Tag Archive | Jesus

A strange way

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I asked Sweet William to give me a man’s perspective.  How might Joseph have felt upon learning his wife-to-be was pregnant when he knew without a doubt it was not his child?

Betrayal.  Hurt.  Anger.  Disappointment.  Despair.  Sadness.   What will people think?

Most likely, Joseph wrestled with those human emotions.  The dilemma in which he found himself would have tested his righteous indignation against his honorable concern for his betrothed, Mary.

He found himself in a place no self-respecting, first century groom wanted to be.  Not ever.

But then in a dream an angel appeared to Joseph with words he didn’t expect:

Joseph, son of David.”

How long had it been since he even thought about being in the family line of King David?  Sometimes we just need to be reminded who we are.

We can get beaten down by the negatives coming full force at us.  Failure. Broken. Convicted. Divorced. Victim. Sinner.  And we wear those inscriptions like weights that pull us into deep chasms and it seems impossible we will ever climb out.

Then a hope-message comes with words we’ve only dreamed about.  Called. Chosen. Redeemed. Justified. Sealed. Forgiven.

Like Joseph, there are a lot of “whys?” in my world.  He could not see the greater plan in his small world of Nazareth and wood working and preparing to marry.  He had his own small plans. Suddenly they were all jumbled and confused.  Strange news and even stranger explanations.  Strange dreams and strange instructions from a strange night visitor.  Nothing left to do but forsake the known for the unknown road ahead of him and trust the I AM who has no unknowns.

Joseph, son of David, chosen to be Mary’s husband and the miracle Child’s earthly father and protector.  You are an indispensable piece of God’s mysterious plan.

And strange as it may seem, so am I.  So are you.

Sunday praise

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Today . . .

Praise God for the food on your table and the roof over your head.

Praise Him for the clothes you wear and the shoes on your feet.

Praise Him for the fellowship of believers gathered in a church house or a home.

Praise Him for the beauty you see with your eyes and the songs you hear with your ears.

Praise God for the sunshine . . . or the rain for He sends both.

Praise Him in the good times . . . or the bad times for He is with you always.

Praise God in the sanctuary of your heart where He makes His dwelling through and because of Christ Jesus.

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Praise  God with your every breath for He gives your every breath.

Praise God at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Make His praise glorious . . . today.

Gentle serving

Day 20 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorns

I worked in customer service for about seven years at the YMCA.  Training and supervising staff to give our members excellent service was a major part of my responsibilities.  I enjoyed serving with the rest of the staff.

It was often a fun job but it was not always easy.  Some members were great and came with smiles and positive attitudes.  Some complimented our facility and our work.  A few complained.  Either way we tried to serve to the best of our ability.

I read that Jesus came as a servant.  He didn’t ask others to serve Him though He had every right to do so.

One of the prophesies confirming Jesus as Messiah was the way He would serve.  Gently.  With humility.

Jesus was a leader among leaders.  His courage was never in question.  He faced his critics with straight answers, never backing down, never pulling punches as He spoke the truth.

Yet He said of Himself, that He was gentle and lowly.  Humility was never a disguise for any weakness in Him.   It was His way of showing us how to live.

I am again in a position of serving.  My Sweet William is in a difficult season, not able to be active the way he used to be, not able to do some things for himself.  So I must help him.  My days are often long and tiring.  I wish I could say I consistently serve like Jesus did.  Sadly, I don’t always.  Sometimes I get frustrated, irritated, and impatient.

Then I read Scripture and am reminded again that this is what I am called to do if I am to become more like Jesus.  He elevated the role of servanthood to the ultimate level.  And He asks me to follow in His steps.

I’ve had plenty of time to practice my serve.  Sometimes it was in the basement of the church with little people, sometimes it was on the platform playing for the choir.

Whatever position it is, I am called to the highest of missions.  Serving the one God has placed in front of me.

If I want to do it well, I need to keep practicing.

For a list of the days of October, go here please.Bill and Peg, dad's 90th

The crash of the cross

Day 37 of 40 Days to Passover and Resurrection Weekend

Read about Jesus’ crucifixion: Matthew 27:27-66, Mark 15:21-47, Luke 23:26-56, John 19:17-42

the cross

Today I defer to Oswald Chambers whose words about the cross of Christ stagger me.  His depth and wisdom about the event that impacted all of eternity are enough today.

Be amazed at the price God paid for the redemption of your soul.

The Collision of God and Sin

Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.”  1 Peter 2:24

The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God’s judgment on sin.  Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ.  The Cross was s superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken.  There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross.  He switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God.  He made Redemption the basis of human life, that is, He made a way for every son of man to get into communion with God.

The Cross did not happen to Jesus:  He came on purpose for it.  He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross.  Beware of separating God manifest in the flesh from the Son becoming sin.  The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption.  God became incarnate for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of Self-realization.  The Cross is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both.

The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realized in human experience.  The Cross is the exhibition of the nature of God, the gateway whereby any individual of the human race can enter into union with God.  When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Cross is the gateway.

The centre of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much.  The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened—but the crash is on the heart of God.

— My Utmost for His Highest, April 6th

We have almost completed our 40-day journey.  Stay with us, won’t you?  

If you would like to download a copy of the “40 Days to Passover and Resurrection Weekend, please do so.

40 days to Passover download

Something old, something new

Day 33 of 40 Days to Passover and Resurrection Weekend

Read about Jesus’ last supper, the Passover, with his disciples: Matthew 26:17-46, Mark 14:12-42, Luke 22:7-46 (Part 1)

Last Supper

Don’t you love getting something new?  A new dress or pair of shoes.  A new car.  A new house.

There is excitement about the latest shiny possession that now hangs in the closet or sits in the garage.  But eventually, it gets old along with everything else.  It looses its uniqueness and settles into the rest of our stuff.  And we go looking for something else brand new.  Something to satisfy the longing within us.

Jesus and His disciples assembled in a borrowed room to eat the yearly Passover meal together.  They had been acting out the ancient ritual all of their lives, this recounting of the Exodus experience over a table of lamb meat, bitter herbs and unleavened bread.  It was a celebratory festival, remembering the wonders of a God who delivered in the most astounding way.

But tonight there was a solemn atmosphere.   Jesus says He has longed for this time to share this meal with these men.  These disciples who had become His friends.  They had traveled together, discussed every topic under the sun, been privy to the secrets of the kingdom, had seen miracle after miracle, and were surrounded by the greatest love ever known to mankind.

In the midst of the celebration, weighty matters are brought to light.  One will betray.  One will deny.  All will forsake.

It must have sent a chill down their spines.  What is He talking about?  They love Him.  They have left all to follow Him.  They would die for Him, or so they say.  While they asked, “Is it I?”, I wonder if they looked at one another and thought, “It must be him” because Luke tells us they were still arguing over who is top dog among the twelve.

It’s the end of the supper.  Jesus takes one more bite of bread in His hand and lifts one more drink from the supper cup, gives thanks for it, and offers His friends something new.  A new arrangement, a new transaction, a new commitment.  It is His promise to them because obviously they were incapable of keeping promises and remaining faithful.  This new covenant did not depend on the disciples.  It was wholly sustained by the Word that became flesh.  And His Word was His bond.  And His bond was love.

“This is my body . .  . this is my blood . . . ”  He had nothing else on earth to give them.  He owned no earthly possession other than the clothes on His back.

But He gave them His very life, His flesh and His blood.  And it would make them new.  And this newness would last a lifetime.

We have almost completed our 40-day journey.  Stay with us, won’t you?  

If you would like to download a copy of the “40 Days to Passover and Resurrection Weekend, please do so.

40 days to Passover download

If you’d like information about the Passover Celebration at Little Flock, visit here.

He is the One

Day 31 of 40 Days to Passover and Resurrection Weekend

Read about Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-13, Mark 11:1-19,  Luke 19:28-48, John 12:1-19

Jesus on donkeyEntering Jerusalem by Harry Anderson (1906-1996)

The story is familiar.  I’ve heard it since I was a tot in Sunday school.  The flannel graph figure of Jesus sitting on a donkey moves along through the streets of Jerusalem while people wave palm branches and lay down their outer cloaks.  They are shouting “Hosanna” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” He accepts their praise, even welcomes it and says the rocks will cry out if the people are silenced.

It is His day.

All four Gospel writers narrow their lenses on the last days of Jesus’ earthly life.  They spend chapters talking about a week of activities.  There is consistency in their view of what occurred yet they each have their own slant at times.  It’s as if they want us to sit up and pay attention.  As if they shout “This is important!”

But why is important, other than the fact that it fulfills yet another prophecy about Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah?.  Zechariah said the king would come riding on a donkey.  He would be righteous, victorious and humble.  Jesus was all of that and more.

There is something else.

Hundreds of years before, Moses had instructed the people to talk a lamb.  On the tenth day of the first month of a new year.  Set it apart.  Examine it for imperfections.  Keep it until the fourteenth day.  Then kill it.  It is the Passover lamb.

Jesus made His grand entrance into Jerusalem on the tenth day of the month.  He was about make all things new.  He would give all those who believe a new beginning.  He was set apart.  Examined for imperfections.  And on the fourteenth day of the month, He was killed.  The.Passover.Lamb.

He is the One we’ve been waiting for.

 

We are over half way through our 40-day journey.  Come on along for the rest of it, won’t you?  

If you would like to download a copy of the “40 Days to Passover and Resurrection Weekend, please do so.

40 days to Passover download

If you’d like information about the Passover Celebration at Little Flock, visit here.

The plan

Day 6 of 40 Days to Passover and Resurrection Weekend

Find the Lamb of God in Revelations 5 and know God has a plan from beginning to end.

Our one and only son was 10 years old the year The A-Team premiered on TV.  He and Sweet William watched it together.  A group of former military men had a difficult mission each week and did whatever was necessary to complete it for the good and to help the oppressed.  Colonel Hannibal Smith, the leader of the group, quoted the line almost every show.

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

This is the feeling I get when I read the book of Revelation in the Bible.

The first verse of chapter 1 of Revelation gives its theme:

“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place.”

Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega.  He was in the beginning and He will be in the end.  The one who died but is now alive forevermore. The entire book is exciting and mysterious and sometimes hard to understand.  But what is clear as a bell is a picture, the revelation of Jesus in all of His heavenly glory and magnificence.

In Chapter five, we see Him as the Lion of Judah and the Lamb that was slain.

Two contrasting members of the animal kingdom give witness to the person of Christ, the fierceness and kingship of a lion versus the meekness and gentleness of a lamb.  He is both.

His first coming was like a lamb, lead to the slaughter, not opening His mouth nor resisting the evil deeds of men.  He gave up His life willingly for this was His purpose.

His second coming will be so different.  We will see Him victorious, conquering, the King of kings ready to assume His rightful reign in the earth.  And the heavens erupt in spontaneous worship.  How can they not!  How can I not join their worship of Him who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb!

From Genesis to Revelation God unfolds this beautiful plan to redeem men and women, boys and girls to Himself.  When we were helpless sinners unable to work hard enough, to be good enough, to make ourselves pure enough to stand before a holy God, God the Father sent God the Son to take our rightful punishment and call us righteous.  

“Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.”

He became like us so that we could become like Him.

The plan is for me to live forever with the Godhead, eternal bliss, forever worship, united with loved ones.  No more tears or death or suffering or pain.  All things will be made new.

I can hardly wait!  The words are faithful and true for the One who said it is faithful and true.  

It’s His plan.  It is His to complete.  He will bring it to pass.

And I love it when a plan comes together.

Enjoy the Crabb family singing about the Lion and the Lamb.

It’s not too late for you to join us on this journey.  Jump right in.

If you would like to download a copy of the “40 Days to Passover and Resurrection Weekend, please do so.  And let us know you are journeying with us.

40 days to Passover download