Two carts full of "Treasures". He would push one ahead then go back and get the second. He repeated this many times until he came to a water spout. He took an old paper cup and filled it with water. Then he gently poured the water on a withered plant he was saving in his cart. He kept speaking to it in an unintelligible language. Looking at each withered leaf he would talk to it, stroke it and give it more water. As I approached him, he turned and begin to "Bless" me; he dug into one of his bags and pulled out a penny, handed it to me, and told me JESUS knew I would be there today. He then smiled and said JESUS was "homeless" most of HIS life too. Matthew 8:20, "Foxes have holes, and birds have nests; but the SON OF MAN has nowhere to lay his head." The old man didn't preach, he asked for nothing, he didn't tell me his "long" story for GOD, he had very little if anything by the world's standards; BUT WHAT HE HAD IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM, HE SHARED. "JESUS KNEW YOU WOULD BE HERE TODAY!
In our IMAGINARY CHURCH we follow the Bible; even though there are many versions, we accept them all. We even recognize and accept other "churches" saying, "we will all have some of our members in Heaven" because all "denominations" have "some" believers. In our Imaginary Church we believe that a person is justified by Faith, but because we "compromise" to "satisfy" everyone so we will have more "members hearing the Gospel", we also teach obedience is essential to Justification. Oh yes, our Church is the Only Church of GOD, but other Churches will have members in HEAVEN TOO. And shame on all those people who have fallen away because our IMAGINARY CHURCH believes that Baptism follows Salvation;, they should be happy because we don't care if Baptism is immersion, sprinkling or pouring. OUR IMAGINARY CHURCH teaches, "decide in your heart what you will give, and don't give it grudgingly, because GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER. Then someone decides a bigger and newer Church Building will GLORIFY GOD MORE, so dig deeper BECAUSE GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER. Truth defines Truth, Truth does not contradict itself. JESUS IS TRUTH! Acts 2:46-47, "...day by day attending the Temple....and the LORD added to their number those who were being saved." Those who were saved were added to JESUS' CHURCH; (THOSE WHO WERE SAVED) the CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST. "JESUS IS HEAD OF THE CHURCH and is HIMSELF its SAVIOR." (Ephesians 5:23-25). OUR IMAGINARY CHURCH IS FULL OF COMPROMISES AND CONTRADICTIONS; IT IS NOT THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. Aren't you thankful it is "just an IMAGINARY CHURCH"? OR IS IT?
Luke 11:4, "And forgive us our sins; for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us..." Forgiving others does not mean we "deserve" forgiveness ourselves. Forgiveness means we do not want vengeance or restitution. Doesn't this scripture give us revelation that we are to be like GOD, to be conformed to HIS image, forgive because HE forgives, and to be HOLY because HE is HOLY? Instead of wanting vengeance, we want others to know the Blessing of GOD that we have experienced in HIS forgiveness of us. Maybe it is that we are BLESSED to BLESS, for we have the HOLY SPIRIT in us; "the fruit of the SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, patience and kindness". Maybe our "Golden Rule" is really, "DO UNTO OTHERS, WHAT GOD HAS DONE UNTO YOU".
Anything or anyone, that restricts or limits, our pursuit of ALL OF GOD, and GOD to pursue ALL OF US, keeps us in Bondage; OUR FREEDOM IS GONE! Any situation where we cannot express ourselves freely, with the heart-felt response of pleasure and our thrill of Love for GOD; we have allowed Darkness to overcome our Light. It is sometimes subtle and we hardly notice; "we don't react to the HOLY SPIRIT'S prompting because we don't want to offend someone". "We don't stop and pray with someone because it's not quite the right place". When we no longer "compare Spiritual things with the Spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:13)" we no longer see ourselves as GOD created us. Then we are in BONDAGE.
I have heard some "renowned" Christians publicly profess that it TAKES COURAGE TO GO INTO "THE PRAYER" CHAMBER! Courage? To go beyond fear and face pain, difficulty and danger. Courage would infer that I still have an "agenda" different than GOD'S, and that I need to "over come" it to have an answered prayer. To come into "Agreement with GOD" goes far beyond courage. Isn't prayer like the little child waiting for their parents to come home; eagerly waiting, and then running to "jump" into their arms and hear about each other's day? A condition of prayer is that we delight in what ever pleases GOD. Matthew 26:42, "...MY FATHER...may YOUR WILL be done." Yes, Trust and Agreement with GOD is where we experience ANSWERED PRAYERS.
There is a big difference in "praying" until you quit, and PRAYING until you PRAY. It is difficult to pray when our thoughts are "scattered", pressures of the day still lingering, perhaps you have had an argument, and MOST OF ALL when our hearts are just not into it! Let me ask you, "when does it take more Faith to Pray; when you are REALLY into it, or when you REALLY don't feel like it"? We need to realize that many times the beginning of our "prayers" are just preparing us to pray. A time when all of those "scattered" thoughts come before us to be dealt with, and the distractions are put aside as no longer important. Moment by Moment you separate yourself from the "disorderly" world; then THE BURDEN IS LIFTED AND YOU ARE FILLED WITH BLESSINGS. Ephesians 6:18, "And Pray in the SPIRIT on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests..." The most eloquent, GOD pleasing prayer is not WHEN YOU PRAY UNTIL YOU QUIT; The most eloquent, satisfying, GOD pleasing prayer IS WHEN YOU PRAY UNTIL YOU PRAY
We have so much to be thankful for; and yet, deep inside is a "NAGGING GLOOM" which makes us wonder if our Faith is weak because we are not satisfied. It's not because we have done something wrong, it's because we live in a world that tries to keep us from experiencing ALL OF GOD! This should be a great awareness THAT WE WERE MADE FOR HEAVEN and Eternity with GOD. Sometimes our yearning for GOD is TOO DEEP FOR WORDS. "Even our highest accomplishments feel pointless after awhile (Ecclesiastes 1:1-9). Living in this world is like "being adopted", but still living in the orphanage waiting for OUR ADOPTIVE FATHER to come to us. Even though there is nothing that can reach deep enough in our Soul to SATISFY us; our INSATIABLE longings, draw us closer to GOD. "Through the sufferings of this world, we become more like GOD (James 1:1-4) and we realize THAT WE WERE MADE FOR HEAVEN and it's not just a NAGGING GLOOM.
Matthew 21:16, "From the lips of children...YOU, LORD, have called forth YOUR PRAISE."
Without Theology, Bias and Distractions; Children reveal GODLY Wisdom and Purity that touches us all.
JESUS, everyday that school is open, my dad makes me go. He says it is because my teacher will make me "smart". But when the Church is open, sometimes we don't go. JESUS, does my dad think my teacher is "smarter" than YOU?
2 Peter 2:1, "But there were false prophets also among the people..."
May we all rejoice in YOU LORD.
LORD, just how many Churches do YOU have? It seems like everyone "has" to be "some denomination" first, before they are Christians. It is as though these "Denominational Churches" have become institutions to "preserve the institution"; until they have become their own gods before YOU. These "institutions", whether a person or group of people, actually hinder our knowledge of YOU. The relationship and conversation with YOU has become mechanical and spiritless. It is as though their main goal is "numbers" (how many saved), where CHRIST is received without any special love for HIM in the receiver's Soul. "A person is saved, but is not hungry after GOD. LORD, have we become so lazy in depending on others to interpret for us "what YOU mean in YOUR WORD", that we are endanger of losing YOU (or never knowing YOU) amid the WONDERS OF YOUR WORD?
2 Timothy 3:5, "...having the appearance of Godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."
LORD, I really didn't want Sunday to end. The people I knew yesterday are not the same. It is like Sunday we were Superficial Christians; Christians by manipulation, euphoria or institution; rather than Faith, Belief, Obedience, Love and Transformation. And then LORD, someone appears filled with YOUR Presence, a "rare" Christian that "inspires the SPIRITS" of others to be better Christians. LORD, I want to be that RARE CHRISTIAN.
About the Author and writer
The writer for our daily devotionals wishes to remain anonymous in regard to his work, giving instead Glory to the Author.