Friday, April 14, 2017

Christ is Risen—Happy Easter!

 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
 (Matthew 28:5-7 KJV)

This is a slightly edited version of the Easter post I shared the last two years. Please enjoy and take some time to meditate on the significance of this special day for Christians.  What a joyful day this should be for all us who have Jesus as our Savior and Lord!

“Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!” Listen here: 

These majestic opening words to the wonderful Easter hymn by Charles Wesley captures the essence of Easter for Christians.  If it was not for Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection we would be in utter deep darkness—spiritual darkness.   

Image from Pixabay

The somber mood and darkness of Good Friday gives way to joy—great joy—when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus three days later.  A tragedy turns to triumph. Darkness turns to light. Death turns to life—ever lasting life.  Consider this:  Good Friday would not be good if Sunday had never happened.   

Reflect on this:

Grief turns to joy…

Darkness turns to light…

Death gives way to life…

Empty Tomb--image from Pixabay

What do you suppose it would have been like to have seen the empty tomb? Would we have understood any better than Jesus’ followers, what He told them about His coming death and resurrection?  How would we have reacted to the empty tomb in our grief?  Would we have recognized Jesus?

Image from Pixabay

Like Mary and the other women and the disciples who grieved the death of their Teacher and Friend; our grief can turn to joy, when we fully realize that we serve a risen Savior and what it means.  This is good news, indeed; news that we should share!  The world needs to hear what we have to share.  Yes, not everyone will want to hear—and yes we will face rejection and ridicule.  However, if we keep in mind that it is Jesus who is being ridiculed and rejected, not us; our perspective can change.

Image from Pixabay

It is not too late to receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord!  He is ready and waiting for you to turn to Him with open arms!  Be assured there are no age limits for salvation—a person cannot be too young or old.  For more information, please refer to my previous posts: Salvation; A New Creation; Counting the Cost.

Take time this week to reflect on the hymn He Lives.  

Remember, we can face many things because He lives!  If Jesus is not alive our faith and hope would be in vain!  Jesus gave us victory over death and the grave!  For those of us in Christ Jesus, we have a future to look forward to with great excitement!
Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your only Son to die in our place—to redeem us from our sins—even though we did not deserve it.  With great joy, we exclaim, on Easter and every day, “HE IS RISEN”!!  He is risen, indeed!  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Happy Easter! May God Bless you richly today and everyday!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Revive Us Again! Part 2

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 
(Psalm 51:10-12 KJV)

Note:  On March 12, 2017, I was blessed to lead worship at my church—the title of my sermon was Revive Us Again! 

This is the second post in a short series sharing a heavily edited version of my sermon by the same title.  In the future, there may be an audio or video of this sermon which will enhance what I will be sharing in writing.  To enhance your understanding I recommend you read the first post here:  Revive Us Again!

Psalms 51:10 Inspirational Image

Starting with our own sinful nature, crying out to God in humility, as David did in Psalm 51 is a great place to start.  Revival starts with individuals and spreads.  In Psalm 51 David cries out for mercy, for forgiveness, asking God to cleanse his iniquity—God is the only one who can do this.  In confessing our sins and seeking forgiveness from God, our hearts are purged (cleaned, emptied out—complete thorough cleaning process), we are washed in the blood of the Lamb—the blood of Jesus and made whiter than snow.  A clean, renewed heart wholly devoted to God alone. 

Psalms 51:11 Inspirational Image

In revival, we are restored to a right relationship with God.  This causes us to rejoice!  Revival is a blessing from God—it is not a given in every generation, nor is it a cure-all for all that ails us.  Revival—true revival changes us and shakes things up.  Revival should fill us with a passion to share the gospel with everyone!  Revival without obedience to God is a mockery, a disservice to God—honestly, I am not sure how that can even be called a revival!

Psalms 51:12 Inspirational Image

For several suggestions on praying for revival, I offer to you the following links that contain solid information on praying for revival:

In summary, all our prayers for revival should start with our own hearts and lives—seeking God for a renewed sensitivity to sin and deepening of love for God.  It is from there the biggest changes occur and we are changed, as well as those around us.

If you decide to pray for revival, be prepared for change—change in how we worship and do what we do--music; for example, changes through revivals.  Consider the music Charles Wesley wrote—he used contemporary tunes to turn his poetry into hymns, many of which are still sung today…or consider the contemporary worship music influenced by the Jesus People/Charismatic Movement of the late 1960s/1970s.  Expecting revival without change will not work.  In revival the church is changed; then society changes.  Sadly, this did not happen in the Charismatic/Jesus People Movement—while many people came to faith, society grew more and more liberal (this was the time of prayer being removed from schools and the legalization of abortion).

Where do we start?  We start with our own heart—searching it and confessing our sins, seeking forgiveness from God.  Then we can pray for those around us and the rampant sin in our society.  Ask God to open the windows of Heaven and pour out His Spirit.  O that God might have mercy on us and send revival before things get really bad!

Nevertheless, may the cry of all our hearts echo the cry in a contemporary worship song from the early 1990s, Cry of My Heart:  

The hymn I selected to close the service, Revive Us Again, comes from a renewed, revived heart—from one who was a prodigal but returned home to the Lord.  May the words ring true for us as we live each day for the Lord.


Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, through Your Holy Spirit stir-up in us the embers of faith that are beginning to die, so that we may see our hearts as You see them.  As we cry out to You, in faith, realizing the depth of our how lost we are, we know that You will be faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us anew.  Cause us to be sensitive to the sin in our lives and to confess and receive forgiveness, moving on in faith to all that You have for us.  Open us to the variety of changes revival will bring our way—changes within us and within our churches.  Empower us to change our society through a revival of Your work within and around us.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,