Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hallelujah, Christ is risen!


      And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. Mark 16:6 

 
Hallelujah, Christ is risen. Can you imagine the words being said to the disciples? They were mourning and weeping then someone comes to share the Good News. He is not dead, but alive, He is risen!!

This is exactly what happened over 2000 years ago. Three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome, went to the grave to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. Arriving early in the morning, before sunrise, they came to the tomb. They were shocked to see the great big stone rolled away from the mouth of the tomb. Who could have possibly moved the stone? It was large and had been sealed by Pilate’s order.

They entered the tomb and were startled to see a man sitting on the side. Could this be an angel? The women were frighten. “Do not be afraid”, he said,” Jesus is risen. He is not here, come and see where he laid. Go and tell Peter and the disciples.”

Shocked, afraid, and amazed are just a few of the words describing the emotions of the women. They could not believe their ears, Jesus was alive. Mary went and told the disciples, they came to the grave and Mary followed. The disciples left with heaviness of heart but Mary remained. She saw a man she thought was the gardener and asked what had become of Jesus’ body. The man spoke to her and she knew it was Jesus.  Now she knew first hand that Jesus was alive. She quickly went to the disciples and told them the great news. Sadly at this time the disciples did not believe her. A short time later Jesus appeared to the disciples and rebuked them for their unbelief.

How about you this glorious Easter morning? Are you a “Mary Magdalene” and believe or a “disciple” and disbelieve? Jesus is real, Jesus is alive and He is waiting to receive you.

(Resurrection account: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20)

Please take a minute to read the words from an old hymn.

Christ Arose
Robert Lowry
Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus my Lord!

Refrain:
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus my Lord!
Death cannot keep its Prey,
Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away,
Jesus my Lord!


Have a wonderful day with family and friends, keep the true meaning of Easter in your heart.

Have a blessed day,
Donna

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Meaningful Songs



The Bible is silent about the day before Jesus rose from the grave, but a couple of songwriters have put their thoughts on paper summing up exactly what Jesus did for you and me.


I Should Have Been Crucified
Gordon Jensen

I was guilty with nothing to say,
And they were coming to take me away.
But then a voice from heaven was heard, which said,
“Turn him loose, and take me instead!”

Chorus:
And I should have been crucified,
I should have suffered and died.
I should have hung on the cross in disgrace,
But Jesus, God’s Son, took my place.

Crown of thorns, the spear in His side,
And all the pain should have been mine.
Those rusty nails were meant for me,
But Jesus took them, and let me go free!


Jesus Paid It All
Elvina Hall
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Refrain:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.


Have you walked the Romans Road?

The Romans Road is a group of Bible verses that show the way of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
The Bible says no one is innocent.

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin.  We were born under the power of sin's control.
- Admit that you are a sinner.

Romans 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
We all have original sin from Adam, the first man.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; …
Sin has an ending.  It results in death.  We all face physical death, which is a result of sin.  But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity.
- Understand that you deserve death for your sin.

Romans 6:23  … but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Praise God that verse 23 doesn’t end with death. The verse continues BUT (God gives us a choice)
Salvation is a free gift from God to you!  You can't earn this gift, but you must reach out and receive it.
- Ask God to forgive you and save you.

Luke 13:3  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Repent means to think differently. We need to think differently about our sin and turn from it.

Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus died for our sin, your sin and mine . He paid the price for all sin, when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross.

Romans 10:9 -10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10]  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- If you know that God is knocking on your heart's door, ask Him to come into your heart.

Pray and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin and come into your life and save you. Repent and turn to Him.

Have a blessed day,
Donna

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seven Statements from the Cross

1. Forgiveness
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do… Luke 23:34 

2. Hope
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43 

3. Compassion
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. John 19:26

4. Abandonment
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Mat 27:46 

5. Suffering
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. John 19:28 

6. Completion
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. John 19:30 

7. Satisfaction
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Luke 23:46 

As you reflect on these verses remember Jesus did this for YOU.

Praise Him for His sacrifice.

Have a blessed day,
Donna

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Abiding


Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.   John 15:4-5

As Holy Week was coming to an end Jesus again takes the opportunity to teach the disciples. There is a long discourse of what they need to do; take a few minutes to read and meditate on John chapter 15.

I believe He is speaking to His disciples as well as Christians today. Here are some highlights:

Verse 1:
Jesus is the vine and His Father is the husbandman. God takes care of us.

Verse 4:
Abide in Jesus and He will abide in you. Abide in the Greek means to stay (in a given place), dwell, endure, be present, remain.
We need to stay right next to Jesus. When we abide in Him we will receive all the strength we need to get through each and every day.

Verse 5:
Jesus is the vine we are the branches. To bear fruit we must abide in Him. Without Him we are nothing. Without Him is the same thing as separated from Him. Albert Barnes says, “As the branches, if separated from the parent stock, could produce no fruit, but would immediately wither and die, so Christians, if separate from Christ, could do nothing.”

Verse 6:
When we do not abide in Him, we will wither away (or dry up). We have a choice, accept or reject Him.

Verse 8:
Jesus wants the disciples and us to bear much fruit. We need to apply the “fruit of the spirit” to our lives to show forth and share with others.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23  Meekness, temperance: … Galatians 5:22-23

Verse 9:
As God loves Jesus, Jesus loves us, continue in His love. Show His love to others in word, action and deed.

Verse 10:
When you keep His commandments you will abide in His love. Abide means to stay in a given place. We will be close to Him. Jesus is trying to stress that the disciples need to abide. Abide with Him.

Verse 12:
Love one another.

Verse 13:
No greater love than when a man lays down His life for His friends. Jesus loves us so much he was willing to die for us.

Verse 14:
We are His friends if we do what He says.

Verse 17:
Love one another.

Verse 26:
Jesus will send a Comforter which is the Holy Spirit.

This was one of the last times the disciples were with Jesus before He was killed. He was preparing them for the time after He was physically gone.

We need to abide in Him. When we pull away from the vine all strength is zapped out of us. We cannot get nourishment unless we are attached to the vine.

Abide in Him today.

Have a blessed day,
Donna

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Be Ready


Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:  4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.  5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.  6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.  7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.  8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.  10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.  11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.  13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.   Matthew 25:1-13

As Holy week continued Jesus taught whenever he had the opportunity. He knew His earthly time was coming to an end. He taught parables, some about His second coming. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Here we have a story about ten young women going to a wedding. A wedding is a wonderful celebration and a time for great rejoicing. People would dress up and get “ready” for the feast. They would also bring lamps with oil to light up the path for the celebration which would last late into the night.

When we go to a wedding today we get ready before we get there. Everything is done before we enter into the church or reception. We make sure we are clean and showered, not a hair out of place, makeup and jewelry perfect. Our clothing is pressed and everything matches.

The parable tells us that five of the young women were prepared and five were not prepared. The five that were not prepared thought about it too late. Who would ever use a lamp and not bring oil to fill it? Weddings were typically held at night. The people attending knew they were held at night, and a lamp would be needed.

The foolish, or unprepared, fell asleep not thinking of the empty lamps. In the middle of a nice nap a loud cry is made, “The Bridegroom is here go and meet him”. All of a sudden the foolish realize they have no oil, the path will not be lit for them. They run to the wise and say, “Give us some oil, our lamps are dry.”

“We cannot do that”, say the wise “there is not enough for both of us. Go and buy some oil for yourself.” The foolish left and missed the Bridegroom, by the time they came back it was too late, the door was shut and they could not get in.

Are we watching and waiting for the Lord? Are we so busy in the busyness of life that we totally forget about God and His word during the week?

Are we prepared for the coming of the Lord? When the trumpet sounds, it will be too late (I Corinthians 15:52). Now is the accepted time, now is the time of salvation. (II Corinthians 6:2)

Have a blessed day,
Donna

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Judas Iscariot: A heartbreaking story



 3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.  4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.  5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.  6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. Luke 22:3-6 

Remember as a child, people asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We all had aspirations when we were younger. There were certain professions we would love to do and others that we would never dream of doing.

How about Judas? Did he realize that he would betray the Son of God? Did he plan this ever since he was young? I don’t think so; I believe the seed of deception started as an adult. John McArthur says, “He followed Jesus out of a desire for selfish gain, worldly ambition, avarice, and greed.” Judas wanted the power that Christ had. His motives were wrong, dead wrong.

The Bible says, Satan entered Judas, but Satan doesn’t just enter someone. One needs to entertain the thoughts of evil, mulling it over and over in the mind. This thought did not just “pop” into Judas’ mind. Remember when Mary poured the ointment on Jesus. What was Judas’ thinking? What a waste of money, this could be used for the “poor”. He didn’t care for the poor anymore than he cared for Jesus. It was all a facade. He was in it for himself. Everything he did revolved around him.

One of my grandmother’s favorite sayings was, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” by Sir Walter Scott. This basically sums up the life of Judas. It was a very sad life indeed.

Let’s not waste our life like Judas but use it to the glory of God. I’ll end with this poem.

Only One Life
by C.T. Studd

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life's busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in 'that day' my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgment seat;
Only one life, ‘twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God's holy will to cleave;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
Living for self or in His will;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e'er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, "twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say, "Thy will be done";
And when at last I'll hear the call,
I know I'll say "twas worth it all";
Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.

Have a blessed day,
Donna

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cleansing the temple

And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; 16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.  Mark 11:15-18

The day after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus visits the temple. He was extremely displeased with what He saw, men selling animals for sacrifices, people using the temple and courtyard like they would a market place. People were carrying vessels through the temple, using the temple as “a shortcut” maybe to get to another section of the city.

We are appalled when we read what the people of this time were doing. Some might say, “I would never do anything like that in God’s house”. “I am always respectful when I’m in church.”

Are you? Are you always respectful with God’s temple? Do you treat God’s temple the way He wants it treated? In the Old Testament the temple of God was referring to the physical building where the people worshiped and sacrificed. In the New Testament the temple of God is referring to us, our bodies. We are the temple of God.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 1 Corinthians 3:17 

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1Corinthians 6:19 

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2 Corinthians 6:16 

These verses are very convicting. What we put on, put in, put around our bodies does affect the temple of God. It does affect our relationship with God.

What do we put into the temple today? Our temple is not meant to have “other things” clutter it up. Is the temple of our heart being shared with “idols”. An idol is anything we put before God. Do we make excuses for why we can’t read the Bible, but have time to read everything else. I know I have been there.  Pray and ask the Lord to help you keep His temple clean.

 Have a blessed day, 
Donna