Easter

 

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A month ago, after dinner, a devotional on the cross and Resurrection taught by a lady brought tears to her eyes. “I never get tired of hearing of Jesus’ sacrifice and all He went through-the awful beatings, His beard plucked from His face and ultimately, one of the cruelest forms of execution. He took the punishment for my sins and multitudes of others, some of whom end up rejecting Him.”

 

Tonight, we attended the dinner in a different locale and it was my turn to present the devotional. I left my statements and Scripture references early with an open-ended question because the ages of the Christians vary and their years in the faith vary. To say they are mature Christians would be an accurate statement. Completely perfect, impossible. Only Jesus is perfect, back when He walked the earth and now, alive in heaven. They are a group of believers that try to keep their eyes on Jesus and they repent when they mess up, but they sincerely try to follow God’s commands.

 

My text was James 1:5 and then James 1:6-8. God promises us wisdom from Him if we ask with faith. Then I went to James 3:13-18 which tells us in the ASV, (which I downloaded from e-Sword.net):

Wisdom from Above 

Jas 3:13  Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.

Jas 3:15  This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jas 3:16  For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed.

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.

Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.

 

Even when God tells me I’ve done something wrong, the idea may be firm but it’s not condemning, nasty, and/or contradictory to Scripture.

 

So, when I ask God questions like, “Father, what should I do in this situation? Is anything hindering Your will?”

 

I can expect Him to give me the wisdom I’m seeking. In the past, when I needed answers, I’ve asked God what something meant and then I’d hear teachings from pastors or teachers on Christian radio. Sometimes, I’d sense a Scripture pop into my brain and there would be the answer.

Other times, I’d ask my husband or if we were at a different church sitting under a pastor, I’d ask the pastor. God always showed me what I needed to know.

 

What about you?

 

One of the ladies said that she hears from God when she spends quiet time reading the Word and praying and listening for Him and often times it’s such a silent little nudge in her thinking that is outside of her normal way but well within the precepts of Scripture. Once she felt she should share of her bounty with a fellow-believer, but she wanted to be sure and so she prayed for six weeks. She kept sensing the same direction, give to your friend. When she gave her the money she offered an apology for waiting so long. The friend said the income came at just the right time. Our associate said, “Isn’t that just like God? He knew it would take me six weeks to get to the place of obedience, so He started trying to get through six weeks before the need arose. He knew when she would need it. He knew how long it would take me to act. He is incredible and He is gracious.”

 

Many participated, although some did not. One person said he mostly gets what God wants Him to do by reading the Word and as he sees a need before him, he’ll help if he has the means and he’ll pray that he errs on the side of grace. There are times when he doesn’t give because he can tell the person is totally scamming him and is capable of working but chooses not to. Then he spoke about people losing the fear of the Lord, how God is a just Judge, but not completely forgiving and kind and willing to slip-slide around when it comes to His commands. That brought up more discussion. God does forgive when someone truly is sorry and truly starts to turn from their sin. He knows our hearts, our thoughts, every intent, every word we’re about to speak.

 

That’s why He tells us in Proverbs 21:23, (NKJV), “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”

 

That’s a good word for me.

 

May God bless you.

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Easter Dinner Tomorrow – I Hope

Hi! I keep putting off Easter Dinner, waiting for the time when the kids are free and the hubby is available. Now, it looks as though maybe just one or two of the kids are coming over, maybe the husband will be around and a handful of grandchildren.

 

Do you ever make plans and see them float downstream? I’ve been hearing from my spouse, and reminding myself, God’s got this. Lots of things are going in a direction I’m almost sure is the wrong way. Then, since I have no control over any of the results or the decisions leading to the results, I’ve decided to let go. Let what’s going to happen, happen. Then, sit back and watch what God has in mind.

I may have already written that last week or a little more than that, the keys to my car were with my husband in another town. I had a dr.s appointment and I called them to cancel. When I arrived at a later appointment I ran into two people I know. One I prayed for, the other I talked to, and then a little girl barely old enough to walk was there. Cute as can be, with a virus that she couldn’t shake. So, even though the parent didn’t know  it, I also asked God to intervene for her.

I thought, maybe that’s why my appointment got changed. For those people. To see a different physician’s assistant who’s about ready to retire at the end of her day, when she’s not stressing to get me out before the next patient. Maybe she wouldn’t be that way, but I don’t know. I told her ladies at my Bible study sat around a table and said she was going to be missed. Maybe she needed a word of encouragement. Another thing I don’t know for sure.

All I do know is that when I rest in God’s control over my life and this world, I have lots more peace than when I keep my hands knotted on the ship’s wheel.

When I was driving my little car in the wind today in NYS, I was thinking, “Jesus, take the wheel,” like the Carrie Underwood song’s lyrics. I took a tree lined route to avoid wind without any barriers on an expressway.

Driving along,I got thinking, if we have a delayed Easter dinner tomorrow, so be it. If it falls apart, there’s always another day. “Your will be done, Lord.”

Rejoicing in Life!

Today is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24. Tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday! Really worth rejoicing over.

I went to a wedding today and saw celebration and fun.

I interacted with a grandnephew on a deeper level. I think the last time I saw him, he was tiny. Now, he’s five years old and practiced mastering his knife and fork at the reception.

He snuck tiny cubes of cantaloupe and carrot sticks off my plate with the ease of a master thief. When I went back to the hors d’oeuvre table I took extra carrots and cantaloupe to accommodate his small hands.

His grandma laughed and said he helped himself to their plates at home habitually. A thought came to mind, at five he’ll be entering kindergarten. I can’t picture other children offering their fruit and veggies to this little fellow unless he charms them like he’s charmed the adults.

Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Helping oneself to food off a new aunt’s plate is one thing at a tender age.

Imagine him at thirteen, meeting another person at a meal. It’s not so cute to see a youngster of that age lifting a crunchy carrot without permission off a relatives’plate right after introductions.

“Excuse me? Get yourself a plate,” is the most likely response.

Children learn lessons at home and if not there, life steps up and teaches us, sometimes the hard way.

I didn’t want to tell him to keep his fingers off my plate, just like his grandma. Deep inside I knew it’ll come up some day. He’ll find out he’s not the center of the universe before long.

We all do. It’s a good lesson learned. I’m just glad he’s not my responsibility to correct. Such a cute kid.

“Risen”

Again, before Easter in my New York State vicinity, a religious denomination that sends people out, two at a time, had men in suits approach me with some literature.

I know this group does not believe Jesus is God the Son. I got caught off guard, but I mentioned the Scripture where Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”

That can be found in John 8:58. After some time of listening and speaking, my husband came out of the house to run an errand and he saw me talking to the two gentlemen. The only Scripture he offered was John 8:58 when I mentioned that the guys said there are no verses where Jesus says He’s God. They think he’s a god. They left and I went inside and prayed. It’s always up to God to draw men unto Himself.

A little later my husband asked me to go to see “Risen” at the movie theater with him and have a bite to eat. He did his work and I did mine and then off we went.

That movie shows the death and resurrection of our Savior from the perspective of a Roman. The Jewish culture under Roman rule as depicted in the movie made it clear why the zealots wanted them out of Jerusalem and the holy land.

I hope you can see it. I saw a thing or two I wondered about, but I don’t hesitate to recommend it.

Easter – Resurrection Sunday

Hi! I wrote this for our church’s April newsletter. I’m copying it here because I love what Jesus did for everyone and because I’ve had a stomach bug three times in March and so I’m catching up on things as I carry on in life. God bless. I intend to share comments made on the blog on how to find the “right” spouse later this week.

Consider the love of God, which never fails. Romans 8:38,39 (KJV) says: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I remember going to Catholic Church as a young girl seeing the Stations of the Cross, as they were called, miniature three dimensional carvings of the steps Jesus took on the way to the crucifixion – ending with His dead body being held by loved ones as they began to place him in a stone hewn resting place.

As I got older, on Good Friday at noon, I read the Bible’s account of Jesus’ betrayal and then His journey to the cross and to His death to my Mom. It was our tradition. I wasn’t born again yet, but the sacrifice Jesus made for my sin touched me deeply.

Resurrection means to be revived from death. After hearing that Jesus’ choice to endure the suffering and agony at Golgotha would enable me to be in a right relationship with God, I eventually understood salvation and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior!

He rose from the dead after three days in the tomb. My flesh came alive to the Spirit of God after many years of hearing His Word and many months of listening to an evangelical friend that didn’t give up on me. She prayed for me, she gave me nuggets of truth five school days of the week.

There are so many lies about Jesus – He’s not God, He’s just a prophet, a child of God like we are. Satan loves to deceive people; ensnare people with hurts, offenses, addictions; kill people with lies about suicide offering a peaceful alternative to this world.

Jesus said in John 10:10 (KJV), “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it abundantly.”

It’s never too late to experience God’s love, His deliverance, His protection, His provision, His still small voice welcoming you to get to know Him better.