Jesus and His Social Networking

28 01 2016 and I are now part of the “in-crowd”. We went from an antique cell phone, to a “cool smart phone” just yesterday!
This morning as I was driving my 12-year-old grandson to school, I was mentioning how I might need his help in fine tuning the settings of my smart phone, as it downloaded my whole list of contacts from my email to the phone. He hardly thinking about it, pulled his phone out and checked it and said, he had 45 friends on his contact list. I am like, “45”? Yes, that was how many were part of his immediate, everyday network!
Networking is a buzzword for this time and age. My conversation this morning, segued so well to some thoughts from a Bible Study I was prepping for. Isn’t the Lord so good!
We are in a series of studies, to meet some of the people that Jesus was meeting as He was walking and ministering in the land of His birth. In the study that I am leading we are going to meet three people – the two thieves who hung on the cross with him, that ignominious day and the Roman Centurion who was in charge of the activities of this day!
It dawned on me, how Jesus was so intentional in networking with the people he met each day. No one would be exempted from His touch or His influence. The two thieves, robbers or revolutionaries were on an equal footing with Jesus that day. Jesus was numbered with the transgressors. But, from what we can see of the circumstances, it would appear that the two robbers had maybe come from a jail cell, where they had been waiting for this day, while Jesus had been arrested, appeared in three trials – before the Sanhedrin, before Herod, before Pilate – and He had been beaten, mocked, spat upon, a crown of thorns placed on His head.
Now as He is dying on a cross, still enduring the mocking of the priests and the passersby, besides the excruciating pain and physical suffering of the crucifixion, Jesus is able to interact with the robber who interacts with Him, promising Him a life with Him eternally, and yet not being condemning of the other robber, keeping the door open for him also to respond to Jesus, and to God.
It would have been easy for Jesus to have not responded in any manner, considering the pain and the agony that He was personally going through, but He reaches out to those He is surrounded by. In His mind, every day, every moment was an opportunity to reach out to another person in whose path He had been placed, and it was another opportunity for Jesus to network that person to meet His Father.
What a challenge that leaves before us. What excuse can we give, considering that day, that set of circumstances that Jesus was in and yet He reached out to one, to two people, who desperately, desperately needed Him THAT DAY! Tomorrow would be too late!

Breaking The Code: 256

11 01 2016

CAREFREE (2) It was the year 1971 when I first expressed my love to my soon to become wife, Linda.  Ofcourse it was Valentine’s Day and we were in Bible School in Seattle, at the Seattle Bible (Bridal) Training School in Ballard.  There I told her about the Code “256”!

Through the years, will be 45 years this year if my Math serves me right, we have had this code: 256.  I think a few in our immediate family know the code, but today I want to share with you, the origin of the code and give honor to whom it is due!

It was the year 1961 January, when I started my journey in the work-a-day world at Back to the Bible Broadcast office, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  As my parents were pastoring a church away from the capital city, I was living in a “Boarding House” in Dehiwala, Sri Lanka.  There was also a young Navy family who were renting part of this boarding house and they had a five year old son, who kept us all entertained in the evenings as we came home from a weary day at work!

One day, the mother asked him, “Son, do you love me?”  And he replied, “Yes I do love you, Mummy!”  “So how much do you love me?”  And the little boy stood up as tall as he could, and stretched his arms as wide as he could, and said, “This much, Mummy!  This much, 256”!  (The biggest number that his mind could come up at this time).

Yes, “256”, the biggest number that he could come up with.  This has been our code: 256.  The greatest amount of love that we could share with each other, 256, Linda!

And this morning I am reminded of another person, who stretched His arms as far as they would stretch, and allowed people to nail it to a cross and in so doing He said, “256 – I love you this much!”  “With ALL that I am I love you!”

He does not reserve His love in anyway but extends His love to You and Me!  And as He does that He says, “It is not limited in anyway, but it is for EVERYONE in this whole world, go and share it TODAY!   Yes, share that I love them “256”!

And now you know the Code, will you share it too!  Blessings on YOU as you share 256!