“Father, Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit”

Luke 23b.png It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shinning. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the woman who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.                               Luke 23:44-49

It is true the man that walk among the disciples and mankind, has been crucified. These words that Jesus spoke from the cross were as follows, the first three where about His love for humankind. Then came the godforsaken cry, the heartrending, “I am thirsty!” the triumphant, “It is finished” and the final words of Jesus, Into your hands I commit My Spirit!” The work of salvation was perfectly and finally concluded, we can now be taken to God and never be forsaken by Him.

Jesus’ deathbed was a new cross, but there we learn how to die worthily. First, Jesus bowed his head in humble obedience to God’s will and with calm acceptance of what God inflicted upon him. How readily we question God’s will. Here Christ set the example of how to accept God’s will, even if it was a merciless and brutal death on the cross.

Secondly, Christ surrendered His Spirit to God. With this he, without uttering a word, said that His death was not his fate, but his privilege. This differs dramatically from those who don’t know God as Father (Abba). In their dying hours they are filled with anxiety and are deeply disturbed in spirit. 

Let us reflect on Jesus’ words on the cross and rate them at their true value. They are at times more serious and deeper than the words He spoke in his lifetime. In order to understand and appreciate salvation and redemption, we must understand and appreciate what Jesus said in His dying moments. 

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Jesus At The Temple

Matthew 21.pngJesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.” It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, “but you are making it a den of robbers.” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them, But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.                         Matthew 21:12-15

It was Passover week. The Passover was the highlight of the Jewish calendar. People came from all regions and many countries to be present for the celebration. Upon arriving, they were obligated to meet two requirements. First, an animal sacrifice, usually a dove. The dove had to be perfect, without blemish. If you brought a sacrifice from your won source, it would be considered insufficient by the authorities in the temple. So under the guise of keeping the sacrifice pure, the sellers sold doves at their price. Second, the people had to pay a yearly temple tax. During Passover, the tax had to be rendered in local currency. Knowing many foreigners would be in Jerusalem to pay the tax, money changers conveniently set up tables and offered to exchanged the foreign money for local for a modest fee, of course. It is not difficult to see what angered Jesus. Pilgrims journeyed days to see God, to witness the holy, to worship his majesty. But before they were taken into the presence of God, they were taken to the cleaners.

So I often wonder if Christians today take the time on a Sunday morning to just worship God,  one of the ten commandments is this Remember the Sabbath to Keep It Holy, or are we too busy conducting other business instead of doing what we are called to do. To be able to spend sometime on a Sunday morning worshipping God should be an honor for all, to give thanks for all He has done this past week. In order for all of us to have a walk with our Risen Lord we need to take the time in getting to know the “Great I Am”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

John The Baptist Birth Foretold

Luke 1.pngIn the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. Once when Zechariah’s  division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshippers were praying outside. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him, “Do not ne afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of their parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Zechariah asked the angel, How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years. The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not be able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.               Luke 1:5-20

In Biblical times it was a disappointed for a woman not to have her own children and for others to look down upon Elizabeth because she was barred. However, little did they know of or anyone else know the plan that was in place by God. The child that was to be born to Elizabeth and Zechariah called John was to be the one chosen to prepared God’s people for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even through they had no children they never doubt that somehow or someway that God would bless them, and that God was the one true God, “The Great I Am” that was told by Moses, and by other prophets. Can you even try to imagine the joy that was in Elizabeth’s heart when she came to realize that she was with child even pass the child bearing years. Jesus’ own words to his disciples later in his life would be, “With man this is impossible, but not with God, all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)  Because regardless of your situation in your life right now at this very moment, all things are possible with God.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Your Identity in Christ

colossians_quietmoments.pngThe Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through him and for him.                                                  Colossians 1:15-16

You were created to become like Christ. From the very beginning, God’s plan has been to make you like his Son, Jesus. This is your destiny and the third purpose of your life. God announced this intention at Creation. “Then God said, let us make human beings in our image and likeness.” Genesis 1  In all of creation, only human beings, are made in God’s image. This is a great privilege and gives us dignity. Like God, we are spiritual beings, our spirits are immortal and will outlast our earthly bodies: we are intellectual we can think, reason, and solve problems, like God, we are relational, we can give and receive real love, and we moral consciousness, we can discern right from wrong, which makes us accountable to God. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering, And so condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.                                             Ephesians 2:19-22

It’s extremely easy to lose our identity, furthermore, to find ourselves searching all over to find out who we are. We hear stories on the news and we see it in the people we associate with. Additionally, we certainly deal with it in a very private as well as personal way we hear voices, voices which tells us and then projected into the world. We tell the world what we think about ourselves and don’t think for a minute we’re fooling the entire world. We may fool some people, but overall, we aren’t fooling everyone. We hear the voices in our heart, spirit and mind telling us good and bad. We hear the good from those who really love and care for us, we hear that good from God–yet we tend to believe the bad which comes from Satan and from those who don’t care for us. We hold onto that bad stuff. We hear things like, you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not attractive enough, not skinny enough, not rich enough, not with the right family. We’re told we’re not enough! And countless other lies. Hearing those lies long enough and your identity will be formed by it. You feel rejected. Eventually you believe you’re not enough, and they play over and over in your mind. Then we begin to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. We realize in our heart, spirit, and mind we need Jesus to help us through life. My dear friends a recently preach on this exact topic your identity in Christ, below is the link through face book please feel free to watch and listen.https://www.facebook.com/pg/ButtzvilleUMC/videos/?ref=page_internal

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

 

You Belong to God

Ephesians 2b.pngConsequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22

You are called to belong, not just believe. When we read in the book of Genesis it is not good for man to be alone. We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God’s purpose by ourselves. The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers and deprived of fellowship. The Bible says we are put together, joined together, and held together, members together, heirs together, fitted together, and held together and will be caught up  together. You are not on your own anymore. While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. In God’s family you are connected to every other believer, and we will belong to each other for eternity. I am sure there are many of you out there longing to be a part of a family, having your own family, and without you even knowing that once you accept Christ into your heart you have been connected to the rest of his family. Following Christ includes belonging, not just believing. We are members of his Body–the church. C.S. Lewis noted that the word membership is of Christian origin, but the world has emptied it of its original meaning. Stores offer discounts to “members” and advertisers use member names to create mailing list. In churches, membership is often reduced to simply adding your name to a roll, with no requirements or expectations. To Paul, being a “member” of the church meant being a vital organ of a living body, an indispensable, interconnected part of the Body of Christ. We need to recover and practice the biblical meaning of membership. The church is a body, not a building, an organization. Whenever a child is born, he or she automatically becomes a part of the universal family of human beings. But that child also needs to become a member of a specific family to receive nurture and care and grow up healthy and strong. The same is true spiritually. When you become born again, which means flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (John3:5) you need to become a member of a local expression of God’s family the church, his church. The Christian life is more than just commitment to Christ, it includes a commitment to other Christians. The Christians in Macedonia understood this, Paul tells us, “First they gave themselves to the Lord, and then, by God’s will they gave themselves to us as well. Joining the membership of a local church is the natural next step once you’ve become a child of God. You become a Christian by committing yourselves to Christ, but you become a church member by committing yourselves to a specific group of believers. And believe me being a part of a church, the family of true believers makes our journey in life a little easier to bear with that family and with God.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends.

The Lord Is My Strength

Psalm 18.pngI love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me, the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord, I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice, my cry came before him into his ears.                                   Psalm 18:1-7

These are the words that King David sang to the Lord after he delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. We should thank God for our weakness, even better boast gladly about your weakness, Boasting can be either good or bad, depending on the object of the boast. People who brag about their wisdom, strength, or riches are offensive to God. King David was on the right track when he wrote about his soul boasting in the Lord. God wants us to express pride in Him, just as the child of a good mother or father likes to brag about his big strong parents. People who are well aware of their weakness are less tempted to boast about themselves. However, they are more vulnerable to other temptations, indulging in self-pity and complaints. So it is essential for weak ones to take pride in God rejoicing in the Great I Am.  As you and I rejoice in our weaknesses, you and I open ourselves to God’s Power. Let the sacred Power rest upon you, displaying His delight in you.  Even through we feel that so many things in our lives seems so overwhelming to us we can rest in God knowing that He always here the cries of his children. As David said in Psalm 18:32-33 It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he causes me to stand on the heights. When we depend totally on God and his strength we become award how strong we can be with God’s help, and with God all things are possible. When I feel the need to run and hide I found my resting place in the arms of my Heavenly Father to keep me safe.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Waiting on God

Psalm 27.jpgAll of us have hard times at some point in our lives, or even at many points for a few of us. For unbelievers there is absolutely nothing solid to lean on for strength. How often are we reminded how temporary and insubstantial the things we trust in really are? People fail us, memories and health decline, things get old and break, stock markets crash. But if we find strength in the Lord, we will never be disappointed. He never fails, declines, ages, or loses value. And he has given much to have a relationship with us. But he wants it to be an honest relationship, with nothing hidden or falsely represented-no creative online profiles. He wants to know when we are unhappy and when we are happy, when we are in distress and when we are excited, when we’re in a loving mood and when we’re downright angry. In short, he wants with us the kind of relationship he has with his Son Jesus Christ.

When at times I found that it is hard to “Wait on God” my mind wanders to the book of Psalm in which this chapter King David wrote in chapter 27: The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Through an army besiege me, my heart will not fear, through war break out against me, even  then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy, I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you .”Seek his face”! Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Through my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me your ways, Lord, lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witness rise up against me, sprouting malicious accusations. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

So on this day Lord I wait patiently for you, to guide me where you shall lead me, even thro I may be scare I remember these word from Proverbs: Trust in the Lord with all of my heart, and lean not on my own understanding, in all my ways acknowledge him and he will direct my path. (Proverbs: 3:5:6)

Grace and Peace to You My Friends