Jesus Is Alive!

Like a runner that has come from last place to win a race ~

Like a team that has come from behind to win in the final seconds of a game ~

Like an underdog who has defeated his enemy after a long battle ~

JESUS CHRIST IS ALIVE!

You know the feeling of great joy and elation that comes from having to listen to insult upon insult from an enemy that feels they are in power and having to watch your champion suffer cruelty at the hands of a lesser foe –

then suddenly, your champion rises exalted fulfilling the hope that you felt when it all began?

I like to play chess – not so great at it – but I love to play –

It’s nice to win – to know that after study and practice – I have learned enough to win – but my favorite kind of win is when my opponent thinks he is better than me and won’t stop insulting me because he is so confident that he will win –

then it happens – after an hour of play – sometimes days – the board – empty of almost all of my pieces – becomes so clear to me – and I make one move to win the game – with one of the lowest ranking pieces on the board! 

Do you know that feeling?

Jesus let his enemies feel confident in their own self-importance – he warned them though – but they didn’t listen.

He even asked God to forgive his enemies who were killing him – yes, even the ones who whipped and humiliated him, because he loved them despite of themselves.

Jesus died for us because it was the only way – the highest form of love that can exist in this world.

John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

I have watched for a week, as I do every year, while the world is fixated on the death – the cross – the suffering and I have been silent – because I don’t like to focus on the death – any more than I would commemorate the day of a friend’s death. Yes, I know God required this suffering and death –

~ made even more painful because God had to turn his back on Jesus

I know that Jesus endured it all as payment for the sins of a world gone bad. No. it could not be avoided – but do we have to be so focused on it?

I can’t even begin to imagine how painful it would be if God turned his back on me! But I can imagine how much he loves me because he was willing to sacrifice something so pure, so innocent, and so full of love so that man, who is mostly devoid of these things, could be saved!

Yes, there have been times in my life when I felt lost and very alone –

but now I know it wasn’t God’s fault ~I  kept myself in a jail cell –

without knowing the key was in my pocket all along! 

Yes I know the cross was necessary – but Jesus ended it when he said

IT IS FINISHED

Oh what joy I feel right now – and every day – to think that not only was Jesus sacrificed – but God is so powerful that he didn’t leave Jesus on that cross – sort of a last snub of the devil!

(of course, the biggest snub of all is yet to come isn’t it?)

Call me an optimist – positive thinker – but I like to skip to the happy ending you know? Kind of like my daughter did when I read stories to her when she was young.

Halleluha – God was satisfied enough to raise Jesus from the tomb and exalt him – so the cross may be a reminder of what he had to bear for our sins – but now –

THE CROSS IS EMPTY – GOD DID NOT LEAVE JESUS ON THE CROSS!

We have victory – the most important victory in the history of the world!

1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

In that victory – we have the redemption of our savior!

Ephesians 1:7  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

Good Friday is our Holy Day for Reflection

Planting Potatoes:

I found deep reflection from this post this morning – I pray others may be blessed in the same way!

Originally posted on VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES.COM:

GOOD FRIDAY OUR HOLY DAY FOR REFLECTION

Today, we as Christians celebrate this day as Good Friday; It is truly OUR HOLY DAY FOR REFLECTION.  For many farmers it is the day for planting their seeds for fruit bearing.  It is truly a very unusual day when you think deeply upon it.  And of course yes, we will ask the question, what is Good Friday?  Good Friday is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday. On this day Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Pastor Davis is spending theses moments before God in prayer, meditation and deep reflections on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ Pastor Davis is spending theses moments before God in prayer, meditation and deep reflections on the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

How will you spend your GOOD FRIDAY?

We at VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES along with millions of BELIEVERS from all around the world will observe this day as…

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Jesus, the Unwelcomed Lover

Planting Potatoes:

I was blessed by this message and so I would like to pass the blessings on! May God bless all who read these words!

Originally posted on Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

red-love-rejectionHave you ever had your love rejected? It hurts when someone rejects your love, whether you are 13, 23, or 73 years old. Oh, the pain of rejected love!

In today’s passage, I want you to see how Jesus’ love is often unwelcomed and rejected. But before we read our text, let me review the context and setting. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified (v. 22). The opposition against Him was growing stronger and more vocal. The common people loved Him and heard Him gladly, but the religious crowd hated Him because He exposed their hypocrisy and wickedness. Let’s pick up with Luke 13:31-35:

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to Him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill You.”

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people…

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I Won’t Back Down

I don’t know about you ~ but I’ve had enough of the devil acting like he owns this world and pushing me around.

I have one thing to say to the devil –

This ain’t the garden of Eden and I’m not Adam. 

It’s bad enough that I have a sinful nature while living in this world – thanks to Adam – but it doesn’t mean I am going to give the devil free rein over me and that I am powerless to stop him.

When we resist the devil – we make a statement that we won’t be persuaded by his temptations.

James 4:7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

God has warned us that the devil is present in this world –

1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

Ephesians 6:12 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

So, with these warnings against him, and our faith in the fact that we know he is going to lose in the end – why does the devil continue to harass us with his temptations?

BECAUSE HE CAN

Know this ~ the devil WILL lose – at the point that he is cast down for 1,000 years – but if he has managed to tempt you – to distract you from God  – at the point that you die – when ever that might be –

YOU WILL LOSE – FOREVER

But with warnings, God always gives us promises that we will not be alone in our vigilance ~

Ephesians 6:11   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Most of my life, thanks to my wonderful immersion in Sunday school, I have believed that I sin every time a bad thought comes into my head – and further more – I must be a particular bad sinner since I am tempted on a regular basis.

Being saved by the Grace of God means we are saved for eternity – but it does not mean we will no longer be tempted –

Well, now I know that I have not yet sinned at the point that the devil knocks on my brain with one of his thoughts catered just for me. Nope.

The point where I take over and become the sinner is when I entertain the thought that he has given me.

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Was Jesus ever a sinner while in this world? Of course not – and yet – right after being baptized and even after God showed his pleasure in his son – Jesus was STILL tempted by the devil!

Matthew 4:1:4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

So what was it that finally made the devil go away?

JESUS DID NOT BACK DOWN

I believe that Jesus stood on the supreme authority and word of God.

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

The most important part of his stand against the tempter was that Jesus spoke to each temptation!

So the next time you start feeling less of a Christian because the devil is tempting you – DON’T!

I have tried “being a good, strong, Christian” by just ignoring the devil’s temptations – but unless I speak against each temptation – while standing on the authority and power of God’s holy word – the temptation will not go away and will just become larger and harder to ignore.

No, this does not mean I have become a babbling idiot on the street. It simply means I speak to each temptation in my mind – even in those times when I am exposed to temptation while in public – perhaps a group of friends at a party, etc. Sometimes, speaking privately to the devil’s temptations, also requires a public refusal. This can be much harder to do, but I think is even more important as it gives us a chance to be a witness for God as well. Will this make us the most popular person at the party? Most likely not – might even set us up for some uncomfortable public ridicule.

But are you in this world to make friends and be the most popular person at a party?

Being tempted is part of the whole deal!

The next time the devil knocks on your brain – stand your ground by answering each temptation with the authority and power of the holy word of God and see how fast the devil will flee from you!

shine!

Planting Potatoes:

I feel extra blessed by these words today – and I always like to pass on the blessings! :)

Originally posted on hugsnblessings:

Dancing Through My Head :

for my friend L

(because i understand)

a lot of stuff being said.

yes, the words hurt.

the knowledge of how twisty-turned people can use their words to make a fantasy appear true

is the slippery-slope of the devil.

e217eb9a873ba20f4e583ba0448dc3af People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck

and the devil is uninvited.

st. michael, with your sword of truth, shine down!

away satan! stand behind me!

you need only be still.

for he is at your side.

 pray those hearing not travel down the slippery slope.

pray the snare not be set for they too.

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 pray.

no hate set up in our house.

only friendship given.  with hugs n’ blessings.

pecked by ducks maya angelou always said. (gossip be like that…)

but our god is stronger than a flock.

He is stronger when we are weak.

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and so sleep soundly.

 awake afresh.

in His joy. shining…

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Faith Is The Reason

Faith is of itself –

Faith is the journey – not the destination –

I think it’s like the chicken before the egg thing. Something to ponder –

you like to ponder don’t you? :)

Church does not give me faith ~

I go to church because I have faith!

Serving God does not bring me faith ~

I serve God because I have faith!

Loving my neighbor does not bring me faith ~

I love my neighbor because I have faith!

Having charity for others does not bring me faith ~

I have charity for others because I have faith!

Following Christ does not bring me faith ~

I follow Christ because I have faith!

I don’t have faith because God saved my soul ~

I have faith that God did in fact save my soul!

God is not God because I have faith that he is ~

I have faith because God is!

Mark 11:22And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.”

 

Many voices in the air

Planting Potatoes:

Was blessed by this post today – and of course, I like to share! :)

Originally posted on ColorStorm:

God’s word is very good, as it contains all that pertains to life and godliness.

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Of course there are missions to corrupt this word, which is forever settled in heaven.  God sees the affront to His name, he sees the insolence of the mockers, He sees they who malign and slander others who defend his word, and most importantly, He sees they who curse the son of God, even the Lord Christ.

The good book reads: The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it

There are many voices in the air, many mouths, and not all are friendly. It is one thing to say ‘I do not believe in God,’ it takes an extra leap to say ‘there is no God,’ then it is quite another to cast aside his word as rubbish and I must say, it does take a special kind of…

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