God’s Calling Card – Heavenly Hints this Thanksgiving Day

It’s no secret about my love for the holidays, there is a feeling that comes around once a year. You can sense it with the music, the laughter, the smells, the overall more generous tendency. Like Andy Williams said, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s the hap-happiest season of all.” The holidays for me are like a home calling card, a heavenly hint. We are the only species that experience this.

Me and my husband were in the living room watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and our dog decided to get out of bed and join us in the living room. When she came down the hallway to the tune of pitter-patter on the laminate floor, we exuberantly exclaimed, “Happy Thanksgiving Sadie!” We love our dogs as you can tell. They really are a part of the family. Then my husband said sensitively as he patted her head, “This is just another day to you, isn’t it?” It is the truth, Sadie doesn’t experience that nostalgia, or longing the way we do. God placed in us something exceptional. He made us in his image.

After watching a bit of the parade, I decided to go for a jog in our neighborhood before I digest a weeks worth of calories. As I walked, taking in God’s beautiful creation, I  began to give thanks for all his bountiful blessings, I became overwhelmed with that home calling card.  I usually take my walks around this time everyday, but today was different. As I walked down the streets, there were kids riding their bikes, laughing and playing; adults waving, and wishing me Happy Thanksgiving, families in their driveways playing games.  I could feel my eyes welling up with tears; the heavenly calling card was giving me a ring. I thought to myself,  this is what we long for, this is what we hope for. We long for unity, genuine goodness, unconditional love, togetherness, no more division, no more discord, no more dysfunction, no more derision.  The beauty and the longing are not IN THE holidays themselves, or the music, or the smells or the feelings, it just coming THROUGH it. It’s a calling card to home! The beauty is in Christ. The oneness is in Him! The harmony that we long for is in Jesus. He is the source.

As you go about your Thanksgiving today, take notice of the heavenly hints,  God’s calling card and give thanks for He loves you with an everlasting love!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Johanna

“These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” C.S. Lewis

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“The Hour has Come!”

In John 17 we read Jesus’ prayer  in the upper room with his disciples just before being arrested, tried, tortured and crucified.

“The hour has come.” 

What was he talking about? At this moment can you imagine the power behind these words?
A major shift was about to take place.
Everything was about to change from this point onward.
The ultimate sacrifice was about to be made for our sins that would finally atone so that God would now be able to look at us and have a direct line of communication. We from this point forward have been made clean through Jesus. We are asked to believe and accept.
For hundreds of years man was trying to do better to meet God’s standard to appease God, but………….
The hour has come, the trying is over. It will never do. The hour has come. Jesus is our redeemer. The hour has come. Jesus is our savior. The hour has come. Jesus paid it all. The hour has come. I can have communion with the living God. The hour has come. I am cleansed. The hour has come. Jesus is glorified. The hour has come. God the Father is glorified. The hour has come. It is finished. The hour has come. Believe and accept the free gift.

John 17:6-8
REVELATION – Jesus came and revealed himself as the son of the living God.

MESSAGE – Jesus delivered the message from the Father. Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me(Jesus)

THE GIFT – Out of love, He gave of himself finally as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin cleansing us so that we may have eternal life. What is eternal life? It’s not living forever on a cloud or some abstract idea beyond this life. It is sharing in joy and communion and glory with God forever! How awesome!!

What was Jesus’ purpose? To glorify the Father. To point all to God the Father.
What is our purpose? To glorify Jesus which in turn glorify’s God the Father. When we receive the message Jesus sent, this glorifies God. When we come to him and accept his free gift of eternal life, this glorifies God. When we believe, this glorifies God. Jesus’ motivation and purpose in this prayer was none other than to glorify God. He was about to be crucified, and his eyes were set on God the Father being exalted and lifted up. What is your motivation for believing? Is it because you want to escape punishment? Is it because you want to be blessed? Is it because it seems like a good moral thing to do? Did you inherit your belief from your family? It doesn’t start with you and it doesn’t end with you. It starts with God and ends with God. He is the alpha and the omega the beginning and the end. Jesus prayed, “thy will be done.”

Prayer for protection, holiness and unity among believers. John 17:10-26
We as disciples are to bring glory to Jesus! This is a testimony to the world. Jesus clearly saw these three things very important. This was his chief concern for his disciples.
Protection – Jesus warned that we would have trouble in this world. We would be persecuted and hated by the world. We would have the world, the flesh, and the devil to contend with. He is sending us into the world, the world with all the trouble and persecution, yes, but he has shielded us with his protection, we will most certainly have to endure troubles, but no one can separate us from the love of God. Jesus specifically prays for protection as we should too, for ourselves and for each other.

Holiness – Jesus prayed that the disciples would be made holy, by truth and his word which is truth. Who said he was truth? Jesus said I am “the truth”. We can only be made holy by Jesus. He gave himself up as a holy sacrifice for us to be holy. He prayed for God the Father to teach them his word. We have a need to know what Jesus said. We have a need to read the scriptures. Jesus prayed this specifically. Holiness is a lifetime goal. We should pray and seek holiness and the holiness of our fellow believers. We are being perfected each day through our journey through this life.

Unity – Jesus prayed for his disciples to be in perfect unity as the Father and Son are. We are supposed to be examples to the world of God’s glory, of Jesus’ love. If we are not one with each other, what message is this to the world? The apostle Paul dealt with this very thing in all of the churches. Jesus is not a denomination. He is the way the truth and the life. He is not a doctrine. He is a living person who died to bring you and me into shared glory with God the Father. Lets join together in unity as believers to show the world that God is love and that He is glorified. Let’s not get caught up in our differences. Lets get caught up in Jesus who binds us all together in truth and love.

Jesus prayed for you and me. John 17:20. He prayed for all that would put their trust in Him and believe. THE HOUR HAS COME! Glorify God! Thy will be done! Amen!