My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Sometimes You Just Need to Go Home
The plaque on the "Alice und Jerald D. Johnson Haus" in Frankfurt.
Psa. 127:0 A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
1Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
2It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to his beloved.
This, one of the Psalms of ascents, becomes a reminder that God’s people are supposed to rest in the LORD. The word house may mean a building, or it could mean a family or household. Whichever it is, this seems to suggest that we are to learn to leave the worry to God and life a restful life. This does not mean that one doesn’t work, but it does mean that we are not be restless. Vs 1-2 seem to suggest ‘Leave it all to God; let go and let God,’ and enjoy a restful life. In the Bible, the opposite of rest is not work but restlessness. We are not to live anxious lives, but to do God’s work, and then find peace and restful sleep.
Today happens to be my birthday, and it’s not just by chance that I’m in Germany. I talked it over with my husband, and I made a plan to be in Frankfurt today. Why? Because, for some reason, I just felt like I needed to come home. Ever since my mother passed away I have had the sense that I have lost one of the anchors in my life. As a third culture kid, I felt like home was wherever my mother was, and now, she’s gone. So, what do you do? You pack your bags and you go back home, to that place where you have the warm memories from your childhood — and your mom and dad.
We arrived here in Germany on Saturday and the last couple of days have been filled with conversations and visits with good friends. These are people who have known me since I was a little girl. We have watched one another grow up and now, we relish the moments with the great patriarchs and matriarchs who have encouraged us throughout our lives. Sunday was a lovely time of worshiping the Lord together at the Gelnhausen Church of the Nazarene. The evening was spent having dinner with dear friends.
Today we traveled into Frankfurt and visited with more friends.Then, we took off to visit some of my favorite sites in the city. Sometimes it’s the little things that you want to see. We drove by my elementary school and past the old neighborhoods where we used to play. I marveled at the fact that, from a young age, we used to walk a couple miles a day in this big city. What mother would allow their child to do that today?! We drove down the street and saw the church where I first heard about Jesus. This is where I used to go to the altar over and over again under the conviction of my father’s preaching. I wanted so badly to be a good girl!
Behind the church, the old parsonage is gone. It was recently torn down but a beautiful apartment building now stands in its place. On the building is a lovely sign, “Alice und Jerald D. Johnson Haus.” I wept. I had made my way home and I was overwhelmed with emotion to see the name of my parents on the building. Next to this sign was an inscription with Psalm 127:1-2, the words my father sent for the dedication of the building. It’s a great reminder that we need to trust in the Lord and allow Him to build our house, and our households and to love and care for the cities in which we find ourselves.
My parents’ love for the city and people of Frankfurt and all of Germany was palpable and it spilled over into the hearts and lives of their children. (All three of us will make our way here this summer) It was fitting that on this day, my first birthday without my mom, I could come home. But even more fitting, to be reminded that my parents really understood it was God who led the way home. God did build the house, and the household, and paved the way for me to find my way home spiritually to God’s kingdom.
Sometimes you just need to go back home to be reminded of God’s love and faithfulness. Tonight, I am grateful.
Thank you for your great love and the gift of rest in you.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…