Lessons from the Father and our Resurrected Savior

Easter is a the most important holiday we can celebrate. Without this mighty display of God’s power, Christianity could not have its most unique and saving qualities: not by works but faith is one saved (Ephesians 2:8; Galatians 2:16), all can come to the Father and Son (Colossians 3:11; Galatians 3:8), God loves us and wants to know us personally ( John 15:15), and our Savior is ALIVE and resurrected, thus conquering death (Corinthians 15:55, 57; 2 Timothy 1:10;  Matthew 28:6more).

Let’s read the beginning of this victory.

*Matthew 28:1-10 After the Sabbath, as the light of the next day, the first day of the week, crept over Palestine, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb to keep vigil. Earlier there had been an earthquake. A messenger of the Lord had come down from heaven and had gone to the grave. He rolled away the stone and sat down on top of it. He veritably glowed. He was vibrating with light. His clothes were light, white like transfiguration, like fresh snow. The soldiers guarding the tomb were terrified. They froze like stone.

The messenger spoke to the women, to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.

Messenger of the Lord: Don’t be afraid. I know you are here keeping watch for Jesus who was crucified. But Jesus is not here. He was raised, just as He said He would be. Come over to the grave, and see for yourself.

And then go straight to His disciples, and tell them He’s been raised from the dead and has gone on to Galilee. You’ll find Him there. Listen carefully to what I am telling you.

The women were both terrified and thrilled, and they quickly left the tomb and went to find the disciples and give them this outstandingly good news. But while they were on their way, they saw Jesus Himself.

Jesus (greeting the women): Rejoice.

The women fell down before Him, kissing His feet and worshiping Him.

Jesus: 10 Don’t be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee. Tell them I will meet them there.

This year, God has allowed me to understand his forgiveness in a more complete way. I have often struggled with feelings of guilt for what I have done, even after asking God for forgiveness. I’ve been holding onto to past failures and allowing them to keep me from experiencing God’s abounding mercy and grace.

I learned the verses about freedom in Christ and His forgiveness but never fully understood them.

  • “Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King.” Romans 8:1
  • “So stand strong for our freedom! The Anointed One freed us so we wouldn’t spend one more day under the yoke of slavery, trapped under the law.” Galatians 5:1
  • “So think of it this way: if the Son comes to make you free, you will really be free.” John 8:36

God’s love is so big that He sees the righteousness of His Son when He sees us.  He orchestrated this: the Anointed One, who had never experienced sin, became sin for us so that in Him we might embody the very righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

I can’t remember the exact place where I heard it (from Chip Ingram or Charles Stanley maybe?), but it radically changed how I view the fear of messing up. If I am not afraid of death because of what Christ rising from the dead did for me, how then can I fear anything else? After hearing, I really started to think, men and women have written stories about immortality for generations; people want to escape death. As a Christian, I am excited for the day I will leave this earth to be with my Savior and Father in heaven.

The miraculous gift God gave through His Son is the power to forgive myself and other people. It is the power to be free of past regret and shame.

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NIV  for God tells us through the apostle John; perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). God is the only perfect lover of our souls.

We are free from sin, death, shame, and regret. Only God can turn bad into good. Genesis 50:20 “Even though you intended to harm me, God intended it only for good, and through me, He preserved the lives of countless people, as He is still doing today.”

*All verses from The Voice unless otherwise marked
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Resurrection Day is come!

Each year as I know God more, Easter becomes more and more rich. This past  Holy Thursday, Good Friday (0r Velký Pátek -Big Friday as the Czechs call it) , Holy Saturday, and this blessed Resurrection Day has filled my soul with such hope.

Thursday, I slept much of the day because I’ve had a terrible cold/flu. The night before I was so frustrated. I tried to pray to God expressing my frustration and anger for not being able to put my whole self into ministry, as this was about my third cold this year (and the worst). I started coughing and coughing as I was praying. I cried out, “God, I can’t even pray with out coughing.”  I tell this not for my own glory but to tell of God’s mighty deliverance from our infirmities. Wednesday and Thursday night, I slept very soundly, more soundly than I have slept the past few weeks. God truly is our deliver.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I watched three different film versions of the life of Christ. First, I watched “The Jesus Film.” I had never seen the movie in its entirety. My favorite part is Jesus telling a parable to the little children. I was reminded of His perfect fatherly love for us ALL: teaching and loving us.

Thursday and Friday, as I lay in bed exhausted with my cold, I watched “Jesus of  Nazareth,”  a six hour film about Jesus’ life.  My mother, sister, and I had always watched  it when I was a child. I had forgotten much of this interpretation.  I loved being able to see such a through portrayal of our Savior’s life. It allows the audience to see many sides to the story from different men and woman within the story. One part my mother and I truly love is when Mary Magdalene tells the disciples that Jesus has risen. In ancient culture women were seen as lower class, non-citizens. Jesus chose to reveal Himself to one who was thought unimportant in society. This gives me great hope as it shows God seeks to love and know all of us, even those who are not loved or valued by humankind.  This ten minute clip portrays so well the third day of Christ’s death-the day of his resurrection.

After finishing “Jesus of Nazareth,” I watched “The Passion of Christ.” I had not seen it since it was released in theatres. My mom, sister, and I had seen it then. In anticipation of watching it again, I expected to be weeping as I had the first time I saw it. I did cry, and cough, and sneeze, and cough. As I watched it, I wanted to cry more as it portrayed the horrendous death  my  Savior should have suffered. I felt guilty for not shedding many tears. I will never forget  hearing God’s beautiful whisper in my mind as I watched it, “Do not weep My beloved, your days to mourn are over. I have conquered the world for you. I have risen!”

The part that stays in my memory of “The Passion” is the following clip. Mary, Jesus’ mother, sees Him fall while attempting to carry the cross. Wow! What amazing words He tells her despite His great suffering. Jesus still preached about His Father’s truth even when in excruciating agony.

God used this time of sickness to get my attention about His love and mighty gift. How great the Father’s love for us;  how wonderful is the example that Christ gave to us of obedience and love.

I can never thank my God enough! Yet, by following His example, and giving Him my life,  I can tell as many people as I can about the truly spectacular gift. I can live  a life of thanks to Him.

I thank my God that He allowed me to suffer, just a little, on Good Friday( by coughing and coughing and shivering). I could share in His suffering.

He makes all things new!

Below is a song written about the passion of Christ and how he fulfilled His father’s will, securing our salvation. He has risen!!

Caution!!! The clip below shows gory images of the crucifixion.

 

One of Many Reflections

I’ve had  many adventures and revelations since my last entry, and living in Europe is still somewhat of a novelty to me.

God is helping me to improve the talents (playing my flute, baking, cooking, writing, communicating with people :] ) He has given me. This reminds me of

Philippians 1:6, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Recently, I starting listening to Family Life Network’s, Living on the Edge,  via online.  The past month, the messages have been about spiritual warfare and how to discover and use the spiritual gifts God has given me. God’s timing is so impeccable. Only about a week before, I had a Skype prayer session with Wellsprings Ministry. It was an amazing time of encouragement for my faith, confirmation that I am exactly where God desires me to be, and a time to learn more how God has equipped me for ministry.  The beautiful truth about God is that the time I spent with Him will never be lost; His truth can never be taken away from me.

Illustration by Scott T. Peterson

Illustration by Scott T. Peterson

My desire to be prepared to fight against the evil in this world has been renewed. Ephesians 6:10-20 says, “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

We have victory through Jesus Christ! Each day we need to chose to listen for God’s voice, and we need to practice thinking about His truth.