A new creation

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

Getting rid of the past is not that easy. Each of us is influenced by our past. Experiences that we have made influence our behavior. We develop thought patterns and habits, both positive and negative. If the past catches up with us again and again, it can also be an enormous burden because it prevents us from living in the present and thinking our future. But how can we be free?

We read several times in the Bible that Jesus wants to free us and give us new life.

“But that means that whoever lives with Christ becomes a new person. He is no longer the same because his old life is over. A new life has begun! ”2 Corinthians 5:17

“Do not think of the past and do not pay attention to the previous! Because look, I want to create a new one, now it grows up, don’t you recognize it? I make a path in the desert and water flows in the wasteland. “Isaiah 43: 18-19

But how can that be, how can Jesus make us a new person from one moment to the next, erase the past?

I thought about it and reflected on how Jesus acted in my life. When I met Jesus, believed him and decided to live with him, I was freed from anxiety overnight and I can say that fear no longer affects my life today. In other areas of my life, I am in a process of change and learning, where I gradually let go of old thought structures that are not doing me good and let my thoughts be renewed by God.

“Let yourself change in your thinking and realign yourself internally. Put on new life as you put on new clothes ”Ephesians 4: 23–24

The renewal of our thoughts does not happen overnight, it is a lifelong process. I keep noticing that I fall back into old thought patterns that I have built up over the years. Step by step together with Jesus, I can collapse these walls of thought and choose God’s thoughts every day, express his good thoughts about my life.

With the decision for Christ I get a new identity. I am a child of God and his holy spirit dwells in me. I am spiritually a new person, washed clean before God. The Bible speaks of rebirth.

“Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you: If someone is not born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3: 3

“Praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who after His great mercy reborn us to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

“For everything that is born of God overcomes the world; and our faith is the victory that has overcome the world. ”1 John 5: 4

Because you are born again not from transitory, but from imperishable seed, namely from the living Word of God that remains there. 1. Peter 1,23

What is born of the flesh is flesh; and what is born of the spirit is spirit. John 3.6

So with Christ we are a new person and yet there is also our old person, our past and character, our old nature, who wants to influence our thoughts.

I like the verse in the letter to the Ephesians, which says that we should put on new life like new clothes. When we buy new clothes and hang them in our closet, we must decide what to wear every day. We can choose: Do we take an old dress or the new one? How difficult we often find it to dispose of our old clothes. And so it is also up to us to become aware of our new identity every day, to choose the new life that Christ has given us and to let go of the old one. The new life is a gift that we can accept.

When we choose new life, Jesus gives us a different perspective and strategies for how we can deal with our past. It changes our perspective. He can let work to our best everything that has happened to us in life, including the negative things , and in retrospect we recognize how bad experiences have made us grow and mature and what we have learned from them.

We know, however, that for those who love God, all things serve the best ”Romans 8:28

In this way we can reconcile ourselves with a difficult past, forgive ourselves and others and use the present to fill us with God’s thoughts and love, to look at his truths and promises and to entrust our future to his care.

Refuel in god´s presence

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

Last Wednesday I wrote about the importance of goals in life, keeping your eyes on the goal and approaching it. In order to achieve our goal, we must not forget one thing: stop and refuel again and again, otherwise we will stop halfway. If we are traveling by car and want to reach our holiday destination, for example, we need a full tank and if the warning light comes on that we are on reserve, we have to fill up.
There are times in which i am driving with my reserve tank. If I want to achieve my goal through actionism by doing as much as possible, I notice how my batteries are draining, I feel tired and weak and I can’t get any further.
An athlete, for example, cannot constantly train hard, also needs breaks and regeneration, rest and a healthy diet so that his body can replenish nutrients.
Fatigue, lack of strength, lack of joy, depressed mood are warning signals for me and a sign that I am running on the back burner and that I have forgotten the most important thing: refuel.
Even in spiritual life there is a danger that we want to achieve our goals through as much effort and effort as possible and forget that it is primarily about our being and our relationship with God.
That is why our petrol stations are so important in life. Our petrol stations are stops that rebuild us and give us new energy.
What are your stations?
A good conversation
An encounter with friends
enough sleep
Move
healthy eating
music
nature
God has given us an oasis to refuel, which is there for all situations and for all people: in Psalm 36 we find it:


With you is the source of life and in your light we see the light. Psalm 36:10
With God I can refuel, rest in his presence and be filled.

There are always smaller or larger dry spells in life. Jesus offers me to come to him with my thirst, he gives me this water for free. I need this water of life not only in emergency situations, but every day in the smallest challenges of everyday life, because I am not perfect and I always do everything right. Jesus knows me with all my mistakes and weaknesses. He knows everything and in all of this gives me his unconditional love.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said:

Come all to me who are tired and bear heavy burdens, I will give you rest.
John 4:14

But whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never be thirsty forever, but the water that I will give him will become in him a source of water that swells in eternal life


If we live from his strength and do not rely solely on our strength, he will lead us to the goal.


“He will bring you to your destination, give you strength and strength and ensure that you stand firm and secure” 1 Peter 5:10


Time with God, in his presence, reading the Bible – his word, renews our thoughts, gives us strength, strength, calm, peace and joy. Just as the battery is recharged every day for a cell phone, we can also recharge our batteries, recharge our batteries and let ourselves be fulfilled every day from our relationship with God.

God writes straight on crooked lines

Lesedauer 7 Minuten

We know, however, that for those who love God, all things serve the best, those who are called after His decision are Romans 8:28


Especially in difficult situations, we often do not know what God’s plan for our life looks like. We don’t understand the why or the how, but we can know that it guides us. We can trust that God knows the situation and sees the whole. We only see the small part we are in. God sees further and has an overview.

Corrie ten Boom: “Our life is like a huge carpet. He is constantly woven and worked on. Colors and threads are put together in a pattern. However, the problem is that we only see this carpet from the back. And he doesn’t look good there. The colors often do not match, the pattern does not seem to be right, there are some knots and threads hang everywhere. A carpet from the back: Nobody would put such a copy in the apartment.
Up to our death limit, we can only see our carpet of life from the back. But then, in the light of eternity, it becomes visible in reverse. And suddenly it falls from our eyes like scales: it is a colorful, wonderfully sensible pattern. The back may have confused us so much. All of a sudden, we have a whole that makes sense. “

For those who love God, all things work for the good. I think loving God means turning around, coming into his presence, trusting him, being guided by him, living in connection with him. Faith is about a relationship with God. That’s why we were created, fellowship with God is our core destiny. We can love God because He loved us first. His love is shown in Jesus, who accepted our guilt and gave us forgiveness by grace and reconciled with God. If we accept this gift for ourselves, we will love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength.

Without experiencing his love, our faith becomes a religion. Then it is only a matter of complying with commandments and rules in order to work out the love of God.

We cannot do this encounter with God ourselves, but we can search for it and ask for it and take time in everyday life to come into his presence.

If you look for me, you will find me; yes, if you earnestly and wholeheartedly ask for me, I will let you find me, ‘says Jeremiah 29, 13-14

I can only bend my knees before God, the Father, the Father of everything that is in heaven and on earth. I pray that he gives you the strength from his great wealth to become strong internally through his spirit. And I pray that Christ lives more and more in your hearts through faith and that you are firmly rooted in the love of God. So you can see the full extent of his love with all believers. And you can also see the love that Christ has for us; a love that is greater than you will ever understand (Ephesians 3: 14-19)

  Everyone has their own opportunities and experiences, which helps them to focus on God.

For me, faith has nothing to do with observing rules, cultivating religious traditions and duties, rather it is a relationship with God, the father. I am not dealing with a god you who looks down on me far away in heaven or whom I attend once a week in worship. I have experienced him as a living God who lives in my heart and is with me every day, in every everyday situation. A God who loves me unconditionally, who healed me and freed me from all guilt.

Every relationship needs care and nourishment in order to survive. It is no different in the relationship with God. Every day I make new decisions to live the relationship and to grow in it. I would like to share some points with you that help me to nurture and strengthen my faith.

For me, faith has nothing to do with observing rules, cultivating religious traditions and duties, rather it is a relationship with God, the father. I am not dealing with a god you who looks down on me far away in heaven or whom I attend once a week in worship. I have experienced him as a living God who lives in my heart and is with me every day, in every everyday situation. A God who loves me unconditionally, who healed me and freed me from all guilt.

Every relationship needs care and nourishment in order to survive. It is no different in the relationship with God. Every day I make new decisions to live the relationship and to grow in it. I would like to share some points with you that help me to nurture and strengthen my faith.

Quiet time with God and prayer: I take a certain amount of time a day in which I can be undisturbed and read the Bible and pray. God speaks to me through his word and fills my thoughts with love and truth.

“For just as the rain and snow fall from the sky and do not return there, but moisturize the earth and make it fertile and let it grow that it sows seeds and eat bread, so the word that comes from my mouth should also be: it will not come back to me empty, but will do what I like and he will succeed in what I send it to. Because you should move out in joy and be guided in peace ”. Isaiah 55.10
Walks with Jesus:

I particularly experience the presence of God in nature and creation. I am amazed at the diversity and beauty that God has created and come to rest. Creation testifies to the glory of God.

Praise: Praise is a very good opportunity for me to come into the presence of God. Praise is more than just music. Praise is communication with God. I praise and praise God for what he is and what he has done for us humans. I look away from worries and everyday life and turn to the glory and greatness of God. I adore.

My lips and my soul that you redeemed
should be happy and sing praises to you. Psalm 63, 4-5
Worship: Worship is important to me to receive teaching, but above all because of the community and the exchange with my brothers and sisters. The house circles, attending Christian events, women’s day weekends are always very constructive.

Because where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in the middle of them. Matth. 18.20
Gratitude: To be thankful in every situation, to see the good even in difficult situations, helps me to keep the peace. There is always something I can be thankful for, even if what I might wish for does not always happen. What helps me is a prayer diary, in which I write down answers to prayer and experiences with God. So I still remember many things later that I would otherwise forget.

“Praise the LORD my soul, and what is in me, his holy name! Praise the LORD, my soul, and do not forget what he has done you good ”Psalm 103, 1-2
Serve, do good:
Giving is better than taking. ”(Acts 20:35)
If I can help someone with my money or the time I invest, it makes me happier and happier myself. If I can get involved in the community in what I enjoy, I benefit myself and keep learning.

Like a woven carpet (poem by Astrid v. Knebel Doeberitz):
Like a big carpet
this is how God the Father weaves my life.
Light and dark colors are in it
I ask for the meaning of some of the events. Sad, happy – joy and sorrow,
everything is there in His time.
I only see piecework, woven threads from below,
Corrie ten Boom felt that way years ago, comparing carpet and life, it doesn’t let me go,
I think it’s awesome, just great.
A rug from the bottom, it looks tangled
but God looks from above and makes good of it. One day we will see
why we just had to do it. Our thoughts can hardly believe
what God came up with for us.
So I confidently give my life in his hand,
he knows best what he wants to give. We will mature through need and difficulties,
not through human security.
For gratifying things, I can be all the more grateful
I am never alone in life, so when we can see his work from above,
it will be wonderful and not to be despised.
Every carpet is unique, incomparably beautiful –
it will consist of light and dark threads.
Then we will understand
why we had to do this right now so I don’t want to rely on myself anymore
but trust God’s love completely in Jesus Christ.
If I consider:
He himself gives us the greatest gift. All worries have passed in the glory of God
because eternity with him then started.

Without exception, everything works for the good: the bullying at work, the broken vase, the misplaced car key, the unexpectedly serious illness or the friendly help of our neighbor. Whatever we encounter. Amidst all human aberrations and errors, God has a plan, a good plan.

You can understand life backwards; but you have to live it forward.
We want to trust this truth and say about our life:

You are good and do good ”(Ps 119.68)


Examples from the Old Testament:
Source: www.bibelstudium.de

Joseph

Joseph was sold to Egypt by his brothers. There he became the second most powerful man, who years later also provided for his hungry brothers with care and a place to stay. When Jakob’s father died, the brothers feared that Joseph could take revenge. But Joseph said to them: “You had evil against me in mind; But God had in mind to do it well so that he would do as it is on that day to keep a great people alive ”(Gen. 50:20, 21). Joseph did not see the sin of his brothers, but thought of God’s good hand that worked behind everything. That gave him inner peace and strength to do good.

Job

When God gave Job to Himself and Satan’s hands, Job had very difficult hours (Job 1:12; 2: 6). Did he now complain that the devil had destroyed his life? No, he cried: “The LORD has given, and the LORD has taken, the name of the Lord is praised!” (Job 1:21). And he said to his wife: “We should accept the good from God, and should we not also accept the evil?” (Job 2:10). Job became aware that everything that had hit him had “passed” God himself. So at that moment he was able to praise God even in the greatest need.

Esther

The Book of Esther is the only Bible book in which God is not mentioned. But it is precisely there that it becomes clear how God works in secret. Unbelief sees a chain of coincidences in the history of the book of Esther, but the believer knows that God does everything for the good of his people: Vasti’s rejection and Esther’s election as wife of Ahasverus (Est 1 – 2); Mordokai’s discovery of an intrigue against the monarch (Est 2); Los Hamans, which “terminated” the annihilation of the Jews late in the year (Est 3); the great favor that Esther gained before the king (Est 4 – 5); the appropriate reading when the king could not sleep with Esther before the decisive second banquet (Est 6); the appearance of the proud Haman the next day (Est 6) … How the story went on is known. Evil Haman had to honor Mordokai and ended up hanging on the gallows that he had raised for Mordokai. Mordokai came in honor and the people of the Jews were given light and joy and bliss and honor. We can be sure that Mordokai and Esther saw God behind everything and thanked him with all their hearts.

Main thing is healthy!?

Lesedauer 5 Minuten

Health definition:

The most well-known definition of health was described by the World Health Organization (WHO): “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of illness and ailments.”

At the same time, there are various other definitions of health. Here are a few examples:

• According to T. Parson (medical sociologist): “Health is a state of optimal performance of an individual, for the effective fulfillment of the roles and tasks for which it has been socialized (socialization = process of classification into society, adoption of norms and values).”

• Hurrelmann (1990) defines health as: “State of the objective and subjective state of being of a person, which is given when this person is in the physical, psychological and social areas of their development in accordance with their own possibilities and goals and the given external Living conditions. “

• “Health is a problem-solving and emotional regulation ability that maintains or restores a positive mental and physical condition – especially positive self-esteem – and a supportive network of social relationships.”

Health is very important and is the greatest good for many people. “The main thing is healthy”, “Stay healthy”, “Health is the most important thing” are statements that you hear often, for example when a child is born, at birthday parties or in the current corona crisis.

But is health really the main thing? Let’s say a group of people is sitting together and these statements are heard by someone who is not healthy. How will this person feel? The main thing is missing, so to speak. Then what is his life worth, what is the meaning of it? At that moment, the person affected will probably feel inferior.

In the Bible, in the Gospels, we read about many of the healings that Jesus did. We can read a story from the Gospel of Mark that showed me what it really is about in chapters 2.1-12:

Jesus heals a paralytic

 A few days later, Jesus returned to Capernaum. The news of his arrival quickly spread across the city. [1] 2 It wasn’t long before the house in which he lived was overcrowded with visitors, so that no one had more space, not even outside the door. And he announced God’s word to them. 3 There came four men carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t get through the crowd to Jesus, so they covered the roof over him. Then they let the patient down on his mat through the opening. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man: “My son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But some scribes who sat there thought: 7 “How can he say such a thing? It’s blasphemy! Only God alone can forgive sins! ”8 Jesus knew what was going on in them and said,“ Why do you have such thoughts in your heart? 9 Is it easier to say to the paralyzed: Your sins are forgiven or stand up, take your mat and go? 10 I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority to forgive sins on earth. “And he turned to the paralyzed man and said to him: 11” Get up, take your mat and go home, because you are healed ! ”12 The man jumped up, picked up the mat, and made his way through the astonished crowd. Then they all praised God. “We have never seen anything like it!” They cried.

The man in the story was paralyzed and therefore limited, he was not capable, he couldn’t do many things. Was he missing the main thing? He was sick, but he had something that is more important. He had relationships. He had four friends, very good friends. He is not alone. They bring him to Jesus because they knew that only Jesus could heal. They overcome all obstacles and cannot be stopped by the crowd, they find a way to Jesus. They had a strong belief. Wonderful when you have friends like that.

What did Jesus do when he had the paralyzed in front of him? He saw the faith of the paralyzed friends. Jesus did not immediately cure the illness, the physical impairment of the paralyzed. The first thing Jesus did was to forgive his sin. Sin means separation from God, and thus forgiveness restored the relationship between God and the paralyzed. Much more important than illness or health is the question of being or not being healthy for Jesus. Reconciliation with God heals the paralytic again, even though his physical symptoms are still there. The fellowship with God is restored and there is nothing left to separate the paralyzed from God’s love. Not even illness or death. Sickness and death came into our world through sin, but Jesus died on the cross for human sin and we are healed through his wounds, even if there is still sickness and sin. Belief in his work of salvation frees us. Sickness and death can no longer harm us, we know that we will remain connected to God forever. For God, health is not the main thing, he wants healthy people who have a relationship with him. Knowing that you are loved unconditionally, that you recognize him, that you are saved makes a person’s life valuable and meaningful, whether healthy or sick.

In the end, Jesus frees the paralytic from his illness, he works a miracle and heals him. So he made him whole healthy. We can expect everything from Jesus, he has the power to forgive and heal sins. In any case, we experience salvation when we encounter Jesus, even when we encounter illness and suffering, his presence makes us salvation. We don’t have to be afraid of sickness, even if sickness hits us and we die in the worst case, we have the certainty that we will be in communion with God forever, what could be more important?

I would like to give you the life of Nick Vujicic from Australia as an example. He was born without arms and legs. He struggled with his identity until adolescence and wanted to commit suicide several times. An encounter with God changed everything and healed him. Not in the sense that he healed him physically, but the relationship with God means much more to him than health. Nick Vujicic says:

“A miracle revealed God’s strength in my weakness. Because it is more powerful to see a man with arms and legs smile than someone who has been miraculously healed. ”

“If God would give me the choice to be born without arms and legs to save even one soul, I would say: Do it!”

Nick Vujicic leads a deeply grateful, happy and meaningful life today and has become a blessing for many people through his lectures in which he tells of his life and about God.

In conclusion, I would like to summarize again: Not the main thing is healthy, but

The main thing is to be loved and to love
The main thing is to be reconciled with God
The main thing is being in a relationship with God
The main thing is being safe

And importantly, when we know God, when we are reconciled with him and live in a relationship, when we are saved, do not let us forget our friends. Let us become like the friends of the paralyzed who lead their friend to Jesus. In our environment there are many people who do not know Jesus, who do not know the way to him, people who can no longer believe due to bad experiences or who think that they do not need God. But they also need healing and Jesus can heal them. We can pray for them, tell about Jesus and bring them to Jesus.

“Because before you were dead because of your guilt and because your old self determined you [2]. But God made you alive with Christ. He has forgiven us all ”Colossians 2:13

“I am convinced that nothing can separate us from his love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor powers, neither our fears in the present nor our worries about the future [8], not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 And if we were high above the sky or if we were in the deepest depths of the ocean [9], nothing and nobody in all of creation can separate us from the love of God that appeared in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”Romans 8 , 38-39

“On his own body, he carried our sins up to the cross so that we are dead for sin and can live for justice. You have been healed through his wounds! ”1 Peter 2:24

“He will wipe away all her tears, and there will be no death, no grief, no crying, no pain. Because the first world with all its calamity has passed forever. ”“ Revelation 21: 4

Pour out the heart

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

The heart is considered the seat of emotions and mind. Whoever opens it gives others access to his feelings and thoughts and lets them participate, which is also a sign of the affection and trust that he show in them. For example, when we pour our hearts out to a friend or spouse, we share our emotions, our worries, our problems, we tell what moves us, what depresses us. We only pour our hearts out to people who are very close to us, whom we trust and with whom we have a good relationship.

Being able to trust someone helps us to feel better afterwards, it frees us and gives us a different perspective. We feel relieved and no longer moody, we can give negative thoughts and let go, it’s good for us.

There is someone we can come to at any time, who knows us best and whom we can always trust. It is our Heavenly Father who is just waiting for us as his children to come to him in prayer and tell him everything that moves us. He always listens and he always has time for us. He doesn’t want us to complain with emotions and burdens that don’t do us good and depress us if we drag them around with us for too long. Everything that burdens us – fears, worries, feelings of guilt, sadness, dissatisfaction, loneliness, doubts etc. – we can bring and give him away in prayer and receive his peace and quiet.

“Come to me, all of you who are tired and bear heavy burdens, I want to give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

God frees us and gives us ease, good thoughts and a different perspective.

It is good if we keep pouring our hearts out in front of him and let ourselves be cleaned by him so that we can protect and preserve our hearts. We often cannot avoid negative things from entering our hearts through difficulties, circumstances, through what we hear and experience, but we have to take care to keep our hearts and to always dispose of everything that should not be in it with God’s help .

“Above all, keep your heart safe, because your heart influences your whole life” Proverbs 4:23

God loves us first

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

Last week during my quiet time with God I came across the above verse in the picture from Jeremiah chapter 31. This verse appealed to me and touched me very much. While reading I felt the heart of God and his great love for us humans. A love that is so much bigger than we can ever imagine, a love that always comes before us, a love that was always there, a love that is not linked to conditions. God’s love is an undeserved love that we cannot earn through our own efforts or good deeds and works. God has always loved us and He will always love us despite our mistakes and weaknesses. Our behavior does not change his love.

Throughout chapter 31 of Jeremiah I recognize God’s love for his people, his longing for people and his desire for community and relationship, he wants to draw people to himself. Despite all sins and despite the fact that people have turned away from God, he wants to be merciful and forgive. He is just waiting for them to turn around, recognize him and turn to him and ask for forgiveness. God wants to make a new covenant with his people by writing the law in their hearts and filling them with the Holy Spirit. This new covenant applies not only to the people of Israel, but to everyone who lives in a personal relationship with God. Jeremiah’s prophecies refer to Jesus Christ, through him we have a new beginning and reconciliation with God. With Jesus the new covenant of God began with us humans.

God fights for the love of every single person, because his nature is love, he is love himself. Looking back at my life so far, I can see traces of God’s love everywhere, it was always there, from the beginning. God first loved me without doing anything for it. Even in the times when I moved away from him, lived without him, I was not aware of his presence, he was there and searched for me and pulled me out of sheer kindness. When I didn’t recognize him, he already saw and knew me. Recognizing and meeting God’s love is the greatest gift in my life, I was able to experience how valuable I am to God and how unconditional His love is. His love for me is so great that he gave his life so that I can have access to my father again and that there is no longer any separation. He took sin (= separation from God) for me and for every person who accepts this gift of grace.

God’s love changes hearts. Because he loves us so much, we want to love too. He gives us the will to pass on his love to our fellow human beings. It gives us the strength to forgive. He gives us his view of people and circumstances. Because we are loved, we want to do good, be generous and compassionate. Because God loves us, we want to love him and live according to his will. Because God loves us we want to please him. Because God loves us, we are valuable.

“Dear Ones, let us love one another; for love is from God, and whoever loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love ”1 John 4: 7-8

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be reconciling for our sins. Beloved, if God loved us so, we should also love each other. Nobody has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfect in us ”1 John 4: 10-12

“Let us love, because he loved us first” 1 John 4:19

“Because Christ died for us at the time when we were still weak. Now hardly anyone dies for the sake of a just one; maybe for the sake of good he dares his life. But God shows his love for us in the fact that Christ died for us when we were still sinners ”Romans 5: 6-8

“But God, who is rich in mercy, in his great love with whom he loved us, also made us who were dead in sins alive with Christ – you are saved by grace – and he has brought us along raised and engaged in heaven in Christ Jesus so that in the coming times he would show the exuberant wealth of his grace through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus. Because by grace you are saved by faith, and not from you: it is God’s gift, not from works, so that no one can boast. Because we are his work, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in it. ”Ephesians 2: 4-10

Steadfast in a shaken time

Lesedauer 4 Minuten

Last weekend we celebrated Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus. Many of us will surely remember this Easter. It was different than usual. A lot of what we associate with this day h disappeared this year. Churches were closed, there were no big family celebrations and we spent the Easter days at home with the closest family. And yet: Easter has not failed, what Jesus did for us 2000 years ago is a gift that is valid today and forever for everyone who accepts it in faith.


“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him is not lost, but has eternal life.” John 3:16


I think this year was an opportunity to deal more consciously with the Easter message and to think about what Easter personally means for our lives today. In the midst of this challenging time, in which many things that promise us security, the foundations of the world are shaken, amidst uncertainty, fears for the future, worries, God gives us joy and hope. The salvation work of Jesus creates an unshakable kingdom that cannot be destroyed by anything. The whole world has come to a standstill and has to stop. Everything stands still, we are in a forced break. We get the opportunity to slow down, stop and think about our life.

    How we invest our time?
    What is our foundation?
    What is precious to us?
    What is permanent?
    What is unshakable?
    What can we ultimately rely on?
    What makes sense in our life?

It is important to grapple with these questions every now and then so that we can focus our lives on what is unshakable and so that we do not miss our goal. Since there are a lot of distractions in this time, worldly things that can capture our hearts, now is the opportunity to deal with what is really important.


A solid foundation


“Whoever listens to me and acts accordingly is smart and acts like a man who builds a house on solid rock. Even if the rain rushes down from the sky in torrents, the water overflows and the storms shake this house, it won’t collapse because it’s built on rock. But whoever listens to me and does not act on it is a fool; he’s like a man building a house on sand. When the rain and the flood come and the storms shake this house, it will collapse with a roar. ”



These verses remind us of the importance of our personal relationship with God. A living relationship in which we focus on him, get to know him better and better, put him at the center of our lives and believe and trust him.


“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end” Hebrews 12: 2


If we strengthen our faith and trust in Jesus and grow in our relationship with Him by seeking His presence and closeness, we can hear and act His voice better and better. This is how our faith comes to life and we can use his word more and more, live it and implement it in our everyday life. A life centered on Jesus Christ stands on a firm foundation. His kingdom is imperishable and endures. It is built on a solid foundation. Heaven and earth will pass away, but his kingdom will last forever. Our house will stand on a solid rock and no storm will bring it down. So we don’t put our confidence in something transient, but build our lives on Christ and his unshakable kingdom.


“Once again I will shake the earth, and also the sky. This means once again: everything that God has created, he will change from scratch. Only the eternal will remain, which cannot be shaken. ”Hebrews 12, 26-27


Everything that shakes us in life, every crisis offers an opportunity and has the potential to keep our eyes on the unshakable.

God’s love, his promises, his word, his faithfulness and protection, his blessings and his victory over death and the powers of darkness, all of this is unshakable.


“So since we receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken, we want to be thankful and make God happy by serving Him in reverence for His Holiness.” Hebrews 12:28

“Lord, your word remains forever as far as the heavens reach” Psalm 119,89

“That is why we want to continue to hold on to the hope we confess because God is faithful to His promises” Hebrews 10:23

“I, the LORD, do not change” Malachi 3,6

“But this is eternal life that they will recognize you, who you are the only true God, and whom you have sent, Jesus Christ” John 17.3

“Jesus Christ yesterday and today and the same forever” Hebrews 13: 8

“And God assured this: He gave us eternal life, and this life is in his son.” 1 John 5:11

“No one is holy like the LORD, except you is none, and is not a rock as our God is.” 1 Samuel 2: 2

“God has called you to His eternal glory through Christ [4]. After suffering for a while, it will build you up, strengthen you, and strengthen you; and he will put you on firm ground. ”1 Peter 5:10

“And God will open the gates of heaven wide and let you enter the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.” 2 Peter 1:11

“That we don’t see the visible, but the invisible. Because what is visible is temporal; but what is invisible is eternal. ”2 Corinthians 4:18

“And the world passes with its lust; but whoever does the will of God remains forever. ”1 John 2:17

“Your throne, oh God, stands forever and ever” Hebrews 1: 8

“Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth, heaven is the work of your hands.
They will go away, but you stay forever. They will become out of date like a robe.
You will change them like a garment and they will be gone. But you remain the same forever and ever; your years have no end. ”Hebrews 1, 10-12

Eastern

Lesedauer < 1 Minute

The night turns into day

the darkness to the light,

the grave is empty,

Jesus speaks:

I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live even if he dies. ”John 11:25

Despair turns into hope

weakness becomes strength,

Jesus brings us forgiveness and reconciliation,

he speaks on the cross:

“It is done” John 19:28

Sadness turns into joy

from the end a new beginning,

his death brings life

God’s plan from the beginning.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

The way is prepared because Jesus lives

in his presence and love

all our suffering passes

he carried all our burdens and sickness,

full of humility and without complaints.

“The Father saved us from the reign of darkness and put us in the kingdom of his son, his love, in which we have redemption, through his blood the forgiveness of sins.” 1 Colossians 1, 13-14

The way is clear in God’s presence,

his love won.

The enemy’s power broke in two,

Jesus has conquered evil.

Nothing and nobody can separate us from his love now

the relationship restored.

If we believe in him in faith,

we overcome the world together with him.

His kingdom remains forever.

Let’s turn our hearts to him

God’s love will never end

and will turn all things to good.

He did all of this because of grace,

for everyone who accepts the gift in faith.

“Because God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son so that everyone who believes in him is not lost but has eternal life. John 3:16 “

Crisis as an opportunity

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

There are crises in every life, which can be personal crises or also affect entire population groups. It is currently affecting the whole world through the corona virus. The economy, tourism and social life have come to a standstill in many countries. Our lives have changed a lot at the moment. We have to avoid social contacts to stop the virus from spreading. Meetings with friends, sports, festivals, theater, cinema, church services etc. are not possible. We can only leave the house if it is necessary, for work reasons, for shopping or for health reasons.

There is uncertainty among people, nobody knows how long the situation will last and how it will end up. What else will we have to do, will the health system be able to withstand, how will the economic situation develop?

However, this slowed time also gives you the chance to pause and reflect on what really matters in life. We can focus on the essentials, set new priorities, rethink. Now the values ​​of our performance society no longer count – higher, faster, further -. Perfectionism and performance. Now counts helpfulness, cohesion, solidarity, renunciation of consideration, taking care of each other and encouraging each other.

“Let us take care of each other! We want to encourage each other to love each other and encourage each other to do good. ”Hebrews 10:24

In times like these we also become aware of how satisfied and grateful we can be for everything we have and we can also think about our consumer behavior. Now that most stores are closed and we can only buy what we really need, many things are no longer necessary. So we notice in what abundance we actually live and how little we actually need effectively.

“Be thankful in all things” 1. Thessalonians 5:18

Now that we can no longer visit our friends, cultivate a community, the services are no longer available, we recognize even more the value of good relationships and friendships that build us up and do us good.

“Friendship is a gift from God”

Now that all schools are closed and depending on the job some parents do not go to work, we have a lot of time to cultivate community in our families and to think of common activities at home.

With traffic at a standstill, we can already see an improvement in air values, nature can regenerate, in Venice people are happy about crystal-clear water in the canals due to the fact that no more ships are sailing. In Trieste dolphins swim to the shore.

We can also see this crisis as an opportunity to think about what ultimately really gives us stability in life. What are we building our foundation on, who or what gives us security? What remains when material things, wealth, finances, health etc. are lost. Who is our provider? All of these things are impermanent and have no hold.

“But we know that for those who love God, all things serve the best” Romans 8:28:

We can remember Almighty God, who created heaven and earth, for whom nothing is impossible, who is the same yesterday, today and forever. In all of our uncertainty and worries, we can trust him. It is at this time when our faith is being tested that we want to hold on to God and confess that He rules. We can use the time to pray, read and proclaim his word.

“My grace is all you need. My strength shows in your weakness ”2 Corinthians 12: 9

Finally, a suitable text that I found on the Internet (author unknown):

The world stands still and we suddenly all have the opportunity to rethink our lives, to discover new sides in oneself, to make difficult decisions and to deal with fears … Suddenly things become important that we have taken for granted long enough: We miss physical closeness to people, social contacts, the privilege to move freely, travel, carefree life, financial security and normality … Is there a reason why everything is turned upside down? Is it a cry for help from nature that needs a break from us? Have we lost the value of life? Just have to be reminded once again of the importance of our life? In this exceptional situation we get to know each other better and have the opportunity to become a little “better”, to set priorities differently, to treat our fellow human beings with respect and love and, at best, to put our own needs back …

Don’t be scared, don’t be afraid

Lesedauer 6 Minuten

A virus is currently keeping the whole world under its spell, everyone is talking about it, the media is bringing new reports every hour. The disease has spread from China and has now reached us. More and more infected people are coming.

What spreads with this virus is mostly worry, fear,  and terror and I think that is much worse than the virus itself. The danger is not the virus, but the panic of the people that it creates. Food is being hoarded because of fear, and the supermarket shelves are partly empty. Protective masks and disinfectants are bought in huge quantities. The whole thing is being fueled by the media and, in my opinion, presented much worse than it actually is. Those who regularly follow the news can easily get into fear and scare. I doubt whether everything is true. Politicians take all possible measures to curb the spread of the disease: schools, kindergartens, childcare facilities are closed, public events are canceled, safety measures are adopted. There is a lot that makes sense to protect the population, especially the sick and the elderly. I think it’s good for us to be careful and attentive and to abide by the rules, but we shouldn’t let the panic and fear infect us.

As an example, the situation here in South Tyrol. Last Thursday, South Tyrol was classified by the Robert Koch Institute as an endangered zone, due to the fact that there were only two cases of two tourists reported to have been infected in this country. This message was then widely distributed in the newspapers, so that it will certainly cause great economic damage, especially tourism will be affected.

On one of the worst days since the outbreak of the corona virus, February 10, 108 people died in China from the disease. Of course, that’s terrible.

But … on the same day …

63,000 unborn lives were aborted, over 26,000 people died of cancer,
24,000 of heart diseases,
Approx. 2200 people committed suicide on this day.
Approx. 3,600 people were murdered and 2,300 killed by a mosquito bite.
And about 3500 people died that day from excessive alcohol consumption. You could go on with the list, just think of the many people who die of hunger and need, countless people who die of wars, accidents, etc.

In addition, it must be said that 95% of those affected have recovered and the course of the disease is harmless, with symptoms of runny nose and fever. People who die by the virus usually have a weakened immune system due to an existing disease. People also die from normal influenza every year.

The danger posed by the corona virus has so far been unrelated. Of course, we all do not know how the situation will develop in the future and that is exactly what I think creates uncertainty.

    Fear of the unknown
    Fear of losing control
    Fear of illness
    Fear of death

What can be observed is firstly the impotence of man, that man, as he often thinks, cannot control everything and have everything under control and how quickly he can lose the ground under his feet and his security and secondly also selfishness and the greed of people, for example when I read that disinfectants and respirators are stolen in hospitals and thus put people at risk of life who are then without these life-saving utensils.

What does the situation do to me, what helps me to keep calm?

I can say that a few years ago I would certainly have reacted to such a situation with fear. I would have been worried and would certainly have been influenced by the media and scare mongering among people. Today, faith in God gives me the opportunity to react to it differently and to deal with it differently. I look less at what is happening around me and the circumstances, and instead I focus on Jesus. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I have not yet stored any food supplies at home, have not yet bought respiratory masks and I also go out with people without hesitation.

I do not fear. Worries or fears don’t help me.


“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? No “Matthew 6.25

I feel safe because I know I am in his hand no matter what. It is my protection and my shield. I know I have nothing under control, but I trust him and want to rely on his promises to speak his word about my life. What I say has power in my life, thoughts and words are powerful, they can cause life or death. Thoughts of worry and fear will paralyze me, make me sick, prevent life. Thoughts of confidence and faith will strengthen, encourage and bring me life.

“Words have power: you can choose between life and death” Proverbs 18:21

What can I do personally against the spread of the corona virus? I can pray, maintain a healthy lifestyle (diet-exercise-drink a lot) to strengthen my immune system, follow governmental precautions, and live a fear-free, stress-free life. I can overcome my fear through trust in God.

Christ says: You are afraid in the world; but be confident, I have overcome the world. John 16.33

Jesus says very clearly: We will experience situations that put us in fear, but we do not have to remain in fear but look at him who has overcome the world. With him I also become an overcomer. With him I’m on the winning side. The deeper my relationship with him, the less fear I have, because his love makes all fears disappear.
God’s perfect love dispels fear

“Fear is not in love, but perfect love drives fear out” 1 John 4:18

“So what could separate us from Christ and his love? Suffering and fear perhaps? Persecution? Hunger? Poverty? Danger or violent death? ”Romans 8.35

“Because I am quite certain: Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons [, neither present nor future nor any powers, neither high nor low or anything else in the world can separate us from the love of God, which he gives us in Jesus Christ our Lord. ”Romans 8: 38-39

Fear never comes from God, but always from the enemy, God’s adversary. He comes to rob us and destroy what God wants to give us. He is a liar from the start, the Bible says he is the father of lies.

“He was a murderer from the start and always hated the truth. There is no truth in it. If he lies, it corresponds to his nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. “John 8.44

I don´t want to see and hear the news of the world, so I get enough with the fact that I spend a lot of time on social media. I don’t want to be flooded with negative headlines that don’t do me good. I prefer to deal with the truth that is in the Word of God. I can use the Word of God in this situation for myself. His word is alive and speaks to me. Where there is uncertainty and unrest around me, I can experience peace, a peace that the world does not know because I believe his word when he speaks:

“I’m leaving you a present – my peace. And the peace that I give is not like the peace that the world gives. So don’t worry and don’t be afraid. “John 14:27

I can unload everything that  worries me to him. He carried everything for me on the cross so that I could be free.

My daily prayer against the corona virus is Psalm 91:

“Those who live under the protection of the highest find peace in the shadow of the Almighty. He said to the Lord: You are my refuge and my castle, my God, whom I trust. Because he will protect you from all dangers and protect you in dire straits. He will cover you with his wings and you will find refuge with him. His loyalty protects you like a big shield. Do not be afraid of the attacks at night and do not be afraid of the dangers of the day, of the plague that lurks in the dark, of the plague that strikes you on bright day. If thousands die next to you, if tens of thousands fall around you, nothing can happen to you. You will see it with your own eyes, you will see how God punishes the wicked. If the Lord is your refuge, if you seek the highest protection, then evil will not harm you and no misfortune will reach your house. Because he commands his angels to protect you wherever you go. They carry you on hands so that you don’t hit your foot against a stone. You will trample lions and venomous snakes, you will trample wild lions and serpents with your feet! The Lord says: »I want to save the one who loves me. I want to protect the one who trusts my name. When he calls to me, I want to answer. I want to help him in need and save and honor him. I want to give him a long life and let him get my help. “”

I am quite sure that God protects his children.

That is why we need not be afraid and not to worry.

“So don’t worry and don’t ask, ‘Will we have enough to eat? And what are we going to drink? What should we wear? ‹Only people who do not know God can be determined by such things. Your Heavenly Father knows that you need all of this ”Matthew 6: 31-32 In this uncertain time, as believing Christians, we can be a witness to faith and confidence, brin hope and make people around us aware that there is a God who holds the whole world in his hands.