Thursday, November 30, 2006

Jesus is the answer

Philip Yancey writes of Ron Nikkel, the president of Prison Fellowship International. Ron travels the world ministering to people in prisons. He always hated to use the cliché, "Jesus is the answer" when speaking to the inmates.

Although Ron knew that it was true and he had believed it since childhood, it was in visiting the prisoners themselves that he finally grasped the meaning of "Jesus is the answer."

The prisoners showed him the reality of a theology that had been little more than a mental exercise for him. They showed him faith at its most basic- the opposite of the kind of health and wealth gospel you hear in North America.

The lives of most of those prisoners may never improve, yet they heard the voice of the Father that enabled them to show love and joy in the most difficult of circumstances.

Lets let God strip away all the garbage we've heaped up in our minds to define life, religion, self, and God. Lets not deceive ourselves- our hope is only in Jesus- not in cars, nor in boyfriends or girlfriends, not in our abilities, not in our education, not in the schemes and dreams for our children, but in the living God himself.

Ephesians 1:3-6
How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.


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