In our daily conversational language, we hardly use this word, "Appropriate".
So, to some of us, its meaning might not be very clear.
The Webster Handy College Dictionary gives the word, "appropriate" as a verb, meaning:
(1) allot (money) for a specific use [such as for, tithing, emergency days, etc.]
(2) take possession of. [citizenship granted to immigrants]
And as an adjective, the meaning is "suitable, applicable".
The subject that I wish to share with you all is, "how to take possession of someone's love for you".
Let me start with a reference to the gospel according to John. In passages of 13:23, 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20, we read a common refrain, "the disciple Jesus loved".
This is an adjective clause of himself, John, the author of the book, Gospel of John.
You would be forgiven, if you were to secretly say to yourself, "Wasn't John a bit thick skinned to self-claim as "...the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved". (John 20:2a)
Some preachers would even emphasize that among the 12 disciples, indeed, John must have been the most loved by Jesus, for that is what the Bible recorded in prints.
I have mulled over this expression, "the disciple Jesus loved ".
Actually, the writer, John could have just written, "myself or I" in those instances. But, no, he wrote 4 words instead of just one word to refer himself to the readers of the book.
Why? Let us find out.
The following are the resultant thoughts of my deliberations.
Firstly, it is erroneous to believe and worse still, to teach an erroneous application that Jesus had loved John more than the other disciples because the Bible has categorically
stated that "For God does not show favoritism." (Romans 2:11).
Therefore, it is very safe to believe and teach that Jesus loved all the disciples equally, even, the very one, who would betray Him with a kiss in the garden of Gethsemane, for the reward of mere thirty pieces of silver.
Secondly, this unique reference of "the disciple Jesus loved" is found only in the gospel of John and not in all the other books.
This shows us that the allusion of John being the especially loved disciple of Jesus, was of his own citation /authority, and not a perception upheld by the other disciples.
In other words, the other disciples did not sense or feel it that way (that Jesus loved John more than others).
Therefore, it has to do with how John appropriated Jesus' love for him, in order, for him to come forth to declare himself as, "the one whom Jesus loved".
Herein is a precious lesson for all of us - how to take possession of love from another person?
Needless to say, John would have known, realized and sensed keenly that Jesus loved equally everybody else. Yet, at the same time, he had felt the full force/weight of Jesus' love, as if, intentionally /calculated just for him alone /solely.
I am inclined to believe that whenever John interacted with Jesus, he must have savored the preciousness and greatness of Jesus' love for him.
John had, in essence, tasted and enjoyed Jesus' love as an invaluable /costly, beyond any price commodity; and the converse consequence was being humbled and felt very undeserving.
[I reckon, when John wrote the book, he had already known that Jesus was the Son of God, sent to be The Sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world. In the same way as declared by Peter, "It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God." (1Peter 1:19)]
And as he grew in appreciation for Jesus' love, he had not for a moment felt that he was a recipient of only a shadow fraction of love from Jesus.
I would not be surprised at all that his experience was similar to the multiplication of the 5 loaves and 2 fish that finally fed over 5,000 men (not counting the women and children).
Or, he could have felt Jesus' love oozing and filling him all over him with warmth, much like the froth that overflows from a mug of beer /lager.
You could be like me, if you give careful thoughts to identify /determine the underlying factors for John to appropriate /take possession of Jesus' love in such awesome manner.
I have no shadow of a doubt that John,
never looked /compared himself with others; for if Jesus were to love someone else more, what is that to him?
would not begrudge Jesus, the benefactor for what He would endow on others; and may even rejoice for them;
was grateful for whatever that was on the receiving end with which he was landed with;
that comes with an attitude/ true sense of being undeserving of Jesus' love; after all, he was just a mere fisherman, while Jesus was Son of God;
probably he would be telling his own soul, that in reality, Jesus did not need to love him, if He does not want to; such a stance would orientate him to appreciate hugely whatever love he could receive from Jesus;
was able to look out, recognize and note tokens of love from every word /action from Jesus in his every day's occurrences.
must have felt so special and exceptional, much akin to what my 2+-year-old granddaughter, Isabelle, who told off her young girl, who came visiting and was coming close to me, she stood and said, "this is my grandma" (with increased tone emphasizing on "my". Implying that I was her grandma and not anybody else's, much less for that girl; and after her declaration, she validated with a gesture. She moved from where she was sitting, walked passed that little girl to where I was sitting on the floor, and took a seat on my lap with her back leaning very close to my chest, much like settling a territorial dispute ritual!
Yes, we ought to feel possessive of Jesus' love for us to the extent that we would declare to the world that "I am the One whom Jesus loved".
God Bless You All!
"And let us be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if you faint not." Galatians 6:9 (KJV)
My grandson Omari had finally achieved his long sought after goal of playing high school football, in which he hoped would one day be the precursor to a great college football career. Every since he could hold a football he trained in the summer's heat, winter's cold, and everything in between for as long as I can remember. Everyone in our family knew Omari would reach his goal one day because of the dedication to his passion. Senior year is important especially for athletes because it's the last opportunity to showcase talent for college scouts looking to recruit for scholarships. During his senior year Omari was not given much playing time because his team had recruited new players. Omari's team made the championship that year but he and other long time teammates would not be playing in the biggest game of the year. The new recruits would play instead and Omari would be among others who would be on the sideline even though their hard work in earlier games had helped get the team to that point. My grandson was hurt beyond words, felt it was unfair and wanted to give up. I prayed and God gave me these words for him. "Omari, this is like a relay race and some are a better fit for positions than others. Someone has to be the first, second, third and fourth leg." "You and others have been the first, second, and third leg to get your team to this point. Now you must gladly hand off the baton to someone else who may be stronger, faster and has a better chance to first cross the finish line. You and the other teammates are still an important part of the team and need to be there to encourage the players when they are tired, weary, and may feel like giving up. " "And if your team wins the championship every team member will get the exact same championship ring." I went to that big game and it bought tears to my eyes to see Omari on the side line yelling, encouraging and motivating his teammates who seemed at one point to be knocked completely out of the water. But in spite of what looked like a losing situation in the beginning, Omari's team pulled through and won the state championship! Omari was estactic and so was I as I watched Omari, his teammates, coaches and fans run onto the field in total hysteria!!!! And in spite of Omari not getting much playing time on the field that year he was recruited by a Christian college and given a scholarship to play college football! Lesson learned.
So it is in our Christian walk when we put our own feelings of hurt and disappointment aside to encourage someone else. We will always reap God's bountiful blessings when we lay aside our own earnest desires to motivate others who may be better at getting the job done. God does not forget our labor of love when we sacrifice through our own tears to applaud the efforts of others. It may seem as though all our hard work has been overlooked by man but they will always be noticed by our God.
Father, when it seems we are overlooked, hurt and disappointed help us to put our own feelings aside to encourage those who may need a kind word or a gentle touch. Help us to push aside our own goals at times to help others reach theirs in Jesus name. Amen.Read
Those were His words to James, those were His words to John, and those have been His words to me for some time now. Oh how I wish I would have had the courage to drop my nets and follow Jesus immediately. Today I am taking that step. Jesus wants me, all of us, to be fishers of men. I have experienced so many divine moments in the past two years and Jesus has called me to share them with you!
In 2014, I was diagnosed with cancer and this year, by the very hand of God, I became a survivor. I know the sole reason I am with you a while longer is to share my journey. I will be writing to you frequently and I pray you will look for me here.
After I was diagnosed, I plunged into a deep depression. I could only see the worst of possible things to come. The day we recieved the news, I immediately began to pray and I immediately knew that I was again turning to God in a dark, desperate hour, as I have done many times before. Why had I not prayed as ferverntly for others... why had I not sought God during joyful times? I felt ashamed and not worthy of His help now. This was heavy on my heart but not His. I called and He came and sat with me on the darkest of days. I was home alone and lay in my bed overcome with fear. And then my miracle happened. I knew I was in His very presence. I shut my eyes tight, reached out my hand, and touched His cloak.
I will save the rest of this moment to share with you soon. It is not quite what you may be thinking. I am eager to share this, and so many other moments with you! Love and peace to you all!Read
It has been almost two years that I accepted Jesus into my life as my Savior. Before this, I always believed, but never took the time to really get to know Him. My life before my Savior came to me, was for of chains that held me down and made it easy for the devil to do his work. I let him take everything from me, everything. I was a hopeless broken man. It will be two years at the end of September and life has changed so much. Not everything I lost has come back, but all in life that has is wonderful. I thank Jesus everyday for this. It not an easy road to be a good Christian but it's worth it. I have love in my life, I have a beautiful woman who loves me Jesus does, I have a descent job. I really can't ask for anything more... I love all of you out there, and thank you Jesus for being there for me.Read
When I was younger, about 3 years old, my mom and I went to a church with our neighbors, who had 12 kids. We saw them as the most wonderful family -- they helped us through tough times as my single, Japanese immigrant, 20-something year old mom raised me; and they showed their love to us. This was our introduction to God.
When they moved back to their family in Texas, I was about 5 years old, my mom lost interest in church. We stopped going, but I still held interest in God.
On the last day before going on Winter Break in 8th grade, I was helping my science teacher clean his fish tank. The topic of religion came up, for he asked if my mom was Buddhist since she was Japanese. I answered no, but that we used to go to church, and I think of God often--so much, that I crave to learn about Him. My science teacher told me that he was Christian, and he said that when we got back from winter break, he would answer all my questions and tell me all about God.
Even though I did not grow up learning every name, story, or verse in the Bible, I found my way to God just by talking about my interest in Him, and I have never felt so happy. Don't rule out people who may not appear interested or know anything about God--our purpose is to spread the Good News to every single person.
In the beginning, We try to understand what we see, Life! We are taught by the people who raise us. In theory, we adjust to our circumstances, in reality, we dont understand and we question many things that we encounter in our journey. I as a child, was raised in a Catholic upbringing and I experienced the Greatness of God at an early age, however, not knowing the world and it's agenda's, I focused on what I had to do regarding my life on this planet. During my UP's and Down's of life I always knew God was around, and I felt His Love when I focused on him, But when I continued to persist on my self, I would loose that feeling! Not knowing just existing and wondering. Through my battles with addiction and bondage to many bad habits, I always had God on the back burner knowing He was there, but I insisted on doing things my way! Frank Sinatra had song with "My Way" but I quickly learned the truth about how much Our God really loves us. It took me 55 years to understand this amazing Love. God has removed my addictions, and has set me free! No more bondage! No more confusion, what is ironic, All this time, I knew, what I had to do, in a blink of the eye, I moved God from the back burner to the front and First obligation, expressing my Love for Him in a very personal manner! Wow! God really comes to your Life! When you make Him your partner! I am excited about my Love Story with God! The Best is yet to Come! Love is the key! God is Love!Read
The message August 13th 2016 was very meaningful in trusting God even when I cannot understand.
My husband left his job to become an RN and just at the end of his 3 month orientation in a major hospital with great job benefits he had a sudden onset of neck pain resulting in cervical surgery. This resulted in unemployment for a while. He moved to other nursing jobs which did not seem to work well . Was moving into nursing the best thing I do not know.
My testimony is that, during that time I was the only person working full time. My family has never been behind our mortgage, our bills have been paid including student loans, we tithe faithfully and give to missions. God has used the five loaves and two fishes and blessed us tremendously. Why my husband lost his job which was so promising, I don't understand. I know the Lord has been forever faithful, and we are trusting His Plan. The lyrics of the song ,"Trust his heart" fits in well with the devotion today.
God bless all ODB staff and management.