Friday, October 6, 2017

God is Good, God is love!

Day 5: Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:
God is good, God is love and because I am His goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

   I have children and grandchildren that I absolutely love to be with. I have friends and a marvelous church that I enjoy being with. Hands down, my favorite place to be is in God’s presence. I realize the 23rd Psalm is one that is recited and read a lot. Sometimes when verses and passages of scripture get read a lot people don’t stop and really look at what it says. The Lord’s Prayer and so many other verses become common. That is just so sad when it happens. I guess if the enemy can’t steal it altogether from someone he will opt to try to make them indifferent. I am sorry to report, it has been successful. There is so much in God’s Word! It is full of life and well worth slowing down and meditating on. Tip: that is a tool for success- that is how much life there is in God’s Word.

   Today I have been thinking about how God loves us so much, and so unconditionally. He only wants good for us, and He delights in our prosperity.
“Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:27

   I have heard people say God led them, or allowed them to be sick, broke, stressed, depressed and a number of other horrible things. That. Is. Just. NOT. True! 
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11

   I am not going to do an expository teaching on Psalm 23, but I have been thinking about it today and do want to highlight a few things. The Lord is our Shepherd, and as we see above in John 10:11, He is a good shepherd. Sheep require much higher maintenance than other livestock. They are timid and fearful, stubborn and with habits that would question their IQ. Sheep need to be fed, tended to, protected, guided and brought back from wherever they wander off to, and they must be tended to constantly. Human behavior and sheep behavior have some very interesting parallels. A good shepherd constantly, vigilantly and meticulously cares for his sheep. That is what our Good Shepherd does. Here are a some things the Psalmist mentions just in the 23rd Psalm.
  • We do not want for anything (provision).
  • Jesus makes us lie down in green pastures (rest).
  • He leads us beside still water (peace).
  • He restores our soul (renews and refreshes my inner person) .
  • He leads us onto paths of righteousness (right standing with Himself).
  • We do not need to fear.
  • He is always with us.
  • He protects (His rod) and guides (His staff) me.
  • He comforts us.
  • He welcomes us (His table).
  • He favors us (anointing oil).
  • He fills us with good things.
  • His goodness (welfare and prosperity) follows us all the days of our life.
  • His mercy (lovingkindness, favor, grace) follows us all the days of our life.
  • We will live and remain with Him forever.  

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever. Psalm 23

Psalm 23 alone can keep us meditating on the goodness and love of God for many hours, days even.

“...God is love. 1 John 4:8

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him”. 1 John 4:16

   Honestly, when you are reading your Bible and you come across the words God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, you could just insert the word Love and it would be spot on accurate. I encourage you to do that. For instance:

Now thanks be to God [Love] who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14

 Therefore submit to God [Love]. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

For God [Love] so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God [Love] did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17

Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

I am cared for by a very loving and Good Shepherd! My needs are met, I am protected and provided for, my very soul is restored, I am highly favored and loved and I always will be- forever, because God [Love] will never leave me. I will live with Him forever! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The beauty of Communion!

Day 4: Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

I love that God set up such a beautiful time of Communion we can share with Him over the bread and wine.

   From a young age I have loved the Word of God. I really have. I liked Sunday School and the Bible stories I would hear. As I got older I began to see how the Word of God was practical for my daily living, it became a blueprint for my life. When my daughters got to the age of junior and senior high school I thought it might be nice to take Communion at home. I was targeting Thanksgiving dinner. Because I honored God’s Word I thought I would ask my pastor about doing a family Communion table at home. He was very succinct in telling me that should be done in church, and there would, or could, be serious repercussion taking Communion in an unworthy manner. He was referring to this passage of scripture.

Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.  
1 Corinthians 11:27-32

   I am sure I do not want to know how many twisted takes have been preached out of those verses. When this is taught, there is strong consensus that these verses mean that we must judge our walk with God, and therefore our worthiness before partaking of the body and the blood of Jesus. That is not what those verses say. The only prerequisite for partaking of the Lord’s supper is to have made Jesus your Savior. To commune with God we must do so through Jesus, and only Jesus. That is what Communion is about. Anyone that has given themselves to Jesus Christ is allowed, and instructed to come to the table in remembrance of all Jesus did for mankind. God is no longer judging mankind, He put all of the weight of all of man’s sin for all time on Jesus. Jesus paid for us and took our judgement of death on the cross in our place. So what is it we are to judge then?

   The real problem here at the church of Corinth that Paul was addressing was the indifference- taking Communion as a meaningless religious ritual that had to be done. Communion was to represent all that Jesus was about to do for mankind the day after the Lord’s Supper. In that upper room, while sharing the bread and wine, Jesus said about those elements these things.

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”  Luke 22:19-20

We need to look in Isaiah to see the points of this New Covenant, and what Jesus was being given to us for.

Isaiah 53:4-6
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Transgressions:   rebellion, sin, transgression, trespass.

Iniquity:  perversity, depravity, iniquity,  (moral) evil, guilt or punishment of iniquity, consequence of or punishment for iniquity.

Peace:   safe, i.e. (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, i.e. health, prosperity, peace:—do, familiar, fare, favour, friend, great, (good) health, (perfect, such as be at) peace(-able, -ably), prosper(-ity, -ous), rest, safe(-ty), salute, welfare, (all is, be) well, wholly.

Healed:   רָפָא râphâʼ, raw-faw'; or רָפָה râphâh; a primitive root; properly, to mend (by stitching), i.e. (figuratively) to cure:—cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair, thoroughly, make whole. 
   I inserted the Hebrew word used by Isaiah in verse 5 here to clarify that this is not spiritual healing, that is what Jesus’ wounds (blood) and bruises were for. Also, take a look in Exodus 15:26b  
“...I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”
when God says He is the Lord that heals us, in Hebrew He was saying He was Jehovah-Rapha.  That is exact same word in Isaiah 53:5.

   When Jesus took our judgement for our sin, he restored us entirely. He paid for our wholeness, spirit, soul, and body. Our spirit was made alive. We were reborn, becoming a new creature because the transgressions and the consequence of the iniquity in us was paid for and forgiven by the blood that restored us back to God. Our soul was restored because Jesus took on the mocking and chastisement for us and that restored our peace. The stripes on His flesh, the broken places on His body, were the payment for our physical health.  

   Taking the bread and wine worthily simply means being in remembrance of ALL that  Jesus did on the cross. The cross is when the New Covenant was established, and the resurrection was God’s acceptance of the payment for us on that cross. Taking the bread and wine in the cavalier manner the church at Corinth was is the unworthiness spoken of by Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11.

   So what does remembering what Jesus did for us mean, and what does it look like?  Taking Communion in a worthy manner means we have come to the table ready to partake of everything Jesus’ death and resurrection provided for us- forgiveness, salvation, peace of mind, physical healing, deliverance from all evil, and total prosperity in every area of our life. This is done by judging ourselves by how much of those provisions we are willing to receive. The church has primarily focused on the blood of forgiveness and slid right over the bread for our healing, simply saying it was broken for us. We need to approach Communion in faith for all of those things, and accept all Jesus provided for us. The body and blood of Jesus has covered everything we need for living victoriously. 

   When you go to take Communion you can pray in faith that you receive all Jesus provided for you in the New Covenant. You can judge your heart according to the Word of God and where you have lacked anything and not walked according to the Word (strife, unforgiveness, addiction, fear, unbelief, jealousy) confess you have not been faithful, repent and ask for forgiveness. Thank God for being faithful to forgive you, and that He cleanses you from all unrighteousness. As you then take Communion confess that since Jesus’ body was broken for you and His blood was shed for you and that you recognize you are now forgiven and redeemed, that you see that Jesus bore all sickness, disease, fear, strife, sorrow and lack for you and that as you are now God’s righteousness you receive everything Jesus provided. Also, just as Jesus did- give God thanks!

   Communion is very powerful and does not have to be in a church, or with others. If you have something you need to get right with God, or you have a need, take some time with just Him and remember what Jesus did. Spend some time in prayer and conversation with God, and then stake your claim on His New Covenant promises, and receive all you need as you receive the body and blood.

Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

I am so thankful to have access to God through Communion.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Jesus glorified His Father!

Day 3: Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

   Jesus came to earth with the purpose of glorifying His Father by restoring man back to Him. He was completely in tune with and obedient to His Father, God.

   Jesus came to earth in humble a humble manner. His father, Joseph, was a carpenter. His mother and father were married while she was pregnant, and only after an angel had appeared to Joseph and explained to him the baby she was carrying was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that the child that would be Savior would be born of a virgin, and that baby was the Savior the Jewish nation longed and waited for. Joseph being of the lineage of King David, he and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem to be registered in the census. The Bible does not mention a donkey, but there are writings that indicate Joseph borrowed one for Mary. Jesus was born in a field of sheep, and laid in a manger. This was in complete contrast to the way the Jewish people expected Him, their Messiah to come. They were expecting a mighty warrior, a king in battle that could and would deliver them. Even though Jesus fulfilled so many prophecies just where and how He was born, they did not receive Him. He was too lowly.

   There are a number of incidents in Jesus’ ministry where He denied the violence others thought was called for. For instance, when Jesus was on His final journey to Jerusalem He was rejected by a village of Samaritans. James and John had experienced power and authority being Jesus’ disciples and wanted to use that power to call fire down from Heaven to destroy those Samaritans just as Elijah had done in God’s judgement of Ahaziah and his men. Jesus responded by rebuking James and John by saying, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”

   On the night Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane Peter drew his sword and cut the ear of one of the arresting high priests servants off. Jesus responded by saying, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” In other words, Jesus was asking Peter if he honestly thought for one minute that Jesus did not know He had been betrayed and would be arrested here... and if there was any question that Jesus would not submit Himself to this arrest that would end in His death. Jesus had been preparing them for this minute and there was to be no violence, just love that would glorify the Father, and save men. Just before this incident Jesus had prayed, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.” He had also said, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.”   

   Remember the woman caught in adultery that the scribes and Pharisees took to Jesus? They gave a report to Jesus about how the woman had been caught in the act of adultery, and then reminded Him of the law Moses had commanded that such should be stoned. They were busy those days trying to trip Jesus up and get Him to say something they could accuse Him of, have Him arrested and be done with Him. Sounds like big time pressure to me, but Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground as if not to hear them. We do not know what He was writing, but I can tell you what I believe He was doing. He was asking His Father what to say, and what He would have Jesus to do. The passage indicates it was if Jesus did not even hear them. I think it was His Father, God, that He was listening to. When He stood up Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19

Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. John 8:28

I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” John 5:30

In Hebrews we read: 

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high...”

Of course Jesus was the  brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His Father God, He only did what the Father said and did only what the Father said to do! 

The same meekness, the same humility that He was born in is how Jesus lived. His entire birth was just the way God had it planned. His death was also just as God had it planned. That humility is true power and authority. Jesus operated in that way as He only did what the Father said to do, and He only said what the Father said to say.

Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

Jesus came to earth with the purpose of glorifying His Father by restoring man back to Him. He was completely in tune with and obedient to His Father, God. I want to be that person, the person that is humbled before God, listening only to Him, and doing only what He says to do and to say. I want to glorify God with my life. When my days this side of glory are over I want this to be true of my life:

“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” 
John 17:4

Monday, October 2, 2017

My needs are met!

Day 2: Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

   From the beginning of time, and even before, God has provided all I need before I ever need it.

   God created everything in six days. The order of creation was:
  • Day 1:  Heavens, Earth and Light  (heavens being outer space, all that was out and apart from earth, and earth had no formation)
  • Day 2:  Firmament which is the sky. This is the arch around the earth between the water on the surface of earth and the moisture in the air, the clouds. Now the earth has an atmosphere.
  • Day 3:  Dry land separated by bodies of water, and all plant life (food).   
  • Day 4:  Lights in the firmament; the sun, moon and stars. The sun creates light for daytime, the moon reflects the sun’s light for night time and they can be used to measure time.
  • Day 5:  All creatures that live in water. All birds of the air.
  • Day 6:  All creatures that live on land, livestock, reptiles and insects. AND MAN!!! Here is a great example of saving the best for last.
  • Day 7: God rested.
The first thing God did when man was created was to bless them and give them the gift of the earth and all in it. He gave man dominion over all the earth and its contents. God made the earth and its contents just for man, giving it to man he gave him dominion over the whole of it. God prepared the entire earth and everything in it for man before man even existed.

   When we heard the gospel, the true gospel of Jesus, and we knew in our heart we needed a Savior and that Jesus was the Messiah- the Savior for mankind, the faith we had to make that decision and ask Jesus to come into lives as Lord came from God. The grace we were saved by and the faith we were saved through were from God. We had nothing in us that would be able to produce that kind of faith. However, when we heard God’s Word and had the ears to really hear it, God gave us the gift of faith so we could act on His Word.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Ephesians 2:8

Before we were saved God made the provision of Jesus to redeem us back to Himself. When the time came He was ready to give us the faith needed to act on our heart’s decision. God supplies before the need. Everything we need has been provided for. 

Holy Spirit:
   At the end John’s gospel in Chapter 13, we see where Jesus is telling His disciples that He is leaving them.  Peter’s response was “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus said to him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” Peter immediately said, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”  By the time we get to the beginning of Chapter 14 we see Jesus telling the disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."  The disciples were upset at the thought of Jesus not being there with them. There were a number of reasons for that, they were in fear of the Roman and Judaic government because of their affiliation with Jesus, and their deep love for Him alone was enough for them to not want Him to leave. So Jesus was assuring them that would be together again. Jesus proceeded to teach them some more things He wanted them to know before He went to Heaven. When we get down to the middle of Chapter 14 Jesus tells them He will be sending another “Helper”. The word “another” means of the exact same kind. He was assuring them there would be someone just like Him to be there with them. He assures them, “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” Later in Chapter 15 of the Holy Spirit He tells them, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”  Jesus goes to some length in Chapter 16 to tell them that this Helper, the Holy Spirit will not come if Jesus does not leave, but that when He does come after Jesus leaves the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin. He will also guide them into all truth and glorify Jesus. Before Jesus left the earth for Heaven, having the Holy Spirit come to help the disciples and all the followers of Jesus was already in place.
   God is Love. Love is a verb and needs a person to give that love to. God in His desire to have fellowship with us, created us. Before He did so He made provision for all our needs. After mankind fell into sin and lost dominion and provisions, God immediately put into action a plan to provide redemption for us to restore that relationship. His name is Jesus. God, through Jesus provided all of that before we even needed it. Once we received that redemption and were saved, and back into a right relationship with God, before Jesus left earth to be at God’s right hand in Heaven- God was ready to send the Holy Spirit to us to guide and empower us in this life. He created us, redeemed us and empowered us- all before we needed it.

   I have a dear friend, a sister in Christ, that I truly cherish. I have watched her live by the grace of God for over 4 years now. She is remarkably able to trust God for everything she needs, and she is quite active in ministry. She understands and lives out the provision and grace of God. She is quite good at resting in Him for everything. I am at a place in my life that I am having to put my life in the complete care of my Father’s hands. I know in my head and heart how amazing God is and that from the first moment man was created all God has desired is to bless and prosper mankind. I am now learning to make that a reality in my life. I am getting better at it almost by the hour it seems. You see, God knew I needed an example like my dear friend. So, for years I have had the privilege of watching her, and marveling at her- unbeknownst to me that it would be a tremendous example I would be able to draw on. God provided that for me before I needed it. As I am learning to follow God’s example on the 7th day of Creation Week, to rest in Him, He is showing me His awesome love and provision!

Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

I am loved so very much by God that has spent time before time existed providing everything for me I would ever need.... before I even needed it!

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.      

Matthew 6:33

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Jesus Paid it All!

Day 1: Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

   Jesus paid for all sin, for all man, for all time and in that purchase, redemption, He bought back everything we lost in the Garden of Eden giving us God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, goodness and love. In this love God chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame. He delivered us from sin, disease, sickness, stress, fear, torment, unforgiveness, strife, addiction, lack and total deliverance from all of the works of, Satan. We are redeemed and free- spirit, soul and body!   He made us His righteousness through the self-sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. We are complete and raised up together with Jesus in heavenly places. 

   Jesus’ love has provided us with everything we need. We inherited everything good there is because of His amazing gift on the cross. The cross that was ours, He gladly hung on and viewed us as His joy to redeem back into a right relationship with God.

Revelation 19:13-14
13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

   Those verses in Revelation 19 are in the middle of a power packed passage! I want to comment on those two verses only here. There is going to be a final war in which Jesus again is finally and totally victorious. However, that war has not taken place as yet in that passage. The armies in Heaven that have no blood on their garments are the glorified saints already in Heaven. The church, those on earth when Jesus returns on the white horse He is on in verse 13, will immediately meet Jesus and those returning saints in triumph! That robe dipped in blood is not from war... it is from the cross! Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection out of the tomb were when the battle for us was one! From that moment on, those believing Jesus is Savior and confessing that for their life are totally restored, forgiven, whole, and accepted into a right relationship with God. The thing I marvel at is that even in the end... Jesus paid for me, entirely, and I am now free and have all the inheritance of God’s blessing!

Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

Jesus. Paid. It. ALL! out of love for me, and for you. I did nothing to deserve this love, or gift and blessing of that love, and I can do nothing to lose it. Jesus. Paid. It ALL!

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Day of Victory!

     Today is Sunday, and it is the very first Easter!  It is the day after Sabbath.  That means the women that loved Jesus, could take the spices and perfumed oil and put them on His body.  Early in the morning, while it was still dark, three of the women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the disciple James, and Salome, went to the tomb. They talked among themselves about how they were going to get that huge, heavy stone rolled away from Jesus’ tomb so they could anoint His body.  Can you guess what they saw?  They saw the Roman guards.  Then, they saw a bright and beautiful angel, whose face was brilliant like lightening and whose clothes were as white as snow, coming down from, Heaven. As the angel was coming down, the ground began shake and the huge, heavy rock rolled away from the tomb.  The tomb opened up and the angel landed right on the large stone.  He sat on top it.  The guards shook with fear, and then they fainted!  The angel looked at the women and said, “Don’t be afraid!  I know you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified.  He isn’t here!  He is risen from the dead just as He said would happen.  Come, see where His body was laid.  And now, go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead and He is going ahead of you to Galilee.  You will see Him there.  Remember what I have told you.”  Wow!  Can you imagine how surprised the women were? 

     They were so delighted to hear that Jesus was alive.  They left right away and went to the disciples.  Peter and John went with them back to the tomb.  They did not believe what the women were saying.  When they got to the tomb, Peter went in first and John followed.  When they went in, they saw the linen wrappings lying there.  The cloth that had covered Jesus head was folded up.  They understood right then that Jesus was ALIVE!!  They understood that He really was Jesus, the Messiah.  They believed.  They were still a little afraid of the religious leaders and Roman soldiers, so they went home.  Mary Magdalene and the other women stayed.

     Mary Magdalene stood outside of the tomb crying.  She was so upset that Jesus was not there.  She loved Him so much.  She went into the tomb to be close to where Jesus had been.  Now, guess what she saw!  Two angels!  One was sitting at the head, and the other at the foot where Jesus’ body had been lying.  “Dear woman, why are you crying?”, the angels asked her.  She told the angels it was because someone had taken her Lord away, and she did not know where they had put Him.  
     Mary Magdalene turned to leave.  She saw someone standing there but she was so upset about not knowing where Jesus was, that she did not recognize Him.  The man asked her, “Dear woman, why are you crying?  Who are you looking for?”  She thought it might be the gardener.  Remember, this tomb is in a beautiful garden.  She said to the man, “Sir, if you have taken Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will go and get Him.”  

     Then the most WONDERFUL, AMAZING, AWESOME, BEAUTIFUL thing happened.  The man simply said, “Mary!”  Mary Magdalene’s heart began to beat quickly, it even jumped around inside her chest.  She could hardly catch her breath and nearly fainted herself.  She was so happy and began to run over to the Man.  When the Man said her name, there was such a sweetness about the way it sounded.  There was such love in His voice.  She recognized this voice.  IT WAS JESUS!  When He said her name, it healed her broken heart. 

     Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus after he rose from the dead.     The disciples were still hiding in a room because they were afraid of the religious leaders and Roman soldiers. Mary went to tell the disciples that she had seen Jesus.  Later that evening,  Jesus saw the disciples.  He knew they were shook up by all of this, and He knew they were afraid.  He said to them, “Peace be with you.”  One of the disciples, Thomas, doubted that this was really Jesus risen from the dead.  He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands.  Put your hand into the wound in my side.  Don’t be faithless any longer.  Believe!”  Thomas said with so much love, “My Lord and my God!”  He believed.  Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me.  Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

     Jesus was talking about us.  All of us!  If we will just believe in Jesus and follow Him, we will have the power to live winning lives.  We can have victory in everything.  Jesus overcame the biggest enemy, death.  And, He leaves us this power to live lives of victory.  We just have to choose, Jesus.
     Christmas, our biggest gift is that Jesus left Heaven to live here with us.  Easter, our biggest gift is that He died and overcame everything evil for us so we can live lives full of blessing, power and victory here, and forever with Him, in Heaven.  Thank You, Jesus!

   Today is a day about victory and love.  

   All praise and glory and honor to You, Jesus. Thank you for your grace and mercy and love. Thank You that I can live a victorious life here on this side of Glory, and then an eternal life with you when I get to Glory. I do not have words that can express how much I love and adore You. But I give you my life, every area of it. I will serve you all of my days and be with you in Heaven all of eternity! Happy dancing here!!!! Happy Easter, Jesus! Happy Easter, God! And while we are at it, thank You Holy Spirit for coming at Pentecost and staying with us here until we do go to our home in Heaven. Thank you for teaching, directing, guiding and staying with me to help me truly walk in love and make my Heavenly Father known. Happy Easter Holy Ghost!  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Day of Freedom

     So much happened yesterday all those years ago.  Some very sad things.  It is so hard to believe what those people did to Jesus.  How wonderful Jesus did that for us.  The religious leaders never tricked Him.  At any moment,  Jesus could have called on thousands of angels and they would have gotten Him out of all of what He went through.  He did what He did, because He obeyed His Father, God.  He knew He was the Messiah, and only He could make everything the Old Testament Scriptures said come true.  He did what He did because He loves us.  And what Jesus does today and tomorrow is very, VERY good news for us.  The religious leaders thought it was over and that they had won.  WRONG!!!!!!!!!

     They remembered that Jesus said He would come back to life in three days.  And, they were afraid that the disciples would steal His body out of the tomb.  So, the priests and Pharisees went back to Pilate to try to get Him to do one more thing.  They asked Governor Pilate to seal the tomb so that the disciples could not steal the body and then tell everyone Jesus had raised up out of His grave.  Pilate agreed to do this.  The guards, priests, and Pharisees went into the tomb to make sure Jesus was there.  His body was still lying there.  They then put a large stone in front of the tomb and sealed it very tight.  Pilate also put Roman guards there to guard the tomb for at least three days.

     Boy did these people miss it!!  Jesus’ body was there, but HE was not.  His Spirit had gone to the center of the earth.  He went down to Hades, or what we call, Hell.  He looked straight at the devil, who was the one behind all of the evil that happened this week, and took the keys of death and Hell away from Him!  Hallelujah!!!  The devil had been running over people and hurting them, stealing things from them, and killing them since he got Adam and Eve to sin against God in the, Garden of Eden.  God never wanted people to live in such a sad and hopeless way.  And now,  Jesus was putting everything back in order.  With His blood,  Jesus bought us back so we could be reconciled with God.   Jesus was beating the devil at his own game.  The devil always seeks to steal, destroy and kill anything or anyone he can. He will lie and do anything he can to pull people away from God and render them hopeless and  powerless.  Jesus just fixed all of that for us!  How wonderful!!   Jesus was out of His body and in Hell taking ALL power away from the devil.   Jesus was now the winner and the King over all, once and for all.   Just wait until you see what happens tomorrow!  

     Today Jesus delivers us once and for all.  He takes the keys back from the devil that have locked people up for  4,000 years.

     Thank You Jesus for taking on my griefs, my sicknesses, weaknesses and distresses and the pain of my punishment. Thank You for being pierced and bleeding for my transgressions, sin and rebellion, and bruised for my guilt from that sin. Thank You for the torment of my chastisement that You took on in my place so I could have the peace that goes beyond understanding. Thank You Jesus for taking that horrible whipping that broke Your flesh so that my flesh could be whole; because by your stripes I was be healed. And then after that, You go to Hell to take the keys of dominion and blessing God gave us in the beginning away from Satan that he has held since the day Adam and Eve handed them over in exchange for a bite of fruit. I am having a hard time here not breaking out in full praise, but tomorrow ..... oh Jesus tomorrow!!!!!!!!! Thank you!  \o/