Tag Archives: Need

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May 2014

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A Needed Relationship

This month we remember and celebrate our mothers. What could be more appropriate than to celebrate moms?  They care for us, they nurture us, and on the very deepest level, we all need our moms. Even if your relationship with your mother has seen ups and downs or worse, you cannot deny you needed your mother.  Without your mother you wouldn’t have any good thing you have experienced, or ever will experience, because without your mother you wouldn’t be here.  For nine months she carried you inside her womb – she kept you safe and provided the nutrients your tiny body needed to grow.  What a humbling thought! A humbling thought that moves us to celebrate mothers.

The author of Psalm 16 had a similar thought.  He knew a relationship without which he could never survive.  The relationship he knew was one with God.  He wrote:

Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.

I said to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

Just as we absolutely need our mothers, we absolutely need our God.  Apart from God we have no good thing. Apart from God life is not worth living. Maybe we think we can exist and function apart from God, but there won’t be much joy in it – certainly not as we look to the inevitable – death. To be cut off from God is to be cut off from life, as certainly as a premature fetus removed from his mother’s womb will die. Apart from God we have no good thing.

With God we have every good thing. He sent his only Son, Jesus, to take away everything that cut us off from his blessings.  In Jesus’ life, his cross, and his empty tomb, our perfect relationship with God has been restored, and he gives us every good thing. The psalmist writes:

Surely I have a delightful inheritance.

One good thing our mothers give us is advice, even if sometimes it takes a while for us to accept it. When we face some of our toughest life decision, our mothers can be invaluable. God and his Word are also invaluable.

I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

In his Word, God gives us not only the keys to salvation, but also advice and counsel for our lives, but notice how the verses continue:

I have set the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

God never abandons us, but sometimes we fail to keep him close – sometimes we turn away from him.  Set the Lord always before you.  Keep him close.  Keep him close in prayer and keep him close as you stay close to his Word. Then you will know every good thing that comes from this relationship.  Then you will have cause for celebration. Remember the joys and promises of Eater and celebrate the needed relationship Jesus has granted you.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grace, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.  You have made known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Beautiful Savior’s newsletter articles in 2014 will focus on portions from short Psalms.  These Psalms can be easily committed to memory and serve as wonderful prayers and tools for daily meditation on God’s Word.

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I Need More…Joy!

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After hastily opening the wrapped package and making the obligatory “thank you’s”, it certainly didn’t take long to turn away from the thoughtful gift as something ho hum.

Then three year old Eleanor came along, stopped by the discarded item, and exclaimed, “What a beautiful gift! Is that yours? You must be so happy?”

As she walked away I thought to myself, “Why don’t I have joy like that?”

At times we have those feelings which cause us to cry out, “I need more joy in my life!” It’s even true at this time of year. For one reason or another we find ourselves lacking joy. There are indications everywhere that joy should fill our lives. Decorations are going up inside and outside. Christmas music surrounds us and cards start arriving daily.

Some days the festive joy does fill our hearts as we excitedly go about our holiday shopping and schedule planning. Yet, deep down we know this joy will not last. Planning becomes overwhelming, schedules start falling apart and decorating gets tiresome. Above all, we know from experience, there will be no joy when we find we don’t have enough money to purchase the perfect gift or when credit card payments come due. All of that may lead us to shout out, “I need real joy! I need joy that will last!”

Here’s some great news. Christmas brings us joy that does last—the true joy found in Jesus.

With a love we cannot comprehend, our heavenly Father gave his only Son, born to be save us. Starting in the manger in which he was laid up until he was placed on the stone slab of a borrowed tomb, Jesus lived the life of perfect obedience all of us are unable to live. Each and every evil thought, evil word and evil deed we have done has been picked from us by our heavenly Father and placed on Jesus. On Calvary’s cross, Jesus bowed his head in death declaring, “It is finished.” These words of Jesus bring us true joy. They mean that all is done and Easter’s announcement “He Is Risen!” guarantees that God our Father has accepted Jesus’ life and death as payment in full for all our sins. Easter’s announcement guarantees the announcement of Christmas: “A Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” True, lasting joy is found in the forgiveness of sins that is ours through Jesus.

While we are in the midst of the season when it seems hard to keep joy in our lives, focus on the true Joy Giver. Ponder again the words of the angels to the shepherds, “Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born. He is Christ the Lord.” Come and worship the Babe born in Bethlehem, and may God the Holy Spirit fill you with a joy that never ends.

Join us this Christmas to hear about the child born to save us!

Christmas Worship 2013 at Beautiful Savior

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I Need More…Knowledge!

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Is school on the brain?  For many of us it is.  We are thinking about school, we are planning for school, and we are doing school work.  School is a huge component of our culture and the rhythm of our life.  Which makes sense, because in school we gain knowledge, and knowledge is important to us. Gaining knowledge satisfies an itch we all have. Who doesn’t feel they need more knowledge? And how about being able to pat yourself on the back for pursuing it and finding knowledge within yourself?

Then again, when you pursue knowledge, do you sometimes feel like a hamster on a wheel?  Do you feel that you’re learning more and more, but also forgetting more and more?  Do you feel that even though you know many things, it still seems like you’re missing something big?

God says all people are the same: “There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God…The way of peace they do not know” (Romans 3:11,17). God says people’s natural capabilities are limited to sinning and rebelling against God. God says people naturally miss something incredibly big when it comes to knowledge.

Think about Adam and Eve when they pursued more knowledge on their own apart from God. They rejected God’s Word and sinned. Look at what their own inner pursuit of knowledge got them, and also what it got us: a world infected by sin so badly that everyone dies.

God knows we all lack the best knowledge, and he wants to fill that void. He does so not by telling us to find it inside ourselves, but by telling us to look outside ourselves. We find knowledge in the Bible. Through his Word, God makes us wise; he gives us insight and understanding (Psalm 119:98-100). That’s because God’s Word gives us knowledge that we can’t find or discover anywhere else.

The Bible tells about Jesus. It tells how wide and long and high and deep Jesus’ love is for people. That love drove Jesus to come to this world, to bear the sin of every person, to die on a cross, to suffer the eternal punishment for all sins, and to reverse the effect of sin.  In Jesus a gate has been opened to you, not to mere knowledge, but to eternal life.   That gate was opened by love—love so amazing that God declares your sins are forgiven because of Jesus. That’s love—love so beyond understanding that Jesus, the righteous one, should die for the unrighteous. And he did! That’s why the Apostle Paul says that “this love surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19). In Jesus’ love for you, you have everything you truly need to know, both now and forever.

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I need more…Satisfaction!

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“A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.”

Do you recognize that quotation?  Do you relate to that quotation? It sounds simple enough: Somehow find the ability to lean back in your hammock on your day off and say, “What a satisfying life this is!”

But what if your expectations for satisfaction are too high? What if they are unrealistic? What if they are wrong?  What if they only pivot around yourself and your own ego?

What if you never find that satisfaction you seek?

Then you know how the person felt who wrote that quote.  His name was Solomon and he wrote a book about his search for satisfaction.  He couldn’t find it either, except when he looked for his satisfaction in his God.

The Bible says about God, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing” (Psalm 145:16). Do you believe that?  What about this: The Apostle Paul told a young pastor, “If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:8). Is that truly satisfaction – simple food and clothing and contentment? How can you be truly satisfied with that?

Which is worth more – simple satisfaction or sublime satisfaction?  Which type of satisfaction do you seek?

What satisfaction do you deserve?

When God sought satisfaction from us we left him empty.  Our lives have never lived up to the expectations of our God.  God had every right to be dissatisfied with us, and to let us know in no uncertain terms.  Instead, God sent his Son to completely satisfy everything he expected – both a perfect life and the punishment and penalty that needed to be paid for all the times we let God down.  Jesus paid that price on the cross.  Jesus gave us a reason to be completely satisfied.

Satisfaction in our lives does not come because of what we do but because of what God does. He takes care of us…body and soul. He feeds us. He sent Jesus to rescue us from his great dissatisfaction over our sin, and in Jesus we receive that sublime satisfaction we seek.  We receive the love, kindness, and comfort of our amazing God. We know his promises are sure and certain.  He promises to be with us.  He promises to bless the work of our hands. He promises that whatever we do for him will not be in vain.

“[God] who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

Be satisfied—truly satisfied—in Jesus!

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I need more…Confidence!

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Meet Doug. As he toes the line for the final game of his senior year basketball season, he wonders if his scholarship dream will happen.

Meet Kristin. As she graduates from college, she wonders if she’s adequate for her new job.

Meet Samantha. As she faces her second round of chemotherapy, she wonders if she will survive it.

Meet Scott. As he says his vows to his wife, he silently wonders if his second marriage will last.

Have you been there? Doug, Kristin, Samantha, Scott, you and everyone all have one thing in common: a need for confidence. Let’s face it; there are times in life when it’s easy to be filled with doubt. Doug doubts his future. Kristin doubts her abilities. Samantha doubts her treatment. Scott doubts his love. What do you doubt?

There’s someone whose future, abilities, treatment and love never fail. That’s the true God revealed in the Bible. Confidence to face whatever life throws your way comes from the promises God gives you in his Word. God kept his promise of sending a Savior for everyone. As your Savior, Jesus lived perfectly to give you confidence that his life counts for everyone. He died to make the payment necessary for your sins to be forgiven, no matter what you’ve done. He rose again to life to give you the confidence that one day you will be with him in heaven. All of this confidence is God’s gift to you, grasped and enjoyed by faith in Jesus.

Because of Jesus, when we doubt our future, God reminds us, “I know the plans that I have for you” (Jeremiah 29:11). When we doubt our abilities, he assures us, “I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you” (Isaiah 41:10). When we doubt our treatment plan, he promises, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). When we doubt love, his Word helps us “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18). That’s the difference, and the confidence, only Jesus brings.

Need more confidence? Jesus has what you need.

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Glass Jar

I need more…Strength!

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Glass JarAfter several attempts of twisting and tapping, the lid just wouldn’t budge. “Honey, can you open this for me?” Her teenage son, eager to flex his muscles, opened the jar and handed it back to his mother.

Life is sometimes like that jar, isn’t it? Sometimes we just don’t have the strength we need to tackle what’s in front of us. Not the strength it takes to move a piano or to change a flat tire, but the strength we need to raise our children or to stay married to someone who is so difficult to live with. We need the strength it takes to go to work and deal with people who are rude, inconsiderate and lazy, or to walk to the mailbox and open the bills we’ll have difficulty paying.

I need more strength!

“Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth…He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak…Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)

What should we do when we need more strength? Hand that jar over to the Lord. He has all the strength we need and so much more. After all, he is the One who created the earth and everything in it. More than that, this strong, wise, loving God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. The all-powerful God came in human weakness to rescue us from sin and death. He was condemned and crucified. Weakness, right? No! Strength! Jesus used his strength to remain on that cross until every last sin of ours had been paid for. His empty tomb proves it. “Jesus was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Death has been defeated! The guilt of sin before God has been removed! By trusting in Jesus, life in heaven is waiting for us.

Need more strength? The One who created the earth has it. The One who died and rose for you has it. He is the One who gives us the strength to face each day with fresh confidence. Find that strength in his Word. And then be ready to soar. Be ready to soar on eagles’ wings with renewed strength! Be ready to soar on eagles’ wings through every challenge of life! Be ready to soar on eagles’ wings to the home that Jesus has prepared for you in heaven!

Visit Beautiful Savior to learn more about the strength we find for life in God’s Word.

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I need more…Good News

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We live in frazzled and frustrated times. Turn on the nightly news. So frequently we are given reports of events that have devastated property and lives, are told about individuals that have deviated from law and order, and hear of stories that dampen our spirits. On a regular basis, most of the news is not good news, and a depressed sigh first finds solace in the silence of a turned-off television.

Turns out, though, that we don’t have to turn on a TV to know that. We don’t even need to be near it. As our consciences rerun the past, we see where our own deviations have had a devastating impact and, as a direct result, our spirits are dampened and depressed. That’s the “news” we know by nature. That’s God’s Law on sinful hearts, and that’s why stricken hearts crave more good news.

The calm to the craving is not attained by turning off; we get it by tuning in. The answer is not in blocking out God’s Word or dulling our consciences by making excuses. The solution is found in what God’s good news says to every individual—even to you and to me. The calm, the promise, the solution is the message of the gospel! Hearts are calmed at the message of Christ for us! It’s in that message the Apostle Paul, a very real sinner, would have sinners take comfort and confidence. He lifts our eyes and our hearts to the grace of the cross: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:16).

Craving more good news? Forgiven sinner, tune in to the Savior who carried your every sin! See him in his Word! Tune in to the gospel—God’s good news that quiets sin’s accusations! Hear that saving message! Beloved child of God, tune in to the trustworthy message of the Bible and let your heart sigh with thanksgiving. Jesus came to save sinners. Jesus came to save you! That’s the good news! Crave it. Enjoy it.  And stay tuned in!

Stay tuned in by joining Beautiful Savior for worship.


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