Archive for March, 2018

Romans 6:7-11 (NLV)

When a man is dead, he is free from the power of sin. And if we have died with Christ, we believe we will live with Him also. We know that Christ was raised from the dead. He will never die again. Death has no more power over Him. He died once but now lives. He died to break the power of sin, and the life He now lives is for God. You must do the same thing! Think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But now you have new life because of Jesus Christ our Lord. You are living this new life for God.

Imagine hearing of the death of a loved one – you’d be devastated, upset, maybe even broken – but then for someone to come and tell you they had seen them alive and walking around again! I’m sure we would think they were mad!

But that’s exactly what happened when Jesus rose from the dead. Because Jesus did that we have been forgiven, and we have a future full of hope.

 

Today is Good Friday. The fact it’s called ‘Good‘ Friday suggests it is a happy and great day. However for God it was probably one of the worst days, the day His one and only son died. Can you imagine how that must have felt?

In Isaiah 53:1-5 (NLT) we read the following:

Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm. My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

God always knew that the day would come, when to save the rest of us, Christ would have to die. It’s wonderful to know that God loves us this much isn’t it!

Over the years there have been a number of high profile cases where though newer technology, they have been able to prove that someone who has been in prison for many years, is actually innocent of the crime they were imprisoned for.

I cannot comprehend what it must feel like for these people. People who have not committed the crime they were imprisoned for, but unjustly kept locked away from every day life, and away from their family and friends.

Now think about Jesus and the crime he was accused of, and the price he paid…

Jesus was innocent, but he died for you and me. We need to tell the world just what Christ sacrificed for each of us.

It’s awful when someone betrays you, but even worse when it’s someone you trust isn’t it. That’s exactly what happened to Jesus, as one of his disciples, Judas, betrayed him.

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus. ~ Matthew 26:14-16 (NLT)

Judas was paid to betray Jesus, so this got me wondering, could I be bought into betraying Jesus and denying my faith? I hope not! How about you?

Seeing the future

Posted: March 27, 2018 in bible, cross, death, disciple, Easter, life, music, religion, words
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There are people who claim they can foresee the future, and can tell what the future holds for individual people. I’m not sure I would want to see into my future, I’d rather just wait and see what comes my way.

If you knew you were going to die on a certain day, how would you act? How would you approach that day?

Jesus knew the time was approaching when he would die. He even told his disciples several times what lay ahead for Him:

Matthew 20:17-19 (NLV)

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He talked also to the twelve followers by the side of the road. He said, “Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the religious leaders and to the teachers of the Law. They will say that He must be put to death. They will hand Him over to the people who do not know God. They will make fun of Him and will beat Him. They will nail Him to a cross. Three days later He will be raised to life.”

How would you react if you knew this is what your future held? I leave my future in God’s hands, how about you?

Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations. ~ Isaiah 42:1 (NLT)

Long before Jesus was even born God already knew He was going to have to sacrifice His only son. If that was you or me, I suspect we’d have done everything in our power to prevent our only son from dying. God had the power to do that, but still Jesus died, what greater love as anyone ever shown for you, than God did by sacrificing his own son?

Did you know today is the start Holy Week?

Holy week is the week leading up to Easter. It starts the Sunday before Easter, called Palm Sunday. It is the week when Christians remember the last week of Jesus’ life.

Palm Sunday is the day we remember Christ assuming into Jerusalem.

In John 12:12-13 (NLT) we read:

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LordHail to the King of Israel!”

While this sounds like everyone was a huge supporter of Jesus, the sad thing was that later in that same week many of the same people who were in the crowd who welcomes Christ into Jerusalem, were the same ones who shouted that Jesus should be executed.

That’s why today in many churches we will have been asked to think about the strength of our own faith. We may have been asked to remember times when we have been unfaithful to Christ, or have been hypocritical by claiming we follow Christ.

So today is a day to be honest. As we celebrate the arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, let us promise to be honest with ourselves and with Christ, by being faithful to Him from now on.

Spring?

Posted: March 24, 2018 in animals, flowers, nature, weather, winter
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Is it spring yet?

I don’t know about you but I’m getting really fed up with one week it being mild and time for a lighter weight jacket. But hen the next week temperatures struggle to get above zero, and we have frost, ice and snow. <sigh> I hate having to scrape the car every morning.

It feels as if winter this year, is lasting much longer than usual, and that is not good.

One thing however that has improved in the last few weeks, is the number of daylight hours we’re getting each day. If there is one thing that really gets me down during winter is getting up in the dark, going to work in the dark, and then coming home from work in the dark – I think it just makes the working day seem even longer which definitely isn’t good!

So just to brighten my day, and hopefully yours too, here are some nice spring pictures. Hopefully we’ll witness these kinds of pictures ourselves for real in the next few weeks.

Have you been given a lot of information about something you’re not interested in and thought to yourself, “that’s instantly forgettable”?

Have you ever thought the same about a person? Someone you meet, or have a conversation with that didn’t say or do anything that made then stand out for you, so didn’t make themselves someone you felt you needed to remember.

Being an instantly forgettable person can’t be easy, as no-one remembers you. Sometimes someone may remember a few words you said or something you did, but I guarantee no-one will remember it was you who said or did those things!

In God’s eyes, none of us are forgettable at all. He loves each one of us regardless of who we are, what we do or what we say.

If God takes the time to remember each and every one of us, surely we should be able to remember those we meet or converse with. Let’s make sure we look after everyone and never forget someone just because they maybe don’t have the same interests or views as ourselves.

Lets make sure we make everyone instantly memorable rather than instantly forgettable.

As we go through life, we grow-up and realise our prioritise in life need to change. We change our thoughts and opinions of others. But all these things happen gradually over time, so that’s why it can feel as if nothing has changed around us, until we stop and look back at how things used to be.

Life does change us, and we can change life for ourselves and those around us too. So never think life is the same as it’s always been, because if we are living our lives we should be changing our lives.

I pray I’m changing my life to be more like Christ, how about you?