It’s Easter Sunday

He held my sins in His hands as the nails were pierced through… wow!  So many thoughts come to mind, but it humbles me to think that Christ suffered such pain and disgrace for me.  I need a Savior – I’m the first to admit it.  To say thank You just seems insufficient and unimpressive.  I understand now that the Lord doesn’t want fancy words.  He wants my life to reflect my relationship with Him.  Actions really do speak louder than words.

What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ mean to you?  When God raised Christ from the dead (yes, He was dead – not stunned), He paid our sin debt!  There is no greater love than that!  This means that through Christ, we are able to claim complete VICTORY!  God doesn’t do anything halfway.  The price is paid, and all we have to do is claim the victory.  Accept the sacrifice He made at Calvary and live like the blessed child of God you are.

We are blessed and even though temptations and yes, sin sometimes gets in the way – we know that Christ will help us get total victory over all of it.  He didn’t save me just to leave me standing in a cold, dark place.  He saved me to guide and direct me closer to Him.  We will mess up sometimes – whoppers of messes sometimes!  But we know whatever comes along, the sacrifice that Christ made for us is greater than our sins.

Should we linger on the sins we’ve committed?  No.  Satan would like nothing better.  Lingering on the sins is polarizing!  Ask God to forgive your sins – and keep moving, leaning on Him to help you out of sin and closer to Him.  Trust that God forgives you and move on.  There’s not a thing you can do about yesterday.  Just make tomorrow better with God’s help.

Jesus Christ is ALIVE – ready to help us live in total VICTORY!!!  Will you seek Him?  There’s not a sin He can’t forgive.  There’s not a temptation He can’t overcome.  Plea the blood of Christ over it, know it’s covered, go on to the next thing.  Praise God for the victory through the resurrection of Christ!  Hallelujah! 

Not that I want to mention April Fool’s Day and Easter in the same sentence…  but someone challenged Lucinda to write a poem about it.  And, well…  she nailed it!  Take a look at this:

Isn’t that great?  There’s no FOOLIN’ about it!  Happy Easter, everyone!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text.  – Martin Luther

It’s only because of Christ and all He’s done for us that we have eternal life.  His grace is the key to our salvation.

Adam’s sin resulted in death for all who are in him, but Jesus Christ’s obedience in going to the cross resulted in justification of life for all who are in Him. Adam’s sin was credited to all his descendants, but Christ’s righteousness is credited to all who are His descendants through faith in Him.  – Stephen J. Cole

We don’t earn eternal life – but we humble ourselves with grateful hearts before the cross of Christ.  We rely upon His grace and mercy in our lives and for our afterlives.  We can make Heaven our home forever if we believe and claim His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross.

Yes, Adam sank our spiritual ship, but God has thrown a life preserver to us. His name is Jesus! What Adam did was the worst thing that ever happened, but what Christ did was the best thing that ever happened.  – Keith Krell

Grace is free to us but very costly to God. – Keith Krell

Even at our worst God loves us.  – Jerry Cosper

God’s the only One who could possibly provide the perfect sacrifice for the horrific sin of man.  As much as we want to think that being a “good person” is enough to earn life in Heaven one day, it’s just not true.  Without the cleansing blood of Christ, we cannot be saved.

We’re not keen on being represented by Adam, but the truth is, if any of us had been the first man, we would not have done anything differently.  The fact is, sin is in this fallen world – but the good news is the gospel of Christ!  He died on Calvary’s cross and that is the only hope for fallen man.  Believe today on Him and you will be saved.  🙂

THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

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The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.  – Acts 17:24-25

MERRY CHRIST-MAS!!!  I know what you’re thinking…  what a strange Christmas song to talk about on Christmas Day.  Well, I haven’t gone off the deep end…  yet.  Wait, let me double-check.  Nope…  I’ve still got it together!

This is my favorite Christmas carol – and let me tell you why.

The little drummer boy is completely fictional and not biblically based, as we all know; however, that little boy represents us as Christians.  He loves the baby Jesus and wants to give his very BEST to Him.  Why?  The passage in Acts makes it perfectly clear that Jesus doesn’t NEED anything from us, but we NEED everything from Him.  Well, he wanted to give his best because he knew to Whom he played.  We give because we love.  It’s as simple as that.  He loved us first – but we give because of love.

Today I wonder if we give our very best to Him?  In our daily lives, do others see our relationship with Christ?  Do we do for others because they are God’s children and we have a desire to be representatives of Christ to them?

I pray that every day I strive to do something good for someone – EVEN if that something good is praying for a friend.

If you had been in Bethlehem, what would you do?  Would you give Him the very best you have to give?  Just something to think about today – on Jesus’ birthday.

if-i-were-thereMy will, my life, my heart.  ❤

This song reminds me that I need to give my best to Him.  Pa Rum pa pum pum…  🙂

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

I’m going to take a little break from writing, but I will be back for the new year, refreshed and focused.  I want to give my BEST to Him…  pa rum pa pum pum.  meerkat-459171__340

This is me when I’m taking a break from writing – except I’ll have a TV remote.

May God richly bless you in the coming year.  I believe 2017 will be the best year yet!  I’m going to rest my brain and my fingers this week, but I’m looking forward to doors of opportunity opening as God leads me to exciting new writing challenges!

Let’s end 2016 with a prayer…  asking our Heavenly Father to prepare our hearts to give the best we have to offer today and in the future.

drummer-boy-prayerOne final note – but it’s important.  Thank you SO MUCH for following this blog and reading it every day.  I hope and pray that something along the way has encouraged and inspired you in some way.  I appreciate those who have followed me on Twitter and facebook.  I pray for you every day.  There are so many needs, but we serve a BIG God – He’s bigger than any problem we encounter here.  Have a wonderful week.  Look for me again on January 1st.  🙂

ROMANS 6:23 ON 6/23

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For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  – Romans 6:23

When we are hired to do a job, we are paid wages (hopefully).  Wages is a monetary payment for work done.  Mankind has a sin debt because we are born sinful.  The only way we can cancel that debt is…  well we can’t cancel the debt – it’s only the sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the cross at Calvary that makes that debt go away.  The verse is not speaking of physical death, but is contrasting spiritual death with eternal life.  If we believe with everything in us that He paid the debt for our sins – then and only then will be receive eternal life and live forever in heaven with God the Father.A WAGE OR A GIFT

All men are the slaves of sin or of righteousness.  God gives us a choice to be a slave of one or the other – no fence walking.  The person who does not place his or her faith in Jesus Christ will receive the wages of sin.  That’s why I write every day, along with prayers that someone will read this blog and receive Christ as their Savior.  I don’t want anyone to miss heaven – God doesn’t want anyone to miss heaven either.  He gives good gifts – very good gifts – and this is the best gift of all.  He sent His only Son to die – to cover our sin debt.  All who receive Him and His sacrifice will also receive eternal life with Him.  Pretty cool, huh?

MUCH TO GAIN

If you choose to be a slave of sin, there is still a wage and it is spiritual death.  It’s sad and void of hope.  It is not God’s will or His plan, but if you reject His will and plan, then you have made your decision and you’ve made your choice.  If you choose to be a slave of righteousness, then you have given your whole self over to the Lord, admitting that you need Him in your heart and life.  It’s at that moment your life changes forever.  Faith is a wonderful gift, along with God’s supernatural and constant presence in your life, and the promise of eternal life.  Life without end – with Him – yeah!  What a blessing!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

MEMORIAL DAY

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Praise the Lord, who is my rock.  He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer.  He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.  Psalm 144:1-2

That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.  – Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863

Precious Heavenly Father,

As Americans pause today to remember those in the military who have given their lives for the freedom we enjoy, we pray You would remind us to look to You for strength, comfort and guidance.  Be close to all who serve in our Armed Forces.  Bless them and their loved ones.  Grant them with Your loving protection and let peace prevail among the nations, O God.  Let Your mercy rest upon our land, even as we acknowledge with thanksgiving Your blessings on America in the past.  We pray Your perfect will be done in all our lives, and that our men and women in uniform be protected by Your Almighty hand.  We pray You turn both military and civilian hearts to Your holy Word where true peace for sinful souls exceeds all human understanding.  May we repent of sin and walk so closely to You, Lord, and find Your saving grace on a daily basis.  It’s in the matchless name of Jesus, our Savior and Your beloved Son, who alone gives this peace and hope for eternity, we pray,

Amen.

Customs surrounding Memorial Day have changed so much since it began back during the Civil War.  For starters, it was first known as Decoration Day and was not always observed on the last Monday of May.  We should try to keep some decorum though, I believe.  Our society has become so casual – and we need to know the “do’s and don’ts” about Memorial Day.

General Orders No. 11 stated that “in this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed,” but over time several customs and symbols became associated with the holiday.

• It is customary on Memorial Day to fly the flag at half-staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.

• Taps, the 24-note bugle call, is played at all military funerals and memorial services. It originated in 1862 when Union Gen. Dan Butterfield “grew tired of the ‘lights out’ call sounded at the end of each day,” according to The Washington Post. Together with the brigade bugler, Butterfield made some changes to the tune.

Not long after, the melody was used at a burial for the first time when a battery commander ordered it played in lieu of the customary three rifle volleys over the grave. The battery was so close to enemy lines, and the commander was worried the shots would spark renewed fighting.

• The World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrea, inspired the Memorial Day custom of wearing red artificial poppies. In 1915, a Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker named Moina Michael began a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute to veterans and for “keeping the faith with all who died.” The sale of poppies has supported the work of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

I have to admit, I did not know about the poppies.  It’s important that we learn about customs so we can keep them alive.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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THE DAY THAT CHRIST WAS GONE

Imagine how the death of Christ affected the people.  The confusion, feeling of despair and wondering why this had to happen and asking what was the point of it must have prevailed throughout the area where the Master once taught, healed, lived.  Jesus tried to explain, but they just didn’t understand – and I don’t judge them for that – would we have understood?  Nothing like that had happened before – or has happened since.

People in our world today still ask why Christ came to earth as a baby and was raised as a human – just to end up suffering the worst beating ever and ultimately dying on a cross.  It’s our favorite question to ask, isn’t it – WHY?

BY HIS WOUNDS

One word – SALVATION.  Christ was the only sacrifice that was worthy to bridge the gap between God and fallen man.  Did He want to go through this?  Have you read the prayer He prayed at Golgotha?  He asked if he could skip it…  but ultimately, for weak sinful people – ones that His Father, God, created and still loved – He went through with His Father’s plan.

So He died – and He’s buried.  Was that the end of the story?  I’m so tempted to say…  tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story…  (what can I say – I miss Paul Harvey!) 

Some churches do a lot of talking about where Jesus “went” (for lack of a better word) – after He died.  Of course we are speaking of His Spirit, not His actual physical body.  His Spirit went to the bosom of Abraham, I’ve been told.  His Spirit went to get the keys from the devil, I’ve also been told.  Frankly, the church I was raised in was not big on talking about that day in-between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  I have wondered though – so I’m going to do what I always do.  I’m going to see what Scripture I can find about it.

There’s not much there…  but I’ll share with you what I’ve found.

David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.  – Acts 2:31

God would not leave Him among the dead or allow His body to rot in the grave.  It’s just like our Father, isn’t it?  He will take care of us in the same way, you know.  As Christ is His child – so are we if we have accepted Him into our hearts and lives.

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.   Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  – Psalm 16:10-11

At Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  Isn’t that a comfort?  Amen!

One song comes to mind – HE HOLDS THE KEYS!  And I’ve heard many people sing it, but there’s only one Steve Green.

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Hang on to hope…  not to be a spoiler, but Christ did not stay in the tomb!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEBREWS 10:16 ON 10/16

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This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  – Hebrews 10:16-17

Before Christ, our high priest, shed His precious blood for us, there were many animal sacrifices made under the old law.  And, it couldn’t be just any ol’ scraggly critter either.  The animal offered for sacrifice had to be spotless.  Under the old law, sacrifices often had to be repeated.  It was a necessity – done out of a sense of duty.

Once Christ shed His blood for the sins of the world, it was enough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, or being freed from punishment in the afterlife.  Christians are encouraged to persevere in their faith through Christ Jesus.  Now we live not under the law, but under grace.  We serve Christ from a sense of love.

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That is the new covenant and no human inventions can be put in the place of the ultimate sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  No other sacrifice will ever be needed.  By faith we embrace this precious gift from God.  It’s the best gift He ever gave us – if we will seek Christ and accept His sacrifice, God promises (the covenant) He will not remember our sins (iniquities).  We can go through life clean, forgiven and free.

Have you heard the age-old definition of JUSTIFICATION?  I heard this from Billy Graham many years ago.  Justification is just as if you had never sinned.  Once you know your sins are forgiven – they are forgiven forever.

 

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.   – Jeremiah 31:33

What a difference it is to be free from the law and live a life of freedom under the gospel!  We no longer have to take a goat to the temple and sacrifice it in order for our sins to be forgiven.  Then later, have to take another goat to the temple and sacrifice it to have our sins forgiven.  The law represents duty – but then Christ willingly gave His life at Calvary.

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. – Jacqueline Winspear

Now we live under grace…  and I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful.  The grace of regeneration, which changes hearts and lives and gives us all we need for Christian service to others.  It’s not a cold law, rather a warm invitation wrapped in God’s love. 

 

 

 

HEBREWS 10:10 ON 10/10

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We have been made holy through the single offering of Jesus Christ’s body – Hebrews 10:10

Am I holy because of anything I say or do?  NO!  Anything I am or strive to be is because of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.  My holiness is all about Him and has nothing to do with me.  Whatever is in my heart which is holy, or whatever influences are brought to bear upon me to make me holy, is all to be traced to the fact that Christ became obedient unto death, and was willing to offer His body as a sacrifice for my sin.

AN ADDED GIFT

Some denominations refer to being holy as being “sanctified” or they call it “second blessing holiness”.  When God makes someone holy, it means that the person belongs to God in a special way.  He separates them from other people, for Himself.

It’s God’s will (desire, plan) for people to be holy.  In Hebrews 10:10, these people were once God’s enemies.  They did many wrong and evil things against Him.  But now God has saved (rescued) them, so they have become His people.  He has separated them so that they belong to Him in a special way.

In biblical times the sacrifice of animals made God’s house holy.  Then a better a more glorious sacrifice has made God’s people holy.  Of course that sacrifice was the death of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  He carried out God’s will to make His people holy.

Animal sacrifices happened often.  The priests’ work was never complete or perfect.  Because of the single complete and perfect sacrifice of Christ, we live in a state of grace and mercy.

The sacrifice of Christ makes unholy people holy.  Because of Christ’s death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, we are separated and belong to God in a special way.

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I’m so glad I’m one of Jesus’ sheep, aren’t you?  Baa…  😉

ROMANS 10:9 ON 10/9

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 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  – Romans 10:9

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We live in a society that thinks it is ENTITLED to everything.  We deserve everything for doing nothing.  We put in very little effort or none at all.  That tiny word “IF” really bothers some people.  IF they have to put forth one iota of effort, forget it – they don’t want it.

When it comes to your eternal life, don’t you think it’s worth investing some time, talent and treasure?  The Savior of your soul, Christ Jesus – He invested more than you ever will.  He willingly gave Himself – literally – painfully – lovingly.  So, IF you think the conditions are too strenuous or too demanding, I suggest you take a look in your Bible at the account of Christ’s crucifixion.  You know, if He had not followed through (and by the way, He most certainly would not have had to), where would you and I be?  We would be lost for all eternity – and that’s not a thought I like to dwell on for very long.  Eternity is forever…  jus’ sayin!

We should be praising God and humbly thanking Him every moment of every day for the sacrifice He made so that we could have life everlasting in Paradise!  So many think they have found Paradise on this earth, but just wait…  the best is yet to come!  Sometimes I envy my family because they are already there.  I’m still stuck down here where there is anything but peace!

I guess God’s not done with me yet.  I guess I’m still here to write about God’s plan for man.  His plan for our salvation and eternal life.  Life forever with the Savior of the world.

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… So I will declare with my mouth that JESUS IS LORD and believe in my heart that God raised Christ from the dead and He now sits at God’s Right hand!  I believe that one day I will be in Paradise, Heaven, God’s perfect place where there is no war, no racial tension, no financial concerns, no sickness, no pain, no more separation from loved ones and no more death!  In God’s Heaven there is joy, peace, contentment, wellness and one dandy reunion with loved ones – and we get to cast whatever crowns we’ve gotten in this life at the feet of Christ – which is totally cool.  It’s ALL about Him because if it were not for Him…  I wouldn’t be there!

Who would not want that???  I guess those who have a problem with that little word…  IF.  🙂

ROMANS 8:26 ON 8/26

TL ROMANS 8 26 ON 8 26

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  – Romans 8:26

LIFT WITH YOUR KNEES

Hands up, everyone who readily admits that they are weak.  Our ego rarely permits us to make such a bold statement, but as we’ve discussed before, as we pray there is no room for false pride or cover-ups.  He already knows what we need before we ask, so being completely forthright and honest before Him behooves us.

Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when He left His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, with us before He ascended to heaven.

No, I don’t know how God’s Holy Spirit can help all of us at the same time.  No, I don’t know how He can hear each of us when we pray – and treat each one of us as though we were the only child.  My human mind cannot even begin to fathom the “how”, but my faith tells me it is so.

The concept of the Trinity is amazing to me.  I mean, what an awesome plan, to have God, the Creator and Father of us all, then send Jesus to earth to save mankind once and for all.  As though that was not enough, we were not left alone to navigate this life.  The blessed Holy Spirit helps us every step of the way!  He is the One who lends comfort when we are distressed, and helps us to pray when all we can do is weep with no audible words.  He knows our thoughts and our needs before we even bow before God the Father.

Christian, know that today you are surrounded by supernatural power from on High.  God the Father loved us so much that He gave Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice, sinless and loving.  Even when Jesus ascended to heaven, He was thinking of us.  He left His precious Holy Spirit to live in our hearts to love us and help us along.  All we have to do is ask Him for help.

No, it’s not a natural thing to be weak, but if we can just be humble before God, He will be there and the Holy Spirit will make intercession on our behalf.  🙂