IF you are a Christian you should be celebrating today. NO WAIT! YOU MUST! YOU MUST CELEBRATE TODAY. Today is the day the greatest promise in the history of time itself was realized. Jesus the Christ shared with his disciples and everyone he met that one day he must suffer, be put to death and after three days in the tomb rise from the dead.
Today is Easter, the day each year Christians can rejoice in the promise Christ made during his brief time on earth. He told his disciples this and explained it multiple times, but yet they had not the ability to comprehend. Sure, it sounded pretty fantastic. I am sure no one else they ever knew claimed this to be their future or actually realized the feat.
The tradition at our church is to place a purple cloth on the middle of three crosses that fronts our church on Good Friday. Purple has a royal connection so it relates to the kingship of Christ. The Roman soldiers nocked this possibility, even creating a sign to hang above Christ on the cross that named him King of the Jews. They thought they were humiliating Him even more than stripping him naked, lashing him across his body and driving steel spikes through his hands and feet.
On Sunday the purple cloth is replaced by one that is white. The white represents purity and the victory of resurrection. There is also the connection to the white linen clothes that were found neatly folded in the tomb when Mary and Mary Magdalene came to the tomb on third day to Check on Jesus’ body.
Today people will celebrate the most important day in the life of a Christ follower. Without the truth of today nothing else in Christianity matters. Christ voluntarily chose to sacrifice His life for our sins. If we do not choose to sacrifice one day to acknowledge and rejoice we are a sad lot.
Let this day be the greatest chance to connect with the truth of Christ’s Love. Who would you willingly give your life for? Your spouse, child, parent, a good friend? What about a complete stranger? A thief. A murderer? Jesus gave his life for ALL. To balance sins not even committed yet. For all sins from the beginning of time. Jesus covers it all.
If you have never given your life to Jesus I have many posts on this blog about the process and I would love to lead you through it. Congratulations to all of you today, you are blessed beyond your wildest dreams if you have met Christ!
Today for the Daily Post we write about Uneven. Do you feel like your blessings are sparse? Like maybe you are being cheated when it comes to enjoying the good things of life. Maybe it reaches the point of feeling uneven, the good you see compared to others? Well maybe you need to alter the way you approach life. Try this on for size, it is a bible verse about blessing others. When you bless others the reward you get is so much more than you can ever fathom.
24The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Numbers 6:24-26 (KJV)
This is one of my favorite bible verses because it has an outward focus when you quote it. As I continually say in my posts from this faith based blog I try to follow the idea of the J.O.Y. Principle, which is Jesus First, Others Second and Yourself Last. This verse is all about another which hits this principle head on.
God has blessed me my entire life and I am continually giving Him thanks for that. I believe that He is omnipotent and omnipresent, so he knows about everything around us. I also believe He can control anything he chooses. In this verse when you pray you pass on the blessing to another.
You ask God to bless this other person and to keep them safe. God is full capable of this just as he does to everyone he created on this planet. Then we come to the title of the post, shine. When God’s face shines upon you it is better than the strongest sunny day. You will feel a deep love that is almost impossible to describe and certainly to match.
But perhaps the biggest component of this three verse set is that the Lord will provide you peace. Everyone has earthly troubles or situations that thieve peace from our days. Having the kind of peace a life with God brings is something I wish everyone could understand and enjoy. God wants us to not only survive this mortal existence but thrive throughout it so we can share our blessings with others.
We are also taught to share Christ with others. That is another reason I created this blog, so I could get the word out on another platform to those who might not get the information the traditional way, inside a church building. When society changes the way it receives knowledge we must keep pace by altering the method of delivery. I hope you find this a comforting post and if you are still wanting more information leave a comment below.
When you are a Christian you have a clear set of instructions about how to serve Christ. But just because you have these and know them well does not mean you will always live up to them. Too many times you find yourself missing the mark in one or more ways as you try to serve your Savior.
My echo is when I tell myself I must do better. I must give more love, I must treat others better, I must spend more time reading the bible, I must serve more. I should be more patient, more tireless in my service, more willing to mentor others, more willing to learn, you know as I do the list is endless.
Sometimes the echo is soft in my ears. But sometimes the echo can drive you nuts! Can any of you echo my feelings?
How many have you blessed today? This week, this month, this year? If not, why not? Here is instructions from the book of Proverbs:
Proverbs 11:24-25 “24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. 25 The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”
God does not bless us so we can accumulate and collect in places where no one gains. I realized years ago that everything I have is on loan from God. I also decided long ago the sure way to continue to enjoy what I was blessed with was to share with others. It comes as part of the J.O.Y. Principle I try to make my overarching life mantra.
Jesus is always first. Others will be next and my time comes last. How do you do that? With devotion to do what Jesus says in the Holy Bible. Then be kind to your neighbor, or the person you encounter wherever you go. Don’t allow the stresses of life to influence how you treat others. They are just as important to God as you and just trying to do a job or live their life, the same as you.
I heard someone speaking recently about how they housed some missionaries that were on a short term break and needed a temporary resting place. The couple was basically patting themselves on the back fro blessing the missionaries with their hospitality, but in the end their blessing turned out to be so much greater. Truly you cannot out give God.
I am currently in partnership with a couple involved with a mission more than 1300 miles away and the ability to share God’s blessing on my life with them continues to become richer all the time. I have been fortunate to visit them in their ministry location three times and actually be a part of their growth. To see God working through them and with what help my church and I can pass along is a great model of being the “Body of Christ”.
Make a special effort to try to bless someone today!
This is my response to Banned, the Daily Post one word prompt for 10-26-16.
For this week’s Discovery Challenge we are encouraged to delineate our Origin Story like that of a movie character.
Once upon a time I was the guy who could not get up in front of others and speak. I would stutter or get nervous, so I just chose not to do it. I also was not a Christian, but just because I had never taken the required step of asking Jesus to be in my life. Luckily I had someone in my life who cared enough to make sure I understood the importance of that decision. You know how it is to have a real life angel that knows how to guide your steps? I had that.
As I matured, I learned what it meant to have a relationship with Christ and knew I needed that. I was sixteen when I finally took the step or steps to the front of my small Methodist church in Meadowview, Virginia. Little did I know that that moment would forever change my path in life and that my inability to speak would also be changed.
Slowly at first I began to feel more comfortable speaking in public. It was mostly in front of friends at church, but eventually I got the chance to do so in more public spaces in front of larger amounts of people. I knew that it was God’s hand that was giving me this ability and I made a commitment to always speak in his name when I could.
Before long I was speaking in front of larger crowds as I communicated plans for mission projects in our church. There was also moments when words needed to be communicated at community events like Relay For Life. With every opportunity my confidence grew.
In 2012 I got the chance to go on an international mission trip and the following year when I returned I read a Christmas Story to about 60 children. Also during that time my wife and I began to lead our church’s effort to provide a teen bible school for around thirty youth. There was no way I could let nerves bother me then, because I was communicating directly about God’s love.
This past December I had the extreme pleasure of delivering an ad-lib puppet show for about twenty-five minutes to a group of nearly one hundred children and adults. There were no nerves to be found, because God was blessing our effort. From an origin of doubt has come a life of serving for God.
Just last night as we talked about something called the posture of a Christian, I stoop before two dozen teenagers and another half dozen adults and shared how God had worked in my life. My origin was more like a stumble than a leap, but with God you can do anything.
Today the one word prompt from Daily Post land is Purpose.
I was blessed to have an earthly angel in my life to guide me into an understanding of what it meant to have a Christian relationship with the creator of the universe. Yes, I am a Christian and not ashamed of it at all. I am sure you did not expect to find yourself here, on a faith based blog, but that in a nutshell will describe my primary purpose in life: to share my faith with others.
One of the primary instructions to all Christians is to share our faith. If you do not know, it is called the Great Commission. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. This to me is something I think about every day as I go about my life. Am I living the kind of life others will be interested in? Am I treating others in a way they will want to know more about my purpose?
Without a purpose we are destined to wander aimlessly fulfilling our own selfish desires which not only serves no one else, but can be ultimately harmful to us. A purpose which involves assisting others gets us past a narrowed path that means we will leave this earth no better than we found it. Part of my philosophy grows from the J.O.Y. Principle. This principle goes as follows: Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. Yes, that is right, you must not focus solely on your desires and wants. I am much happier when I am serving God or others than serving my own selfish desires. You can learn more about the J.O.Y. principle here.
Not so long ago there was a huge bible study by Rick Warren called The Purpose Driven Life. Many folks completed this study and live more fulfilled lives as a result. We have to have a purpose and a direction to succeed. My purpose has grown stronger as I have learned under great bible teachers in the churches I have attended my entire life.
I look forward to reading your description of Purpose.
Do you feel like you have somehow drawn unwanted attention from the enemy of God? Can you feel his demons working their way into your plans, causing havoc and delays as you try to do what you have been taught all of your Christian life? Then you are definitely doing something right.
Satan is God’s enemy, we all know that. From the time he chose to rebel against God he has laid plans to battle God and his angels, trying eternally to prevent what we know is ultimately going to happen, Jesus’ return to earth to reign forever. No matter what Satan does he cannot overcome our Lord and Savior. But that does not mean he will ever stop trying to short-circuit your Christian development or willingness to do as instructed by God through the Holy Bible.
So what did you do to draw Satan’s attention? Was it praying, or serving, or teaching a class? Perhaps it was informing a younger Christian about the way our enemy will try to hinder them. In my recent experience it came as we were trying to set up a plan to witness and share information about our upcoming Vacation Bible School at a local one day festival. Even as we were collected in a prayer circle a week before the actual event began I acknowledged the reality that Satan knew what was coming, didn’t like it and did not want it to succeed, so he was busy laying obstacles in our path. So did this make me want to stop trying to do what I was planning? No, it only convinced me what we were doing was right.
I can share another time when this was true. The other occurrence was in December 2012 when four members of my church went on the first International mission trip ever from our church. Between the four of us (one married couple and two other men) we left nine family members behind and without fail each of them developed some form of the flu. To say it caused no small amount of concern would be true. But due to the nature of the trip, flying 1,300 miles to Belize, no one could immediately turn around and return home.
We pushed through and followed God’s instructions, planting seeds of faith and ministering to the children we were blessed to touch and teach. From this a fabulous and rich Christian service connection has grown that allows us to support a growing mission organization and a couple who have devoted themselves to instructing children about God’s love and provision in their lives.
If we had given in to Satan and allowed his impediments to stop us we would have missed many rich blessings! As you mature in your Christian walk this will become more evident to you and you will know how to deal with the inevitable hurdles set in your path.