Jesus Paid It All – And It Was Ugly!

good_friday

The Son of God came down into this world!

Have you ever gave serious thought to that?

I’ll say it again…………

The Son of God came into our world.

Such a singular, most amazing event EVER!

When I imagine how ugly his death was on the cross….I am profoundly moved.

Sadly today, it seems the world is moved more by bloody movies out of hollywood than they are by the way our savior was tortured and murdered.

Hollywood can’t seem to sell a movie without depicting the violence of death and we can’t get to heaven without the violence of our saviors’s death……

hmmmmmmmmmmm………..

Is the world really so wonderful that it has to invent violence or is it so lost that it has to invent heroes; heroes that are beaten down so violently and then, against all odds, manage to rise up again (and again, and again?)

Jesus, our Lord and Savior, was beaten down by the ugliness of the cross, the violence of man……only to rise up victorious. The big difference between God’s plan of redemption and hollywood’s box office idea of a hero….

is that Jesus only had to die once. 

There will be no sequels!

Back when I couldn’t wait to join the masses in the movie theaters to witness a violent movie….I always walked out feeling – well – violent.

Now, when I imagine the ugliness and violence of Jesus’s death, I am left with only a sadness that it had to happen for my sake, and what moves me even more than that….is when I consider that Jesus CHOSE to die on the cross and that his death was only temporary.

The great, merciful effort by God to reach down to save us is overshadowed by only one other event in the history of our world……

Our savior was rejected and killed.

The only one who could possibly save us was murdered!

The very world that God created killed his own son.

How is that for the worst case of irony that ever was?

I don’t know what you think of that…but to me, it’s kind of like a paramedic arriving to save a dying person at an accident……only to be shot and killed by the one he is attempting to save.

Have you ever attempted to save a drowning person? You most likely had to fight to keep from being drowned by that person, am I right? It is the very nature and ugliness of drowning…that a person struggling in the water is struggling in so much fear, that they nearly drown their rescuer. Yet, being aware of that, you probably also knew that struggling person would possibly drown if someone didn’t help them. So, you were willing to jump in and risk harm to yourself because you knew that person meant no harm to you, right?

Okay, more irony here…..but this irony makes me want to dance and sing….

Despite what the world could do to him……Jesus still gained the ultimate victory and now wears the victor’s crown!

Because Jesus was willing to die for us…we get to share in his victory over death!

Our God sent his own son so that we might be saved….that is how important it was to God that we be saved unto him!

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus was willing to suffer the pain of sin – even if he was just dying for my sin alone - that would be painful enough no doubt…………

but Jesus suffered the sins of ALL THE WORLD!

1 Peter 2:24  “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

The one thing that makes this day bearable each year, what makes this truly “Good Friday,” is that we have the benefit of hind sight. We know that he was only dead for 3 days and then was exalted as God lifted him from the grave.

But it’s not like the people that had to witness the death of Jesus didn’t also know that…after all they were told of what was going to happen:

Luke 24:6-7    6 ~ “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 

7 ~ “Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

 

God used the ugliness of the cross to be an instrument of his mercy and grace…..

Jesus paid it all!

Mr. Smith Has Left The Building

Planting Potatoes:

very, very, very, very good read…..and……just happens to be one of my most favorite movies of all time too! :) Isn’t it sad….that things were so bad even at the time this movie was made? What does that say for how bad things are today?

Originally posted on ChristianBlessings:

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Resurrection day… New Information?

Planting Potatoes:

Amen! I would like all my friends to see this……and happy Resurrection Sunday to all! God bless!

Originally posted on God Speaks I Listen:

RESSURRECTION DAYbest

Let’s start with the word…Easter!

Well there is no new information about Jesus death and resurrection because God’s word never changes but the new information that I have is… I will no longer be calling Resurrection day… “Easter” Sunday. In researching information for a Resurrection Sunday message for my blog I found out new information to me… that Easter is a pagan holiday name for the goddess of spring time named “Eastre or Eostre” which is celebrated on…you guessed it…Easter Sunday. This goddess loved rabbits and eggs were part of the spring celebration representing fertility. This is new to me and this information will change my thinking and words I used from this day forward.

I do celebrate Resurrection Sunday in church and later on we have dinner with all the trimmings with our family and friends. I know the Lord has no problem with that because He knows the…

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Give God The Praise

We are sinners……..yet we are saved!

Praise God!

Non-believers ask us to “prove” that we are saved………..

to some how “show”  them how we know that we are saved.

It has taken most of my life to learn that I need not prove to non-believers anything; that I need not convince them of what I speak.  I know now that I cannot change the heart of anyone BUT the fact that I can’t make a horse drink when I lead it to water, does not mean that the water is not there.

There was once a blind man given sight by Jesus. Yet, he could not make the Pharisees believe him. Try as he might, that man could not convince them that he was once blind and now could see. The Pharisees were so “blind” to this miracle, that even the man’s parents could not convince them (of course, they didn’t really try that hard – as if they were somehow afraid of speaking too much of miracles?)

Seems sort of silly doesn’t it?

I suffered a stroke that nearly killed me ~ in fact, they weren’t sure I was going to make it. When I did survive the first couple of weeks and “woke up,” I could not speak, nor walk, and my right side was very weak.

Now I tell everyone I meet that I believe God saved me, and then restored me. And, by the way, he redeemed me at the same time too.

Would you believe that most people can’t tell that I ever had a stroke? Non-believers, of course, just smile and say they don’t believe in “that God stuff.” So what am I supposed to say to that? To be fair, it’s not that they don’t believe I had a stroke, went through therapy and spent a few years recovering.…it’s just that they would rather not believe that God is the reason for my recovery.

What am I supposed to say?  What CAN I say except……

GIVE GOD THE PRAISE!

Should we stop praising God for his grace because someone doesn’t believe in grace…..or us – or God for that matter?

I wonder, were the Pharisees having trouble believing this man was given sight so they “could not” believe him, or is the real point that they “would not” believe him?

John 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”

Okay, whats that about?

Here is what I think……

If we are physically blind, then it is not held against us that we cannot see. But if we claim that we see, when we really don’t…..well, you get it don’t you?

Jesus died to cleanse us of our sins….even though we are sinners.

Romans 5:8   “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus died for us, had to die for us, as it was our only hope of redemption!

I remember an episode from one of my favorite tv shows:

Gilligan’s Island – One day, Gilligan made himself some wings so he could fly off the island. He was busy flying above the huts, when the Skipper saw Gilligan and asked him what he was doing. Gilligan said he was flying. The Skipper said, “Gilligan, you can’t fly!”  Gilligan then promptly fell to the ground.

If you believe you have been saved…..and that your redeemer lives……what would you do if someone told you that you weren’t really saved?  Would you feel any less saved?

I believe Jesus knew the entire world would not accept his message – so how much the sadder must he have been as he died for the world anyway?

 

Einstein Got It Right

My friend Santi, in Indonesia, gave me permission to republish these wonderful words she shared with Worldprayr recently. I consider it a major blessing to be able to serve with Santi at Worldprayr.
The Past, The Present, and The Future


I was watching my favorite TV series. Then I heard an actor said, “According to Einstein, the past, the present, and the future are all happen in the same time”. It intrigued me. I searched the quote and here is the original quote:

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” – Albert Einstein

I wouldn’t try to explain it from Physics point of view. When I think about the quote, I think Einstein got his point. How many of you are living in the past? Sometimes I am. When I flashed back to the past, I found myself sad or hurt or even miss someone in the past. Even I could find myself regret few things in the past. All of us are human. We made mistakes, small or big, often or infrequent. It is part of our lives.

Yet, I found myself life in the past when I recalled the past. Some of those were something that wouldn’t happen anymore. The rest we probably could experience it again. Yet we couldn’t experience a precise thing twice.

At the same time, we probably are living in the future. We possibly are worry and anxious of the future may bring. We probably are optimist of what will be happen in the future.

However, do we really spend the same time to think about the present? Do we really live in the present? Are we really in the moment?

When I thought about Einstein’s quote, I found he was right. I often live in the past, in the present, and in the future at the same time. I couldn’t do much thing about my past. I could fix some failure and mistakes I made, but I could never change what happened. It had happened. If I threw a rock to a deep sea with a full power, I couldn’t take the rock back. If I tried badly, probably I could find it (if I put a mark on it before I threw it for instance). Yet, if I didn’t put any more on it, it would be useless to search for it. So the ocean wouldn’t be the same again. There would be a rock in its bottom. Its composition was changed forever.

It is the same as our past. We could put our effort to fix something. However for the rest, it couldn’t be redone. What done is done. What we could do was living in the present. Crying for spilling milk is useless. The best we can do is just let it go. If there is any consequence we should bear, then bear it and move on.

The future hasn’t happened yet. Though we will experience it, we still live in the moment. It is useless to put so much energy to afraid of what hasn’t happened yet. The best we can do is prepare for the future as much as we can. But still we live in present, don’t we?

So if you read this and you live in regrets and guilts of the past, let it go. Have a peace with yourself and your past. Your past molds you as you are now, yet the past can’t dictate you to be what you will be in the future.

If you are as I, don’t live in the present, it’s our time to really live our lives now. The time is now. It won’t happen again twice. It’s our chance.

If you are worry, afraid, and anxious of what tomorrow will bring, be content with the present. Embrace it. Future will come soon, let’s prepare it the best we can.

Every time we feel guilty or bad about the past after we were dealing with its consequences, also if we are worry about the present, and when we are afraid of the future, remember Jesus our Lord. He has been through the past, the present, and the future. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He has known all from the beginning to the end. Remember that when He was on the cross, He has paid it all. “It is finished!” His grace is sufficient for all of us. Let us live in the present, prepare the future, and embrace our future.

Read more from Santi’s blog in Indonesia:  Every Day Is A New Beginning

Just Checking In

I received this from a friend and thought I would share it with my other friends……..

“Just Checking In Today”

A Minister passing through his church
In the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar
To see who came to pray.Just then the back door opened,
And a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw the man
Hadn’t shaved in a while.His shirt was torn and shabby,
And his coat was worn and frayed,
The man knelt down and bowed his head,
Then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed at precisely noon,
The preacher saw this chap,
Each time he knelt just for a moment,
A lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister’s suspicions grew,
With robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop and ask the man,
‘What are you doing here?’

The old man said he was a factory worker
And lunch was half an hour
Lunchtime was his prayer time,
For finding strength and power.

I stay only a moment
Because the factory’s far away;
As I kneel here talking to the Lord,
This is kinda what I say:

‘I Just Came By To Tell You, Lord,
How Happy I Have Been,
Since We Found Each Other’s Friendship
And You Took Away My Sin.
Don’t Know Much Of How To Pray,
But I Think About You Every day.
So, Jesus, This Is Ben,
Just Checking In Today.’

The minister feeling foolish,
Told Ben that it was fine.
He told the man that he was welcome
To pray there anytime.

‘It’s time to go, and thanks,’ Ben said
As he hurried to the door.

Then the minister knelt there at the altar,
Which he’d never done before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
As he met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed down his cheeks,
He repeated old Ben’s prayer:

‘I Just Came By To Tell You, Lord,
How Happy I’ve Been,
Since We Found Each Other’s Friendship
And You Took Away My Sin.
I Don’t Know Much Of How To Pray,
But I Think About You Every day.
So, Jesus, This Is Me,
Just Checking In Today.’

Past noon one day, the minister noticed
That old Ben hadn’t come.
As more days passed and still no Ben,
He began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him,
Learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried,
But he’d given them a thrill.

The week that Ben was with them,
Brought changes in the ward.
His smiles and joy contagious.
Changed people were his reward.

The head nurse couldn’t understand
Why Ben could be so glad,
When no flowers, calls or cards came,
Not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed,
He voiced the nurse’s concern:
No friends had come to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, old Ben spoke up
And with a winsome smile;
‘The nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know,
He’s been here all the while.’

Every day at noon He comes here,
A dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down and takes my hand,
Leans over and says to me:

‘I Just Came By To Tell You, Ben,
How Happy I Have Been,
Since We Found This Friendship,
And I Took Away Your Sin.
I Think About You Always
And I Love To Hear You Pray,
And So Ben, This Is Jesus,
Just Checking In Today.’

If this blesses you, pass it on. Many people
will walk in and out of your life, but only
true friends will leave footprints in your
heart…

May God hold you in the palm of His hand
And Angels watch over you..
Please pass this on to your friends
& loved ones. If you aren’t ashamed.

Jesus said, ‘ If you are ashamed of me,’
I will be ashamed Of you before my Father.’
If you are not ashamed, pass this on.

So, FRIENDS & FAMILY, this is ME …”Just Checking In Today”

Hello, My Name is Church

Planting Potatoes:

so glad God led me to this blog to see something that I needed to read…..

Originally posted on The Unappreciated Pastor:

 

Hello my name is church,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am…

Boring

Shallow

Cheap

A waste of time

 

You’ve heard that I am full of

 

Hypocrites

Clowns

Greedy people

The self- righteous

 

Maybe you have visited me before and discovered

 

Horrible music

Passionless singing

Dry preaching

Rude congregants

 

Maybe you needed me and I was

 

Too busy

Too “righteous”

Too broke

Too blind

 

Maybe you joined me and found I was

 

Distant

Demanding

Dull

Preoccupied

 

Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by

 

Business meetings

Committees

Teams

Bureaucracy

 

Maybe you left and were surprised that nobody

 

Called

Cared

Noticed

Invited you back

 

 

Perhaps your experience has driven you to

 

Speak negatively of me

Swear…

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