Difficult Times

James 4.jpgThere are many times in the life of a Christian that we go through difficult times, and sometimes it seems that at every corner we are being attack spiritual, and it is when we know that we are the words of James comes to my mind. James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you, as well as Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the Lord says; Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths; and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Instead of us running from our Lord we need to run as fast as we can towards him, to rest our tired soul. When we are feeling sad, Jesus wants us to anticipate feeling joyful again. This takes the sting out of our sorrows, because we know it is only temporary what we are going thru. Sadness tends to duplicate itself along the timeline-convincing us that we will always be unhappy. But that is a lie! Jesus is telling us to turn away from the lies we are hearing and to turn to him and more important to trust him and all that he has promised us. The truth is, all of his children have infinite joy ahead of them, reserved in heaven, guaranteed through-out eternity. No one can take this away from us, which is wonderful to know. While we are journeying towards heaven, our earthly path has many ups and downs. Through your down times are uncomfortable, they are not worthless. Pain and struggle can be highly productive when we trust Jesus in the midst of our sufferings. Our anguish is comparable to a woman enduring labor pains. Her suffering is very real, and she wonder how much longer she can bear this pain, and this is the way we truly feel at times. However, all this agony produces a wonderful result-a newborn baby. The memories of her suffering retreat to the background of her mind as she begins to focus on her child. While we labor through earthly afflictions we need to keep our eyes on the promised reward in Jesus, and the wonderful joy we do have in knowing him no matter what we are going thru.

Grace and Peace to you My Friends


The Symbolism of The Cross


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These words which was written by Paul the Apostle to the church in Galatia, May I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.

Galatians 6:14

Before we get to what Jesus’ said in His path of suffering, we must first understand the symbolism of the cross, otherwise we won’t understand Jesus’ words. The cross of reconciliation is, after all the essence of our religious life. The cross dominates many churches, but it seldom has anything to do with Jesus’ suffering. It adorns practically every Bible and takes a prominent place in many churches, especially at the altar.

Over the years, the cross became a root of superstition. Farmers painted it on their stables, not as a sign of godliness, but to protect the animals against sickness. People placed crosses on the borders of their farms so that no would trespass or move the boundries. People believed in the power of the sign of the cross, instead of praying to God in heaven. All of this could have been prevented if people knew the Bible better.

Moses erected the bronze serpent in the desert on God’s orders, to heal those who looked up to it in faith. Jesus himself declared in His conversation with Nicodemus that the bronze serpent was an image of Himself on the cross. Yet the bronze serpent later became an object of idolatry,  to the detriment of the Israelites’ faith. When Hezekiah became king, he got rid of all forms of idolatry, including the bronze serpent. he smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Ashterah pole. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made.             (2 Kings 18:4)

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Jesus In Gethsemane

Matthew 26   Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

                                                                       Matthew 26:36-38

Gethsemane! How charged with holy perceptions, this name is to the believer! Today we come to a stop at Via Dolorosa-Christ’s road of sorrow. Gethsemane means “olive press.” Cedron, and move when we cross the bridge and move on into the shadows of the olive trees. Let us take off our shoes and bow our heads, for Jesus was here He was to wrestle in prayer with God. Gethsemane symbolizes the crushing weight Jesus carried on the cross. Christ prayed His high priest prayer for others, then He prayed for God to equip Him for His massive offering; to make the impossible possible, to bear the unbearable.

Is this the only way to save the world? asked our Savior. “It is not possible to find another way? Earlier, Satan showed Jesus the other, easier way. During Christ’s temptation in the desert, Satan said, “I will give it all to You, if You will only bow down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:9) Jesus didn’t want to take the easier way without God’s approval. Here in Gethsemane it was not Jesus’ body that was crucified, but His will. Our Lord placed His wishes and desires on the Father’s altar. Although the cup of suffering made Him shudder, He still accepted it from the Father’s hand. He let His will become His Father’s. He bowed in obedience and carried the burden of the world to Golgotha.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Find Your Peace in Christ

Isaiah 53.pngHe was despised and rejected by mankind, a man suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised , and we held him in low esteem.                                          Isaiah 53:3

During the years, when kings ruled Israel and Judah, God spoke through prophets. Although some prophets predicted future events, their primary role was to call God’s people back to him. The most eloquent of the prophets, Isaiah, analyzed the failures of all the nations around him and pointed to a future Messiah who would bring peace to the nation and to the earth. These words you just read from the book of Isaiah were written years before the birth of Christ.

The story of Judas’ betrayal, Jesus being captured, His suffering and the rejection of His own people, is undoubtedly one of the saddest event of all time. In spite of the fact that people rejected him, Christ’s love was so strong that He accepted death of his own free will to being about salvation for you and me.

Jesus rose triumphantly from the grave so that we could have the promise of eternal life. To convince us of the depth of His love, Christ forgave Simon Peter who denied Him, and entrusted God’s flock to him. God made sure that we would be equipped with his power by giving us His Holy Spirit.

There are occasions in the life of every Christian, that you turn your back on Jesus. Every time you fail to do a good deed, when you show sings of anger and lack of love, when you are worried you will become unpopular and then keep quiet instead of standing up for what is right, you turn your face away from Jesus. Just like the people of Jerusalem when Jesus needed them most. It is not too late to turn back to Jesus. Do it right now and you will find perfect peace again. 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, forgive me when I have turn my back on you, help me to always remember the sacrifice you made for me, and how much you truly love me. Help me to become more like you.             Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends


Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

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“I am not referring to all of you: I know those I have chosen. But, this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture. He who shared my bread has turned against me. I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me, and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”            John 13:18-21

Only Jesus knows the anguish we experience. In the Upper Room, surrounded by His closet friends and enjoying a solemn meal with them, Jesus was in “great anguish” Instead of passing through life without any storms, Jesus experienced a good many difficult moments. There were people who were His enemies and wanted to set a trap for him. Furthermore, he was in constant conflict with the spiritual leaders of his time. His disciples and most other people found it difficult to understand what he was doing. And on top of that, one of His closest friends was a traitor.

Jesus dealt with his problems in profound faith, that he stood in the center of God’s will. Therefore, also let your faith thrive in difficult circumstances. Because Jesus knew anguish, He knows how to deal with yours. You can rest assured that you will get through the troubled times and emerge on the other side a spiritually stronger person. 

Don’t do what Judas did and try to wear a mask that makes you look like a better person than you really are. You might deceive others, but you won’t get away with it where Jesus us concerned. Where you think you fall short, be honest with yourself. Ask advice from someone in the ministry, or a Christian friend. Do everything in your power to right the wrongs. Don’t ever, like Judas, be guilty of playing under the guise of Christianity.

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and now we cannot live within.               James Baldwin

Grace and Peace to You My Friends 

Difficult Days

cDeuteronomy 33.pngThough the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

There are times in our lives that life gets very difficult to handle, and it seems that it is overwhelming to each of us. With God all things are possible even though right at this very moment things don’t look that way. When you bump into massive difficulties on your life path, God wants you to consider it pure joy. As you bounce off these “impossibilities,” His everlasting arms are wide open, ready to catch you, calm you, and help you do what does not seem possible. You can be joyful in the midst of perplexing problems because God is your Savior. He has already accomplished the greatest miracle, saving you and me from our sins. If you keep looking to Jesus, your resurrected Lord and King, your pessimism will eventually yield to courage. Though you are an earthbound creature in many ways, your soul shares in His eternal victory.

Since Jesus is infinite, “impossibilities”, are his specialty. He delight in them because they display His Glory so vividly. They also help you live the way that he intended: in joyful, trusting dependence on Him. The next time you face an “impossible” situation turn to Jesus immediately with a hopeful heart. Acknowledge your total inadequacy, and cling to Him, relying on Jesus on His infinite sufficiency. All things are possible with God.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Strength for Every Day

Ephesians 6.pngFinally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.               Ephesians 6:10

When we are faced with problems that seem irresolvable, we often cry out in despair, “What can I do?” I cannot go on like this! This might be the result of a personal setback, a business failure or a disappointed national or international situation. Whatever it is, the consequent feelings of hopelessness leave you alone and vulnerable.

There is only one thing that you can be absolutely certain about and that is the fact that God will never leave you to wrestle with life and all its problems on your own. He who has promised never to leave you and never to forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) He is simply waiting for you to call out to Him. You can be sure of His all powerful help. Instead of continuously laboring under the heavy burden of life, put your trust in your heavenly Father. Let Him be completely in control of your life and affairs, and let Him unconditionally lead you on His path. As you walk in obedience with the Lord, you will experience the trust, assurance and peace that are born from the presence of His Holy Spirit in your life.

God can give only according to His might; therefore He always gives more than what we ask for.                          Martin Luther

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Fifth Sunday of Lent-The Holy Sacraments

Luke 22.pngThen came the day of unleavened bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying. “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” Where do you want us to prepare for it? they asked. He replied. As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house. The teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there. They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”  After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, This is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you, do this in remembrance of me. ” But you are those who have continued with Me in my trials, And I bestow upon a kingdom, just as my Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom.

                                                                         Luke 22: 14-20, 28-30

The first Epistle to the Corinthians contains the earliest known mention of the of the Last Supper. The four canonical Gospels all state that the Last Supper took place toward the end of the week, after Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem and that Jesus and the apostles shared a meal before Jesus was crucified at the end of that week. Scholars have looked at the Last Supper as the source of early Christian Eucharistic traditions, since it provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also knows as “Holy Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper”. The Last Supper served the dual purpose of venerating Passover (the escape of the Jews from slavery in Egypt) and the establishment of a new tradition, Christianity.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends