Tag Archives: Resurrection

How Crazy is it?

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

Matthew 10:33

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.

One more day…

chick hope corrected

At 2:30 this morning I awoke to the thought… one more day. I couldn’t sleep and several prayer matters were heavy on my heart. I scrolled through Facebook on my phone to see if there had been any updates, and there were but it wasn’t good. Families facing critical reports, people hurting; the faces just kept pouring through my mind. And the realization that we’re all a phone call away from that kind of news on any given day. It’s just by God’s grace…

Then my mind turned to the weekend events. Easter! Resurrection Sunday. One more day. And that was my prayer for the people on my heart, “God grant them hope for one more day.” Sometimes we can’t think about days and weeks ahead, just one more day.

Matthew 27:59-63

And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

I would venture a guess that the day of Jesus’ crucifixion the disciples and Jesus’ followers were living minute to minute. They weren’t thinking about day 3. Jesus had told them, “I’ll rise again!” but they didn’t get it. They were scared for their own lives, they’d lost the best friend they’d ever known, and the world was shaken up! Literally. Earthquakes, the temple veil torn in two from the top to bottom, rocks falling, and the graves were opened up and the bodies of many saints were walking through the city. I’d say the city was shook! And those who crucified Jesus, they were definitely shook. The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate concerned that someone would “steal” Jesus’ body. Or perhaps after what they’d just witnessed they were more than a little concerned that He’d do what He said.

Pilate said in verse 64 ~ Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

So the last error shall be worse than the first… Their error was God’s design and what a difference a day made. The disciples were heartbroken but their grief was about to turn into great joy! In the book of John 20:20-22 we read the Victory speech of Christ for all believers.

 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

One day turned hopeless into a happening! And because of that great resurrection morning we have hope today and peace of mind through the Holy Spirit, so that when our world gets turned upside down we can hold onto hope one more day.

It began and ended in the Garden

chick garden

It was formed at creation; a place of splendor and beauty that we cannot possibly fathom. As beautiful as creation is now it still has thorns, mud and dying foliage, but that was not the case in the first garden. It had not rained so there would not have been mud, only perfect conditions for which to run and frolic in delight in that perfectly wonderful place… until we botched it through sin.  My stomach twists and turns as I think about Satan slithering his way through God’s exquisite creation to make his way to Eve, where his pleas would not fall on deaf ears but rather his wicked seeds of doubt would take root in her soul and forever change the garden.

Genesis 2:8, Genesis 2:9

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Eve traded Paradise for misguided perception.

The scripture says that Jesus and His disciples often resorted to a garden with His disciples. There is no doubt that He knew the garden of Creation and Gathsemane at the time it was created, long before sin had taken its effect on the land and before Satan’s ways had slithered into the heart of every man.

John 18:1-2

When 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. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

Another betrayal in the garden. In a place where Jesus had sought to find rest with His friends, and was perhaps a place where He had expounded the truth to His disciples many times, including Judas; it would be that place Judas would seal the deal with the Devil. Another poor choice by the creation that God loved. It was in this garden that Christ cried out to His Father to let the cup pass if there would be any other way, but there was not. The coming days would be filled with betrayal to the extreme when the world would turn their back on Him, He Who created them… loved them… and died for them.

But then the final garden in the story.

John 19:40-42

Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

As only Christ can do, it would come full circle in the garden! What Satan had intended to steal in the first garden, he was sure he had finally accomplished it in the third. But in the third garden, on the third day Jesus would prove victorious and in a twist of irony He was mistaken as the gardener by the women at the tomb.

John 20:15

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

The original Gardener. He Who had sown every seed in that glorious Garden of Eden, Who was there betrayed, had conquered every sin from the original to the end. Glory Hallelujah! Our Messiah. I’m so grateful for the Master Gardener… were it not for that empty tomb I would not stand redeemed and have peace in my soul that it so needful in this world of woe.

It was nice to find the gardens this morning in His word. I pray you find a little of your own to steal away and spend time with the Savior, be it in the garden, a coffee shop or a front porch swing.

The Truth About Friday

good friday

John 18:38-40

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? I stopped when I read those words this morning. What is truth? Truth is what Pilate had standing before him; the only truth I’ve ever known. Even Pilate came to his defense ….I find in him no fault at all…. And yet they continued to insist He be crucified and a robber released. There has to be times in every Christian’s life where you say to yourself, ‘how does this make sense? Could there have been no other way?’ I think of what a great friend Jesus has been to me, how His Spirit has ministered to me in countless ways. He has been my Comforter in the days of sorrow, my Conviction in the days of sin, my Comedic relief when life got too serious, yes, He make me laugh. Again I asked and answered my own question.

The truth about Friday is none of that could have been, had Jesus not fulfilled the plan of God. He went willingly as an innocent lamb to slaughter so that we could have the hope of eternity through His resurrection and experience the Holy Spirit living within us. The truth about Friday is Jesus knew about Sunday. He’d told His disciples about Sunday, but in their fear, sorrow and loss they forgot. I’m not pointing any fingers, sometimes I don’t get it either. Like when I ask “Why?” and then I remember, “Oh yeah, He did that for me.” Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

The truth about Friday is I wish it did not have to be, but I know in my heart there was no other way for me to have forgiveness, there was no other sacrifice worthy except the Lamb of God that would restore the relationship between God and man. Man messed it up with sin, God had to fix it.

The truth about Friday is, I’m responsible for it (and you); our sin caused that whole chain of events to be deemed necessary by God and yet it is good. It is good for us that Jesus was willing to pay the cost so that we don’t have to. It is good that for us Jesus won victory over the grave so that we don’t have to fear it. It is good that regardless of what life hands us, Jesus’ hands let us know that God is ultimately in control of everything and it is good.

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The truth about Friday is it had a purpose… and that purpose was you.