Dining Together

This morning I remember how I met my husband. It was a setup by one of my cousins. I have bragged on this cousin about what a good thing he did to introduce the two of us. But he also set me up one time before and it wasn’t such a good turnout. We went out to eat and he asked me what I wanted. I told him and then he only ordered something only for me! I was mortified. He said he had a sore throat and didn’t feel like eating. Good grief. Back then I was a shy, skinny, introvert and it was NOT what you did back then either. Eat when your date doesn’t? Well even though we had another date together that dude did not work out and we never ate out together again. Although my cousin knew him, he did not know him as well as he thought. Thank goodness, because Danny was only about a year away from coming into my life. 😊

Here it is the day of the Passover meal. Jesus and His friends are dining in together. He knew those guys He was eating with, even Judas. He knew all about them. He could have avoided Judas. But He wasn’t just eating a meal with His buddies, He was on a mission. And Judas, as awful as he appears to be to us, was part of Jesus’s mission on earth.

Oh beloved, God promises us that we will have blessings and be full of joy. This joy is not an escape, nor is it a substitute for hardship. It is something that comes along with every heartache, every tear, every remorseful situation and every betrayal. This joy comes at a price – and Jesus paid that price for you. He also paid so that you would have a life that is full of peace in every situation. He paid the price so that you would be able to walk in forgiveness even when no one says they are sorry. Your life isn’t your own anymore. And you don’t have to wait for Passion Week or the Passover to understand that Jesus was so passionate for His mission – and you were part of that mission – that He became the Passover meal for you. So that you don’t have to live in waiting – you can live free every single day of your life. Just as Judas didn’t have the last say, so too the devil will not have the last say in your life. His tricks to destroy you, keep you in the pit and remove your joy, peace and more – won’t work. Because Jesus has already done it for you!

God loves you and He’s for you. This is your reason for living. That God came in the flesh, laid down His position, walked to Calvary, was laid in the grave and rose again – for you! Run to Him this morning and lay down your life for Him again! And live, beloved, as a beautiful representation of all that shows the world as you walk with Him and count Him as a best friend and King all the days of your life!

Matthew 26:25 And Judas, the betrayer, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself.”

John 6:51 “I am the Living Bread that came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread [believes in Me, accepts Me as Savior], he will live forever. And the Bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh (body).” AMP

Romans 3:23-26 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No Life In The Graveyard

The cemetery where my parents and other family members are buried is really one of the prettiest places. I remember how pretty it was as a child, but through the years the trees all grew up around it. Right after my mother passed away, they clear cut the entire area around it. And the beauty of the view from that hill is now there again. Even so, I don’t care to spend much time there. It’s a cemetery after all.

It’s Easter week. This is the day that Judas Iscariot first conspired to sell Jesus out. It is mid-week and things were building up to the death and burial of Jesus. Not a great day in any stretch of the imagination. Regret would be the death of Judas. And Jesus was a day closer to His death as well.

Oh beloved, what are you mourning? What are you standing at the grave for? What are you hoping to achieve by beating yourself up over things you cannot change? Don’t you know that Jesus already went to the cross and was buried in the tomb for you and all that you would ever mess up?

God wants you to know that because Jesus came out of the grave, you can leave the graveyard of your regrets and mistakes. You can walk out of the catacombs of fear, sorrow, anger and pain. None of that is where you really want to live. Of course people have problems and life throws curve balls at all of us. It may not be your best day ever, but consider Judas who couldn’t find a place to lay down his regret. And think of Jesus who died for you yet rose again so you could have a new life, every single day. It’s time He says to lay aside the animosity that triggers your frustration. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you let someone hurt you again, but it means you get released from the graveyard of constant sorrow. God says you weren’t born again to live in the valley of dry bones, you were born again to live a life of forgiveness and peace, along with wisdom, power and love!

God loves you and He’s for you. That was settled the day Jesus rose from the grave. Run to Him this morning and thank Him for Sunday! Thank Him for resurrection life! Ask Him to show you how to release yourself from the pit you were never meant to live in. And then, beloved believer, live, fully alive, in the power of the One Who has already set you free!

2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

John 8:36 6 So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free. AMP

Psalm 68:20 God is to us a God of acts of salvation; And to God the Lord belong escapes from death [setting us free].

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Romans 4:7 Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Watch Those Memories

It’s a blessing that I was close to my aunts and uncles as a child. One couple were special in that we spent a lot of time with them. As I thought about them when we went to visit their sons on Sunday Danny and I both talked about the house they lived in last. It is now gone. And so are the other houses they lived in. Not one of them is still standing. Yet the memories are still present from every house. The two of them, along with most of my aunts and uncles, are long gone as well. But oh the memories, which still make me laugh and give me warm feelings over again.

Oh beloved, your memories are precious to you aren’t they? There are days and times that you wish you could go back and relive the best of those memories. You miss the past. We all do to some extent. You wish you could go back and have do overs for some of those memories. The if only’s want to slip in and muddle your good memories with regret.

God wants you to know this morning that He means what He says – He works all things together for your good. It’s not an excuse to make mistakes. It’s just God’s way of giving grace to help in time of need. Regrets aren’t going to help anything.

So today is your day to release them into the past and leave them there. Where you relive mistakes and touch the regrets, you aren’t getting that message from the Lord. He walked into Jerusalem and participated in the Plan that would relieve you of the harshness of it all. Yes, you have to live with some things you’ve done, but you don’t have to keep paying for them over and over again. Jesus paid it all! Life is temporary but you are eternal and your life is no longer yours but it belongs to Jesus – the Author and Finisher of your faith!

God loves you and He’s for you. Jesus rescued you from yourself. Holy Spirit renews your life, your mind and your plans daily. Rejoice that you have good memories, praise God you don’t have to relive the bad and thank Him that you are secure in Him. You can say so long fear, goodbye worry and hello joy as you live in the Light of God’s Truth and His grace!

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 43:25 I, yes I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake and remembers your sins no more.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Hebrews 7:26 Such a high priest truly befits us–One who is holy, innocent, undefiled, set apart from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

High Hopes

Palm Sunday. The day when all of Jesus’s followers were ecstatic that He rode into Jerusalem. The day they waved palm fronds as an offering of peace to the Savior. They had high hopes for Jesus.

Jesus didn’t have high hopes for His trip into the city. He knew where He was going and His mind was set to finish the task He was sent to do. Victory was the ultimate goal, but victory didn’t send Him there. Love sent Him. Love will go the extra mile even if that mile is grueling.

Oh beloved, we’ve all had high hopes, haven’t we? Those same followers would shortly see things they never imagined nor did they hope for. Arrest, beating, mocking, and crucifixion. Death. It wasn’t pretty and the palm fronds were trampled on the ground.

Whatever you are hoping for today – your high hopes beloved, must be centered on Jesus. Life is not always pretty though there will be good days. But high hopes placed in people, places or things won’t keep you. When the world is saying, doing and being awful, you are going to need more than a palm frond to make it. Jesus came to give it all up for you. And yet, the hope of the world has ultimate victory for you as well.

God wants you to know that it’s imperative in these last days that you understand your position in Christ. The wonderful blessings of a believer are yours. But so is longsuffering and perseverance. While life throws rocks at your faith, Jesus has given you reason to rejoice. While your disappointments hasten to give you depression, Jesus calls down heaven to bless you in the midst of the troubles. While you are wishing life would change Jesus is whispering in love “Live for Me”. God wants you to hand Him all your momentary light afflictions and let Him produce in you the weight of glory you are meant to have. This victorious life can be daunting along the way. But oh beloved, you have nothing to worry about because Jesus paid your debts, changed your life and left you with Another Comforter! His high hopes are now that you will make it as an overcomer which you surely are!

God loves you and He’s for you. Even if… Even when… Even now… Rejoice that you have the whole story – Jesus walked the hill, took the punishment, and rose again for you. Run to Him this morning and lay your hopes at His feet and live, precious believer, in the Light of His Glory and Grace!

2 Peter 1:16-17 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Romans 15:3 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Psalm 31:24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Life May Depend On It

I was a high schooler as the Viet Nam war was winding down. We all knew at least one person who became a soldier and had a tour of duty in that arena. A girl I met had a boyfriend who went to war. They planned to be married when he returned. But he had changed. How many of you can remember that war changes people? Well she felt obligated to marry him and did. It was a disaster. We never talked about it, but I would bet she had a “still small voice” instructing her not to. Yet she went ahead. Obligation can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. Depends on who is leading you and where you are going. Duty, requirement and burden are three synonyms for obligation. You get the picture don’t you.

Oh beloved, God has a plan for your life and He has directions for you. But God’s plan won’t feel like a duty and He doesn’t major on outward requirements or give heavy burdens to His people. When you hear God speak it’s important to listen. Your life may depend on it. Your future is in the balance. Wrong decisions make for hard roads. Jesus Himself said “My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.

God wants you to know He is the Redeemer of your entire life. Not just your moment of salvation. He goes with you all the way to your earthly finish and then He greets you in heaven. He gives His great and precious promises to you so that you don’t have to make mistake after mistake. His plan is beautiful and it doesn’t weigh you down or cause you to feel bad about yourself. He wants you to believe Him over anyone else. Check out their words and see if they line up with His. Pretenders abound. Hurt people will hurt people. Angry people will always seek to be angry. But your heart, grounded in the Word, will give you strength to be who you are no matter what – an heir to the King of Kings! You have nothing to worry about your past for it is under the Blood. You have nothing to worry about your future because it is secure in Christ. And each day, as you learn to listen to the voice of your King, follow Him and partake of His Word and His Spirit, you will know that you are following after the One who knows you best and gives you the greatest day ever!

God loves you and He’s for you – more than anyone else ever will. A godly friend or fiancé will be thrilled that you follow after God! Run to the King this morning and pledge your allegiance to Him fresh and new! Thank Him that He guides you into His best. Bless His Holy Name for giving you all you will ever need! And live, beloved, in the Light of His mercy and grace.

Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Proverbs 3:17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

Micah 6:3 No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment