every day since the heart attack has been filled with a plethora of emotions.
There are days I feel awesome! And I appreciate those days because they’ve been
less than more. I ask not for pity. It’s just the process of aging and the
result of having poured more junk into the vessel the Lord gave me rather than
healthy fuels. The truth hurts… sometimes literally. The same is true spiritually.
spent a lot of time in the book of Psalms lately. It’s my go to place when I’m
in need of encouragement. Most likely because I can relate to many of them which
were penned by David, who certainly experienced more than one lifetime of
emotions through tribulations and celebrations. Take Psalm 103… Just in the first 5 verses it
describes my day to day:
That is my prayer this
morning as I approach the Easter weekend and attempt to dry nigh to the Lord
Jesus. It’s difficult when you’re in the flesh and throwing a pity party for
your aching arthritic bones. I find myself saying “Oh my stars!” more than “Oh
is exactly why I needed to fuel my body with His words instead of mine!
The Benefit Package
1Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within
me, bless his holy name.2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his
While insurance companies are paying less and
less on the average health care bill, the benefits of serving the Lord have
been multiplied. A fact I need to remember. As a matter of fact it’s a
prescription dose we all need this week.
Because of the cross our benefit package is out
of this world. There is nothing that our God cannot do so long as it’s His
will. And His will is for certain that His children walk in truth and joy.
The Prescription Plan
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases;
In 2017 I took no medication. At the beginning
of 2018 I took 2, by mid 2018 to now I’ve been on 9-13 daily meds to make this
body of mine function. How ridiculous is that!
Well, I may not like it, but it’s what keeps me
going. Missing anyone of those pills can make life difficult. The same holds
true with my spirituality. Failure to take the prescribed daily dosage of God’s
word and time in His presence takes its toll on me. I feel terrible. And not
only that, I miss the blessing of
feeling clean and whole through His forgiveness. And for certain I lose sight
of the fact that He has the power to heal this body and strengthen me for His
The Forgiveness Clause
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with
lovingkindness and tender mercies;
This was an
“oh my stars!” moment for me today. Only God has the power to take back the
damage that I have inflicted to this soul and body. He created me, through sin
and poor decisions I destroyed me, through doctors and medicine He restored me,
but He can just as well heal me. He has that ability and His mercy may go there…
or it may not. But either way He has given me so many opportunities I did not
deserve. Yes Glory to God it is an Oh My Stars! Kind of day.
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good
things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Unlike the insurance world enrollment isn’t
limited to a certain time. It’s any time. God’s ready and willing for us to use
our benefits and renew our relationship with Him. This is a good week to think
who are saved know there is power in the Word of God. But we sometimes forget
that the power is literal, not figuratively speaking. Just by speaking it out
loud, things can happen.
not magic. It’s understanding that the Holy Ghost is within us and when we
speak what He tells us to speak, there is power in those words. The key word
there is what “He” tells us to speak. When people put the power in incantation
(chanting or reciting something over and over in religious discipline) then
they’re actually saying that they have the power. Examples are: Reciting the
Lord’s prayer without thought of what those words mean, reciting the prayer of
Jabez for the purpose of greed. Those scriptures are not evil, they’re the word
of God. Us reading and studying and even reciting those prayers aren’t evil. They
can stir the soul and cause you to draw nearer to God through the testimony of
those writers. What’s wrong is putting the power in the word (little w) and not
the Word. (big W!)
of my favorite mental images is that of Christ blowing people down with His
words. Wouldn’t that be a great ability for the child of God? J
What biblical super power would
you like to have? (Elijah’s fire) (Moses’ staff)
can’t blow people down, but sometimes the Word of God blows me away; especially
when it reveals things to me and causes me to think about the Word like I hadn’t
before; like Doug Rowe did in Sunday School class last week. It causes me to
search deeper into the word of God to discover what God wants me to know during
this Easter season that will help me appreciate Him more.
1When Jesus had spoken these
words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a
garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew
the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 3 Judas then, having received a band of
men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with
lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all
things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with
them.6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I
am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye?
And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
There’s not always safety in numbers, as
Judas thought because God doesn’t control things from a human perspective. Judas
knew somethings about Jesus, but he didn’t know Jesus.
What are some things we know about Jesus
that the unsaved wouldn’t know or understand?
Where do you see people of the world thinking they’re in control?
When searching your life during this
special week before Easter, where do you see places in your life that you
“think” you have control or you’re taking control when you shouldn’t?
The Power of His
who had seen the Power of God at work and believed that He was the Messiah,
missed the mark as a child of God on several occasions. This was one of them.
He attempted to “fix” the problem.
Peter missed God’s directive.
8 Jesus answered, I have told
you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:9 That the saying might be
fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.10 Then Simon Peter having a
sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear.
The servant’s name was Malchus.
How many of
us are guilty of that?
Some of us
have that personality. I’m a fixer. I want to fix everyone’s problems. But
sometimes that makes me the problem. There are some things that from the
surface look bad, but the end result is a great victory. That was this
circumstance. Peter was trying to remove the cup from the Lord, and which one
of us wouldn’t want to do that from a human perspective, but from God’s
perspective, all of these circumstances lead to the end result of eternal
security for us.
just said, let
these go their way:9 That the saying might be fulfilled,
which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
He wasn’t going to lose any in the garden by the battle, and He’s
not going to lose any out of Heaven because of the cross.
What was Peter focusing on?
Heaven in view, while Peter had this earth in view.
For my thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
always have his focus on the wrong thing. When Jesus asked in Matthew 16:15 15 He saith unto them, But whom
say ye that I am?
Verse 16 says And Simon
Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
He knew God
like Judas did not. Simon proves again and again that he’s not perfect. Why do
you think God may have put someone like Simon in so many places of prominence
in the Bible? What is there about his character that God wants us to
relate to Peter on many levels. His jump and the net will appear attitude is
who I’ve been all my life. When looking at the Apostles, do you see yourself in
any one of the characters and why? (back page list)
The Power of His
Peter didn’t understand at that time.
11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy
sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink
it?12 Then the band and the captain and
officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,13 And led him away to Annas
first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that
same year.14 Now Caiaphas was he, which
gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the
didn’t understand the truth of those words the way that we understand them
Only one Man could die for the
people. All the people. And that Man was
Jesus had to drink from that cup, because He was the only One that could have.
Without the sacrifice that He made there would have been no hope for mankind.
That part Peter didn’t understand, but there would come a time that he would.
What About My Cup Lord
came a time that Peter would understand the cup of Christ, and the fact that he
too would have a cup. He would also learn, not to worry about what someone
else’s cup is filled with.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to
Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto
him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my
lambs. 16 He saith to him again the
second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord;
thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.17 He saith unto him the third
time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said
unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou
knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed
my sheep.18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When
thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but
when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall
gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.19 This spake he, signifying by
what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto
him, Follow me.20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the
disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper,
and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?21 Peter seeing him saith to
Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?22 Jesus saith unto him, If I
will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.23 Then went this saying abroad
among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto
him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that
to thee?24 This is the disciple which testifieth of
these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.25 And there are also many
other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I
suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be
Peter would be crucified like the Lord, although it is said that
he was crucified upside down by his own choice. John wasn’t crucified, but his
life wasn’t a piece of cake either; he was boiled in oil and banished to the
isle of Patmos where he wrote the final book in the Bible.
Peter’s conversation with Christ helps us to understand that we’re
to look at no other persons walk with Christ and judge it, or compare it to
ours. We each have our cup to bear if we’re doing anything for the cause of
Examine your life this week. Draw and Write inside your cup the things (both good and bad) that God has allowed you to go through because it made you a better child of God.
– quick to speak and act, crucified upside down
– Soul winner (Peter) Often in the background.
– Inner circle, one of the Sons of Thunder, First martyred. Brother to John
– Loyal, fiery temperament, leader, last of the apostles to die. Brother to
James, the other of the Sons of Thunder
– quick soul winner (Nathanael) died a martyr.
– skeptic but loyal
–Left everything and devoted himself to Christ.
– doubter, risk taker and prone to extremes.
I feel foolish a lot. There
are days that every dream and imagination I’ve had seems like the dumbest ideas
ever. True story. Not an exaggeration. But the one solid foundational belief
within me is that the cross made all the difference in my life, and when the
rest of my world falls apart the cross still stands.
This morning I needed
that truth. I guess I need it every day, but today more than ever. I don’t want
to give credit where it’s not due; and there are times that I’m pretty sure it’s
me attacking my mind and not Satan. My self-doubt is running haywire today. So I
turn to the one sure thing in my life. The cross.
The world may view it as
foolishness but my work in the ministry I’ve never doubted. I’ve never doubted
my purpose in that place because I always stand in amazement at what God has
done in my life and it’s all because of the cross.
The Cross brought
I love the image of the
veil being rent from top to bottom (Luke 23:45)
the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
As Jesus “gave up the ghost” and the work was
finished on the cross, the final price was paid so that we could have a
relationship with God. So that I could talk to the Creator. I have no need to
go through a priest. The High Priest is at the right hand of God saying “that
child is mine, she can approach the throne any time she needs.”
I have never been turned
The Cross brought Comfort
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father
will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to
your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
When the world says I’m foolish, the Holy Spirit say, “You’re
That comfort that comes from within cannot be explained, it can
only be experienced. It’s heartbreaking to think of the world who does not have
it because I know what it’s meant for me to have the indwelling of God. Especially
on days like today.
Please don’t think that I’m asking for sympathy or a pat on the
back for what I do. I’m just sharing with you what you too have probably
experienced. Doubt is a powerful tool. It’s the avenue of quitters and I have a
hard time not traveling down that road.
The Cross Brought Compassion
It’s what keeps me going. I know
the world needs to see more of it. It’s the reason I can kick doubt out of the
way and keep on keeping on; because I have compassion for the people of God who
need words and images of encouragement. I don’t know what the future holds for
the Jesus Chick, but as the song says “I know Who Holds” it.
With the Easter season upon us and the many worldly images of the season, it’s good to have a reminder set before us. God created the bunnies and the chicks, but He communes with this chick, and I am so grateful for the cross that made it possible.
Happy Resurrection Sunday! I’m excited about the coming events of the day, Sunrise at the Park… in the rain… at 48 degrees. Ummm, I’m excited about the day, not so much the weather. But then I think of You. Are these raindrops or tears this morning? I’m excited about our services today just like I am most Sunday mornings. But if I’m honest, I can’t say every Sunday morning. This ol’ flesh lets me down more than I care to confess, but then again, You know anyway.
All knowing Father. There were times as my girls were growing up, that I’m pretty sure I was glad I wasn’t an all knowing mother. What must it be like to watch your children every day and know that the very people for which You went through the horrific crucifixion for are so ungrateful. Myself especially. Today, those of us who know You, are celebrating not the crucifixion, but the resurrection. The end of Satan’s tyranny. He no longer held the keys to death, Hell and the grave but Victory was won for sinners like me who had only to confess You are Lord! That’s it. Nothing more. Oh God… I love You so much, for not nearly enough.
Everywhere I go You are there. David said in Psalm 139:8 “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Glory to God, in the worst of days and the best of days You’ve never forsaken me. I’ve forsaken You every time I turned away from the path You chose, the Words You spoke and the opportunities You provided. But You went with me, even during my mistakes, You stayed. The world let me down, You did not ever.
How can I complain? The world has let You down too. Every single person in it and yet You stayed not only with them through the presence of the Holy Spirit, but You stayed on the cross when the world spit on You and beat You to the point of death, and You lived on until You were ready to die. You said “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” You stayed even though when those of us who accepted Your death as payment for our sin, and knew that that’s what it took to save us, and yet we still fail. I still fail You Jesus. I’m so very sorry.
All Powerful God. Happy Resurrection Sunday! Today is the day that we celebrate not the failures of humanity but the power of God! The Power to say “It is finished” at the cross and the Savior reigns. Satan no longer has control over us. He has powers in this world to convince us to take our eyes off of You but He has no power to take our hearts. You hold the keys not only to death, Hell and the grave but the key to peace. Likely what I am most grateful for above all that You have given me in my life. Which is so very much. But the peace of eternal security, knowing that my soul rests in Your hands is overwhelming. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.
Lord, for my own church, and for those around the world. I pray that the gospel in truth is preached today. Not sugar coated like the bunnies and baskets. But the truth that without Your death, there would be no life for us worth living. From Genesis to Revelation that was the plan. You knew we’d fail. You knew we needed a Savior and You told the Father “I’ll go.” I’m so sorry You had to, but so glad You did.
Today we celebrate not only Your resurrection but the resurrection of every earthly body that has professed You as Lord in the coming rapture. My Dad’s soul is with You, and so many others that I love. I’m ready for that day. But ever so glad that You’ve given me more time to be a witness for You down here. Praying today that there will be no circle broken in my family and friends on that day. But today the circle is incomplete. Lord, help me show them the way.
I pray I Love You more today and every day. You alone are worthy.
Every Easter I run the risk of losing the whole purpose of the Holiday, which is to serve as a reminder of the price our salvation cost. It didn’t come cheap. It cost God His Son, and the Lord His life. Yet, I get so wrapped up in the labor of love for the church that I forget to take the time to celebrate the labor of Love from our Lord and Savior.
I had all but sluffed off blogging today as I had the past couple of days because I had too many other things vying for my time. Like laundry, chocolate chip cookies, vegetable soup and cornbread, you know… really important stuff. (insert rolled eyes here). Even as I write, there are reminders all around me of other things I’d planned on doing today. But what slowed me down was a video posted on Facebook this morning by Blake Shelton.
Now, for the record, I have a love, hate relationship with the show “The Voice” because of the immoral aptitude of the co-stars. Yes, I know it’s Hollywood, not the church, but I’m still entitled to my opinion. So imagine my surprise when I listen to a song that Blake wrote titled “The Savior’s Shadow.” (Link Below) According to the link, Blake dreamed the lyrics, awoke, and wrote them down and then composed the song during a time in his life when he was struggling. Struggles can bring amazing things out in us when we’re in a attitude to receive the Lord’s goodness.
If the “religious” crowd aren’t careful they’ll miss the lesson I received in Blake’s song.
When I read the title, my Jesus Chick feathers ruffled up and I was ready with a critical spirit to critique him like they critique the people auditioning for their show. But I smoothed my feathers out, and listened. With each word Blake sang, my heart melted. And not for Blake Shelton, but for the Lord’s work.
I was quickly reminded that I’m a sinner saved by grace, and the only reasons I have this platform and the opportunities to minister in song is because the Lord had pity on my soul and used me in spite of who I really am.
I had written a social media post a few weeks ago regarding another co-star of the Voice, Kelley Clarkson. I was so aggravated with her announcing her Christian faith one minute and then cussin’ like a sailor the next. I’m still flustered over it. To be given such a platform for Christ and then to damage the cause for which He gave His life in such a way, through the vulgarity that she knows to be wrong makes me sad. For Jesus and her. She totally trashed her witness.
And then there’s Blake. Who makes no profession of faith, openly drinks alcohol and boasts of his immorality, and then look what God did through him! Is Blake saved? Well, there’s “no proof in the pudding,” as they say, but it’s not for me to judge. He’s not much worse than his co-star and in truth, he’s not much worse than a great many professing Christians who see no need to be in church or relinquish their mouth and morality to the Holy Spirit. And if I look at the inward part of Shari… no worse than me. I may not openly sin, but I certainly have some parts of my life that aren’t pleasing to the Lord.
Matthew 7:3-4 says “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?”
I heard a story the other day of an art critique who was invited to critique a selection of inspirational art. He stood before a painting of Mary and the Christ Child. Mary was holding the Baby in front of a countryside and mountainous scene, but to the critique’s eye, everything seemed off. The faces seemed distorted, as did the mountains and scenery behind them. It was almost as if everything was painted from a different viewpoint.
The art critique decided to change his position of view, and so he knelt before the painting in the busy gallery. There on his knees he discovered that the painting was meant to be viewed from the position of prayer.
Oh that we would critique the world around us from the position of prayer before getting into our “godly judgmental stances.”
If rather than tearing down the people we come across in the course of day, we got on our knees and viewed them from the position of prayer and through the eyes of God, what would change about them and what would change about us? What would change about me?
This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.
I have no qualms with the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus or any other fictitious character that has been created to give children happy childhood memories. It did not warp me, nor my children that we were told the Easter Bunny was watching in order to make us behave better, even if it were only for a few days. We gradually and gracefully grew into the wisdom that those characters weren’t real and there was no traumatization. My oldest grandbabies have figured it out too, but continue the charade for their younger siblings, even though any other time they’d love to squash their little dreams. What baffles me is that the “logical” thinking world has yet to figure out what critters and new creatures in Christ have long since known.
Creation is by the Creator
Of all the things (and there are many) that point me to God as Creator, its critters. My chickens for example. I have plain ol’ ordinary chickens and then I have the “fluffies.” They’re actually called Silkies, and they’re the youngest of our brood. They recently just started laying eggs, and although there are no roosters in the vicinity it still doesn’t stop them from treating their eggs like there’s something other than breakfast inside. I have to fight her off to get the eggs. And she’s not happy about it.
I had been collecting several of their tiny eggs each day, but a few days went by and there were no eggs in the box. It had gotten a little colder and chickens tend to lay fewer eggs during those times, but I really would have thought that out of my four specialty chickens, somebody would have laid an egg. On the third day I went to move their water bin and discovered that everybody’s eggs from the previous three days were hidden behind it. I cracked up! That overprotective hen had pulled a good one on me.
How could that not be intelligent design? How on earth could an explosion create love? I need to ask no other question for myself to believe in the Creator. Although there are the occasional critters who don’t have the instinct of parenting, (including humans) most understand their responsibility and the exact methods of taking care of their young. Birds know how to nest, and chickens know how to sit and all know how to protect.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Regardless of whether or not someone professes that God is God, and Jesus is Lord, and the Holy Spirit dwells within the saved and convicts the lost, doesn’t change the fact that it’s truth. Creation attests to the Creator.
Long before I knew the truth as the truth, God was working in my heart and mind to understand Who He is and who I was. I recently wrote another song titled “Salvation’s Song” and one of the verses speaks of the how I knew I wasn’t saved, and how I knew when I was. Before I was saved… no peace. After I was saved…. PEACE. Only God can make an internal difference. We are created with sin coursing through us. That explains the world. But when God’s presence comes within through the Holy Spirit, Glory to God there is peace on earth. Not outside… but in.
Yes, even the Easter Bunny knows God. Do you?
There’s a link at the top of this page titled “the Road to Salvation.” If you don’t know or are unsure of your salvation, and that if you died today you don’t know if you’d be in Heaven or Hell. CLICK THE LINK. And let me know so I can pray for you.
This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complain… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.
The closer I get to Easter, the more my mind reflects on the cross. And the more I reflect on what God did that day the more I have to say that it’s got to be a crazy love that would be willing to do what Jesus did that day. When I look at the world we live in I think to myself “Why on earth would you have saved this wicked and rebellious generation?” For which I am one. I know my heart and how I can turn on a dime toward something sinful and ignore the Holy Spirit within in me that gives me more than enough support not to fall into it. And yet I do. And yet He still loves me. That’s crazy! But what’s crazier than His love is those who fail to accept it.
The Love of Jesus is Without Condemnation
While sin is not ever acceptable it is no less inevitable. 1 John 1:8 says “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” There is a difference between condemnation and conviction. Jesus will not condemn the child of God for the sins they’ve committed. That crazy day on the cross He died to cover every sin ever committed by His children. Is not that a worthy payment? Of course it is. Does that mean we can sin and not understand there should have been a penalty and yet may still be repercussions? Of course not.
If a store is robbed there is an earthly expectation of the penalty that freedom should be lost. If I hurt a friend without regard for them or our friendship I may lose that friend. But when I sin, regardless of the depth of the sin the penalty is paid in the eyes of God, and the relationship is restored the very second I turn to Him. That’s crazy love, but it’s how He works.
Sin is without condemnation but it is not without conviction. The Holy Spirit reveals to the child of God when sin is in the house, we know better. We may still fail but He has given us the power within us not to. If we fall into sin it is our choice.
The Love of Jesus Cannot be without Declaration
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Professing Christ is more than just saying that you know Him. Satan knows Him. The demons of Hell know Him, but they are not children of God. I knew Him in my head from the time I was a child until 1996. But not until I declared Him as Lord of my life and trusted in Him to save me did I know Him in my heart. It was then that I truly felt the Holy Spirit guiding me and putting that conviction upon me when I wasn’t going in the right direction. It was also when I began to declare my love for Him. Even when the world thought I was crazy.
My friend Doyle Ballengee said it best when he said “Go ahead and call me a fanatic, when you or someone you love gets a bad doctor’s report, you’ll be looking for a fanatic.”
That’s how I feel about my declaration of love for Jesus. Go ahead and say I’m crazy when all I want to do is talk about my Lord and all that He’s done in my life. Because when your life gets turned upside down but this old world, someone as crazy as me can help you set it up aright by showing you how Jesus did that for me.
I know it sounds crazy to the world when I say that Jesus died for me. Because the world wouldn’t give you the time of day if it cost them anything of any magnitude. But Jesus will give you more than you could ever imagine in return for your declaration, acknowledgement of Who He is. God.
The Love of Jesus is Not without Expectation
I can hear the naysayers now, “Oh, there it is. I knew you had to do something.” No, you can sit on your toosh and do absolutely nothing and still make it to Heaven. Jesus paid the price once and for all at the cross. All who accept, believe and declare Him as Lord, that He died on the cross, rose again the third day, and ascended to Heaven to make intercession for you will be saved. But if you want to be all you can be for Christ, and have the reward of His glory, on earth and in Heaven, there is an expectation.
I sat at a table with three friends this past Wednesday, each with their own story of coming to the knowledge of Christ in their lives; four very different people with one common bond…Christ.
One came to Christ because she grew tired of being with people, and yet alone.
One came to Christ because the religion she had grown up with let her down when she needed it most.
One came to Christ when He realized the law wouldn’t save anyone.
And this one, me, came to Christ when I realized there was no peace in this world without the Prince of Peace. And “religion” wasn’t the same as a “relationship.”
Each one of us now serve Christ and desire to serve Him greater because He did that crazy thing on the cross.
How crazy was it? He was beat until His body was unrecognizable and said to have looked like hamburger, He was spit upon, and ridiculed, at the height of His pain had a crown of thorns rammed on His head and was mocked as King of the Jews. His earthly mother sat at His feet with her friends and wept for the Son God had allowed her to give birth to. Some of His final words were “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 in part) That’s crazy because it’s true.
He did that for you. Have you experienced His love? Declare it and share it! He is worthy.
The day after a busy holiday is always two-sided. There is the side of me that’s like “Whew! Now I can rest!” and then the other side which is somewhat let down, because the excitement and anticipation of the event is over. But with Easter, that’s shouldn’t be the case. Yes, the 2016 Holiday is over, but not the excitement! Still today I woke up excited about my Salvation, what it means to me and what God is doing in my life. Every day I wake up to a resurrected Lord, not just Easter Sunday! “So what’s your plan today,” I ask myself? “What are you going to do with another day with Jesus? How are you going to impact the world for Christ?”
That’s a heavy question. But God is not One of low expectations. He didn’t go the cross for a group of slackers. He went to the cross for servants willing to go into the highways and the hedges.
Luke 14 tells the story of the planning of a great event. Much time and preparation had gone into it and yet it was taken for granted by the masses and many refused to attend because the world had pressing business for them real estate, farming, family (or whatever it is that’s on our schedule today before God.)
And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
I thought of this scripture when I thought of the many friends of mine who invited folks to church for Easter Sunday, some came, and some did not. And for those who didn’t it’s disappointing, not only to us, but above all to God Who had planned so great an event! But in truth, that wasn’t the great event, that was a precursor to the great event and we’re still in the planning stages! There’s still time to get our friends to the party!
God’s not looking for the perfectly dressed, the happy, healthy and rich. He’s looking for the hurting, poor, tired and sick who need to find Hope and we have the invitation in our hand! Today is a highway and hedges day and we’re not guaranteed another. So they didn’t listen yesterday. Compel them today! Now I’m excited about Monday.
I found it ironic that Google celebrates every goofy and non-goofy day of the year with a new Google logo or doodle but Good Friday didn’t even get an honorable mention. Ironic yes, surprised, no. The world celebrates Friday because it’s the start of the weekend more than they do the start of eternal life through the sacrifice Christ willingly made on the cross that dark day. Many Churches are taking the blood out of the story because it’s too offensive to people and yet the movie industry is bombarded with gore and people take or allow their children to view the video with little regard for the way it effects their child’s mind. Don’t even get me started on the fact that Cartoon Network has cartoons that aren’t fit for adults to watch.
But this blog isn’t about bashing the world… As the Lord said, “they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Today’s post is about a grateful heart who “didn’t know” for 34 years how much I had to be thankful for. That was the age I came to the knowledge of the Salvation of Jesus Christ. I understood (as best my mind can) the sacrifice of the cross. That God was willing to spend that Friday suffering unimaginable pain, ridicule and desecration of his body that He lived in on earth, only to serve and teach others how to serve.
But then came Sunday!!! And as dreadful as Friday was for Him and for His followers looking on, Sunday came and the darkness was made light by the empty tomb and a risen Savior that had won victory over death, Hell and the grave. The blood is gory, yes, but its crimson color that stained His cross serves as a reminder that because of Him, I have life and have it more abundantly. I cannot fail to thank Him for Friday, for He gave me Sunday.
The year was 1996, and it was my very first Easter as a baby Christian. Everything was new to me, even though I had likely heard it for 34 years. But the tradition of the nails in the cross during Good Friday communion was definitely a new experience. As I recall there were 100 or so folks attending the service and invited to take communion as a family or group of friends. But prior to their taking of the bread and drinking of the cup each family member would take a long heavy duty nail and pound it in to the old rugged cross on the platform of the church. Again and again the hammer hitting the nail echoed as soft music played in the background.
Clang…. Clang… Clang….
Each family or group that went forward was a testimony of what the Lord had done in their life. Sobs could be heard throughout the building as the heaviness of situation laid on hearts. Christ wasn’t on the cross, but every nail was a reminder that we each were accountable for the crucifixion of our Lord. He did that for me; it was my sins that nailed Him to the cross, and it was His love that brought Him down and His resurrection that allows me to live with the hope of victory over death and the grave.
Good Friday. Not a good day for Jesus that year, but a great day for Shari Johnson. The sacrifice of sin was too high for me to pay. What piddlely little sacrifices I make are nothing in the scope of eternity. Thousands of lambs were slaughtered in Old Testament days but were only a symbol of the worthy blood that would spill on the cross of Calvary.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
There is nothing that was not covered on the cross that day. Yes, it was our sin that caused the crucifixion, but it was His blood that fixed the sinner. If we are born of God, born again as Christ described to Nicodemus in
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. …
Then we are to live in Victory! It’s us who live in defeat… and that’s not a worthy attitude for what Christ did. I pray today finds you with an attitude of Awesomeness! Because Christ believes you are. And that friend makes Good Friday Good!
Writer, Speaker, Singer… but most of all, Servant of Jesus Christ