Kevin Menezes

Loved and Saved by God alone to Love and Serve God alone.

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It’s Your Call

What cause would you be willing to sacrifice your child die for?

Simple question.

Many take pride in a loved one who dies fighting for the country. Yes, that is a huge sacrifice. But I am not talking about the kind of sacrifice where your grownup kid joins the army, is sent to war with the hope that he’ll return soon, but does not.  I am talking about the kind where you have to send your kid to war with the understanding that he’s never coming back. Like a suicide mission. Except the decision is not up to your child — it’s up to you.

What cause would be worth that kind of sacrifice?

Turn around one time and look at your kid or loved one before you answer this. No need to hurry. Take your time.

There’s one more catch though. What if I told you the enemies are savages. A bullet to the head won’t do it. They’ll beat the living daylights out of your little sweetheart before they let him die. They’ll skin him alive. Torture him. Pull every bone of his body out of socket. It’s going to be gruesome.

What cause would be worth having your child go through that?

Come on now. You can decide. It’s your call after all.

What if your kid calls you from the warzone the night before his unit is about to be ambushed. He says, “Dad, they are closing in. I can turn back now while there is still time. But you asked me to be here and I won’t retreat until you say so. Please Dad. I want to come back. Just say the word. We can worry about this later. They are gonna kill me, Dad. And I want to live. I want to come home. Please let me come back…”

What would you say in response?

If it were me, I’d tell my child to get the hell out of there and keep running till he got home.

But I am asking you now. What would you do?

While you are thinking about that I want to tell you about a remarkable dad who took a similar call from his son. The amazing thing is this dad did not back down. Neither did the son. When the enemy was within sight, his buddies retreated and ran for their life.

But this kid did not.

He stood there… alone… because his father told him to.

And he went down.

You’ve probably heard of him. His name is Jesus.

PS: Funny thing is, all these years later, He still believes you are worth dying for.  

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Don’t Jump Out

One day Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. (Luke 8:22)

Jesus makes this open offer to practically everyone. Life is tough and sometimes it almost seems like we are in a warzone. Lost! Stuck! Stranded! And then Jesus shows up in His truck and says, “I am going to the other side. I am inviting you to join me. Do you want to come along?”

The ones who respond “Yes!” are “saved”.

Now, here’s the thing: When you decide to give God control over your destiny, you don’t get to choose the route. You just have to sit back and trust Him to get you to the Promised Land.

It’s like you’re in the truck and it does not have any windows. You don’t know where you are, how much progress you’ve made, or how soon you’ll get there. You feel the bumps along the road and you wonder what’s happening. You wonder when you’ll get to the other side—if ever.

That’s exactly what happened to the disciples who got into the boat with Jesus. Not long after they had begun sailing to the other side, they were hit by a storm. The boat was swamped, and they were in great danger. (Luke 8:23) The disciples, being human like all of us, panicked and woke Jesus, who rebuked the wind and the waves and calmed the storm. Then He asked the disciples, “Where is your faith?”

There is a lesson for us in this. We feel the bumps along the way, and yes, it’s very inconvenient. But God cares about our safety more than our comfort. He said He would get you to the other side, and He will do it. He is not going to let you down. God is driving and He knows the best and safest route out—after all, He created this place. Where is your faith? Just sit tight and stop panicking. Stop grumbling. And whatever else you do, don’t jump out until you reach your destination.

The good thing is God does not leave us in the dark altogether. Every once in a while, God lets us know we are getting closer. Like when you get married, or when you hold your newborn baby for the first time, or when you receive an unexpected promotion. These are milestones along the way. They assure us that God is still in control…that we haven’t strayed, and that He is still watching out for us. They remind us that with each passing day we are getting closer to the Other Side. That’s how life is.

Sometimes God leads us down roads we never intended to take, but we always end up exactly where we intended to be. That’s the beauty of it.

It took the Israelites 40 years to get to the Promised Land—mostly because they kept grumbling and making a nuisance of themselves. Sometimes, they flatly refused to move ahead. But God did eventually get them to the place He promised to give them.

How long will it take you to get to the Promised Land? Are you going to murmur and grumble all along the way and make things miserable yourself and everybody else? Or are you going to stop working against yourself, trust God, and be good and patient—grateful that God actually bothered to save you in the first place?

The choice is yours.

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Where Is The Love?

God is abounding in love, mercy, compassion, grace, kindness…we hear that ever so often. And some of us know this to be true from personal experience. But if God’s love is really so abounding, why do so many people completely miss out on it? Why have so many never felt it.

The answer is simpler than you imagine.

Let me put it this way. There are some extremely dry places on earth. Nothing grows in these parts. There is no life, no vegetation. And this is not because the soil is infertile. It’s just that water, the catalyst for life and growth, is in extremely short supply in these areas. But that does not mean that there is no water on earth. More than 70% of our planet’s surface is water. In fact, there are hundreds of rivers and lakes, both big and small, on every continent. If water could somehow be channeled from the nearest source to some of these areas, it is reasonable to assume that there would be some sort of vegetative resurgence almost instantly.

It’s the same with God. Just because some people don’t feel His love, mercy and compassion, does not mean it is not there. If anything, God’s love is more than abounding. The truth is some people have strayed so far away from the Source of all Good Things that they don’t even recognize it anymore. (I can vouch for that coz I was living in the “desert” myself in the not so distant past. But, as I found out, there is hope. Even the lost can be saved…when the “saved” reach out to the lost.)

Yes! God is love. His love abounds much more than all the water in a trillion oceans. Yet, so many people are living in “dryness”. But if God’s love could somehow be channeled from the nearest source, it is reasonable to assume that there would be a resurgence of “life” almost instantly.

If someone who really “knows” God would just reach out to the homeless man living at the end of his street…

If someone who “knows” Jesus would just make Him known to the kid who thinks life is all about fast cars, fancy gadgets and cheap thrills flowing at the end of a needle…

If someone would just put an arm around the newly widowed mother with kids and say, “Don’t worry. I got your back.”

If we who know God would make Him known, not so much by preaching but simply “outreaching” (or reaching out) to those in need with a kind word here, a helpful hand there, a hug, a warm smile—Oh! What a difference we’d make. If we become channels of God’s love, the world would be flooded with His grace.

And what a blessing that would be to us too. For the channel through which the water flows to the dry desert is soaked first. The flood of God’s love rejuvenates everyone in its wake, starting with the person acting as the channel through which His blessings flow.

That’s why I am not surprised to see so many pastors, who have been preaching the Word of God, doing so well in life. They are drenched in the blessings flowing out to the masses through them and the work they do. I admire them. But it is not them I am really looking at because I know they are just a medium, a channel. I’ve got my eyes on the Source. And I know that He is still looking for laborers to work in His vineyard…because the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. (Matthew 9:35-38) And God will not hesitate to reward the ones He hires last as much as He did the ones he hired earlier. (Matthew 20:1-16)

So, if you are one of those who have been touched by God, you need to hear this. You were not brought into the light so that you could hide under a blanket. God put His light in you so that you can shine as beacon to the ones still in the dark. You need to emerge out of the shadows and start reaching out. (Matthew 5:15)

Live simply. Speak kindly. Love seriously. Help readily. Give generously. Do random acts of kindness. And I guarantee this: You’ll be drenched in God’s love and His blessings before you can say “Amen”.