31st March – 2nd April
“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…..!”
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
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!
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”
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.
24th – 26th March
“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
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 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.”
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!