Celebrations Amidst Suffering: Following Jesus In All Circumstances

As Easter this year is still quite a ways off, may we begin NOW to prepare our hearts and minds for the victory celebration of Jesus conquering the grave. Death could not hold Him; it had no claim on Him (Romans 6:9). He was perfect in every way (Hebrews 7:26-28). Tempted as we each are, yet He never once gave into it (Hebrews 4:15). Thus, when He took the punishment of all humanity upon His shoulders as He was nailed to the cross—for my shame, for your shame—He endured it out of His loyal love for all (Matthew 27:33-56). As Jesus explained to Peter just hours previous in the Garden of Gethsemane as Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, brought the religious leaders and temple guards to arrest Jesus:

 

51And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53“Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?54“How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”

55At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. 56“But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled.”

Matthew 26:51-56 (NASB)

 

In a Christian culture that is beginning to find very little, if any, room for suffering in the modern age—may we look to the example of our Risen Lord Jesus. In a day and age where it is more common to look for ways to receive blessing, rather than give it away—may we look to the example of our Risen Lord Jesus. For a Christian by name means “little Christ”. May we remember the words of Jesus:

 

20“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 22“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23“He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24“If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25“But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’

      26“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” John 15:20-27 (NASB)

 

Christian church, may we be bold in our witness for Jesus Christ, regardless of our life circumstances. Why? Because Jesus Christ assures us confidently in John 16:33 that sufferings and troubles in this life WILL COME, but to take heart seeing as He has in fact overcome the world. Thank Jesus for His love, His grace and His direction over your life as a believer today. And if you have never actually placed your eternal salvation into the saving reality of Jesus, this is your moment.

You simply pray, LORD JESUS I am a sinner. I have screwed up in this life and have come to find that I cannot be perfect on my own. But, I believe that You are. And that You paid the price of death on a cross for me. Please forgive me of my wrong doings, my offenses and my rebellion against You. I turn away from any other way that I have been relying upon for eternal life. I’m all in, Jesus. I want to only follow You. Please come into my heart and take over my life. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for Your grace. Help me to live for You each day, MY LORD JESUS CHRIST. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” 2 Timothy 1:7-10 (NASB)

 

 

Preparing for Victory Day

I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:33 (HCSB)

 

Once at the Place of the Skull, large nails were then driven into Jesus’ hands and feet. This was the most brutal and barbaric killing instrument of that day. And it was reserved for only the worst of criminals. Yet, here was Jesus the Christ, proven to be innocent by even Pilate and Herod, and he was experiencing a criminal’s death. It could not have even been carried out upon a Roman citizen. Thus Jesus, as an innocent substitute for each and every one of the human race, bore the brutal punishment of death upon a cross (Romans 8:28). To speed up the process, at the urging of the Jews, the Roman soldiers were instructed by Pilate to break the legs of those upon the cross to cause the arms to stretch higher above the head, ushering the arrival of death quicker—seeing as the following day was the Sabbath (John 19:31-32). Yet, this was not done to the Lord Jesus Christ as He was not a victim of His circumstances, but rather He had willfully determined to go through with the brutal death of humanity in order to ransom His creations (Isaiah 53:9-11, Romans 5:18, Philippians 2:8 & 1 Peter 2:24).

 

“This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.” John 10:17-18 (HCSB)

 

While enduring the cross and continued atmosphere of satanic celebration, the soldiers divided Jesus’ clothing by casting lots (Psalm 22:18 & Matthew 5:44). Jesus had publicly cried out to His Father in heaven to “forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). He had also assured the repentant thief on the cross next to Him that “today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43). When all had been accomplished to fulfill the prophesies of the Old Testament of the Lord Jesus, He cried out in a loud voice “It is finished!” and gave up His spirit (John 19:30).

 

The crowd gathered below was a mixture of demonic taunting and agonizing screams of horror and pain. When it came time to break the legs of Jesus, there was no need–He had in fact already died (John 19:33). This fulfilled the prophesy of the Psalms and the prophets (Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 & Psalm 34:20). The rocks split and the veil within the Holy of Holies of the Temple split from top to bottom as a result of Jesus giving up His spirit (Matthew 27:51). The punishment for the depravity of all humanity had in fact been paid in full (Matthew 27:45-53, Mark 15:33-38, John 3:16, Galatians 3:13-14 & Titus 2:14).

 

“God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  1 John 4:9-10 (HCSB)

 

Because you are loved by the God who made you, Hope took on flesh (John 3:16).

Because you hold eternal significance, Redemption bore our punishment (Isaiah 53:5).

Because you are worth it to the Creator of all things, the Lord Jesus Christ victoriously rose from the dead on the third day (Romans 10:9-10)—so that all who trust in Him will also one day rise again (Hebrews 9:27-28 & 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)!

 

Regardless of the struggles this life holds, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:33).

 

Whatever you struggle with from day to day, know that our Lord can deliver you from your hardships just as He did with Mary Magdalene and countless others! Those closest to Jesus, His twelve disciples struggled with the same temptations that we face today in 2019: a love of money (Judas Iscariot), doubt (Thomas), disbelief (Philip) and among other things, an inability to stick it out in hard times (all of the twelve). So, why would Jesus choose people who would show off such poor aspects of our human nature? Simply put, because we can all relate to times of failure…and a need for a Savior.

 

And, praise God, He loved them to the end (John 13:1). God is glorified in our weakness; for when we are weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)! In closing, no matter the mountain ranges, no matter the unspeakable odds, no matter the loneliness, realize that you are not sealed into your grief—your worry—your pain.

 

Why? Because just as the stone was rolled away to reveal the EMPTY TOMB of our eternally victorious Savior, Jesus Christ, we too will be delivered out of our deepest places of despair and utter need. Ladies, may we be filled with praise that rises far above our circumstances to declare that there is indeed VICTORY in the name of Jesus Christ alone (Psalm 121).

 

1I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
            From where shall my help come?

      2My help comes from the LORD,
            Who made heaven and earth.

      3He will not allow your foot to slip;
            He who keeps you will not slumber.

      4Behold, He who keeps Israel
            Will neither slumber nor sleep.

      5The LORD is your keeper;
            The LORD is your shade on your right hand.

      6The sun will not smite you by day,
            Nor the moon by night.

      7The LORD will protect you from all evil;
            He will keep your soul.

      8The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
            From this time forth and forever.”

Psalm 121:1-8 (NASB)

Jesus Christ Is Risen! He Is Risen, Indeed!

May we stop and reflect on the beauty of the Cross this Easter
week. It is not about what outfit we wear to church…not about bunnies and plastic eggs…it is all about the LOVE OF GOD manifested for all humanity through the finished work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on the cross (1 John 4:9-10). He took the penalty of God’s wrath for the sin I committed and could not help my self to avoid (Isaiah 53:3)…love was shown by God in this radical act of devotion and zealous pursuit (John 3:16)…when Jesus died for you…for me…and all who call upon the mighty and eternal name of the Savior, Jesus Christ (John 3:18). And praise God…the STORY DOES NOT END THERE (1 Corinthians 15:4)!

On the third day, just as the prophesies had predicted…women (Matthew 28:6)…Roman soldiers guarding the tomb (Matthew 28:11-15)…and the disciples of Jesus Christ all gave witness to the fact that an angel of God had rolled away the stone in front of the tomb…and JESUS HAD RISEN FROM THE DEAD (Luke 24:1-12)! THANK YOU JESUS!

For all who are contemplated whether or not to buy into this account of Easter, I encourage you to read Luke chapter 22 through Luke chapter 24 within the Holy Bible…and pray for the Lord to reveal Himself…praise God that He is not timid…but WANTS to be found by all humanity…He created us…and loved us…and it is for the JOY of reconciliation that He took my sin and my shame upon Himself…and simply asks me (and all others) to believe…and enjoy ETERNAL RIGHT STANDING BEFORE ALMIGHTY GOD…How beautiful is the message of hope that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

If you would like to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your own life…to cover and forgive each and every screw up you have ever done…and I assure you…He had a lot to cover in my own life…HE IS READY TO THIS VERY MOMENT. You see, the Holy Bible assures us that not ONE of us is worthy of heaven for each of us do, say and think wicked things…it’s just the truth.
And with this truth in mind, God showed is unabashed love for all humanity by coming Himself…WRAPPED IN HUMAN FLESH…as a Babe, called Jesus Christ…and after 33 years of living in the Middle East and performing miracles, raising people from the dead and making known that He was the only way to get to God (because He IS GOD)…He then went to
the cross…the most brutal and barbaric killing instrument of that day…for me…for you…and for each and every soul who comes to realize that WE CANNOT MAKE IT ON OUR OWN…no amount of achievement, botox, social status, Bible memory, good deeds or anything else can get us into heaven…IT IS BY JESUS CHRIST ALONE. It is truly that simple.

And if you want Him to become the Lord and King of your life–just ask Him now. “Dear Jesus, I have screwed up in this life. I cannot make it to heaven on my own. I want to be forgiven of my wrongs and know that You can do this. I believe that You are the Son of God and that You
did raise from the dead on the third day, just as the Bible says. I accept You into my life…not as a figure…but as my one and only God. Thank You for the assurance of my rescue and salvation that I cannot loose…because I did not earn it. In the name of my Lord and God, 
Jesus the Christ, I pray…amen.”

If you prayed that prayer, I encourage you to TELL SOMEONE…for there is much to rejoice over! It is then time to start getting involved with 
other believers in Jesus Christ. Happy Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!

Easter In Light Of Islam: Combatting the Lie that Jesus Never Died

Over the past nine years, the Lord Jesus has allowed my heart to be stirred and moved for a people group that I previously had known nothing about. Apart from a few news clips here or there in the press, I knew next to nothing about the Arab people as a whole; specifically the Muslim people. As I began to interact with my Muslim friends (while living and traveling extensively in North Africa, the Middle East and America), I began to learn so much about their culture, their faith and their overall beliefs. But what caught me most off guard was the sincere willingness and deep yearning in many to know more about the God of the Injeel (The New Testament of the Bible, in Arabic). 

 

Ladies, may we take every opportunity to prayerfully engage with those of other faiths and other cultures with the good news of Jesus Christ! For there is only ONE NAME by which humanity can be saved; and that name is the risen Son of God, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:21, Acts 4:12, Acts 10:43, 1 Timothy 2:5-6). Now, allow us to see how the Qur’an can be used to point a seeking Muslim to Jesus Christ.

 

 

Qur’an 3:3-4…God sent the Torah (the Old Testament of the Bible), the Injeel (the New Testament of the Bible) and the Light (Jesus is called the “Light of God” in the Qur’an)…and those who do not believe in them have gone astray.

 

 

Qur’an 10:94 …God told Mohammad, if you are in doubt, speak to the “People of the Book” and this was only the Jews (referenced in the Old Testament of the Bible) and the Christians (referenced in the New Testament of the Bible). Muslims were not called “People of the Book” until Mohammad’s death…when the Qur’an was compiled.

 

 

Since the Qur’an tells Muslims to believe the Bible (the “People of the Book”), it is then implied that they should listen to the law spoken of in the Bible; that was fulfilled through the death, burial and resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ.

Islam and Christianity both teach that humanity is flawed, but each have very different means to deal with the issue. Islam teaches that by doing enough regulated deeds for Allah; one can attain right standing with Allah; for a short time…before messing up as a human again. Christianity teaches that it is through Jesus Christ alone that we can be saved from the rebellious nature of our hearts and receives right standing before Almighty God (1 John 4:9-10). Christianity unabashedly proclaims that there is nothing that we could do on our own to attain this right standing before God; this is the beauty of Easter!

 

“1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ(by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10 (NASB)

 

Islam teaches that Jesus never actually died on the cross. It is taught that Judas Iscariot was transposed onto the cross, to keep a prophet of God, Jesus, from being “shamed”. Thus, Islam teaches that Judas was transposed upon the cross and that Jesus was taken up into heaven to have never seen death. With this logic, how could Jesus save me from death, if He Himself never died? The problem with this logic is it is all based on one verse within the Qur’an (Qur’an 4:157). The reality is, there are actually three references to the death of Jesus within the Qur’an:

 

Qur’an 3:55…Allah told Jesus that He was lifting Him up to Himself (also can mean DEATH in Arabic…the word used is mudawafika” meaning either lifted up or death).

 

Qur’an 4:157…Though they killed Jesus, the Son of Mary, but it was not true

 

Qur’an 19:33…Jesus said bless the day I was born, the day I died and the day I was raised alive.

 

A few days ago in our home, the Lord gave me the awesome opportunity to share the truth of what Jesus Christ said about Himself within the Bible over tea. And in that time, the Holy Spirit revealed to this young woman the beautifully victorious implications of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus on the third day in the tomb.

 

And as we spoke, my Muslim friend shared that she had read some parts of the Bible in Arabic before, but that she had lots of questions. We had an Arabic version of the Holy Bible on our bookshelf, and as we spoke, the Lord laid it upon my heart to place it into her hands. As I did, the young woman’s eyes grew wide and she gently stroked the front cover. She opened the covered and asked what year this was published. She sat silently for a moment before looking up with extreme urgency in her voice. “I have to read this.” She looked back down at the Arabic script upon the pages of this version of the Bible within her mother tongue and flipped through the pages in excited silence. My friend then spoke again, “May I borrow this?! I have to read this.” The Lord prompted my heart to give her the Arabic Bible and she was overwhelmed. At first she said that she could not accept it, but then reaffirmed the fact that she had to read the Injeel (The New Testament of the Bible, in Arabic).

 

My friend shared that she was not a “bad Muslim”, but still did not adhere to all that Islam taught (e.g. covering her hair, praying five times a day in the direction of Mecca, etc.). But, I shared that the Injeel (The New Testament of the Bible in Arabic) teaches us that we all are bad and have made God sad (Romans 3:23). The expectation from God is that we are mathaalee (perfect, in Arabic). And since we are not, and cannot be perfect, this is the beauty of Easter!!!

 

I told her with a smile Allah m’hubber (God is love, in Arabic) and that God proved His love for each and every person by sending Jesus to die upon the cross for the bad and shameful things that we each have done. My friend listened intently and took in each word that was spoken.

 

I then shared f’kot wahed Allah, welakin theretha fee wahed. (There is only one God, but there is three in one). God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I then shared that Jesus (Eesah, in Arabic) – Eesah hoowa Allah –Jesus is God. My friend listened as she strained forward while sipping on sugary tea with fresh mint. Her face had such a genuine yearning to know more. My heart was praising Jesus for this opportunity to speak of my risen Savior to a Muslim friend who wanted to learn more about Him!

 

Ladies, the point of this post is this, PREACH THE WORD of Jesus Christ, both in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:1-2). There is so much at stake. There are so many who are desperate to learn more of Jesus Christ and what the BIBLE has to say about Him. May we take a stand of truth and love for Jesus Christ—for the world needs to hear of the God who redeemed all who call upon the name of Jesus Christ. Happy Easter…HE IS RISEN…HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

 

The 3:16 Challenge

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NASB)

 

What do all these people have in common: An AIDS orphan in Ndola, Zambia, a prostitute between clients in the Soy Cowboy district of Bangkok, Thailand, an abaya wearing divorcee raising a child by herself, a quiet art student in Chung Ching, China and a high schooler from Tampa, Florida?

 

Any guesses?

 

What about these people: A homosexual woman raising a child with her lesbian lover, a man who is the quarterback on his college football team, an illegal immigrant in hiding, a convicted murderer of a school shooting and a regular church attender?

 

Answer: Each and every person listed above needs to hear about the one and only Son of God, Jesus Christ.

 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NASB)

 

And until these people hear of Jesus Christ, how will they be able to accept Him – if they do not know Him?

 

“11 Now the Scripture says, everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

 

14 But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things! 16 But all did not obey the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” Romans 10:11-17 (NASB)

 

We may look back at these lists and think, “Well, I can see how that person would be loved by God, but that one…that one doesn’t deserve God’s love and forgiveness! It just wouldn’t be right!” If we find ourselves struggling to come to grips with the reality that all people are invited to come seek forgiveness through the completed work of Jesus Christ, it’s time to have a serious soul check before God Almighty.

 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (HCSB)

 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (NASB)

 

Ladies, let’s get honest here—the grace and eternal favor of God cannot be earned, manipulated, stolen, accumulated or statistically generated. It is not a matter of how “good” we may look to others or how detestable someone else’s life may look compared to our own; it all comes down to the rebellious nature of the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

 

“Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the LORD is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed.” 1 Samuel 2:3 (NASB)

  

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB)

 

 

When modern day slavery is at an all time high, when suicide rates of young ones has become a global epidemic, when the lost, broken and hurting feel that there is no way out of their lives of pain—MAY WE BE CROSS-EYED—and turn them to the cross of Jesus Christ. May we share with unabashed joy the hope, healing and new life offered to all who truly come and fall at the feet of Jesus Christ; who died upon a cross for all so that we may eternally live through accepting Him as the Lord of our lives (Acts 16:31)! 

 

I challenge each and everyone reading this article today, to take the 3:16 Challenge. What is it? You may be asking. Whenever the clock says 3:16, morning or evening, pray for the lost and hurting to come to a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. And not just pray for them, but ask God for the opportunities to reach these lost people. Because, ladies, it doesn’t matter how “good” life on earth may look for a given person, if they do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, hell and eternal punishment for the rebellion of each soul awaits (John 3:18). And you know what? God loves each one of us enough to offer freedom out of this place of eternal separation from God—through personal acceptance of the love and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ for our own lives (1 John 4:9-10).

 

You see, when Jesus Christ died upon the cross of Calvary between two criminals, He cried out, “Father, please forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). And when Jesus Christ rose from the dead, just as He said He would (John 10:18) on the third day from being in the tomb (Matthew 28:6), the punishment for all rebellion of humanity against a righteous and holy God was satisfied (Isaiah 53:5). Therefore, we now know the name by which we can be saved from hell—Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God (Acts 4:12).

 

Check the time…is it 3:16? Let us pray with passion to the God who passionately loves all people from all backgrounds, all nations, all cultures and all twisted living. We do not earn the love of God–it is freely offered to all–now may we freely love those enough around us to share of God’s glorious plan of redemption, hope and healing for each complex situation and failed attempt at life….Jesus Christ proved that each and every heart was eternally valuable to Him through His death for our failings while He Himself was innocent of all sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). And now, it is our responsibility as the Church of Jesus Christ to pick up His passion for those He came to save–ALL (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).

 

Dear Lord Jesus, please ignite Your Church to boldly proclaim Your name and Your message of hope, restoration and ultimate healing through You! May hearts be stirred, feet be moved and mouths be opened to share of this glorious news that You loved Your own creation so much that You gave Your own live to ransom us from the grip of condemnation and redeemed us to enjoy peace, purpose and eternal life with You! Give us Your eyes for those around our world and our cities who are in such desperate need of Your gospel of unconditional love for all people—for we all so desperately need Your forgiveness. Thank You for offering it so freely, without finding fault, for all who call upon Your name. You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords! We lift up Your name high, Jesus, and ask for Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!

He Did It For Me: An Easter Reflection

“This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.” John 10:17-18 (HCSB)

 

For all the times that we look at our lives and think, “I have really screwed up this time…” Think of the cross of Jesus Christ and remind yourself “He did it for me.”

 

For all the times we wish we could take back a photo, text stream or online post that has brought us shame, guilt and embarrassment…Think of the cross of Jesus Christ and remind yourself “He did it for me.”

 

For all the hatred, gossip, slander and jealously that boils silently within our hearts…that makes us keenly aware that we are not as “good” as we are supposed to be…Think of the cross of Jesus Christ and remind yourself “He did it for me”.

 

For the sexually immoral, the gender confused, the numb and the suicidal…know that God’s love and forgiveness is for you too! Think of the cross of Jesus Christ and remind yourself “He did it for me”.

 

When the lies of the devil are screaming in our ears “You won’t walk away from this one…you have really done it this time…you might as well just go all the way now…who would possibly love and care for you now?!” Think of the cross of Jesus Christ and remind yourself “He did it for me”.

 

Ladies, as Easter is quickly approaching, may we stop and give pause to the events that took place to benefit us – right where we find ourselves this very day – from the one and only lover of our souls.

 

You see, Jesus was very clear that the devil has come to kill, steal and destroy, but in vast contrast, Jesus Christ came to give us life and life to the fullest (John 10:10). Amen! The Son of God—Jesus Christ—came to earth to live a perfect life free from all guilt, free from all shame and free from all screw ups in order to then take the punishment for each one of us—who are covered in guilt, shame and regrets.

6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person–though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! 9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him.” Romans 5:6-11 (HCSB)

 

How beautiful are these promises of God to all who decide to put their hope and trust in Jesus Christ! Our guilt is paid for in full (Psalm 32:5). Our shame is wiped away completely (Isaiah 43:25). Our regrets are remembered no more (Psalm 103:12). Hallelujah for a God of redemption who loved each of us enough to pay the penalty of our massive offenses against the one and only righteous and holy God, by footing the bill Himself (1 John 4:9-10). Ladies, this is epic…if we are just willing to actually pause and soak in the healing truth of God’s goodness.

33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

39One of the criminals who were hanging there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to Him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:33-43 (NASB)

In this time leading up to Easter, may we see plainly and with grateful hearts that Jesus Christ died and rose again to life on the third day because of His great love for us all (Matthew 12:40, Matthew 16:21, Matthew 28:5-10, Acts 2:24, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). With a deep sigh and a sincere heart of gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ, may we remind ourselves this Easter season, “He Did It For Me”.