“My goal for today is to de-stress your Christmas. When I talk to some people about Christmas Spirit, they speak of their family. Certainly, I loved being with my children during the Christmas season. We spent a few minutes each day reading a Christmas book as we followed the suggestions of the Advent calendar. But as an empty-nester, I don’t have children to play with during the holidays. I have not lived near my extended family for over 30 years. Last year I spent Christmas with 2 Syrian Refugees (more…)
I have a confession: Sometimes I use words without knowing what they mean. This habit began in the first grade with the “Pledge of Allegiance.” I said “republic, liberty, and justice,” but I really did not know what they meant. Even when I memorized the definition, I didn’t fully grasp all the power of the words until adulthood.
If I do not know a word now, I just use the context to make a guess and keep on reading. I gave up trying to keep up with teen slang about a decade ago. The reason I bring this up is that when I talk with or about Christians lately, we have to define terms. Words that I have used for almost 50 years seem to have a different meaning. (more…)
Job, Psalms, and Proverbs all contain the scripture: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Fear means reverence, and honor. Wisdom starts with respecting the character of God, resulting in our obedience. This simple equation gives a glimpse into infinite wisdom.
“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.” (Deuteronomy 8:6, NKJV)
RECOGNIZING GOD IS ALL-KNOWING
God has and will always (more…)
by Christy Pearce
Today, families everywhere will sit down to an “Easter” meal. It might be ham or turkey. If your family does traditional dishes like mine, you’ll have things on your table like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, and soft rolls, to name a few.
More than likely during the course of the meal, we will ask someone to pass something to us that we can’t reach.
“Please pass the butter.”
“Please pass the salt.”
“Please pass the gravy.”
“Please pass the bitter cup of wrath meant for all wicked, sinful people who reject God . . .”
Wait. . .WHAT?
No, I don’t think we would ask for that one. Even Jesus didn’t want it, or at least He asked if there was another way.
But He took it and drank it all.
In Matthew 26, our Savior says before going to the cross:
Jesus was filled with grief at what He was about to endure. His angst was colored by the statement He breathed in prayer to God Almighty: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
But the cup wasn’t passed from Him—it was passed to Him.
Thy Will Be Done
When Jesus said “nevertheless, not as I will but as you will,” He fully intended to do whatever God wanted Him to do. Though in His humanity Jesus might have desired to “pass” on the pain and suffering of the cross—and separation from God in particular—something greater was at stake aside from His own comfort.
Jesus was the single acceptable sacrifice God would receive to atone for sinful man. It came at a great cost. And no one could fulfill that purpose aside from Christ.
The rest is history.
After He spent time preparing for His death in the garden, men seized Him. They tortured and beat Him, then hung Him to die on a cross even though He did nothing except tell people the truth.
The cross wasn’t “Plan B.” It was God’s plan all along to pass that cup right into the hands of Jesus to reveal His honor and glory to all nations. But above all, God wanted to illustrate and prove His abiding LOVE for His people.
The cup Jesus drank in our stead gives us hope, hope that we could never attain from our own works. The only thing our works rightfully earn us is death. (Romans 6:23) Jesus didn’t bear the weight of God’s wrath on sin and then die, The End—NO—God RAISED Him from the dead to extend the “free gift” of eternal life to us!
HE IS RISEN!
So, About That Gravy. . .
Let’s think of the fact that Jesus “passed” the rewards of His suffering to us. The bitter cup of wrath was “passed” to Jesus in order to accomplish it. Our restoration to the Father was completely out of reach and Jesus generously offers new life to us free from the bonds of sin.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”Romans 6:4 (ESV)
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”Romans 6:5 (ESV)
I challenge you today as you sit down to the table in the name of Easter to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ—reflect on the magnitude of what Christ accomplished for you and worship the God of love who planned it all long, long ago.
And as you ask your neighbor to “pass” the gravy, be mindful of the cup that was “passed” to Jesus on your behalf.
Think it over . . .
Have you contemplated the magnitude of what Christ’s life , death and resurrection truly accomplish on our behalf? And our complete helplessness to attain it in our own strength?
Romans 6 talks about how if we are “alive in Christ” we are now “dead to sin.”
What things do you do to wage war with sin so you are no longer “enslaved” by it?
Christy would love to connect with you!
You can stop by her blog, “Faith Like Dirty Diapers,” and see how God can use everyday events—even a
Facebook: Faith Like Dirty Diapers-God Speaks in Everything, Even a Dirty Diaper
Here’s Christy’s post about her struggle in the bedroom: “Healing the Broken Bedroom of the ‘Frigid Wife’”
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