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Friday, June 23, 2017

It's Come In Two Phases

Do you know why there are two testaments in the Bible? We define it simply by saying the Old Testament is the story of life here before Jesus came to earth and the New Testament is the chronicle of Jesus' life, death and the birth of His church that followed. Really, though, there is a lot more to it than that.

Did you know that God hung out here on earth with Adam and Eve? ...Before they messed up and disobeyed Him, I mean. And that happened in Chapter 3! By Chapter 6, man had become so evil that God could take no more. Chapter 6! Not even a nanosecond in the big picture of eternity. Good grief, people! Seriously, man, can you blame Him?

Thank goodness for Noah and his family! The glimmer of hope God needed to carry on. After the flood, God decreed a covenant with man saying never again would He interfere with His original plan for creation. His hope in creating us was that we would choose to follow His will for our lives. Which pretty much boiled down to showing love to our fellow man and acknowledging God as our Creator. The Garden of Eden was supposed to be the norm!

So, I haven't even gotten past Chapter 8 in Genesis yet. I had better stop the play-by-play. The Old Testament is important. It documents the history of the relationship between God and man from the point of creation up to a time when God left us to our own devices... Or, perhaps that should read God left us to our own vices because sin has become so embedded within us, it's not even funny.

Whichever sentence you choose, the world grew darker because of it. The vast majority knowing no different. They just kept on keeping on. And, sadly, at times God was not acknowledged for so long that His own people lost complete sight of Him.

How did we get to that point? From Adam and Eve on, God's chosen, (within which we find the lineage from whom Jesus was born,) had bout after bout of turning from God for one reason or another. This resulted in God taking away His protection for a time. The people would, eventually, wise up and tell God they were sorry. God, the very nature of love, would know when their hearts were sincere, forgive them, and set them on their path again. This happened time after time and there, finally, came a day when God had had enough. He was silent for 400 years.

When God deemed the time was right, Phaseof His plan was put into action. This phase of creation was not an afterthought. They had planned this day's arrival; Jesus was at the ready. Even knowing what was to come, His great love for us superseded all. He was at the ready because we are His passion. He chose to come and live life as a man. He knew every emotion, faced temptation, ↼ Probably to the nth degree! You know who was chomping at the bit from the moment Jesus got here to fell our hero in any way possible! As He grew so did the possibilities! If he could get Him to mess up outright... Can't you just see him shoulders hunched and hands clinched together in evil anticipation... *shudder* Jesus did not kiss that frog. Ever.↼ felt hunger and pain, and still was able to lead a life free from sin. He never displeased His Father. Not once. Because of that fact, He became our sacrifice.

"Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified."                                                                                 ~Hebrews 10:11-14
I encourage you to read Hebrews Chapter 10, but just those verses are a lot to wrap your head around, huh? We can only imagine the conversations in heaven, but they have them. I wonder if when discussing creation plans, God mentioned that we would be incapable of following His lead. Perhaps, noting if Lucifer (Satan)  had mastered the art of luring His heavenly creations away, what chance did man have to withstand him? He, too, loves us and would not want us to be doomed from the start. But, I can just see Jesus at the ready even then! Smh (shaking my head)... In wonder!

"I can do it, Dad! I will show them the Way! Send me! If I do this for them and they except this gift I offer, they will make it. Send me!

Of course, God knew that Jesus was capable. That He would become a worthy sacrifice to eradicate sin once for all. First from individual lives and then for all creation as He casts Satan into the fiery pit. But this was His Son... What Jesus was willing to endure... Could a Father allow it?

The above conversation is just me thinking as a parent. However it was determined, they gave us a chance to get it right on our own. But I'm sure we proved pretty early on that we weren't going to get it together. We needed help. But could a Father allow it...

Oh, thank you, Father, God, for sending Him. Thank you, Jesus, my brother, for coming! 

I think we are going to leave things there for now. But we'll delve in a little deeper, okay? God not only forgave His people over and over, He tried His best to get us to understand why it's so important to stick with Him. There are lessons for us there, my friend. And the New Testament... Victory! There is victory there to be had. Once for all.

May we pray?

Thank you, Jesus, for what You've done for us. Sin was defeated that day on the cross. Let all who read this and have a decision to make, hear You speaking to their heart of hearts.

May all who read this that do know You as Lord and Savior of their lives, be spurred to action. Sharing your great love with those that need to know. 

You are the bridge. The connection we need to stand right with God. It's in Your name we pray.


See you next time.

Questions that you have... leave them in the comments.  We will figure out the answer.

*whispering* Or there's the ever quiet Facebook page, if you don't do Google+. 

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

And Peter...

Have you ever in your life sworn something to someone and meant it with all your heart, only to break your vow to them almost immediately? So have I. But, Peter… Oh, Peter!

Jesus' time was drawing near. He had gathered the twelve disciples together and was trying to prepare them for things to come. And when these things came to pass, scripture would be fulfilled. One of those things being that, in the very near future, the disciples would flee from him. Peter vowed his unwavering support no matter what was to come. To make matters worse, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny he even knew Him three times that very night before the rooster crowed twice. Peter, again, emphatically, expressed his loyalty, even un
to death .

“Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him
:“Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
                                                  (Luke 22:60-62)

The days following the crucifixion must have been very dark, and filled with sorrow for all who knew and loved Jesus. But, oh, poor Peter! On top of trying to come to terms with what had happened, he had the personal torture of what he had done. 

But then... Halleulajah! Resurrection Day! And the message from Jesus through the angel to be given to the disciples and Peter! Can you imagine the joy that flooded Peter's soul upon hearing the news? Not only was Jesus alive, but He asked for him by name! Even though Peter had denied knowing Him, Jesus included him still! Now, that’s unconditional love! I am so happy for Peter! 

Unconditional love. God is love. And He poured it out on us the day He allowed His one and only Son to take on the sin of the world while He died on that cross. It was the plan. Jesus came to earth and lived as a man. He experienced every emotion and temptation that we do and still lived a perfect life that was pleasing to God. Jesus willingly laid down His life to reconcile us to God. He wants we, who believe, to make sure everyone knows that. He wants none to suffer eternity separated from God. 

Nothing is so bad that it can't be forgiven. Nothing except not realizing you need Jesus to be your link to God. Jesus is the One who loves you most. He knows where you have been, what you have done and loves you still. Yes! Jesus loves you. He died on the cross to give you an opportunity to be forgiven of your sin. Talk to God! Tell Him that you are sorry for the things you have done that displease Him, that you believe Jesus is His Son and you need Him in your life as Lord & Savior. Then, tell someone that’s what you believe. Do you need to do that today? Please, do it today.

Do you want to know more about Jesus? You can read about His life beginning to end. There are four accounts documented in the Bible's New Testament. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. My Mom would always tell people they should start with the Book of John because it focuses on Jesus' great love for us. Love is good. ☺ Maybe you should start there, too. 

May we pray?

Father, God,

I can't imagine what it was like for You that day Jesus died. Thank you doesn't seem like enough to say, but it's all I have. That and my vow to live my life for You, knowing that when I mess up, You love me still. That and my unfailing hope that You will touch hearts and open minds to receive the message of salvation. 

I pray for those reading this. If they have not yet accepted Jesus as their savior, I hope you will use something in my words as the catalyst to spur the decision to seek You with all their heart. I know you are waiting for that and will make Yourself known. I pray they believe that Jesus died for the sin of the world and they can be reconciled to You through Him. I pray...

For those who read and are believers, I pray you light a fire in their hearts to spread the Good News of the salvation found in Jesus. Time is rushing head long toward it's end. We know not when, but the world is in such a mess, it is surely crying out to you for relief. Rise us up to be a mighty army for truth.

Jesus, oh, Jesus. Thank you for making us your passion. Your love for us so great that you suffered so, shed your blood, died an excruciating death to become our sacrifice. Your perfect life covering our imperfection, if we but believe. I love you. I hope to help others meet you so they will love you, too.

I praise God for Your Resurrection Day! It is in Your name I pray...


Happy Easter! Hallelujah! Christ Arose!

Comments welcome here or on Facebook

See you next time! (And I vow that won't be months from now! Sorry about that.)