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Trustworthy, Truthful and Sovereign Leader of the Church

Whether you've been a believer for many years .. or just came to know, believe and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior .. there's one crucial thing you must settle in your heart. Many Christians understand that Jesus died on the cross at Calvary for their sins .. But who is He to YOU today?

Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Word made flesh - The Incarnate Son of God - who took upon Himself flesh and blood and entered our world in the form of a servant to all men. He came to walk among us .. and make it possible to know Him. Then after His death, burial, and resurrection, He was exalted back to His rightful place as Lord and Sovereign Ruler .. It's essential that every believer understand the person and position of Jesus Christ.

We often call Him "Lord," but what does that mean?
The answer: Jesus is Lord - He is the Christ, Jesus Christ, is The Way, The Truth, The Life and head of the church. Also called and known as Son of David, Son of God, Son of Man - He Truely is Jesus Christ, the Lord Our God. He was there as The Creator of All .. He made and sustains all things (Col. 1:16-17). And by trusting in the Savior, we accept His rightful place in our life. As Lord, He has authority over every single element of our daily lives. We are His sheep, and who should follow the Shepherd? .. going our own way, we'd fall off the mountain and end up destroyed (John 10:2-15).

Won't you acknowledge that He has the right to determine what you do and where you go today?

You can trust that His way always results in fullness of life. Jesus is not some distant, judgmental ruler; He's your awesome, supportive Lord, who loves you and has gone before you, having lived a human life and suffered unimaginably. So when He says, "Follow Me; I'll make your life count," you can be confident that He is trustworthy every step of the way.

My degree of forgiveness equals The Forgiveness of God for me.

The Isle of Pelicans is its official name, but you might better know it as "Alcatraz" .. and for thirty years from 1933 to 1963 it housed the very toughest of prisoners. Some twenty-six tried to escape, but only 5 succeeded. Alcatraz, surrounded by the chilly waters of the San Francisco Bay, was considered the finest maximum security prison of its time.

There is a prison more secure than Alcatraz, GitMo / Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (also called Gitmo or GTMO by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard - or Supermax (short for "super-maximum security") the name used to describe "control-unit" prisons, or units within prisons, which represent the most secure levels of custody in the prison systems today - or any other prison on the face of the earth - the prison I speak of is the prison of the human heart that refuses to forgive.

We like forgiveness most when we are in a position to receive it. When we’ve sinned, we want to hear about God’s amazing grace. It is when you and I are in a position to extend forgiveness that we become quite a bit more stingy. But did you know - we are forgiven in the exact same proportion with which we forgive others? That’s right .. To the degree that I forgive, the forgiveness of God is made available to me.

Peter wanted to make sure he understood forgiveness when he asked Jesus how many times he should forgive a brother who sinned against him .. and Peter thought seven was a very generous number .. imagine his shock when Jesus multiplied that number by 70! What He was really saying was that we should only limit our forgiveness to others if we want God to limit the forgiveness He offers us. Simply put, if unlimited forgiveness is what we desire, unlimited forgiveness is what we should be willing to give.
 

Jesus Is Alive !! But What? May Peace Be With You ..

Today as we celebrate .. just think about your own unbelief? ..

Jesus Appears to His Disciples .. remember these were His closest friends .. they walked with Him each day for three (3) years!

They witnessed all the great miracles of Jesus -- Jesus Turns Water into Wine, Jesus Healed numerous people, Miraculous Catch of Fish with Peter, Jesus Cleanses a Man With Leprosy, Jesus Calms a Big Storm, Jesus Casts Demons into a Herd of Pigs, Jesus raised Jairus' Daughter to Life, Jesus Healed the Blind, Jesus Walked on Water, Jesus Heals a Deaf and Dumb Man, Miraculous Temple Tax in a Fish's Mouth, Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers, Jesus raises Lazarus from the Dead ...

John 20:19  ...  On the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were together. They had locked the doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Jesus came in and stood among them. He said, “May peace be with you!”

Story of Easter Saturday - we are lost!

Jesus is buried—and it is all over.

In the Story of Easter, Saturday normally gets lost.

The days (and even the few years) preceding it, however, were filled with amazing events and words. If it were a symphony, it would have all risen to a resounding yet horrific crescendo: the arrest and trial, the scourging and crucifixion, the agony on the cross, the death, the day turning to utter darkness, the ground shaking as if to split the earth, the veil tearing in two . . .

And then, just like the famous pause in Handel's Messiah, it all comes to a screeching halt. Jesus is buried—and it is all over.

With Jesus gone, the disciples were left with nothing but the memories and His words, neither of which seemed to be affecting them, for they huddled in fear on Saturday, having little faith in what He had promised. The disciples had painted their own picture of who Messiah was supposed to be—a narrative they wanted Him to fulfill.

How many of us believers live with a Saturday mindset—somewhere between the truth of Jesus' earthly life and the glorious resurrection that validated everything He said and did? It is easy to look at the disciples' fear and lack of faith on that day and shake our heads. But are we so different, really? Do we have our own plans for God? Do you and I conveniently believe that the best thing for us is that God and everyone else follow our script for the day? Do we get angry when it doesn't happen?

Do you find yourself speaking words that increasingly convey a lack of hope? Are they words of discouragement, gloom, doom—maybe even despair?

Two choices lie before those of us who live with such a mentality. Either we make the frustrating and futile attempt to get our own way, or we turn and revisit the truth of what God has told us: the truth about Himself and the truth about ourselves; the truth about what He has asked us to do in the disappointment of "Saturday."

The disciples had not yet received the Holy Spirit. We now have Him in full. They did not have the fullness of God's Word. We have all of it at ready access. They were living on the other side of the resurrection. We live in its reality.

Because the Truth, dear friends, is that the music will resume. Sunday's coming! What an awesome Saturday we have been given!

The Lamb of God - Who Takes Away Our Sins!

“And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split” — Matthew 27:51

The "veil of the temple" refers to the inner curtain of the "Holy of Holies" - Within the Holy Place of the tabernacle, there was an inner room called the Holy of Holies, or the Most Holy Place. Judging from its name, we can see that it was a most sacred room, a place no ordinary person could enter. It was God’s special dwelling place in the midst of His people. During the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness, God appeared as a pillar of cloud or fire in and above the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube — its length, width and height were all equal to 15 feet.
 
A thick curtain separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. This curtain, known as the “veil,” was made of fine linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn. There were figures of cherubim (angels) embroidered onto it. Cherubim, spirits who serve God, were in the presence of God to demonstrate His almighty power and majesty. They also guarded the throne of God. These cherubim were also on the innermost layer of covering of the tent. If one looked upward, they would see the cherubim figures.
 
The word “veil” in Hebrew means a screen, divider or separator that hides. What was this curtain hiding? Essentially, it was shielding a holy God from sinful man. Whoever entered into the Holy of Holies was entering the very presence of God. In fact, anyone except the high priest who entered the Holy of Holies would die. Even the high priest, God’s chosen mediator with His people, could only pass through the veil and enter this sacred dwelling once a year, on a prescribed day called the Day of Atonement.

Now, the gates to God's presence are open wide to all who would enter through the cross of Jesus Christ. God Himself tore the curtain in two, proclaiming that in Jesus' death, the final sacrifice has been made for our sins.
 
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”Hebrews 10:19-22
 
A new way has been opened up for us to draw near to God – though His Son, Jesus - this not centered on imperfect obedience to the commandments, but through the perfect life and now the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus Christ - The Lamb of God! 

The Blood Of Jesus On The Doorpost of Your Heart

We're about to honor Jesus' sacrificial death on the Cross at Calvary - and celebrate His victorious resurrection on Easter morning .. Of course, those events didn't just happen at any random point on the Jewish calendar. No, they occurred during the Jewish holy festival called Passover. That was no coincidence.

At the Passover feast, the Jewish people commemorate the miraculous event in Egypt when the spirit of Death passed over the children of Israel on the night before their great deliverance from bondage. On that night, they were saved by spreading a lamb's blood upon their doorposts - and it is my prayer that you will ASK GOD to allow you to have the Blood of Jesus on the doorpost of your heart..

This event foreshadowed the coming day when all humanity would be offered deliverance from slavery to sin and eternal death, through the blood of Jesus - The Lamb of God.

While this feast was clearly fulfilled in Jesus' death on the cross, you might not be aware of how many amazing parallels actually exist. But for now I just want to remind you of how amazing our heavenly Father is. More than 1400 years before Jesus came, died and conquered death, God put the pattern for our deliverance in place. What a God. What a Savior.

He is risen. He is risen, indeed.

The Way of The Cross - an experience like nothing we can imagine

The experience is like nothing we can ever imagine or endure

The experience is like nothing we can ever imagine .. the passion .. the aloneness Jesus must have endured as He walked the streets of Jurusalem .. people yelling, taunting Him - yet he endured it all!  After all, who could possibly understand a man whose thoughts and ways were so astoundingly removed from those of any other person? Even His closest companions never "got it" ..

How alone does that leave a man .. especially that Good Friday Day at a place known as "Golgotha" .. The place of The Skull!

When we read the Words of Scripture in Matthew 27:32-56  .. the crucifixion scenes of our mind leave little doubt why we, as sinners, find it so difficult to bear to look at Jesus - "like one from whom men hide their face" (Isa. 53:3), and realizing it was a very real event and the brutality of it all was so remarkable. If we watch movies about it all we realize that actors are just "faking it" - but the reality of Good Friday is filled with an awfulness .. that is totally indescribable. Imagine just hanging there on that Cross and seeing the faces all around looking up at you - just staring - some who cried and cried and others who just looked on and made some snide remarks - something only Jesus had to go through alone - FOR YOU AND ME!

The thought of Jesus looking out and seeing His mother, John, and a few others .. As much as they loved Him, there was no way they could understand His motivations that day. As much as they'd have loved to somehow help Him - it was something He had to do - ALONE!

Then came the moment of "total aloneness" 
Matthew 27:46 (NIRV) .. 46  About three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice. He said, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?
This means “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” (Psalm 22:1)
.. and He did this for me? .. that I might have life, and have it more abundantly as it says in John 10.

Today is a day to contemplate our own lives - to shed all our wanting and live as the Lord would have us to live! We have the privilege of understanding Jesus as no other generation - beter than those who walked by His side ever could .. and what is our response today?

1 John 1:9 .. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Matthew 7:7  .. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

May The Blood of Jesu Bless You This Day!

Why is Good Friday referred to as “good”?

Why is Good Friday referred to as “good”?

What the Jewish authorities and Romans did to Jesus was definitely not good (see Matthew chapters 26-27). However, the results of Christ’s death are very good! Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” First Peter 3:18 tells us, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.”

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Good-Friday.html#ixzz2zCn8omY2

Thursday of Holy Week - only for Catholics? - Not So!

 What happened on the day we refer to as Holy Thursday?

An amazing amount of stuff! This was one of the most pivotal days in the life of Jesus Christ. It is a day that Catholics claim many things related to their religion - but the one thing you can be sure of - The God of Holiness in the person of Jesus Christ - was among men!

Here are some of the things the gospels record for this day (including events that happened after midnight). Jesus:

  • Sent Peter and John to arrange for them to use the Upper Room to hold the Passover meal - The Last Supper.
  • Washed the apostles' feet - Jesus teaches about serving others.
  • Announced that Judas would betray him - we like Judas have all betrayed our Lord.
  • Gave the "new commandment" to love one another.
  • Announced that Peter would deny him.
  • Jesus prayed for the unity of his followers.
  • Held all the discourses recorded across five chapters of John (John 13-18).
  • Went to the Mount of Olives and Prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • Was betrayed by Judas.
  • Healed the ear of Malchus, the high priest's servant, after Peter cut it off with a sword.
  • Was taken before the high priests Annas and Caiaphas.
  • Was denied by Peter.
  • Was taken to Pilate.

For Catholics .. HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances, with the exception of only the Easter Vigil. It celebrates both the institution by Christ himself of the Eucharist - "do this in rememberance of me" .. for in this, His last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover, Jesus is the "self-offered" Passover Victim ( The Lamb of God ) .. and Catholics believe that because of this every ordained priest to this day presents this same sacrifice, by Christ's authority and command, in exactly the same way. - DO YOU? 
17 After Jesus took the cup, he gave thanks. He said, “Take this cup and share it among yourselves. 18 I tell you, I will not drink wine with you again until God’s kingdom comes.”  19 Then Jesus took bread. He gave thanks and broke it. He handed it to them and said, “This is my body. It is given for you. Every time you eat it, do it in memory of me.”

The Last Supper is not a "catholic thing" .. it is not some "exclusive Catholic Church event" .. it was Jesus Christ's farewell to His assembled disciples, some of whom would betray, desert or deny Him before the sun rose again .. and a message to all of us today!

Take time and read for yourself - http://tinyurl.com/kaeoqu6

 

Searching for An Extravagant Love In Your Life?

Searching for An Extravagant Love In Your Life?

Read John 11:1-46

Ever question the Love of Jesus? .. Ever Doubt? Do you tend to question Jesus Love and His affection for your family? .. ever say to Jesus .. "Lord, if you had only been here, with me" ..

Maybe today, you need to "know in your knower" .. that Jesus wept for those He loved .. Jesus was a "real man" .. and He had emotions just like all men .. and He Loves You!

And when Jesus speaks - you can rest assured that whatever He says .. is the WAY, The Truth and The Life! .. read the story of Lazurus again .. then He spoke."Lazarus, come out!" And after four days in a stone-sealed grave, Lazarus walked out. As Mary kissed the now-warm hands of her just-dead brother, she turned and looked at Jesus. He was smiling. She would never doubt His words again. So when He spoke of His death, she believed. She carried the large vial of perfume from her house to Simon's. It wasn't a spontaneous gesture. But it was an extravagant one. The perfume was worth a year's wages. Maybe the only thing of value she had. It wasn't a logical thing to do, but since when has love been led by logic? .. Common sense had not wept at Lazarus's tomb. LOVE WEPT .. Extravagant, risky, chance-taking love. And someone needed to show the same to the giver of such love. So Mary did: She stepped up behind Jesus and poured out the jar. Over His head and shoulders. Down His back. She would have poured herself out for Him, if she could. The fragrance of the sweet ointment rushed through the room.

Close your eyes and ask Jesus to help you to "Breathe the aroma and remember one who cares"  .. if You feel forsaken, remember that You are loved. Even when others want to mock your true self .. like the other disciples who mocked her extravagance, but don't miss Jesus' prompt defense of Mary. "Why are you troubling this woman? She did an excellent thing for Me." This wasn't the first time He'd defended her either. When her sister Martha demanded that Mary help with household duties instead of sitting at His feet, Jesus said, "There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it."( Read Luke 10:42 )

Jesus' message is as powerful now as it was then: There is a time for risky love. There is a time to sit at the feet of the One you love, to pour out your affections on Him. And when the time comes, seize it.- This is HOLY WEEK .. take a minute or two and look into the eyes of Jesus!

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