Homosexuality and the Church

This summer, “Songs of Praise,” a show on BBC, aired the union of Jamie Wallace and Ian McDonald, which created controversy within the Christian community. It wasn’t necessarily that it was a same-sex marriage that ignited the controversy. It was that it was performed in a Christian church and broadcasted on a faith-based show.

Many people were delighted that the church is coming into a new age of thinking. For some reason people today seem to think that the homosexual lifestyle is a brand-new modern romance and that people who celebrate the traditional marriage, do not understand. The truth is that homosexuality has existed for thousands of years. It is true that it may seem like somewhat of a new lifestyle because it is more widely accepted. This has a lot to do with the ability to spread news throughout the world via TV and the internet.

There are still cultures today that forbid it. According to Biblical teachings, it is a sin. Jesus said while on the cross, “Lord, forgive them because they know not what they do.” A lot of people truly do not think it is wrong. Like Jesus, we as believers pray for God’s forgiveness in their lives and at the same time pray that their eyes are opened to truth.

I am not writing this article to the unbeliever; however, as I understand they are accepting this lifestyle because they are viewing it without the light of truth. I am writing it to the believer, who claims that Christ is their Lord and yet walks in this lifestyle. And I am writing it to those who although, may not walk in this lifestyle, praise and celebrate people who do.

“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” 1 Corinthians 4:12 (ESV)

“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20 (ESV)

Those who believe in the teachings of the Bible know that there is a community of believers, who are missing the mark.

“The Christian Institute’s Director Colin Hart said: ‘It is deeply offensive to see same-sex marriage celebrated in such a way on what is supposed to be a Christian devotional programme.’” https://www.christian.org.uk/news/songs-of-praise-same-sex-promo-upsets-viewers

He continued to explain that the program was set up for those who cannot go to church and that the majority of Christian churches do not adhere to same-sex unions, especially in a Christian church setting. He stated that a faith-based show was no place to promote that lifestyle.

Jamie Wallace, one of the grooms, said, “Jesus preaches about love, inclusion, kindness and compassion.”

He also stated, “As a committed Christian, being able to marry the man I love with all my heart and soul, before God, in the church I love, with my family, friends and the congregation around us, is something I’ve dreamed of.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7370127/Gay-wedding-broadcast-Songs-Praise-time

He is right. Jesus did preach about, love, inclusion and kindness. But somehow Jamie missed the part about SIN and DEATH. God is a god of love, but he is also a God of justice and will not wink at sin. Instead, he LOVED us so much that he sent his son to DIE for each of us so we can be FREE from sin and death. That was huge!!! He didn’t make that enormous sacrifice so that we could continue to celebrate our sinful lifestyles! That would make Jesus’ blood, his death and raising from the dead, worthless. He wants us FREE from the bondage of sin.

If Jamie is a Christian, as he claims to be, perhaps he does not read his Bible. Or maybe he doesn’t have a personal relationship with the Lord that Christians experience.

If he had read some scriptures, especially in Revelation, he would understand that God instituted the marriage bond as an example of things to come, as he had done many times to explain the spiritual realm. The marriage unit is holy and pure. Scripture references Jesus as the groom who is coming for his bride, who is the church, the body of believers. If he read Genesis, he would understand that God made a man and a woman to become one and multiply the earth.

It is impossible for people of the same gender to become one. They can state that they are married and united but unfortunately will never be able to be one true unit. God created a man for a woman and a woman for a man. Simple biology proves that. To say otherwise, is mocking the institute that God created. And he stated that he will not be mocked. (Galatians 6:7)

All Jamie would have had to do was read the first chapter of Romans. Let’s start at verse 18.

“For God in heaven unveils his holy anger breaking forth against every form of sin, both toward ungodliness that lives in hearts and evil actions. For the wickedness of humanity deliberately smothers the truth and keeps people from acknowledging the truth about God.”

(Interesting how people easily dismiss and forget that God can express holy anger towards sin.)

Then let’s skip to verse 24-28. (TPT)

“This is why God lifted off his restraining hand and let them have full expression of their sinful and shameful desires. They were given over to moral depravity, dishonoring their bodies by sexual perversion among themselves, all because they traded the truth of God for a lie. They worshiped and served the things God made rather than the God who made all things—glory and praises to him for eternity of eternities! Amen!

For this reason, God gave them over to their own disgraceful and vile passions. Enflamed with lust for one another, men and women ignored the natural order and exchanged normal sexual relations for homosexuality. Women engaged in lesbian conduct, and men committed shameful acts with men, receiving in themselves the due penalty for their deviation.

And because they thought it was worthless to embrace the true knowledge of God, God gave them over to a worthless mind-set, to break all rules of proper conduct.”

Let’s make it clear, Christians, or believers of the teachings of Jesus are not cruel, mean, judgmental accusers. Reading the Bible, we realize that God is to be revered, even in our own lives. We try to live a life acceptable to the Lord because we love him and we seek to help those who are living a life that will lead them to destruction.

God loved us enough to destroy the sin in the world with a flood, destroy Sodom and Gomorrah by fire because of sexual perversion, and inspire Paul, by his Spirit, to write the book of Romans for the Christians then and now. God does not change. If he said it then, why would he change now?

We should humbly remember:
1. It is extremely important that we speak truth in LOVE. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
2. It is extremely important that we FORGIVE those who are confused. (Luke 23:34)
3. It is extremely important that we teach people TRUTH. (John 8:32)

I heard someone state how strange it is that the rainbow became the emblem of the homosexual lifestyle. The Lord used the rainbow as a promise that he would never flood the earth again, which, ironically, he did because of rampant sin throughout the earth.

What do you think? Where are you on this matter? Is the church behind times? Should we close our eyes and our mouths and simply say, “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be? Or do we just preach love and grace, ignoring the warning of his justice? Should we not warn those who call themselves Christians and perhaps save them from walking away from their eternity with Jesus? Should we not reveal hope to the lost so they can taste real freedom?

Do you think that God is, indeed, the same yesterday, today and forever as was stated in Hebrews 13:8? Or has he changed with the times and has accepted what he once called sin? If so, why bother going to the cross at all?

What do you think? Where do you stand? What will you do?

 

Breakthrough Season

I spent many hours driving on the highway this summer. During times when I was alone in the car, I prayed or simply talked with the Lord. People that may have observed this in the adjacent cars, may have assumed I was simply conversing on Bluetooth.

During one of those conversations I realized that my prayers had become declarations or prophetic proclamations. I began to say, “This summer I prophesy” …. the next word on my tongue was, “breakthrough”. Before I could even get the word out of my mouth the billboard sign on the side of the highway (it was one of these billboards that rotate advertisements) changed. Guess what the word was that filled the billboard?

BREAKTHROUGH

The word seemed to shine like a Vegas neon sign. Of course it was an advertisement of some sort. But the one word that took up most of the sign was BREAKTHROUGH, in bold letters.

Joy, excitement and anticipation filled my heart. Words regarding breakthrough began to spill out of my mouth like a river. I began to declare and believe BREAKTHROUGH over many of my personal situations, some that I have been praying over for years.

Faith bubbled over and I began to declare BREAKTHROUGH for others, for our land and our nation. I felt like I couldn’t contain myself. It was if I was creating life through those words as our Lord did when he created the world.

Suddenly Ezekiel 37: 1- 6 came into my mind.

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, O Sovereign Lord you alone know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know I am the Lord! So, I prophesied as I was commanded….”

Days and weeks later the Lord would put a person or a circumstance on my heart and I would say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. I declare the breath of life to you”, whatever the, “you,” represented. I would prayerfully speak life to people; to hopeless situations, to dead dreams that laid dormant and to promises that were not fulfilled.”

Then today as I was watching TV, a story came on about a tunnel being drilled through 85 miles of bedrock. The commentator made a comment stating (paraphrased) “This is one of the biggest break throughs.” Of course, he was commenting about breaking through the bedrock. But it reminded me of the “Breakthrough” word again.

Now is the time for the biggest breakthroughs in our lives, if we believe.

So, I speak LIFE to each of us and to the prayers and dreams in our hearts that we have been praying for and believing for but have become dormant. There may be things hidden so deep that we may have forgotten them, things that may appear dead. I declare life to those prayers, life to our dreams, life in our churches, life to our land and our nation.

This is not just a word for me, but for each of those who walk in the Light. Take authority of the situations that are surrounding you and speak life by speaking God’s Word into the situation.

Only you and your Lord may know what you are facing. It is time to walk in breakthrough!

LIVE!

Amen and God Bless.

To Love or To Hate

Radio Show Host: That person is walking in outright disgusting sin.

Radio Show Guest: Is it okay for me to hate him?

Radio Show Host: I would say, yes. It cannot be tolerated. In fact, I would like the audience to join me in mailing this person a letter telling him that he is going to hell. I am going to do that as soon as I get off the air.

Wow!

These words, though somewhat paraphrased because real names are not used, blew my mind! I was randomly going through radio stations and came across this Christian station. I was surprised. I have heard of individuals who have acted this way, but never really understood how this concept can exist in the Christian realm.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had my share of this attitude staring me down. I have had people from church hang up on me, speak evil about me, turn me away, gossip, accuse me and criticize those whose lives are dedicated to the Lord.

But I took it all in stride, knowing that I was only accountable for my heart, that these individuals did not represent all believers and that we are all subject to fall. And so, I walked away from those with this attitude. That is not to say that I didn’t get hurt at times.

BUT –

It has also been church going Christians who have encouraged me and prayed for me and with me. Those I choose to rub shoulders with are those that have experienced their own difficult times yet have risen up as warriors and overcomers, filled with COMPASSION for the lost. They are those that believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of prayer and the power of God’s undying LOVE.

LOVE is the key. God is love.

It is because of HIS love for each of us that Jesus came to earth to die so that we can escape sin and death. I have heard testimonies from individuals who have had near death experiences. They desperately try to explain how MUCH the Lord really LOVEs each of us.

It is his kindness that leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4) Condemnation will never lead to repentance. People who feel condemned always put up walls. I know, Ive been there. Love doesn’t condemn, that is the enemy of our souls who uses that measure.

BUT –

Love doesn’t compromise with sin either. That is also the enemy’s tool. All the talk about tolerance is dangerous because at times it means to tolerate sin. Compromise is an open door to confusion.

So, if we aren’t to walk in hateful anger towards those who flaunt sin as the opening statements suggested, and we are not to tolerate sin in our lives, nor compromise with it, something Jesus never did, what are we supposed to do?

How are we to love those that mock our Lord, those that make it their business to attack our values, or those that walk with arrogance or self-righteousness?

My personal answer: We fall in love with the one who IS love. IF we are consumed with HIM, HIS love flows out of us for others.

How can we accomplish this? It is by building a relationship with God. The way we build relationships is by spending time with those we say we love. In the case of our Lord it is through prayer or talking with him and reading his love letters (the Bible) and by being around those who have the same desire.

The Lord gives us the ability.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Consider Steven who was the first martyr for Christ. He was so deeply in love with his Lord that he didn’t compromise his stand for Christ; he also didn’t retaliate in vengeance.

And as the murderous stones came hurtling at him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ And he fell to his knees, shouting, ‘Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!’ and with that, he died.” Acts 7:59-60 (TLB)

I want to learn to love others with the Lord’s pure love. Am I willing to die for those who hurl insults or attack my way of life or verbally abuse those I love? Jesus loved so much he died for us WHILE we were sinners.

That kind of love does not attack others, BUT it also doesn’t compromise in sin nor agree with those that do. The more we fall in love with the Lord, the more we desire to become like him. Ultimate love would be to say like Steven, “Do not charge them with this sin.” It is also standing strong, as he did, WITHOUT compromising. Instead, we should desire to help those in bondage to become free.

“that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:26

Father in Heaven, I ask that you baptize your people with your love so that we walk in its purity, not condemning those who are confused or lost, but instead, by your grace, mercy and wisdom, directing them to the way of freedom and truth. Amen

For God SO LOVED the world…

God Bless.

It is a season of REST

In a world where you see so much violence, in a land where the political realm is almost dangerous, this word keeps entering into my soul: REST.

There are many descriptions of rest but these best explain what is on my heart:

  1. peace of mind or spirit
  2. free from anxieties and disturbance
  3. to remain confident (trust)

How can we discover this rest?

“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST.”  Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

“And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you REST.” Exodus 33:14 (ESV)

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will REST in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91 (NIV)

It requires God’s presence.

  1. Come to the Lord
  2. Stay in his presence
  3. Dwell in him

It doesn’t matter what news you may hear, whether in the world, in the nation, or in your personal life, you can still rest and experience peace as you stay in his presence.

Yes, we do need to pray earnestly for our government, for those around us and even for ourselves. But ultimately the battle belongs to the Lord. In spite of what we might see, our confidence must rest in his faithfulness.

As believers we should always stay vigilant in prayer and reading the Word, because the enemy seeks to bring destruction. But in the midst of this: REST.

I was thinking about the season of King David. While he remained king it was a season of war and conquering. When his son, King Solomon reigned it was a season of peace.

I feel that this isn’t just a season that the Lord is giving to me personally, but it is a season that the Lord is granting anyone who desires it.

God has heard our prayers. Like he heard the cries of the children of Israel when they were slaves in Egypt, he will bring deliverance to us, as well. Though we see turmoil in this world, God is doing great miracles of deliverance in the realm of the spirit for each of us individually and in our nation.

Remember the story of Martha and Mary? Martha was busy doing what needed to be done, but Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet. And what was Jesus’ reply when Martha began to grumble about her sister’s apparent laziness?

“Martha, Martha, you are getting worried and upset about too many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has made the right choice and it will never be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

If you have been diligently praying about a situation, he has heard your prayers. Make the choice to sit in his presence, listen to his words and REST in his faithfulness.

It is a season of REST.

God bless.

 

 

Unstoppable

All of us have been through those middle school years. For some the transition may have been smooth. Then there was the other half, whose transition came with many obstacles. Either way your life was changed. You entered as a little kid out of elementary school and left as a teenager ready to meet the high school years. Not only was your body going through transformation, but so was your mind and emotions.

If you are a parent of middle school children, or should I say tweens who end up as teenagers, it can be like a riding a carnival ride. You want to have fun, but you also realize that the ride was put together in only a couple days. It can be a little unstable and perhaps a little scary.

During one of those tumultuous rides I have had the privilege of experiencing, I was having a very serious talk with the Lord. I was asking for wisdom and felt the Lord gave me three areas that I could spend time praying over.

  1. Revelation of God’s love.
  2. Loving Oneself.
  3. Understanding the power of honoring (or respecting) one’s mother and father.

That sounded simple enough. But as I was thinking about those concepts, I needed to make sure they were stable in my life. First, I needed to adjust my oxygen mask, so to speak, then through prayer I could help adjust my middle schooler’s.

REVELATION OF GOD’S LOVE-

That is simple enough. We know the Sunday School song, “Jesus Loves Me”. We’ve read the bumper stickers, “Smile God Loves You” that is inclusive of a smiley face. I know how cliché these words can sound without the leading of the Holy Spirit. I have been told that God loves me since I was a child. But it took me a LONG time to get the revelation.

In my youth I worked hard for that love so I could have a pat on the back. And as an adult I resolved to have a godly home. But it wasn’t always the case and when I would make unwise choices for my life, I would beat myself up. If I let someone down, especially my heavenly Father, I would be angry at myself.

But if I REALLY had the revelation of God’s love, it wouldn’t have been such a strenuous walk. There was a time while I was beaten down emotionally and spiritually when the Lord spoke to my spirit to trust him. My reply: but I don’t trust myself! I knew that I was imperfect and would make mistakes.

Then I heard him say, “I never told you to trust yourself, I said to trust ME.” It is hard for those of us who want to have control to let go and allow the Lord to work in our lives and in those around us. But it is necessary to allow him to display his love towards us. So, I chose to take the step to trust God’s love.

It was that same love that David experienced. Though he had made unwise choices at times, his heart was humble, and he was devoted to the Lord. God said about him, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” (Acts 13:22)

It was because of the revelation of God’s love that John could write, “the disciple that Jesus loved” about himself in the Gospel of John. He understood the deep love that the Lord had for him. It allowed him to stand with his Lord at the cross. It allowed him to endure suffering, as well. It also allowed him the honor to receive the visions to write the book of Revelation.

LOVE YOURSELF-

When I say to love yourself, I do not mean it to be a self-centered statement. It means to take genuine care of oneself. It’s concept: “I am worthy.” It gives a person the ability to make wise choices for themselves whether it is mentally, physically or even spiritually. It gives the individual the power to put up boundaries and surround themselves with positive input.

It loves the body you are in. It even makes it easier to consume the proper food, view clean content and make wise friendships and life influences. Believe me, this concept will keep you from much heartache.

Once you can love yourself, it will be easier to love those around you.

HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER –

Well, that is a nice statement and a great Bible verse. As parents is easy to want to share this one with our kids. But as I was meditating on it, the reality of its power became more evident.

“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise; so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV)

If you think about it, respecting authority creates peace. Respect for our elders, teachers, bosses, police officers, judges and our highest office –presidency, begins with honoring our parents. Those you see fighting police officers, destroying property in the name of protest, making rude jesters and comments towards those in authority probably never learned to respect their own parents when they were young. (Of course, perhaps no one took the time to teach them.) Regardless, honor brings peace, peace brings blessings. Blessings create the ability to enjoy your life with longevity.

Be Unstoppable-

Though there are many views and suggestions to help raise our children, tweens and teens, these three concepts are some of the tools they will need to face the giants that will try to defeat them. This isn’t just for the young. It’s for all of us.

There is transforming power in God’s love. We can only love him because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19).

How can we share his love without the revelation of his love towards us? How we can love others if we do not first love ourselves.? How can we bring peace to our families and our societies if we do not first show them respect?

I pray that the youth today experience a God-encounter inclusive of the powerful revelation of HIS eternal love for them. I pray that they will take that revelation to their peers. I am believing and praying that the Holy Spirit will transform our children, tweens, teens, their parents and grandparents so that our land can rise up with the knowledge of God’s love.

Then we will be unstoppable and can spread his Gospel .

God bless

Acceptance

You may not be old enough to remember, Cheers, the TV sitcom of the 80s. But perhaps you are familiar with the theme song, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.” The stanza goes as follows:

“Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they’re always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same:
You want to be where everybody knows your name.”

In other words, you want to be accepted, just as you are. Acceptance plays a huge role in the lives of every individual. It is the exact opposite of being bullied and rejected. I believe that people bully so that they can force their acceptance upon others. Most likely they have been rejected themselves. They parade that rejection by rejecting others in hopes that they will get followers that will admire their display of power.

Wanting to be accepted, as well, the weak minded do follow this perverse display of power. You’ve seen it with global leaders. Who would willingly follow Hitler or Stalin or any other destructive personality? You would think it would be obvious to walk away from that vulgarity, but the desire of acceptance is overwhelming.

You can witness this as the display seems to evolve from the playground into the lives of world leaders today. You hear of the news of horror stories of children committing suicide because they were bullied, and not accepted. And others kill those around them in anguish of rejection.

The pressures of acceptance is so intense that individuals will go against their conscience so that they will be accepted by those around them. In fact, I am sure that the crowds that have been displayed on our streets are filled with people who have no idea why they are joined together to protest, except that their peers are doing it. It is the thing to do, if you want to be part of the “in group”. I’ve listened to street interviews asking what their opinion is regarding a movement and the individuals interviewed are clueless. They are just following the crowd. These are not the first days this has happened.

Think about the holy movement taking place when Jesus walked the earth. Crowds heard about this man that did miracles and they smothered him. But just as quickly when a few strong voices screamed to crucify him, individuals joined in on the band wagon and began repeating the same words. Those who didn’t were silent or scurried away.

It was the same with Paul. There was a huge riot when he and some of those witnessing with him, visited Ephesus. The people were angry but there was a confusion.

“Some people shouted one thing while others shouted something else. The crowd was confused. Most of the people didn’t even know why they had come together.” Acts 19:32 (GWT)

“Everybody’s doing it. I want to be part of the larger voice,” they may have thought, as many are doing in this hour. “I want to fill the longing of acceptance that rages in my heart.”

I recently listened to a testimony of a person that temporarily left the church because of being hurt and rejected by those she trusted. She explains that the rejection and hurt in her heart was so overwhelming that she began to look elsewhere. She found acceptance in the LGBTQ community. She explained that, that particular community of people is so welcoming of any person that is seeking acceptance. It is extremely easy to feel like you belong. From there she got involved in street gangs. You can read her story in her book, “Behind Enemy Lines” by Nicole Collins. Or watch her testimony on Main Street @ https://youtu.be/RfMV-e5g10g

It is very easy to compromise your beliefs or morals because of the power of rejection and craving of acceptance. I believe that is a main reason that people today are rushing towards that lifestyle. It is growing with rapid speed as it is a community which embraces anyone as long as you embrace their lifestyle.

Please accept me, please do not reject who I am. I need to be heard and acknowledged.”

As much as that is true. The lifestyle is a fraud to the “real” power of acceptance. In the end of that trail is an image of you standing alone, rejecting the one who loves you the most.

I have good news. The Lord promises he will accept you when those around you forsake you and disappoint you. There are churches and/or church goers who have lost the drive to tell the lost that there is hope. It is the purpose of the Gospel. The real Church is not a community club. It’s people who have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb and who desire to share that hope with others so they too can be set free.

Unfortunately, many in the church are not followers of Christ, so the purpose is tarnished.

But the Lord DOES accept you and will not leave you even if others do. Thus the Bible verses:

“But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD WILL RECEIVE ME.” Psalm 27:10

The Lord again promises in Hebrews that he will NEVER LEAVE YOU OR ABANDON YOU.

At the end of every single one of Billy Grahams messages the song that would play was: “JUST AS I AM”.

“Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come! I come.

He takes us just as we are. He accepts us! He doesn’t leave us as we are though. He takes us from glory to glory as we spend time in his presence, as we seek him. The Word states that if we seek him with all of our hearts he WILL be found. (Jeremiah 29:13) It isn’t that he is lost, we are, or were. It is just that we didn’t see him until we looked for him.

We are HIS.
I am HIS.
You are HIS – if you ask to be, if you want to be.

We are accepted into the family of God. People will let you down. None of us are perfect. But he is! That is when we need to forgive, as he has forgiven us. Forgiveness sets us free. And when you mess up, run to him quickly. He doesn’t turn his arms away from a broken heart. NEVER.

HE has already accepted you. Run home to HIM today.

If you do, one day you will be in a place where everyone knows your name, and everyone will be glad you came. It won’t be in a bar where there is brokenness and a life of troubles. It will be in a place called Heaven, in the very presence of the Lord.

Your name can be written in the Book of Life today.

 

Alive!

Fear, doubt and unbelief seemed to grip the room. No one said a word. I could hear the sound of the others in the room but the darkness hid their faces. Were they filled with the same thoughts that invaded my mind?

Thump, thump, thump. I held my hand up to my chest to try to calm the racing of my heart. What if, what if this was all there was? What if we were all going to be killed for what we held as truth? What would be the purpose of it all? What would be the purpose of healing the sick, raising the dead, teaching hope for eternity if it all ended with the death of our teacher and our friend?

He had brought such hope. Did it just end? Was it over?

We cannot even imagine the long drawn out hours from the time of Jesus’ death until the day of his resurrection. We do not know the lies and thoughts that may have penetrated the minds of the disciples and followers the hours that followed his death. They may have seemed so bleak and hopeless.

The three years prior had been glorious. Miracles took place daily. New hope had risen throughout the nation. Jesus spoke with such wisdom that hadn’t been heard of for hundreds of years. He heard from God! He taught, encouraged and healed all that wanted it. Even the religious and government leaders were stunned by his wisdom.

Not too long prior to his death, Jesus was riding on a donkey through Jerusalem with what appeared to be victory. Things couldn’t have been better. People adored him!

“The crowd that went ahead of him and that were following him were shouting,
“‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Matthew 21:9 (GWT)

People were waving palm branches and laying out their coats for him. All was glorious. Then one night, it seemed to take a turn for the worse. Yet Jesus had warned them of this moment.

But he also said he would rise from the dead.

Now I ask you,

What have you been going through that seems dark, that seems hopeless, that seems desperate? It may seem like all is lost. What was the purpose of following your Lord? There was a time when all may have seemed glorious and you were on top of your game. But then an unforeseen moment came knocking on your door and suddenly your circumstances appeared dark, and your hopes felt like they died and your dreams seemed to be unreachable.

It may seem like God is s…l…o..o..o…w about his promises and you might really feel like you are walking through molasses as you wait for his response. Yet the word paints a different picture.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

He hears the cries of your heart.

Remember:

ON THE THIRD DAY……

HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD!!!!!

Your days may seem dark. Your dreams may seem bleak.

But DO NOT give up.

THE SAME SPIRIT THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD LIVES IN YOU!!! (Romans 8:11)

Do you even understand how powerful that statement is?

The disciples and other followers of Christ may have not understood right away what was actually taking place. But their dreams had not died. Jesus had to die on this earth  in order to take the sins of mankind into the pit of hell where he left them. He did it to steal the keys of death from our enemy of darkness. AND HE DID IT WITH VICTORY.

If we could grasp that the trials we face are temporary and that there really is victory in Christ, we could see with eyes of understanding.

Like Jesus, I say to the darkness that would try to choke me, to the fear that thinks it can befriend me or to the lies that attempt to take space in my mind, “Get behind me satan. You are a stumbling-block to me. (Matthew 16:23)

Remember: JESUS DID NOT STAY IN THAT GRAVE!

So be of good courage followers of Christ. Speak life over your situation and hope into your soul.  And share this hope with those who have not tasted his goodness.

Your hope is not dead. HE IS ALIVE!

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

God Bless.