God’s Not Dead!

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So then woman hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”                    Matthew 28:8-10

As we recently celebrate Easter Sunday we remember the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The women after they had gone to the tomb left with great joy knowing that their teacher, friend, and Lord had risen from the dead, and could not wait to share with His disciples what they had learn. As Christians how many of us can not wait to share the Resurrection story with our family and friends, perhaps not many of us. It is okay to talk about at church on a Sunday morning but as followers of Jesus are we doing what he has called us to do and telling others about Him.

For myself, I grew up as a Christian, always going to church on a Sunday and being involved, but can I truly call myself a Christian. Let me take the time with all of my readers to share my own story and why I want to shout to the world that God is Not Dead! He is truly Alive. A couple of years ago as I was searching the scriptures for a sermon that I was going to share, I began to have a dream. I have the same dream more than once and I truly thought that it was only a dream and it never happen to me at all. After I have shared the dream with my oldest daughter she mention to me that I should google it and so I did and what I thought was just a dream, it was something that I did experience and that I witness. 

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Growing up there was a train that I went on called the Freedom Train, and on that train in all the different cars that I visited was about the history of America. However, except this one car as I followed all the other visitors this particular car had a huge class case that set down on top of something on the floor. This glass case had the Burial Cloth (Shroud of Turin) of Jesus Christ. You can see that this man was very tall perhaps close to six feet, and he also had a beard. On the top of his head you can see that their were some kind of crown that laid there, where their was drops of stain blood going down the face. The nails were not in his hands but the wrist (because the flesh couldn’t hold him up if the nails when through his hands). As I continue to walk slowly I can see that his side was pierced with something. His feet were together with holes through them, because of a huge nail that had gone through both of them. I continue to walk slowly and on his back you can tell that this man was whip many times,  (a whipped of leather thongs, which was used in Biblical times, with bits of metal or bone attached) The words from Isaiah 53: 4-5 came to my mind 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 strips we are healed. For whatever reason unknown to myself I somehow forgotten what I had seen until that one day while asking God for directions in sharing a message that I remember. Every time I think of that one day when I saw the Burial Cloth of Christ tears forms in my eyes and down my cheeks, as what is happening as I write down these words. My God, My Lord and My King you did this all for me, I didn’t deserve it, I am a sinner and I am unworthy for Jesus to suffer for me like that. And yet because of His great love for me even before I was ever born he died at Calvary in my place. As I read the words in Ephesians 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us , God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift from God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For all who have read these words I did see the Burial Cloth of Christ in 1976 here in America

Since God help me to remember what I witness I can never remain silent any more, I must tell anyone that I meet the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The stories in the Bible are not just stories but, real accounts that took place, written by men and inspire by God. It is not an easy journey I am on now being a disciple of Christ, I have had even family members and friends disown me all because of what I believe and I know what is true, and yes I am fine with that. I do hope that someday if not from me the ones who say because of what I believe I am nuts, will come to know Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior and decided to follow him. My Lord would want me to tell others about him, that he overcame death and that the tomb is empty, because My God Is Not Dead, He is Truly Alive,

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“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

Wait For The Lord

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Teach me your way, 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, spouting 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.

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When we are waiting, trusting, and hoping for God, it is intricately connected, like golden strands interwoven to form a strong chain. Trusting is the central strand because it is the response from God’s children that he desires most. Waiting and hoping embellish the central strand and strengthen the chains that connects God to us. Waiting for God to work, with our eyes on him, is evidence that we really do trust him. If you or I mouth the words “I trust You” while anxiously trying to make sure things go our way, our words ring hollow. Hoping is future-directed, connecting you to your inheritance in heaven. However, the benefits of hope fall fully on me and you in the present. Because we belong to God, we don’t just pass time in waiting. We can wait expectantly, in hopeful trust. Keep our antennae out to pick up even the faintest glimmer of God’s Presence.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Who Am I?

John 1a.pngThere was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will but born of God.                                           John 1:6-13

As we go through difficult times in our own lives, we sometime wonder who were are, at times people and even ourselves put labels on us such as: victim, depress, no good, failure, impossible, strange, addict, I don’t matter, being angry, unforgiveable, anxious ,rejected, weak, refugee, empty, too many regrets and I am sure many of us can even think of more names that are NOT true.

Jesus’ light shines on each and every one of you continually, whether you are aware of it or not. During the wee hours of the night, your thoughts can be distorted. Although you may feel as if you’re enveloped in the darkness, remember that darkness and light are alike to him. You need the light of Jesus more than you need the light of the day. When the way before you seems dark and threatening, you can still trust him to guide you. Walking by faith is important for all to discern the way you should go. Instead of trying to see through clouds of uncertainty fix you eyes on Jesus. He can and will show you a way forward where there appears to be none. As you strive to stay in communication with Jesus thru prayers your soul will begin to open to the Creator of the Universe the “Great I Am” and even in the midst of your dark days you will come to know just who you are “JESUS BELOVED CHILD” you do matter!

Grace and Peace to You My Friend

 

 

Being A Witness for Christ

Acts 1.jpgThe book of Acts continues the history of Jesus’ followers in the period after Jesus’ ascension. Peter and Paul soon emerged as leaders of the rapidly growing church, which flourished and spread despite, and sometimes because of persecution of Jewish leaders and Roman authorities. These followers of Jesus at this time didn’t look like a leader did they, they never had an high school education and never went to college, which in fact never exist at that time. However, in spite of their short comings they seem to have God still use each of them to do mighty work for his kingdom. If we take a moment to think about it where were these same disciples on the night Jesus was be trade. When Jesus was in the garden to pray to God for strength they were asleep, after he was arrested they all seem to disappeared. Peter that night be trade his friend, his master not just once but three times, and when he was crucified where did most of these men go to, where they at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying. After dying on the cross his body was laid in the tomb and for awhile the disciples all were in hiding. But six weeks later their lives all change in the upper room on Pentecost, as the Holy Spirt came upon all of Jesus disciples and other followers as well, their lives would never be the same. The same thing goes for us, once we accepted Jesus into our own lives we begin to change, and we too will never be the same again. As Max Lucado tells us in his book “Out Live Your Life”

You hillbillies will be my witness, You uneducated and simple folk will be my witness, You who once called me crazy, who shouted at me in the boat doubted me in the Upper Room.  You temperamental, parochial net casters and tax collectors, You will be my witness. You will spearhead a movement that will explode like a just-opened fire hydrant of Jerusalem and spill into the ends of the earth, into the streets of Paris, the districts of Rome, and the ports of Athens, Istanbul, Shanghai, and Buenos Aires. You will be a part of something so mighty, controversial, and head spinning that two millennia from now a middle-age redheaded author riding in the exit row of a flight from Boston to Dallas will type this question on his laptop?

Does Jesus still do it?

Does he use simple folks like you and me to change the world? We suffer from such ordinariness and my answer besides what is written in this book by Max Lucado, is yes Jesus still does use ordinary simply folks like us to share the good news of the Gospel. As long as you and I have the willing heart to serve Christ he will use us, to tell other about the “Great I Am” To tell all that their is nothing that you or I could ever do so horrible that is love cannot penetrate it.  Just open up to the book of Romans 8:38-39 to read the following words, by Paul the Apostle: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. When we come to know this kind of love we want to shout it from the mountain top and pass it on to all and I mean all who will listen, and my friend some will and some won’t listen to what you need to share with them, but that is okay we simply plant the seed of God’s love into their hearts and we allow God to do what God does best allow it to take root and grow. The words to a hymn that I have personally sung many times by Dan Schutte: Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night, I will go, Lord, if you lead me, I will hold your people in my heart. Beautiful words, God has been calling in the night, are you willing to witness to others what he has done and how much he loves you and all of his children, I am willing to go as he leads me down the road. Will you?

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends