When you look at Luke 15, there are three parables Jesus told. The Parable of the Lost Sheep speaks of seeking out this one lost sheep. There were 99 sheep left in open country to hunt down this one lost sheep. In the Parable of the Lost Coin, there was one coin lost. The woman looked everywhere for the coin. She turned on the lamp. The Bible says she diligently looked for the coin. In the Prodigal Son story, we read of this father who looked for his son to return. He wanted so badly for his son to return and when he did so, the father rejoiced and threw a party.
The Bible says that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. Do you realize that God wants so much to do life with you? When He says if you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you, He means it. You need only reach your hands toward Him, and He is already reaching back. Think of it this way—when you take one step toward God, He runs toward you. He runs. Just like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. He runs.
Today remind yourself of this love and compassion. Remind yourself that God is right there. He is right there. Simply step forward. Simply call out His name. He has delivered you already my friend. Just reach out. Reach for Him. He is ready to draw you to Himself. He is ready to embrace you. He is ready to rejoice over you.
“[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” – Colossians 1:13 [AMP]
I love candles. Not only do they provide a calming atmosphere and a nice scent, but they also add some warmth to my home during this cold winter season. When I went to light up my one candle this morning, I realized that the wick was missing. I didn’t follow the instructions on the candle. The directions explained the need to trim the wick and the importance of only burning a candle for a few hours. I did not listen. I figured something as simple as a candle didn’t require instructions. Now my wick was missing. My candle was useless without the wick.
In life, we have God’s Word so easily accessible to us and yet there are so many times when we ignore His Word for whatever reason. We end up taking some bad turns, digging ourselves into a whole, making some mistakes. My candle wick was only missing. I took a screwdriver and I was able to locate the wick. If you have been ignoring God, do not think that you cannot humble yourself and come before Him now. No matter what mess you have made, what problems are weighing you down, what wrong turns you have taken in life, God can redeem you. He can cleanse you. He can make you a new creation. All you need to do is draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.
Right now, my candle is burning bright. Allow God to shine His light in your life—and see how much greater life can be when He is at the center.
“And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” – Colossians 1:20-22 [ESV]
On September 13, Australia had celebrated a day that is known as R U Ok?Day. RU Ok?Day is actually a national day there, and it’s held the second Thursday of September. This day is focused on building awareness of people– asking people if they are okay and being genuinely supportive. Too often we overlook our fellow man and neglect to see the struggles they are going through in life. Sadly, some people are hurting so badly and would feel so much better if someone would ask the simple question, are you okay? My family has personally been affected by depression and suicide. It is the sad, but all to real truth.
I remember so many times in life when I was going through a tough period and did not feel like I could talk to anyone. There is the fear of judgment, the fear of rejection, the feeling of hopelessness and lack of support, and a sad road to depression. Sometimes a person simply needs to have support– but it seems like support is hard to come by and then there is the feeling of being alone in the world. I know; I have been there. People need people. God made us to need community.
As Christians, we are never alone. God is always with us. We have the promise of the Holy Spirit so no matter if we are in our car driving along the highway, in the middle of a park, or at home all alone, we are never truly alone. Even so, there are times when it seems as if the world is crushing down upon us and we do not feel like we can handle it. It is at these moments, we really need a hand to reach out to us. The Bible says we are to be there to support others. We are to help the poor, to encourage our fellow Christians, to teach, to share, etc.
Today might be a good day for you and you may be feeling just fine. At the same time, the person next to you might not be doing so well. R U Ok?Day was created to encourage people to ask other people if they are okay. Perhaps you are not from Australia or it is not even the 13th of September where you are located. Even so, when you come upon the next person wherever you may be, ask them if they are okay. Not simply to ask and pass by quickly. Invite them to answer. Be the support that you wish to have on your worst day. That person may need it more than you will ever know.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:23-25 [NASB]