Tag Archives: sacrifice

True Love

As millions of people around the world wore red and pink, exchange flowers cards, or candies, there were many who refrained from observing this holiday–Valentine’s Day.

For some, it’s a painful reminder that they’re single. For others, it’s just another way for Hallmark to cash in. For Christians, however, the history behind Valentine’s Day is a contradiction to their faith.

Putting aside all the materialism, Catholic saints, and Roman rituals, do we really know true love–the basis of  this holiday? Sadly, many of us would say yes ashamed to say otherwise.

The words, “I love you,” have been diluted. The words no longer hold as much meaning when they’re carelessly thrown around. True love has been exemplified through God’s love for His children–you and I.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [John 3:16 KJV]

Love is sacrifice, pain, patience, understanding, kind, appreciation, forgiving, respect.

What many of us call love is anything but love. We’re just too heartbroken to admit it to ourselves.

The Role of a Christian Man

Husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers. Some of us are blessed to have all of these male figures, while others have none. Then there are those who have these figures in the family of Christ. I have been blessed with a father and many brothers in Christ. Though I am not yet married, I know God is working on him and I to ensure a strong union.

As the eldest of three girls, I have watched as my father has struggled to fulfill his role as the head of the household. He has struggled to be the husband and father God has called him to be. Being around mostly women,  is no easy task. Men need that support system in order to be encouraged as they press forward.

Over the last few days, I have had an opportunity to bond with my father. So often in life, we fail to make time for family togetherness. Yet we wonder why families around the world are breaking apart. During this daddy-daughter time, I realized some of the sacrifices he made for my sisters and I. I cannot truly thank him for putting his own needs aside for the needs of his children. I wondered if I had ever showed my appreciation. Had I made him proud of my accomplishments, our accomplishments? I asked him and he confirmed that the sacrifices he made were nothing compared to the successes of his three daughters. Those words brought me comfort, motivating me to strive for excellence. I wasn’t only doing it for myself, but for my father.

Our pastors, our husbands, our fathers, our sons were called to be the priests of our churches and homes. Sadly, we have witnessed the end result of these men who were called to be strong leaders for Christ. The devil has launched a full assault against our men, because he knows their undeniable strength and great responsibility in the gospel. Families have been torn apart by violence, crime, drugs, imprisonment, and even death. Women have had to fend for themselves, starring as the mother and father in their households.

By God’s grace our families, though broken, continue to push through every obstacle, overcoming every challenge placed in their paths.

Throughout the bible, we find examples of men in leadership as disciples, priests,  elders, and rulers. They have been called by God to serve in ministry, guiding the church and its people according to His will. Many men have stumbled, however, God continues to hold these men accountable for the great responsibility He has placed on them. They ought to care for their families as Christ does. They ought to care for the church, as He does. There are no acceptable excuses.

God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to “dress it and to keep it.”  [Genesis 2:15] Adam was given the authority to name all of the animals. As he walked through the garden, he realized that every animal was paired. He was alone so God decided to create a help meet for him. He was to also look after his wife, Eve. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. [Genesis 2:18, 21-14]

From the very beginning, God established the role of man and the importance of family. They go hand in hand. “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” [1 Timothy 3:5] Without those two foundations, the church of God cannot prosper. [Read Ephesians 5:23-33] We can no longer choose to ignore the growing problem in our churches, the exodus of our men.

I challenge you to appreciate, empower, uplift, and encourage the men in your lives. Pray for them whether they are in the church or not. Love them unconditionally and take the time to treasure them. Do not judge them, for they are not perfect…and neither are you. Keep in mind that our pastors are men first. They also need our support. Though the men carry a heavy burden, they do not carry it alone. That is the purpose of family. We share our struggles and victories together.

Author: Kristia M. Beaubrun

http://www.kristiabeaubrun.wordpress.com

Source: http://www.hebronfrenchsda.wordpress.com

What’s In a Touch?

International Women’s Day of Prayer

Speaker: Eunice Senior-Baker, Northeastern Conference of SDA

Scripture Reading: Luke 8:40-48

As women, we must reclaim our responsibility as prayer warriors. We must pray for the church, pray for each other, pray for our young people, pray for those who don’t know the Lord. When women pray, great things happen.

One concern of the devil is to keep perople from praying. He doesn’t care about prayerless religion or prayerless work. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. So let us continue in prayer.

In Luke 40, we read the story of the ruler of a synagogue who came to Jesus, pleading for Him to heal his only daughter. Jesus never turns down someone’s cry for help. He was on an emergency call. So He headed to Jairus’ house. The crowd also followed Him. As He headed to the house to stand by the girl’s bedside, a women suffering from an issue of blood for 12 years snuck into the crowd and touched His garment.

We don’t know her name. She is referred to as the woman with an incurable issue of blood. She was so stigmatized that no one cared to learn her name. She was identified by her issue and not by the contributions she offered nor her value. She lived under the  Levitical laws, during which it was important for a woman to be identified by family or position in the community. Due to her issue, she was a social outcast for 12 years, excommunicated from the temple and synagogue, considered impure. She was divorced from her husband and abandoned by her family.

For 12 years she sought help and healing from physicians who were stumped. She suffered alone with this illness. She lost all hope and was in despair. She heard that Jesus was in town and had heard of all the miracles He had done. He cast out demons, made the lame to walk, the dumb to speak,  and calmed the seas. She knew that He was the great physician and the only one who could help her. This was her only chance she thought. So she made her way through the crowd thinking that she only had to touch the hem of His garment and that would be enough. It was now or never and she had nothing else to lose, because she had already lost everything.

In one touch, she concentrated all of her faith and instantly her illness gave place to good health. We must all touch Jesus for ourselves. Jesus recognized the touch and halted, turning to ask who touched Him. Jesus was surrounded by a crowd so any one of them could have touched Him, Peter thought. This touch was different and Jesus knew it, because He felt virtue leave Him. Jesus knows the difference between a touch of need from a touch of greed.

This woman was treated by the church and the people as nothing or nobody. Jesus sought the person who touched Him and fearfully she spoke up in fron of the many who had abandoned her in her time of need. Jesus, however, called her His daughter. She was somebody, the daughter of the Prince of Peace.

Jesus is never too pre-occupied to not recognize the cry, quest, and need of a single, solitary soul. There is a certain sensitivity which Jesus has towards the needs of each of us. No one is ever hidden from Him.

Why didn’t Jesus let the woman stay hidden? The Son of God knew who touched Him. That’s not why He asked the question. There’s a lesson behind it. If she remained hidden, the good of the action would fail her. She needed to know who healed her and not how or people would want Jesus’ clothes. Matthew 5:34 says, “And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Healing didn’t come from His clothes. She shouldn’t be misled. Touching Christ or His clothes didn’t bring healing, because there were many in the crowd who interacted with Him. They were also sick, but not healed. She couldn’t think that her touch could work a miracle. Jesus wanted to recognize her faith. Her touch was different, not a casual t ouch, but a conscious, deliberate, voluntary, dependent, saving, pre-meditated touch of faith.

Hers was a touch motivated by faith and faith always stop Jesus in His tracks. It gets His attention every time. God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. We must know the Savior, if we must experience personal salvation. We must not be satisfied with being a part of the crowd. We may be near Jesus in a thousand crowds and yet not once in contact with Him. We are too c omfortable with surrounding Him as a crowd, but never truly knowing Him, or purposefully touching Him.

Jesus loves you so much that He made a way for you to be saved. That is why He died for you.  He loves us too much to let us die. Jesus is still here for you. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

If My People Pray

Speaker: Pastor Roberne Saint-Louis, Hebron French SDA Church

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 7:14

“14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Prayer has always been a key component in having a relationship with God. Prayer is the primary way to communicate with the Creator of heaven and earth. It is the one time when you have a chance to be alone with Him and truly talk.

Solomon, the son of Bathsheba and David, was commissioned to build a temple in Jerusalem [2 Chronicles 6]. This temple would be the dwelling place of the Most High God. As the people of Jerusalem gathered around, Solomon prepard to dedicate the temple. He said a special prayer and a sacrifice was offered before the Lord.  

2 Chronicles 7:5 which says, “And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.”

God heard Solomon’s prayer and he accepted it. [2 Chronicles 7:1-3] 

1Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 2And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house.  3And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” 

God always hears when you pray and He finds it pleasing to respond. We have to trust in Him to respond in His time, not ours. Learn to be patient.

You don’t only hear God’s voice during the service. You may also hear Him as you kneel in prayer. Be still and be silent.

When you carry God’s name, there is a great reputation that comes with it. Not everyone can be called God’s people. Are you? There are only two people who can really answer that question, yourself and God. No one else knows your heart.

Humble yourselves and pray, searching for His face. Confess your transgressions and put everything that separates you from Christ aside. Many of us only pray when we are facing problems. We ought to pray without ceasing.

Prayer is the respiration of Christians, like a heartbeat linking communications with Christ. Christians pray any and everytime with or without difficult trials.

Remember to continually pray even when your prayers have been answered. Don’t thank God only for what He’s done for you, thank Him for the things He has done for your family and those around you.