Tag Archives: Salvation

Easter Sunday

1 Corinthians 15:55–58Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Easter is a season of great gladness for those who know Christ. But for those who are without “the light of the knowledge of God’s glory” (2 Corinthians 4:6), there is nothing to rejoice over.

Jesus left us with the great hope and certainty that He is going to return to bring a new Heaven and a new earth where, we are told, there will be no more sorrow, trouble, or death for those who have believed and followed Him. There will be trouble, sorrow, and suffering for those who have neglected or rejected Him.

As Christians, our great task is to obey the command to tell the whole world about Christ crucified, buried, yet risen again. My prayer for you during this season of the year, when we meditate on our Savior’s great sacrifice for us on the cross, is that you will be filled with great peace and hope, because “He is risen!” That is the Good News.

As you follow Christ, are you obeying His command to tell others that He is risen indeed?

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From my Easter reading: Prepare for Easter: Daily Devotions from Billy Graham

Saturday’s Tomb

1 Corinthians 15:50–54“I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

From Genesis to Revelation, we are warned that “it is later than you think.” Paul writes to Christians in Romans 13:11–12: “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

There are millions of people around the world who do not have peace at this moment because they have never found the secret of peace. Some of them may have riches today as a result of greed and covetousness; but their souls are lean, their hearts are cold toward God, their consciences are dulled, and their minds are blinded.

They need to know that there is a God of marvelous love who sent His Son Jesus Christ to this world. And as a demonstration of His mercy, Christ—who is the Prince of Peace—went to the cross to make a way for peace between God and mankind.

Are you living in the reality of Jesus’ victory over death? In what tangible ways can you share that victory with others so that they, too, can have life?

SaturdayStone-over-Jesus-tomb

From my Easter reading: Prepare for Easter: Daily Devotions from Billy Graham

Good Friday

1 Corinthians 15:44-49 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.”

Good Friday celebrates the day our Lord died for our sins on the cross. I have often sat by the hour and tried to imagine the agony and suffering He went through because of our sins. At one point He said from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He meant that God had accepted His work on the cross as the penalty for our sins.

Christ’s death on our behalf is the reason God can forgive us and still be just. And His death teaches us the depth and breadth that there should be in our forgiveness of one another.

While that holy Friday was tremendous, it was only a prelude to Sunday morning when He was raised from the dead. Godly women had come to see His tomb, but angels made the glorious announcement, “He has risen!” (Luke 24:6). His resurrection guaranteed that we, too, will be raised, if we are believers and obeyers of His Word.

As you celebrate the truth that Jesus came from Heaven to redeem you, are you reflecting His likeness to those around you?

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From my Easter reading: Prepare for Easter: Daily Devotions from Billy Graham

Maundy Thursday

1 Corinthians 15:35-43 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.”

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

As we approach the celebration of Good Friday, I’m reminded of the seven sayings of Jesus from the cross and the glory and the power in each saying.

Jesus was alone. He had come to His own, and His own did not receive Him. When He was being arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, we are told that “all the disciples deserted him and fled” (Matthew 26:56). The crowds who had so recently shouted, “Hosanna!” would soon shout, “Crucify him! … Crucify him!” (Matthew 21:9, 27:22–23).

Now even His loyal Twelve had left. And at last we hear Him cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Not only had He been forsaken by His human companions, but now in that desperate and lonely hour, He—because He was bearing our sins in His own body on the cross—had been forsaken by God. Jesus was enduring the suffering and judgment of Hell for you and for me.

How can you show your gratitude to God for allowing His Son to endure the shame and suffering of the cross?

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From my Easter reading: Prepare for Easter: Daily Devotions from Billy Graham

Reasons for Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:1-6 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”

More Reasons to be Thankful from Al Bryant

  1. We thank God for life and health. These we share together. When plague strikes a city, terror reigns. Thank God for conscious well-being and supply of daily needs.
  2. We are thankful for the benefits of civilization, for ordered government, for scientific improvements, for education, good streets, institutions of benevolence, industry, and art. America has done much to improve the lot of the common men and women like ourselves. We must share it with the world.
  3. We are thankful for a Christian environment where temperance and goodwill are encouraged, and fellowship with kindly folk is possible for us all. What would we be without the church, the open Bible, and the Gospel of Christ? These are values beyond man’s power to estimate.
  4. We are thankful for faith in the midst of tragedy. There is a God who understands and cares. Dark and mysterious is our life, but His way is good and true. Our trust is in our salvation.
  5. We are grateful for the vision of better things to be, for the promise of Christ’s kingdom and universal brotherhood in Him. It is our highway from despair, cynicism, and degeneracy.
  6. We thank God for the hope eternal. This life is but the seed of a life that will blossom into unimaginable glory according to the promise of God.

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

My Fortress and My Deliverer

Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” The ever present God is our fortress, a source of strength and cheer. With Him we can meet life’s challenges triumphantly.

Coburg-Veste

The Coming Messenger

candles-3Luke 1:46b-55 “And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;  he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

As God’s very own, we are called to be messengers of the salvation brought through Christ’s first coming and the hope, for those who believe, of His Second Coming. We can see our selves as God’s representatives in the world – to be living examples of God’s forgiving, transforming power in the life of a believer.

Stand In The River

Joshua 3:8 “And as for you, command the priests who bear the Ark of the Covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’”

Joshua and all the Israelites were standing in front of the Jordan River. They were about to experience one of God’s miracles. From their story we can learn how Christians make God’s miracles happen.
The Israelites have to act; they have to go into the river first. I am sure they feared walking into a rushing river. They may have begun to doubt and think, ‘Will this river be cut off? Maybe we should wait until the river is cut off before stepping in!’ But God said to them that no matter what go to the river and stand in it first! That takes a true act of faith!

Many times we want verification before we try to something we are afraid of. We want to step into the river after it is cut off. We want to see first, and then believe. But God said to the believers, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
We have to act first. Often, we are unsure whether or not to step into the river, because we do not trust that God will cut it off as He said. But, we need to rely on our faith and go and stand in the flowing river. God will cut off the river, and we will cross it on dry ground. We will praise God on the dry ground!

Spiritual Perseverance

Isaiah 59:17 “He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
At the center of preparing for a deployment, there is one critical survival skill in the modern battlefield; Spiritual Perseverance. We need to be spiritually strong individuals when there are so many distractions. In the whirlwind of change, Spiritual Perseverance is needed to survive. It is buoyancy and an ability to “bounce back” from the challenges from the battlefield. Spiritual Perseverance is looking outside of yourself and into your spiritual center as you move into, through and out of the mobilization cycle.  For me it is being centered in Christ.
Today we need and see for Spiritual Perseverance. We can arm ourselves in the full armor of God when we become physically, emotionally and spiritually challenged. God can strengthen us, in crisis and concern, and walk with us in both the lilies of the field as well the valley of shadow of death. We can stand ready, both personally and professionally looking to God.
Today’s Army climate challenges us physically, mentally and spiritually. Spiritual Perseverance is a crucial key to the military life we lead. We will come out stronger on the other end.

Be A Standard Bearer

Isaiah 59:16-19 “He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives.”

Whether the enemy comes in like a flood, and then the Lord raises a standard against him…or, the enemy comes in, and like a flood, the Lord works miraculously and drives him away, the clear meaning and promise is that the presence of evil will not go unnoticed. God will respond powerfully, in His own way, and in His own time.

We’ve often spoken of the increase of wickedness in these last days; virtually every day some new scandal appears. Evil is on the rise; its power being consolidated in many areas of social, political, and personal life. Our identification with the one true God who raises His standard in response to this wickedness, calls us to be His “standard bearers” in the midst of the flood of evil around us. This is not easy, but is a high calling for faith-filled and disciplined saints.

Our challenge now, more than ever before, is, do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. We cannot bear God’s standard if we yield to become like the world around us. Only by abiding, praying, staying close to Him, can we represent our Lord. Let’s continue to encourage one another daily.