Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 19, 2019

Easter — Mind Over Matter?

Day 3338: Today we start the celebration of the most memorable and impactful weekend in the history of the world!

Scripture: And they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He shall rise again.  Mark 10:34

Thoughts/Questions: Our brain/mind is so very complex. It is able to make 38 thousand trillion operations per second – wow. And Romans 12:2 tells us that to transform our lives, we are to renew our minds. So the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of the mind is incomparable.

Mind over matter examples are many and varied – athletics, childbirth, persecution and much more. Was that what Jesus did? What were His thoughts on Friday? We know Jesus struggled mightily in The Garden as His sweating drops of blood indicates. How did He win this mental/spiritual conflict considering what lie ahead of Him? The answer – people like me.

Yes, people like me get the blame regarding what Jesus went through because without the scourging, spitting, hitting, mocking, betraying, carrying of the cross, crowning with thorns, piercing of His hands and feet, and more we would have never received Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finally accepted Jesus into their lives when they heard about everything Friday entailed. And sadly, Jesus knew we needed ALL of the above, and He was willing to go through all He endured for our salvation. So His mind was focused on love: Love for His Father resulting in obedience to His will, and love for those like me. Mind over matter? No, Love over anything else! The greatest of these is LOVE!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, I truly will never comprehend how much You love me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 18, 2019

Easter — What Was He Thinking!

Day 3337: Maundy Thursday – an important day!

Scripture: Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. John 13:3-5

Thoughts/Questions: When someone does something unusual, a common response is, “What were they thinking?” Well, we know the story of Jesus, but what He was thinking can only be possibly understood thru His actions.

After being  misunderstood on Palm Sunday as the coming King and deliverer from Roman oppression, Jesus knows what lies ahead of Him. So how does He prepare for His future suffering – He serves His disciples by washing their feet on what is known as Maundy Thursday – Maundy meaning foot washing.

By doing this, Jesus, our example, shows us that regardless of one’s current situation or what challenges lie ahead in the future, we are to continue to serve others in a spirit of humility! What was He thinking – how to make a final impression on His disciples!

Is that the way we think? Or do challenging circumstances cause us to focus on self? That would be understandable if we were not followers of Jesus, BUT His example is to be followed. No matter what the present holds or when the future looks bleak, our thoughts are to remain the same – first Jesus, then others and lastly you!

Suggested Prayer: Lord Jesus, I can’t imagine what was going on in Your thoughts. Help me to always follow Your example . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 17, 2019

Personal Sharing — God Has Plans For You!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 16, 2019

Words in Red in Luke — Potty Mouth?

Day 3335: What a remarkable teacher Jesus is!

Scripture:  “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  Luke 6:43-45

Thoughts/Questions: My fruit trees are definitely recognized by their fruit as they always produce the same fruit; however, my gardening skills have resulted in a ‘who knows’ harvest! I think they’re good trees, but need a little help from me! Jesus uses another practical and relevant example to His listeners.

His analogy might seem simple; but often simple is the best way to teach! More than once in the Bible we are called fruit bearers of some kind; therefore, this example fits perfectly. Our mouths only express the type of tree we are! Good produces good; Bad produces evil.

Sometimes when we try to control our speech when potty mouth issues arise, we focus on the wrong thing. What needs changing is our heart! A heart filled with peace, joy, and love will express the same when challenges arise. Fill your heart and mind with Jesus and your fruit will be – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!

Suggested Prayer: Lord Jesus, change my heart, Oh God . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 15, 2019

Words in Red in Luke — Wise Advice!

Day 3334: Enjoy your Monday!

Scripture: Jesus also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. 

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Luke 6:39-42

Thoughts/Questions: What an amazing teacher Jesus is. How can you expand on teaching like this? I can’t . . . . Please reread it and apply His words as prompted by Holy Spirit!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, Your questions reach deep inside my soul. Help me to answer them in a way that is pleasing to You . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 13, 2019

Words in Red in Luke — Reaping What You Sow!

Day 3333: Interesting number today! Very hard for even me to believe!

Scripture: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37,38

Thoughts/Questions: The life we live is going to come back to bite us or bless us. The choice is ours, as the results are a given. Jesus used specific examples then concludes with a generalization that summarizes them all.

We all have a standard by which we measure morality. Jesus states that our standard IS extremely important, for now and for eternity. Judging and condemning are contrasted to forgiving and giving. Avoid the first two, welcome the next.

Jesus’ words are simple and straight forward. Our response is not so simple. Giving and forgiving takes compassion and humility. Judging and condemning utilize a lack of empathy and pride.

Choose a heart of compassion and an attitude of humility!

Suggested Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your words continue to challenge me. Help me to live a lifestyle of giving and forgiving . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 12, 2019

Words in Red in Luke — Be the Better Person!

Day 3332: Another TGIF – Thank God I’m Forgiven!

Scripture:  “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  Luke 6:32-36

Thoughts/Questions: Often we hear someone challenged to be the better person when there is a relational issue. Jesus said the same, BUT He added why and the result of taking those actions.

Why do the unexpected – because we are to have the heart of our heavenly Father. He is merciful, so we are to be the same. He is kind to those who are wicked and can’t even find any thing to be thankful for, so we are to be kind to people like that as well!

And the result – when our actions don’t fall far from the family tree, we will be children of the Most High and our reward in heaven will be great. Quite a benefit!

Suggested Prayer: Most High God, You expect me to rise above the actions of others. That’s hard for me, please help me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 11, 2019

Words in Red in Luke — Are You Listening?

Day 3331: Today I’m reminded of how we all miss someone who has gone before, as this is my Dad’s birth date. So thankful for the promise of heaven!

Scripture:  “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:27-31

Thoughts/Questions: I didn’t realize that The Golden Rule came right after Jesus making some very revolutionary statements: have enemies – love them; hated – do good to them; respond to curses with blessings; bullied – pray for the bully; slapped – get ready for another; stolen from – offer to give; and do not hold tightly to your possessions —  WOW!!!

Surely His audience was stunned and wondered how and why they should behave this way. Jesus then tried to change their perspective. They were certainly thinking about how hard it would be to react like Jesus said to do. Then He asked them to consider how they would like to be treated if they were the ‘bad guy’ in His examples. If that were the case, how would they want others to respond – JUST like Jesus taught!

Jesus prefaced His teaching stating that these words were for you who are listening. Are you? Tough words – listen well!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, Your teaching is challenging, but help me to do to others as I would have them do to me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 10, 2019

Words in Red in Luke — Warnings!

Day 3330: Have a day filled with JOY – Jesus, Others, and You!

Scripture:  “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets. Luke 6:24-26

Thoughts/Questions: All of us have seen some sort of warning signs. i remember one above a falls in Yosemite stating something like, If you swim here, you will go over the falls and die! And there’s always the phrase, to be forewarned is to be forearmed! Warnings are usually welcomed and protect us!

Jesus is proclaiming warnings in these verses contrasting them to the ones who were blessed in yesterday’s post. We fall into one of the contrasting categories. Rich/poor; well fed/hungry; laugh/weep; spoke well of/hated. Dangers are inherent when one is successful. As it is said – failure is easier to handle than success.

Many God2me readers are successful, and still need to heed these warnings. If we’re doing well financially, we still must trust in God, not ourselves. If we are well fed, it’s time to be thankful. If laughing today, rejoice as things can change in a blink of an eye. If well liked by others, make sure you’re not manipulating them and you’re being honest.

Receive your blessings from yesterday’s words from Jesus and take heed to His warnings listed today!

Suggested Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your words give me hope and keep me on the right path . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | April 9, 2019

Words in Red in Luke — It Does Get Better Than This!

Day 3329: Be informed, but watch out for the ever present misinformation!

Scripture:  Looking at His disciples, Jesus said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.  Luke 6:20-23

Thoughts/Questions: Jesus refers to those whose current situation isn’t very good – poor, hungry, weeping, insulted – and yet He considered them blessed. Why?

Remember, He’s spent time where we’re headed. For us, heaven is an unknown. For Jesus, it was a known! Where we are present oriented, He was future minded. And for all Christ followers, the best is yet ahead!

How do we come future minded? Knowing that the One who has gone before us HAS prepared a place for us. Our eternal home IS our true home! We WILL be in the kingdom of God, our hunger WILL be satisfied, our sorrow WILL turn into laughter, and our reward in heaven WILL be great!

Yes, we ARE blessed indeed!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for the reminder that it ain’t heaven yet . . .

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