He is alive! Forever!

“Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been resurrected! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. (Mark 16:6 HCSB)

Watch this video of Kari Jobe as she sings her song “Forever.” Listen to the words and picture in your mind what they depict.

Hallelujah! The Lamb has overcome. There is nothing more I can say. I am too overcome by emotions. Praise Him forever!

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Devotional: Road to the Cross-Part Five

But they shouted, “Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?” “We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests answered. So then, because of them, he handed Him over to be crucified. (John 19:15-16 HCSB)

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FreeImages.com/antonio ferreira

When my kids want something, they always come to me before they go to their dad. If I say no, they often keep asking. Actually, they always keep asking. They can’t seem to take no for an answer. I often give in, but sometimes I get tired of it and tell them to ask their dad. Our conversation usually goes something like this:

Son: “Can I go to So-and-so’s house?”
Mom: “No.”
Son: “Why not?”
Mom: “Your uncle’s in town.”
Son: “But I saw them last night. Why can’t I go to So-and-so’s house?”
Mom: “Your uncle will only be here for a few more days and then we don’t know when we will get to see him again.”
Son: “But I want to meet So-and-so’s dad. So, can I?”
Mom: “No.”
Son: “Why not?”
Mom: “Because your uncle is here.”
Son: “But I’ve already seen him. I want to meet So-and-so’s dad.”
(At this point, I think about ignoring my son.)
Son: “So, can I?”
Mom: “No.”
Son: “Why not?”
Mom: “Because I said no.”
Son: “But why not?”
(I ignore my son.)
Son: “Mom. Can I go?”
Mom: “Go ask your dad.”

Why did I pass the situation to my husband? Because I was tired of being the one responsible for letting him do or not do something. I know I would have given into the pressure.

When Jesus was handed over to Pilate, the religious leaders were trying to get out of taking responsibility for putting Jesus to death. They claimed it was unlawful for them to put anyone to death. So they fostered the responsibility on Pilate.

Pilate talked to Jesus and asked him questions. Jesus talked about being the King of a “Kingdom that does not have its origin here.” Nothing in Jesus’ answers led Pilate to believe he had done anything wrong. Pilate could see that the Jewish leaders were jealous.

Pilate tried to pass the responsibility back to the Jews. He told them he didn’t see where Jesus had committed any crime, but the Jews argued back that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. The Jewish leaders told Pilate that it was against their law to make yourself the Son of God.

Again Pilate talked to Jesus. This time, because he was afraid. He wanted to know where Jesus was from, but Jesus wouldn’t talk this time. Pilate tried to pull rank on Jesus, but it didn’t work. Jesus told him he wouldn’t have his rank if God didn’t want him there.

John 19:12 says: From that moment Pilate made every effort to release Him.

But eventually, Pilate gave into the pressure.

So, the truth is, I’m just as responsible for the decision as my husband, even though I sent our son to him.

I tell myself that I would stand my ground on things that are really important, but given my track record, I’m going to really have to pray for strength when those times come. Our son, won’t give up easily.

Lord, help me to see the times when it’s real important for me to stand my ground. Thank you for the strength you provide. Help me to lean on you.

Devotional: Significant vs. Insignificant

The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12)

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FreeImages.com/Adam Ciesielski

The sermon this past Sunday has inspired me again. The sermon was on our significance in God’s plan. I believe strongly that as a Christian Believer we are significant to God but I sometimes struggle with this concept.

I find myself thinking that I am insignificant. I am only a number among over a thousand numbers to my employer; the school system I work for. Yet, I am significant to my principal because I am the only computer teacher at the school.

I am insignificant in the crowd of people at the festival in my hometown. Yet, I am significant when my child’s school needs me to help with the school booth on the fairgrounds or the troop needs an adult leader to cook strawberry kettle cooked popcorn.

Maybe I should take on the attitude of the apostle Paul.

Listen to the way Paul refers to himself in the following verses:

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news — (Romans 1:1 HCSB)

For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles — (Ephesians 3:1 HCSB)

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother: To Philemon our dear friend and coworker, (Philemon 1:1 HCSB)

I appeal to you, instead, on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an elderly man and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus, (Philemon 1:9 HCSB)

Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus: To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons. (Philippians 1:1 HCSB)

Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to build up the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness, (Titus 1:1 HCSB)

To someone who didn’t go to Bible College, it might sound like Paul considered himself insignificant when in fact he had one of the biggest impacts on the early church and in shaping Christians today.

In our society today, we don’t view the word “slave” in a good light. To many bad things happened in our countries history that keeps us from thinking that way, but, Paul does. Why?

Paul doesn’t see “slave” as someone legally bound and forced to obey, but someone who willing serves and helps the one he loves. To him, he was a servant of Christ and willingly told others about his Savior. For him, that was his sole purpose in life.

He could have been proud and overbearing and he would’ve had the right to be. He was a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee which meant he was well educated. (Acts 23:6) He was a Roman citizen and had all the rights that came from being one (Acts 16, 22, & 23). Yet, He humbled himself and was able to be bold and able to go wherever he felt the spirit was leading him.

I am insignificant to the world, but I am significant to God. That is more important to me than anything in this world. I believe it was the same for Paul, too.

Lord, I praise you because I am important to you. You know my name. You know how many hairs are on my head. Help me to focus on your will. Help me to keep my eyes on Jesus. Thank you.