Then Came The Morning!

He is alive!

Christianity is unique to all religions in the world in that the Savior, Jesus Chris, who was crucified, buried for three days as He conquered death, hell and the grave, and is risen to new life. Our Savior is the only God that lives today, who walks and talks with those that have been born again and promises eternal life to those who will place their trust in Him.

Luke 24:1-8 NKJV Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why, do you seek the living among the dead? “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, “saying, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again,’” And they remembered His words.

The angels said to the women who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”.

That is the question that I want to ask you, my friend…..you who worship a dead god. Why are you seeking the living among the dead? Can your god talk with you? Can he walk beside you through all of life’s problems? Jesus is the one true God, who lives in the hearts of His believers, who strengthens and empowers them to live with peace and joy in their hearts even in the midst of heartache and difficulties!

Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Oh Hallelujah, Jesus is risen!

My Friend, if you have not placed your trust in Him as your own personal Savior and Lord, please pray and invite Jesus into your heart to save you from your sin and give you ever lasting life! He is alive and He longs to give you new life!

Luke 24:36-39 NKJV Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Jesus is alive today…..will you receive His free gift of salvation? What will you do with Jesus?

Then came the morning, darkness was turned to day! The stone was rolled away and Jesus had risen from the dead! He is alive!

Thank You, Lord Jesus for dying for me. Thank You for raising from the dead to give me new life. Thank You for living within my heart and for giving me the victory over sin. Thank You for being my own personal Lord and Savior.

Father, I pray now that those who do not know Jesus as Savior and Lord will be saved today. Knock on their heart’s door and reveal Yourself to them, Lord Jesus, so they may be born again. Holy Spirit, convict them of their need to receive Jesus today. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcwGrzA8Cj4

Darkness or Light?

Mark 15 33

Mark 15:33, 34 NKJV Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

 

This week in my own personal devotional time I have been reflecting on the question, “What if Jesus had not died for us?”. I believe I can see through these two short verses of scripture how life would be without knowing Jesus as my own personal Savior and Lord.

 

The scripture says that when it came close to the time for Jesus to die from the crucifixion He was experiencing that there was darkness over the whole land. The word “darkness” in the Greek is skotos and is defined in it’s simplest definition as in a physical sense “darkness of night” and spiritually “the absence of moral or spiritual values” and is best defined as being under “the powers of darkness”.

 

Jesus is described as the “light of men” in John 1:4. The scripture records that “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”.

 

John 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

 

So, we see from scriptural records that Jesus is the “light” and when He was crucified the “light” was removed from the world and “darkness” covered the whole earth. Darkness came upon the whole world because God turned His back on the “light”, His very own Son, because of the sin that He had placed on Him to pay the price for man’s redemption. Darkness, or sin, and Light, or righteousness, cannot co-exist. In the darkness that came over Jesus and the world around Him we see a picture of what life is like without Jesus. The darkness in the last days before Jesus’ return is said in Isaiah to be “deep darkness” that will cover the earth and the people. (Isaiah 60:2)

 

A life separated from God mean darkness, or the absence of light, ignorance of and the absence of spiritual values; immorality, ungodliness; people who are under the powers of darkness and the end result, misery in hell. Yes, Jesus descended into hell, the home of the “powers of darkness, as well as experiencing the darkness of being separated from His heavenly Father. It is said in Ephesians 4:8, 9 that He descended into the lower parts of the earth and when He ascended, or was risen from the dead, that He led captivity captive. He conquered death, hell and the grave for you and me! If Jesus had not died for us we would be doomed to a life eternally separated from God, living under the “powers of darkness”.

 

Looking further into this definition of those who live life without Jesus, let’s look at what Ephesians has to say about it.

 

Ephesians 2:12 AMP [Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.

 

When Jesus said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”, it was because He was experiencing what a person without God in his life experiences. That separation from God is like a heavy darkness upon a person’s life. There is no hope because God is the God of all hope and when God is not in your life, you live as best you can with what you have to work with, no hope, no promise of life being any better, no rights to all that Jesus died to give you, just in the world without God, floundering around grasping at whatever the world has to offer. A picture of darkness, morally and spiritually.

 

God’s word says that God has put eternity in the hearts of the sons of men (Ecc. 3:11) and we know from what Jesus said in John 3:3-8 that there is a physical birth for man, which is referred to as being born of water, but also that there needs to be a spiritual birth in order to enter into the kingdom of God. He described it to Nicodemus as being “born of the Spirit”. When one is “born of the Spirit” the darkness that had covered their lives is removed and the “light” comes to live within their heart. This is what God said about those who are “born again” being delivered from the “power of darkness” in Colossians 1:13-14:

 

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

 

Jesus’ death on that cross purchased our “redemption”, or bought us back from the “power of darkness” and set us in the “light” of His Son! He traded places with us on that cross and became sin, represented by the “darkness” that came over Him, in order for us to be able to be transferred from darkness to light through the experience of being re-born, or spiritually awakened. II Corinthians 5:21 says that God made “Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

 

If Jesus had not died for us on that cross, we would have been forever doomed to life under the “power of darkness”. There would have been no hope for us to ever live a life in God’s presence, in the Light, but forever doomed to being separated from Him, living in spiritual and moral depravity. Life without God, forever and ever and ever, never ending!

 

In John’s description of Jesus he says that He is the “true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world”. John goes on to say this about man’s relationship to Jesus:

 

John 1:11-13 NKJV He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Some have still not received Jesus today. Sadly, for them the Word says they will spend eternity in “outer darkness”, in a furnace of fire, where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 13:40-42).

 

Dearly Beloved, this is not a picture of what I would like to experience or what I want to see happen to anyone else. This experience of being “re-born” requires a choice to be made on this side of eternity. Romans 10:13 says that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. Have you called on the name of the Lord to save you?

 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Eternal life in Christ Jesus is what God wants for you and for me; that we might experience life in His presence for eternity, rather than life in outer darkness, separated from Him for eternity. Two places to choose from; one in darkness, one in the light of Christ Jesus. Which will you choose?

 

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your hear” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

Do you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, who died for your sins, was buried and rose again, triumphant over death, hell and the grave to give you eternal life? Have you confessed Him as your own “personal” Lord and Savior? These are the two questions that God requires to be settled in your life before crossing over through death into eternity. You can’t ride into eternity on someone else’s salvation experience; it must be your own. Church attendance won’t purchase it; good works can not buy it; only acceptance of Jesus will secure your place in His presence for eternity. Religious works are public, but a relationship with Jesus is personal.

 

If you have not made this decision to receive Jesus before you die, your ultimate resting place for all eternity will be in “outer darkness”, separated from God forever and ever. Will you make the decision today that will give you eternal life in the presence of God for all eternity? If so, please pray this prayer with me to secure your place in Christ Jesus.

 

Father, I come before You recognizing that I am a sinner, separated from You because of my sin. I realize that I need to accept Jesus as the sacrifice, or payment for my sin. So, right now I believe that He is the Son of God and that He was crucified for my redemption; He was buried and conquered hell in my place and was risen to new life that I might experience all that He died to give me. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive me for my sin, to come into my heart, into my life and fill me with Your new life today. I confess Jesus Christ as my own personal Lord and Savior and I thank You for saving me. From this day forward I will live my life walking the in light of Jesus Christ to be forever in His presence throughout eternity. Thank You for loving me and for dying for me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Encounters With God

God encounters

Exodus 13:21, 22 NKJV And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.

 

I love to read the stories of God’s presence, protection and provision for His people that are recorded in the Old Testament. I see such encouragement for the challenges that I, as His child, face today when I look back at how He provided for His people in times past. Reading the stories of how God ministered to His people gives me faith to believe for the same for me…..and for you!

 

From these two verses I see that God’s presence, protection and provision is always with me because it was with the Israelites when they were headed into uncharted territory after leaving the bondage they had been under in Egypt. How many times do we face unknown territory and wonder what we should do or say or where we should go? And yet, God is right there to lead, protect and provide what we need.

 

We see another picture of His presence, protection and provision through the ministry of Jesus Christ as He walked on this earth, ministering to the needs of those to which He encountered. In fact, the Word says in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus is the “express image of His person”, speaking of God the Father. Jesus is and was God the Father in the flesh! He represented the Father to the people through His ministry. In Malachi 3:6, the Word records that God the Father said “For I am the LORD, I do not change;”. And again we see that recorded through the life of Jesus, who is God the Son, in Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

Jesus Himself recorded for us in John 14:16-18 that when He went back to Heaven He would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit that we might not be left as orphans but would have the presence, protection and provision of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! We have not been left alone….God is still making provision for His people!

 

God’s Spirit speaks to the hearts of those who need salvation today. He draws them to Jesus that they can be ushered into the family of God through receiving Him as Savior and Lord. He speaks the truth to our hearts to show us God’s right way of doing things. I’ve had people tell me before that receiving Jesus is not “their way”, but what’s really important is not that we try to achieve salvation through our own way, but through His. Only God’s way works!

 

John 1:12, 13 But as many as receiving Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Salvation in it’s purest form is being born again, not in a physical form, but of the spirit. We each have a physical man that can be seen as we look upon each other, but the spirit man can’t be seen by the natural eye. That is what John is referring to in this verse. The works of man come from the physical, but the work of God arises from the spirit, being born again, anew through the blood of Jesus and in receiving Him into our hearts, believing that He is God in the flesh and confessing Him as Lord! God’s Spirit draws people to the saving knowledge of Jesus as He convicts them of their need for the Savior!

 

Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5, 6 that “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

 

That’s the beginning point that each one of us needs to have to be a part of God’s family…..being born again. Then God’s Spirit leads and guides each child of God in the way they should go. He is described in the Amplified Bible as being our Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby! He is the person of the Godhead that is in the world today, working the Will of God in the lives of people. He is the One who leads us and guides us into all truth; empowers us to do the Will of the Father, ministers through us to touch and impact other people’s lives for God’s kingdom. He is the One who comforts us when we are hurting, who prays through us when we don’t have words adequate enough to express ourselves, who helps us, strengthens us and fellowships with us! He is the One who baptizes us into the Body of Christ and immerses us into the ministry that God calls us to through anointing us and baptizing us with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

 

God’s Spirit is a real person. Sometimes we refer to Him as “THE Holy Spirit”, but really His name is just “Holy Spirit” or “Holy Ghost”. He’s not an ethereal vapor, but the third person of the Godhead that makes His home inside our human spirits when we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord! He fills that void within our hearts that is the God-shaped vacuum designed for His presence only. It is through His ministry that we find God’s presence, protection and provision for today’s challenges!

 

1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 

God’s Spirit within our hearts is the guarantee that we belong to the Father and that we have been placed in Christ Jesus through salvation. He is the Promise of the Father as described in Acts 1:4, 5:

 

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

 

Holy Spirit in New Testament Church manifestation is like the wind, baptizing believers with tongues of fire and evidences of a new form of speech, utterances that only God understands that we refer to as speaking in tongues; a new boldness to speak of the mighty workings of God and new manifestations of His power through the gifts of His Spirit as described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. You can’t see Him because He is Spirit, but you can see the evidences of His operation in your life.

 

It is recorded in Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him”

 

Jesus of Nazareth is Christ’s earthly name. It shows His humanity and how God gave Him the power to minister by anointing Him with His Spirit and “dunamis”, dynamic, explosive power that arises from the Spirit of God to do the things that God had assigned Him to do described as going out to do good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. It is by the power of God’s Spirit that Jesus was able to go to the cross to secure the payment for the sin of mankind. The purpose that Jesus had in becoming our Savior and Lord was accomplished through the anointing of God’s Spirit. And the anointing of the Spirit that was upon Jesus’ human, earthly life is the same anointing that God places on individuals today that He empowers with His Spirit to do the things that He has called them to do.

 

And so we see God working through the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for God never changes! He is always with us! Each member of the Godhead is a person of the Trinity with different roles to play in the lives of people; God the Father who is the Creator of all mankind; God the Son who paid for the sin of mankind through His redemptive work on the cross of Calvary; and God the Holy Spirit who draws people to Jesus for salvation and empowers them with His anointing to minister in the name of Jesus; who leads, guides, directs and communes with His people. God is still living and breathing new life; new protection and new provision into His people!

 

In what stage are you in your understanding of who God is, what Jesus did to secure your salvation and who the Holy Spirit is to you and in you? Can you see the role of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you walking in the fullness of God’s presence, protection and provision today? What member of the Godhead do you need more evidence of in your life?

 

Father, I thank You for the presence, protection and provision of each member of the Godhead in my life. I know You as Father, as Son and Savior and as Holy Spirit. Thank You for meeting my every need through all the roles that You play in my life. Thank you for creating me, for saving me and for living within me! You are my God; my All in All, the One who knows me best and loves me most! Holy Spirit, You live within me and empower me to do the work of ministry that You have given me! Thank You for your fire that burns within me; that fills me to overflowing with Your presence and that anoints me to go forward in the name of Jesus to do the same works that He did. To You, Lord, be the glory, honor and praise! In Jesus’ name Amen.

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