He is Risen Indeed!

He IS Risen!!!

What a blessing to be able to say that and passionately trust in that fact! As Paul said, “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! (1 Cor 15:16-17)

There are some who did not see death before they saw the Lord, like Enoch, “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Gen 5:24)  Elijah was another one who did not see death, “Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (2 Kg 2:11) And living believers who will experience the rapture will not see death  (1 Thes 4:13-17)

Some were brought back to life from the dead, but died again, before they saw the Lord. Some like Lazarus, “Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” (John 11:43-44)  Or several that Jesus healed, like the unnamed ruler’s daughter, “When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him.  But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. (Mat 9:23-25)  But they all died again.

YET, no one who died, and was raised from the dead, was NEVER to die again! Except Jesus!!! Let us set our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!

The Silence of God

Today, we ponder the silence of God. [At least to us (Jesus was actually making a triumphal pronouncement in Tartarus (1 Pet 3:18-20; 2 Pet 2:4)]

In the history of the disciples 2000 years ago, they had THE most discouraging day of their lives. They had spent several years with the Man they thought was the Messiah. He had said and done all the right things. They even watched the triumphal procession into Jerusalem just a few days before. The contact with the religious leaders of the Passover week was a crescendo.  It was only a matter of moments in their view and He would reveal Himself as the Messiah to the world and they would be in on the Greatest Reversal of all time – the Jewish people under the thumb of Rome, paying taxes to Rome and giving allegiance to Rome – would be reversed!.  Now was “their” moment when all of that would be changed!.  The Romans would recognize Jesus as Messiah and they were in on the “ground floor”!

But then tragedy. Their hopes were dashed. Their leader was crucified the most heinous of deaths. Their adrenaline took a deep dive. Temporary depression set in. They were bewildered. “What happened?”

Has that ever happened to you?

On Saturday, the disciples would likely have been wondering, “What just happened? What do we do now? We left everything and the very thing we were hoping for, counting on and trusting in…was gone!”

Has that ever happened to you?

Indeed, God was silent to them. Sometimes God intentionally is silent, because He wants us to be silent. To meditate on the promises of God, the power of God and the presence of God, even when we can’t see it, experience it and to know we need to remember them.

The Sons of Korah wrote, Psalm 46. Verse ten says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Ps 46:10)”  IN FACT, the rest of the Psalm is incredible for this day.

As you ponder anew the silence of God, and maybe you are experiencing the silence of God, consider what happened in just one more day 2000 years ago.  The Silence of God means He is ready and able to do a truly Great Reversal!

 

Our hope is in Him! Always!

Insights: Hunger for Truth

This morning we were awakened to a couple deer eating the bird seed out of a newly placed bird feeder in the back yard. The purpose of the bird feeder was to attract the four flickers that had consumed most of the cherries from the tree. If the bird feeder was placed close to the same tree, hopefully the flickers would find the feeder and then the feeder could be slowly moved to a better location for observing the birds from upstairs and downstairs.

To our amazement and joy, two fawns had consumed all the bird seed. We found them just as they were licking the last bits of seed and looking toward our windows at “those people stuck in some kind of building”! They also found the pretzels the girls had hung in the branches, which they made at the library in town. They had been smeared with crunchy peanut butter and other various kinds of bird seeds that were hung on the branches.  While we thought the birds missed out, the deer were a beautiful sight. Normally the deer would probably have preferred other food than bird seed and pretzels, food is food in the winter time, especially when the first big snow fall was on its way.

It reminds me of a favorite verse of Scripture, “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. (Pro 27:7 NKJ) When you are hungry, you are ready to eat just about anything! Whey you are satisfied with the presence of the Lord, life in Him is sweet.

When people are hungry for the Lord, ANY Scripture is sweet. When people complain, because the pastor is not preaching their favorite subject, they just are not very hungry for the Lord and need to wait on Him. How hungry are you after the abundance of Christmas?

 

Insight: Christmas Eve Service

I enjoy Christmas Eve services as much as any worship service. It’s been a tradition at my old church to begin at 5 p.m. and then the family can enjoy a great meal together and spend the evening as a family waiting for the celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus on Christmas Day that happened over 2000 years ago.

This year, we’ll be attending a 4 p.m. service. Normally that would still be during the day, but since the sunset is about 3:52 p.m. it will be dark during most of the service. Continue reading

Insights: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is one day every guy needs to remember. It’s not that he needs to join the lavish expenditures as the world promotes, but the simple, focused thoughtfulness that says, “I love you.” And do it in the language your gal can understand. Don’t let others tell you what you have to do or what is considered satisfactory.1

Continue reading

Insights: What is New Years?

Most holidays are clear in their intent. For example, Valentine’s Day celebrates romance, Father’s Day celebrates fathers, Mother’s Day celebrates mothers and so on. But none of those hit the celebration ticker like New Years. So is there a purpose for New Year’s Day besides turning the calendar over to the next year? Continue reading

Insights: What is Christmas?

Christmas is the second best holiday, only because Resurrection Sunday is the best! Christmas foreshadows Resurrection Sunday, because without the birth of the humanity of Jesus, there could have been no death of Jesus on the cross for the sins of the human race. That’s why children of every culture welcome Jesus at Christmas time! Continue reading