Calvary: A hill worth dying on

Calvary

When I think of the incredible sacrifice that Jesus paid at Calvary, I’m thankful and humbled that He died for me; for my sins.  I know this post is after Easter when we celebrated Jesus’ triumph over sin and death by His resurrection.  I believed and received that same resurrection power in my life when I accepted Jesus as my Savior.  But I go back to the point of “He did it for me”.  It was God’s eternal grace and mercy that received me into His family.  My sins are forgiven.  Praise the Lord.

So why am I blogging today?  It may seem that I understand.  Well, my life experienced a month that shook me.  An entire month when it seemed I had to figure this all out again.  It was a month of medical setbacks and medical miracles.

I spent many hours wondering and praying about the why’s of what I was facing.  I spent a lot of time thinking about the physical stresses on my body and what I would need to do going forward to ensure a life out of the hospital.  I spent time thinking in the physical realm.  I didn’t spend enough time thinking in the spiritual realm.

Jesus went to the cross of Calvary because He knew it was a hill worth dying on.  He knew the mission He was given to save eternity from eternal death.  He knew that there was no other way.  Jesus prays in John, Chapter 17 concerning this.  Jesus prays for all believers.

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26)

You see it was not only Jesus obedience to His Father, but it was His desire to go to Calvary.  The hill was worth it.  He said it.  “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me”.  While I was stuck in my physical thoughts, Jesus desired that I understand His eternal perspective.  He cause me to survive the physical, so that He could show me  His eternal plan that included further work and service to Him and to finally rest in His eternal and glorious presence.

No matter what I faced, victory was mine through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary.  Without the Cross there wasn’t victory.  His resurrection power was given to me only after Jesus completed the work of the Cross.  It was a hill worth dying on.

Friend, I don’t know what you are facing.  You may be facing an illness, or you may be dealing with a destructive addiction.  You may need your marriage to be restored or you may need a child to come home.  Whatever you need understand Jesus is ready to bring you victory.  He is ready to see you through whatever you are facing.  It starts with two basic things.  It starts with believing and receiving.

Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  It is that simple.  Why? Because God’s Word promises this, For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. ” (Romans 10:10)  Let God’s promises take you away from seeing things from a physical perspective and into living with a spiritual perspective.  I am surviving by the grace of God and the resurrection power that lives inside of me.  So can you.

Don’t believe me. Believe God

 

 

 

 

And He prayed

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:20-26 NKJV)

Jesus knew what was before Him. Every detail from His arrest to the Cross. He knew what He would suffer; all of the pain and agony. But He stopped and prayed. He prayed for “those who will believe in Me through their word”. The word of His disciples. Jesus was praying for His Church. The Church He knew would be established by His shed blood and the power of the Holy Spirit and through the words that would be given to His disciples. Jesus was praying for you and for me. Jesus prayed that “they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me”. He was praying for His Church, to be one in Christ, so the world would know the Name of Jesus. He saw the greater need.

I’m reminded that my life at one time was headed to eternal suffering and death. I’m reminded of the man whose name was Mark, who set aside what he was facing; his suffering, his cancer, his daily challenges and how he took me by the hands in his office, in the middle of a busy day and prayed for me. And two days later, I’m reminded of when I knelt before Jesus and asked Him to forgive me. The single most important day of my life when I called upon the Name of Jesus and was saved. This man lived out every day demonstrating the love and compassion of Jesus and took time for me because he, too, saw the greater need.

Who will we encounter? What will we need to set aside? Will we demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus as Mark did for me? Will we see the greater need? Will we pray?

Oh dear Jesus, thank You for praying for us. You knew what You would be facing, but yet again, You set that aside and saw the greater need. You saw those whose lives would be trapped under the burden of sin and You prayed. You prayed that we too, would believe. That we would be one with You. Oh thank You Lord. May others see Jesus in me and know that You love them with an everlasting love and desire for them to call You Savior and spend eternity with You. In Your Holy Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 10:19 NKJV – The power and authority is yours

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

The authority of Jesus Christ to speak and act on his Father’s behalf in forgiving sin, pronouncing judgment and promising eternal life to those who believe in Him. This same power, which by the matter of fact came through the Resurrection Power of God to His Son, Jesus, is available to us as believers through our faith in Jesus Christ. We have victory over all powers of the enemy by Jesus death and resurrection power. So why is it hard for us to believe?

I sat in this morning’s service at my church and was challenged and convicted by the Holy Spirit to allow the authority of God to work in and through me to break the chains of sin in my life. Yes, I am a sinner. We are all sinners. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NKJV) But why is it so hard to believe and claim the power of God over sin in our lives. The reason is pride. Pride leads us down a path of self-righteousness. To conquer sin in our lives, it is the righteousness of Christ that we need.

We must every day put on the garment of praise and thank God for His righteousness that He has given us through our faith and belief in Jesus. Every time we take our minds and hearts off of the truth in God’s Word we open ourselves to straying from the truth and onto the path that leads to sin and rebellion against God. All sin is rebellion against God. Some may say that’s not true. I’m sorry it is the truth. God gave us His Word. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV) And Jesus Christ is the Word of God. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 NKJV)

Friend, we can live in victory by accepting the saving grace of Jesus Christ and believing that He died for our sins and rose from the grave to defeat sin and death once and for all. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and God’s resurrection power that rose Him from the grave is given to us and provides us with the authority over the sins and schemes of the enemy. Take some time in prayer, seeking the presence of God, and ask Him to open your heart to His power over what keeps you bound in sin. Ask God for His forgiveness and believe that the power of God is living in your life. May you find victory in God’s power over the enemy.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 21:36 NKJV – The Reason That I’m Standing

“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

I have recalled the Word of the Lord many times especially when I have faced the uttermost battles, struggles, heartache and pain. His Word is my comfort and my refuge and where I find hope. Over and over again, the Bible repeats to return to the Lord. “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 1:3 NKJV) is just one example. The Lord wants us to understand that our hope lies in His faithfulness. There is nothing that He can’t take care of.

We all know what is written above is true. What also is true is that we forget. And I have from time to time fallen into forgetfulness. We try to take control of our situations. Our fears take over and we begin to worry. Fear and worry are schemes of the enemy and these emotions cause us to turn away from the love and care of the Lord.

But Praise God, He will always watch over us. He is faithful. We can rely on the power and authority of God to be in the center of whatever we face. His promise to never leave us or forsake is absolutely true. And NEVER means NEVER. Have you ever wondered why it seems we can’t accept the promises of God’s Word as absolute? I have. And I have learned why. It’s simply belief. That’s it. We need to believe in the Creator of the universe who spoke life into everything simply because He spoke it. We need to believe in God Almighty who through His power and authority raised Jesus from the dead.

Friend, sometimes what we face even seems too big for God, but let me tell you it is not. Believe in God to be in the midst of whatever you face and in the process of bringing you whatever you need; deliverance, healing, restoration, renewal, hope and victory.

Precious Lord, thank You for Your amazing grace that rescues me in my time of need. When I feel that there is little hope, You always step in. Great is They Faithfulness. Forgive me when I’ve let doubt and fear control me. I place my faith in You Lord, today. Keep me strong as I walk with you to Victory. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Deuteronomy 7:9 NKJV – Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”

Well, AMEN and AMEN. God is faithful. I have been meditating lately on the faithfulness of God; even to the point of the sound of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” resounding in my mind’s ear.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

 God’s faithfulness is an integral part of His nature. His limitless power and steadfast love imply complete faithfulness which is contrary with human nature. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV) God’s mercies are not consumed by the world and the things the world throws at us. His Compassion, His Power, and His Glory overshadow everything. When we feel we need so much more, God provides. The enemy would like us to believe that there is only one level of God’s faithfulness that is available and that we have to apply the rest. That’s a LIE!!! God’s faithfulness is abundant in power and grace and always surpasses what we need. Don’t believe the enemy’s lies.

God’s is faithful to His name and His character. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13 NKJV) God’s faithfulness is known through fulfilled promises. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) God’s faithfulness is not negated by human unfaithfulness. God’s desire has never changed since before time began. He has always desired to spend eternity with His creation. That’s you and me.

Jesus Christ is the ultimate evidence of God’s faithfulness. “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:20-22 NKJV) Jesus is one with the Father and the Father is one with Him. “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21 NKJV)

God is faithful. It’s the grace and the mercy of God that are the qualities of God’s character by which he shows himself compassionate, accepting, and generous to sinful human beings, shielding them from his wrath, forgiving them, and bestowing on them his righteousness so that they can live and grow in faith and obedience. God’s faithfulness, grace, and mercy are made known in Jesus Christ. “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17 NKJV) “Great is Thy Faithfulness” ends with this last verse:

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings are mine, with ten thousand beside!

Friend, a relationship with a faithful God begins with a prayer; a humble conversation with a loving God who desires to pour out His love and faithfulness over your life. He desires nothing more than to spend eternity with you. His love for you is everlasting and Jesus Christ has already paid the price for your sin. Why don’t you pray today and ask God to forgive you and cleanse you and come into your life and heart. Jesus died and rose from the grave so that He could lift you out of the miry clay and snatch you away from the grips of the enemy. Sin and death have no power over you if only you would believe.

Dear Lord, I no longer want to walk in this life without hope. I am tired of living for myself and desire a relationship with You. I am a sinner and I am in need of a Savior. Forgive me Lord and come into my life and my heart. I submit my life into Your hands and believe that You died for me and rose from the grave to defeat sin and death once and for all. Even for me, Lord. Be my Savior and wash me clean by Your blood, today, Jesus. I love You. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

 

Psalm 118:24 NKJV – When the world gives you lemons…

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

We’ve all heard the saying, “When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade.”   I prefer lemon meringue pie, but the point is the same. When the world discourages us, we have a choice of what we can do. We can labor in the discouragement or trouble, or we can turn and make something beneficial out of it.

The Psalmist here is saying because of God’s victory, His people will turn the day of despair into a day of worship before the Lord. Believers often quote this Scripture when they gather together corporately on Sunday to worship the Lord in church. They may exchange this Scripture in conversation with a brother or sister in the Lord. Amen.

When thinking about what God would have me write about, this verse came to mind. God created all things and they were good. God created man in His image and He said it was very good. “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31 NKJV) The very essence of His work of creation speaks of His goodness. “For every creature of God is good.” (1 Timothy 4:4 NKJV) This is why our Scripture verse means so much more. It should be our daily Victory cry.

We experience God’s goodness to us every day. God is good to those who place their trust in Him. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8 NKJV) As God’s children we can rely on His goodness. “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.” (Jeremiah 32:40 NKJV) God works positively for good in not so good circumstances. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV) And God’s goodness is to be praised. “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant.” (Psalm 135:3 NKJV) Or I like how the New Living Translation states it, “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; celebrate His lovely Name with music.”

Friend, every one of our days are “this day”. The Lord has made each and every day. Let us celebrate what God has done each day; even each and every morning we wake up alive. What a great morning prayer if we say, “Good morning Lord. This is the day which You have made. I will celebrate You and rejoice in it.”   The next time that the world gives you lemons, why not shout to the Lord and give Him praise. Then go make your lemonade or pie. But remember, He gives us new days so that His plan for us can be accomplished and He can be glorified. We were created to do good works. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV)

Dear Lord, thank You for this day. I lift Your Name above all things and shout praises to You. Thank You that we are created in Your image to do good works. May we honor You in everything we say and do. We give You the glory Lord, in Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV – Unto us a child is born

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

The good news is the birth of Jesus Christ. These names express His divine and human qualities, giving assurance that indeed He is Immanuel, God with us. Jesus Christ mission included many things; most important was His work of salvation. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV)

Friend, today we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Today we rejoice with the angels of heaven. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2: 14 NKJV) God’s work of salvation is accomplished. Jesus Christ, the promised Savior, has come. Jesus Christ has the power to save and protect and through His power He has defeated both sin and death. And this power remains effective today. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25 NKJV) Jesus’ eternal life and priesthood make possible His eternal intercession for those who draw near to God through Him, leading to their complete and eternal salvation. “Uttermost” refers to comprehensive salvation (meeting our every need) especially as it is grounded in Jesus’ always living to pray for us.

Today, I will pray. Today, I will intercede for those who celebrate this day without the thinking about Jesus; without an expression of thanks and without the knowledge of His name; Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. The Holy and exalted Lord came so that we could receive eternal life. God the Father sent His beloved Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish in eternal death, but instead have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Do you know where you will live out eternity? Are you sure you will forever be in the presence of God? I know how you can be sure. His name is Jesus and He is waiting for you to call upon Him.

Lord Jesus. I desire to live eternally with You. Lord, I am a sinner who needs Your mercy and grace. I believe Lord that You came to seek me and to save me. I believe that You suffered and died for me. That when You were on the cross, I was on Your mind. I believe Lord that You defeated my sin and my eternal death when You rose from the grave. I believe that You have salvation waiting for me and it’s my choice. Lord, come into my heart and my life. I submit everything to You. Be my Savior, Jesus, right now. Thank You Jesus. I receive Your grace and celebrate this day. Today is the accepted time; today is the day of salvation. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!