Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Moment of Praise

I was reading my MacArthur Daily Bible this morning for March 28. Moses prophesied concerning the coming Messiah, and Jesus told us that he is that one!

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst, ” Moses said in Deuteronomy 18. And in Luke 4, Jesus read from the book of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… to preach… to heal… to proclaim…” Then he said: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

The whole Bible is about Jesus, isn’t it? Every page, every verse points us to the Savior.

He is our priest, our prophet, our shepherd, the way, truth, and life, the sacrificial lamb, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is God in human form who went to the cross to buy me back. He is love. He is holy. He never leaves or forsakes us. Nothing can separate us from his love.

He died on that cross once and for all, that WHOSOEVER believes in him will have eternal life. He died and rose again. He went to heaven to prepare a place for us.

And one day, HE’S COMING BACK with the sound of a trumpet to take us home.

Praising God today!

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Satan’s Greatest Lie is That Sin Keeps Christians From God

I don’t reblog often but this one really spoke to me today. I hope you take time to read it. It’s great to be a child of God!

Beautiful Life with Cancer

What is the barrier between us and anything of value? THE PRICE. I see an expensive, designer made, sparkley, super hot shirt hanging in the mall, what keeps it from being mine? PAYING THE PRICE. My girl drools over the newest Build A Bear addition, why can’t she just walk away with it? THE PRICE MUST BE PAID. A brand new house stands on a ten acre lot, upgrades throughout, marble entry, fountain into the pool, detached five car garage. Sitting there waiting, just waiting for someone to move in and make it a home. Everyone wants it, everyone loves it. What will it take? PAYING THE PRICE.

One beautiful summer day, I changed my girl into her swim suit, packed some essentials and we headed to a local water spot. The city designed a long flight of stairs in the middle of the city with water flowing over them…

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Twelve

I have a special place in my heart for twelve-year-olds. I spent 25 of my 37 years in public education in the middle school. I loved being a part of the chick struggling to get out of the shell, that awkward child/adult, learning how to fly on its own.

So when I read the passage in Luke 2 this morning about Jesus at the age of twelve, I felt drawn to this youngster. Fully human, he must have looked like any middle-schooler walking down the halls of my school, tripping over growing feet, with the energy of a child, wanting the sophistication of an adult. And like most twelve-year-olds, he assumed his parents knew what he was doing.

Let me be clear, Jesus did nothing wrong. There was no disobedience or blatant disregard of his parents wishes. Let’s face it. Parents leave their kids behind all the time, thinking the other parent has the child with him or her. Ask my sister and my brother-in-law. They left their infant son at church – twice – thinking the other had my nephew with them. Thank goodness they live only a couple miles from the church, unlike Mary and Joseph!

What I love about the pre-teen Jesus is his eagerness to talk about spiritual things, to read and discuss Scripture at such a young age. He was learning… and teaching. It’s the same relationship I had with so many twelve-year-olds over the years. Me helping them to learn at the same time they were teaching me. Yes, I love this boy Jesus.

I am reminded that our youth need to be grounded in Scripture, too. They need to be spending time in Bible believing churches where Jesus is proclaimed the only way to the Father. Jesus was not too young to have a heart eager to grow spiritually. Neither are our children.

I’m praying for twelve-year-olds today.

Ripped

I was reading Mark 15 this morning, Peter’s account of Jesus’ crucification as told through Mark. It occurred to me that Peter set down the facts pretty much without much emotion: Jesus was hung on a cross, people mocked him, Pilate’s sign “King of the Jews” made the chief priests really mad, the sky darkened, people thought Jesus was calling for Elijah, then he died.

Concise and to the point.

Mark even includes a sentence that is easily overlooked: “Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom”. (vs 38) Nothing more is said of this event in the book of Mark. Just the fact that it happened.

That blows me away. God ripped that veil in two like I might tear a piece of paper.

Have you ever held a mortgage or a car loan? You are enslaved to that piece of paper that holds the terms of the agreement. You think about it every month as you write that check, chipping away at the debt with every payment.

Then, one day you write the last check. The house or the car is finally yours. Debt paid! Did you take  your copy of the mortgage and rip it in two? How did that feel? Did you experience a sense of freedom, relief, joy?

Paid in full! That house, or that car, is mine!!!

I think that’s a little how God must have felt when he was finally able to rip that curtain apart. That curtain separated him from us. God could not have easy access to us until that curtain came down. But Jesus died on that cross, paid the full price, and now there is no more curtain. Until today I don’t think I ever considered the significance of that from God’s point of view.

What joy he must have experienced as he felt and heard that material rip apart.

Yes, the ripping of that curtain allows us to approach the throne of God. But it also allows God to live in us, walk with us, talk to us and guide us in a personal, precious way. God created us to fellowship with him, but sin separated us. In the Old Testament we read that God instructed Moses to put up a curtain so that we could get as close to God as possible while we still owed our debt. He could only communicate with his people through the prophets. And there were years when God didn’t communicate at all.

But when Jesus paid the price… in full… there was no need for the curtain. I think God must have been pretty excited about that.

As we prepare to celebrate Easter, Jesus death on the cross and his resurrection, let’s also be aware of the privilege that is ours through the ripping apart of that veil. God has access to me and I to him because my sin debt is paid.

Dearest Father, thank you for occasionally letting us in on what you are feeling. Sometimes we think it’s all about us and we forget that you have a stake in our lives, too. I thank you for Jesus, for his death on the cross, for what his sacrifice gives me. But let me remember what it gave you, too. You love us so completely. For thousands of years your dealings with us were from behind the curtain. It must have brought you great joy to rip that curtain in two. Thank you for wanting to walk with me so much. May I never take this privilege for granted.

Watch!

Jesus is coming again! Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man who died, yet lives, is going to come back with the sound of a trumpet and everyone will see it happen. The dead will rise, we who know him will meet him in the air. Oh what a day that will be. I’ll see Jesus face to face in all his glory.

The circumstances surrounding this event and what happens after is cause for great debate. But I don’t care. Trying to place signs on a timeline, or figuring out if I will be spared a great tribulation, or if Jesus will set up a material kingdom on planet Earth doesn’t matter to me.

Sure, I have an opinion based on what I read in the Bible. Others have a different opinion reading the same Bible. But my opinion – or yours- is insignificant.

What is significant is my heart’s condition before a holy God. What is significant is my witness, my love for my neighbors, my light in a dark world. The question is not will I sit in judgment over my fellow man, but will I wear Jesus’ righteousness as I personally stand before God? It’s not the size of the crown on my head, but the grace of God that allows me to be in his presence.

Jesus says no one knows when he will return. (Mark 13) All we need to know is that it is going to happen. And all Jesus wants us to do is watch. And pray. He’ll take care of the details.

And that’s ok with me.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for the assurance that you are coming again to claim me once and for all. Forgive us for the lines that are drawn because of insignificant opinions about “the end times.” May we not neglect the more important thing, life right now, our relationship with you today, and what we do in Jesus’ name to lead another lost soul to the Savior. May we all rejoice in your promise to return, may we be faithful workers, watching and praying until that trumpet sounds.

A Hometown Prophet

The people in Jesus’ hometown knew all about him. They knew his parents Mary and Joseph, and many of them probably sat on furniture made by Joseph, perhaps even made by Joseph’s apprentice, Jesus, before Jesus began his ministry at the age of 30.

The people knew Jesus’ brothers and sisters. Maybe some of them played on the same soccer teams or sat in the same math class in school with Jesus and his siblings. They probably had a little pride in the fame this small town boy had earned, and were quick to tell tales about him:

I remember Jesus when he was a teenager…

My son used to go fishing with Jesus when they were kids…

Sure I know Jesus. Why, once when Jesus was just a boy…

Yes, these people knew all there was to know about Jesus. But Mark 6 tells us they didn’t believe in him. They didn’t accept his teaching. They couldn’t see beyond the young man who grew up down the street, and because of that, Jesus couldn’t do great things among them. Knowing about Jesus wasn’t enough.

There is a difference between knowing about Jesus and allowing him to change us. We can read the Bible every day, but unless we take in the Words and obey them, Jesus can’t do great things in our lives. Growing up going to church doesn’t guarantee you know the LORD.

I believe Jesus wanted to pour himself out on the people in his hometown. He loved them. He grew up with them. He knew them like they knew him. But because of their unbelief, he walked away without showering them with the blessings that could have been their’s.

Don’t let that happen to you. My prayer is that each of us will give ourselves to the LORD, that we will repent of sins and allow him in.

Then watch what happens. The God of Creation, the Messiah, The Great I AM wants to do great things in your life. And He will, if you know Him.