Friday, April 18, 2014

lest we forget

Today is Good Friday. I've always wondered why it was called Good Friday. There really isn't anything 'good' about it other than what it signifies in the life of a Christian. Some say that the word 'good' really means 'holy'.I much prefer Holy Friday. I came across a photo that had been posted somewhere that said "Good Friday - the day death died'. Oh, yes, that sums it up pretty good doesn't it. The day that victory over death was won. The day that our LORD gave His life freely on the Cross for all who would believe on Him. The day that Jesus suffered and endured horrific agony on a cruel cross for the likes of me. A sinner. Unworthy.

We are so guilty of 'prettying up' the cross and what took place there. It was anything but pretty. It was ugly. It was bloody. It was more than just 'He died on the Cross for our sins'. Oh, it was so much more than that. My Jesus had to become sin. My Jesus, who was without sin, had to become ALL sin. My sin and your sin and all the sins of the whole world. Past, present and future. He had to become ugly, disgusting, heinous, dirty, filthy sin. Our Lord, who was pure and spotless had to become the sum total of all depravity and wickedness. For me. For you. 

"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land
unto the ninth hour. 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 has thou forsaken me?"
(Matthew 27:45-46)

Our Lord and Savior, felt rejection on the Cross. He had to be separated from His Father. He had to be forsaken before He breathed out His last breath, before He uttered those word, "It is finished". 

And yet, this is the time of the year that we turn our focus strictly to the resurrection. And what a glorious event that was indeed! It was when Victory over death came! It was fulfillment of Scripture! But we must never remember the resurrection of our Lord without recalling what had to take place for that to happen! Let's never forget the price that our Savior paid so that we could have forgiveness of sins. And eternal life with Him! Let's never forget that without His death there would have been no resurrection.

"And behold there was a great earthquake; for the angel
of the Lord descended from heaven, and came
and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it"
(Matthew 28:2)

Oh, glory Hallelujah! Our Lord was no longer in the tomb. Our Lord was victorious over the bondage of death. Our Lord was no longer dead.

"He is not here; for He is risen, as He said."
(Matthew 28:6)

Let's shout this from the rooftops! He is Risen!!! He is Risen, indeed!

Monday, April 7, 2014

unshakable faith

"....and the man believed the word
that Jesus had spoken unto Him,
and he went his way."
(John 4:50)


I love the simplicity of this verse. The man believed the word that Jesus had spoken and he was satisfied. Our faith can be that simple because our God is that great! The scripture pretty much says, "God said it, so I believe it!"

What if we truly lived our lives like this always? What if we really 'got' the unlimited power that our God, our Creator, possesses? What if we understood?

In our humanity, we say, "Show me and I will trust you". But our God says, "Trust me and I will show you".

Trust must come before the miracle. We must come to a place of total belief in what God can do in our lives. He created us so certainly He can heal us! So, why do we continue to doubt? Why do we think that He can't mend what is broken when He is the One who formed us in the first place?

What has happened to our faith?  We are receiving little because we are believing little. Faith is necessary when we face the 'impossible'. When we come to Jesus in a desperate state, we must possess the faith that He can do the impossible in our situations. Our true blessing will come when we trust our God to do what only He can do. 

If we didn't think that He could, we wouldn't even ask. Deep down, we know that He can. But for some reason, we think He won't or can't do it for us. We don't have trouble believing in His miracles for others, but we seem to doubt that it is possible in our own lives. So, we come before Him, knowing He can, but we lay our requests at His Feet not really expecting anything. And so, that is what we get. Nothing.

So, how do we grow our Faith? By digging deep into His Word and coming face-to-face with His power. As we begin to study and grow in intimacy with Him, we will begin to know Him in ways we never thought possible. The more we know Him, the more we will trust Him and then our faith will begin to blossom and flourish. 

But rest assured, that our faith will be tested. If our faith is never tested, we will never know if it is genuine. An authentic faith can stand the purifying fire and emerge stronger and purer than before. 

If we never experience times of testing in our lives, we never have to fully rely on God. So, if there are never any trials to go through, how will we know the depth of our faith?

A faith that is tried is a faith that will overcome.

 A faith that overcomes when tested, is a faith that will continue to dig deep. 

And a faith that digs deep will take Jesus at His Word.

Faith is simply trusting and believing what the Word of God says.  As we seek Him and desire to draw closer and closer to Him in intimacy, we will begin to approach the throne of grace with eager expectation in our hearts. When we begin to be filled with an unquenchable spiritual hunger, we will be able to put our own names in that scripture with conviction of spirit and authentic, unshakable faith.

"... and Beth believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto her...."