fears). That were wonderful 30 minutes, which could have lasted longer! It really was as if I was lying on this water of life and let me drift from Him. God wants to invite us to swim. The water carries us! It flushes away all the pain and brings healing everywhere! Even bad memories are healed and don’t hurt anymore!
In the silence we can make this experience – God is true to His word. Let’s give Him ourselves and just be still. Then He will carry us.
I thank You Father, for the water of life! Yes, in You I find healing and in You I can be still. There, on the stream of life, my restlessness and anxiety passes away. You carry me on Your strong arm!
Shouts of joy and victory
resounds in the tents of the righteous;
the Lord`s right hand has done mighty things.
We know it for sure, our Lord ist the King of kings, the most powerful Force in the universe, Master of everything. And yet we see that a lot does not go according to His will what we have to endure and what sometimes wants to make us discouraged. It often seems as if the enemy remains victorious.
But when we experience a victory in the name of Jesus the jubilation is great. Then we sing and dance with great joy and shout: Our Lord is powerful, He has defeated the enemy!
But we not always can do that, there is still something missing! Why? Constant prayers are the key to victory! Where we stopp praying, there cannot be victory! And victory will not be either if we pray egoistically only for our own purposes. Lord, give me this and that! Lord, heal me, I am so depressed. Please save my family, I want do everything for You!
Only when we first become one with Jesus, call His name with all of our heart, if we see the things with His eyes we are able to pray effectively. Then the love of God reigns in us and our prayers are heard by Him.
But an effective prayer costs something. You have to invest all time, power and trust! Nothing may distract you. With your concern you remain in great discipline aligned to God. Praying in tongues is a great help thereby. Even when I am lacking words I can continue praying in this way. The Holy Spirit then represents me and speaks as it pleases God. When I pray in tongues for people then always happens something good.
When our Gabriel was in a coma after the accident, our prayers saved him, brought him back to life. Now we pray for Andrius who is presently in coma after 2 brain operations and needs ventilation. I am sure, the death is defeated after we have prayed. Today his arms were already moving. The doctors confirmed that there has been a slight improvement. Hallelujah! There is jubilation in the tents of the righteous! We will continue praying that he will breathe himself again.and that he will get back on his feet quickly. God likes to heal. Please join the crowd of prayers!
Thank You, Jesus, You hear my prayer! How wonderful! Thank You, Andrius is doing a little better. Thanks for taking care of him as You take care of all suffering. I am so grateful!
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6, 68
We pray for a young man who is in a coma and needs to be ventilated. Where else should we turn? The doctors have done everything that is humanly possible. Now it is in God’s hands.
The name of the man is Andrius. He is only 24 years old. Do you help to pray? Let him breathe for himself!
Where shall we turn? The Father in heaven has words of eternal life. Life without beginning and end, life in abundance, life in peace, contentment, happiness and harmony. The Father in heaven says His yes to us, HE has accepted us, loved us and accepted us as children. His word is life.
I think of creation: God said, Let there be light, and there was light. Let there be life, and there was life. – So it shall be: we need light and life, and with Him is everything.
I think of the children whom no one wants to have. But HE has accepted them. HE has said yes to them and wants them. With Him they are in good hands, HE stands by them.
I think of the people who return from prison. HE said yes to them, HE wants them in His family. HE wants to care for them. Let us help Him!
I think of the people in rehabilitation. Freed from alcohol and drugs, who wants them? Heavenly Father says yes to them and gives them a second chance and helps them with it.
And when I am not well, I flee into prayer. When everything becomes too much for me, I need the presence of the Lord. There my soul comes to rest again and I can continue refreshed.
And when I have no way out, I flee to Him. HE tells me where to go, or HE assures me of His support. How good that does! Instead of despair comes hope. Instead of sorrow and anger comes new courage and peace.
The word of the LORD gives life. You and me. HE always speaks where our biggest problem is. HE wants to solve it. His word is life!
His word to you is: Yes! I want you! I love you! I give my life for you! I have a future for you! Trust me, I will do well.
Thank You Jesus, You always have good words for me. Sometimes Your word is hard, but it is always right and loving. Thank You, because You want life for me! Thank You, You always lift me up again and give me new courage! You are wonderful!
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are of God’s children.
Romans 8, 16
This whole of Romans 8 deals with the Holy Spirit and His guidance. I find it so good that HE makes it clear to us and testifies that we are children of God. On my own I find it hard to believe, but He helps me to believe it. The same with the forgiveness of all my sins. He helps me to believe and to rejoice in it. On my own I would have constant doubts. HE causes the longing for God in me; on my own I would perhaps never even think of seeking God. HE works in me, dwells in my body and puts everything in order that is in disorder. That means health. I still have much, much to learn!
HE reminds me (in John 14, 26 Jesus calls Him the Reminder ) when I forget or misplace something and have to search for it. HE protects me in traffic and elsewhere. HE is worried about me all around. Glorious to live with Him!
And yet there are so many reservations about the Holy Spirit. Maybe we have had bad experiences with people who talk about Him? Or has the enemy mobilised theology against the work of the Holy Spirit? HE is the source of the power of the gospel, and the enemy fears that.
The Holy Spirit has become my friend. It is good to be in His company.. In my thoughts we talk. HE gives me impulses and I have to learn to distinguish between my thoughts, His and others; – not always easy. HE leads me on wonderful ways.
HE testifies to me the truths of the Bible. And I can believe it, for me personally. I can really call God Father now, thanks to His help. HE shows me the Father very clearly, so that I always recognise new characteristics that astonish me. His task is to glorify Jesus; – He Himself does not desire praise.
When I pray for a cause, I often notice what God wants and can pray for it concretely. And when the victory is there, joy comes up. So the Holy Spirit testifies to my spirit. This way I can pray more “effectively” for others or causes. It takes time and energy, but the result is worth it. To pray with Him is an adventure, it never gets boring.
Thank You Jesus, You send us the Holy Spirit! Without Him we could hardly believe. Thank You that He testifies the truth in us, so that we can believe You joyfully! Yes, where the Spirit of the Lord is at work, there is freedom! Thank You!