Christ Is Risen! Alleluia!

Mark 16.png

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, Who, will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb? But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has Risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, and tell his disciples and Peter, He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Mark 16:1-8

According to the Scriptures, our Risen Savior appeared to different individuals before ascending to the Father. It was a random coming and going, but specific encounters to teach us certain things. This took place during the period between Easter and Pentecost, between the Resurrection and Ascension. In today’s Scripture verse, Jesus gives us some “resurrection comfort.” When the men who walked to Emmaus were back in Jerusalem with the joyful news of their encounter with the risen Jesus, the other disciples replied, “The Lord has really risen!” (Luke 24:34) Paul says, “He was seen by Peter and then by the twelve” (I Corinthians 15:5-6) All these pronouncements tells us that, firstly, the Risen Lord wants to give the remorseful sinner back his self-respect. The first apostle Jesus appeared to was the one who denied Him. (Peter) Here the greatness of Christ’s love is demonstrated. He thought about the bitter grief of the Peter who wronged him, instead of wrongs and grief He himself suffered. Put yourself in this situation. Imagine with how much trepidation Peter received this message! Could it be true? Did he hear correctly? Did Jesus really mention his name? He has been the cause of so much of Jesus’ sorrow. He had denied Him three times! But this is how Jesus treats the sinner. Wo will ever be able to fathom the depth of God’s forgiving grace?

Against the dark background of Peter’s denial, the light breaks through in the disciples’ words to the men from Emmaus: The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34) A jewel glitters so much brighter on a dark background. Likewise, the grace of God and His saving omnipotence are best seen in a deeply fallen sinner. This short extract from history should encourage even the greatest sinner to go to the Father and confess their sins.

The gospel gives us no sensational or gripping detail of the conversation between Christ and Peter. Peter didn’t tell anyone what happened between him and Jesus. In life there are intimate and personal things that cannot bear up under the harsh glare of public exposure. There are spiritual experiences that must remain private because they are part of one’s personal fellowship with God. We dare not reveal every spiritual blessings to inquisitive publicity seekers, or shout it from the mountaintops. 

Three long nights of consuming grief followed Golgotha as well as the shock of Judas’ gruesome death. The offering that God seeks is a broken heart and a downcast spirit; He will not break those who are struggling. Peter discovered what true remorse meant, being tearful, unsure of his next step, knowing he was a fallen sinner, with hands outstretched to heaven in an impassioned plea for grace. And Christ in His unfathomable love and mercy is there, a place of true repentance. He meets in quiet reclusion with the remorseful sinner.

Prayer: Dear Jesus:

I come to you with a humble heart asking for forgiveness of my sins that I have committed. I thank you for taking my place on the cross at Calvary. Help me to become more like you and to serve others in your name, as you did here on earth.    Amen

Blessings to All of You on this Easter Day!

 

Advertisements

Nothing To Fear

Luke 2bAnd there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.” I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sigh to you. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in  a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angels, praising God and saying”

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what has been told them about this child, and all who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.                                                                     Luke 2:8-20

keld-vision.jpgTry to imagine if you could that you were a shepherd on the night that our Savior was born, you may of been tending the sheep or perhaps having a nap, and then all of a sudden up in the sky was God’s heavenly angels declaring the birth of a Savior. I am sure like many of today’s world all were grip was fear, just as many today have so many things that they are afraid of. Afraid of what tomorrow will bring, afraid to be alone, afraid of death, illness, loosing a job, a love one, too many times our days seem to bring us so much fear, fear of being different, fear of the way someone may treated us or look at us. If we learn to continue to stay in God’s word daily we can read these words as follows: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind.                                 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear is something that satan tries to input into our minds and it is not something that comes from God. You are precious in God’s eyes, you are his child and his love for you is unconditional that our minds cannot truly understands how much he loves his children. On this Holy Night, take a moment or many and just close your eyes and imagine you being in Bethlehem and walking to the manger, as you look into this wonderful sight, of God coming down here on earth as an infant, just look deep within the manger to see what love is. “For God so loved the world, that he sent his one and only Son into this world.      John 3:16christmas-1010749_960_720

Merry Christmas to you My Friends

The Lighting of the Christ Candle

Christ Candle.pngTonight which is Christmas Eve we light the center candle which is the Christ Candle. Over the last four weeks as we have journey together through the advent season we have lite the candles of Hope which reminds us that Christ is coming to fulfill God’s promise. The candle of Peace and through Christ we found Peace. The third week was the candle of Joy which reminds us when the Angel’s told the Shepherd the good news of the birth of the Christ child lying in a manger this morning we lite the fourth candle which is the candle of love, as we remember from the Gospel of John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.                                                                                                                               When we look beyond the ornately-adorned Christmas trees and beneath the countless layers of wrapping paper, we are reminded of the true reason we celebrate this time of year. We are reminded of the birth of a promise — a promise that offers to heal the past and light the way for the future and a promise that offers purpose for living. We are reminded of the birth of a Savior who promises eternal hope, joy, peace and good news to the world.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

Welcoming The Stranger

Hebrews 13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.    (Hebrews 13:1-2)

I grew up in a large family, my parents had seven children and I was the middle child of the seven. Since I was a teenager when my mom had died from cancer I don’t seem to remember a lot of things about my mom, and yes at times it drives me crazy. However, one of the things I do remember even thro we were poor whenever anyone drop by our home their was always room for one more at our dinner table, and somehow a miracle that we seem to have enough food to go around for that meal. Regardless of how little we had, we were always taught to share with others, and that is what we did as children and that is something I still do today. As a woman now and married if I ever know someone who is celebrating any holidays alone, I would always make it a point to invite that person or family to stop by and share a meal with my family as well.  I can honestly say that I am a people person, I can always find something to talk about even to strangers especially about my faith to others.

The church I attend our pastor is always talking to all of us about hospitality, and when he saw me how I would approach a stranger and greet them, I somehow became the person in charge of hospitality for our church. For me I always believe that Pastor Doug just made this all up, until I was searching the scriptures for myself to be able to share an evening meditation at my church, that I came across this message from Hebrews as well as from the book of 1 Peter 4:8-9 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Wow, my mouth had just drop wide open when I read both of these scriptures. I share with others it’s not a Pastor Doug saying, it is something we are called to do as Christians. Anytime you come across anyone not only the people you know,but also the stranger, offer them a smile, a kind word, just like the scriptures tell us we will never know if we are offering kindness to an angel. Doing these simple task doesn’t  cost us anything, we never know the difficult trials that someone is going thru right at that very moment, loss of a job, health issues, or anything else, so a kind word goes a long way. As adults we need to take a good lesson from children, put children all together in a room, they don’t need to know anyone at that very moment. A child would not judge others like adults, they don’t see colors to be prejudice against someone for any reason, it does not matter if another child is in a wheelchair, or disable in anyway, all they all see is a child to play with, and all they offer to one another is a smile and kindness.

I will end with this scripture for you to read, it comes from the book of Isaiah 11:6  The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together, and a LITTLE CHILD, will lead them. We must become like little children to enter into the kingdom of heaven, just think about it.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

DO NOT BE AFRAID

bible-1805790_960_720

Do not be afraid, I am sure some of you maybe thinking, well that’s easy for me to say. But it is more than that, these words I speak of are taking from the Gospel of Luke in the second chapter. Read these words that are taken from Luke, Do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will be to all people, For unto you this day in the city of David a savior has been born. This will be a sign to you, you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying. Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rest. (New International Bible) As I shared with you in a previous writing that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born in a stable among the animals. Of all the people in the world at that time that God sent his heavenly angels to the lowest of mankind, to the shepherds. Shepherds worked in their fields taking caring for their sheep’s, they didn’t smell to good, and they were poor men, but God felt it was important to send his angels to the shepherds, to announce the birth of his son, and not to any king who lived in a palace. What God was seeking back then and even today,on the day his son was born in Bethlehem was the hearts of all his people, and not something that can be brought. It was necessary for Jesus to be born because he would be the bridge between us and God. I could never imagine spending all of eternity away from God, because for me I can never be able to face each day with out God’s unconditional love for me, his child. When Jesus walk the earth many years ago he never promise to any of us that this life here on earth would be easy for us. If you look in the book of Hebrews chapter 13:5 NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU, NEVER WILL I FORSAKE YOU. My friend God has never and I mean never broken a promise to his people, can any of us say the same, that we never broken any promise we made to God. Sometimes their are promises we make when we are in a jam, and when things get better we forget the promise that we did make to God in our difficult times, and yet he continues to love you and me. When things get hard for you or me instead of us running to our Lord and laying our problems at his feet, we run totally away from him, instead of towards him. The best friend that anyone could have is Jesus he will never disappoint you, his love will always be unconditional. On this Christmas Day I ask you won’t you open your hearts to the baby in the manager, as well as the child who grew up name Jesus, and once you accept Him as your own personnel Lord and Savior you will never regret it, because I never had.

Merry Christmas to one and all