All posts by Mark Luker

Forgiveness

What should we do when people to whom we have given our trust betray that trust?

Should we be angry and refuse to trust those people again?

What if our car breaks down, causing us great frustration and inconvenience? Do we not take the proper steps to fix it so we can drive it again? If we can’t get it fixed…..do we never drive a car again because it might break down? Will our anger from that instance of failure  continue to cause us frustration by keeping us from wanting to have another car? Will that anger make us feel any better as we walk everywhere?

We may be justified in not trusting a car again, but does that really solve the issue at hand or just make us feel more justified in our anger?

Could it be possible that the person who let us down is really a good person, but made a mistake unintentionally? If so, wouldn’t we be hurting ourselves if we refused to trust that someone again? After all, we must have thought they were good people before they made a mistake, so isn’t there a chance that they are still a good person?

It would seem that the best way to solve an issue, would be to first let the anger and disappointment of that situation go….

We need to ask ourselves.……is the reason we are having a difficult time forgiving someone the result of not being able to come to terms with the issue at hand? It seems that if we are able to free ourselves of these negative emotions and first solve the situation, then it really wouldn’t be that hard to forgive the person or persons involved….

If we refuse to forgive and never trust a person again, are we possibly robbing ourselves of real growth? Could it be that the solution to solving a particular issue lies with the very person we refuse to forgive?

If you made a mistake, would you want your friends to give up on you?

Seems that is what forgiveness is all about….

God forgave you didn’t he?

 

Have You Achieved Enlightenment?

Not me!
But it’s not like I haven’t been looking for it……enligtenment
No, I am not a Buddhist (and I mean no disrespect towards Buddhists) but I have nonetheless been searching for “comprehension” most of my life.
I have spent this life running aimlessly from one thing to another searching for something that I could use to say to God, “I found it, can I come up now?”  I know now it’s been right in front of me all along….but I was so busy searching for it that I couldn’t see it!  Like when I can’t find a tool in the toolbox, totally convinced it is just not there….until my wife points to it. 
Here’s my main thought on enlightenment folks…..
I think about someone dying and appearing at the gates of heaven only to be told….
“Sorry, but you haven’t achieved the proper quota of humming exercises.” (again…no disrespect towards Buddhists intended!)
The world will tell you….  “If you would just work harder and be willing to put everything else aside, sacrificing everything, you might attain true happiness.….”
What kind of promise is that? Work hard for the future, do your best…and you might achieve the promise of happiness?  Be very careful, because if you do achieve happiness in this world...it can be taken away at any moment…..Some of you most likely have already learned that painful lesson…I know I have!
God has promised us paradise…and we have to do nothing for it except believe in him and accept the sacrifice he made of Jesus Christ to atone for our sins….that’s it…no catch, no fine print. And the awesome news is…..it cannot be taken away from us…!
Self-help gurus all have their own special formulas for attaining true happiness and self enlightenment – but if you listen closely….they don’t really promise anything! But of course, they can sell you lots of books……
God has already provided a book for us to follow…and it’s free!
Am I the only one who has figured out that although we are all created in God’s image, we all have very unique reasons we are here…united in the one great reason…which is that we have been sent into the world to glorify him? So what good would it do me to read a book by a celebrity about their life to find secrets about achieving enlightenment for my own?
That’s like a mechanic reading a truck manual to learn how to fix my car.
I think it’s good to read about other people’s journey in life….and they may very well have achieved what God wanted THEM to achieve…but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is what he wants me to achieve…..
I think the main reason we all struggle in this world…is that no matter how hard we try……we cannot enlighten ourselves!
Do you have a favorite plant in the house….? Do you think that it can water itself or maneuver itself to get the best light…? Can your plant fertilize itself?
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”  
True enlightenment is already available to us….we just need to accept it!
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12 

 

Been There…

Have you ever seen that T-shirt that reads:  “My parents went to California and all I got was this T-shirt?”

Well friends, Jesus came to Earth….and we get way more than a T-shirt!

Maps show us where some one else has already been, right?

Warning signs keep us on the right road…….

The need for road maps has become clearer to me in recent years…..like when my wife and I became lost once, because I thought I knew the way…..I have to admit that I was the only one really lost!

Maps are only good to us if we read them right?  Warnings only work if we believe them, right? If a sign warns us of a washed out road ahead….the sign would do us no good if we didn’t believe and accept what it says with the faith that there is really a washed out road ahead!

Jesus’s sacrifice means nothing to us unless we are willing to surrender to God by accepting and believing that what he has done is enough!

How about this warning within a promise……

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.  .John 3:36

Here are a few things that come to my mind that Jesus has already experienced…..

Pain  –  Suffering – Humiliation  – Lust – Betrayal  –  Loneliness –  Degradation  – Hunger  – Temptation  –  Storms  –  Homelessness  – Taxes  – Death

Jesus gave his life……..  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.………..”  Isaiah 53:4-5

All we have to do is believe Jesus died for us and accept that he did all that was required and believe that he has the power and loves us so much that we can take him at his word and bring him anything that we are experiencing and lay it at his feet and know that he will carry our burdens for us!

So, all we need to do is come to Jesus, after all……he’s already been there ahead of us!

 

Here is a song to go with the post if you would like to use it:

 

Visit Mark at Planting Potatoes.

When in doubt….plant potatoes!

My Hope

David said….. “Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope”   Act 2:26

Photo credit: www.reformingculture.com

God loved man so much that he made a garden for him and provided all he needed…at that point, Adam had no need for hope. Right?

But then Adam fell – and he fell hard – so hard in fact, that we are still paying for it to this day! His mistake ushered sin into this perfect world God had created – and since God could not abide by sin, man became lost and without hope. 

Yes there is hope for us – it does exist – but our hope is in Jesus Christ alone! Our faith leads us to wait for his return which means, we have nothing to hope for but Jesus Christ!  This is not something we “wish” for like a birthday present…….

When I was young, I remember being asked what I wanted for my birthday.  I shared my wish with anyone who would listen…but then I waited impatiently because I was never really sure if my wish would come true – sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn’t.  Of course, I was always encouraged to blow out all the candles if I wanted my wish to come true.  I could never understand why my wish wouldn’t come true if I told anyone……..  Where did that come from?

Jesus did not die so we would need to “wait and see.“….nor do we need to search this world for his hope……our hope is the blessed assurance that he was raised from the dead and that he is coming back for us!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

I remember being left at the babysitters and my mother promising to come back at the end of the day to pick us up. That was always a long day, because I was never quite sure if she was really coming back for us…but of course, she always did………

Satan has been trying to convince us that God is not coming for us….and by the looks of things more people are believing that every day!

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:5

A lot of things offer us hope in this world, but because they are attached to this world, they will never be anything but short-term illusions because God does not intend for us to remain here and he paid the high price for our souls so we wouldn’t need anything else!  Our society is designed as if this is our final destination!  Don’t be fooled…..there is a force at work in this world intent on ensuring we never reach our true destination!

I remember having to live with relatives while growing up and how I would always hope for a place of my own…….

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”  John 14:2

As for our nation….Aren’t you getting tired of being told, “if we just get the right man in the white house or….”just a little more tax…..”   or  ……” with a little sacrifice ….”  Can anyone tell me how long we’ve been fooling ourselves with this false hope? Why are people pushing Jesus aside while waiting for “something more?”  It makes no sense to push aside the hope that has already been given us, in search of false illusions. Hasn’t our hope already been delivered to us?

I believe our hope first arrived the moment that Jesus Christ was born – but the hope that we can now be reconciled with God and have eternal life actually was given to us the moment he died! 

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”  John 19:30

Sin is still in the world – and always will be – so, does that mean there is no hope for man?

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  Romans 5:2

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”    John 14:6

Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

In Christ alone my hope is found………

Visit Mark at Planting Potatoes.