Holy Thursday-“The Last Supper”

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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 poured out for you.                                                     Luke 22:14-20 

 

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Eileen

Worthy Ambition

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They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”      Mark 9:33-35

This part is proof that the disciples didn’t understand the concept of Jesus as the Messiah. They still thought of Him in terms of an earthly King and of themselves as important officials in that Kingdom. When Jesus asked them what they were arguing about, they were ashamed and fell silent. Jesus treated this matter seriously. He told them that if they were in search of true greatness in His kingdom, they had to look for it in being last, not by being masters, but servants. Instead of getting others to do things for them, they should do things for others.

This is the point of view of common sense. The really great people who are remembered and who made the greatest contribution to life, are not people who asked, “How can I use the state and community to reach my own goals?” but. “How can I use my personal talents and gifts in the service of others?”

Since unselfishness is scarce and when it manifests, it is remembered. Every economic problem would be solved if people would live for what they could do for others instead of what they could take for themselves. Every political problem would be solved if people’s ambition was to serve the state and not themselves. The division and disputes that cause the rift in the church would not happen if the church would see itself as a servant to others. Position doesn’t count as long as service is rendered. In this respect, Jesus revealed one of the greatest practical truths to the world. 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

The Greatest In The Kingdom of Heaven

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At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”                          Matthew 18:1-5

A little child cannot influence a person’s career, cannot teach us things; give us things. It is just the other way round. A child is typical of the person who needs things, and it is our duty to find and help those in the community who need things. But this comes with a serious warning. It is easy to form a relationship with someone who can do things for us and whose influence can mean a lot to us. It is just as easy to avoid the company of someone who expects something from us. It is easy to nurture the kindness of important people and avoid the simple, humble person. It is easy to seek the company of people who are important in the community while neglecting your unimportant family member. 

Jesus is in fact saying to us not to find favor with those who can do things for us, but with those who we can do things for. In this way, we week the fellowship of none other than Jesus. It is a different way if interpreting our Scriptures verse above and this is our duty as Christians from day to day. 

Prayer: Beloved Savior, keep me humble in my relations with other people.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Brokenness

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Jesus looked at them and said, ” With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”                             Matthew 19:26

They did not yet understand from the Scriptures that Jesus must rise from the dead.

John 20:9

Could there have been a greater tragedy for Jesus disciples and his followers than that Jesus was now dead. For three years they all were following Jesus and learning what it meant to Seek God’s Kingdom. To learn to have forgiveness for others, to have compassion for others and to know what it was to love, unconditionally the way the Master had loved them. And yet, here it is the day after the death of their friend and teacher. All their all knew was Jesus was dead. The Master’s body was lifeless and was buried in a tomb, they don’t yet know about the Resurrection. If we go to the Gospel of John 11:21:26 after the death of his friend Lazarus, Jesus went to comfort his sisters.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask. Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. The one who believes in me will live, even through they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

You are feeling brokenhearted and bound, entangled in webs of discouragement. Pick up the pieces of your broken heart, scattered all around you and bring them to Jesus. Place them on the altar that he provides and wait on his healing presence. Be still in His Holy Light while he cleanse you from binding webs of discouragement. Look into His face and see the great love he has for you. Because Jesus love is limitless, he never runs out of compassion. When you feel on the brink of giving up, remind yourself of his great faithfulness, and remember he will not give up on you. Through your disappointment is real, his presence with you is even more real. Stay close to the Master as he works on mending your broken heart. Of course, your repaired heart will not be exactly as it was before, but in some ways it will be much better. Your renewed heart stripped of its cherished hopes will have more space for Jesus than ever before. And as you remember the crucifixion of Jesus on this Holy Saturday just remember “Joy Comes In The Morning”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends 

Holy Thursday

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Then 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 poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays me!” They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the young and the one who rules like the one who serves?  For who is greater, the one who is at the table? You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelves tribes of Israel. Simon, Simon (also know as Peter) Satan had asked to sift all of you was wheat. But I prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death, Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”           Luke 22:7-35

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Today is Holy Thursday or as some call it “Maundy Thursday, the night in which our Lord and Savior is betrayed by one of his disciples, as well as being deny three times by another, and others scatted when he was arrested. By the end of this night many Christians from around the world will gather together to celebrate “Holy Communion ” while remember the night in which Jesus would be betrayed and handed over to the chief priests, and the elders. Jesus will full the Scriptures that many years ago that Isaiah foretold us.

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his stripes we are healed.                      Isaiah 53:3-5

Do we even take the time to try to understand this night, or just sit and listen in a church pew? Could it be that on the hill of Calvary in which the cross that held God’s greatest gift his son Jesus, who whip, tortured, and crown of thorns laid upon his head ( and not a crown of jewel) He will then carry his Cross to the Place of the Skull also known as Golgotha, then my friends look deep into his eyes and hear Jesus whisper to you and me:                                                                       “I DID THIS FOR YOU”

 

Blessings to You On This Holy Thursday 

Being Born Again

John 3.png   Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” How can someone be born when they are old? Nicodemus asked. Surely they cannot enter a second times into their mother’s womb to be born!  Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit, gives birth to the spirit.                                             John 3:1-6

Nicodemus conversation with Jesus started with his statement that one couldn’t help but be impressed by the signs and wonders that Jesus performed. Jesus’ answered was that the signs and wonders were not so important, the most important thing was the change in a person’s inner being, and that could only be described as a new birth. When Jesus said that one must be born again, Nicodemus misunderstood Him. Jesus meant that to be born again you had to undergo such a radical change that it looked like a new birth. The process is not only a human achievement but is brought about by the grace and omnipotence of God. 

This idea of rebirth runs through the entire New Testament 1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Romans 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus, and there are other Scriptures as well. This is exactly what happened when a heathen became converted to Judaism: He become a new person in all respects and therefore Jesus could assume that Nicodemus understood the concept.

So what does rebirth mean to us? It embraces a few important things: It concerns the kingdom of God that cannot be entered unless rebirth has taken place; the fact we cannot be God’s children without being born again; and the idea of being children of God as well as having eternal life.

Prayer: Lord Jesus

          I have accept you as my Lord and Savior, come into my heart to live forever and change me from the inside, out to become born of Water and Spirit. Your grace, Lord Jesus, is immeasurable; because of this sinners can become your children, and I thank you and Praise You Name, now and forever.                             Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Sorrow Becomes Joy

 

 

 

 

John 16a

Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me, and ‘Because I am going to the Father? “What does he mean by a little while? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

Jesus was looking beyond the present century to the new period that would come. He used an image that was deeply rooted in the Jewish mind. they believed that all time was divided into two parts, the present time and the time to come. The present was altogether bad and subject to damnation. The time that would be the Golden Age-the time of God. The time in between was called the time of the Messiah.

Jesus knew the Scriptures and He knew about these images, he said to his disciples, “I am leaving you now, but I will come back when My kingdom comes and I start to rule. Before this, however, you will have to suffer hard times.” Jesus went ahead to outline all that the Christian would have to endure. There would be times when Christians would experience sorrow, but their sorrow would be changed to joy. And the day would come for a turnabout. The world’s reckless joy would change to sorrow, and the Christians’ apparent sorrow would change to hoy. Christians should always remember  this when their faith is costing them.

There are two exceptional things about Christian joy: First, it can never be taken away because it is rooted in God. For this reason, this joy will be complete, while there is always something missing in the pleasure the world knows. Second, the sorrow that went before Christian joy is forgotten like a mother forgets labor pains, like the martyr forgets their suffering in the glory of heaven.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

The Will of God

Matthew 6b.pngAs I continue to share with you the Lord’s prayer which is taken from the Gospel of Matthew 6:9-13 “Your kingdom come, your will be done”

This prayer is simultaneously a liberating and a challenging one.  It is liberating because it brings us to believer’s acceptance of God’s perfect will. It challenging because one of the most difficult things for humans is to submit ourselves to God. From the start God has a master plan with His creation-and that includes the life of every person. God wants to carry our His plan, but Satan is always trying to subtly sabotage it. By praying this prayer, we ask no less than the death of our own willfulness and this means surrendering our loves. With this, we surrender ourselves completely to God. We humans suffer from an almost indestructible, strong and eternal self-love and that is why this is a dangerous prayer: It could cost us our lives, Martin Luther claimed that it was a dangerous prayer, because it meant obedience without taking back. Of course, we are sometimes willing to compromise, a part of His will; half a quarter, or, in  a generous moment, we are prepared to give up nine-tenths of our will.

With this prayer, we ask for the strength to be obedient and devoted to God’s will; we ask for the power to resist Satan. Some people do the will of majority; others say they are their own boss and will do as they please. Who can really meet God’s demands? No one! It is impossible for humans. On this broken earth there was One who could do God’s will to perfection: Jesus, the living Christ!  My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent Me, and from finishing His work. (John 4:34)

“The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The Father And I Are One

John 10.pngAgain his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which  of these do you stone me?” We are not stoning you for any good work, ” they replied but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God. Jesus answered them, “is it not written in your law, ” I have said you are gods” If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came and Scripture cannot be set aside–what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why, then do you accuse me of blasphemy, because I said, “I am God’s Son?” Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even through you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.                 John 10:31-38

For most people, it’s what others do not say, that counts. When Jesus spoke He spoke with authority, but when the people asked Him who He was, He pointed them to the things He did. he asked them to take not of His deeds. These deeds were acts of compassion, healing and miracles. Jesus was far more than simply a traveling Teacher who spoke about God and His kingdom. Jesus didn’t perform miracles because He wanted to impress people. everything He did was God’s deeds. Christ was God’s man in action.

You and I are also called to do more than just talk. As a disciple of Christ you must be were the action is. Make no mistakes: it is good to talk about God and for God, but it is better more powerful and more impressive to do deeds that prove you are a God-directed person. Deeds done with compassion and kind-heartedness reflect Jesus deeds. Charity that cost you something is the way in which Christians disciples prove that they are God’s people in action. Don’t let your religion stagnate; do something and become a doer of the Word and not just an idle hearer, fooling yourself.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

Luke 1a.pngIn the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin. pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings. you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever, his kingdom will never end. How will this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called, “the Son of God.” Even Elizabeth, your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. ” May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.                                                Luke 1:26-38

We have here an account of the mother of our Lord; though we are not to pray to her, yet we ought to praise God for her. Christ must be born miraculously. The angel’s address means only, Hail, thou that art the especially chosen and favored of the Most High, to attain the honor Jewish mothers have so long desired. This wondrous salutation and appearance troubled Mary. The angel then assured her that she had found favor with God, and would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, the Son of the Highest, one in a nature and perfection with the Lord God. JESUS! the name that refreshes the fainting spirits of humbled sinners; sweet to speak and sweet to hear, Jesus, a Savior! We know not his riches and our own poverty, therefore we run not to him; we perceive not that we are lost and perishing, therefore a Savior is a word of little relish. Were we convinced of the huge mass of guilt that lies upon us, and the wrath that hangs over us for it, ready to fall upon us, it would be our continual thought, Is the Savior mine? And that we might find him so, we should trample on all that hinders our way to him. Mary’s reply to the angel was the language of faith and humble admiration, and she asked no sign for the confirming her faith. Without controversy, great was the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh, 1 Timothy 3:16. Beyond all questions, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world was taken up in glory.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends