Saturday, January 30, 2016

Be My Valentine

It is almost time for one of my favorite holidays — Valentine Day. It is a very special day because it is a time when we tell our friends, family members, and sweethearts how much we love them. There are many ways to tell that special someone how much we love them.  It is always sweet to say it with chocolate. One of the most popular ways is to give your sweetheart a Valentine card.

Valentine cards may be sweet or they may be funny. They may be warm and friendly, or they may be very romantic. I always spend a lot of time choosing a card for my wife because I want  her just how much I love her. I know that my wife likes to hear me say I love her, but do you know what she likes even more? She likes for me to show her how much I love her. One day I asked my wife to make a list of things that I could do to show her that I love her. This is what she wrote:
  • hold me
  • kiss me
  • hold my hand
  • spend time with me
  • take me out to eat
  • take me out to a movie
  • help me with the housework
  • wash the dishes
  • send me flowers.
Sure, my wife likes for me to tell her I love her -- but she likes it even more when I show her.

Do you think Jesus likes to hear us tell him how much we love him? I am sure that he does, but I think he likes it even more when we show him how much we love him. How do we do that? Well, you know that list my wife made? Jesus made a list too! The list that he made can be found right here in the Bible. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15)  If we want to show Jesus how much we love him, we will read his Word and do what he told us to do. When you tell Jesus you love him, remember that he likes it even more when you show him — by keeping his commandments.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Uttermost Part of the Earth

When I was a child, I was a member of an organization in our church called Royal Ambassadors.  We met every week and studied Scripture and learned about the lives of missionaries like William Carey, Adoniram Judson, David Livingston, and Lottie Moon.  We also learned about our responsibility to share the love of Christ with others.  One particular Bible verse that I remember learning was Acts 1:8. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (King James Version was all we had in those days.) When we learned that Scripture verse, the teacher explained to us that it meant that it was our responsibility to share the Good News to those in our town, in our state, in our country, and finally, to the "uttermost part of the earth." The first part of that challenge was pretty easy to understand, even for an eight-year-old boy, but how was I to share the Good News to the whole world?  I never dreamed that God would lead me into a ministry called Sermons4Kids that would allow me to do that very thing!

The first week of October 2015 I received an email from a Sunday School teacher in a small town near Nairobi, Kenya asking if Sermons4Kids could send him our Curriculum CDs.  This week, I received an email saying that the CDs had arrived and attached to the email were ten photos of children using the activity sheets and coloring pages that are included in our lessons.  What a thrill!  I did a search on Google and learned that it is 8,884 miles from Abilene, Texas to Nairobi, Kenya. There are probably places that are further from Abilene than that, but it sure seemed like "the uttermost part of the earth" to me.

Thank you, Father, for allowing me to have a part in sharing the Good News to children all over the world.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A Rule to Live By

Everywhere we go there are rules.  We have rules at home, we have rules at school, even adults have to follow the rules where they work.  You must learn to follow the rules if you want to get along in this world.   I found a list of rules called "Golden Rules for Living."  I don't know who wrote these, but they make a lot of sense.

• If you open it—close it
• If you turn it on—turn it off.
• If you unlock it—lock it.
• If you move it—put it back.
• If it belongs to someone else—get permission to use it
• If you borrow it— return it.
• If you don't know how to operate it—leave it alone.
• If you use it—take care of it.
• If you break it—fix it.
• If you can't fix it—call someone who can.
• If you make a mess—clean it up.
• If it's none of your business—don't ask questions.

Those are pretty good rules, aren't they?  If all of us would follow those rules, the world would be a better place.  Living by a set of rules isn't anything new.  Even Jesus knew the importance of rules.  

One day Jesus was talking to his disciples.  He knew that the day was coming when he would return to heaven, and he was trying to prepare his disciples for the day when he would no longer be with them. He wanted to leave them with something that would help them to live in such a way that other people would see them and know that they were his disciples.

"I will be with you only a little while longer," Jesus said.  "Then you will look for me, but you won't find me because you cannot go where I am going.  I give you a new commandment.  You must love each other just as I have loved you.  If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples."

Would you like for people to look at the way you live and know that you are a follower of Jesus?  Well, then obey his command, "Love one another as I have loved you."