Monday, April 21, 2014

It's a LIFESTYLE, not a Week or a Day

Resurrection Day has come and gone. Still wondering? Remember His words!
It was very early in the morning on the first day of the week. The women took the spices they had prepared. Then they went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from it. When they entered the tomb, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. They were wondering about this. Suddenly two men in clothes as bright as lightning stood beside them. The women were terrified. They bowed down with their faces to the ground. Then the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? Jesus is not here! He has risen! Remember how he told you he would rise. It was while he was still with you in Galilee. He said, 'The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people. He must be nailed to a cross. On the third day he will rise from the dead.' " Then the women remembered Jesus' words. (Luke 24:1-8)
Many are still wondering . . . After thousands of years, hundreds of fulfilled prophesies, and millions of testimonies as to the authenticity of Jesus Christ, many still wonder about Him! Was He who He said He was? Did He really do all those miracles . . .suffer all that agony . . . go to the cross . . . rise from the dead . . . Is He coming back . . . is He really God? For those who did not believe then . . . it is too late. For those still alive today, there is time . . . today! Jesus is still pleading, but not from the manger, the cross, or from the grave. He invites us all to join Him in heaven:
"Let those who do wrong keep on doing wrong. Let those who are evil continue to be evil. Let those who do what is right keep on doing what is right. And let those who are holy continue to be holy." Look! I am coming soon! I bring my rewards with me. I will reward each person for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega. I am the First and the Last. I am the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will have the right to come to the tree of life. They will be allowed to go through the gates into the city. Outside the city are the dogs and those who practice witchcraft. Outside are also those who commit sexual sins and murder. Those who worship statues of gods, and everyone who loves and does what is false, are outside too. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this witness for the churches. I am the Root and the Son of David. I am the bright Morning Star. The Holy Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' Let those who hear say, 'Come!' Anyone who is thirsty should come. Anyone who wants to take the free gift of the water of life should do so." (Revelation 22:11-17)
How many now joyfully await His coming? How many more need to know? It's not too late! Remember His words . . .

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Called Out . . . Separated . . .Troubling times . . . All for the glory of God!

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? (Psalm 22:1)
The psalmist and chosen King of Israel was alone many times and often opposed. There were also times when he felt as if God had abandoned him. At times, it was because of the choices he had made (as with Bathsheba) but often it was because of his dedication to his God. Because David chose to follow God the world became his enemy! Sound familiar?
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,lema sabachthani?” (Matthew 22:46)
Feeling a bit left out? Jesus too knew the feeling of abandonment. His town, his people, his very own disciples would deny him at times. Even one of his closest twelve would sell him out for 30 pieces of silver; the price of a small farm today. No matter the exact equivalent in dollars, Jesus, our Savior and Lord, was given over as part of a financial exchange. Sold out by friends and left alone by God the Father. As the Son of David, the Son of God could identify with the anointed King of Israel. Just as well, our Lord and Savior identifies with us and we identify with Him . . . in our suffering.
All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” (Psalm 22:7-8)
David was mocked for his faith in God. People did not understand then nor do they today: God's people will go through some things. As David wrote the words of Psalm 22, imagine his heart for God. Imagine the comfort Jesus must also have gained in repeating so many of the verses while suffering on the cross for you and me.
He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him . . . (Matthew 27:43)
Despite the loneliness we may feel at times. Even despite the consequences of our very own sins, we can rest in knowing that because of Christ, God will never abandon His children! Knowing this however, should cause us to draw nearer to Him day by day. There is a brighter day ahead . . . Jesus is coming back! Trust in His promises just as David and Jesus also trusted in the Father. The more we trust Him, the more we can endure for His glory!
Feeling a bit left out . . . you are not alone!

Storms and Faith

Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him.  Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesu...