Lost

By David Cook

Yeshua_talit

“The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”
—Yeshua the Messiah
Luke 19:10 NASB

While living in sunny Southern California one day we realized our daughter, who was almost three years old; was nowhere to be found.  “She was just here a few minutes ago, where could she be?”; I thought to myself.  We walked around the house and looked in her room, in the closet, under her bed.  “Is she hiding?”  We went into the family room where her brothers were watching Inspector Gadget on Saturday morning cartoons; “Where’s your sister?”, I asked.  They shrugged their shoulders and said, “Don’t know Dad.”  I walked into the living room and the front door was wide open.  I walked outside and quickly looked around the front yard and then scanned up and down the street.  Panic!  “Where’s my daughter!?!”  “Is she lost?”  “Lord, please help us find our daughter!”

Thankfully, about five minutes later (which seemed like five hours) my observant and compassionate neighbor found our daughter and brought her home.  I was exuberant and relieved to see my little lost lamb come home!  My adventurous daughter didn’t know she was lost; she was on an adventure, out exploring the world.

Thanks be to God, His Son Yeshua is our good Shepherd; ever watching over us!

The Prodigal Son

Yeshua told this story; “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.

prodigal son

14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”         Luke 15 NASB

Party on! Wine, women and song! This was the mantra of the young prodigal son.  But after he squandered all of his inheritance and lost all of his “friends” and “lovers” he finally wised up and came home.  Are you on an adventure looking for what life is all about?  Perhaps you’re lost but don’t even know it?  Your Father in heaven wants you to come home.

Yeshua said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”  Mathew 22:37-40 NASB

Loving God is a vertical relationship.  Loving people is about relating on the horizontal level.  We can live each day in the vertizontal, loving God will all your heart, soul and mind and loving people as you love yourself.  The whole Torah (613 Laws given by God to Moses) and the writings of the Hebrew Prophets rests on these two commandments.

Knowing the true and living God, who is love; is the prize!                                                       http://www.knowhimpersonally.com

The Son of the Most High, who is much wiser than all; taught that life is all about loving God with all your heart, soul and mind.  And about loving your neighbor as yourself.  Today is a good day, now is a good time; if you hear the voice of your Father in heaven calling you home then turn to Him in faith and humbly ask for His forgiveness.

5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.  1 John 1:5-10 NASB

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Ventura Highway

Route 101 Ventura California

By David Cook

“Ventura Highway” by the folk-rock band America is a musical blast from the past and a reminder for me, of California dreamin’ and West Coast adventures.  The band America had a chilled out vibe, they were huge when I was in high school and one of my fav bands for sure.  I remember the first time this Midwest boy from KC, Missouri traveled across Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and on into California through the barren and arid Mojave Desert.

The classic folk-rock band America and their self-titled debut album America 
 with the hit song; “A Horse with No Name”.  Their first album was released in 1971.

America LP by America

I was traveling with friends from a high school youth group on our way to a Student Venture Conference, where we were meeting up with other students from around the USA to learn more about how to have a personal relationship with the Maker of heaven and earth. [1]  We traversed down U.S. Interstate-15 from Barstow down into the San Bernardino Valley, glowing in the night.

SanBernardio Valley

And then waking up to the oasis of Southern Cal palm trees and lush gardens at the spectacular Arrowhead Springs Hotel, Spa and Resort.  On the grounds were ten private bungalows previously owned by the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Lucille Ball, the Marx Brothers, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart and other Hollywood celebrities and prominent people. [2]

Arrowhead Springs Hotel Entrance

Esther Williams Pool Arrowhead Springs

Arrowhead Springs Hotel Wide

The Esther Williams swimming pool at Arrowhead Springs Cabaña Pool was a fun place to hang out and play shuffle board, just below the San Bernardino Mountain Range.  Arrowhead Springs Spa and Resort with saunas, steam caves and natural hot mineral spring mud baths was an old Hollywood hangout in the 1940’s.

My family had spent time vacationing in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and in Estes Park, Colorado in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  But the West Coast of California was a whole new world for me at age 16, in the summer of 1970.  Seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time was an unforgettable experience.

I remember siting out under the stars at the Arrowhead amphitheater with friends from back home and Gary Brown our youth group leader who became a lifelong mentor and good friend.  We listened to great music, funny MC’s, and interesting talks by Josh McDowell, on “Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus” [3] and a talk by Bill Bright, the founder of ‘Cru’ who spoke on the “Uniqueness of Jesus”. [4]

The “Jesus Movement”, was a wave of the Holy Spirit that went rolling across the USA; that engulfed me and many of my friends and classmates.  Little did I know, that the Spirit of the Lord was stirring in the mind and heart of Dan Peek across the Ocean in the UK. [5]

Flowers on California CoastCalifornia Surfers at Sunset

California Coast

“Ventura Highway” by the band America, is a popular song from their Homecoming album.  “Ventura Highway” reached #8 on the Billboard singles chart and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1972. [6]   “Ventura Highway” was written by Dewey Bunnell, who is the song’s lead vocalist.  “That’s Gerry and Dan doing a harmony on two guitars on the intro. I remember us sitting in a hotel room, and I was playing the chords, and Gerry got that guitar line, and he and Dan worked out that harmony part. That’s really the hook of the song”.  — Dewey Bunnell [7]

California Surfers Peir Sunset

Ventura Pier Sunset

Dan Made a Bargain with God
But when we formed the band America, we were living in London.
I went into my own little room and I got on my knees and I said,
‘Lord, if you’ll make this group a success,
I will use it as a platform to tell other people about you.’
I never told another soul.
–Dan Peek

“Ventura Highway” by America

Route 101

Ventura Highway, U.S. Route 101 is a freeway in southern California running from Ventura to Pasadena. It is the primary east-west route through Ventura County and into the southern San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.  From Ventura to the intersection with the Hollywood Freeway the signs read U.S. Route 101.  East of the Hollywood Freeway intersection, the signage changes to read, State Route 134.

Orange Orchards

oranges & blossuems

The Ventura Freeway begins at the Santa Barbara county line and travels east through citrus orchards and strawberry fields of the Oxnard Plain before ascending a steep pass into the Conejo Valley.  The highway continues up to the seashore community of Mussel Shoals.

Continuing eastward through the northern Santa Monica Mountains, it crosses the Ventura/Los Angeles county line before entering the San Fernando Valley. The freeway continues eastward along the valley’s southern rim, crossing the 405 and 5 freeways and the Los Angeles River. After passing through Downtown Glendale south of the Verdugo Mountains, the highway continues along the southern slope of the San Rafael Hills between Glendale and Eagle Rock before entering Pasadena near the Arroyo Seco and ending at the Foothill Freeway. [8]

Santa Monica Mountains in the clouds

America Home ComingAmerica is a folk-rock band that began with Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek as the founding band members.  The trio formed the band in 1969.  Gerry, Dewey and Dan were in their early twenties when they became a musical sensation in 1972, with No. 1 hits and a Grammy for best new musical artist. Their recording success continued throughout the 1970s; with hit songs like “A Horse with No Name”, “Sister Golden Hair”, “Ventura Highway”, “Tin Man”, “Daisy Jane”, and “Lonely People”. [9]

America -- Hearts Album

So what were three American lads doing in London?

London Bridge

Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek are sons of American fathers and British mothers.  Their fathers were military personnel stationed at the United States Air Force base at RAF West Ruislip, London.  All three lads attended London Central High School at Bushey Hall, which is 16 miles northwest of London.  In the mid-1960s, they met each other while playing in two different bands.  Gerry and Dan were born in the States and had spent some time growing up there before moving to Britain, while Dewey was born in Britain. [10]

America – Lonely People

A man can set out on life’s adventure only to find he is on a dead end, lonely and empty.  Sometimes that empty realization comes after you have acquired everything you every wanted; or thought you wanted.

Dan Peek B&W Smoking

Dan Peek band member of “America”

Dan Peek contributed lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and harmonica to their recordings during his tenure in the band. As a member of America, Peek wrote or co-wrote four Top 100 singles: “Don’t Cross The River” (#35), “Lonely People” (#5), “Woman Tonight” (#44), and “Today’s the Day” (#23), all of which he also sang lead on. “Lonely People” and “Today’s the Day” also hit number 1 on the Billboard AC charts. [11]

Dan abused drugs and alcohol during this period of the 70’s.  In 2004 Peek released an autobiography about this era entitled, An American Band: The America Story which was very difficult for him to write because of some of the painful memories it brought back. [12]

There is a way that appears to be right,

but in the end it leads to death.

Proverbs 14:12 NIV

Dan Peek reminiscing with Scott Ross

God Shaped Vacuum
“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man
which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God,
the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
–Blaise Pascal
French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and philosopher

Dan became a proverbial ‘prodigal son’ and left the highway that leads to life and wasted his inheritance on drugs, sex and rock-n-roll.  But by the grace of God, Dan gave his heart and life to Jesus Christ.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ,

he is a new creature; the old things passed away;

behold, new things have come.

2 Corinthians 5:17  NASB

Why did Dan Peek leave America and start a music career in CCM?

Here is the answer straight from Dan Peek in an interview; “Well, when I was twelve years old, I ‘got saved’. My mother, who had just gotten saved herself, basically came and told the entire family the Gospel.  I had never heard it.  I had been to a lot of churches and I heard ‘be good, be a good boy, be nice’.  But, when I heard the Gospel, it absolutely resonated with me and I got on my knees and prayed.  I knew I was a sinner at twelve already and asked Christ into my heart and life and to be my Savior.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  John 3:16-18 NIVUK

“But the years drifted on (and) I got into my late teens, went away to college and just drifted away from any semblance of acting like a Christian. But when we formed the band America, we were living in London. I went into my own little room and I got on my knees and I said, ‘Lord, if you’ll make this group a success, I will use it as a platform to tell other people about you.’  I never told another soul.

America Band White

“Well, within a year of praying that prayer, we had a number one album and a number one single around the world. It hit me like a ton of bricks one day. Bam! “God answered your prayer! Now you need to live up to your end of the bargain!’  I kind of – not half-heartedly – I tried to share the Gospel with Dewey and Gerry. They weren’t interested. I tried to share it with some other people – they didn’t want to know. So, I just kind of withdrew into my shell as a heathen and then just became a practicing hedonist. So, for the next seven years, I’m living “La Vida Loca” to the max.

America B&W

Sunrise Over Malibu Beach

“Sunrise Over Malibu” by Barbara Miller

Vanity, Vanity all is Vanity, “The turning point came for me – I’m living in a million dollar house in Malibu, overlooking the sea. I’ve got the fancy schmancy cars in the driveway, a beautiful wife, the hot tub, the whole nine yards.  The walls covered with gold and platinum albums and a Grammy on my piano. And, yet, inside, I was so, so lost and in deep, deep despair because it was like, ‘Wait a minute! All this stuff is supposed to make me feel good! It’s not doin’ it. I’m lost!’  I knew there was darkness inside.

“I remember my mother, when I did get saved – this just kinda came back to me – she said, ‘Son, if ever at any time, you wander away from Jesus, he will always take you back.  He will always take you back!’

“So, I got on my knees in my beautiful home by the sea and cried out a prayer of repentance and I said, ‘Lord, I have sinned grievously against you. I don’t need all this stuff. This stuff’s not doing it. I want you now to be my Lord as well as my Savior and I want to live my life to glorify you.’

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Epeshians 2:1-10 NIVUK

“Within about three months, our house burned in a fire and I’m out of the band.  It was like going through a divorce – everything was tied up.  It was probably the lowest ebb of my life on a material level which, six months earlier, I was at the absolute apogee, crescendo of life as a material person but was at the lowest ebb spiritually.   And, then, suddenly, the coin flipped over and I’m just on fire, wanting to preach the gospel and I had this incredible idea.  “I thought, ‘You know, I’m going to make an album of songs about the Lord!’; modern kind of music, not the old, standard, piano thumping music. I thought I had invented contemporary Christian music!  Little did I know that there was this huge industry already out there but they were so separate that I would go to places where there were people in CCM  and I would be introduced, ‘This is Dan Peek and he’s from the group, America’ and one guy would go, ‘Is that the juggling act that performs in Vegas?’

Dan Peek Solo

“They didn’t know who I was; I didn’t know who they were but all I knew was that I wanted to fulfill my promise to the Lord. It was like when I did pray that prayer of re-dedication – some people will say that’s when I was really converted, I don’t want to split hairs – all I know is that I knew then that I wanted God as the central focus on my life, not the material stuff. It was like God said, ‘Okay, now you can live up to your promise.’

“So, I embarked on a series of things. God put the right people in place to be able to make (the album) All Things Are Possible. So, suddenly, there I was. I was able to share the glory of God and explain the Gospel and explain what God had done for me and my life and save a hopeless wretch like me.  It was like a huge weight was lifted off of me because I was suffering from tremendous guilt from living this double life.  Deep down inside, I’m a Christian but on the outside I am just like Keith Richards (of the Rolling Stones), only a little bit younger!”

All Things Are Possible, Dan Peek’s debut solo album, All Things Are Possible was released in 1979. Chris Christian co-wrote, produced, and contributed acoustic guitar and backing vocals on the album. The title track reached the Billboard charts, making the Top 10 in the A/C Billboard chart and number 1 in the Christian charts, becoming one of the early contemporary Christian music crossover hit.  Another great song on the album, “Love Was Just Another Word”, was recorded in LA and written by Chris Christian and Steve Kipner. Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell sang the background vocals. This was the last time all three original members of America recorded together. [13]

Chris Christian

Music Producer, Chris Christian

“So, that was the turning point. I left the band. I did the album. It was nominated for a Grammy. “All Things Are Possible” – the song – got huge, monstrous airplay. It was actually in the top five of the Adult Contemporary charts for two years in a row. So, it was, on some level, a ground breaking album.  B.J. (Thomas) had made his – Coming Home or Going Home, whatever it was (Home Where I Belong) – but All Things Are Possible really was a breakout record and then it was time to follow up. [14]

In his hit song “Lonely People”, Dan revised the lyrics to invite people to begin a relationship with the living God through His Son Jesus.  Even if you’re lonely, and think that life has passed you by, don’t give up.  Drink from the “silver cup” of living water and give your heart and life to Jesus Christ.  Jesus will never take you down; Jesus will never give you up. He’ll never leave you, He’ll never forsake you.

“Lonely People” written by Dan and Catherine Peek

Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— 
we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.   2 Corinthiasn 5:6-8 NASB

On July 24, 2011 Dan Peek took a ride on that highway in the sky, he passed from this life into the next.  And now, Dan is home with the Lord.

Venture in Clouds 2

A highway will be there, a roadway,

And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.

The unclean will not travel on it,

But it will be for him who walks that way,

And fools will not wander on it.

Isaiah 35:8 NASB

www.DanPeek.com

Stellar Music and Artist Interviews at;

www.VertiZontalMedia.com

[1] Student Venture the high ministry of ‘Cru’, www.studentventure.com

[2] Arrowhead Springs Hotel & Resort, a getaway of Hollywood Celebrities and Prominent People. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrowhead_Springs,_San_Bernardino,_California

[3] “Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus” by Josh McDowell, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33buor5NfcU

[4] “The Uniqueness of Jesus” by Bill Bright, http://www.cru.org/training-and-growth/classics/10-basic-steps/intro-the-uniqueness-of-jesus/

[5] The Jesus movement was a movement in Christianity that begin on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and spread through North America and Europe. It was a major Christian element within the hippie counterculture and among youth in their teens and twenties within some churches and ministries.  People involved in the movement who attended Bible studies, Christian concerts, conferences and shared their faith with others were sometimes called ‘Jesus people’, or ‘Jesus freaks’ by their peers.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_movement

[6] Cleary, David. Homecoming > Review at Allmusic. Retrieved August 15, 2011.

[7] Bunnell, Dewey (2000). “Ventura Highway”. Highway (Rhino Records).

[8] Ventura Freeway, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventura_Freeway

[9] John Berger (August 7, 2009). “America rides in on ‘horse with no name'”. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved July 16, 2011.

[10] American fathers and British mothers, attending high school 16 miles NW of London; Dewey Bunnell @ www.imdb.com Retrieved 8-3-2012.

[11] Margalit Fox (July 26, 2011). “Dan Peek, of the Rock Band America, Dies at 60”. New York Times. “Dan Peek, an original member of the rock band America who later forsook the group for a life in Christian music, died on Sunday at his home in Farmington, Mo. He was 60…”

[12]  Lewis, Randy (27 July 2011). “Dan Peek dies at 60; founding member of the band America”. LA Times. Retrieved 27 July 2011.

[13] All Things Are Possible, Chris Christian co-wrote, produced, and contributed acoustic guitar and backing vocals on the album. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Peek

[14] Interview with Dan Peek, http://www.boomerocity.com/danpeekpart2.html

The Prodigal

Mirage in the Desert

by David Cook

Have you ever felt like you’re on the run, chasing an illusive dream?  Running after a mirage in the desert, only to be left with your face down drinking the sand?

Or perhaps running from something in your past.  Have you ever compromised your soul for pleasures, that in the end only robbed you?  The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life can be alluring.

For everything in the world–

the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–

comes not from the Father but from the world.  

1 John 2:16 NIV

Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden the Serpent has continued to lie and deceive Adam’s children down to this very day.  The Serpent offers us the kingdom of this world and all that goes with it, the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes and the pride of life. Yet like the prodigal, when we chase these pleasures of the world that are not from our Father in heaven; we end up empty.

Yeshua taught a most amazing story to reveal the heart of our Father who is in heaven.

“There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.  Luke 15:11-31 ESV

No doubt, our sinful choices hurt us and those around us who love us.  Perhaps a friend or family member has been praying for you.  Praying, perhaps even shedding tears that you would come back home to your Father in heaven who loves you.

Is there anything too difficult for God?  Is there a person so messed up and sinful that God cannot save them?  Or is God all-powerful?  Is the Almighty God really omnipotent?

Do you know a prodigal son or daughter?  Pray for them and extend to them the mercy and love God has given to you.  Perhaps you are a prodigal son or daughter? Come to Yeshua the Messiah, He is Mighty to Save!

God seeks us out, His lost children.  He sent His Son Yeshua to earth to bring us back to Himself.  To bring us home to heaven.  Yeshua explained;

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.  16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”  John 3:15-21 ESV

Yeshua is the Son of God and the Son of Man.  What does this mean?  The Son of God lived with His Father in heaven before His incarnation; before He was born in Bethlehem.

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”

Micah 5:2 NASB

Long ago, from days of eternity Yeshua existed with His Father, the King of the Universe.of eternity.  Yeshua was there in Genesis 1:1, in the beginning; and created the heavens and the earth with God His Father and the Spirit of the Lord.  Moses wrote about this in Genesis chapter one.  We also read in the Torah where Moses lifted up a bronze serpent and all who looked to it were healed of the deadly venom of a snake bite.

So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.  Numbers 21:9 NIV

Why did Yeshua compare His death on the cross to Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness?

Because when Yeshua was lifted up on the cross to pay for all our sin, He took all our sin upon Himself.  Messiah Yeshua is the propitiation for our sins.  God’s just wrath was poured out on His Son so that we might be justified before God.

He is the propitiation for our sins,

and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.  

1 John 2:2 ESV

When we in faith look to Messiah who died on the cross for our sins, then we are healed from the deadly bite of the serpent.  The same crafty Serpent who tempted Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden–the Devil. [1]

Our Father who is in heaven seeks to have a relationship with you, now and forevermore. If you hear His voice calling you today, then call on the Lord in faith.  Have a heart to heart conversation with your Father in Heaven through prayer.  Wherever you are, He is there; He is omnipresent.  If you call on Him in faith, He can hear you.

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, You will cast all their sins
Into the depths of the sea.
20 You will give truth to Jacob
And unchanging love to Abraham,
Which You swore to our forefathers
From the days of old.

Micah 7;18-20 NASB

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[1] The fall of man, Genesis 3:1-22.