The Living One

Leonid Regheta Facebook

The Living One

Jesus Christ is risen today! Hallelujah!

We recognized Christ’s death on Good Friday. “Good” because His death was planned from eternity (Acts 2:23), because Christ died for believers’ sins (Romans 4:25), and because we (believers) were reconciled to God through Christ’s death (Romans 5:10). 

Today we joyously celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection, His triumph over death. He is the Living One (Luke 24:5).

Jesus Christ proved He was resurrected.

He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3

Christ’s resurrection fulfilled and proved the truth

He has risen, just as He said. (Matthew 28:6)

Davidlooked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor didHis flesh suffer decay.(Acts 2:31) 

Death was conquered. 

God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.(Acts 2:24)

Our Savior Christ Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.(2 Timothy 1:10) 

Believers are able to approach God

And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.(Matthew 27:51

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.(Hebrews 4:16

Christ’s resurrection is our resurrection

Christwas delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.(Romans 4:25

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.(Romans 6:4

Rejoice!

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Father, I praise You for Your glorious plan, Christ, Your mystery who reconciled believers with You. I praise You for raising Him from the dead, with the power of the Holy Spirit, proving Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I praise You, Lord Christ Jesus, for enduring the cross, knowing the joy set before You. I praise You for triumphing over Satan, conquering death. I praise You for making it possible that believers can walk in newness of life. I praise the Living One!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Hallelujah!

(There is more! Stay tuned for Christ’s ascension, and Pentecost!)

Preparing for Easter

Harry Durgin Facebook

I’ve been reading through boxes of books I inherited from my parents who went through World War II and were very involved in politics. Many of their books are history, biography, and autobiography. I am enjoying reading them.

As I have been preparing for Easter, I’ve been thinking about Christ’s history. 

[This post has a lot of Scripture. I encourage you to take the time to follow the links or look up the verses in your Bible, and read about our awesome Lord!]

Christ’s History

Christ existed from eternity as God.  (John 1:1-2)

Christ humbled Himself and was born as a man.  (Philippians 2:6-7; Luke 2:10-11)

Christ lived among us, manifesting God. (Hebrews 1:3)

Christ died on the cross for our sins. (Romans 5:8)

Christ was raised from the dead. (Luke 24:5-6; Romans 4:25)

Christ ascended into heaven. (Acts 1:9)

Christ sent the Holy Spirt. (John 14:16-17; Acts 2:1-4)

Christ is exalted at God’s right hand. (Acts 5:31; Philippians 2:9-11)

Christ is interceding for us, ministering to the church. (Romans 8:34; Revelation 1-3)

Christ takes the title deed of the earth. (Revelation 5:5-10)

Christ avenges, judges; reigns and dwells for eternity. (Revelation 5:11-22:21)

Next Sunday we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. 

The resurrection is fundamental for us. If Christ wasn’t raised, we are people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19)

But, hallelujah! Christ is risen!

Here are a few points about the resurrection to contemplate:

The resurrection proved Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Jesus Christ our Lordwas declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness.    (Romans 1:4) 

Jesus Christ triumphed over death at the resurrection 

Through death He render[ed] powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. (Hebrews 2:14

Jesus Christ proved He was alive and taught about the Kingdom of God for 40 days after His resurrection.

Jesus Christ also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing … over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3

Because of the resurrection, believers:

 We [believers] have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection. (Romans 6:5

What can we say?

What can we say about this awesome eternity–shaking event?

Praise God!

Praise the Lord

East Rift Zone from Mauna Kea — Harry Durgin Facebook

We are commanded to praise the Lord. 

We often hear or say: “Praise the Lord,” or “PTL.” But are we saying “praise the Lord,” or are we praising the Lord?” 

The Lord deserves praise. 

We praise Him for who He is. We praise Him for what He does.

Who is like You, O Lord, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?   (Exodus 15:11

The whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen.   (Luke 19:37

Everyone is to praise Him.

 JesusAt that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.(Matthew 11:25

Angels: And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God …(Luke 2:13

Children“Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?  (Matthew 21:16

All people: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”   (Romans 14:11

We are to praise Him continually.

Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.(Hebrews 13:15

And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness and Your praise all day long.(Psalm 35:28

But about midnight Paul and Silas [after having been beaten and thrown into prison] were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. (Acts 16:25

We are to praise Him with our lips, our lives

 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.(Ephesians 1:5–6

To the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:12

[Christians were] filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:11

Challenging!

The Lord deserves praise from us at all times, regardless of our circumstances, and with our entire lives. 

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Lord, I want to praise You as You deserve. Help me do so.

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Tips to Praise the Lord

Nearly every page of the Bible tells up about our God, who He is, what He does, and, sometimes, why He does what He does. As you read and study God’s word, praise Him.

This post is number 36 in a monthly series of Praise. Three years! See Praise Volume I, and previous months for A-K in Volume II. All of them give ideas on what to praise the Lord for.

Think about what God has done for you spiritually. If God is your Father, He has chosen you, justified you, is making you more like His Son, and will glorify you. He has given you every spiritual blessing. He has given you everything you need for life and godliness. Praise Him for those incredible gifts!

Think about what God has done in the world and what He has done for you. He is the Creator. He works wonders. He has blessed you. Praise Him for that!

Our Defense

I defended myself once in traffic court. It didn’t go so well. I left with several points on my record and a lighter wallet.

I still think I was innocent. I still cannot believe the policeman who testified actually remembered my specific car. 

Even if I had represented myself perfectly, I think I still would have lost. 

Thank God I do not and will not have to defend myself before Him. 

I am guilty. All I can do is to confess and ask for His mercy.

That is what Christians do. We agree with God that we are sinners (confess) and repent before Him. We believe in Christ Jesus and receive Him as Lord and Savior. 

And God, in His mercy and grace, declares us, in Christ, righteous.  (Romans 8:28-30)

Amazing.

We still sin, and will until heaven, and we are constantly accused by Satan to God.

The immense good news is that: 

God is for us. (Romans 8:31)

It is God who justifies. (Romans 8:33)

Christ Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us. (Romans 8:34

NOTHING can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

We do not have to represent ourselves! 

Chris is our advocate!

Hallelujah!

You Shall Be

Jesus said to Peter: “You are … You shall be … ”  (John 1:42)

He says that to us as well.

Each of us currently have specific 

            Levels of Christian growth

            Habits

            Character traits

            Customary ways of dealing with issues

            Etc. 

Jesus knows this!

But, just as He said to Peter, He says to us:  “You shallbe…”

God’s word promises Christians that He will continue His good work in us. (Philippians 1:6).

And! God tells us we WILL be conformed to the image of His Son. 

We SHALL BE!

Rejoice!

Praise the King

skyandtelescope.com

Praise the King

God is Sovereign now. God is King of all the earth now. However, for a limited period of time, He is allowing rebellion against Himself, but He controls the extent and specifics of that revolt. For believers, the Kingdom of God is inside us, and we have a King.

We eagerly await the time when He reigns over all the world, and pray: 

Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

The King is coming!

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.  (Revelation 11:15)

We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.(Revelation 11:17

And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16

Praise our King

King of kings and Lord of Lords

            The only Sovereign

            Omniscient

            All powerful; Strong and mighty

King over all the earth

Righteous and True

Executes justice and righteousness

King forever and ever

Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.(Revelation 19:6) 

~~~

We praise You, our King. We praise You for Your Sovereignty now, and praise You that You will reign in majesty, power, and righteousness over all the earth. We praise You that You will judge the rebellion, and execute justice and righteousness. We praise You that sin and death will be abolished. We eagerly await Your Kingdom, and praise You for Your glorious rule.

Hallelujah!

Encourage the Encourager

Has someone encouraged you? Do they know?

Encouragement is an awesome gift. Sometimes someone’s encouraging words keep you going, give you strength in a hard spot, or make the difference between giving up and succeeding. But do they know they helped?

You can encourage the encourager by telling them. 

Maybe the encourager thinks what they do doesn’t matter. Maybe they want to give up.

Encouragers won’t know if they had a positive effect on you … unless you tell them.

Be Intentionally Encouraging

The Bible tells us to encourage others. 

Encourage one another and build up one another.  (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Encourage one another day after day.  (Hebrews 3:13

The Bible also tells us to think about how to encourage. 

Consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.  (Hebrews 10:24) 

How to be Intentionally Encouraging

One:

We are commanded to encourage others. 

The first step is to decide to encourage others.

Two:

We are to consider how.

The second step is to develop a plan.

Encouragement may or may not be something you do routinely. If encouragement isn’t typical for you, develop a plan. (A plan also helps those who often encourage others to be more thoughtful and systematic.)

Pray about how. 

Would a calendar reminder help?

Pray that the Lord shows you who to encourage and what to say or do.

Perhaps note cards on top of your desk would make it easier to send a note.

Three:

Press On!

It might not be easy at first. But Press On.

Four:

Obedience always brings blessing.

When you encourage others, you become encouraged yourself.

Decide and Plan to be intentionally encouraging!

Jesus is in the Boat with You

Q. When the disciples were in a great storm on the sea, the boat was being covered with waves, and they thought they were perishing, where was Jesus?

A. Jesus was in the boat with them.  (Matthew 8:23-27)

Q. When Simon Peter, James, and John had been fishing all night without catching anything, Jesus got into Simon’s boat to teach the crowd. When Jesus had finished speaking, He said: “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” They caught so many fish their nets began to break and their boats began to sink. Where was Jesus?

A. Jesus was in the boat with them.  (Luke 5:1-10)

Jesus promised: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”   (Matthew 28:20)

For believers in Christ, those who trust Him for salvation and have received Him as Lord, Christ is always with us. The Holy Spirit dwells in us. We are never alone. 

To do:

Remember His promise.

Look around (and up): Jesus is in your boat with you.

Be encouraged!

Praise the Judge

Praise the Judge

Almighty God knows everything about what each of us believe, and everything about what we have thought, said, and done. He is holy and will judge righteously.

There will be one standard–His. No one is going to get away with anything. There will be no excuses. 

The horrors, the evil deeds, of this world will be exposed and judged. 

We have mourned so many atrocities, against individuals, against groups of people, against nations. They will all be exposed and judged.

Praise the Judge! 

Shout joyfully before the King, the Lord …  for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98:6, 9)

All evil will be punished. The great good news is that God is both judge and justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26). For those who have put their trust in Christ and have received Him as Lord and Savior, Christ has taken the punishment we deserve. 

This good news brings me to my knees. 

Praise the Righteous Judge. 

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I’m so grateful You fixed an unchanging standard of right and wrong. 

I praise Your righteous standards, that truth is not relative. That right is always right. That wrong is always wrong. Thank You that there is no confusion. You are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I am so grateful You have given us Your standard, that You put evidence in creation, that You gave us a conscience, that You gave us Your law, that You gave us Christ. 

I praise Your just, impartial rule, that You don’t wink at anyone’s sin, that you are always holy. You judge impartially, including the sins of Christians. I praise You that for those in Christ, Christ has taken our punishment. Thank You that we can’t get away with sin, just as no one can get away with sin. I praise You for Your love, mercy, and grace, providing a way that we could come to You. Thank You for showing me that Christ was punished for me.  Help me not sin against You. I want to live the way You would have me.

Thank You for giving us a choice. We can go to God in repentance, believing in Jesus Christ, and God becomes our savior. OR—We can reject You and someday face God as righteous judge.