REJOICE!!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬)

For many this Christmas will look differently than any Christmas in the past. Some will not be able to spend time with loved ones due to death, sickness, or quarantine. Some will be unable to afford gifts due to loss of income. 

Yes, circumstances change. Everything around us can be shaken and uprooted. Nothing is guaranteed.  So where do we put our hope – in our government, in our jobs, in our doctors, in our church, in our family, in our friends, in our own ability and strength?

Dearest ones, if we choose to place our hope in anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Circumstances change and people change.  But Jesus doesn’t change. He is the same – yesterday, today, and forever!  Hallelujah!!

During this Christmas season, let us remember that we have been given the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! He is our strong anchor. He is our strong foundation. He is our source of strength, healing, wisdom, love, joy, and peace. 

Let us celebrate Jesus! Let us not only celebrate Him during this Christmas season, but let us celebrate Him every day of our lives. REJOICE!!

RESURRECTION SUNDAY

I wasn’t really planning on doing a written post today.  To be honest, I woke up a little depressed. If it were a “normal” day, I would be getting dressed in a beautiful, colorful outfit and looking forward to joining my friends at church to celebrate this special day.  Of course, I know this day isn’t about me…I know that it is a day of focusing on our precious Jesus…I know this and yet I still find my thoughts drifting towards my isolation. Am I the only one?

So!  At this point, I CHOOSE to refocus my thoughts…I CHOOSE to trade in my depression for the oil of gladness!  I CHOOSE to celebrate the awesome resurrection of our precious Lord!

As I said, I really wasn’t planning on writing a post this morning – but the Lord had other plans. Thoughts of resurrection have been floating around in my mind and spirit. And I know I am to put it to “paper.”  

When we receive God’s Truth we are expected to react to it.  We know that the resurrection of Jesus is true! So what should our reaction be?  Hopefully, foremost our reaction should be to accept the NEW LIFE that Jesus offers to us through His death and resurrection.  If anyone who reads this has not made that salvation step – I would encourage you to stop…seek the Lord…and CHOOSE to accept what Jesus did for you. 

Again, what do we do with this Truth of the Resurrection of Jesus? We must DO something! I am reminded that “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26). We have faith that Jesus was indeed resurrected from the dead. What are we going to do with this knowledge? How will our lives be changed with this knowledge? How do we “walk out” this Truth?

Resurrection Power is within us! Through the Holy Spirit living within us, we walk in the same power that Jesus walked in on this earth. Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around that Truth. But, Jesus confirms this Himself!

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” ‭‭John‬ ‭14:12‬ ‭NASB‬‬

CHURCH!  Are we walking this out in our ministries and lives?  Jesus is our example. Are we seeing the works that Jesus did being manifested in our families, in our church, in our communities?  

I believe that on this Resurrection Sunday, as we celebrate our risen Lord, He is calling us to be the expression of His Life on earth!!  BE the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and mouth of Jesus! HE IS ALIVE and HE LIVES IN AND THROUGH US!!

Oh Jesus! We thank You for dying on the cross for us. We thank You for the resurrected life we have in You. When we accepted You as our Lord and Savior – You brought us from death in our sins to eternal life in You!! We celebrate Your resurrection on this most high and holy day! WE CELEBRATE YOU!! Amen!

~Tina K. Roach

GOOD FRIDAY

Good Friday…so why is the day that Jesus was tortured and crucified called “good?”

As we look at how Jesus was treated, I think we definitely can say that what He endured was not good. 

So again…why is this day called Good Friday?

There is no Easter Sunday without Good Friday. There is no Resurrection without the Cross.

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand that what we consider a “bad” thing could actually end up achieving good results.

Jesus chose to suffer the Cross to bring about our redemption…to reinstate our position with God that was lost in the Garden.  There are consequences to sin. What an awesome Love that Jesus chose to bear the consequence of our sin on the Cross.  No, the suffering of Jesus wasn’t a “good” thing – but it was necessary to bring about our good standing with God once again. The result of the Cross was definitely good!

Because Jesus understands the importance of being willing to lay down our lives for a new life, He instructs us to take up OUR cross and follow Him. 

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16:24-25‬ ‭NIV‬‬

No, we don’t have to be nailed to a physical cross to be a disciple of Jesus – but, He does call us to be willing to exchange our old life for a new life in Him. And this can be a difficult thing indeed!

Are we willing to let go of our plans, our desires, our way and allow Jesus to place His life in us? If we want to have life eternal with God – then we must embrace the cross – His and our own.

Good Friday – a day to remember the GOOD that was accomplished through the absolute LOVE of JESUS!! He took our sins upon Himself so we could have eternal life with Him. And that was indeed a “good” thing!!

Ahhh, Jesus! I am overwhelmed with the revelation of what You were willing to endure for us. You chose the Cross. You chose the Cross for us so we wouldn’t have to pay the price/penalty for our sin. Lord, help me to choose to pick up my cross and follow You. May I place all of my selfish desires and my self-focus on the cross and follow in Your footsteps of humility and love. May I join You on this Day of the Cross and follow You to the Day of Resurrection! Amen!

~Tina K. Roach