Jesus Appears to His Disciples

John 20c.png

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!: As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. And with that he breathed on them and said, “Received the Holy Spirit.                             John 20:19-22

On the first day of the week, the Risen Jesus appeared to His disciples. They were heartbroken, in low spirits, and afraid of the Roman authorities. The disciples must have been overjoyed at Jesus’ appearance. Amid their indescribable heartache, the living Jesus appeared to comfort them in their sorrow. His appearance also coincided with a time when the disciples lived in great fear. They didn’t want the godless world to witness their raw grief and sorrow for the loss of their beloved Master.

Jesus appeared when His disciples were at a point where deep sense of despair threatened to overwhelm them. There were countless questions in their hearts that cried out for answers: Why? Why did He have to suffer so? Why did He have to die so brutally? And in the meantime doubt was eating away their hearts. But now, with Jesus there, everything was good again. “peace be with you!” There are times in each of our lives when we are threatened by despair and doubt, but in the presence of Jesus there is rest and peace. The disciples were together when Jesus appeared to them. It is comforting when like-minded people are together to share their sorrow or doubt. It is called the fellowship of believers. Christ comforts them with the words, “Peace be with you.”

The words of Donald Bloesch: Our peace and confidence are to be found not in our empirical holiness, not in our progress toward perfection but in the alien righteousness of Jesus Christ that covers our sinfulness and alone makes us acceptable before a holy God.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Advertisements

“Father, Forgive Them”

Luke 23

Two other men, both criminals were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with two criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the chosen One.”            Luke 23:32-35

The seven times Jesus spoke on the cross are like seven windows that gave us insight into the mind and heart or our dying Savior. In the first three, our Savior elaborates on the love in His heart for His enemies, the two thieves on the cross and also His mother Mary. 

Today, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we reflect on these words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing. The crucifixion was a brutal act that was not only accompanied by humiliation and scorn, but also by terrible suffering. In those moments of Jesus’ deepest agony, Christ speaks not a curse but a prayer, not a prayer of vengeance, but of sympathy and forgiveness. It is unbelievable by true.!

However, Jesus has a haven amid his suffering: His Father. His Father is also our Father. In our worst grief we can pray to Him. Jesus prays a prayer of compassion. “They don’t know what they are doing!” Jesus prays for others, not for himself. He makes excuses for them rather than condemning them. He preached it, now He was doing it. It was a test of discipleship. He loves us until the very end. His prayer includes everybody: “Father, Forgive them.: And to this day, Jesus intercedes for us. We learn to receive and grant forgiveness at the cross.

Dear Jesus, by your wounds we are healed, thank you for your great sacrificed in our place and your forgiveness of our sins even when we don’t deserve it. Help us to forgive others the way you have forgiven me.                       Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Holy Spirit

John 16.png    Jesus is preparing his disciples when he is crucified and buried, something that is very difficult for them to hear and understand and Jesus shares about the Advocate to come whom Jesus will send to them and to us from the Father: Read these words of Jesus found in the Gospel of John 16:12-15

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear. But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make know to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

That which is revealed comes from God. God is the owner and also the giver of all truth. Truth is not a human being’s discovery; it is a gift of God. It is the truth of God that the Holy Spirit brings us. Truth is not something we can create by means of a process in our minds; it is something already waiting to be discovered; something we accept, and not something we create ourselves. God is behind all truth.

Revelation is to take the things of Jesus and to make known their inherent truth. The greatness of Jesus lies His inexhaustibility. No human being has understood everything Jesus came to say. No human being has uncovered the full meaning of Jesus’ teachings. No human beings knows what they mean to life and to faith; to humanity and to the individual, to the community and to the nation. Revelation is a continuous “opening up” of the meaning and importance of Jesus Christ. Revelation comes to us not from a book or credo, but through a living person. The closer we live to Jesus, the better we get to know him. The more we conform to Him, the more He reveals to us. In order to enjoy His revelation, we must acknowledge His majesty. Submission to, and to knowledge of Jesus, go hand in hand. It is only to the Son of God that God makes His revelation know.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

John 14c.png

Jesus is preparing his disciples for when is to die and leave them behind, read his words from the Gospel of John 14:23-27  “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 

When we die, we leave everything we own behind. But we also leave behind memories, traditions, experiences and relationships. Sometimes there are small gifts, treasures and photos.

Jesus had no possessions to leave behind. But he had other things that would never spoil and were more precious than anything else. One of them was peace. When conflict was rife outside the Upper Room; while violence was being planned; when death was knocking at the door, Jesus gave them peace.

This was the peace created by complete trust in the presence of God. It was absolute faith in His omnipotence and the acceptance of His holy will. It was also Christ’s own peace. By this gift of peace, He gave them something of himself. He knew they would be confronted with danger, opposition, suffering and even death. They would need peace more than anything else.

Open up your heart now to receive Jesus’ gift. Like the disciples, you probably need them more than anything else. If you are grappling with problems, confusion, opposition, resistance, ridicule, temptation, loneliness, pain or suffering, cling with all your might to this gift that Jesus gave his disciples. Allow his peace to calm your anger. Allow his peace to take over prejudices, your doubts and your grievances. Let it take over your entire attitude, your speech and your relationships. And whenever possible, give this peace away to someone else. The more of it you give away, the more it grows inside of you.

Grace and Peace To You My Friends

God’s Love

Romans 5.pngTherefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.                                                        Romans 5:1-5

People all around the world can testify of their love for Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, they bear witness to their love and faith in Jesus Christ, who died on a cross over two thousand years ago. They are convinced that He is alive today. How is this possible? They never even saw that He is alive today. His earthly ministry lasted about three years and even the reports on that are rather fragmentary.

The secret of His unique attraction does not live in one or other theological formula or religious organization, regardless of how important these things may be in the right context. But He promised to grant His Spirit to everyone who accepts Him and confesses His rule. Through the ages He has kept His promises. He said that His Spirit would live in every person who loves Him and who serves Him. Countless followers of this century believe that this experience with the living Christ is valid and true for our time.

If you want to sit on the sideline, remember that Christ can convert your life. A new, unparalleled strength will take possession of your spirit. It will enable you to do those things that are pleasing to God. This change in your life and this new strength will assure you of Christ’s presence in your life. If you have the Spirit of Christ you will know the reality of His holy presence. Love for Him will radiate your heart and your life.

Through our feelings come and go, God’s love for is does not,     by C.S.Lewis

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Salvation through Christ

John 4.png     When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her,Will you give me a drink? (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink. (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.                                               John 4:7-10

When the Holy Spirit of God begins working in our conscience, we hear God speak to us. We instinctively know it is God, and we know that He is wrestling with us. Our blunted consciences are shaken back to life and we become aware of the wrong in our lives. We feel the necessity of change, and know we dare not carry on living as we are. God speaks to us, yet often we are unwilling to answer him.

We see the steep road and the narrow gate and we refuse to give God a positive answer. We are willing to listen but not to do. We have no real remorse or sorrow about our sin. That is why Christ says to us, “If only you knew…” If only you knew who is talking to you and what He wants to give you! he offers you the Water of Life–free! 

The woman’s sensual thirst was unquenchable, but Christ could quench the thirst of her soul. He gives streams and rivers in the desert. He calls, “If anyone is thirsty, let them come to Me.” Christ gives us Living Water that cleanses us from our sins and grants us forgiveness. How this woman yearned to be purified! Christ’s Living water makes us fruitful in His service to live for Him, to work and to witness for Him. If only you knew how much He loves you! How badly He wants to set you free and save you. Look up at the cross and see His pierced hands and feet, and know for sure He loves you deeply.

Prayer: Lord Jesus you laid down your life for me at Calvary, I have found shelter and salvation in your wonderful protection. I ask you to come into my heart and quench my thirst for “Living Water”.                   Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Forgiving Yourself And Others

Hebrews 10.pngThis letter to the Hebrews went to Christians in danger of slipping back into Judaism because of persecution. It interprets the Old Testament, explaining many Jewish practices as symbols that prepared the way for Christ. It stresses that Christ was from God and is higher than angles. Moses, Joshua, and any priest or sacrifice. As we read in Hebrews 6:15-18 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. Then he adds: Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

In the book of Matthew 18:21-35 one of Jesus’ disciples named Peter ask Jesus a simple question, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me. haven’t we all asked this question at least once? Then for some reason Peter answers his own question seven times? But Jesus’ answer was seventy times seven, you mean then 470 times?  In other words there is no limit on how many times that we should forgive one another. I am sure that there is some who are reading this is saying to themselves, do you realized what so and so did to me, and you want me to forgive them (NEVER) Jesus then told a parable of the servant forgiven a great debt who has ask for mercy from his master for the great debt, and so the master showed great compassion on the servant and forgave him all that he owe. However, this same servant did not show compassion on others who had owe him money. This parable teaches that lesson which runs through all the New Testament that a man or woman must forgive to be forgiven. If we do not show compassion on others and forgive them when they for what ever reason sin against us how do we expect God to do the same when we do sin, and believe me we all do plenty of that day in and day out. Another important lessons is this to learn to forgive yourself as well, God knows you are not perfect and if He can forgive you, you must learn to forgive yourself. When as children we learn the Lord’s pray in Sunday School in that pray the word trespassers or debts, the word F-O-R-G-I-V-E means just that, forgive someone and yourself.  Jesus already paid the price for our sins when he died on the cross, and we are forgiving. Praise His Name we are!

Grace and Peace to You My Friends