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The Kingdom of Heaven and the Sowing of the Mustard Seed

043Kingdom of Heaven and the Sowing of the Mustard Seed –

 

The late Rev. Obie Matthews used to say, “Some folk are so heavenly bound, they are no earthly good!” I am thinking today about his big, boisterous laugh at the well-intentioned Christians who simply get the faith wrong. Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that is sowed in his field. Let’s break this parable down.

Jesus starts by saying, “The kingdom of heaven.” The kingdom of heaven is at least two dimensional. The first level is here on earth. I believe Jesus came to earth not just to prepare us for life beyond death, but also to show us how to live. What good is a heavenly death if we have not learned how to live? It bothers me to find some Christians who will look the other way and put up with racism, sexism, and fascism, all in the name of things will be better when we get to heaven.

This week, we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, who championed the civil rights for all people. Dr. King believed in heaven, prayed for heaven, and died in the faith of going to heaven, but he also believed that all persons should be treated equal with the same rights to receive a public education, access to public accommodations like lunch counters, and the right to vote. To Dr. King, the kingdom of heaven, was not just a prize to be obtained upon death, but right here on earth!

Matthew 13: 31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” [1]

Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to the sowing of a mustard seed. It was not only the faith of the mustard seed, but the sowing of the seed. The seed must be selected, planted, watered and watched, and eventually, with the help of the sunshine, the seed grows into a productive plant and if left alone long enough, a big tree. This is a great analogy for how we must work toward the building of God’s kingdom on earth. You and I and other people of good will and faith must work to convince the world of the power of love, equality and justice. As we work to establish a world order in the spirit of Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God will become a reality, not just in death, but also in life.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How would you describe the kingdom of heaven?
  2. Why do you think Jesus compared the sowing of a mustard seed to the kingdom of heaven?
  3. Is it the seed or the sowing of the seed that should be compared to the kingdom of heaven?

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me the faith, energy and commitment to sow faith in your word for the building of your kingdom. Lord, make me proud to be a witness for you! Make me proud to tell the world what you have done for me! Make me unashamed to admit that when I was down, you lifted me up! When I was lost, you came for me and found me! When I could not see my way, you gave me direction. Help me to pray right, live right, love right and do right in your sight. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, missions, prayers and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

www.puccdetroit.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 13:31–32). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Keep Alert, Stand firm, Be Courageous, Be Strong!

Keep Alert, Stand Firm in Your faith, Be Courageous, Be Strong!

Denise and me in Ethiopia (2005) on top of one of the underground churches at Lalibela, Ethiopia

 

My wife and I, and a couple of others traveling with us and the Ethiopian North American Health Professions Association, as part of a health mission, I believe the year was 2012, were driven to a worship service that met in the backyard of a household compound. The yard had a wall around it, and the entrance was a locked gate. Worship was spirited. The denomination was Meserte Kristos, which grew out of the Mennonite Church. At some point we were told that while we were driven to the place of worship, most of the worshipers walked by foot. We were also told that going and coming to worship, sometimes the worshipers were pelted with rocks from Christians who did not believe in their worship tradition. Worshipers were truly suffering for their faith! As I heard this, I began to wonder how many members of my church would continue to attend church if they were pelted by rocks? What would you do if your path to worship was full of obstacles?

2004 Ethiopian Mission in Lalibela

We know an Ethiopian woman who was physically held face down in a fire of burning coals because she converted to the protestant church in Ethiopia.  Her faith is incredibly strong, and in her own way has become a tremendous witness to her family members and others.

The Apostle Paul tells the church at Corinth to, “Keep alert, stand firm in their faith, be courageous and be strong.” The early church had its detractors and road blocks in a much different way than many of us experience. For many in the west, our biggest road block to church is ourselves. We are derailed by television shows, sporting events, and the comfort of our bed.

However, as I have taken note of some of the countries were persons read this blog, some of you may read the words of Paul in a more intense way than those of us in America and the west. Perhaps you are reading this piece from Russia, China, Iraq, Iran or some other country where Christianity has its challenges. I am interested to hear from you regarding how this verse speaks to you. My encouragement is that we all stay alert, stand firm in our faith, be courageous and strong.

1 Corinthians 16: 13 Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Why do you think Paul ends 1 Corinthians with this verse?
  2. What is the relevance of this scripture for the modern Christian?

 

Prayer: Lord, keep my mind focused upon thee. Regardless of my comfort or discomfort, keep me alert. Make me alert and aware of danger. Make me alert for opportunities to witness for you. Make me alert for ways to transform suffering into joy, dead-ends into door openers, mean-spiritedness into love. Make me firm in my faith, courageous in the fight against evil and a strong witness for you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III can be viewed at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Co 16:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

In Deep Water!

In Deep Water –

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Sanctuary Beach, California

My message today is about trusting God, even when we are challenged to follow the Lord into deep water! From my youth, I have enjoyed the water. I like swimming and playing in the water. I like sitting by water and watching the waves go by. The sound of water, forming waves from the wind and current, gives me a sense of inner peace and calm. I like letting the water in an ocean or big lake, hit me and drag me out towards the deep. In that moment, I know that I am helpless and totally dependent upon the grace of God. As a little boy, my parents took me and my younger brother, Emory to Jones Beach in New York. A wave hit me, knocked me down, and the current dragged me over the rough sand out toward the sea. I survived the current, but even now, I think about the awesome power of the waves and my helplessness to fight back. When I consider the depths of the waters, I am filled with the knowledge that I am only a small part of the creation of God. It humbles me and puts my life into perspective.

At the beginning of his earthly ministry, Jesus preaches and teaches to a crowd near Capernaum. Jesus steps into a fishing boat, owned by Simon Peter. The boat provides Jesus with some personal space which he uses to speak to the masses. They are only a short distance from the shore. After the crowd leaves, Jesus tells Simon Peter to “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”

Peter loves Jesus, but it seems as if his response to Jesus goes something like this: “Jesus I love you and accept you as Lord and Savior, but with all due respect, what do you know about fishing? I have been fishing all my life. I am aquatinted with every inch of this lake. My brother and friends and I have been fishing all night long and we have not caught many fish.

Jesus insists that he put out into the deep water and he will find a great catch of fish. Eventually, Peter gives in and the rest is history. They put out into the deep of the lake and there are so many fish the nets begin to break. What are some of the lessons we can learn from this story?

First, Jesus knows more than we do. Peter thought he knew it all, but Jesus showed him something about the fish in the Sea of Galilee he did not know.

Second, even though he doubted Jesus, Peter trusts Jesus enough to put out into the deep.

Third, sometimes like Peter, we are reluctant to go into deep water. Deep water is dangerous water, but like Peter, if we want to be successful, we need to get beyond our fears and arrogance and humble ourselves to follow the direction of Jesus.

Jesus uses the example of the great catch of fish to let Peter know that if he follows him, he will make him a “Fisher of people.”

To me, this text is saying, trust the Lord and he will show you blessings far greater than anything you ever could have imagined!

Luke 5: When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are some of the greatest tests of faith you have experienced?
  2. Have the tests to your faith strengthened or weakened your faith?

 

Prayer: Lord, teach me to trust you. Lord, increase my faith that I might follow you. Lord, grant me strength and courage to believe in you, hope in you and love unconditionally without fear. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers, Photo and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Lk 5:4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Jesus and the Father with the Epileptic Son

Jesus and The Father with the Epileptic Son –

 
With Father’s Day approaching, I want to focus on stories from the Bible that feature fathers. The story I am lifting today is the one of a father who brought a sick son to Jesus. He began with the disciples, but they were unable to heal the boy. Jesus heals the boy and tells the disciples that the boy’s illness was such that only prayer and faith could heal him. The concluding remark from Jesus was that “nothing is impossible with God.”

14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17)

 

Here are some of my reflections and lessons from this story. First, the father brings the child to Jesus. The mother could have brought the boy, but it is the father. In America today, the father often gets a bad rap. However, in this story from the Bible, it is the father who is the advocate for the son.

Second lesson from the story – when the disciples cannot heal the boy, the father keeps pushing until he has a face to face encounter with Jesus. You and I should press on until we have a personal encounter with Jesus.

Third lesson from the story – Jesus tells the disciples that when their faith and prayer life is enhanced, all things will be possible. The same is true for us. As we develop our faith-life and prayer-life, all things are possible!

Matthew 17: 14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water.[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What can we learn from the father of the sick son who came to see Jesus?
  2. What does this story tell us about the love and power of Jesus?

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me faith to believe that you can do all things. When I am afraid, bless me to believe that all things are possible. Teach me to love my children, even as I love myself. Through the wind, through the fire, through the storm and rain, happiness and pain, I give my heart to you. Lord, have mercy on me. Lord, shine upon me. Lord, save me. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, prayers and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at http://www.nicholashoodministries.org

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 17:14–15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

“That You May Abound in Hope…”

“…That You May Abound in Hope” –

Sunday, I looked at Reddick Grant holding his young son, who had fallen asleep. I am sure they were waiting on the little boy’s mother, sister and older brother. As I looked at the father holding the little guy in his sleep, I thought about all the potential the little fellow possessed. God has promised him a future and a hope. God only knows what tomorrow will bring for the children of the world, but the love of this little boy’s dad will lay a foundation for what lies ahead. The Apostle Paul teaches that when we are filled with joy and peace in believing that we will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray this day that you will be filled with this hope.

 

Romans 15: 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Where does your hope come from?
  2. Why do you think Paul writes that “Joy and peace in believing…will make it possible for you to abound in hope?”

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me your hope. Fill me with joy. Bless me with peace. Make it possible for me to abound in hope by the power of your Holy Spirit.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, message, missions books and photos of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ro 15:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Increase Your Spiritual Bandwidth!

Increase Your Spiritual Bandwidth! –

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On the beach near Monterrey, California

 

Bandwidth provides the computer user with the capacity for the computer to process information. The faster the bandwidth, the faster a computer can download, upload and work multiple functions at the same time. Just as a computer is faster or slower because of the available bandwidth, in like manner, our spirituality depends or flatlines based upon the foundation of faith upon which we have built our lives. If you will, it is our “Spiritual Bandwidth” that enables us to learn more of God, trust Jesus and to rely upon the Holy Spirit.

So, one of the things the believer must do is always check and grow their “Spiritual Bandwidth.” The greater our faith, the greater our ability to handle the ups and downs of life. The greater our faith, the easier it is to trust God in all situations. The greater our faith, the greater our ability to “Walk by faith and not by sight.”

There are several steps a person can take to build their “Spiritual Bandwidth.”

  1. Acquaint oneself with the Gospel stories of Jesus Christ
  2. Try to see Jesus in every situation, everything and every person
  3. Pray often and regularly
  4. Attempt to love as Jesus has taught us to love.

When Jesus showed his scars to Thomas, who previously said he would not believe that Jesus had risen from the grave until he saw the nail prints in his hand, Jesus told him that those who believed and had not seen the scars would be blessed.

John 20: 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” [1]

Look at the larger scripture that talks about Jesus, Thomas and the other disciples:

John 20: 26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” [2]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What would you tell a person who wanted to increase their faith?
  2. What are some of the major stumbling blocks in building faith?

Thank you for reading this piece about, “Increasing Your Spiritual Bandwidth.” This also happens to be the title of my sermon, Sunday. If you are in the Detroit, Michigan area, I hope you will stop by the church at either 8:30 or 11 AM. – Plymouth United Church of Christ 600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201

Nick

Prayer: Lord, increase my faith! Help me to believe, even when I cannot make sense out of death, disappointment and despair. Lord, I need your presence. Lord, I need more faith. I cannot run this journey alone. Speak to me and I will listen. Hold my hand and I will follow. Breath upon me and my lungs will be filled with your power and your glory. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Jn 20:29). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Jn 20:26–29). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Let What You Heard in the Beginning Abide in You!

Let What You Heard in the Beginning Abide in You-

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Sometimes a person can see so much, live so much, and know so much that you cannot tell them a cotton picking thing!  Some folk have been so beaten down by life that they have a tough time thinking and smiling.  Some people actually were better off before they experienced success and achievement.   In the first letter of John, the author expresses concern and encouragement that his readers and listeners continue to internalize and believe with the passion they had at the beginning of their faith.

The promise of Jesus Christ is that if we abide in Christ, Christ will abide in each of us, and the promise of this faith is eternal life.

1 John 2: 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he has promised us, eternal life. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What does this passage say to you?
  2. What are some of the reasons why a believer might backslide in faith?

 

Prayer:

Bring me back, Lord to a pure faith, a pure hope and a pure love in thee.  Your word is refreshment to my soul.  Your grace and mercy are everlasting and your love is without end.  I must confess that in my sophistication I have sometimes ignored your principles and values.  Sometimes in my prosperity I have chosen to rely on myself rather than I have relied on you.  In my arrogance I have forgotten you.  In my pride sometimes I have fought when I should have stood down, I have spoken when I should have remained silent and I have withheld when I should have shared. Bring me back, Lord to a pure faith, a pure hope and a pure love in thee.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Jn 2:24–25). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

“You Don’t Love Me Like You Used To”

“You Don’t Love Me Like You Used to”

Signing_The_Marriage_License_063

Have you ever been locked in a love that was tired, beaten down and worn out?  The complaint from God through John in the Book of Revelation is that the church at Ephesus has lost the love it once had for God.  The church is still doing a good work in the name of Jesus, but the passion has evaporated like the mist of the morning.

In like manner, sometimes individuals can become functional in their love: they take out the trash, make up the bed, cook dinner, cut the grass, pay their bills, but the heart and head are emotionally disconnected.

God reveals through John that the expectation from on high is that the church renew its drive, passion and fervor for promoting the good news of Jesus Christ.  I think there are several ways a church can renew its passion for the Lord.

First, reclaim the joy of reading scripture together, singing the songs of the faith, and engaging in mission.

Second, the church must actively celebrate evangelism by encouraging its members to share the good news of the faith, the church and its mission.

Third, the church should always check its love quotient by asking itself, are we loving the way the Lord has call us to love one another.

Listen to the way the Lord chastised the church at Ephesus:

Revelation 2: 2 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands:

“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God. [1]

 

As we focus our attention on the fourth verse I encourage you to search your soul and ask the following question:  “Am I loving the way the lord would have me to love?

 

Revelation 2: But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.[2]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about a church that has abandoned the love it first had for God?
  2. How can people renew, reestablish and rekindle a love they once had?

 

Prayer:

Lord, bring back the fire.  Help me not to become tired and complacent in my spirituality.  Make me zealous to tell the world about your salvation.  Build a fire within my soul that I might preach to others as though their lives and mind depend upon your mercy.  Help me never to become so predictable and satisfied with routine that I lose the passion to go to the ends of the earth for you.  Speak to me. Guide me.  Encourage me to love you today like I first loved you.  Teach me to love my family, friends and even the stranger as though today is the first and last day of  life.  Make me a better Christian.  Make me a better person.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

Nicholas Hood III Ministries info at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Re 2:1–7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Re 2:4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

“Fear Not, for I am the First an dthe Last”

“Fear Not, I am the First and the Last”

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Sanctuary Beach, California

 

What would you do if you saw the Lord up close?  Would you run to him?  Would you bow down and worship him?  Would you fall down in fear?  John, the author of the Revelation, writes that in his vision from the Isle of Patmos, he saw Jesus and it terrified him.

As a boy, growing up on Fullerton Street on the west side of Detroit, I would talk to the Lord in the middle of the night as I made my way down the dark steps to the even darker front hallway and kitchen.  My mission then, as it still is now, was a search for a cold glass of water.  The whole way to the refrigerator I would talk to the Lord and ask the Lord to show himself to me.  I was terrified of the dark, but even more terrified of what I would do If the Lord popped up in the kitchen and engaged me in late night conversation.  The Lord never forced an encounter with me in the dark kitchen on Fullerton Street, and my faith has continued to increase.

The Book of Revelation is a mystery to many in today’s world.  However, during the time of John, and the first century church, the Revelation was quite clear.  I believe, as do many scholars, that John was writing a revelation he had received in a kind of code language that would be easily understood by Christians in his time who were persecuted under the authority of the Roman government.  The members of the early church knew exactly what John is talking about.  The Roman government did not know what he was talking about.  Perhaps his guards thought he was a nut.  John is the only apostle who is thought not to have been martyred.  Some think he survived being killed for his faith because he was in prison.  John tells us early on that he is imprisoned on the Island of Patmos.  He clearly states at the beginning who the revelation is intended – seven churches.

Revelation 1: I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” [1]

In our focus verse for today, John speaks about being overwhelmed with fear when he sees Jesus face to face.  What would you do if you saw the Lord up close?  Would you run to him and embrace him, or would you fall down like John?  The Lord reaches out and touches John, talks to him and touches him:

 

Revelation 1: 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last[2]

Take a look at John’s description of the Lord.  It is an awesome vision of the glory of God.  Again, I ask, what would you do if you saw a vision like the vision of John?

Revelation 1: 12 Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force. [3]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What does this passage of scripture say to you about overcoming your fears?
  2. What does the image of Jesus being the “First and last” mean to you?

 

Prayer:

Lord, help me with my fears.  Grant me a new sense of self-confidence.  Remind me that you are the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end of all things.  Put your hand of reassurance upon me.  Wash me and make me clean.  Touch me and make me whole.  Speak to me and grant me your peace.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Re 1:9–11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Re 1:17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Re 1:12–16). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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