Mag's Thoughts

Talking and Listening to Our Heavenly Father


A children's sermon by Diane Kelley. She was Minister of Education at South Main Baptist Church in Pasadena,
Texas. She was a dear friend who died of ALS in 2006.  This says much to all of
us.

"Do you know what this is? It’s a telephone! Usually I don’t bring it to church. But if I need to make a phone call, I like to have it handy.

Here’s the really neat thing about it. I don’t have to be at a certain place to make a phone call! I can be anywhere I want. In my car somewhere. Shopping in the mall. Maybe in the grocery store—more often in a restaurant! I could even make a phone call in the church. I haven’t done that yet, and don’t plan to. But I could!

This phone reminds me a bit of talking to God.

Do I have to be in a special place to talk to God? No!Do I have to be at church to talk to God? No!Could I talk to God in my bedroom, all by myself? Yes!How about if I’m on vacation like a lot of people are this week? Yes!

I can talk to God anywhere I go!

Here’s another great thing about this phone. Suppose somebody wants to call me when I’m not near the usual kind of phone. Maybe I’m out in my car, or doing some of that shopping in the mall. Can they call me there? Yes!

My family knows the number for this phone, so that when they dial me, it rings. Most of the time. Sometimes I don’t turn on my phone, so they can’t reach me! And sometimes my husband will ask, “Where were you, and why wasn’t your phone turned on?”

In fact, no one can reach me if I don’t turn my phone on. Which reminds me of something else about talking to God.

Sometimes God wants to talk to me, and I’m not listening. It usually happens here at church when the preacher is preaching, or when  I’m reading the Bible, or maybe when I’m listening to a Sunday School teacher. Those are all ways God talks to us. Sometimes I know I’m not listening.

So this little phone reminds me to stay turned on so that when God wants to talk to me I’m listening, and I can hear what God has to say to me.

I knew a child (not one of my kids!), who once told her mother, “Yes I hear you, but I’m not listening!”   Sometimes we can be that way with God, right now and as we get older. Sometimes we really don’t want to hear what God is telling us. So sometimes we can just turn God off the way I can turn my telephone off.

So I ask God to help me to be a good listener, and to keep my “on” button turned on, so that whenever God wants to talk to me, I’m ready to listen.

Sometimes the batteries on my telephone run down, or there may be other problems with the phone. But when I talk to God, I don’t need to worry about any of that! The batteries never run down and I’m never too far away. I don’t even have to worry about monthly bills coming later.

That’s because God set it all up! It’s a free call anytime of the day! Whenever I need to call! And anytime I just want to talk with God, because God is a good friend who loves to have us call and talk."

 

Mind and Body

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

In this passage from Romans, Paul uses the word appeal, not as a commandment from God, but as  a result of our love for our Lord. God does not need us to care for our physical bodies; we offer the best back to God because of His perfect love for us.  In all we do as a follower of Jesus Christ, we should offer our very best. We reflect Jesus Christ to others in word, in deed, and how we prepare and care for the physical body God gave us. Because we are called to serve Him, our physical bodies as well as our minds must be transformed, dedicated to serving our living Savior!

So, exactly what does that mean? For me, I care for my body by eating those things that are healthy, and yes, I fail at times. You see, Paul addresses this in
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 saying, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

As a follower, we are empowered with the Holy Spirit who lives within us!  Our way of showing love back to God is to care for our mind and body, therefore being able  serving Him better! Yes, we have ailments, imperfections, but we still care for our bodies and mind as best we can to honor God.

Most importantly, we must clear our mind of the garbage the world offers. Sometimes, because it is so common place, we hear  unhealthy television shows or  read unhealthy social media posts. God calls us to reflect His glory to others. That means in all we do and say, it must be our best. Again, as I have said before, be that light that reflects Jesus Christ to others!

 

"This Little Light"

Matthew 5:43-48 ESV

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? ...

In this time hate seems to reign, and people make decisions based on political leanings, not God's Word. We have opportunity to show the love of Jesus Christ to those who know him not. We must do this in love. We must be the one beacon  of light that our neighbors see. We are commanded to spread the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. Hate is a sin and if we hate, then we disobey our Lord and Savior.

The simple fact of turning our nation to God starts with being the light in your neighborhood, one by one share Christ!
Pray for your neighbor! Talk Christ , live Christ, share Christ. I have always loved the children's song, "This Little Light of Mine" as it simply says what we are to be in this world.

 

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