Tag Archives: Salvation

God’s ‘Direct Line’

26 Feb

I read about a man in Topeka, Kansas, who decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to Washington, DC, and started working west from there.

Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and making notes. He spotted a golden telephone in the vestibule and was intrigued with a sign which read “$10,000 a minute.”

Seeking out the pastor, he asked about the phone. The pastor answered that this golden phone was, in fact, a direct line to Heaven, and if he pays the price, he can talk directly to God.

The man thanked the pastor and continued on his way. As he continued to visit churches in Boston, Orlando, Birmingham, Atlanta, Chicago, Memphis, Denver, and all around the United States, he found more phones with the same sign ~ and he got the same answer from each pastor.

Finally, he arrived in sunny San Diego. When he entered a church there, he saw the usual golden telephone; but this time, the sign read, “Calls: 50 cents.”

Fascinated, the man looked for the pastor of the church and said, “Pastor, I have been in cities all across the country, and in church I have found this golden telephone. I was told it is a direct line to Heaven and that I could talk to God; but in all the other churches the cost was $10,000 a minute. Your sign reads 50 cents a call. Why?”

The pastor, smiling, said, “Son, you’re in California now. This is God’s Country. It’s a local call. (1)

[NOTE: The original said Dallas … but anyone who lives in San Diego KNOWS that can’t be right! LOL.]

When I was a little girl, my Grandma Webb told me I could always talk to God. She said it was like I had a direct line to Him. I thought that was pretty cool, so ~ like many children ~ I talked to God a lot. I asked Him for lots of stuff, treating Him like my personal Santa Claus. I envisioned that he read over my list like Santa did, and decided whether I deserved an answer.

Then, as I got older and more “sophisticated,” I decided it was silly to talk to God. I pretty much ignored Him unless there was a crisis like a breakup with a boyfriend, or my family having to move ~ taking me away from all my friends. All my “prayers,” as a teenager and college student, were more like complaints.

I remember one precious day when I understood that my sins separated me from God, but that Jesus made a way for me to establish a link with God (Rom. 3:23; Isaiah 59:2; Rom. 6:23; 5:8; 10:3; Acts 4:12; John 1:12). After that life-changing day, prayer took on new meaning. Not only was I linked to God forever through Christ, I had a direct line of prayer to my Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit who lived in me.

The “connection” for this prayer line goes straight through my heart to the ear of God. He is listening to me, ready to answer (Psalm 66:19; Isaiah 65:24; Proverbs 15:29).

Yet it’s not enough to know that this direct line to God exists. Unless we pick up a phone and call, there is no communication; unless we call out to God in prayer, there’s no connection ~ no open line.

The problem is, I often have a mind crowded with everything but God when I come to Him. I rush in to share my petitions, and then get back to my agenda. Connecting with God requires that we take time to “get His number,” so to speak. We need to know how to approach Him. And then we need to recognize who He is, and to worship Him and share our love with Him. We need to seek His face (Psalm 105:4) ~ seek His presence. And the wonderful blessing is that we don’t need any other mediators than the Redeemer Himself! (1 Tim. 2:5)

These days, I don’t come to God casually, or with demands. Yes, I can come boldly, as I read in Hebrews 4:16; but I “call” on the Lord with humility, respect, and adoration, seeking His attention and “laying hold” on Him in the confidence that He hears and cares.

I’m grateful that my Creator is willing to “make the connection” with me, and thankful God has provided for a direct line to His throne room.

(1) Adapted from http://www.jestkidding.com/jokes/church-jokes

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Pleading Our Case

24 Jul

Scales of JusticeEven though I (Dawn) watched the Casey Anthony trial highlights with interest, I have to admit that I got a little tired of the lawyers’ questions.

They reminded me of some classic Lawyer humor. The following questions by lawyers were taken from actual court documents in America:

  • “Now doctor, is it not true that when a person dies in his sleep, in most cases he just passes quietly away and doesn’t know anything about it until the next morning?”
  • Q: “What happened then?”
    A: “He told me, ‘I have to kill you because you can identify me.'”
    Q: “And did he kill you?”
  • “Was it you or your brother that was killed in the war?
  • “The youngest son, the twenty year old, how old is he?”
  • “Were you alone or by yourself?”
  • Q: “I show you exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture?”
    A: “That’s me.”
    Q: “Were you present when he picture was taken?”
  • Q: “Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated ?”
    A: “By death.”
    Q: “And by whose death was it terminated?”
  • Q: “Do you know how far pregnant you are now?”
    A: “I’ll be three months on November 8th.”
    Q: “Apparently then, the date of conception was August 8th?
    A: “Yes.”
    Q: “What were you doing at that time?
  • Q: “You say the stairs went down to the basement?”
    A: “Yes.”
    Q: “And these stairs, did they go up also?” (1)

Lawyers get a bum rap, you know. People complain about the money they make and their alleged greed (some of them),  their pomposity (some of them), their dishonesty (some of them). Perhaps they are so unpopular because they often must defend unpopular causes and shady people.

But lawyers are a blessing, when you need one! A lawyer can be a powerful advocate.

One of my favorite descriptions of Jesus is that He is our Advocate.  In 1 John 2:1, we read, “My little children, Jesus Our AdvocateI am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

An advocate is someone who comes alongside us to plead our case (our cause). The word “advocate” in 1 John 2:1 comes from the Greek word parakletos (intercessor or consoler). Jesus can effectively represent our case, because He understands our frailties. He can not only be our powerful mediator and advocate before the Father (Hebrews 9:24), but he also intercedes for us in prayer (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

Jesus is our MediatorJust as a lawyer stands between his client and the judge, Jesus, our Redeemer, is our all-sufficient Mediator ~ going between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5; Galatians 3:19-20).

A mediator is not a negotiator (someone who tries to make a deal or work out some compromise). God doesn’t compromise His holy standards. A mediator is a reconciler, bringing two sides together (2 Corinthians 5:18). And that is what Jesus ~ the God-man ~ does for us. Because of His sacrifice on the cross for our sin, and His resurrection to give us victory, He can reconcile us to God. He is the mediator of the New Covenant (Hebrews 9:13-15; 24-28).

Have you ever THANKED Jesus for being your wise, loving advocate and mediator ~ pleading your case and reconciling you to the Father?

(1) http://www.jesussite.com/jokes/index.html

Wrong Diagnosis

18 Jul

Kelly Jean, a beautiful young brunette, went to visit her doctor.Laughing Doctor

“My body hurts wherever I touch it,” she told the doctor.

“Now, that’s impossible,” the doctor said. “Show me.”

Kelly Jean pushed her elbow and screamed in agony. She pushed her knee and screamed again. She pushed her ankle and screamed, and so on.

Finally, as she pushed her forehead, the doctor studied her carefully.

“You’re not really a brunette are you?” he said.

“No,” she replied. “I’m really a blonde.”

“I thought so,” said the doctor, laughing. “Your finger is broken.” (1)

Kelly Jean made a personal diagnosis that was wrong … it wasn’t her whole body that hurt … it was one little digit on her finger.

I read about a former TV comedian from Britain who spent his life savings after being wrongly told he had only three months to live. Diagnosed with deadly liver cirrhosis,  Dave Ismay set about completing his “bucket” list.”  For one, he bought a new Mercedes. He also completed completed a book about his life on the road.

Doctor_DiagnosingTen weeks after his earth-shattering diagnosis, the comedian discovered he had a treatable condition. Life required some ongoing changes, but he felt like he had a new lease on life, and he said he still plans to complete his bucket list. (2)

Ismay’s diagnosis was financially costly ~ a Mercedes isn’t cheap. But I wonder how many people have a wrong spiritual diagnosis. That could be just as costly … for eternity!

Some believe that people are just a little spiritually sick, when actually, that’s a misdiagnosis. Without Christ, people are desperately ill and on their way to death. Jeremiah 17:9a says it this way:  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick!” (Amplified). The New International Version says the heart is “beyond cure.”

People try to cure their desperate sickness in many ways ~ trying harder, being “better,” striving to do more, etc. But spiritual health doesn’t come through a works-focus; we can’t possibly come up with the remedy for our own spiritual sickness.  Healing must deal with the heart-core of our lives. Healing comes as we rest in the free gift of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).

And God’s grace is available to help us with the scars that remain from our sin “sickness” … and God’s grace is powerful to help us deal with any lingering consequences. He is the Great Physician, and He doesn’t need any assistants.

When I struggle with lingering sinfulness, I know that I simply need to apply the salve of the truth of the Word of God that tells me who I am in Christ. The joy of the Lord is my strength. And a cheerful heart ~ trusting in the presence, promises, and power of God ~ is good medicine. Learn to LOL with God!Always Laugh When You CanDon’t allow the enemy to give you a misdiagnosis of your position in Christ, if you have a personal relationship with the Lord. You are free in Jesus, and you do not have to serve sin any longer (Romans 6:6-14). You can choose who and what you will serve.

In the Lord, you are healed of your mortal spiritual sickness, and you are being transformed daily by His grace. Praise Him for that today!

(1) Adapted from http://www.jokesblonde.com/

(2) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1331754/Comedian-Dave-Ismay-spends-life-savings-told-3-months-live.html

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