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!

 

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Stay or Run Away

Psalm 55.pngMy heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me, horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be a rest. I will flee far away and stay in the desert, I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”  Psalm 55:4-8

The way in which one deals with problems will reveal much about one’s Christian character. The psalmist here point to two methods people use to deal with their problems. There is “flight” in which you try to escape or evade your problems. Then there is the “stand steadfast and trust the Lord” method in which we deal with our problems and overcome them in the name of the Lord.

Jonah started by running away, God sent him to Nineveh, at Joppa, he then brought his ticket for a voyage by boat to Tarshish, situated far away from his responsibilities. (Jonah Chapter 1 Old testament) But Jonah never reached Tarshish. There is no place on earth where we can escape our problems completely. Instead of solving his problems, Jonah only multiplied them. Once cannot escape from yourself, your responsibilities or your problems. When Jonah eventually chose the path of obedience and went to Nineveh to carry out his task, the Lord supported him with strength and he worked miracles in the name of the Lord

At one time or another we all face the temptation of trying to run away from our own problems or to sidestep our responsibilities. Even Jesus was confronted by temptation in the desert. However, He accepted God’s will for His life and did what He had to do. It we are obedient and faithful, if we trust God completely, He will support and help us.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

FEAR

Psalm 55.jpgMy heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death fallen on me. Fear and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me. “I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.                              Psalm 55:4-6

Fear is something that can take a whole on us and doesn’t seem to want to let us go, especially things that we have no control over, such as the weather. During this present season of hurricanes many of you have a lot of fear built up inside of you, not know what will happen to you and love ones of you. I live in the mountains and I am safe however I do have family that was right in the middle of harms way down in Texas, as well as family in Florida, where the next storm is heading. At times fear tries to take a whole of me and then scriptures comes to my mind. Trust in the Lord with all you heart, (Proverbs 3:5) Jesus goes head of us and to let all of us know that He will never leave or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5) Therefore, you or I do not need to be afraid or discouraged. He knows though that feelings often fail to submit to logic. So don’t be surprised when your emotions rebel against your will. King David was both a mighty warrior and a gifted poet, and he expressed fearfulness, trembling, and even overwhelming horror in one of his psalms. Yet he trusted God which was genuine and deep. His life and his writing demonstrate that fear does not trump trust. They coexist. This is why King David could proclaim, “When I am afraid I will trust in You.         (Psalm 56:3)

Trust is a relational word. It’s one of the prime ways you and I can draw nearer to God. When we are afraid, don’t blame ourselves for having that very human emotion. Instead we need to acknowledge what we are feeling at that very moment, then in a whisper let God know we will put our trust in Him. He is always a lot closer than we cloud ever imagine and he is a lot closer than the breathe that we are taken at this very moment. God we give you the very peace you heart longs for all we need to do is trust.

Dear God:

You know the storms in our lives that we seem to face, help us to put our Trust in You. Help us to remember these words from Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged,

Amen

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends