Group photo
Author:
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/18/17 12:55 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
6 Prayers to Pray the Week after Easter - Easter Devotional - April 17

by Lysa TerKeurst

"The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: "He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him." Now I have told you.'" Matthew 28:5-7 (NIV)

I don't think Easter is quite done with me yet.

I know what glorious things this Holy Day says to the world at large.

But what does Jesus want me to know, to think about, to wrestle through at this time of year? This season of new beginnings.

So, I'm lingering here a bit longer.

I feel like the girl who wears the same outfit to school two days in a row. Easter is done now. Time to put it back in the closet. Only for me it isn't. I want to wear it again today, tomorrow and many more tomorrows.

After all, Easter is no longer a ritual to me. It's a revelation. A time where Jesus splits my soul along the fault line of a scar deep within: I was an unwanted child to my birth dad.

Unwanted.

But to Jesus ... I was wanted so much that He gave His life for me. It feels so personal. Even though I know God so loved the world, He gave His son, it becomes very individual if we let it.

Be personal.

With Jesus.

Yes.

So, in the midst of a world putting Easter away, might we let it sit with us for just a bit more?

I keep my Bible open to the place where the angel spoke to the women at the tomb. And I tangle my thoughts around His words from Matthew 28 as six prayers emerge ...

• "Do not be afraid," - God, I hand over to You those things that make me so afraid. Resurrect the parts of my faith squelched by fear.

• "I know that you are looking for Jesus," - God, when my soul is searching, help me know the answer to every longing can be found in You.

• "He has risen," - God, the fact that Jesus is risen should lift my head, my heart and my attitude. Help me to live today as if I really believe this with every part of my life.

• "just as he said," - Jesus, You keep Your promises. Help me live as though I believe that with every part of me. Help me trust You more, obey You more and resemble You more.

• "Come and see," - Jesus, You had the angels invite the women in to see for themselves that You had risen. You invite me into these personal revelations every day. Forgive me for sometimes rushing about and forgetting to come and see for myself ... You, Your Word, Your insights.

• "Then go quickly and tell his disciples," - Jesus, I don't want to be a secret keeper with my faith. I want to be a bold and gracious truth proclaimer. For You. With You. Because of You. Me, the unwanted girl whom You loved, redeemed and wanted.

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Yes, let this miraculous Easter be personal. And prayerful. And linger a bit longer.

Dear Lord, I want to let Your Truth sink deep down into my heart and soul today. Help me stay focused on You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond:

Find Matthew 28 in your Bible and read through that chapter in its entirety. What verse sticks out to you?

Take that verse and write it down or speak it out loud in prayer. Let God's Truth sink deep down into your heart and soul.

Power Verse:

1 John 3:16 NIV

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us."

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/18/17 12:33 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Easter Devotions April 16 The Weekend that Changed the World

When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.

Luke 23:33-34a

The weekend of March 14-16, 1986 will always be special to my wife and me. It was on that weekend we were married. Friday night was the wedding rehearsal, Saturday night was the main event, and Sunday kicked off our first day as husband and wife. The course of our lives was changed as God brought us together to be one until death.

That weekend in March is special to us… but there was a weekend in early April, nearly 2000 years ago, that is special to all of humanity.
• It was the weekend of brutality and bloodshed as the righteous died for the unrighteous.
• It was the weekend that began with tremendous agony, but ended with tremendous victory.
• It was the weekend when Jesus Christ gave Himself up for sinful man.
• It was the weekend when Jesus Christ conquered sin, death, hell, and the grave.
• It was the weekend that changed the world for all history and eternity.

PERSONALLY ENCOUNTERING THAT WEEKEND

From the time I was little, my parents taught me about that weekend when Jesus died and rose again. I believed the report. I believed He died on the cross and rose from the grave. The only problem I had was that I believed it as facts on a printed page. I believed in Jesus in the same way I believed in George Washington. I had a mental assent to the truths of history. But those truths didn’t make one bit of difference in my daily life. In short, I was like the vast majority of those who call themselves Christians—I had head knowledge of Jesus, but no heart knowledge of Him. I believed on paper, but not in practice. I didn’t really know Him, I just simply knew about Him.

I was 17 years-old when the good news of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection made a connection from my head to my heart. The Lord revealed to me that I was a sinner, totally deserving of death and hell—with no way out, in and of myself. It was at that moment that the cross and the empty tomb took on real meaning as I cried out to Jesus for salvation. Alone in my bedroom on a Monday night in early 1980, I got down on my knees, and with all my heart prayed this simple prayer, “Save me, Jesus.”

And you know what? He did!

That night, I put my faith and trust in Jesus and Jesus alone for my salvation. In that split second of time, I passed from death to life (John 5:24). I went from being a child of wrath to a child of God (Ephesians 2:3, John 1:12). I was spiritually transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1:13). I was born again and changed forever. The Lord had come into my life to live in me and through me. I certainly didn’t understand it all at the time, but I knew within a couple of weeks that my life could never be the same.

IT MUST BE PERSONAL TO BE EFFECTUAL

Has the message of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection made it from your head to your heart? Jesus didn’t die for a faceless humanity, He died for you (Galatians 2:20). He rose again for you. He wants you to know Him, not just know about Him. You see, it must be personal in order for His death and resurrection to be effectual in your life.

Let me encourage you this Easter weekend to make sure you don’t just simply go through the motions. The worst thing that could ever happen to anyone is to know the plan of salvation and not the Man of salvation… to know the way to heaven and yet fail to go that way.

Jesus is indeed the One and only Savior. He will save anyone who will cry out to Him in repentance and faith. His cross and empty tomb changed the world as they made it possible for sinful man to have a personal relationship with Holy God. Receive Christ into your heart. Don’t just tip your hat to Him, bow your knee. The surrender of your heart makes it personal, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Love,
Pastor Jeff Schreve
From His Heart Ministries

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/18/17 12:22 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
On Saturday - Easter Devotional - April 15

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/15/17 10:48 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Saturday's Easter Devotional coming later this morning...

Good Friday to the Extreme - Easter Devotional - April 14

By Skip Heitzig

The world looks at Christians 'celebrating death' on Good Friday, and they can't figure it out. They say, “That is so extreme! Why, before God could forgive people, would He require the death of His Son? Why wouldn’t He simply, benevolently, forgive people’s sin? If I did something against you, you would just forgive me. Why can’t God do that?”

But that kind of questioning betrays a sort of ignorance that is two-fold. One is of how heinous our sin is, and the other is of how great and holy our God is.

Nobody speaks of sin anymore. In fact, sin has almost disappeared from the American vocabulary. We speak of “problems” or “hangups” or “issues.” It’s called a “sickness” or it’s called someone else’s fault. But the Bible says very plainly that if we say we have no sin, we are liars (1 John 1:8).

How serious is it? Paul said, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). We sin because it’s our nature. “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). And we sin by choice. Every day we commit individual acts that are an affront to God.

They are an affront because God is absolutely holy. You see, holy God is wholly incompatible with sin and unrighteousness. “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness” (Habakkuk 1:13). “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you” (Isaiah 59:2).

Perfect, holy God cannot coexist with sinful man. And because of that, we’re separated, we’re lost. So one of two things must happen. Either holy God must destroy unholiness, or holy God must declare that which is unholy, holy.

And that takes us to the cross. Jesus lived the perfect life that we could never live, and then took all our sins on Himself. So effectively, God said, “I’ll take the rap. I’ll take all of your wickedness and evil and I’ll put it on Myself so that when I die on the cross, it’s finished, once and for all.”

The cross is the only place that God will meet with mankind. The cross is the only place where both God’s mercy and God’s justice could meet. How can God be a God of love and a God of justice at the same time? How can holy, perfect God meet with sinful, rebellious man? Only at the cross. He came, He took our punishment, and then He declared you and me righteous because of it.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/14/17 2:39 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Stinky Feet - Easter Devotional - April 13

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/12/17 5:59 P

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

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 had the 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!

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/12/17 2:51 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Remebering His Sacrifice - Easter Devotional - April 11

And they crucified Him.
--Mark 15:24

A medical doctor once gave a detailed description of what happens when someone is crucified:

"The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders again the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

"The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain--the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet.

"As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream. Spasmodically he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

"Hours of this...pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

It is now almost over--the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level--the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues--the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues...finally he can allow his body to die."

The Bible records this process of death by crucifixion in just a few simple words. How often we take for granted the pain and suffering Jesus endured when He died on the cross for you and me. Let us remember this Easter the sacrifice He made.

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Thank Jesus for the price He paid for your sins through His painful death on the cross.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/11/17 12:37 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Your Dead Will Live - Easter Devotional - April 10

by Debbie Holloway

“Your dead will live; their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy” (Isaiah 26:19).

In Luke’s account of Christ’s resurrection, angels proclaimed to the women: "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (24:5-6). This joyous news must have taken them off guard. After all, they came to Jesus’ tomb bearing burial spices with which to anoint the lifeless body of their Lord. Instead, they find dazzling angels standing watch next to an empty tomb, and hear news that they will never find Christ in a place of death and darkness.

As Easter draws closer, have you considered which aspects of your life God wants to breathe life into?

Family

Many of us have strained familial relationships that seem only to worsen when we get together for meals and services around the holidays. Do you pray for the members of your family regularly? Are you willing to open up your heart to start loving them the way God loves each and every one of them? Remember,

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).

Friendships

If Christ’s work on the cross teaches us anything about friendships, it’s that forgiveness and grace trumps all. After all, mere hours before his gruesome death, Jesus was ignored, abandoned, denied, and betrayed by his closest friends. He could have equally been speaking of Peter, a man in his inner circle, when he begged on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Yet, even after being left alone and misunderstood, Christ still made the ultimate act of love for his friends (and the world).

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).

Work

Often our “good” side is saved for our friends and loved ones, while our places of work get the short (or grumpy) end of the stick. As you ponder the work Christ did on the cross, and the glory of his resurrection, remember that our work can be a beautiful echo of his perfect work, holy and pleasing to God.

“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:10-12).

Intersecting Faith and Life: What area of your life needs to come alive in honor of Easter? How can you seek Christ daily in your relationships and duties?

Further Reading

Book of Titus

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/8/17 11:20 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The Ultimate Lifesaver - Easter Devotional - April 8

This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. —John 15:13

An article in Reader’s Digest described the actions of Dave Shoemaker, captain of the 180-foot fishing vessel, “Galaxy,” somewhere off Alaska’s St. Paul Island. The article read, “When a disastrous engine fire wreaked havoc for the Galaxy and its crew, Captain Shoemaker bravely walked through the smoke and flames with no protection but a bandanna around his mouth to radio for help. Shoemaker continued to put the lives of his crew first and worked to help them to safety despite incurring three broken ribs, extensive burns to his skin and the increasing chance of going down with the ship. Like a true captain, he made certain he was the last of the crew to be rescued by the Coast Guard, who arrived thanks to his initial Mayday call. The Galaxy was completely lost, but thanks in great part to Shoemaker's courage under fire, 21 of the 25 crew members survived.” Captain Shoemaker, a modern day hero, put his own life on the line in order to save the life of his crewmembers.

Let’s reflect on our ultimate lifesaver, the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Remember that he willingly suffered, bled and died—taking our own sin and shame on Himself as He hung on a cross— that we might be saved from an eternity of separation from God. In his resurrection from the grave, Jesus broke the power of sin and death—and guaranteed rescue—to anyone who believes in Him. He is our most shining example of heroism in action.

Yet, the story doesn’t end here. We, in fact, are destined to become part of the story. For Jesus calls all of us who have experienced His rescue to become part of his rescue team—to act heroically, willingly putting our lives on the line—in order to help rescue others. “Snatch others from the fire and save them,” is how the New Testament book of Jude puts it. It’s a simple act of gratitude for we who have been given a lifeline, to share a lifeline with someone else.

Today, offer a prayer of thanks to Jesus, our ultimate lifesaver and consider someone around you with whom you can share your own Easter story of rescue. You never know. In doing so, you just might “snatch someone from the fire.”

GOING DEEPER:

1. Who had the courage to share the news of Jesus' resurrection with you? Pray and thank God for using this person in your life. If possible, thank them personally for being willing to be used by God in your life.

2. In your circle of relationships, who might benefit from hearing your story of God’s rescue in your life? Will you commit to sharing your story with this person in the coming week?

FURTHER READING:

John 10:11-18; Luke 9:23-26; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/7/17 5:16 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Easter Brings Hope - Easter Devotional April 7

by Pastor Greg Laurie

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live."
—John 11:25

Easter is not about brightly colored eggs, wearing pastels, or enjoying a big meal, although it could include these. Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For some, Easter will be a great day, spent surrounded by family and friends. But for others, it will be a sad day, because Easter is a reminder of a loved one who has died and is now desperately missed.

Death seems so cruel, so harsh, and so final. That is what the disciples were feeling when they saw their Lord, whom they had left everything to follow, hanging on the cross. They were devastated. Death had crushed them. But if they would have gone back in their memories, they would have recalled an important event and statement Jesus had made.

They would have remembered Jesus standing at the tomb of his close friend Lazarus. They would have remembered that Jesus did something completely unexpected: He wept (see John 11:35). Jesus wept, because He knew that death was not part of God's original plan.

Humanity was not meant to grow old, to suffer with disease, or to die. But because of the sin of Adam and Eve, sin entered the human race, and death followed with it. And death spread to all of us. Jesus wept, because it broke His heart.

But standing there at Lazarus' tomb, Jesus also delivered these hope-filled words: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live" (John 11:25). Death is not the end. And the resurrection of Jesus Christ proves it.

If you have put your faith in Christ, then Easter means that you will live forever in the presence of God. Easter brings hope to the person who has been devastated by death.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/6/17 6:19 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
It Didn't End at the Cross - Easter Devotional - April 6

by Senior Living Ministries

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

--1 Peter 1:3-5

A little boy born with Down syndrome attended his third-grade Sunday School class faithfully each week. As you can expect, the other children did not readily accept the boy because he seemed different.

The Sunday after Easter, their teacher brought in small boxes--one for each child. The children were told to go outside, find some symbols of new life, and put them in their containers. So the children ran wildly throughout the property looking for something to fill their boxes.

Once they returned to the classroom, they began to share their discoveries with the class. One by one they opened their boxes to show flowers, butterflies, leaves, and more. Each time the class would "ooh" and "ahh."

Then the child with Down syndrome opened his box to reveal nothing inside. The children exclaimed, "That's stupid! It's not fair! He didn't do the assignment right!"

The little boy exclaimed, "I did so do it! It's empty...because the tomb where Jesus laid was found empty!"

If Jesus had not risen from the dead, our faith would be foolish and fake. But He did rise from death, confirming His life and message. The resurrection of Jesus is the basis for our hope of life eternal beyond the grave.

Don't ever forget to include the resurrection of Christ from the dead when speaking of His death on the cross. For because He conquered sin on the cross and death through His resurrection, we can have unmistakable hope in Him for eternity.

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Praise God that you serve a risen Savior! Thank Him for His sacrifice on the cross and for defeating death so that you and I may experience eternal life with Him one day.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/2/17 7:38 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Good News! - Easter Devotional - April 2

by Pastor 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!

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
4/1/17 11:12 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The Satisfaction of the Cross - Easter Devotional - April 1

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)

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/31/17 7:31 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Triumph in Tragedy - Easter Devotional - March 31

by Max Lucado

What do you say we have a chat about graveclothes? Sound like fun? Sound like a cheery topic? Hardly. Make a list of depressing subjects, and burial garments is somewhere between IRS audits and long-term dental care.

No one likes graveclothes. No one discusses graveclothes. Have you ever spiced up dinner-table chat with the question, "What are you planning to wear in your casket?" Most folks don't discuss graveclothes.

The apostle John, however, was an exception. Ask him, and he'll tell you how he came to see burial garments as a symbol of triumph. He didn't always see them that way. A tangible reminder of the death of his best friend, Jesus, they used to seem like a symbol of tragedy. But on the first Easter Sunday, God took clothing of death and made it a symbol of life.
Could he do the same for you?

Could he take what today is a token of tragedy and turn it into a symbol of triumph?
We all face tragedy. What's more, we've all received the symbols of tragedy. Yours might be a telegram from the war department, an ID bracelet from the hospital, a scar, or a court subpoena. We don't like these symbols, nor do we want these symbols. Like wrecked cars in a junkyard, they clutter up our hearts with memories of bad days.

But could God use such things for something good? How far can we go with verses like Romans 8:28 that says, "In everything God works for the good of those who love him"? Does "everything" include tumors and tests and tempers and terminations? John would answer yes. John would tell you that God can turn any tragedy into a triumph, if only you will wait and watch.

Could I challenge you with a little exercise? Remove the word everything from Romans 8:28 and replace it with the symbol of your own tragedy. For the apostle John, the verse would read: "In burial clothing God works for the good of those who love him." How would Romans 8:28 read in your life?

In hospital stays God works for the good.

In divorce papers God works for the good.

In a prison term God works for the good.

If God can change John's life through a tragedy, could it be he will use a tragedy to change yours?

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/30/17 5:53 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Why Did an Angel Roll Away the Stone? - Easter Devotional - March 30

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.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/30/17 2:50 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Trading Spaces - Easter Devotional - March 29

by Ed Young

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Christ traded spaces with us on the cross. He died in our place, for our sin. But if you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, you only believe one-half of the Gospel. The other half of the Gospel is the fact that Christ fulfilled God's standard perfectly. He was 100% righteous. So, had Christ been 90% righteous or 80% righteous, his sacrifice would not meet God's demands. He was 100% righteous.

So, once you bow the knee to Christ and ask him to come into your life to take residence, to come into the dwelling place of your heart, then the righteousness of Christ is imputed into your life. Thus, when God sees you, he sees Jesus and his perfect character. This is only able to take place because of the resurrection power.

That's the power that can renovate our minds and hearts today and that will one day completely renovate and restore our sin-torn bodies into glorified bodies that will live forever in heaven. The resurrection is the final hope of every Christ-follower. It is the "final reveal" of God's design and renovation: the perfection of our mind, body, and spirit. On the other side of the grave, when God says, "Okay, open your eyes and see your new space," you will open your eyes in a resurrected, recreated body, a completely new space that you will inhabit for eternity.

It will be the perfect space, designed by the perfect Designer (God the Father), rebuilt by the perfect Carpenter (Jesus Christ) and purchased at the ultimate cost (Christ's precious blood). But you've got to make the choice: Are you going to keep trying on your own to rebuild the rubble left by sin or are you going to let the Carpenter renovate your life into the perfect space.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/29/17 2:49 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Unshakeable - Easter Devotional - March 28

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!

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/27/17 2:07 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Resurrection! - Easter Devotional - March 27

by Charles Stanley; In Touch Ministries

John 20

Within three days Jesus's followers went from heartbroken sadness to triumphant jubilation. The cross screamed, “The End,” making them feel hopeless and helpless. But the resurrection trumpeted, “The Beginning,” bringing confidence and courage. The cloud of doubt and despair that had shrouded them melted away and was replaced with unshakeable faith.

Can you imagine how they felt when they realized Jesus had risen from the dead? Suddenly hope came alive; now everything He had said was validated as truth. They had not believed a lie. His victory over death was the acid test that forever sealed their sure conviction that He was the Messiah.

We commemorate Jesus's death on the cross with solemnity, but the resurrection calls for thunderous applause, praise, and song. All the blessings that come our way through the Savior’s cross are confirmed by the resurrection. It proved that the Father was satisfied with the Son’s payment for our sins. Now we can know that our transgressions are forgiven and we’re eternally secure.

What’s more, Jesus promises that we, too, will be resurrected and given new bodies. Physical death could not hold Him, nor will it overpower us. Because He overcame the grave, His followers have the same kind of life He has—eternal and indestructible.

As Christians, we have the right to celebrate Easter with great rejoicing. Because of this event, our lives have been forever changed. We’ve been transformed and given new life. With unwavering faith, we trust the Bible because Christ’s power over the grave proves He can and will fulfill every word.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/26/17 3:59 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Hope Beyond this Life - Easter Devotional - March 26

by Greg Laurie

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

—1 Corinthians 15:13-14

Not only does the Bible tell us we will live beyond the grave, but it also tells us there is hope beyond this life. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead proves there is life beyond the grave for the believer. The Bible says, "He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

No doubt this is why the devil has tried to discredit the Resurrection over the years. This is why, ever since the first century, he has been spreading his rumors about what happened to the body of Christ. And one of the oldest rumors of all was that His body was stolen by the disciples.

But claiming that the body of Jesus was stolen actually proves the resurrection of the Lord. His friends could not have taken it, because they left the scene and were convinced He was dead. The apostles had no reason to counterfeit a Resurrection they did not even believe in themselves.

And as we look at church history, we know that with the exception of John (who survived an execution attempt and was banished to the island of Patmos), all the apostles were martyred for what they believed. Don't you think at least one of them would have suddenly exposed such a lie if it were a lie? But they didn't, because none of them could deny what was true: Christ was risen, Christ is risen, and He is alive.


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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/25/17 6:39 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Resurrection Power - Easter Devotional - March 25

by Dr. James MacDonald

30 When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.

31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,

34saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of bread.

Luke 24:30-35

Followers of the Lord Jesus Christ know that the resurrection of Christ is the most powerful event in history. All that we ascribe to, all that our life and worship is all about, is based upon the foundational piece that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

I wonder how many believers experience that “resurrection power.” Is there much that you would like to accomplish but you just don’t sense the capacity and strength to do it? Or maybe your life lacks the power to break the chain of sinful habits or to overcome fear, anxiety, or depression. I want you to know that whatever it is, Jesus Christ can change your life. His resurrection is the power to prove that. I know I wouldn’t want to live without it.

On a week just like this right after Resurrection Sunday, Jesus met two guys on the road to Emmaus who needed “resurrection power” to overcome one of the saddest weekends of their lives. They were walking home from Jerusalem, overwhelmed with the events they had witnessed. Jesus He knew their hearts were aching and He wanted to bring His resurrection power to bear upon them. He wants to do that for you too.

But we were hoping…

There’s the source of sadness right there. If you’re filled with sadness, then you’ve had your hopes dashed. Things didn’t turn out how you planned, how you’d hoped. These guys knew how that felt for sure. They needed power and got it by recognizing who Jesus was.

You may ask, How can I access that kind of resurrection power in my life? Do what these guys did: take Him at His Word. Believe what He said . . .

…about salvation. “I am the way, the truth and the life…” (John 14:6). If you’ve never embraced Christ as your Savior, that’s step one for you.

…about the power Jesus gives us to depend on Him. >John 15:12-14, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Bottom line:

The most powerful event in history is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m telling you this for one reason—you can know this power in your life. You can. Believe what He said, embrace Him as your Savior and learn, as I’m learning, what it means to walk and follow Jesus, risen from the dead. “…to know Him is life eternal” (John 17:3).

Journal:

• Do I know this resurrection power in my own life? When have I felt it?

Prayer:

Father, Your power is above all things. Help me to know that power through a personal relationship with Your Son, Jesus Christ. I don’t want to go one more day without that power flowing through me. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/24/17 6:37 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The Mystery Rolled Back - Easter Devotional - March 24

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/23/17 6:35 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Rejected by His Father - Easter Devotional - March 23

Matthew 27:45-56

“Son, I don’t want anything to do with you!” These are the most devastating words a son can hear. It’s worse when the father says nothing, but simply turns his back and walks away. Jesus faced this rejection from His Father as He breathed out His life on the cross.

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

The scourging, beatings, and ridicule were unbearable, but this rejection by His Father was worse. Darkness over Jerusalem from 12:00 till 3:00 p.m. dramatically underscored the chaos and devastation of this rejection. But Matthew did give us an answer to Jesus' question. Remember the name the angel gave to Joseph at the beginning in the birth narrative? "You will call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 11:21).

God rejected His Son so that we could be forgiven. Because God turned away from His Son at Calvary, He will never turn away from those of us who trust His Son's payment for our sins. The Apostle Paul put it like this, “He who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

LORD, I know how much it hurts me when I’m rejected, but I’ll never begin to know your agony when You screamed out as your Father turned away. Challenged about your identity as God’s Son and ridiculed as powerless to do anything about your shame—if proof is needed that we humans deserve eternal punishment, it was proved by those who mocked and watched at the foot of the cross. Why You took our death sentence, I will never understand, but help me never stop singing,

“He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
Amazing love! How can it be That Thou my God, shouldst die for me!”

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/22/17 9:21 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The Mystery Rolled Back - Easter Devotional - March 22

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/20/17 3:31 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
New Life for Us All - Easter Devotional - March 20

by Pastor Greg Laurie

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.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/19/17 4:33 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
God's Plan for the Resurrection - Easter Devotional - March 19

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/18/17 9:48 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Easter Celebrates That Jesus is Alive Today - Easter Devotional - March 18

By Rick Warren

“The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:3-4 NLT, second edition).

Although we study the passion of Jesus, his death on the cross, Easter is a celebration of his Resurrection: God brought Jesus back from the dead, proving he’d broken the power of sin and death.

After Jesus died, they took his body down and put him in the tomb, and a giant millstone was set in front of the cave. The religious leaders, worried that Jesus’ body might be stolen, asked for Roman guards to be posted in front of the tomb. They didn’t want him coming out!

But of course, he did.

You know the story. But it’s important to remember that Easter is not some memorial to a nice, good religious teacher who lived 2,000 years ago. It’s a celebration of the fact that he is alive today!

I’m living proof — and so are the approximately 1 billion Christians who celebrate Easter. Jesus “was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4 NLT, second edition).

Easter is the Good News about God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who came to Earth as a human baby, born into King David’s royal family line. Four historical records say that after his Resurrection he showed himself to 500 people at one gathering.

Can you imagine witnessing his death and then seeing him walking around Jerusalem three days later? What an amazing thing!

When Jesus was hanging on the cross, the skeptics and critics mocked him and said, “If you’re the Son of God, why don’t you just pull yourself down from that cross? Why don’t you just come down and show that you’re really God?”

Jesus had something more spectacular planned. He said, “I’m going to let you bury me for three days, and then I’ll come back to life to prove that I am who I say I am.”

Talk It Over

• Why is it important to remember Jesus’ death and his Resurrection at Easter?

• What did Jesus’ death accomplish? What did his Resurrection accomplish?

• How do you think it felt for the people who knew that Jesus had been killed but saw him in the flesh a few days later?

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/17/17 7:33 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The Resurrection - Easter Devotional - March 17

THE RESURRECTION

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. JOHN 11:25

FROM THE FATHER'S HEART

My child, you've walked away from the funerals of your loved ones with fresh memories still clinging to you like grave clothes. Tears have filled your eyes as you've said good-bye to the last dreams of your heart. Remember, for those who love Me and are My children, death is but a step into eternity with Me. It is never the end but the start of forever - what you were created for! Take heart. I am the resurrection and the life. Where I am, you will be also. Find peace in Me.

A GRATEFUL RESPONSE

Lord, death could not hold You. And because of You, the resurrection, we, too, can live. Thank You that the grave is only a journey into the presence of God. You have removed the sting of death and empowered this thing called life. Now I will live in Your presence forever.

SIMPLE TRUTH

On the other side of death is the real side of life.



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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/16/17 4:56 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
What Sorts of Folks Got Crucified? - Easter Devotional - March 16

Devotional by Senior Living Ministries

[Jesus said]: "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
--John 5:24

Early in Julius Caesar's political career, the people of Rome hated him so badly that he thought it best to leave his country. He sailed for the Aegean island of Rhodes, but on the way pirates attacked his ship and Caesar was captured.

The pirates demanded a ransom of 12,000 gold pieces, and Caesar's staff was sent to make the arrangements for payment. For almost 40 days, the pirates held Caesar captive.

He would jokingly tell them that he would someday capture and crucify them. The amused kidnappers dismissed his threats. But when the ransom was paid and Caesar was released, the first thing he did was gather his army together to pursue the pirates.

The prirates indeed were captured and crucified!

This was the Romans' attitude toward crucifixion. This cruel death was reserved only for the worst criminals. It was meant to show extreme contempt for the condemned. And the pain and humiliation experienced by someone crucified by the Romans was unmatched by any other.

They condemned and humiliated the person and name of Jesus thousands of years ago just as many people do today. And even though He died a lowly death, we as believers can rejoice in knowing that "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25).

Jesus died for the sins of all--including those who beat Him and nailed Him to the cross. You may know of someone today who doesn't know Jesus. Will you be the one to tell them about the forgiveness He gives? Will you be the one who points them toward eternal life through Jesus?

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Ask the Lord to bring someone into your life this Easter who you can share the story of His death, burial, and resurrection, and the price He paid for their sins.


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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/13/17 2:02 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Egg-Hunting for Jesus - Easter Devotional - March 12

Today’s Readings: Ruth 1:1: Luke 8:1

Today’s Thoughts: Happy Easter

“…which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel…” Ephesians 3:5-6

We have just taught Ephesians 3 on the mystery of Christ in our local Bible study. Paul explains that the message of Christ was hidden from ages to ages. But the apostle Paul also explains that the holy apostles and prophets dropped hints that the Gentiles (anyone not Jewish) would receive salvation through the coming of Christ. Probably because its Easter time, I couldn’t help to think of how the Easter egg hunt is a great illustration of the hidden message of Jesus.

During the toddler years, the parents would “hide” the egg right on the top of the lawn. The challenge was for the toddler to actually see colored egg, walk up to it and balance themselves enough to pick it up. The next challenge was to get the toddler to claim the Easter egg as their own as they hopefully placed it in their basket. As the child grows, so does the challenge of hiding the Easter eggs. I have found myself giving my children hints by telling them if they are “hot” or “cold” in their searching.

The Lord tells us also to search for Him with all our hearts. As I have done that, I too have noticed that the Lord is giving me clues in my searching. As we seek the Lord, we discover more about His will for our lives. After a while, I can tell in my search if I am hot or cold as the Spirit leads and guides my heart.

The coming of Jesus was like the Easter egg placed on the grass for the toddler. God didn’t expect much from us. Jesus was sent to this earth to be noticed, embraced and hopefully to make Him our own by placing Him in our hearts. Today, Easter is a celebration of life. Today, we understand that Jesus died for all of us, Jew and Gentile alike, to come to a personal relationship with God. Today, we have freedom and hope with nothing hidden but a whole lot of hints pointing us to closer fellowship with God as the Spirit of God fills our baskets with love, joy and peace. Happy Easter!

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/11/17 5:43 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The Angelic Perspective on Easter - Easter Devotional - March 11

by Fred Alberti

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
Colossians 1:15-16

During this time of remembrance of Christ's sacrifice I am prone to wonder about the angels.

I see them standing at attention internally grieving over the suffering of their creator. Jesus was not merely the creator of just mankind. The Bible says that it was by Him that all things were created. This was their creator in the flesh suffering a brutal death.

I imagine more than a few wishing to dispense with the humans who were causing this atrocity. Matthew records Jesus stating, "Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). What incredible self-control! What awesome love to bear the punishment of the cross when it could have all ended so easily.

In talking about the prophets, Peter reveals that the angels long to look into this whole business about redemption and the good news of the Gospel (1 Peter 1:12).

They didn't understand why all this was happening. All they knew was their King was being murdered.

Then I hear amongst the mass chaos of the darkness and the rumbling of the earthquake as the Roman Centurion and the witnesses to Jesus death beat their chests proclaiming, "Surely this man was the Son of God!" (Read Luke 23:47-48 and Matthew 27:54).

It was over. Jesus was dead. Now it was time to bury Him in a borrowed tomb.

Three days later I imagine the angels clamoring to be on the special detail that was posted. Who would get to roll back the stone? Who would get to wait in the empty tomb to deliver the wonderful news?

"He is not here, He has risen" (Matthew 28:6).

Oh, what a glorious pronouncement. I wonder just how the angels rejoiced. Were they slapping each other on the back? Were they shouting in victory? Were they beaming with joy over the news that their King was no longer in the grave?

How will we celebrate that day?

How will we honor the death and resurrection of the creator of the universe?

Intersecting Faith & Life: When you make your Easter eggs this year do one with angel wings on it to remember the angel's words, "He is not here, He has risen."

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/10/17 7:27 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
8 Reasons Why I Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead - Easter Devotional - March 10

by John Piper

1. Jesus himself testified to his coming resurrection from the dead.
Jesus spoke openly about what would happen to him: crucifixion and then resurrection from the dead. "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again" (Mark 8:31; see also Matthew 17:22; Luke 9:22). Those who consider the resurrection of Christ unbelievable will probably say that Jesus was deluded or (more likely) that the early church put these statements in his mouth to make him teach the falsehood that they themselves conceived.

But those who read the Gospels and come to the considered conviction that the one who speaks so compellingly through these witnesses is not the figment of foolish imagination will be unsatisfied with this effort to explain away Jesus' own testimony to his resurrection from the dead.

This is especially true in view of the fact that the words which predict the resurrection are not only the simple straightforward words quoted above, but also the very oblique and indirect words which are far less likely to be the simple invention of deluded disciples. For example, two separate witnesses testify in two very different ways to Jesus' statement during his lifetime that if his enemies destroyed the temple (of his body), he would build it again in three days (John 2:19; Mark 14:58; cf. Matthew 26:61). He also spoke illusively of the "sign of Jonah" — three days in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:39; Matthew 16:4). And he hinted at it again in Matthew 21:42 — "The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner." On top of his own witness to the coming resurrection, his accusers said that this was part of Jesus' claim: "Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise'" (Matthew 27:63).

Our first evidence of the resurrection, therefore, is that Jesus himself spoke of it. The breadth and nature of the sayings make it unlikely that a deluded church made these up. And the character of Jesus himself, revealed in these witnesses, has not been judged by most people to be a lunatic or a deceiver.

2. The tomb was empty on Easter.

The earliest documents claim this: "When they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus" (Luke 24:3). And the enemies of Jesus confirmed it by claiming that the disciples had stolen the body (Matthew 28:13). The dead body of Jesus could not be found. There are four possible ways to account for this.


2.1 His foes stole the body. If they did (and they never claimed to have done so), they surely would have produced the body to stop the successful spread of the Christian faith in the very city where the crucifixion occurred. But they could not produce it.

2.2 His friends stole the body. This was an early rumor (Matthew 28:11-15). Is it probable? Could they have overcome the guards at the tomb? More important, would they have begun to preach with such authority that Jesus was raised, knowing that he was not? Would they have risked their lives and accepted beatings for something they knew was a fraud?

2.3 Jesus was not dead, but only unconscious when they laid him in the tomb. He awoke, removed the stone, overcame the soldiers, and vanished from history after a few meetings with his disciples in which he convinced them he was risen from the dead. Even the foes of Jesus did not try this line. He was obviously dead. The Romans saw to that. The stone could not be moved by one man from within who had just been stabbed in the side by a spear and spent six hours nailed to a cross.


2.4 God raised Jesus from the dead. This is what he said would happen. It is what the disciples said did happen. But as long as there is a remote possibility of explaining the resurrection naturalistically, modern people say we should not jump to a supernatural explanation. Is this reasonable? I don't think so. Of course, we don't want to be gullible. But neither do we want to reject the truth just because it's strange. We need to be aware that our commitments at this point are much affected by our preferences — either for the state of affairs that would arise from the truth of the resurrection, or for the state of affairs that would arise from the falsehood of the resurrection. If the message of Jesus has opened you to the reality of God and the need of forgiveness, for example, then anti-supernatural dogma might lose its power over your mind. Could it be that this openness is not prejudice for the resurrection, but freedom from prejudice against it?

3. The disciples were almost immediately transformed from men who were hopeless and fearful after the crucifixion (Luke 24:21, John 20:19) into men who were confident and bold witnesses of the resurrection (Acts 2:24, Acts 3:15, Acts 4:2).

Their explanation of this change was that they had seen the risen Christ and had been authorized to be his witnesses (Acts 2:32). The most popular competing explanation is that their confidence was owing to hallucinations. There are numerous problems with such a notion. The disciples were not gullible, but level-headed skeptics both before and after the resurrection (Mark 9:32, Luke 24:11, John 20:8-9). Moreover, is the deep and noble teaching of those who witnessed the risen Christ the stuff of which hallucinations are made? What about Paul's great letter to the Romans? I personally find it hard to think of this giant intellect and deeply transparent soul as deluded or deceptive, and he claimed to have seen the risen Christ.

4. Paul claimed that, not only had he seen the risen Christ, but that 500 others had seen him also, and many were still alive when he made this public claim.

"Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:6). What makes this so relevant is that this was written to Greeks who were skeptical of such claims when many of these witnesses were still alive. So it was a risky claim if it could be disproved by a little firsthand research.

5. The sheer existence of a thriving, empire-conquering early Christian church supports the truth of the resurrection claim.

The church spread on the power of the testimony that Jesus was raised from the dead and that God had thus made him both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). The Lordship of Christ over all nations is based on his victory over death. This is the message that spread all over the world. Its power to cross cultures and create one new people of God was a strong testimony of its truth.

6. The Apostle Paul's conversion supports the truth of the resurrection.

He argues to a partially unsympathetic audience in Galatians 1:11-17 that his gospel comes from the risen Jesus Christ, not from men. His argument is that before his Damascus Road experience when he saw the risen Jesus, he was violently opposed to the Christian faith (Acts 9:1). But now, to everyone's astonishment, he is risking his life for the gospel (Acts 9:24-25). His explanation: The risen Jesus appeared to him and authorized him to spearhead the Gentile mission (Acts 26:15-18). Can we credit such a testimony? This leads to the next argument.

7. The New Testament witnesses do not bear the stamp of dupes or deceivers.

How do you credit a witness? How do you decide whether to believe a person's testimony?

The decision to give credence to a person's testimony is not the same as completing a mathematical equation. The certainty is of a different kind, yet can be just as firm (I trust my wife's testimony that she is faithful). When a witness is dead, we can base our judgment of him only on the content of his writings and the testimonies of others about him. How do Peter and John and Matthew and Paul stack up?

In my judgment (and at this point we can live authentically only by our own judgment—Luke 12:57), these men's writings do not read like the works of gullible, easily deceived or deceiving men. Their insights into human nature are profound. Their personal commitment is sober and carefully stated. Their teachings are coherent and do not look like the invention of unstable men. The moral and spiritual standard is high. And the lives of these men are totally devoted to the truth and to the honor of God.

8. There is a self-authenticating glory in the gospel of Christ's death and resurrection as narrated by the biblical witnesses.

The New Testament teaches that God sent the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus said, "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.... He will glorify me" (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit does not do this by telling us that Jesus rose from the dead. He does it by opening our eyes to see the self-authenticating glory of Christ in the narrative of his life and death and resurrection. He enables us to see Jesus as he really was, so that he is irresistibly true and beautiful. The apostle stated the problem of our blindness and the solution like this: "The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.... For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6).

A saving knowledge of Christ crucified and risen is not the mere result of right reasoning about historical facts. It is the result of spiritual illumination to see those facts for what they really are: a revelation of the truth and glory of God in the face of Christ — who is the same yesterday today and forever.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/8/17 4:23 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Extreme - Easter Devotional March 8

By Skip Heitzig

The world looks at Christians 'celebrating death' on Good Friday, and they can’t figure it out. They say, “That is so extreme! Why, before God could forgive people, would He require the death of His Son? Why wouldn’t He simply, benevolently, forgive people’s sin? If I did something against you, you would just forgive me. Why can’t God do that?”

But that kind of questioning betrays a sort of ignorance that is two-fold. One is of how heinous our sin is, and the other is of how great and holy our God is.

Nobody speaks of sin anymore. In fact, sin has almost disappeared from the American vocabulary. We speak of “problems” or “hangups” or “issues.” It’s called a “sickness” or it’s called someone else’s fault. But the Bible says very plainly that if we say we have no sin, we are liars (1 John 1:8).

How serious is it? Paul said, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). We sin because it’s our nature. “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). And we sin by choice. Every day we commit individual acts that are an affront to God.

They are an affront because God is absolutely holy. You see, holy God is wholly incompatible with sin and unrighteousness. “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness” (Habakkuk 1:13). “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you” (Isaiah 59:2).

Perfect, holy God cannot coexist with sinful man. And because of that, we’re separated, we’re lost. So one of two things must happen. Either holy God must destroy unholiness, or holy God must declare that which is unholy, holy.

And that takes us to the cross. Jesus lived the perfect life that we could never live, and then took all our sins on Himself. So effectively, God said, “I’ll take the rap. I’ll take all of your wickedness and evil and I’ll put it on Myself so that when I die on the cross, it’s finished, once and for all.”

The cross is the only place that God will meet with mankind. The cross is the only place where both God’s mercy and God’s justice could meet. How can God be a God of love and a God of justice at the same time? How can holy, perfect God meet with sinful, rebellious man? Only at the cross. He came, He took our punishment, and then He declared you and me righteous because of it.


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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/8/17 2:30 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
A Faith Worth Practicing - Easter Devotional - March 7

by Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries

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.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/6/17 7:30 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Mary's Hope - Easter Devotional - March 6

by Pastor Jack Graham

Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
--John 20:16-18

The hope that Mary Magdalene experienced the day of Jesus' resurrection is the same hope you and I will celebrate this Easter Sunday.

For you see, my friend, this HOPE...

Helps you. It helps you cope with the darkness of disappointment. When you know Jesus Christ, you see Easter as more than a religious observance. It is the reality of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

Opens to you the possibility of restoration after defeat. Because Jesus came back from the grave, you can be restored and renewed, no matter how defeated you may feel.

Provides you an answer when you doubt. Today, you may be wondering if all this is really true. If so, I advise you to sincerely search for God with all your heart by reading the Bible and listening to His Word being preached. Because He will show Himself strong on your behalf.

Enables you to conquer death. Through your trust in Christ, you will live forever in eternity with Him.

Did you know that 60 percent of Americans will go to church this Easter? And did you know that only 25 percent of those who go even know Easter's true meaning?

I don't want you to miss the true meaning of Easter! Because Jesus Christ lives, you can be forgiven of your sins, you can live a fulfilling life, and you can be free!

YOU CAN HAVE HOPE TODAY BECAUSE OF CHRIST'S RESURRECTION!

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/5/17 4:14 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The Cradle of Hope - Easter Devotional - March 5

by Max Lucado

Christ rose first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will become alive again.
1 Corinthians 15:23 TLB

Let's go to the tomb, for Jesus lies in the tomb.

Still. Cold. Stiff. Death has claimed its greatest trophy. He is not asleep in the tomb or resting in the tomb or comatose in the tomb; he is dead in the tomb. No air in his lungs. No thoughts in his brain. No feeling in his limbs. His body is as lifeless as the stone slab upon which he has been laid.

The executioners made sure of it. When Pilate learned that Jesus was dead, he asked the soldiers if they were certain. They were. Had they seen the Nazarene twitch, had they heard even one moan, they would have broken his legs to speed his end. But there was no need. The thrust of a spear removed all doubt. The Romans knew their job. And their job was finished. They pried loose the nails, lowered his body, and gave it to Joseph and Nicodemus.

Joseph of Arimathea. Nicodemus the Pharisee. Jesus had answered the prayer of their hearts, the prayer for the Messiah. As much as the soldiers wanted him dead, even more these men wanted him alive.

As they sponged the blood from his beard, don't you know they listened for his breath? As they wrapped the cloth around his hands, don't you know they hoped for a pulse? Don't you know they searched for life?

But they didn't find it.

So they do with him what they were expected to do with a dead man. They wrap his body in clean linen and place it in a tomb. Joseph's tomb. Roman guards are stationed to guard the corpse. And a Roman seal is set on the rock of the tomb. For three days, no one gets close to the grave.

But then, Sunday arrives. And with Sunday comes light — a light within the tomb. A bright light? A soft light? Flashing? Hovering? We don't know. But there was a light. For he is the light. And with the light came life. Just as the darkness was banished, now the decay is reversed. Heaven blows and Jesus breathes. His chest expands. Waxy lips open. Wooden fingers lift. Heart valves swish and hinged joints bend.

And, as we envision the moment, we stand in awe.

We stand in awe not just because of what we see, but because of what we know. We know that we, too, will die. We know that we, too, will be buried. Our lungs, like his, will empty. Our hands, like his, will stiffen. But the rising of his body and the rolling of the stone give birth to a mighty belief: "What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us" (Rom. 6:5-9 MSG).

From When Christ Comes

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/4/17 4:31 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Easter Words of Forgiveness - Easter Devotional - March 4

by Pastor Jack Graham

Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
--Luke 23:34

As we all know, words are powerful…especially dying words. And as we near Easter Sunday, it's important that each of us remembers just exactly what Jesus had to say right before His earthly life ended.

One of the last things Jesus said while hanging from the cross were words of forgiveness.

Today I want to ask you, if Christ could pray a prayer of forgiveness for those who were putting Him to death, can you pray a prayer of forgiveness for those in your life who mistreat you?

Despite what you may be going through today, can you look past your own "junk" and extend forgiveness to others?

Jesus' dying words on the cross are a powerful example of how you and I ought to treat those who mistreat us. Are you willing to follow His perfect example in every area of your life today? Will you extend forgiveness to those who don't deserve it?

I challenge you to pick up your cross today… and live out the life of forgiveness Christ has given you!

CAN YOU FOLLOW CHRIST'S EXAMPLE AND FORGIVE THOSE WHO MISTREAT YOU?

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/4/17 1:26 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
What Children Need to Know - Easter Devotional - March 3

Mark 10:13,14

And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them."

Children and Easter. New life and new beginnings. What better time to share the gospel with your children?

But what does a child, or any person, need to know to become a Christian? The following are the basics:

First, children need to be taught who God is and how He loves them. They need to know what sets Him apart from humans.

God is holy; He is perfect. People, however, are not perfect.

God is just; He is always fair. We are not just in all our decisions.

God is love; He desires a relationship with us. That's why He sent His Son. We are not always motivated out of our love for another.

Second, children need to be taught that their sins must be forgiven (see Rom. 6:23). Many parents in this culture of tolerance feel uncomfortable talking about hell. God is patient, but He is not tolerant. His justice calls for an atonement (a payment, a penalty) for people's sins. Our children must have some understanding that their sins can keep them out of heaven. Their sins must be paid for. And that is what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.

Finally, children need to know that they receive God's forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ (see Eph. 2:8,9).

Faith involves repenting of our sins, turning to God in faith and trusting Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord. When we repent, we acknowledge our sins before God and express our sorrow about our sins to Him.

Those are the basics of what children need to know. The question you're probably asking is, "How can I explain concepts like these to children?"

That's what I'll cover next time.

Prayer: That God would work in your children's hearts to bring them to Him.

Discuss: How have you done as a couple in explaining the gospel to your children? How can you arrange your Easter activities to take time to explain the gospel to your children?

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/2/17 5:07 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Easter Brings Hope - Easter Devotional - March 2

by Greg Laurie

Easter Brings Hope

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live."
—John 11:25

Easter is not about brightly colored eggs, wearing pastels, or enjoying a big meal, although it could include these. Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For some, Easter will be a great day, spent surrounded by family and friends. But for others, it will be a sad day, because Easter is a reminder of a loved one who has died and is now desperately missed.

Death seems so cruel, so harsh, and so final. That is what the disciples were feeling when they saw their Lord, whom they had left everything to follow, hanging on the cross. They were devastated. Death had crushed them. But if they would have gone back in their memories, they would have recalled an important event and statement Jesus had made.

They would have remembered Jesus standing at the tomb of his close friend Lazarus. They would have remembered that Jesus did something completely unexpected: He wept (see John 11:35). Jesus wept, because He knew that death was not part of God's original plan. Humanity was not meant to grow old, to suffer with disease, or to die. But because of the sin of Adam and Eve, sin entered the human race, and death followed with it. And death spread to all of us. Jesus wept, because it broke His heart.

But standing there at Lazarus' tomb, Jesus also delivered these hope-filled words: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live" (John 11:25). Death is not the end. And the resurrection of Jesus Christ proves it.

If you have put your faith in Christ, then Easter means that you will live forever in the presence of God. Easter brings hope to the person who has been devastated by death.

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


 November Minutes: 244
0
225
450
675
900
JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 184,199
3/1/17 5:20 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The Lenten Journey

by Sarah Phillips

As they went out, they came upon a man of Cyre'ne, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross. Matthew 27:32

I have to confess, Lent is my least favorite liturgical season. Many have written beautiful reflections on this season and the many opportunities for spiritual growth it holds. I couldn't agree more. But the reason this season is often so fruitful can be attributed to one overarching theme: sacrifice.

Lent is filled to the brim with sacrifice. The point, of course, is to reflect on Christ's sacrifice, to feel just a little bit of the pain he felt, and to draw closer to God as we clear out the clutter of our comfortable lives. Naturally, this isn't easy. Sacrifice requires toleration for pain. Sacrifice requires thinking beyond yourself and your wants. Sacrifice demands discipline. Sacrifice isn't fun.

Can't it just be Christmas year round?

Still, part of me is relieved that Lent has arrived. Deep down, far below my selfish nature, exists a yearning to cast off the suffocating materialism and shallowness that so often characterizes modern, American life. Deep down, my spirit desires reconciliation with the living God. Deep down, my soul is sick from spiritual fluff and wants something deeper, meatier.

Left to my own devices, those yearnings would probably go ignored, at least for long stretches of time. I wouldn't have the strength to give up the comforts of my life to hear God's voice a little more clearly. Thanks to the Lenten journey, when we travel the road of sacrifice with fellow believers, my weak nature is compelled to take action, to dig deeper, and to follow through with commitments.

Cardinal Newman once said, "We all suffer for each other, and gain by each other's suffering; for man never stands alone here, though he will stand alone hereafter; but here he is a social being, and goes forward to his long home as one of a large company."

So often I treat faith in God as a private matter, as a path I can walk by myself. In doing this, I confuse individuality with isolation. I ignore the scriptural truth that God created us for Him -- and one another. Year after year, Lent pulls the curtain back on this illusion as I draw unusual strength from the universal Church - from the community fasting, the special Friday prayer gatherings, and even the long lines to the confessional.

What a merciful God; he does not ask us to journey alone. Even the simple, friendly question, "What are you giving up for Lent?" jolts me out of my usual routine, forcing me to ponder where I'm at spiritually and what kind of fast would be appropriate this year. And when I feel like giving up and returning to the easy life, images of fellow believers enduring hardships (voluntary or involuntary) readily float to the surface of my thoughts during the Lenten season.

I can't lie - when Easter arrives, I am always relieved. Finally, a little rejoicing! But the rejoicing wouldn't be as sweet if I hadn't been compelled to walk the way of the Cross first. And the jubilation is even more poignant given that the very people I sit next to on Easter morning are the same ones that walked with me through the darker days of Lent.

Intersecting Faith & Life: "Nothing, how little so ever it be, that is suffered for God's sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God." ~ Thomas a Kempis. What area of your spiritual walk would benefit from a little sacrifice? If you haven't already, connect with a community of believers where you can draw the strength needed to grow in your faith.

Further Reading

Luke 4:1-13

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


 November Minutes: 244
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:
10/30/2017 6:55:11 PM
11/14/2018 11:25:57 PM
5/31/2018 12:46:39 PM
9/24/2017 11:04:53 PM
11/30/2017 6:33:44 PM



Thread URL: https://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=0x2816x66334775

Review our Community Guidelines