Jesus Really Did Rise Again

31st March – 2nd April

Weekend Edition

He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the scripture said. He was seen by Peter and then by the twelve. After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then He was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him.”

1 Corinthians 15:4-8

Why do so many people doubt Jesus’ resurrection? This is one of the most clearest scriptures in the whole of the Bible regarding Jesus’ appearances after His resurrection, which clearly states that Jesus is alive and was seen by many. How can we deny these facts? This living proof, a letter written by a real person, in a real context, in a real world, by real eye witnesses, points clearly to the fact that Jesus did indeed rise again. This is historical ‘primary’ evidence; First hand accounts of people who had seen Jesus after His resurrection. The grave was broken, the result of sin nullified and death rendered ‘defeated‘. We are included in the full finished work of the cross.

If Jesus didn’t rise again then as Paul continues in his letter, “… all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless” (verse 14). Paul adds that “.. if Christ has not been raised, then… you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost” (verse 17-18)! However, the hope of our salvation is that Jesus DID rise from the dead and now lives in complete victory over sin and the enemy. In addition, we also live in Christ’s resurrection power and His victory. We are forgiven because of Jesus’ resurrection. We are made alive because Jesus is alive! Rejoice, He is ALIVE!

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead…..!”

(verse 20a)

Your Reward Is Coming

30th March

For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other believers, as you still do.”

Hebrews 6:10

There truly are some warriors for Christ amongst us. Those people, who it’s never too late to share hospitality with a brother or sister. Those who continually and prayerfully support the needs of God’s church. They serve without reservation, give without expecting return, love with an open heart and don’t need recognition for sacrificially giving of themselves. These people are the pillars of the church. No doubt you know someone like this. Perhaps that person is you. Well, as the writer of Hebrews says, God has not forgotten about you. He has seen the sacrifices you have made for His bride and Kingdom, He has seen the love and care you have shown to the believers. He is a just God and will reward you accordingly.

Sometimes when you are constantly giving out, it feels as if you are emptying yourself, running low on energy. But God wants you to know, that He sees and will reward you. He will fill you up with more of His love and strength, so that you do not become ‘spiritually dull and indifferent’ (v12), but rather you will be an example for those inheriting God’s promises. Keep going with faith and endurance. Don’t give up serving the people of God. God sees and He is pleased.

The God Of New Beginnings

29th March

So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

Isn’t it encouraging to know that in Christ, our old life has gone and a new life has begun! We are born again, new creations, with a new identity and purpose, not for sinful and worldly living but for Christ-like, Godly living. Jesus now, is no longer just a character from the Bible, or ‘theory’, He is our God, our Friend, and our King. We know Christ deeper than just through a humanistic point of view. We have a relationship with Him.

We can take courage that whatever our past, whatever our sins, Christ is ready to give us a new start. He is waiting patiently for us to turn to Him, to be transformed into His likeness. That is why we were created. We can rejoice in the fact, that our old lives have gone, and look forward to living a new life in Christ. Be encouraged. Your new life is here. God has a great plan for your life. Go and live it!

In The Beginning God….

28h March

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 is probably one of the most contested verses in scripture by atheists and Christians alike. Yet if we look back even just 500 years, it was an absolute truth, rarely doubted. Sadly, many have deviated from the truth, that it was God who created the world and all that is in it and not some cosmic improbable collision of atoms that just happened by chance. Doubting the truth that God indeed made all creation, puts into doubt our purpose on this earth and our value as created beings by an amazing Creator God.

If we are to assume that we are all one big accident, then how can we possibly live with any morals at all? What defines our decisions? What about feelings, emotions and personalities? Yes, evolutionists, agnostics and atheists all have fantastical and eloquent textbook answers to those questions, yet why do we need to look further than Bible for our answers. The truth written thousands of years ago, far precedes that of modern ideology and ‘THEORY’. The simple yet incredibly deep truth is clear for all to see, read and live in; GOD created everything.

We are individually designed with a plan and a purpose to be world changers, life givers and beacons of Jesus’ love for humanity on this earth. We are made in the very image of our God. We have His attributes. We carry His anointing. We bear His Name as sons and daughters of His family. We don’t have to settle for the world’s cheap image of chance and evolutionary progress. We have been designed and exist to be in relationship with God Himself. God has a specific plan and purpose for your life. You are not an accident!

If God Is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us!

27th March

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

Romans 8:31

Friends, as you start a new week, start it with this truth: If God is for you, then nothing can ever be against you. The enemy will try, no doubt, to steal, kill and destroy but you are guarded, wrapped up and protected by the mighty power of God’s love and the Heavenly army of Heaven’s angels. Yes we will have tough and trying times on this earth, but our position and identity in God won’t change, because God is for us! The enemy can try and sow doubt, disbelief and self condemnation, but we can reject it because God is with us and nothing can be against us! The enemy can try and make us feel like our problems out-size the God we worship. But they don’t. If God is with us then nothing can come against us. We can feel like all is lost, our hope fading and trust growing weak, but strengthen and encourage yourself with this truth; that IF GOD IS WITH YOU, NOTHING AND NO-ONE CAN EVER BE AGAINST YOU! We are on the winning side.

Kind Words

24th – 26th March

Weekend Edition

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Proverbs 16:24

Have you ever been in a situation where you are feeling down, discouraged or lonely and someone comes over to you and says something nice to you that completely transforms your day. This is the power of kind words said in love and truth. They are, as the writer of proverbs says, ‘sweet to the soul and healthy for the body’. In fact it has been proven that encouraging and kind words are beneficial for health, for children’s learning and for longer life. Moreover, there are proven cases were a kind word has stopped someone in the very act of suicide. Of course the opposite can be said of un-kind and slanderous words. They can cause more damage than physical violence sometimes.

Friends, as children of God, it is imperative, as Paul says to make sure our conversation are ‘seasoned’ with Godly salt (God-like vocabulary), kind and uplifting words and encouraging statements. Even if you yourself are feeling down, encourage someone else and see the change it makes in your own being. Kind words are truly like honey; They can stop depression, stop negative emotion and stop hateful thoughts. Kind words move in the opposite spirit of negativity, hate and sorrow. Let us challenge ourselves this week to, daily, give a kind word to someone and see the change it makes in them and in you. Get alongside someone. God is with you.

Jesus’ Mission Finished

23rd March

Jesus knew that His mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture He said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to His lips. When He had tasted it, He said, “It is finished!” Then He bowed His head and released His spirit.

John 19:28-30

Jesus’ mission is finished. It was finished on the cross. Jesus knew that He had to become our sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. He knew He had to be broken and beaten for our mistakes and wrongdoings. He knew that for the remission of sins, one man, a sinless perfect man, had to die, so that many would be saved. What Jesus did on the cross was a one time action. Scripture doesn’t say that what Jesus did was just part of God’s plan for us; It says His mission was finished, completed, and over! His mission was forever!

We live in that completed mission victory! Jesus’ death on the cross, is not just for forgiveness of our sins, but for our lives to be transformed as well. It was and is for our healing both physically and spiritually! It was and is for our wholeness and wellness. It was so we could receive the peace and love of an eternal and powerful creator God! It was so we could have everlasting life in Heaven! It was so our old sinful natures could be transformed into Christ-like characteristics. This was Jesus’ mission. And it is finished, and so we live in His completed mission victory! It is not part of God’s plan, it’s everything!

The Lord’s Blessings

22nd March

May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favour and give you His peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

This is such a wonderful blessing. Yet it holds even greater meaning when you know it was commanded to be said, by God Himself (when God told Moses that Aaron and his sons should bless the nation of Israel with these words). God Himself spoke these words. God Himself wants us to be blessed, to be protected, to be shown grace and favour, to be showered with peace and to be God’s joy. These are the things God wants for us! His people!

Yet even more incredibly, through Jesus’ life, all these things have been fulfilled and we live in the fruit of that. We are blessed and protected by the sacrifice of the Lamb. We have been showered with Jesus’ unlimited grace because of the cross. We are highly favoured and are God’s children because we now are part of God’s family through Jesus. Finally we have received the peace of Jesus, not like the world gives, but as the King of Kings gives! Friends we are blessed. Receive His blessings. Bless others too.

Jesus Is The Great Healer

21st March

Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down. A vast crowd brought to Him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and He healed them all. The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.”

Matthew 15:29-31

We worship the same Jesus that we read about in the Bible. He hasn’t changed. He is still the same compassionate healer as we read about in today’s passage. Moreover, when Matthew makes mention that Jesus healed ‘all’ who were brought to Him, he is showing that no sickness or illness was too much for Jesus to heal. He healed them all! And He still makes the blind see, the crippled well and the lame to walk again today as well! Yet even more than our physical healing, Jesus saves our souls too.

Let us rejoice today that firstly, Jesus is a Healer. He can heal our sickness no matter how great. Secondly, and more importantly, Jesus heals our souls. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness and leads us into life everlasting.

Let us rejoice that Jesus is our healer. He is the source of our healing, both physically and spiritually. If you need physical or spiritual healing then just call out to Jesus in faith and trust that His healing will make you whole. There is no sickness too great, nor any amount of bad news too overwhelming for Jesus. Trust His healing. He is our HEALER!

 

I Find Him Innocent

20th March

“… “The he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime.”… Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring Him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find Him not guilty.”… “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him,” Pilate said. “I find Him not guilty.””

John 18:38b, 19:4, 19:6b

According to John’s account of Jesus’ last days, Pilate, the governor in charge of Jerusalem, found nothing whatsoever wrong with Jesus, that would have made Him worthy of death by crucifixion. The cross was reserved for actual criminals who had wronged Rome. It was reserved for murderers, thieves, and rebels. We see time and time again that Pilate saw Jesus as an innocent man, not worthy of that death penalty. But as the crowds grew louder and persisted even more fervently, Pilate decided that the only way to gain favour with the crowds, almost as if negating any responsibility on his behalf of condemning an innocent man to a criminal’s death, was to follow the custom of releasing a prisoner in place of Jesus.

Do you ever wonder at this point what Jesus must have been thinking? Firstly, to hear the words that He was ‘innocent’ time and time again, knowing that He would still be crucified, then additionally, to hear the angry crowds begging for a murderer and rebel to be released back to them instead of Him; the man that had healed the sick, raised people from the dead, delivered people from oppression, showed compassion and kindness to all He met and so much more. Yet not only did they beg for Barabbas back, but begged Pilate to crucify Jesus. What must have been going through Jesus’ mind at that point. The answer. YOU, us, and all of humanity. Jesus did all this to show His love for us. He gave Himself, a free man, guilty of no crime, for our sins, for our bondage, for our crimes and wrongdoings. That is what Jesus was thinking about! Moreover, the Bible tells us that it was ‘for the joy set before Him that He endured the cross’, the joy of us receiving His love, being forgiven and reunited with the Father.