Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Third Day

 He is Risen! 
His enemies could not triumph over Him... 
The grave could not hold Him... 
Through His death, love won the battle for us! 
By His rising, we can be forgiven 
We can live victoriously by His Spirit
And anticipate life with Him forever 
When we embrace the message of the cross  
Choose this day, whom you will serve?


Believe in? 
I am following Christ, the Savior who came to die in my place. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life 
Wishing you Easter blessings because of the Cross, 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday?

 Ever wonder how Good Friday can be called good? 

They plotted. They planned. Then they got Judas to lead them to Jesus. Jesus was innocent—He had done no wrong except to challenge the thinking of those who thought they had it all figured out. Though Jesus had healed, fed, restored, forgiven, taught and raised Lazarus from the dead, they saw Him as a threat to their realm of power. 

Though the crowd hailed Him as king and shouted hosannas over him at the beginning of the week as He entered Jerusalem; their tune changed to “Crucify” on Friday. 

Washed hands 

Turned heads 

Lying witnesses 

There Jesus stood alone. Scorned, rejected, mocked and beaten. 

He could have called legions of Angels to His rescue. Instead He stayed silent. He took the punishment: the lashes of the whip, punches to His face, wore a crown of thorns pressed into his brow and mockers’ spit on His beard.  

Silently He bore them out of love. 

He hung on a cross—gasping for breath. Among the last words He spoke were, ‘Father, forgive them’. He became the spotless lamb, the one without sin—the only one who could take our sin away. 

The rulers were relieved and thought it was over. 

His followers felt confused. 

Satan pumped his fist thinking he finally got the victory. 

Yet, Friday became good. In the depth of the tomb where the body of Jesus lay—alone, the third day was coming. Friday became good because Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb—just three days was all that was needed to redeem us from the grip of sin and death. Resurrection brought forth redemption. Redemption covered our sin forevermore. Jesus took our punishment and paid our debt.

So it may be Friday when darkness covered the land. But, Sunday’s coming….Jesus burst forth, rose on the third day and took His place as Lord of all. He is the light of the world.

He didn’t suffer without a reason—we needed to be freed from Satan’s hold of death. 

Because of Good Friday, we are free when we believe who Jesus is, why He came and our need of a savior. 

Satan believes in Jesus. Satan knows the word of God. But, Satan will never acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all.

How about you?
May this Good Friday burst forth and bring salvation into your hearts, and light to your soul.

Monday, March 04, 2013

New Life - New Beginnings

Winter is finally waning here in New England. We’ve been clobbered by storms and sunshine has been hidden. I think a couple of weeks in a sunny climate during February or March would be a good idea. It’s not a passing fancy—every year I think the same thing. My full-spectrum light is barely keeping my foggy head above water and I am on the lookout for any sign of spring.  

I walk every day hoping to see a swelling bud or hardy crocus. I notice the subtle changes in the landscape; shrinking snow piles, widening roads, and the changing track of the sun (when it decides to appear). March is the home stretch. I can do it, one day at a time. 

It helps to have a pre-spring plan. Will I plant something different in my herb garden? Where will I place my shepherd hooks to display my flowering pots? I imagine my lawn chair settled nicely in the shade waiting for me. And, I picture the bursting colors outside. 

Spring is all about hope; I love seeing new growth and new life awakening in the dormant world outside. Spring is full of promise. The trees, gray and lifeless come to life again with renewed beauty. Oh, how I long for it! 

The wintered soul also longs for new beginnings—new growth, swelling buds on pruned branches—new life. Lifelessness can be transformed through the promise of Christ. The old is gone, the new has come. The Risen Jesus breathes life into the withered heart and causes it to burst with hope. Hope in the One who redeems the darkness and shines light in our world.

Jesus came to chase away the darkness of sin and death. He accomplished victory on the cross—sin forgiven—spiritual death defeated—eternal life offered to all who believe and call on His name. He took on your sin, my sin and paid the debt so we can be free. We can stand before a Holy God without condemnation because of Jesus.  

No sin is too great. The Easter season is a reminder that He paid it all and washes away our guilt by His blood, shed on Calvary’s cross. But death couldn’t hold Him because victory and forgiveness were being accomplished in the tomb. When He rose on the third day, our chains fell off—death and sin no longer could bind us. We are set free by the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world.

Do you know Jesus? He calls each one to Himself—the question is whether you will believe or turn away. 

Salvation is simple:  

Acknowledge my sin and need for forgiveness; this separates me from God 

See Jesus as the only One who can pay the price; His final sacrifice was necessary 

Ask Him to take away my sin and shame; He restores me to a relationship with God 

Believe in Him as the One who saves and redeems; embrace Him as Savior 

Through Christ you are cleansed from sin and in relationship with God for eternity.  

He gives you a heart to please Him and a Spirit within you to desire Him and live rightly. He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell everyone who calls on the name of Jesus as LORD to empower us to live our lives with a power that is far beyond our own—making a difference for eternity. 

I pray that winter is waning in your soul as hope grows through the message of Jesus Christ. Spring revives the earth and the gospel message revives the heart. 

If you have called on the name of Jesus today, will you let me know?  Send me an email and I will be privileged to pray for you and encourage you in your next steps of faith. Or, maybe like me, you need a fresh glimpse of His work in your life—renewal—revival. I pray He showers you with rain of refreshment.

Praying for spring to come,