"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
March 5, 2014
The last couple devotionals have been rather lengthy (sorry!), so I promised Jon that I would do my best to be less wordy and make my devotionals much shorter for the next few weeks to make up for it!
For a short devotional, I thought I'd use the shortest scripture in the Bible: "Jesus wept." (John 11:35)
Previous to this verse we find that Lazarus had become very sick and his two sisters sent a message to Jesus. When Jesus heard about it, His response was, "Lazarus's sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this." Jesus then waited two days before going to Bethany where Lazarus, Mary, and Martha lived.
Upon Jesus' arrival, He was told that Lazarus had been in the grave for four days. Martha ran up to Him and said, "If only you had of come sooner, Lazarus wouldn't have died." Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this, Martha?" She responded that yes, she had always believed that He was the Messiah, the Son of God, who had come into the world from God.
Martha ran and got Mary. When Mary saw Jesus, she fell at His feet and said, "Lord, if only You had been here, my brother would not have died."
The scriptures say when Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other mourners wailing, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Some versions of this scripture says that a deep anger welled up within Him, and He was troubled. The next verse says, "Jesus wept."
I've heard various reasons for Jesus weeping. Some say it because of the people's lack of faith in believing that He was the Messiah. Some say that it was because the people didn't fully understand that He was the resurrection and life. Others say that it was because He had told Martha that her brother would rise again, and she and the others failed to believe.
You can find different writings online that will give a lot of different opinions. But this is what I believe:
When Jesus saw the grief that Martha and Mary had for their brother, as well as the other family and friends, I believe that He had compassion for their suffering. Although Jesus knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, when He saw the grief that the death of Lazarus had cause to his family and friends, He was greatly troubled and wept.
I don't think that it had anything to do with unbelief or lack of faith, for even in her time of mourning, Martha had said, "Even now I know that God will give You whatever You ask." She also had stated that she had always believed that He was the Messiah and Son of God. When Jesus told her that her brother would rise again, she had a spiritual concept of what that meant. "Yes, I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Lamentations 3:32-33 (NLT) says, "Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion because of the greatness of His unfailing love. For He does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow."
I truly believe that Jesus has compassion for us when we lose a loved one and are grieving. Even though we have the promise and hope of eternal life, and of being reunited for all eternity with those who die before us, our hearts mourn for them while on this earth. We miss them and feel the separation deeply. Although we rejoice in knowing that they are no longer suffering or sick or in pain or having to deal with all the negativity of earth, our heart feels the pain of them no longer being with us.
I believe that Jesus saw and understood that and was deeply troubled in spirit when He saw the mourning and grief of Martha and Mary. He was touched by their feelings and had compassion on them; and He wept. It is the same with us today.
In order to keep my promise to Jon, I will end here; but for the next few weeks am going to expound upon this subject.
How awesome is this: we don't just worship a god who watches us from heaven, and wishes us well. We worship the Lord of Hosts, Who sent His Son to grow up as one of us, to feel what we feel, to share in the anguish of a family who lost one of their own, and to truly understand us because He lived as one of us.
But He loves us anyway.
1 lb. Hamburger
1 lb. Sausage
1 (32 oz.) Spaghetti Sauce with mushrooms
1 (8 oz.) container Sour Cream
12-16 oz. Mozzarella Cheese
Brown hamburger and sausage together (sometimes I used the Italian seasoned ground sausage); drain. Cook lasagna noodles according to packing directions (or I often use the over-ready lasagna noodles that don't have to be pre-cooked). Reserve 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce; pour the rest of the jar of sauce into the hamburger/sausage mixture; add container of sour cream; mix well. In a 9x13 pan layer lasagna noodles; meat mixture; cheese. Repeat layers, then end with lasagna noodles on top. Spread reserved spaghetti sauce on top of noodles; sprinkle cheese over top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly -- or if using the over-ready lasagna noodle, cook according to instructions on box. This can be made the day before and refrigerated, then cook when ready to use.
Due to the snow and ice over the weekend, most of the local schools were closed a couple days this week. My niece had to work on Tuesday (the only school in the area that was in session), so I picked up her two kids and took them to their grandma's house (AKA my sister). Jax wanted to play with my sister's son and granddaughter. The three kids were upstairs playing, and my sister told them that they had to clean up the playroom when they finished. They started picking up the toys when we overheard Jax (who is age 4) telling the other two, "If you all will clean up, then I will sing you a song!" He then proceeded to get a guitar the kids play with and "played" and sang Away in a Manger to them. Perhaps their reward of a song was beneficial to Jax, with him not having to help since he was entertaining them?!?
If you don't leave your past in the past, it will destroy your future.
Live for what today has to offer, not for what yesterday has taken away. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon