Saturday, April 11, 2020

April 11

A day of quiet, solitude, and aloneness. Jesus went to the cross alone, laid in the tomb alone, and he alone delivered our present sin and future sin, to hell! A day of reverence during this Holy Week is required for those who love him and are the beneficiaries of his kindness. A lot happened in the spiritual world, things we know nothing about, but our celebration continues as Jesus proves that what he said about himself is true, when he was resurrected from the dead to become our King forever. 

Even as we face destruction in this day and age, we know the ending because he told us. Have no fear, strengthen your faith, and honor Jesus for what he has done, and will do for us in the days to come. 

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Matthew 27:62-64

Friday, April 10, 2020

April 10

It seems wrong to call the day Jesus died on the cross, “Good Friday,” but with it he sealed the deal for all eternity, that we would no longer need to make sacrifices for our sins. He was the final sacrifice, and has made each of us whole, as we give our lives over to him. Today is a day of remembrance, a day to account for all he has done for us, as undeserving as we are. It’s a day of thankfulness that we do not have to endure the punishment for our crimes against God. Out of his love for us, he died in our place, so we could live on in eternity with him. Use today to reflect upon what he has done for you, count your blessings, one by one. 

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:44-46

Thursday, April 9, 2020

April 9

As we commemorate Maundy Thursday, the final Passover Jesus had with his disciples, remember some of the things that happened that night. It was the day the The Lord’s Supper was instituted, sin was flushed out from among them (Judas,) Jesus gave up his will to the Father, and the new command was given for us to love one another as he has loved us. We should not take these things lightly. To mix bunnies and eggs into this season is mocking this most reverent time of the year, and is a part of a secular ritual of paying tribute to the fertility goddess, Ishtar. We would do well to stop mixing the two together, and refrain from worshiping other gods, especially while worshiping Jesus. It’s time to start new traditions, and to make Jesus the focus of this season, as we were his only focus when he went to the cross as a sacrifice for our sin. I like colorful eggs, and bunnies too, but during this solemn time, we should honor Jesus with all of our attention. 

Don’t feel bad about yourself if you’ve already decorated with all the cute Easter things, this too is forgivable. Tonight, have communion with your family, flush out the sin within you, remember Jesus’s sacrifice, and love one another as he has loved you.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

April 8

Are you sick of hearing about the Coronavirus? Well, I am! Today, I bring you some good news! We are in a season of rest, and it coincides with Passover, and will end with the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection. I’m reading through the book of Joshua, and Israel is preparing to take over the promised land, and have just celebrated Passover, and for the first time in years, manna was no longer there for them to eat because they were enjoying the fruit of the land of Canaan. Side-note: many of the people of the United States are about to get a check from the government - fruit of the land! It was right after this solemn time that Joshua encountered the Commander of the Lord’s army, who was none-other than Jesus! We know it was the Lord, because he made him take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. I believe this appearance gave Joshua the courage to pursue the land he was commanded to take over. The Lord was with Israel, went before them, covered their flanks, and was the rear guard! Be encouraged today! The Commander of the Lord’s army is with us! 

As I read the scripture today, I became overwhelmed by his holiness, and the assurance that Jesus is with us always, but more importantly, he is with us during our current battle, and goes before us as Commander. I’m excited to see what happens on the other side of this trial. 

When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:13-15

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

April 7

I was in my sewing room and heard something walking on the roof, and I could tell it wasn’t a squirrel. I ran downstairs as quickly as I could to catch the culprit, and there it was, as black as night, a buzzard! I had to run clear across to the neighbor's yard to see it, and then I saw another one standing only a few feet from me. The woods beside my house was full of them, something had died, and they were cleaning up the mess. They seem disgusting, but they aren’t there to hurt anyone, they only eat what is dead, unlike hawks, and owls, who take their prey alive. They were very interesting to see up close, and seem perfectly groomed with every feather in place, and glistening in the sun. 

Death is inevitable, we all have a clock that is ticking away, and when our time is up, we will meet our maker. We can’t prolong it; God is in charge of our time, and it will be up when he sees fit. However, we live on in eternity, but where we spend it depends upon the decision we make in the here and now. Thankfully, I’m writing to those who have chosen wisely, and will spend eternity with Jesus. I’m blessed to call you my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t worry about tomorrow, our days are kept by Jesus, and he will care for us all the days of our lives.

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:6 

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."  Psalm 90:12

Monday, April 6, 2020

April 6

The next day, after Jesus had been exalted and praised by the people as he came into Jerusalem, he was hungry. He had lodged overnight in Bethany, and was coming back into the city, and came across a fig tree full of leaves. To his dismay, it had no fruit, it was barren. In frustration, he cursed it, and it wilted. 

Are you fruitful? This is a physical parable. He saw the tree full of leaves, but no fruit, and he cursed it, never to produce fruit again. The point of this is that we must walk the walk if we are going to talk the talk. We can dress up like a Christian, and a lot of people do, but that’s not enough, we must also bear fruit, or be cursed. Jesus is hungry; make sure you satisfy his appetite. This is not about working to become saved, you are already saved; this is about working because you are saved. Faith without works is dead. 

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. Mark 11:12-14

"So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." James 2:17

Sunday, April 5, 2020

April 5 Palm Sunday

Jesus sent two of his disciples into the city to find a donkey colt and bring it to him. It was a few days before Passover and the city was buzzing with activity, and teaming with people who were there for the feast. Many Jews had heard about Jesus raising Lazarus after he had been dead for four days, and were turning and believing in Jesus. You could almost imagine the Pharisees faces when Jesus came riding into the city and the people shouting, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” waving their palm branches and laying their coats in the street in honor of him. The Pharisees were seething with hatred of him, and it overtook them so they couldn’t see who he was. It is quite sad to think that they missed a wonderful opportunity to worship the Creator while he walked the earth, something most of us long for. However, there was a plan, and though they were evil, they had a purpose, and God used them to bring about our Salvation. 

Though we are not together in church this morning, I want you to know that I believe this virus is bringing us together. Just this morning I was able to listen to a message from Pastor Ezekiel in Africa, as he was live streaming. He was speaking of triumphing over this evil, even though we must distance ourselves. I may have never been able to hear my friend preach otherwise. What Satan intended for evil, God used for good! I believe that is the message of the day. Satan intended evil to come from this virus, but God is using it for his good. We will worship Jesus, and honor him, whether we are physically together, or virtually together. 

If you put palm branches on your door today, please share a photo here, and post it to your page! It will be symbolic of Jesus triumphant entry, and we can be part of the parade, and honor him at the same time. Don’t be silent today.

saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:38-40