We celebrate the birth…

Nativity-29Though many are more into the commercial aspect of Christmas these days, we truly should be celebrating the birth of our Savior. But, what about the love that He expressed from God toward all of us thirty years or so later. What was it that brought Him to Jerusalem at Passover to be offered up as a perfect lamb for the sins of the world?

He did it because of love. The love for mankind that He had and that He had seen expressed through the Father since Creation. He did it because His Father sent Him to the world to show the love of God to mankind. Everyone seems to look at the Jewish high priests who were scared of Him and blames them for getting Jesus crucified but they were only part of the equation.

God had put all of the parts in motion when He told Eve and Adam that the Seed of the woman would come one day and crush the serpent’s head. Though God had known that it would be necessary for this to happen even before He said “Let there be light!”. Nothing in the universe takes God by surprise because He is in control of it all, whether we agree with Him or like how He does things or not.

God looked into time before it started counting and He saw you and me and He knew that we needed a Savior. The only One that could fill that requirement and the sacrifice that would be needed was the Son and He would have to come as a baby born of a woman by God’s Spirit. No Earthly man could fulfill the requirement for a Savior, only One Who had the nature of God Himself, unstained by the sins of previous generations.

What was it that held Jesus on the cross? Many would say that it was the Roman nails of which there were three. Some would say that He was put there because His people rejected His teachings and His offer of salvation. The truth is that it was love which held Him there. He had more love and compassion for His people, not just the Jewish people but ALL of us, than He could express in His life.

So, with His death He provided a way for all of us to be saved through belief in Him and His life. Also, the message which He brought to us through His teachings and His disciples which the church is supposed to be taking to the rest of the world until He comes again. His birth brought joy into the world because of God’s love for man. His death and resurrection brought salvation to us through our belief in Him and His love for us.

What more could we ask for? A perfect world? We wouldn’t be satisfied with it. All the money we could ever need? It would be nice for a while, but ultimately if everyone on Earth had all that they needed, they would still want more. We are offered eternity through Jesus’ life, burial and resurrection if we will accept it humbly and believe in Him. There is no greater gift that we could be given than that.

After Easter, what now?

The services are over, the message is done. Have you accepted Jesus as your Saviour yet? There were “passion plays“, re-enactments of Jesus’ hours before His crucifixion that touched many people’s hearts and their minds with how well they were done and put together. Yet, did anyone really get the message found in them?

Jesus came to be the sacrifice for all of our sins. Not just those of the people that He preached to and His disciples preached to and carried the gospel to in their journeys, but for all of us, especially those who had not been born yet! His message and His sacrifice was for you and me and everyone else on this world, all we have to do is believe in what He did and Who He was so that we can have eternity with Him.

Many people that I have heard say that is too simple. It just can’t be that easy. The problem that they have is that they are making it harder than it is! Accepting Jesus doesn’t make your life easier! It doesn’t take away the suffering, the bills, the heartache of life that we have to live but it does make it easier to bear because we have Him and His strength to bear it with.

God loves us enough that He sent His Son to become a man and die a very cruel death to pay for all of our sins so that we would not have to pay the penalty for them. Many people don’t think that there is a punishment for not accepting Christ, but God’s Word clearly says that there is. Some may be punished more than others, depending on what they did in their life on earth, but the punishment is real nonetheless. It was designed for Satan and his demons but by rejecting Jesus and the offer of eternal life, we will be cast into it as well.

It is our own choices which place us there, not God. He can’t change our choices while we live, only we can do that and it is our individual choices which will condemn us to an eternity in hell or to live in paradise with Jesus. The choice is up to each of us, which one we choose to follow during our life will determine the life we have in eternity.

 

What does Easter mean to you?

The passion of Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection…what does it mean for us, for you?

In our daily life and our lives in general it means the difference between having hope for eternity and having no hope at all. Your life and the meaning of your life while you are here doesn’t mean much to the world in general. Most people or countries don’t care anything about us as individuals. We are just numbers and revenue in the form of taxes and consumerism.

To Christ we are important. We, each of us, are important enough that He came and died for us so that we could have eternal life. But, it was not just for our benefit that He came and died, it was for the Kingdom of God and for His Glory. The work that we can do through Him and the work that He can do through us is the reason for our salvation and for His sacrifice.

So, why does life seem to be without hope to most people? Even if they are or claim to be Christians? It could be that they have not given themselves totally to Christ. Many people think that because they have asked Jesus into their lives and their heart that that is all that is required. True, for you to have eternal life that is it, but an abundant life and the eternal rewards that you will receive for the work that you do as a follower of Christ is what you do beyond that.

For Easter and its Christian meaning to have real meaning for you, your life in Christ has to have or be meaningful. I am not speaking of being a mother or father or of your job, those positions are important because your Christian life can shine through those areas as well. To be meaningful in Christ your life in Him must show to the outside world in some way that others will see it and want what you have.

The mini-series that is on the history channel, “The Bible”, this year is one couple’s way of doing that. Each of us can be more or do more with the strength and wisdom given to us by God and that is what I am speaking of in this writing.

Many people wonder, “Does God give me a gift or the wisdom to do these things?”, the answer to that is Yes! In the Bible, there is a passage that says (paraphrased) “ask of God and He will give you wisdom” James 1:5; each of us is unable to do the things that we do in the ministries that we have unless we have the ability and the wisdom from Him to do them.

The writing that I have been doing for these past five years or so would be impossible for me to to without the words and the wisdom that God gives me. I don’t have it in me to create this much or for it to make sense the way it seems to unless these words come from God and not me!

Easter is a time to celebrate Christ’s sacrifice for each of us, not to celebrate spring or chocolate or colored eggs. The celebration that we see each year is a pagan celebration of spring, that is all. Celebrating the love and compassion that God has for us and that through His Son, He could make a way for each of us to be reconciled to Him is what we should celebrate and truly be thankful for.

The love that God has for each of us is the reason that He came and sacrificed Himself for us to reconcile each of us to Himself, there was no other way to do it. Your life..our lives can have so much more meaning and purpose through Christ and with Him working through us. Give Jesus a chance to come into your heart and make it His home because once He does your life will never be the same!

Celebrating Easter without a bunny

The idea that a rabbit has anything to do with Jesus’ resurrection came from a pagan ritual. The truth and the reason that we celebrate Easter is the resurrection of Jesus after His crucifixion! It has nothing to do with the spring of the year or eggs or rabbits but it has everything to do with your salvation!

Jesus died to ransom you from the penalty of your sins, regardless of what those sins are! It doesn’t matter if it is a lie that you told your Mom or your boss or your wife/husband, even that is a sin. It may be considered a small sin but in God’s eyes and in His universe this is no different from murder. Sins are just that, sins, regardless of the severity or consequences in our world! To a holy God, our God, sins are all the same regardless of the effect they have in this world.

This is a hard message to hear and to learn but it must be said because there is an eternity at stake and it is yours and mine! Think about what God might feel. He created all of us as His children, to learn about Him, to decide on our own to love Him because of what He does for us on a daily basis. Then, when we decide not to love Him and sin against Him, He feels it like a knife every time. Not just from one of us at a time but from everyone on earth!

We won’t be perfect even after we accept Christ as our Savior but we will have His righteousness to cover those sins that we do commit! We will still sin but we will know it, the Holy Spirit will let us know and we will want to follow Jesus’ footsteps toward the Father. If you haven’t allowed Him to change your heart and your life, please consider this…the fires of hell never go out and after your life on earth is over you will live forever regardless of where you are.

The eternal life that you live will have much more meaning and purpose if you serve Him now so you can serve Him then. If you choose not to allow Him into your life while you have this time on earth, (since we don’t know when our time ends we may not have another chance), your eternity will be very different from what it could have been!

Satan doesn’t care about you or your life other than getting you to choose not to follow Christ, as long as he can accomplish that he feels that he has hurt God more each time one of us chooses our own way instead of God’s way!

Food Network, Martha Stewart and Jesus

In our lives today we tend to add things as convenience dictates. The people of this country seem to want to add Jesus in the same way, for convenience and in addition to everything else in our lives. Is it possible that we consider Him to be an attachment that we can put on and take off whenever we feel like it?

He came to us to redeem us to Himself so that we might have life with Him in Heaven. Why or how could we be so arrogant and prideful to think that we could add Him and the appearance of being a Christian like we put on a pair of shoes? Is it possible that by taking prayer out of our schools, that we have doomed our children and future generations to thinking that God is irrelevant?

We have to realize that He is absolutely in control and He is not irrelevant! There are many people who risk their lives daily to spread the word of Christ to people in areas where He is not preached! How can we live in a country where we can worship freely and tell others about Him and yet we act as if He is too hard to live with or too politically incorrect for us to tell others about?

God loves us, which is why He sent His Son to redeem us by His death on the cross. The death that Christ endured by being nailed to the cross was insignificant compared to the point at which God had to turn His gaze away from Him. In that moment, Jesus was alone for the first and only time, but it was the most agonizing part of His sacrifice. This is the part that many people don’t quite understand because we can’t understand it.

Everyone thinks that Jesus was afraid of the torture that He had to endure prior to being crucified and the crucifixion itself. He may have been but He also knew that at some point His Father would have to leave Him and at that point He would be alone for the first time in His life! The relationship that Jesus had with His Father was ingrained in Him and had been there since before the world began, so He had never known a time without the presence of His Father.

We have the same ability today through the atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our daily lives can be in the presence of our Heavenly Father because He is there, whether you acknowledge Him or not. Once you do accept Jesus into your life, you will have a daily relationship with Him. He is waiting for you, why not ask Him in today and find out what life really is about because without the author of life, our lives aren’t worth much no matter what you do or who you are.

Without Him we are nothing, with Him we are and have everything!