Tuesday, December 15, 2015

WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?

     Discovery of gold brought fame to this part of Colorado in the 1890's. Millions of dollars of the precious commodity were produced and gold is still mined in the area. Winfield Scott Stratton, an itinerant carpenter with a passion for prospecting, was one whose persistence in searching for this treasure was rewarded. Stratton and others had to see the potential hidden in veins of quartz and gravel in the mountainous land.

     The quest of these individuals is a picture of God's search for man. The prospectors of the 19th century had to place such value on the treasure to invest labour, time and money with no assurance of success. Some left their families, homes, lands and work seeking riches.

     We have no understanding of what the Lord Jesus left to come to this earth. In John 17:5 He speaks of the glory He shared with His Father before the world was created. In Matthew 13:44 He gives the illustration of a man who found a treasure hidden in a field and sold everything He had to buy the field.

     How could He see such worth in us that He would leave Heaven, labour as a carpenter, then serve as an itinerant preacher so we can know the love of His Father for mankind? Since he gave us free will, Jesus has no guarantee that we will accept what He came to bring.

     In Matthew 13:46 He describes a pearl merchant who discovered an exceptional one and used all he had to purchase it. That must have been some pearl! Like the treasure hunter and the pearl merchant, Jesus has an eye for value. When we consider what He paid for us, we have to be worth more than we can imagine! 

     Father God gave His only Son. I cannot conceive of giving the life of a child, especially for ones who don't even care. And the Lord Jesus died willingly. Both paid the ultimate price. Jesus sees what others, including ourselves, cannot see. He sees great worth and beauty. 

     In Malachi 3:17 God speaks of the day when He will make up His jewels. As a child I loved the chorus - "Like the stars of the morning, His bright crown adorning, they will shine in their beauty, bright gems for His crown." To our God, each and every one of us is a gem of inestimable worth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

HANDS AND FEET

     In warmer days, Kesti offers classes in therapeutic riding. Clients of various ages develop balance and co-ordination on horseback and have fun in the process. Even some older participants need help to mount a horse because of physical challenges. Several volunteers are always nearby to help and protect each one.

     A few days ago on Thanksgiving in the United States, Randy and Kesti, the owners of Christ Haven Lodge, welcomed a bus load of dear people to enjoy a scrumptious meal served in the dining room. Music, encouraging words, and a warm fire in the fireplace helped make a day that could have been difficult become special.

     We live in a world with many who are suffering physically, emotionally and financially. Jesus spoke of the Samaritan who cared for the man who was robbed, beaten and left for dead on the roadside. (Luke 10:30-37) The victim, a picture of beaten and dying humanity, was a stranger to the Samaritan. He tended the man's wounds, lifted him onto the animal he'd been riding, took him to an inn and paid for his care and accommodation. 

    The Samaritan's animal, Kesti's horses, the bus that brought folks to Christ Haven all had a part in God's huge plan to minister to people He loves. But He needs us - able-bodied followers of Christ with voices to share the good news of God's Kingdom, hands to do, feet to go where He longs to help, strengthen and encourage.

     We read in 1 John 4:17 that Christians in this world are as Jesus is. At times we may be more like the chap who prompted the account of the good Samaritan when he asked Jesus to define who our neighbours are... until we begin to understand how greatly we are loved. Then we aren't looking for a guide to what we ought to do. Secure in our Saviour's love we can be channels of His compassion, more than willing to do anything we can to help others overcome the challenges and difficulties they face.