Group photo
Author:
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/21/14 9:30 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Resurrected - Easter Devotional - April 21

by Sarah Phillips

I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Psalms 118:17-23

Most of you will celebrate the Lord's resurrection this Sunday. For many, it will be a glorious day of rejoicing in the miraculous, a day where you reflect not only on the event 2,000 years ago, but on the resurrections in your own life. The day you accepted Christ. The day a long-awaited prayer was answered. The day sickness was healed or sorrow wiped away.

For others, Sunday will only serve as a reminder of your cross. You'll feel like you got left at Good Friday, weeping, while the rest of the world moves on to Easter Sunday. You wish you could celebrate, but you don't know how. You may even apologize to God for your somberness.

You're not alone, I assure you.

In the past few months I've watched several Good Fridays and Easters play out in the lives of those around me. Engagements and babies ushered in cries of rejoicing and praises to God. Yet, cancer, infidelity, and financial hardship occurred uncomfortably close to these joyful events.

Most of life is like this. Happiness, unmixed, is not easy to come by.

So how do we deal with this reality? How do we deal with Good Friday and Easter coexisting?

I think we start with recognizing that the first Easter, the real Easter, was not just one event in time that occurred long ago. Christ's resurrection spanned the ages and has eternal consequences. It applies to you and me today just as much as it did to Christ's followers on Easter morning. It also applies to the future. Our hope, no matter where we may be today, is in the transforming truth of Easter.

Secondly, I think we need to remember that true faith in God does not rely on our emotions. If you cry on Easter morning because life has been wearing you down, God still accepts you. In fact, he died and rose for you so that he could more closely walk with you through these hard times. He knows, more than anyone, the heaviness of the cross.

Third, I think we need to remember that as awe-struck as Christ's first followers felt after his resurrection, they still didn't know what it fully meant… for humanity or for their personal lives. While the resurrection brought their beloved Rabbi back to them, he was different now. The resurrection simultaneously healed some wounds while opening a new can of questions, insecurities, fears, and even pain - at least temporarily.

Ultimately, all Good Fridays will lead to joyful Easter mornings if we cling to Christ. Whether you are in a season of hardship, rejoicing, or a mix of both, the key is to keep walking in faith one step at a time. Only the risen Christ can guide us through the foggy path of life. And when our final Easter morning arrives, we'll finally see with clarity that the journey was worth it.

Intersecting Faith & Life: Reflect on the "little resurrections" in your life - the times God answered a prayer in a very tangible way, the blessings in your life, and the miracles you've witnessed. All these serve as reminders of the great work God will continue to do in your life.

Further Reading

Acts 2:14, 22-33
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
Matthew 28:8-15


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/20/14 4:08 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Our Ultimate Hooray - Easter Devotional - April 20


by Charles R. Swindoll

John 11

What gives a widow courage as she stands beside a fresh grave? What is the ultimate hope of the handicapped, the abused, the burn victim? What is the final answer to pain, mourning, senility, insanity, terminal diseases, sudden calamities, and fatal accidents?

The answer to each of these questions is the same: the hope of bodily resurrection.

We draw strength from this single truth almost every day of our lives—more than we realize. It becomes the mental glue that holds our otherwise shattered thoughts together. Impossible though it may be for us to understand the details of how God is going to pull it off, we hang our hopes on fragile, threadlike thoughts that say, "Someday, He will make it right," and "Thank God, all this will change," and "When we're with Him, we shall be like Him."

More than a few times a year I look into red, swollen eyes and remind the despairing and the grieving that "there's a land that is fairer than day" where, as John promised in the Revelation, "He shall wipe away every tear . . . there shall no longer be any death . . . any mourning or crying or pain . . . there shall no longer be any curse . . . any night . . . because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever" (21:4; 22:3, 5). Hooray for such wondrous hope!

Just imagine . . . those who are physically disabled today will one day leap in ecstatic joy. Those who spend their lives absorbed in total darkness will see every color in the spectrum of light. In fact, the very first face they will see will be the One who gives them sight!

There's nothing like the hope of resurrection to lift the agonizing spirits of the heavyhearted. But how can we know for sure, some may ask. What gives us such assurance, such unshakable confidence? Those questions have the same answer:the fact of Christ's resurrection.

Because He has been raised, we too shall rise! No wonder we get so excited every Easter! No wonder we hold nothing back as we smile and sing and celebrate His miraculous resurrection from the grave!

Jesus Himself promised: "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies" (John 11:25).



judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/19/14 6:00 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Easter Devotions April 19

On Saturday; by Max Lucado

John didn't know on that Friday what you and I now know. He didn't know that Friday's tragedy would be Sunday's triumph. John would later confess that he "did not yet understand from the Scriptures that Jesus must rise from the dead" (John 20:9).

That's why what he did on Saturday is so important.

We don't know anything about this day; we have no passage to read, no knowledge to share. All we know is this: When Sunday came, John was still present. When Mary Magdalene came looking for him, she found him.

Jesus was dead. The Master's body was lifeless. John's friend and future were buried. But John had not left. Why? Was he waiting for the resurrection? No. As far as he knew, the lips were forever silent and the hands forever still. He wasn't expecting a Sunday surprise. Then why was he here?

You'd think he would have left. Who was to say that the men who crucified Christ wouldn't come after him? The crowds were pleased with one crucifixion; the religious leaders might have called for more. Why didn't John get out of town?

Perhaps the answer was pragmatic; perhaps he was taking care of Jesus' mother. Or perhaps he didn't have anywhere else to go. Could be he didn't have any money or energy or direction … or all of the above.

Or maybe he lingered because he loved Jesus.

To others, Jesus was a miracle worker. To others, Jesus was a master teacher. To others, Jesus was the hope of Israel. But to John, he was all of these and more. To John, Jesus was a friend.

You don't abandon a friend—not even when that friend is dead. John stayed close to Jesus.

He had a habit of doing this. He was close to Jesus in the upper room. He was close to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was at the foot of the cross at the crucifixion, and he was a quick walk from the tomb at the burial.

Did he understand Jesus? No.

Was he glad Jesus did what he did? No.

But did he leave Jesus? No.

What about you? When you're in John's position, what do you do? When it's Saturday in your life, how do you react? When you are somewhere between yesterday's tragedy and tomorrow's triumph, what do you do? Do you leave God—or do you linger near him?

John chose to linger. And because he lingered on Saturday, he was around on Sunday to see the miracle.

From He Chose the Nails


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/19/14 2:12 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Finished! - Easter Devotional - April 18
By Greg Laurie

When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. —John 19:30

The cross was the goal of Jesus from the very beginning. His birth was so there would be His death. The incarnation was for our atonement. He was born to die so that we might live. And when He had accomplished the purpose He had come to fulfill, He summed it up with a single word: “finished.”

In the original Greek, it was a common word. Jesus probably used it after He finished a project that He and Joseph might have been working on together in the carpentry shop. Jesus might have turned to Joseph and said, “Finished. Now let’s go have lunch.” It is finished.

Mission accomplished. It is done. It is made an end of.

So what was finished? Finished and completed were the horrendous sufferings of Christ.

Never again would He experience pain at the hand of wicked men. Never again would He have to bear the sins of the world. Never again would He, even for a moment, be forsaken of God. That was completed. That was taken care of.

Also finished was Satan’s stronghold on humanity. Jesus came to deal a decisive blow against the devil and his demons at the cross of Calvary. Hebrews 2:14 says, “Only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who hadthe power of death.” This means that you no longer have to be under the power of sin. Because of Jesus’ accomplishment at the cross, finished was the stronghold of Satan on humanity.

And lastly, finished was our salvation. It is completed. It is done. All of our sins were transferred to Jesus when He hung on the cross. His righteousness was transferred to our account.

So Jesus cried out the words, “It is finished!” It was God’s deliberate and well-thought-out plan. It is finished—so rejoice!

Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/17/14 6:02 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Stinky Feet - Easter Devotional - April 17

by Laura MacCorkle

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-35, NIV

Do you celebrate Maundy Thursday?

The word maundy means "a new commandment" and is derived from the Latin word Mandatum in translating Jesus' commandment in John 13:34-35.

Before He said that, Jesus had demonstrated His love that same evening during the Last Supper, as He humbled Himself and washed His disciples' feet (John 13:4-5). This act perfectly illustrated His new command.

So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

After reading this, I can only imagine what washing someone else's stinky feet must be like.

Think about where your feet have been, especially if you live in a back-to-nature, shoe-optional locale. This starts getting very up close and personal. And, depending on the individual and their hygiene habits or lack thereof, perhaps not too pleasant. Washing another's feet is not a glamorous act of service at all. But neither is anything related to the role of a servant, since it represents a position of humility and a mindset of putting others first.

In this day and age, I know there are certain churches that do have foot-washing services on Maundy Thursday to commemorate Christ's actions and his command. I have not participated in one like this, but I am sure it is a great object lesson to help all ages understand how to love one another.

Taking this a step further, The Bible Knowledge Commentary has this to say about foot-washing:

"Foot-washing was needed in Palestine. The streets were dusty and people wore sandals without socks or stockings. It was a mark of honor for a host to provide a servant to wash a guest's feet; it was a breach of hospitality not to provide for it. ...[Jesus] had done a humble service for [the disciples]. Meeting others' needs self-sacrificially is what they ought to do too. This passage emphasizes inner humility, not a physical rite. Not to follow the example of Jesus is to exalt oneself above Him and to live in pride. No servant is greater than his master (cf John 12;26)."

So when we humble ourselves and serve the Lord as He served us, it is He who lifts us up. When we love Christ, He changes our hearts and motivates us to love others. And if showing this love means washing some stinky feet, then so be it.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and keep my laws (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Intersecting Faith & Life: Who is God impressing upon your heart today? Is he calling you to show love to this person? Determine your course of action that will show a humble heart: make a phone call, send a note, lend a hand, speak a kind word or wash some feet! And then follow through as you love one another!

Further Reading

Luke 10:27, The Message


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/16/14 2:28 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Easter: All That Matters vs All I Live For - Crosswalk the Devotional - April 16, 2014

by Shawn McEvoy, Crosswalk.com Managing Editor

He has risen, just as He said.
Matthew 28:6, NIV

What would I ever do if someone I knew came back from the dead? Especially if he had said he would, and if he had spent a couple nights in a grave already?

Seriously, what would I do? What would you do? Wouldn't I blab to everyone I know - and most people I don't - about this miraculous event? Heck, I tell everyone when I'm feeling under the weather or when I saw a good movie.

Then factor in that the same guy was now telling us that because of what he had done, none of the rest of us would ever have to suffer death. What's more, simply by believing what we had seen, no matter our background, history, race, or education, we could restore our long-lost connection with the Almighty, and live forever.

Man... unfortunately, I'm having a hard time conceiving what I would do. Or, even if I can conceive it, I can't quite believe it, because honestly, I have seen this, I do believe this, and yet my daily reaction to it doesn't exactly line up with The Acts of the Apostles.

Has the news of a resurrected savior really become passe?

Why don't I want to read Acts?

What am I afraid of?

That I'll be rejected?

(He who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 4:8)).

That I won't be powerful enough?

(God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7)).

That the good news isn't relevant enough?

Salvation and the message of the resurrection, the miracle of born again-ness, is a salve to all wounds.

This Easter I'll join choruses like "He's Alive" while pondering and praising the miracle, but when it comes time for the next day of my life to begin, a day and a life that means nothing if not lived for my Savior, it'll be all about me again and my troubles and making my way and who cut me off and what I have to get done and who I don't like and what can we complain about today.

Yuck.

I want this Easter to be real. Because I did see it happen (so to speak; the resulting spread of those who ran to the corners of the earth to tell the story with no regard for personal safety is traceable to this day), it is real, and I'm cheating life and people God loves if I'm not shouting those facts from every corner and rooftop I can find. Everything else is just window dressing; "Christian living" is often just how we pass all our extra time in this country where so many of our basic needs are so easily met, and where we can cordon ourselves off from each other. What matters in life?
That there is life, and...
how it came about that there might never be death, but...
there are still dead men walking.

Really, why else are we here if not to keep excitedly shouting the truth of the miracle as if we'd just experienced it with our own eyes yesterday?

Intersecting Faith & Life: For the longest time, I've felt a leading in my heart to launch out into a complete study of the book of Acts, something I've never fully done. For some reason, I continue to put it off. But in my quest this year to make Easter real, I'm beginning a study of what those who witnessed the resurrection couldn't keep themselves from going out and doing. Care to join me?

Further Reading
Acts 1:1

judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/14/14 6:15 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Easter Devotional - April 14; Jesus' Scars

By Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

"After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord" (John 20:20 NIV).

Friend to Friend

It was just a few days after Easter, and I was reading about the resurrection of Jesus in the Gospel of John chapter twenty. I had read the story many times prior, but this time God opened my eyes to see something I had never noticed before.

In my mind's eye, I saw the pre-morning mist hovering over the garden surrounding the tomb where Jesus' body had been laid three days earlier. There amongst the dew stood Mary Magdalene, deep in sorrow and mourning over the death of her beloved Jesus. Then…Mary hesitates…blinks, trying to readjust her eyes…and discovers the unthinkable. The heavy stone had been rolled away from the entrance to Jesus' grave.

How could this be? Mary thought to herself. Who would have stolen his body?

"I must go and tell the others," Mary said as she dashed from the empty tomb.

"They took Him!" Mary said as she burst through the door of the room where some of the disciples were hiding. "His body is gone!"

Without asking any questions, Peter jumped up from his sitting position on the floor and bolted out of the room. A much younger and more agile John followed close behind, eventually passing his older friend.

"He's not here," John whispered as he peered inside the opening of the cave. "His body is gone."

A moment later, Peter arrived - stunned.

"Look," John said, to his winded friend, "over there in the corner."

A ray of sunlight pierced the darkness like a spotlight illuminating a lone actor on the stage. At the end of the beam lay Jesus' empty burial cloths. Peter barreled past the timid John and burst into the darkened cave. There was just enough light to see the empty burial cloths and the strips of linen that had once covered Jesus' head.

"What happened here? What does this mean?" they mused.

"Hurry," they agreed, "let's go tell the others."

Running past Mary, Peter and John ran back to tell the other disciples of their discovery. But Mary stayed in the garden, weeping for her beloved Jesus.

Mary knelt at the opening of the empty tomb with her hands covering her tearful eyes. Suddenly, a beam of light caught her attention. There, at the spot where Jesus' body had been laid, sat two glistening angels clothed in white - one at the foot and one at the head…just like on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, she thought.

"Woman, why are you crying?" the angels asked.

"They have taken my Master," Mary replied through her tears. "I don't know where they have taken Him."

Hearing a rustling in the myrtle bushes behind her, Mary turned her head. There appeared another figure as if in a dream. It was Jesus, but Mary didn't recognize or expect Him.

Jesus echoed the angels. "Woman, why are you weeping?"

Mary thought the man was the Gardener. Oh, she was not mistaken. He was The Master Gardener. "Sir," she whimpered, "if you know where they have taken Jesus, would you please tell me so that I can take care of him?"

Then Jesus whispered one simple word. "Mary."

At the sound of her name, Mary recognized the Lord.

After a brief conversation, Mary raced back to the disciples. "I have seen Him!" she proclaimed, "I have seen Him!"

"Who?" they asked in confused unison.

"I have seen Jesus! He is alive!"

Later that day, as the disillusioned band huddled in their hiding place, Jesus appeared in their midst. He didn't knock. He didn't open the door. He simply appeared.

"Peace be with you," Jesus said.

But the disciples didn't recognize Him. He looked like Jesus, talked like Jesus, but how…how could it be?

In order to convince the disciples that He was indeed the risen Christ, Jesus made a simple gesture. He held out His hands and revealed the nail pierced hands. Then he lifted up his tunic to reveal the scar in His sword pierced side.

It was then…that they believed.

As I read these verses, God played and replayed the frames in my mind's eye, but it was the final scene that captured my attention …"'Peace be with you!' After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord" (John 20:19-20).

Oh God, I prayed, they didn't recognize Jesus until He showed them His scars.

Yes, my child, He seemed to say, this is what I wanted you to see. They did not recognize Jesus until He showed them His scars, and this is how others still recognize Him today…when men and women who have experienced the healing of past wounds are not ashamed to show their scars to a hurting world.

It was an epiphany or sorts - a revelation - a cataclysmic shift of thinking.

See, Jesus did not have to retain the scars of the crucifixion on His resurrected body. He could have returned without them. After all, He is the one who put new flesh on the hands and feet of the lepers. But He chose to keep the scars, I believe, because they were precious to Him…that's how others would recognize who He was.

That is still the way that people recognize Jesus today, when we are not ashamed to show the scars in our own lives - when we reveal the wounds that are now healed and when we tell about the Healer who made it possible.

Let's Pray

Dear God, thank You that Jesus kept His scars when He rose from the dead. I pray that I will not be ashamed of the scars in my own life, but that people will recognize the Healer in my life through my story. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Now It's Your Turn

Why do you think Jesus' kept His scars when he returned from the grave?

What do you think of when you look at the scars on your own body? What comes to mind?

How can you use the scars in your own life (the ones that are on your soul) to bring glory to God?


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/14/14 1:21 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Easter Devotional April 13

Unshakeable

by Skip Heitzig

Did you ever wonder about that stone at the tomb of Jesus? Why was it moved? It wasn’t to let Jesus out; Jesus could get out of the tomb as easily as He entered the Upper Room later, without using the door. No, the reason the stone was rolled away was not to let Jesus out, but to let the disciples in so they could see!

And what did they see there? They saw that the body of Jesus was gone, but the grave clothes were still there, lying undisturbed. In John 20:1-8 there are different Greek words used for "saw." When it says Mary and Peter saw, it means they noted. When it says that John saw, it means that he saw with understanding, with comprehension.

Peter entered the tomb. "Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed" (John 20:8). When John saw the grave clothes, he thought, "I get it!" He believed that Jesus was alive, based on what he saw.

Then John adds something that seems puzzling at first. Verse 9 says, “For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” They saw an empty tomb and empty grave clothes, and they formed their beliefs based on that. They knew what they saw.

But by the time John wrote his gospel, they knew the theology of Christ’s resurrection. Their faith, once based on physical evidence—the open tomb, the body gone, the clothes intact (as good as that was to convince John at that moment)—wasn’t enough to sustain a person through life. “This is what we saw, but we didn’t know the scripture yet” points to the fact that there’s something even better to base your belief and knowledge upon, and that’s the objective, inerrant prophecy in the Word of God.

Observation and personal experience aren’t enough! The Bible predicted that Christ would rise from the dead. What Peter called “a more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV) is a more sure foundation.

So how do you know that you know? You could say, “I know because I saw or I heard.” But here’s something better: “What I saw and what I heard was predicted long ago in the prophets.” So now the subjective experience is bolstered by the objective prophecy of the Bible—and that’s unshakeable.

That’s what I want you to see here—the fundamental importance of the Word of God. Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”

The experience which we have with Christ is valid only as it is tied to something that is outside of our experience, something that is objective—the inerrant Word of God. With that, we can face anything.

If you just have the inerrant Word of Scripture but you don’t have an experience with God yourself, then it’s not personal. If you have your personal experience but it doesn’t match what the scripture says, then it’s not reasonable. Put them both together, it’s powerful. It’s unshakeable.

That’s my prayer for you at this Easter season, that you will have an unshakeable faith, based on the sure word of prophecy and a personal, vital relationship with Jesus Christ, the risen Redeemer!

Copyright © 2013 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/12/14 6:28 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Good News! - Easter Devotional - April 12

By Dr. Jack Graham

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

--1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Doesn't it seem that bad news is all around us? It's always the top story on the news or the main headline in the paper.

But as believers, we know the best news we could ever hear… and we celebrate it this month.

Easter is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the grave. This is the event that conquered sin… it conquered death… and it made it possible for you and me to have a personal relationship with God!

Perhaps, today, this is the first time you've ever heard or understood this Good News.

If so, I want to tell you something: Jesus died on the cross for you. He wore a crown of thorns and was nailed to a tree because He loves you… and He wants to have a personal relationship with you today.

Will you accept this Good News today?

THIS EASTER SEASON, SHARE THE GOOD NEWS WITH SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO HEAR IT!

www.jackgraham.org/

judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/11/14 6:04 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Why Did an Angel Roll Away the Stone? - Easter Devotional - April 11

Quote of the Day

"'Dear Uticus, Our preacher said that Jesus swooned on the cross and then His disciples nursed Him to health. What do you think? Signed, Bewildered.'
'Dear Bewildered, Beat your preacher with a cat-o'-nine-tails thirty-nine times. Nail him to a cross. Hang him in the sun for six hours. Run a spear through his side, embalm him, and put him in an airless tomb for thirty-six hours and see what happens. Sincerely, Uticus.'"
~Greg Laurie (from "could jesus have survived the crucifixion?")

Today's Answer

Why Did an Angel Roll Away the Stone?
Matthew Henry

The angels frequently attended our Lord Jesus: at His birth, in His temptation, in His agony. But upon the cross we find no angel attending him. When His Father forsook Him, the angels withdrew from Him, but now that He is resuming the glory he had before the foundation of the world, the angels of God worship him.

The angel came, rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone Himself by His own power, but He chose to have it done by an angel to signify that having undertaken to make satisfaction for our sin, He did not break prison, but had a fair and legal discharge, obtained from heaven. He did not break prison, but an officer was sent on purpose to roll away the stone and open the prison door, which would never have been done if He had not made a full satisfaction.

But being delivered for our offences, He was raised again for our justification. He died to pay our debt, and rose again to gain our acquittal. The stone of our sins was rolled to the door of the grave of our Lord Jesus (and we find the rolling of a great stone to signify the contracting of guilt - 1 Samuel 14:33), but to demonstrate that divine justice was satisfied, an angel was commissioned to roll back the stone. The angel did not raise Him from the dead, any more than those that took away the stone from Lazarus’s grave raised him, but by this he intimated the consent of Heaven to Christ's release, and the joy of Heaven in it.

The enemies of Christ had sealed the stone, since this was their hour, but all the powers of death and darkness are under the control of the God of light and life. An angel from heaven has power to break the seal and roll away the stone, though ever so great. Thus, the captives of the mighty are taken away.

The angel’s sitting upon the stone, after he had rolled it away, is very observable and shows a secure triumph over all the obstructions of Christ’s resurrection. There he sat, defying all the powers of hell to roll the stone to the grave again. The angel sat as a guard to the grave, having frightened away the enemies’ guard; he sat, expecting the women, and ready to give them an account of Jesus's resurrection.

Adapted from Matthew 1:1 Henry's commentary on the Whole Bible (luke 28).


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/10/14 3:53 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
April 10: Easter Devotional by Charles Stanley; In Touch Ministries

A Faith Worth Practicing

1 Corinthians 15:15-19

A person's attitude about the resurrection is important any time of the year, not simply at Easter. If we are going to accept or reject a scriptural truth, we should understand how that principle impacts not only our faith but also our witness.

The greatest implication of claiming Jesus remained in the grave is that we are left with no hope of salvation. This, in turn, makes telling others about the Lord pointless. Jesus is the

One who brings life-giving force to the Gospel message. Without Him, sharing the Word would have as much effect on someone's life as reciting, "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

Further, we would be lying about God when we witnessed according to Scripture, saying He raised Jesus when He actually had not. If the Father didn't resurrect the Son, then He must also be dishonest about the eternal nature of believers. How could we ever hope to be "absent from the body and… at home with the Lord" upon death if the blameless Son Himself did not receive such treatment? (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Without Christ's resurrection, we have no saving Lord, no powerful Word, no hope of eternity, and a dead faith. A religion with those characteristics hardly seems worth practicing. Yet, church members embrace this and other fallacies without thought. A wise believer studies Scripture and, therefore, recognizes how God's salvation plan fits together from Genesis to Revelation. The only legitimate basis for eternal hope is receiving Jesus Christ's sacrifice for our transgressions and believing He conquered sin and death to rise again..

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.

judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/9/14 3:57 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
April 9

Precious Sacrifice of our Lord & Savior.
Easter Devotional Shared by Judith..

Let's focus our thoughts on the Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, let's remember the awesome sacrifice He made for us, He gave His all for us, He emptied Himself of His life's Blood for you and for me so we could be forgiven and set free, having our sins washed and cleansed away once and for all, Let's remember, Jesus did not stay in the grave, He rose from the dead, 3 days later, and is now sitting on the right hand of God His Father and will one day return for His Bride, the Church...

The question I ask myself and you, are we ready for His return? Let's be sure that our sins are forgiven and our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life...The only way to be sure we have been forgiven and our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life is to receive Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives and receive what the precious Son of God has done for us, Thank you Jesus for saving my soul, Praise ye the Lord...He is Alive, He is Risen...

Prayer of Re-commitment and the Sinners Prayer for Salvation:

Dear Jesus, I come to You and ask You to come into my heart and forgive me of my sins, I believe that You are the Son of God and went to Calvary's Cross and nailed my sins to the Cross and shed Your Blood to wash my sins away, thank you Jesus for saving my soul, I surrender my life to you and ask You to fill me with your Holy Spirit, in Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

Edited by: JUDITH316 at: 4/9/2014 (03:58)
judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/9/14 1:15 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
April 8 Devotional by Pastor Greg Laurie

New Life for Us All

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

—1 Peter 1:3

A couple from Chicago was planning a vacation to a warmer climate, but the wife couldn't join her husband until the next day, because she was on a business trip. Her husband scribbled down her e-mail address on a little scrap of paper, but upon his arrival, he discovered that he had lost it. He wanted to send off a quick e-mail to let her know he had arrived safely. So trying his best to remember her e-mail address, he composed a brief message and sent it off.

Unfortunately, his e-mail did not reach his wife. Instead, it went to a grieving widow who had just lost her husband, a preacher, the day before. She had gone to her computer and was checking her e-mail when she let out a loud shriek and fainted on the spot. Her family came rushing in to see what was on the screen: "Dearest wife, I just checked in. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow. P. S.: It sure is hot down here!"

The good news is that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we don't have to be afraid of that real place that is hot down there. In fact, we don't even have to fear death. Because Christ died and rose again from the dead, we know that for us as believers, there is life beyond the grave.

If that were all the resurrection did for us, it would be worth the price of the ticket. Of course, we didn't buy the ticket. Christ did. But if all that Christianity offered was the hope of life beyond the grave, it still would be worth it to be a Christian.

But there is a whole lot more that the resurrection has for us. Our risen Lord will give us a new heart and put a new spirit within us (see Ezekiel 36:26). He will give us new knowledge, new comfort, new peace, and a new life in Him.

For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org

judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/7/14 1:42 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
April 7

The Satisfaction of the Cross

Rachel Olsen

"When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied."Isaiah 53:11 (NLT)


Devotion:

Approximately 600 years before Jesus was condemned to the cross, the prophet Isaiah foretold of the event. Open up and invite those words to penetrate your soul today:

"See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. Many were amazed when they saw him beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know he was a person. And he will again startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not previously been told about; they will understand what they had not heard about.

Who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power? My servant grew up in the Lord's presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins that he was suffering their punishment? He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave.

But it was the Lord's good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord's plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners." Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 (NLT)

Approximately 2,000 years after Jesus hung on the cross, the passion of our Christ is still the power of God unto salvation. His suffering accomplished righteousness for us, and through it, both He and we are satisfied.

Dear Lord, may I realize afresh today what Your death and resurrection mean for me. Forgiveness … Freedom … and the ability to walk with You through this fallen world into eternity. May I always find my satisfaction in You and Your willingness to offer Yourself to me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Do You Know The Christ?

Rachel has been writing about Easter this week, visit her blog and join her in celebrating the passion of Jesus

God's Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen

Application Steps:

Take satisfaction in the love and power of God today - it is given for, and directed at, you!

Reflections:

What sins do I need to confess and release under the power of the cross?

Am I walking in the freedom Christ accomplished for me?

Power Verses:

Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." (ESV)

2 Corinthians 5:17, "Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence." (GWT)

© 2009 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/7/14 12:45 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Great seeing you here Annabelle and happy you enjoyed the devotional...

April 6

The Mystery Rolled Back

For reading & meditation: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
"
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (v. 55)

Mark's observation "that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away" (Mark 16:4) seems a simple statement, but behind it lies a truth that is positively staggering in its implications. One is that no longer can death be an intimidator.

"Death," said someone, "is the great enigma of life; humanly speaking, it is the one secret of the universe which is kept, the silence of which is never broken."

To the weary and despairing, death may come as a friend; the cynical and disillusioned may meet it with indifference; to the healthy and the happy it may appear as a foe; but it comes to all. Death is like a great stone that blocks the path of human aspiration.

How certain can we be of the continuity of life beyond death? What modest person would find in himself anything worthy to endure for all eternity? Such questions have been asked down the centuries. Death is a mystery - "the undiscovered country from which no traveler returns." Then came the first Easter Day, and the stone was rolled away. One Traveler did return.

Death is an abysmal cavern no longer but a tunnel with light at the farther end. If people have seen it as a blind alley, then they need think no longer in those terms. It is now a thoroughfare, a highway. "'Tis death is dead, not He," said the hymnist.

The mystery is a mystery no more. The stone that was rolled away the first Easter morn was not just the rock that sealed the tomb. Our Lord rolled back for us the mystery of death also.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, I rejoice and rejoice continually in Your glorious and triumphant victory over death. For Your victory is my victory. Help me to live by it, in it, and for it. I am grateful to my depths - grateful forever. Amen.

For further study:

John 11:1-44; Matthew 16:21; Mark 9:9; John 2:19

1. When did Jesus declare He was the resurrection and the life?

2. What are the implications of this?


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
ANNABELLE1957's Photo ANNABELLE1957 Posts: 1,357
4/6/14 3:36 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
emoticon

 current weight: 293.4 
312
279
246
213
180
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 185,869
4/5/14 7:40 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
God's Plan for the Resurrection - Easter Devotional - April 5

By Charles Stanley

John 16:16-20

"A little while, and you will no longer see Me." Jesus repeated these words to His disciples several times. But He could tell by the blank stares on their faces that they did not understand what He had said.

At one point, He even overheard them debating what He meant by "You will not see me" (John 16:19). These men had been with the Lord for three years. They had laughed with Him, cried with Him, eaten with Him, and were willing to die with Him, or so they thought.

They had just entered the city of Jerusalem. And instead of being met by an angry legion of guards and protestors, they were met by palm-waving supporters shouting: "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." Yet as soon as they had settled into the upper room, Jesus broached the subject of His forthcoming death. Immediately, the mood of His followers went from one of celebration to shock and sorrow.

Often in difficult times, we cannot see beyond that moment. The resurrection was a few days away, but they could not fathom its wondrous coming.

God always provides the encouragement we need to stay the course, and Jesus did this for His disciples when He told them, "Your sorrow will be turned to joy" (v. 20). This also is God's message of hope and love for us today. Blessed be the name of the Lord!


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith


 December Minutes: 271
0
225
450
675
900
Page: 1 of (1)  

Report Innappropriate Post

Other GOD'S AMAZING GRACE! General Team Discussion Forum Posts

Topics:
Last Post:
10/31/2018 9:13:00 AM
2/28/2018 1:11:54 PM
7/31/2018 10:08:07 PM
3/31/2018 4:19:11 AM
9/1/2018 4:56:56 AM



Thread URL: https://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=0x2816x57392385

Review our Community Guidelines