What would you say is the most significant, the most important decision you have ever made in your life? Pretty tough question huh? For me and many others it was the day I said yes to Jesus and began to live my life for Him. I think about following Christ and the fact that He lived, died and rose…man that is huge. The resurrection is HUGE! It was a game changer. A game changer is a term we hear in sports where something happens to change the direction of the game. It shifts momentum to the other side and the opposing team just can’t adjust for the new game play. The resurrection changes EVERYTHING!
For one thing it gives us the confident hope of life after death. Not only are there eyewitness accounts of Jesus death and burial but also eleven of Jesus disciples SAW Him, SPOKE with Him, TOUCHED Him and even ATE with Him after His resurrection and even under the pain of death stuck to their story that “He is risen” but over 500 people over 40 days saw Him as well…Huge!
For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died – 1 Thess. 4:14
Many religions promise life after death only one founder came back from the dead. That is why Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die”.
The resurrection gives us a chance at a New Start; a New Life. Change isn’t easy. OK…it’s hard. We want to change yet there is something inside us that enslaves us and pulls us backwards to old habits – this happens to everyone. This is life…until the Resurrection. The scriptures say that we can be free from the old life. (Any man that is in Christ is a New creation, The old is gone the New has come – 2 Cor. 5:17) The bible doesn’t talk about what effect the Resurrection will have on you and me when we die nearly as often that it talks about the effect it has on us right now. Completely changed inside out in an instant…not a little by little change that takes us 50 years. It’s not a gradual change. We are changed all at once and rest of your life you are learning how you are changed and how to live as a changed person.
Lastly, it a relationship not religion. What is it that makes me Christian? Because Jesus lives inside of me. I have a peace and joy that cannot be taken away or robbed from me because Jesus lives in me. I am a citizen of heaven because Jesus lives in me. I have courage why? Because Jesus lives in me.
Christianity is not an Ethics course or Philosophy 101. It is a living relationship with someone who is alive. Christianity is not signing a statement of faith or joining a church; it is a living relationship with Christ and because He is alive He can save anyone. Paul said thin in Romans 10…
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved – Romans 10:9
Lord, I pray that these words may encourage someone and as they read they will find freedom in You as their Savior! Amen.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NASB)
Cuba, Vietnam, Granada, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea – these are places in my life time that our country has either been at war with or at least been the threat of war. I am sure there are others that I did not mention but I think that you get the idea.
There is a lack of peace in the world however, that extends beyond the military battlefield. That battlefield is in the home and the work place and even the church where there is unrest and strife and worries and these things rip the peace out of our lives and cause terrible unrest.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world – John 16:33
Peace means much more than the absence of war. Peace paints a picture of harmony and completeness. It is a promise of peace; to make whole and restore. To have Peace or “Shalom” is to have a fulfilled life in every way. It is a state of safety where your life is put at ease by the Lord Jesus Christ – the One that we celebrate at Christmas. The One bringing this peace has the power to carry His plan of peace out.
With “Shalom” peace there is no fear; no worry, but instead a sense of harmony and oneness. Everything is exactly the way it should be. Things are in their proper order. This is “Shalom” – this is the peace that Jesus brings – Our Prince of Peace.
Jesus didn’t come so that we could give gifts on the 25th of Dec. He didn’t come that we could sing “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is coming to Town”. He came to give us peace with God and He came to give us peace within ourselves. How about you? Have you ever said yes to Him? He stands at the ready offering His peace and wants to be a part of your life. Say YES to Him today. It’s the greatest gift you could ever receive.
Father, help us to discover the peace that came to the world, born in a feeding trough, lived a sinless life and offered Himself as a sacrifice for all the world. WHAT A GIFT! May we receive that gift as we repent and believe. Thank you.
In Jesus Name…Amen
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”– Luke 1:30-33
If you searched your heart, where would you find hope? What it is that you have based your hope? Job security, finances, significant other, stuff? I will go out on a limb and say that these things will at least at some point lead to disappointment, discouragement and desperation.
Our hope is found in the fact that God has keeps His promises. Hope began in the Garden of Eden where satan is told that from the seed of the woman would come a savior, Emmanuel and that Savior would destroy all of the doubt, sadness, pain and suffering and ultimately satan himself once and for all.
His name is Jesus!
He will do battle with Satan and even though the enemy would strike a seemingly fatal blow against Jesus, he will not defeat him. Jesus will crush Satan and his power. Jesus will destroy the pain of death and sin giving us hope as we wait confidently for His return.
Is there hope in this world? Yes! Hope was born to the world 2000 years ago in Bethlehem. Do you want hope? Do you need hope…real hope? Confident expectation? Do what the shepherds did so long ago. Make “haste” and bow before the King. Are you willing to humble yourself and bow in faith before the Lord Jesus Christ?
Some people think about Jesus each year at Christmastime. They are deeply touched by the season, the songs and the spirit, they promise to know him personally. Then Dec. 26th rolls around and the moment passes. Life’s pressure drag us away from the birth of Jesus, even His life, death and resurrection. Make the personal commitment that Jesus Christ will be your Lord and Savior. Is there room in your heart for Jesus? May God give you grace to make room in the Inn of your heart.
Lord, help us to put aside the pressures of gifting and receive Your sacrificial gift of love. Thank you God for loving me enough to leave Your heavenly throne and relentlessly pursue me. I surrender all to You. In Jesus Name…Amen.