Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25)
Today, everyday, this is the reality of Easter. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. He conquered death, and victory was secured.
This glorious truth, that Jesus is the Resurrection, was shared to Martha long before His journey to the Cross. Before His death was even imagined or comprehended by His disciples.
In terms of time, we may live on the other side of the Cross and we live with the knowledge that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried and rose again on the third day. But still, this is a declaration that Jesus makes to us today. We don’t need to wait for “the last day” to experience the resurrection power of Jesus. Jesus is here now, raising us to a new kind of life through His Spirit.
So the question that Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” is the same for us today. Do we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Today? Now? Not just for a date in the future but for our today?
Her reply, “Yes Lord, I believe”
“What kind of King would choose to wear a crown that bleeds and scars to win my heart”
What kind of King indeed?
What kind of King would allow Himself to be mocked and scourged?
What kind of King would be crucified?
What kind of King would see victory in death?
Love in sorrow?
What kind of King would shed His blood for me, for you?
What kind of King?
My King…Our Saviour.
“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches.” (Isaiah 45:3)
Grief visited this week. It threw shadows across my path as family and friends grieved over the loss of loved ones. People were left with sadness, tears in their eyes and empty spaces in their homes. There really were no words to say.
When hard times come, when the darkness has crept into our day, we can know that God is there with us, close. For He is close to the broken hearted. He knows our pain, our loss. He hears our whispers of fear and hurt and He catches every tear that we shed.
In during these times, we will discover treasures in the darkness. Treasures of God’s grace as we find the strength to get through. Treasures of friends gathering to show their love and care. Treasures of prayers and an awareness of God calling people to pray. Treasures of a deeper revelation of God’s love for us.
We find the laughter and the light grows stronger and brighter again.
The darker the night,
The brighter the day,
The fiercer the fight,
The stronger the faith,
So I place my hope in You
(Kristene Mueller – Redemption)
“I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
Heavenly Father, I release to you the burdens that I have been carrying, burdens that You never intended for me to carry. I cast all my cares upon You-all my worries, all my fears.
Father, calm my restless spirit, quiet my anxious heart, still my troubling thoughts with the assurance that You are in control. I let go of my grip upon the things I have been hanging onto, with opened hands I come to You.
I thank You for Your promise to sustain me, preserve me, and guard all that I have entrusted to Your keeping. Protect my heart and mind with Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Father, may Your will be done in my life, in Your time, and in Your way.
(By Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer)
I can think of no better way to start the New Year than borrowing words from my father’s New Year’s Day preach….
“As we gather together this New Year’s Day, in the Presence of God to worship Him and give thanks for the year that has passed and petition Him for the year that is to come, I want to underline for you this wonderful, hopeful, promise filled truth, that – Our God is a God who rejoices in offering us a new beginning – not just for now, not just for today, or tomorrow, or this year, but for life and forever.
No matter what has shattered and battered us in the past – long ago or just recently – No matter how badly we have failed and messed up our lives and others – our God, at this very moment stretches out His hand to pick us up, dust us down, wipe away our tears, heal our wounds, clean us up, and set us on our feet again.”
Happy New Year Everyone!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
It’s an odd week. That week that’s bookended either side by Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. You lose track of what day it is. Are the shops open today? Normal times? And what about the Postman – does he come this week? And of course the inevitable conversation of what day does rubbish gets collected!
Sometimes it can feel like that with life. That you’re sandwiched between the promise and the provision. That you’re neither here nor there. Not at the mountain top but not in the valley either. Just in between. Or as A.A. Milne wrote in his poem, you are on a stair halfway, neither up or down. It’s the middle places that much of our life is spent. Spent waiting, hoping, standing in faith. We’re waiting for the answer to prayer, the healing, the provision.
But it’s in these times that we need to keep on, press on and hold on. We need to remember that God is faithful and true to His promises.
And if I’m right about what day it is, the rubbish goes out tonight…
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
“Peace on earth, goodwill to men”
I don’t know what your year has held. Perhaps like mine it has had its hard days amongst the good. But as we during these final few days of Advent look towards Christmas we get to celebrate that amongst the messy, the hard and the difficult, God is with us.
No matter what is going on in your life, no matter the hard times or the heart breaking. No matter the injustices or the wrongs, we can let the truth of Christmas resonate in our hearts – that God is with us. You see even in the midst of the sometimes not so merry circumstances Jesus – Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counsellor is there with us. The promise of peace on earth, goodwill to men is an invitation for us today, a reality for us today.
We celebrate at Christmas not only that Christ was born but that He lived and lives today!
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)