Prayer Voices to God

 

Voices… praise, penitent, present, patient.
Voices…cries, complaints, compromise, consent.
Voices…soft, sincere, solemn, submissive.
Voices…articulate, academic, artificial, announcer.
Voices…inaudible, innermost, introspective, intentional.
 Voices…rote, rigid, repetitious, recitation.
Voices…joyful, jubilant, joyous, joy.
Voices: thanksgiving, transparency, trust, truth.
Voices…unspoken, underneath, unconscious, unresolved.
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What prayer voices do we offer to God? Our tone, attitude, purpose, approach, language in prayer all indicate something about our relationship with God. We know that He can listen even when we don’t physically utter words, because He is omniscient and all-knowing. I AM—in present tense—is always present when we use our public voices, our inner voices, and even our unconscious voices for prayer. Yet, as David’s prayers indicate, God will not listen and hear if sin is “cherished” in our hearts.
Psalm 66:17-20                                                                                                                                                   17 I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!
Psalm 116:                                                                                                                                                                I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
What voice should we present before God–that He will listen to and hear the prayers we bring to Him? What heart must we have that He will listen to what has been uttered and hear what is really being said?
Like any father, God desires communication with His children. We owe Him a respectful voice; we owe Him our utmost presence; we owe Him our praise, our submission, our gratitude; we owe Him joy for all He has done for us. We owe Him a voice and a heart that demonstrates our love for Him, our Father. Hallowed is His Name and hallowed is our time with Him. Our prayer voices must be appropriate for this special time spent with our God.
Sharon G. Tate blog 02/17/2024  Meditations on God’s Word (teacherforjesus.com)

    God’s Valentine to Faithful Christians

 

 

 

 

V ictory through Jesus

A bsolution from our sins

L ove that never fails

E mpty tomb of Risen hope

N ew body incorruptible

T omorrow-eternal promised

I  nheritance of adoption

N ever-ending Light

E ternity with God our Father

1 John 3:1 – See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:10 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 John 4:9 – This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.

1 John 4:8 – Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

                                                                                                                                      Sharon G. Tate blog    02/09/24                                                                           Meditations on God’s Word                                                    (teacherforjesus.com)

“GO AND DO LIKEWISE.”

 

WHO ARE MY MOTHER AND BROTHERS?

46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, His mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to Him. 47 Someone told Him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”                                                                                                          48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to His disciples, He said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)

WHO IS MY SON?

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:25-27)

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”                                                                                                    26 “What is written in the Law?” He replied. “How do you read it?”                                              27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”                              29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10: 25-29)

Jesus answered the question with a parable of a man who was beaten, robbed, and left to die. Three people reacted to the man’s plight—two passing by on the other side of the road, one stopping and going the extra mile to provide assistance and healing.

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”                                                                                                                                                       37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”                                         Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37)

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My mother is the 85-year-old woman in the nursing home who looks out the window waiting for someone to come;  my brother is the unemployed father of three who stands in line with 500 others hoping for a job; my son is the recently discharged soldier grappling with PTSD and depression; my neighbor is the child fleeing from a country where he is underfed and abused.
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Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family, neighbors. We tend to have a very limited view of family and neighbors. God’s perspective is much larger, broader, and inclusive. The bloodline of family with God is really from Christ, not from our great-great-greats…. down the lineage of personal ancestry. My neighbors are, also, my family, each one created by God.

In every person, I can find a common heritage, a common Savior, a common love. I should not see with eyes that only view similarity. I must, also, look into the differences and find commonality in them. The commonality is from that portion of God’s divine nature imbued in each soul. It is my directive as well to show acceptance, mercy, and love to others who are my “neighbors.” I, too, must “Go and do likewise.”

And what if everyone followed this directive  in obedience to Christ?

(Sharon G. Tate 01/26/24 blog)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

 

“Follow Me”: The Meaning of Love as His Disciple

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24)

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“Gotta go. Love ya.”

 “Love ya back.” Turning.

 “Love ya more.” Waving.

Has the use of the word “love” become more and more casual in our communications?  What have we lost in the translation by possible overuse of this word that may result in the absence of true commitment in relationships?

The Cost of Love in Discipleship

12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love You.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love You.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love You.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then He said to him, “Follow me!” (John 21: 12-19)

 

Master and disciple

Communicating

Three responses,

In so revealing

Love, Love, Love

Profound Depth

Beneath the words–

Follow The Master

With commitment

In shared sacrifice.

When we say to the Lord, “You know that I love You,”

We must remember His words of commitment,

Follow me” And what they mean in love to Him.

For the Lord, who asked Peter three times if he loved Him, the meaning meant a deep commitment of sacrifice—even onto death.

 

 –Sharon (teacherforjesus.com)

“God with us”: Our Hope from a Child

 

 

 

 

 

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,                                  and they will call him Immanuel”                                                           (which means ‘God with us’).   Matthew 1:23

“Today in the town of David a Savior                                                             has been born to you;   He is the Messiah,                                                 the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

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The baby’s eyes reflect the Light,

Conceived to serve mankind,

Little hands and feet will grow

To endure the pain of nails.

A savior born to redeem must die.

Can it be that one so small

Bears such a weight as this.

The child, the man, the Son–as One,

Carrying the burden of promise-

At the Manger, the Garden, the Cross;

Compassion, redemption, salvation.

A cry at birth, a cry at death.

Can it be that one so small

Bears such a weight as this.

The Reason to Rejoice this Season—and all Seasons

“Then the shepherds returned, glorifying God and praising God for

all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

(Luke 2:20)

As it has been told to us through the Word, let us rejoice in the birth

of Jesus and the fulfillment of the prophecy that led to our salvation.

 

–Sharon G. Tate   Meditations on God’s Word (teacherforjesus.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Jesus at the Crossroad

Choices. My choices. Your choices.

They are not separate and apart.

It is not about me; it is not about you.

My life affects you as yours impacts me.

Though our paths are different,

We meet at the crossroad

Where Jesus waits.

God gave us choice in this earthly life. We can be deliberate in trying to make the right decisions on our life journey as we meet others, or we can be selfish in choosing what we want as if we are on a solitary path, affecting only ourselves. Such a lone path does not exist. There is always a place where paths intersect, and even, at times, follow parallel lines, side by side, before truly joining at the crossroad where Jesus waits.

 

Let us carry Light with us on every path, every intersection, and every encounter. It is my choice. It is your choice. The choice we have is to meet Jesus and take Him with us on our path–or pass on by without Him. We are each at the crossroad daily, with every choice we make.

Sharon G. Tate (teacherforjesus.com)

Meditations on God’s Word

Keeping a Mind/Heart Focus on God

 

 

Truth, Honor, Justice, Purity, Loveliness, Graciousness, Excellence, Worthy of Praise

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).

Paul’s directive to keep a mind/heart-focus toward Godly fruits of the Spirit is crucial: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. . . (Proverbs 23:7).  What we think directs what we do and how we do it. Is it done with truth, honor, justice, purity, loveliness, graciousness, and excellence? Is it worthy of praise from God? Do we ask ourselves these questions before we act or speak?

“Think—before you act” was one poster on my classroom door. I, sometimes, had it taped on both sides of the glass window, so students saw this message while entering and exiting from my room. Do we need a poster to remind us—to STOP and THINK before we ACT?

What we put before our eyes will become what we see in our thoughts and, ultimately, what we do in our actions and utter in our speech.  The Israelites were told to constantly and consistently place the commandments before them and their children: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

 I still have posters, plaques, and sayings to remind me to STOP and THINK. They are everywhere in my home. Some are included below:

**If you exit from the laundry room door to the garage, you will encounter one on that door:  “Help me to remember, Lord, that nothing’s going to happen today that you and I can’t handle together.”

**If you enter my condo from the garage, you will see the message: “God bless.”

**In my kitchen, you will see many messages, two being: “The Lord is my light and salvation.” (Psalm 27:1) and “Lord, guide me with your gentle hand.”

**In the dining room, there is the plaque “Prayer changes things” and the name “JESUS” in a wooden cast that some cannot clearly see until it is pointed out—and, from then on, it is before them.

**Moving to the living room, there is a picture of a deer herd near a stream of water with this scripture imprinted beneath:  “As the deer pants for water, so my soul pants for thee” (Psalm 42:1).

**In the hall, I have a crewel-embroidered and cross-stitched picture that I made of the 23rd Psalm.

**My favorite scripture is in my bedroom on the bedpost: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). It is before me—and beside me–every morning and every night.

What reminds you to have a heart/mind focus on God and these fruits of the Spirit, to think always upon these things: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, whatever is excellent and whatever is worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)

                What is before you—that reminds you constantly and consistently of God?

 

Sharon G. Tate  blog 03/05/23 (teacherforjesus.com) Meditations on God’s Word

The God-Ache Within Us

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for.” (1)

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Have you ever wanted some “thing” so much that you pursued it with persistence and perseverance, expended a great deal of time and energy and, perhaps, money into seeking a way to have it– only to discover that when you finally obtained it, you lost that feeling of really needing or even wanting it? In a short time, the item might be stuffed away in a closet, unused and forgotten, eventually ending up in a garage sale. “I have it now, so what’s the next ‘thing’ that gives me the same feeling of want and desire because I don’t have it yet?”

What we desire and want say a lot about us. How we pursue those things also speaks volumes. These are physical, observable wants, but what is really special to us and what we truly “ache for” may be hidden in a solitary quest of the heart and soul, only seen by God, El Roi, Who sees all.

“What makes something special is not just what you have to gain but what you feel there is to lose.”(2)  Something that is very special goes beyond the “gain” of merely having it– to the “ache” of loss without it.

What do we truly “ache for?” Do we have an “ache” inside for Christ that is such a special desire and a want that we would do anything to never lose Him? Would we pursue a relationship with God at a greater degree of persistence and perseverance, giving our time in abundance, for such a yearning in our hearts and souls for Him?

The scriptures speak to this ache and yearning for the Lord, our God:

Isaiah 26:9 My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. . .

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

Psalm 63:1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

Psalm 143:6  I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.

John 6:27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

John 7:37-38 37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, He cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me, 38 and let the one who believes in Me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”

What we earnestly seek, we will find, if it is in God. What we find, we will hold dear in the God-given soul that aches for Him and longs to be with Him eternally.

Thank you, Lord, for this God-ache within us that yearns for You. Only in You can we fulfill all our wants, our desires, and our needs. Only in You, can we find true satisfaction and peace.  Amen.

 

(1) Oriah Mountain Dream, poet

(2) Andre Agassi, tennis pro

(Sharon G. Tate blog : teacherforjesus.com) Meditations on God’s Word

PEACE IN CHRIST

 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

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Peace is not the world’s offering–

Discord, violence, war, sorrow.

The menu of choice

For those without Christ.

He left His peace with His disciples. He gave His peace to us through the sacrifice of His life. He endured Gethsemane, the cries to crucify Him, physical torture, the cross. His time was not one of peace at the end of His life on earth. Yet He said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you.” Where did this peace come from that He could leave it with His disciples and with us?

“My peace.” He was distraught at Gethsemane as He prayed fervently to God, asking to be spared from what was to come—but still yielded to His Father’s will. “My peace.” Did He have it in the garden? Is it what carried Him through the trials, the torture, the anguish? From what source through all this turmoil?

A peace from within–

The Son in the Father,

The Father in the Son,

Transcending peace.

6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not speak on My own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work. 11 Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. (John 14:6-11)

Peace is God’s offering–

Love, purity, truth, hope.

The choice is ours to accept;

The choice is ours to decline.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4: 4-9)

 Jesus knew the Source of peace intimately. He had this peace to give and leave behind for His disciples and for all those who believe in Him, accept His Word, and obey His commands. When we do the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable according to His Will, we have the peace inside from God who will be with us regardless of what is happening around us.

Changing perspectives

From without to within,

Accepting the peace

Jesus bequeathed to us.

God with us is that peace. We can find it in no other source. If we try to seek it elsewhere and find what we think is peace on this earth, it will not last, nor will it sustain us. We will keep looking at the menu of worldly choices only to find the cost too great—discord, violence, war, sorrow. God offers peace that transcends from within as we direct our thoughts, our hearts, our actions toward Him to become more like our Father and our Savior Jesus—so He is within us.

PEACE IN CHRIST

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/24/22) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 ONE

 

 

yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from Whom all things came and for Whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all things came and through Whom we live.  (I Corinthians 8:6)

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 Who gave Himself as a ransom for all people. (I Timothy 5-6)

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“Just outside the city, turn east on Wandering Road.  Continue east for ten miles. At the intersection, Wandering Road becomes a gravel road. Head south until you eventually reach a dead end and a gated entry. The gate will be wide open, for many pass through it. Continue down the widened, winding road ahead. Follow the tread marks of all those who have gone before –until you arrive. See you there!”

The path down Wandering Road is well-traveled, leading many lost souls astray.

Our tendency as humans is to wander, lose our way, follow the path many take, and think we can make it safely on our own–when, in fact, we have no idea where we are when we are not being led by the ONE guide we need to direct us on the right pathway.

God understands us. We need simple, specific directions. He gives us ONE. There is just ONE way to our Father’s house. Jesus declared that He is that way. We do not need landmarks or directives to turn here or there, south or east. We just need Jesus.

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:6)

We need the ONE who will help us enter through the gate

to our eternal home with God.

I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.  (John 10: 9-11)

The Good Shepherd will guide us to the restful pasture that He has prepared for us. His direction leads us to life—to the fullest. There is no other way, no other path, no other entry. Only ONE.

1    The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
    He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.

(Psalm 23:1-4)

With Jesus, we are never alone on this journey of life. We know the Good Shepherd is always there watching over us, and if we stray, He will help us return home. When He opens that gate or door of opportunity, we must recognize that we are lost and need His guidance.

Many will rejoice over the one who was lost but is now found.

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke 15:3-7)

Are we yet roaming on Wandering Road?

Do we still fumble with east and south directions, hoping an open gate will appear so we can proceed down a winding, well-traveled road—where, surely, many others have arrived safely? Time is on our side, we rationalize, as we continue to wander, straying farther away from the ONE, true way.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

The ONE path to follow is behind the footprints of Jesus, showing us the way. When we become closer to the Lord and strive to be more like Him, we try to walk more in His footprints, not just as a follower behind. That path is not an easy one, but it is the one we must take. Bearing our own cross, the imprints of our burden are evident in our footprints, much smaller and with less depth than His, on a path made easier to walk because of Him.

We must daily strive to move forward, keeping in step on the path with Jesus.

Time is not on our side.        

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain”; 14 whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

Day-by-day,

Step-by-step,

Following Him

On the ONE path

To the ONE Father

Through the ONE Savior.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/06/22) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word