Christ is risen…He is risen indeed!
We live in a time where there is so much bad news. It’s great to hear the good news of the gospel in Jesus Christ! So many of us need encouragement to face the many setbacks that could easily become opportunities for discouragement and even despair. This Easter we remember that the Lord is risen! All things are possible with God! Good news always overcomes bad news in the end when viewed with the eyes of faith, hope, and love in Christ.
All of us have resurrection stories; whether it be a recovery from an illness, a family coming together, a child scoring their first goal or hitting their first base hit in little league. Whatever the testimony, the resurrection story continues in our everyday living. If we look for them, we can find them even in the midst of a crucifixion season we may be in.
We live in a time when perhaps more than ever before, our culture needs to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ again! We need Christian revival! Our entire nation needs revival in Christ! All things are possible with God, so this dream is not unfounded. Faith is the “substance” (Greek: hypostisis), or “personification” of things hoped for, things not yet seen. Faith brings into the “now’, the things that we only hope for in the future. We walk by faith in these things, and not merely by the sight of current setbacks, challenges, or even failures. Let’s all dare to have faith that true revival in Jesus Christ can happen in our day and time, in this culture, right now! This is the message of Easter this year for me. And I hope it is for you too!
Just a thought
The CHANGE experience
The Gospel, this week will tell us the story Jesus’ time in the desert. It tells us about how He endured the elements of the region and the persistence of the devil himself. He was ultimately victorious but the battle raged for many days.
So many times in our lives, we are in the battle. Spiritual warfare is real and can be exhausting. Our battle can make us physically ill. It can deplete us of our will to continue the work we have been called to. Whether our battle is with an unexpected force or we’ve caused the dilemma, it is difficult at times to see the full picture; the Godly perspective if you will.
When times are tough, we can take comfort however, that our God went through similar trials. We can take solace that He can empathize. He knows our struggle and stands with us. His Spirit, if you listen, can calm us. He can direct our steps if we let him. You see, Jesus knows the enemy is real, He faced him and was victorious.
Notice however, the struggle Jesus endured for the forty days did not end after the first episode. As a matter of fact the struggle became more difficult and more frequent. Can anyone relate?…But the Good News….ahhh the Good News. Jesus overcame.
The Spirit that is within each of us, is the same Spirit that was in Jesus. The same Spirit that helped Him fight off the aggressive maneuvers’ of the enemy; the same Spirit that calmed Him; the same spirit that that won the battle; that Spirit… abides in us. Therefore and notwithstanding, we are overcomers just like Jesus. We need to be confident that no matter what the enemy throws at us, we are in it for the long haul and by the GRACE of God, we too will be victorious. Let us always remember, “That He that is within us is greater than he that’s in the world.” 1 John 4:4.
So when you feel like you are in the battle alone or your battle is unceasing…..think again….You are not alone…….Because He was victorious ….…you will be too…
This is the excerpt for your very first post.
Transfigured by Grace
The Gospel reading this week tells us the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Heaven on earth, a sight to see. Jesus limits the viewing to only three. He travels up a mountain with them and when they reached the top….it happened. Jesus is transfigured. His face shone like the sun and His clothes were whiter than light. Moses appeared and so did the prophet Elijah.
Theologically we see the law, the prophets and Grace. All perfect, all redeeming, but in the end only Jesus. Theologically….a new day, a new covenant has begun. Grace is revealed and it will save us; Grace will complete the law; Grace, the unmerited favor of God; it offers …..a new day! Grace is Jesus and Jesus is Grace.
Simply however, when I prayed on this, I thought….hmm… grace put a different spin on Jesus. Peter became aware that his revelation about Jesus was real (See Matthew 16:16).. Something changed for all of them. They saw what they saw and were filled with all types of emotions. They may not have understood it all but it was….. a new day. Grace was something to be in awe of. Something never seen before. Grace changed everything.
So I thought, if only I could see all things through the lens of grace. Understanding that in the end…it’s the grace of God that will see me through, I can realize I really can’t make it alone….and with Grace I don’t have to. Through the lens of grace I can let go of my plans, my effort and allow God to be God. I can rest assured that His plan, His Will can transcend and transfigure, if you will, any dilemma, any situation I find myself in. I tell my students all the time, when you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change.
Looking throughout my life, at all the tough times I endured, I see I never spent a moment alone. God’s grace pulled me through. God’s Grace, His gift to me, allowed me to see a new day.
So during the day today, see how all things can transfigure to grace; a hug, a friendly smile, laughter, nature, our children…..love. All is evidence that His grace is alive and is trying to communicate with us each day. Jesus loves me…and I have the Grace to prove it.
Just a thought.