Carried By Christ

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. Psalm 139:1-4

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Matthew 5:14

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

As Christians all eyes are upon us. Though it is by grace that we are saved, not by works, our fruit is what the world watches. Do we sin, even after the Saving Grace of our Lord? Of course. Like all humans, we are fallible. Perfection is hardly a trait that any Christian (or anybody but Christ) is capable of. But as a Christian, a changed creature with an enlivened spirit, habitual sin is something that should not be a problem anymore. In all of my thoughts Jesus dwells within them, and in all of my actions His light should be apparent. By proclaiming Christ as our savior we are calling upon eyes to watch us, and it is up to us to represent Him with good fruit. A lukewarm Christian can be more damaging to Christianity than a non-Christian who bashes Christianity. Let the Light of Jesus shine through all that we do and say.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Following Christ

“Take up thy cross and follow Me,”
I hear the blessed Savior call;
How can I make a lesser sacrifice
When Jesus gave His all? —Ackley

Because Jesus bore the cross for us, we should be willing to take it up for Him.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

An Easter Message from Greg Laurie

Surrender at Gethsemane

Have you ever felt lonely? Have you ever felt as though your friends and family had abandoned you? Have you ever felt like you were misunderstood? Have you ever had a hard time understanding or submitting to the will of God for your life?

If so, then you have an idea of what the Lord Jesus went through as He agonized at Gethsemane.

Hebrews tells us, "This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it" (4:15–16 NLT).

Consider the fact that Jesus, who was God, was omniscient. He was all-knowing. Therefore, He was fully aware of the horrors of the crucifixion that awaited Him.

He knew His disciples would abandon him. He knew Judas Iscariot would betray Him. He knew that Simon Peter would deny Him. He knew they would rip His back open, press a crown of thorns into His head, beat Him, spit in His face, and crucify Him. Worst of all, He knew that all the sins of the world would be placed upon Him.

The Bible tells us that Jesus was "a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3 NLT). But the sorrow He experienced in Gethsemane on the night before His crucifixion seemed to be the culmination of all the sorrow He had ever known and would accelerate to a climax the following day. The ultimate triumph that was to take place at Calvary was first accomplished beneath the gnarled old olive trees of Gethsemane.

Jesus told Peter, James, and John, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch" (Mark 14:34). Jesus' sorrow and anguish was so powerful, it threatened His very life.

In the face of this dreadful prospect of bearing God's full fury against sin, Jesus knelt to the ground and began to pray. This was not a quiet whisper of a prayer. Hebrews 5:7 tells us, "While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could deliver him out of death. And God heard his prayers because of his reverence for God" (NLT).

It is interesting that the very word Gethsemane means "olive press." Olives were pressed there to make oil, and truly, Jesus was being pressed from all sides that He might bring life to us. I don't think we can even begin to fathom what He was going through.

Maybe you are at a crisis point in your life right now—a personal Gethsemane, if you will. You have your will; you know what you want. Yet you can sense that God's will is different.

Would you let the Lord choose for you? Would you be willing to say, "Lord, I am submitting my will to Yours. Not my will, but yours be done"? You will not regret making that decision.

Sometimes, we are afraid to do this because we have a false concept that God's will for us is not good. You might be thinking, "How about His plan for Jesus? That didn't seem very good."

No question, it was very difficult for Jesus, to say the least. No question, He faced the full wrath of God against all sin.

But look at what it accomplished. It brought about your salvation and mine. Because of what Jesus went through at Gethsemane and ultimately at the cross, we can call upon His name. Though it was an unfathomably painful, horrific transition, it was necessary for the ultimate goal of what was accomplished.

Maybe you are going through a difficult time. Ultimately, it will be so much better if you allow the Lord to choose His plan for you. One day, you will be able to look back and say, "Lord, thank you for making that choice."

God's plans for you are good. As Jeremiah tells us, the thoughts that God thinks toward you are "thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope" (29:11).

In our moments of uncertainty, in those times when we think that everyone has let us down, remember that Jesus has been there and is there for us. God's plans for you are so much better than the plans you have for yourself.

Will you let Him choose?

- - - Greg Laurie

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Good Friday

As Easter approaches, Good Friday signifies the event that defines Christianity. Around the globe Christians are observing a remembrance of the last supper, Christ's prayer in the Garden, His crucifixion, and Jesus Christ's resurrection. On Good Friday Christians recognize the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a death on a Roman Cross that concludes in the complete joy of Christ's Easter morning resurrection.

This is a time to recall and reflect upon the enormity of Jesus' passion and death, and to celebrate the believer's redemption from sin and victory over death.

The empty tomb, then and now, has been a constant scandal, as well as a lightning rod of controversy. Many have attempted to disprove it, for the implications of that empty tomb are massive. Feel free to learn more about the gift Jesus Christ has given us through his death by joining the celebration at a local church this weekend. Worship Services will be held around the nation to celebrate Christ's triumph over death, and to celebrate His enormous gift to humanity.

"He is Risen, He is Risen."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How Can God Use Me?

As Jesus approached Jerusalem for the last time, He
sent two disciples into the city to bring Him a
donkey. He told them, “If anyone asks you, ‘Why are
you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because
the Lord has need of it’” (Luke 19:31).

As we approach our sunset years, we may ask ourselves,
“Can I still be useful to God? Is there some service I
can render that will fill my days with significance?
Am I needed?”

Of course you are! God needs you just as He needed the
donkey to carry Him through the streets of Jerusalem.
He has always needed something or someone to get His
work done. He still has useful work for you to do.

Perhaps your work will be one brief task, like the
donkey’s single act of service. Or it may be some
activity that will fully occupy your years until your
Master calls you home. It may be an opportunity to
share your faith with someone, to intercede for him,
or to love him through quiet acts of mercy, friendly
visits, or to extend some small courtesy. There will
always be something for you to do.

In the meantime, you and I must stand and wait,
preparing ourselves through prayer, Bible reading, and
quiet listening—ready for the moment that our Lord has
need of us.

Will you be ready when He needs you? — David H. Roper

I’m available for God to use me,
Available, if God should choose me;
Should it be now or then, it doesn’t matter when;
I want to see lost souls be born again. —Anthony

God has work for all His children, regardless of age
or ability.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

2 Corinthians 5:1-8

Assurance of the Resurrection

1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Malachi 3:3

I received this by e-mail from a friend of mine, and I thought you would enjoy it:

Malachi 3:3 says; 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Pass this on right now. This very moment, someone needs to know that God is watching over them. And, whatever they're going through, they'll be a better person in the end.