Jesus

  • Easter and The Number Seven

    Today’s post was written as I reflect on Jesus sacrifice and a piece of my hubby Todd’s art this Good Friday afternoon. It’s all about Easter and the number seven.

    Seven Artwork Todd Stahl

    The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
    ~John 1:29 NIV

    Every year, we celebrate Good Friday, that doesn’t seem like a good day for Jesus. We’re taking time to remember the day Jesus willingly gave Himself up, allowing them to beat, mock, disfigure, and eventually crucify His body on a cross as a sacrifice for our sins… for my sins… for yours.. Every Good Friday I’m overwhelmed by all that Jesus endured to provide complete salvation for my sin. I really don’t understand it. I struggle to comprehend how my life was worth the cost… but it was.

    To Jesus, your life was worth the sacrifice.

    And what a sacrifice it was. By the time Jesus offered His body on the cross He had already given us so much.

    Jesus’ first sacrifice was leaving heaven to come down to earth. He left the most perfect place of complete unity to experience ultimate rejection; a position of power to acquiesce his rights; ruling as King to serve as the saviour. Jesus gave extravagantly even before He went to the cross.

    JESUS WAS THE PERFECT, SPOTLESS, SACRIFICE

    But you know that he [Jesus] appeared
    so that he might take away our sins.
    And in him is no sin.

    1 John 3:5

    A couple of years ago, Todd created a piece of art that hit me powerfully and I hope it does the same for you. It was one of those pieces he felt God inspiring him to create. This artwork conveys the power, perfection, completeness, and victory in Jesus sacrifice on the cross as the image of Christ is represented in the number seven.

    For some meaning behind the art, I’d love to share a few insights from Todd that might make this artwork even more impactful for you.

    The Art of Seven

    “During the sketch stage, I believe God gave me a few key elements to combine that would create a strong visual of who Christ is.”
    ~Todd Stahl

    The Story Behind The Art

    • The crown expresses Jesus identity as the King of Kings.
    • Jesus is the Lion of The Tribe of Judah
    • Rings symbolize covenant, favor, authority, and affirmation
    • The framework of the cross is comprised of the word seven in various sizes.
    • The fact we all have individual various stories and backgrounds is the reason why I drew the body of Seven in mosaic pieces. No two are the same.
    • The number Seven is found 735 times within the Bible.
    • Seven is the number of completeness, rest, blessing, victory, and perfection; which is a representation of Christ on the cross.
    • The actual number seven on the cross is such a strong statement.

    All these components come together to fuse a visual impact.

    Praying you have a blessed Easter focussed on Jesus the perfect, sinless, spotless, sacrifice who gave it all for you

    Much love,
    Sherry
    xoxo

    Drawing from the well

    Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,
    who, existing in the form of God,
    did not consider equality with God
    as something to be exploited.
    Instead he emptied himself
    by assuming the form of a servant,
    taking on the likeness of humanity.
    And when he had come as a man,
    he humbled himself by becoming obedient
    to the point of death—
    even to death on a cross.

    Philippians 2:5-8 (CSB)

    See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.
    Revelations 5:5 NIV

    God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
    2 Corinthians 5:21

    You know that Christ appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in him.
    1 John 3:5 GNT

    You can check out more of Todd’s art on his website: http://www.toddstahl.ca
    To Learn More About Christ’s Sacrifice, Watch Joe Amaral’s Good Friday Online Teaching.

    Related Soul H2O Devotions

    My Resurrection Story https://www.sherrystahl.com/resurrection-story/
    Celebrating Passover And Communion https://www.sherrystahl.com/celebrating-passover/
    My Resurrection Story 
    How To Let Go and Live Free  https://www.sherrystahl.com/how-to-let-go-and-live-free/

    {PASSION WEEK} Jesus Knows What I’ts Like To Go From Cheers To Jeers  https://www.sherrystahl.com/passion-week-cheers-to-jeers/

    Why You Can Trust God https://www.sherrystahl.com/why-you-can-trust-god/

    Why I’m Always Overwhelmed on Good Friday https://www.sherrystahl.com/why-im-always-overwhelmed-on-good-friday/

    Want A Great Idea On How To Observe Lent? https://www.sherrystahl.com/want-a-great-idea-on-how-to-observe-lent/

    Jesus Was Full of Passion https://www.sherrystahl.com/passion/

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  • Celebrating Passover & Communion

    Today’s Devotion is talking about the power of celebrating Passover & Communion Together.

    “This day is to be a memorial for you,
    and you must celebrate it
    as a festival to the LORD.
    You are to celebrate it
    throughout your generations
    as a permanent statute.
    ~Exodus 12:14 NIV

    TODAY IS THE BEGINNING OF PASSOVER

    Celebrating Passover & Communion

    When you sit down to have lunch today at 12noon Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, April 8, 2020; people in Israel will start their Passover celebrations and continue until Thursday, April 16th. Hebrew people living outside of Jerusalem will start their celebrations the next day.  Every year the Jewish people set aside 12 days to remember how God delivered their nation out of Egyptian bondage and how the angel of death passed-over their homes after the 10 plagues when they applied the blood to the doorframes of their homes.

    This Year Is Monumental

    This year’s Passover celebrations have much more in common with the first Passover experience than most as Jewish people and others join in to pray and ask God to stop the spread of this corona virus and let it pass-over our homes.

    TODAY IS THE BEGINNING OF PASSOVER! Learn about joining Passover & Communion.

    When I was growing up in church there wasn’t a whole lot of talk about Jewish traditions.  It wasn’t until I was a late teen that I heard the term Seder meal when our pastor brought in a special speaker in to show and explain this Jewish Passover meal; revealing Christ as the sacrifice of Passover.

    I remember being awed at the parallels of Jesus’ life and the Passover traditions. Jewish people were instructed to take a 1-year old sheep or goat (sorry to my vegan/vegetarian friends) without any blemish.  They had to shelter it for 5 days and then they would roast it in bitter herbs, serving it with bread that has no yeast.

    How Passover Is Celebrated Today

    Today, the Seder meal is most often lamb served with bitter herbs and vegetables dipped in salt-water to remind them of the bitter sufferings they experienced in Egypt or that life brings.

    They eat matzah bread, breaking the middle piece in half to remind them of how God parted the Red Sea for them to crossover. Half of the broken matzah bread is wrapped in a cloth and hidden for children to find later.

    At one point in the meal, the children ask four questions that lead into a retelling of Israel’s history, the difficulties they’ve faced and how God miraculously set them free! They tell the stories in a way that connects them to their ancestors experience.  The Jewish website Chabad.org gives direction that…

    “At the Seder, every person should feel as if he or she were going out of Egypt… We are with them as G‑d sends the ten plagues to punish Pharaoh and his nation, and follow along as they leave Egypt and cross the Sea of Reeds. We witness the miraculous hand of G‑d as the waters part, allowing the Israelites to pass, then return to inundate the Egyptian legions… As we eat bitter foods of affliction and poverty, the Exodus becomes a reality—as real as the festive meal and celebratory toasts that follow.”1

    With thankfulness they drink four glasses of wine to pronounce blessings with (something we might call a toast), that end in pronouncing their faith in a coming Messiah. They end the Seder with songs of worship.

    Passover & Communion Connected

    It’s with the broken bread and glasses of wine where the connection with Jesus work on the cross powerfully connects the celebration of Passover and the observance of Communion. Jesus makes this clear during the last supper with His disciples in Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26 & Luke 22:14-23.Jesus explains how He is the promised Messiah and how Christians are to take communion to remember the freedom He brought us through His shed blood on the cross.

    It’s only in the past few years where I’m coming to understand the importance of commemorating Passover and Communion combined. I feel strongly that this year is more important than ever for us to take part in Passover celebrations and take communion, asking God to have Covid-19 pass-over our homes, our countries, our globe.

    Prayer

    Father… I thank You for your heart that hears your children in their distress. You hear our cries for health and healing in the midst of Covid-19. I join my voice together with believers around the globe in thankfulness for Your saving grace. Jesus I’m so thankful for your willingness to come down to earth and die on a cross for my sin.  I plead the blood of Jesus over my life… my household and the nations… may You cause Covid-19 to pass-over our homes, our countries, our globe. In Jesus Name…Amen

    Joe amaral on 100 huntley street
    Joe Amaral on 100 Huntley Street with Ron & Ann Mainse explaining the Seder Meal
    Joe Amaral Good Friday

    Joe is sharing a special Good Friday message on Facebook Live that you’re all invited to watch. Click HERE

    Drawing from the well

    1. Exodus 12:14
    2. Exodus 12:17
    3. Matthew 26:26-30/Mk 14:22-26/Lk 22:14-23
    4. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

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  • Prayers – That Stick – For Your Children

    One day some parents brought their children to Jesus
    so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them.
    ~Matthew 19:13 NLT

    When my kids were little, we went through a lot of Band-Aids…I mean A LOT!

    BAND-AIDS THAT STICK

    Brandon loved to climb things, skateboard and do tricks on his BMX bike that often ended up in cuts, scrapes, gashes, and quite a few stitches.  Poor Shelby’s a little clumsy like her momma, so it’s safe to say, we kept the Band-Aid brand in business! I only tried no-name band-aids a couple of times and found they didn’t hold but the Band-Aid brand could be counted on to stick.

    PRAYERS THAT STICK

    Moms, you want band-aids that stick and prayers that stick for your children. Weak, ineffective prayers that don’t stick won’t the effect on your kid’s life that you want.  I’m challenged by this quote I saw from Abraham Lincoln.

    I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.
    ~Abraham Lincoln

    abraham lincoln-quote-prayer-children

    Clearly, momma-bear prayers are powerful {that would include Grandma, Auntie or any motherly prayers}.  Don’t underestimate the impact of your prayers in a child’s life!  In any case, I think the best way to pray effectively is to pray as Jesus did.

    JESUS’ STICKY PRAYERS

    Jesus is praying for Peter in Luke 22:32, knowing Peter’s upcoming temptation. He prayed for strength that Peter’s faith wouldn’t fail and for Peter to come back to faith after he turned away.

    John 17 records a bunch of Jesus’ prayers where He starts off praying for himself and then from verse 6 on He’s covering his disciples and all future believers in prayer: that’s you, me, your children, your children’s children… Jesus says,

    “I am not asking that you take them out of the world,
    but that You protect them from the evil one.”

    Jesus’ prayers that stick are not prayers to give us an easy life, remove us from this troubled world and take all our problems away.  Jesus’ sticky prayers are for us to be strong when facing trials, tribulation, and tragedy.

    I imagine these are the kind of prayers Abraham Lincoln’s mother prayed over him because he’s someone who is remembered well for his tenacity to not give up when some of his businesses failed, he had a nervous breakdown or when he lost a lot of elections. Those prayers empowered Abe to reach the destiny God had for his life.

    YOUR MOMMA-BEAR STICKY PRAYERS

    Just like the prayers of Abraham Lincoln’s mother, your prayers can be the glue that helps your children stick-to God’s plan and not give up.  Your prayers have the capability to produce cushioned kids who can’t handle problems or confident, overcoming, world-changing children that do something for His Kingdom! So, this Mother’s Day, it’s time to get busy and start praying tough prayers that stick!

    Prayer

    Father… I come to you in the tenacity of a momma-bear.  There is nothing I want more than for my children to have all the strength, boldness, and confidence it takes to fulfill the destiny You’ve placed within them. Please do the deep work in my children, in ______________ that you need to do, in order for them to have what it takes to live out their calling to the fullest.  May my children be known as Your faithful followers, living boldly for You!  In Jesus Name…Amen  

    [tweetthis]Your prayers can be the glue that helps your children stick-to God’s plan and not give up! #prayforyourchildren #prayersthatstick[/tweetthis]


    Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

     

    Drawing From The Well

    1. Matthew 19:13
    2. Luke 22:32
    3. John 17:15
    4. John 17:18

    WHERE YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP MY BLOG WITH OR PLACES WHERE MY WRITING HAS BEEN FEATURED

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  • Your Family of Believers All Over The World

    Stand firm against him {the devil},
    and be strong in your faith.
    Remember that
    your family of believers all over the world
    is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 
    ~1 Peter 5:9 NLT {info added}

    News this Easter was heartbreaking for Christians.  An unimaginable horror took place on Easter Sunday morning at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.  Forever the memories of Easter morning will be marred for those families and friends affected by the bombings.

    BOMBINGS IN SRI LANKA

    I was away celebrating Resurrection Sunday and Easter Monday with family and only heard of these atrocities a day late when I opened my inbox to read an email from my friend Peggy Kennedy who has been ministering in Sri Lanka for over twenty years.  From there I went online to learn more of these insidious attacks on the innocent; many of whom were children.

    FOLLOWING JESUS’ EXAMPLE

    At first, when you hear news like this, you want to get mad at the group responsible for this attack but that wouldn’t be in line with the heart of our Christ, nor the message of Easter. Jesus’ example is found in His words on the cross after being abused by the soldiers,

    Jesus said,
    “Father, forgive them,
    for they do not know what they are doing.”
    ~Luke 23:24

    Today’s verse is encouraging you to stand firm against the enemy—the devil, not get mad at your offenders.  Peter’s advice is to stand firm and be strong in the understanding that if other Christians can get through hardship, so can you. We minorly experience the same kind of suffering here in Canada with the political climate turning against Christians but our struggles pale in comparison to the devastation experienced in Sri Lanka.  When I read Peggy’s email, my heart ached,

    “So sadly, many of the casualties were children as (per my understanding) they were on the move from the main service to children’s church.  Some of the youth from this church also attended Pastor Woody and Melanie’s recent History Makers’ youth conference.  Other reports coming in yesterday from leaders on the ground remind us that these are real people, facing real tragedy and loss…”

    Do you recognize that
    these real people are members of
    YOUR family of believers all over the world
    YOUR family of believers in Sri Lanka?1 peter 5:9

    MY SRI LANKAN CONNECTIONS

    I feel connected to the people of Sri Lanka because as a teen, my church brought over the Kulathungam family from Sri Lanka. Niran and his brother went to youth group with my sister Lori and I.  Niran and I went to the same Bible College where his dad taught us Apologetics.

    If you’ve been reading Soul H2O Devotions for a long time, you might remember that my grandmother ran the We Share/We Care ministry at our home church?  Through it, she was intimately involved with helping meet the needs of this refugee family. In appreciation, the Kulathungam’s gave my grandmother a stone from Sri Lanka and my grandfather had it placed in a ring setting.  When my Gram passed away, she left me that ring.

    Then, 22 years ago; when Jack and Peggy announced at my church in Orangeville that they were feeling called to go to Sri Lanka for the first time, I was more than happy to help support their trip.

    So, I do have ties to Sri Lanka, but even if I didn’t, even if you don’t… if we are truly adopted into God’s family as I talked about a few weeks ago HERE, then we are still family with this body of believers in Sri Lanka…  and family takes care of family.

    FAMILY TAKES CARE OF FAMILY

    I was brought up that as Christians we’re called to Go, Pray or Give.  Not many of us can get on a plane and go to Sri Lanka, but maybe you can? Maybe God will call you to go.  Not everyone can give, but maybe God is calling you to give?  You can pray… I can pray… we all can pray. If you do know someone who is Sri Lankan, you could even send them a word of encouragement.  Call and pray with or write and let them know you’re praying for them.

    Today, I encourage you to take time out and pray for Your Family of Believers All Over The World, especially those in Sri Lanka. Why not join me below?

    Prayer

    Father… Today I lift up my brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka.  They are hurting and broken.  Many have lost family members or loved ones, many more have suffered great harm and loss.  As a result, their lives will never be the same. Give them strength to stand firm in the difficult days ahead, placing their hope in you. I pray for supernatural peace in Sri Lanka. May the church in Sri Lanka not become bitter and seek to avenge but release forgiveness to those who have sought to destroy. Let those deceived by the enemy into being his henchmen find Your love, forgiveness, and salvation. As the enemy strikes to stop the people of God all over the world, may Your children unite and Your Kingdom advance! In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]FAMILY TAKES CARE OF FAMILY Can you take time out & join me to pray for Your Family of Believers All Over The World, especially those in #SriLanka? [/tweetthis]


    Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    Drawing From The Well

    1. 1 Peter 5:9
    2. Acts 14:22
    3. Luke 23:24
    4. Matthew 5:44

    WHERE YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP MY BLOG WITH OR PLACES WHERE MY WRITING HAS BEEN FEATURED

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  • (PASSION WEEK) How To Live Ruled By What You Know

    Jesus knew the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal…and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet…”You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”……For he knew who was going to betray him.”
                                                                     John 13:3,11 NIV

    LIVE RULED BY WHAT YOU KNOW

    I love how unshakeable Jesus was throughout the Passion Week.  It started off on what we call Palm Sunday with people waving branches of Palm trees, singing His praises and declaring Him the Messiah; but the tide of popularity quickly changed, as it so often does.  Jesus knew that He was headed into the storm of His life.  I admire how Jesus didn’t live in the applause of men, or the attacks of them either.

    [tweetthis]Jesus didn’t live in the applause of men, or the attacks of them either[/tweetthis]

    Then, at the Last Supper Jesus doesn’t let the reality of his troubles overrule what He knew. I long to be ruled by what I know, not what I’m living!

    [tweetthis]I long to be ruled by what I know, not what I’m living![/tweetthis]

    jesus washing disciples feetWASHING FEET

    These verses make it clear that Jesus knew His position with the Father.  Jesus knew He had all power yet displayed humble submission through servant leadership and washed the disciples’ feet.

    Jesus wasn’t in denial to His circumstances; he was fully aware of the situations surrounding Him; but instead of letting the situations rule His actions, Jesus chose to act on what He knew from the Father.  Oh to be like Jesus!

    You need to make conscious decisions to not live a life based on your circumstances but based on what God the Father has said about OU in His word and the promises He’s given you.  You need to KNOW, with steadfast assurance what God has revealed to you and let that be your guiding force.

    So, what do you KNOW?
    Prayer

    Father… The enemy wants me to base my knowledge on the facts of my current circumstances.  Help me to know Your truth.  Guide me in Your Word to passages that will strengthen my knowledge of what You say, so I can silence the information of the enemy in my mind and live in Your truth!   In Jesus Name…Amen

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    blogger prayer

    YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
    Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

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  • Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story-A Middle Aged Woman

    For the next 3 weeks before Christmas I am going to release 3 posts Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story.  I really wanted to title this series: The Teenager, A Middle-Aged Woman and The Senior Citizen I Want to Be Like, but I thought it was a little long 🙂

    I prepared parts of these posts in a message I shared at a few events.  There’s just so much to the lives of these women that I can’t get away from their stories and how it relates to the birth of Christ.  I want to share these snippets of their stories with you so you can see the hope of Christmas, our hope in Christ as we learn from these women and begin to model the character they lived.

    Each of these women were:

    CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

    All three of these women carried inside of them the promise of their savior, the Messiah.  The Christmas women all spent time in the presence of God so, when God’s promises were present in their lives they immediately recognized them.  The lives of each woman in the Christmas story affected people around them as they pointed the world to Christ.  All three believed in the promises of God and trusted in God’s timing.  I want to be like the Christmas Women.  I want to carry inside of me the promise and the presence of God.  I want my life to affect others so they look to Christ.  I want faith to believe in His promises and a confident trust in His timing to fulfill them.   I pray that by the end of this series you want to be like these women too.

    So let’s begin our Christmas Festivities,

    [tweetthis]Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story! #Christimas[/tweetthis]

    The first woman in the Christmas story…Jesus’ Story…is actually: 

    THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN – ELIZABETH

    Christmas Women-Middle Aged Woman

    When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home.  Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months.  “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”
                                                                             Luke 1:23-25  NLT

    Luke starts his gospel account starting with the record of a couple named Zechariah and Elizabeth.  Luke tells us that this couple was old, that was his way of saying Elizabeth was passed the age of child-bearing. One day while working in the temple, an angel tells Z that Elizabeth his wife is going to have a child, and not just any child.

    Their child would be the one prophesied about in Malachi 4:6.  He wast to be the forerunner for the Messiah.

    “And he will go on before the Lord…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (NIV)

    I think it’s pretty clear from Z’s reaction that he had long since given up on the dream to have a child before the angel came to meet him at work.  Z didn’t believe and as a sign from God that God could do what He said, Z was unable to speak for 9 months, until the birth of his son.

    On the other hand, Elizabeth immediately believed and because of her faith, Elizabeth carried John the Baptist; the one who would prepare the way for the Christ, in her womb.  Elizabeth protected the promise of God inside of her by staying secluded for 5 months.  She took extra precautions to make sure the promise of God inside of her was able to grow and mature.  Elizabeth didn’t let anyone talk her out of her promise from God.  She didn’t allow anything to stop it from being birthed.

    [tweetthis]Be like Elizabeth, Protect the promise of God in your life. Luke 1:24 [/tweetthis]

    This Christmas, think about the promises God has given you as a believer in His Word and one’s He’s given to you personally.  Protect those promises.  Give them room to grow in your heart, your mind and in your life so you can see them birthed like the baby, John The Baptist.

    [tweetthis]ELIZABETH CARRIED THE PROMISE & THE PRESENCE OF GOD…I WANT TO DO THE SAME #ChristmasWomen[/tweetthis]

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for all the promises in Your Word and for speaking directly to me.  Help me to put a shield around your promises so they will have room grow so I’m able to carry them to full-term; watching Your promises be fulfilled in Your timing.    In Jesus Name…Amen

    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    You can find the full story of Zechariah and Elizabeth in these portions of scripture:

    Luke 1:5-25             John The Baptist Birth Foretold
    Luke 1:39-56           Mary Visits Elizabeth
    Luke 1:57-66           Elizabeth gives birth to the Promise of God

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  • Stay

    I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
    Luke 24:48 NIV

    In my lifetime I’ve had a few dogs. There was Missy, then Coby, next a crazy Daisy followed by Roxie and a brief stint with Chancho. With training, or shall I say, trying to train all those dogs, there were a ton of “Stay” directives spoken. Some dogs learned the command quickly. Crazy Daisy and Chancho never learned to come under their master’s authority.

    In this verse, Jesus is at the end of His life. He’s just about to be ascended back to heaven when He gave the disciples this command to “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Learning to stay is not an easy lesson to grasp.   As a first-born, with a slightly Type-A personality who was raised at the dragstrip; I’ve struggled with learning to stay. I don’t want to slow down, and I especially don’t want to stay. I want to get things done but, if I don’t heed the master’s voice when He’s directing me to stay, and I run on ahead of His timing; I end up in a whole heap of problems.   Jesus knew what was ahead for the disciples. He knew that they had so much to do and couldn’t do it in their own strength. They needed to stay and wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all that God desired them to do.

    Could Jesus be directing you to stay? Trust that He knows what is ahead of you. I encourage you to discern His voice and learn to stay until you hear His voice declaring a FORWARD command.

    Prayer

    Father…My heart’s desire is to follow You; not running ahead or lagging behind. Help me to rightly discern the direction You’re giving me today. Please take away my anxious heart and help me to accept Your command when it’s given to stay; not as punishment, but protection for what’s ahead.   May I stay still long enough so You can clothe me in Your power! In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • Jesus Was Full of Passion

    “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.”
    Luke 19:41 NIV

    True love wells up passion in your heart that’s impossible to keep inside.  Passion bubbles up and spills out!  It’s the force inside that compels people to greatness despite adversity; an emotion that propels us.  Passion is aroused from either a great love or hatred.  One motivator brings about increased love, while the other produces hurt.   Passion motivated by hatred caused Romeo and Juliet’s parents to try and break up their love, while passion motivated by love made the couple willing to die for each other.

    During Passion Week, Jesus was heartbroken over how the people of Jerusalem were rejecting the God who was doing everything to reach them and show them His love. The most religious of cities, yet their lack of faith in God brought Jesus to tears.  Jesus passionately loved the lost people of Jerusalem even though they rejected Him.  Like Romeo and Juliet, He was willing to die for the sake of love.  This love caused Jesus to passionately pursue God’s plan for His life.  Nothing and no one could stop Him from fulfilling His mission to restore us to right relationship with the father.

    When I read how Jesus lived and loved, I want to follow suit.  I don’t want to live my life with a ‘get by’ mentality.  I want to live with passion and reach the world with the love of Christ!  I want to see each day as an opportunity for adventure and ‘seize the day’!  This Easter, let the passion of Christ renew your passion to love and serve Him more!

    Prayer

    Father…I cannot thank You enough for sending your son.  Jesus I thank You for the way You lived Your life with passion because of Your love for me.  That thought is overwhelming.  I don’t deserve your love, but I’m grateful for it!  Help me to passionately pursue the life You have planned out for me so others can know the depths of Your love.  In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • Undeterred

    “The moment they saw him, they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally. Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge…”
                                              Matthew 28:17-18 MSG

    My friend Melanie would often come over and play Barbies with my daughter, so Shelby began to expect that whenever Mel came over she was her playmate. One day Mel didn’t feel like playing Barbies and declined Shelby’s invite. Shelby kept asking so I told her to go to her room. While I was preparing food she begged Mel to come down to her room for just a minute. As soon as Mel walked in the room, Shelby, undeterred by Melanie’s responses, shut the door and said, “Now we play Barbies!”

    I love how Jesus was undeterred by the response of His disciples. Jesus was a strong leader and He wasn’t governed by His emotions or the responses of people to His words. Their lack of unity or commitment to the plan didn’t faze Him. Jesus was committed to following His father’s lead and fulfilling the call on His life no matter how people reacted or what was the popular opinion about Him. In Luke 9:51 it says that Jesus “resolutely set out for Jerusalem” when it was His time to return home to Heaven.

    In this coming new year, may you walk towards the call of God on your life; undeterred by emotions, circumstances, the responses or opinions of others!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank-you for sending Your Son Jesus to be the perfect example of how I should live! Help me to not be swayed by the response or opinions of others. Let my heart be so set on Your purposes that nothing; not even my emotions, could deter me from following Your lead. In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • Looking For The Wrong Messiah

    “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us…And he will be called…
    Prince of Peace
    …His government and its peace will never end.”
                                                  Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT

    Years ago I heard Joyce Meyers tell about a time she went shopping and had trouble finding her car. After wandering the parking lot a kind gentleman asked if he could help her. They walked and walked the parking lot. When exasperated, she remembered that she driven their other car to the mall! Now that’s looking for the wrong thing!

    Countless Israelites recognized Jesus as the Prince of Peace when he came as that “child born to us”, but sadly too many were blind to the truth that Jesus was their promised redeemer because they were looking for the wrong messiah. Many Jewish people are still looking for a military and political leader1, but I believe the messiah was prophesied as one who would come to bring peace in a different way than they are hoping for. Like the Israelites, we often look for Christ’s “government” and “peace” to change our circumstances, but He wants to change our hearts. We want God to deal with the sin in our world, but He wants to deal with the sin in our lives. The redemption God cares about happens within our hearts. The peace He desires to bring will come as a result of our restored relationship with the Father through all Christ accomplished on the cross.

    We can sit and judge Israeli people as looking for the wrong messiah, but could we be doing the same thing? Do we ever spend all our prayer time asking God to change our circumstances? This Christmas let Jesus be the Prince of Peace over your heart through relationship with Him and it will affect how you view your circumstances.

    Prayer

    Father…I pray that you would help me to see the truth of who You are and why You sent Your Son. I’m overwhelmed to think that the God of the Universe desires to be in relationship with me. Jesus, I thank You for coming as a child to be MY Prince of Peace! In Jesus Name…Amen 

    1 Judaism 101 website. https://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm


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