Does the resurrection of Jesus have any effect on you today? I hope so. Because it changed everything. The new normal invites us deeper into hope and joy. How do you respond? That is the question, my friend. Day in, day out.
Resurrection joy and power are real and at our service as God’s children. Nothing is the same anymore. Does it matter to us that Jesus is alive and well? Do we let God move freely in our lives? How do we respond to Jesus asking “Do you want to get well?” as he asked the lame man at Bethesda (John 5:1-15).
Jesus offers us life and light. How do we respond? He asks if we want to be saved, healed, put together? Do we – like the lame man – offer explanations (or excuses) why we haven’t done it ourselves. Or do we just say “Yes”?
You see, Jesus is not interested in our explanations or excuses. He knows them, he knows us. And he loves us just as we are. Jesus only wants to know if we want him to heal us. If we want to receive life upon life and if we are ready to follow him, live the resurrection life. Not by our own power but by his resurrection power.
Deeper into Hope and JoyIf we accept Jesus’ invitation, we are headed deeper into hope and joy. That’s what resurrection power does. It changes us – slowly but surely – into Christ-likeness. And the more we become like Jesus, the deeper our hope and joy are.
So, how are you really doing now that this year’s Easter weekend is over? Hopefully, you are refilled with hope and joy. That’s why we need to relive the crucifixion and resurrection year after year. By grace, we delve deeper into hope and joy and are empowered to keep on fighting the good fight of faith. Then, by grace, we are able to live out the new normal where death and evil do not have the last word. Where hope and joy are reality. Because Jesus lives and prepares us for the future in heaven.
:A VERY FUN CHRISTIAN SONG WATCH IT HERE!! i'M TRYING TO GET UNION TO ADOPT THIS SONG
If you don't already have it, I highly recommend the YOU VERSION Bible App..available for Android and Iphones and tablets..Its used exclusively at Union Church, great Bible reading lessons, its EASY TO USE AND FREE!! What more can you ask for?? Click on the picture below: Many FREE bible versions included as well
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I will either muck it up or make it clearer than it has been for you before....Here goes
Do you have unspoken prayers? During community prayer gatherings these prayers are often referred to as special intentions because they are shared between God and the individual only. Many if not most of our prayers go unshared with others. These prayers are intimate and we choose to keep them to ourselves. The good news is, “God hears what is not spoken and understands what is not explained.”
When others don’t know…God knows. What others don’t hear or see God hears and sees. There are some things that go best unsaid and it’s the same with our prayers. When necessary our deepest desires, hopes and anguish can remain a private and intimate conversation with God. We know that God answers spoken and unspoken prayers. What unspoken prayer has God answered in your life? If it’s ok, please share with us.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus's cry of dereliction from the cross recorded in Mark 15:33-34 haunts us each Lenten season. Traditionally, the church sets aside this season to ponder the deep mystery of God sundered from God, the eternal Son cast out from the Father's presence as he bears the weight of our sin. But this cry from the cross is not simply a spontaneous shout of anguish from a forlorn soul. Rather, as the footnotes in our Bibles tell us, Jesus is quoting Scripture—to be precise, Psalm 22. Why did Jesus quote Psalm 22 from the cross? And why did Mark record it?
How Jesus used ScriptureWe might think that Jesus, steeped as he was in the Scriptures and traditions of Israel, simply and unconsciously expressed his emotions in scriptural terms. “Jesus bled Scripture,” as some notable church leaders have said. While this is no doubt true, there is likely more going on. Jesus did everything with intentionality, even in the throes of death. And the Gospel writers—in this case, Mark—who collected and recorded his sayings did the same, painstakingly selecting and choosing from the myriad of things that Jesus said and did throughout his lifetime to present their portraits of Christ (see John 20:30; Luke 1:1-4).
The reason Jesus and the New Testament writers quote verses from the Old Testament is that the Old Testament helps to clarify what is in the New. We would miss something if we read in isolation Old Testament verses or passages explicitly quoted in the New Testament. Instead, the aim is usually to direct the audience to the entire context of those Old Testament passages, which help them frame, interpret, and apply what is going on in the New Testament.
What this means is that we modern readers can gain a deeper understanding of certain passages of Scripture if we read them in their Old and New Testament contexts. To be sure, some of these connections will be clearer than others. But don’t give up! As we grow in our ability to see how intricately connected the Old and New Testaments are, we’ll become better readers of both. Taking time to make these connections doesn’t only help us to better understand Scripture, but can also lead us to greater depths of worship as we gain fresh insights into God’s heart and the wisdom of his great redemptive plan. Let's look at how this might apply to Psalm 22:1 quoted in Mark’s Crucifixion narrative (15:33-34).
How Jesus experienced the crossFirst, we read the entire Psalm. (If you’re able, read through Psalm 22 on your Bible or Bible app now). When we do, what probably strikes us at first is how vividly sad it is, notwithstanding a note of hope in the concluding verses. We are treated to an up-close and personal look at an individual who is suffering terribly at the hands of cruel men. Scholars call this type of psalm an “individual lament,” a song that expresses the pain of a pious soul surrounded by enemies.
The swoon theory is one of Satan's oldest lies concerning the Resurrection. This theory proposes that Jesus did not rise from the dead, because He never really died. Instead, Jesus went into a deep coma or "swoon" from the severe pain and trauma of the Crucifixion. Then, in the cool atmosphere of the tomb, Christ revived, somehow escaped the strips of cloths that were wrapped tightly upon Him, and then appeared to His disciples.
The swoon theory flies in the face of the facts. You see, the Roman guards were experts at execution and would be put to death if they allowed a condemned man, like Christ, to escape death. The guards were certain Jesus was dead, because when they thrust a spear into His side, it brought forth blood and water. This was their final proof of His death because this occurs when the heart stops beating.
Why do we do the things that we do?
Science research tells us that everything a person puts into their mind, sticks–every word, every image, every idea that someone allows into their mind, stays there. The Bible tells us that what we believe (what is in our minds) determines what we do. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he (a person) thinks within himself, so he is” (NASB, emphasis added). So think about it—what is in your mind comes out in your behavior! Consider the enormous growing pool of information in your mind, most of which is subconscious. You have information coming to you from all kinds of sources. That subconscious information is influencing your behavior.
In the field of computer science they use the phrase, “Garbage in, garbage out.” This phrase is used primarily to call attention to the fact that computers will unquestioningly process the most nonsensical of input data (“garbage in”) and produce nonsensical output (“garbage out”). It was most popular in the early days of computing, but applies even more today, when powerful computers can spew out mountains of erroneous information in a short time. In other words, what you put in is what you are going to get out!
What is in your mind comes out in your behavior!What types of things go into your mind on a regular basis?
In what ways is the information going into your mind currently affecting you? Are you making wise decisions? Does your behavior reflect your relationship with God?
Picture your mind as a huge “Vat” with two big faucets pouring everything you hear, see, smell, read, and experience into that “Vat.” One pipe is pumping in the world’s point of view, and the other pipe is pumping in God’s truths. You determine how much of each kind of information is coming into your Vat!
Your thoughts, values, decisions, beliefs, fears, joys, emotions and attitudes are all by-products of what is in your Vat! The great theologian A. W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Consider that truth for a moment: [gn_highlight bg=”#CCDDEE” color=”#000000″]The most important thing about you is what you think when you think about God! [/gn_highlight]What do you think about God? Is your information accurate? Is it based on the Bible … or on what you’ve simply “heard” about God? It’s important that you have correct information about God coming into your Vat--and the most reliable source for that information is the Bible.
Is it hard for you to ask for advice? Do you rather wander aimlessly around than humble yourself and ask for help? Why is it so hard to admit that we are lost? It must be pride. We want to pretend at all cost that we know what we are doing. But the sooner we admit we are clueless, the sooner we are en route in the right direction. This is also true in our spiritual life.
We don’t need to know everything. Actually, I find people who ask poignant questions to be the most effective and powerful. They get the info they need when they need it and then they’re ready to move along like pros. That’s how I want to live my life. I want to be good at asking questions and gathering knowledge. Especially in spiritual matters.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Just ask GodGod is the source of all that is worth knowing. And he is the ultimate guide because he knows what’s best for us. Why don’t we then just ask him for direction and help? For the same reasons, we don’t ask for help from others. Pride. Stupidity.
Or we think we should not bother God Almighty with our problems. But, boy, we couldn’t be more wrong. God is waiting for us to come to him with anything and everything that runs through our minds. Really. How else could he help us?
So just ask God what he thinks of your situation, your thoughts, your future. So go ahead. Just ask God whatever you’ve always wanted to ask. Talk to him. Then listen. Pay attention. God adores to communicate with you.
When we are low, we don’t need lectures. There’s no need to point out the obvious. Instead, we need help and, especially, hope. And that’s what God provides us no matter how badly we have messed up. With God, there’s always hope. And then some. God gives hope upon hope.
We can’t say the same about our enemy. Because his goal is to kill and destroy. When we’ve messed up, our enemy is more than happy to tell us just that. He readily points out how this was the last straw and how there’s no hope left for us. Our enemy wants to kill any spark of hope we still have. And he does that by lying. Do not be fooled. Instead, turn to God. You will be blessed.
However, when you’ve messed up, God is not going sugar-coat it. He calls you to repent. Because that’s the only way that will bless you in the long run. God wants to offer you help, he has plenty of grace to share. He wants to wash you squeaky-clean and show you a way forward. God gives hope upon hope. And then some.
God gives hope upon hopeFor I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
We have an awesome God who wants what’s best for us. Repenting is not fun but it cleanses us and gives us a new start. We can always – no matter how badly we have messed up – turn to God and he will help us. So do not despair. There’s always hope.
Christian hope is not wishful thinking but everlasting hope that will not let us down. And we don’t get just a little bit of hope. God gives hope upon hope, more hope than we will ever need. So let’s embrace it and live in it. And let’s rejoice!
What is your favorite place in the whole wide world? Maybe a place where you are safe and secure and feel loved as you are? I hope you have such a place. But if not, know that you are more than welcome into Jesus’ arms. It’s not only the best place but also the safest place in the world. How come?
Because it’s a place where we find rest, peace, and grace upon grace. And as Warren Wiersbe has said, “The safest place in all the world is in the will of God, and the safest protection in all the world is the name of God.”
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].
The safest place in the world When we follow Jesus, we are safe and secure, always and everywhere. There is no place where God’s grace does not work. With the words of John Newton “If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer – His grace sufficient, His promise unchangeable.”
The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thess. 3:3, NIV,*)
All the promises of the Bible are also for you and me. Hence we can count on them. But as Hannah Whitall Smith points out, resting in God’s grace is the best, the sweetest, and the safest place in the world: “Once I knew what it was to rest upon the rock of God’s promises, and it was indeed a precious resting place, but now I rest in His grace. He is teaching me that the bosom of His love is a far sweeter resting-place than even the rock of His promises.”
If Jesus is our favorite place in the world, we are always at home (no matter wher we are), always safe and secure, always loved and at peace. I take it. With great joy.
“A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.” Proverbs 17:27 (NLT)
When I gave my life to Christ, almost instantly I asked Him, “Now what?” I had heard somewhere that God had a plan for my life, but I didn’t have a clue what that could be. So, I started to read my Bible and pray a lot. The book of Proverbs helped me decipher God’s will for my life. It transformed me, and I’ve never looked back.
When I discovered God’s purpose for my life I had to clean up my act. By that, I mean I had to clean up my heart. In Matthew 15:18, Jesus wisely cautioned us: “But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.” It’s imperative to make sure our hearts are clean so that what comes out of our mouths is holy, kind and loving.