Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

Tuesday

23

June 2020

Lies the devil tells us

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"Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar." C.S. Lewis | Read more at hopereflected.com

Since the Garden of Eden, the devil’s tactics have remained the same. Too frequently, we believe the lies the devil tells us.

Isolation is one of the devil’s lies

Satan doesn’t want us to be part of a church community or communicating openly. Guaranteed that whatever we feel, there are others who can relate. This is challenging to remember, especially during times of distress. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee:” God promises (Isaiah 41:10). In the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us (Psalm 23:4). When we are brokenhearted, He is with us (Psalm 34:18). When we are acting foolishly, He is with us (Psalm 73:23). When we can’t find our way, He is with us (Psalm 139:11). We are not alone.

Satan would love for us to believe that we are alone

Satan would love for us to believe that we are alone, and he also wants us to feel ashamed. He doesn’t want us to share our feelings or to accept God’s grace. Shame is another of the devil’s lies. Satan would have us forever carry around the weight of our past sins, of our regrets, of that thing that happened so long ago that we wish no one would find out about. But God, He’s not a God of shame; He’s a God of saving grace! “For the LORD GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:7). As our Saviour, Christ removes our shame.  “Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.” (Psalm 25:3).

The devil will tell you that no one understands

Another lie Satan wants us to believe is that no one understands us. No one else gets it. Like feeling alone, feeling like no one understands us is another attempt from the devil to hinder our walk with God. But God, He does understand. “Thou understandest my thought afar off.” (Psalm 139:2). God understands far more about us than we do about ourselves! Psalm 139 is a beautiful reminder of this. Truly, as Isaiah wrote, “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding.”

Pessimism is another tactic from the devil’s toolkit

It’s easy to become discouraged when we hear about persecution, viruses spreading, and countries at war. The devil would love to see us quit. Too often we allow our discouragement to change our outlook. We are called to press on. We are called to victory! Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:57-58, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” We are to be always abounding in the work of the Lord, not giving up because we don’t think we can make a difference.  We must not believe the lies the devil tells us. As C.S. Lewis said, “Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar.”

Originally published as “Lies the devil tells us.” Independent Plus. March 12, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Thursday

14

May 2020

Prepare your heart to seek the Lord: Jehoshaphat

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“To seek God does not narrow one’s life, rather it brings it to the level of highest possible fulfillment.” (A.W. Tozer) | Seeking the Lord | Hopereflected.com

Nearly five centuries of history are covered throughout the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, including great detail about the lives of many kings, including Jehoshaphat, King of Judah.

Seeking the Lord

Jehoshaphat, whose name means “Jehovah has judged,” lived a fascinating life. The son of Asa, we read that the Lord was with Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:3). Why was the Lord with Jehoshaphat? Because Jehoshaphat walked in the first ways of David (who we know was a man after God’s own heart), he sought to the Lord, walked in his commandments, and his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord.

After learning about Jehoshaphat’s spiritual strengths, it may be surprising to some to find out that Jehoshaphat made some serious errors in judgment throughout his reign. He formed an alliance with King Ahab of Israel –  one of the most wicked kings in history – which almost cost him his life, and later, Jehoshaphat tried to form an alliance with Israel through the building of a navy with the wicked King Ahaziah. Both of these allegiances failed, and yet we still read that throughout his life, Jehoshaphat did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.

Prepare your heart to seek God

We aren’t the only ones who make mistakes in life; even King Jehoshaphat was human! It is encouraging to know that although we fail, although we falter, we can still do that which is right in the sight of the Lord. After his debacle with King Ahab, Jehoshaphat is rebuked for his mistake by the prophet Jehu, who tells him: “Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.” (2 Chronicles 19:3).

How did Jehoshaphat prepare his heart to seek God? Well, even after his misadventure with Ahab, Jehoshaphat “returned in peace” to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 19:1). Jehoshaphat didn’t stay in Ramothgilead, he returned home, and peacefully at that. When we make mistakes, we must return and repent to the Lord. Preparing our hearts to seek God requires confession, repentance, and honesty.

Seeking the Lord means getting our hearts right

Jehoshaphat also prepared his heart to seek God by taking correction well, and making changes. After his mishap with Ahab, the prophet Jehu admonished Jehoshaphat: “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.” (19:2). When Jehoshaphat heard this rebuke, he didn’t get upset, he didn’t sulk. On the contrary, he made changes! He stayed in Jerusalem, he brought the people back to God, he set godly judges in place, and he sought after the Lord. When we are corrected, what is our reaction? Do we have an attitude of pride, or are we humble in spirit? To get our hearts right, we must be humble. God is close to the humble, but the proud he knows from afar (Psalm 138:6).

Jehoshaphat got restless, and he wandered, but ultimately he prepared his heart to seek God. As Tozer said, “To seek God does not narrow one’s life, rather it brings it to the level of highest possible fulfillment.”

Originally published as “Prepare your heart to seek the Lord: Jehoshaphat” Independent Plus. March 5, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Wednesday

6

May 2020

Pride

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"Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off." (Psalm 138:6) | Read more about pride at hopereflected.com

Beware the great destroyer

One of the ways that pride destroys our lives is by pulling us away from the Lord. When we get puffed up with self-empowerment, we push God away. Have you ever noticed that during those times when you’re always right and up on your soapbox, you can’t hear God? David wrote in Psalm 138:6, “Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.” Whenever it feels like God can’t hear us, or as though He’s being distant, we should question, is it Him, or is it me? We may be surprised at the answer, after all God knows the proud from afar but “he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.” (Psalm 9:12)

“Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.”

Psalm 138:6

If we are growing in relationship with God, then we are dying to self so that we can live for Him. If God comes first in our lives, that doesn’t leave any room for pride. “I have set the LORD always before me:” David wrote in Psalm 16:8, “because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” David didn’t set himself first, he put the Lord first. When we put the Lord first, He is our confidence! That we no longer need to be self-reliant should be such a relief to us.

At the root of the struggle

Beware the great destroyer. For many, pride is holding them back; it is at the root of their struggle to accept Christ as Saviour. To experience true salvation, we have to admit things that pride – read, sin – doesn’t want us to confess. Who wants to be honest and confess that they’re a sinner? No takers? Who wants to admit that they need help? Who wants to get down on their knees and acknowledge that nothing that they do is going to get them into Heaven? Pride, – one of Satan’s weapons of choice, the great destroyer, – doesn’t want any of us to do that.

We can’t earn our salvation

Pride is that false confidence that convinces us that we can earn our salvation. “I go to church,” “I take communion,” “I do good things,” “I’m kind to others,” “I give money,” “I volunteer,” – “I” is at the very centre of sin and pride, quite literally. No amount of money or good deeds is going to get us into Heaven. Nothing but confessing our sin and acknowledging Christ as our Saviour can open that door. Is pride holding you back?

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

1 Corinthians 10:12

Another way pride destroys our lives is by puffing us up only to shamefully deflate us. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12) We know that God hates it, and yet so often we allow pride to make fools out of us. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,” (Proverbs 12:15). C.S. Lewis called pride “the chief of all misery… Without pride there is no offense. Pride is what made the devil the devil.” We should not give place to pride, as Lewis said, “For pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”

You can read more about pride here.

Originally published as “Pride” Independent Plus. February 21, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Monday

27

April 2020

Rahab: Obedience from an unlikely source

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"For the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath." (Joshua 2:11) | Rahab: Obedience from an unlikely source | Read more on hopereflected.com

Thankfully, God has a history of using unlikely people for His glory

We all have the opportunity to come to God, and He will never overlook a genuine heart.

Rahab is one such example. A prostitute by profession, Rahab seemed an unlikely person to help the Israelites; after all, she was a Canaanite, one of their mortal enemies. And yet, we read in the first chapter of Matthew that Rahab is part of our Lord’s genealogy! No matter who we are, or where we are at, God can use us.

“for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

Joshua 2:11

By being obedient to the Lord, Rahab took a great risk. In Joshua 2, when Joshua sent messengers into Jericho to spy, they lodged at Rahab’s house (2:1). The king of Jericho heard about this, and questioned Rahab, who in turn lied to protect the spies. Rahab took a great risk in harbouring the spies and protecting them. Why take the risk? We find out later in the chapter that Rahab, even though she was a Canaanite, believed in God. “for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” (v.11) Because she believed in God, Rahab wanted to be obedient, even though it meant taking a great risk. Oswald Chambers once said that “you should let the consequences of your obedience be left up to God.” Obedience to God often requires great risk.

The rewards of obedience must be waited for

Rahab was willing to risk everything by her obedience to God, and because of it, she received a great reward. Rahab asked the spies to show her and her family kindness by saving them before the Israelites took the city of Jericho. She wasn’t afraid to take a risk for obedience, and she wasn’t afraid to ask for what she believed was right. The result? Rahab and her family were saved during the destruction of Jericho. “And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” (6:25) After being rescued out of Jericho, Rahab and her family went to live with the Israelites, and as a result, Rahab can be found in Christ’s family tree.

The rewards of obedience must be waited for, but there is great reward when we are obedient to the Lord. We also learn from Rahab’s example of obedience that she did the right thing. Especially when the world around us seems to going the opposite direction, it can make us question whether what we’re doing or how we’re living is truly right. Rahab, despite the influences around her, knew of the Lord’s faithfulness to the Israelites, and she believed in Him. Her faith was so great that Rahab is included in the “Faith Hall of Fame”, Hebrews 13. Rahab demonstrated obedience by not allowing the people around her to influence her beliefs. Obedience to God may mean persecution from people, but ultimately, there is blessing in obedience. “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:28)

You can read more about Biblical obedience here.

Originally published as “Rahab: Obedience from an unlikely source.” Independent Plus. February 21, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Friday

24

April 2020

Noah: An Example in Obedience

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“Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” (Genesis 6:22) | Noah: An Example in Obedience | hopereflected.com

One cannot walk with God unless they are walking in obedience

Noah. Abraham. Rahab. Moses. Joshua. David. What is one thing that all of these people have in common? While their lives were all incredibly different, the commonality between them was obedience: They were each obedient to the call of the Lord.    

Look at Noah, for example. When Noah lived, “the wickedness of man was great in the earth,” we read in Genesis 6:5, “and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” We think we’ve got it bad today! The Bible tells us that during Noah’s time, the earth was so filled with evil that the Lord felt bad that he had made man on the earth, and His heart was grieved. The Lord was so grieved that He decided to destroy man from the planet, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Gen. 6:8)

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

Genesis 6:8

Why did Noah find grace in the eyes of the Lord? Well, we read in the next verse that Noah was a just man, blameless, and that He walked with God. One cannot walk with God unless they are walking in obedience, there’s just no other path. We can learn so much from Noah and his walk.

Noah didn’t hesitate

Consider this: Noah’s obedience to the Lord was immediate. When God said to Noah, “Make thee an ark,” (Gen. 6:14), Noah didn’t hesitate and say, “Lord, why do you want me to do that?” or “Are you sure you want me to do that? It’s not even raining.” No, Noah, didn’t hesitate. “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” (6:22) Noah didn’t question God’s instruction, he didn’t question God’s timing, and he didn’t question his ability to complete the task. American Pastor Steven Furtick says that, “great moves of God are usually preceded by simple acts of obedience.” While the task at hand for Noah certainly wasn’t simple, it was a step that preceded a great move of God.  

It’s also important to recognize that Noah’s obedience was not influenced by others. While it is important that we are prayerful in our decision-making, and that we heed wise counsel, when we are walking with God as Noah did, our obedience won’t be influenced by anyone who doesn’t have our best interest at heart. D.L. Moody once said that, “There will be no peace in any soul until it is willing to obey the voice of God.” It may seem difficult, especially when others question us, however when we are walking in obedience to God, He grants us peace.  

Noah’s obedience saved his life and the life of his family. They entered the ark before the flood started. We read in Genesis 7:10 that it was seven days after they entered the ark that the flood actually started. Sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t make sense. We may not understand the timing, we may not see any realistic reason in the moment, but that’s the beauty of obeying God. We don’t have to have all the answers, because He always does what is best for us.

You can read more about Biblical obedience here.

Originally published as “Noah: An Example in Obedience.” Independent Plus. February 13, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Monday

20

April 2020

Obedience to God

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"And this is love, that we walk after his commandments." (2 John 6) | Read more about obedience to God at hopereflected.com

Do we have what it takes to live in obedience to God?

Reading through the book of second Kings in the Old Testament, which accounts for the history of the Northern and Southern kingdoms in Biblical times, it doesn’t go unnoticed how each account begins with either “…and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD,” or “…and he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD.” How sobering to consider that the lives of so many men – kings, leaders of nations, who led exciting lives and experienced thrilling adventures – can be summed up with so few words.

Are we doing that which is right in the sight of the Lord? Each of us will someday have to give an account, and our obedience to God – or our blatant disobedience – will determine the outcome.

Obedience is not always easy

By nature, – our sin nature, – none of us are obedient. Obedience to God is not something that comes naturally to us. Obedience is certainly not always easy, and quite frankly it’s not always something that we want to do, is it? When distractions are abounding and we’re feeling pulled in different directions, sometimes it seems like the easiest thing to do is to give up, rather than to press on in obedience to Him. That’s our sin nature coming out.

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”

Romans 6:17

Obedience must come from the heart, and as a result, obedience frees us from the bondage of sin. “Ye were the servants of sin,” wrote Paul. That’s past tense. When we make the decision to obey God and to follow after Him and His Word, we are freed from being servants of sin.

“Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it,” Jesus told us in Luke 11:28. In our “modern” and “progressive” society, obedience to God and His Word is not easy, and it’s definitely not popular. If we are to truly let our light shine and do Kingdom work however, obedience to God must be the foundation. Sure, those chapters of second Kings may be a little dry and sometimes difficult to understand, but we cannot keep God’s Word if we aren’t reading it, and reading all of it. Part of our problem today is that we pick and choose the “pieces” of the Bible that work well for us or that are convenient, rather than taking it all in, even the hard parts.

Obedience takes courage

Charles Stanley once said it takes courage to be obedient. Do we have what it takes? Are we brave enough to follow in obedience to Christ, even when it means walking the path alone? American preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote that two of his resolutions were to “live for God”, and “If no one else does, I still will.” It was also Edwards who wrote that our love for God is demonstrated by our obedience to God.

“And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

2 John 6

Originally published as “Obedience to God.” Independent Plus. February 6, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Friday

17

April 2020

Acquainted with grief

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"Bless are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4) | Acquainted with Grief, read more at hopereflected.com

Even in grief, God is still good

There is nothing quite like grief. Grief is a lot like love, and we feel grief because we love; it’s not until we experience grief that we start seeing it everywhere. Grief, that homesick longing that will never be fulfilled on this side of heaven; grief, that feeling that we all have in common in some way or another, but that each of us experiences so differently.

“Feelings, feelings, feelings.” C.S. Lewis said in A Grief Observed. “Let me try thinking instead.” That’s just it, as Lewis said, “our feelings come and go, but God’s love for us does not.” Even in our grief, God is still good. When we are in the middle of suffering, when we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and when we are caught in the furnace of affliction, God is still good. He is still with us. Though we may not feel it – though we may feel everything but – God is still with us, even in our grief, as we see in Scripture.

In Isaiah 53, which is widely read at Easter, we are reminded of this truth.

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

Isaiah 53:3

He hath borne our griefs

Man of sorrows! What a name! Christ, our Lord, is acquainted with grief! We are not alone! When we feel that God is hiding His face from us, when we feel that He doesn’t esteem us, let us remember the truth: That is precisely what we did to Him, and it is precisely what He will never do to us. On the contrary, God loves us so much, that He let His only son endure deeper grief that we could ever imagine, because He loves us so much.

Even in grief, God is still good. Even when we feel the weight of the world, He still cares, and He still carries us.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

Isaiah 53:4

“And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

Isaiah 46:4

Though grief lingers and leaves us under a cloud of gloom, He will carry us and He will deliver us.

We must have faith

“Blessed are those who mourn,” Jesus said in Matthew 5:4, “for they shall be comforted.” That is a promise! When our hope is in God, He will help us. Though weeping may endure for a night – or a week, or months, or even years, – joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Our grief is not forever. Though our grief may at times feel greater than we can bear, we must remember that even when we are wearied in the greatness of our way, He will deliver us.

Originally published as “Acquainted with grief.” Independent Plus. January 23, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Wednesday

15

April 2020

Counsellors of Peace

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"Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counsellors of peace is joy." (Proverbs 12:20) | Read more at hopereflected.com

“Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counsellors of peace is joy.”

Proverbs 12:20

The Bible is filled with verses about peace. We are all familiar with Psalm 34:14, John 16:33, Hebrews 12:14, Colossians 3:15, and more. Perhaps one of the lesser referenced verses on the topic is Proverbs 12:20. Proverbs 12:20 refers to “counsellors of peace”, and that one of the benefits to such people is joy.

Are we counsellors of peace? Are we sowing peace in our relationships, and cultivating the characteristic? It can be hard, especially when there is uncertainty all around. Counsellors of peace are those who promote peace not just in their own lives, but in the lives of others as well. In Gill’s Exposition, he describes counsellors of peace like this:

“…such who consult the good of others, who advise to peace, concord, and unity; who seek to cultivate it in their families and neighbourhoods, and in the church of God…”

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

How can we become counsellors of peace, as described in Proverbs 12:20?

  • Rather than fretting about our circumstances, may we find our confidence in God. (Proverbs 14:26)
  • Instead of complaining, may we practice an attitude of gratitude (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Remember that though we may not understand the timing, we can rest in the fact that God is in control. (Luke 12:22-26)
  • When we are going through challenging and uncertain times, may we remember that nothing is a surprise to God. (Revelation 1:17)

We have peace when we have a relationship with God. In this life, we will never find peace in and of ourselves, but only when we look to Him and His Word.

“And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

James 3:18
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Sunday

12

April 2020

Easter Encouragement

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"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" (John 11:25-26) | Easter encouragement from hopereflected.com

From darkness to light

At Easter, may we remember that from darkness and death, God can bring light and life; from sorrow He can bring love, and from thorns He can make a crown. Easter is as much about new life and resurrection as it is about Christ’s death on the cross.

We have so much to rejoice in this Resurrection Sunday. Christ’s resurrection means freedom from Satan’s power. It was meant to open our eyes, to turn us from darkness to His glorious light, “and from the power of Satan unto God,” (Acts 26:18) that we may receive forgiveness from our sins, freedom from bondage, and sanctification by faith. We have no reason to be doom and gloom and down and out, because we can claim the Power of God in us.

Easter: Christ’s resurrection is the catalyst for changed lives

Christ’s resurrection provides the catalyst for changed lives. Because of Him, we are no longer coloured by our past sins and transgressions. When we are crucified with Christ, we die to our past and ourselves, because Christ now lives in us (Galatians 2:20). What a gift! This life we live here on earth, we can live by faith in Him, because He loves us, and because He went to the cross for us. What a praise!

Although hard to fathom, Christ’s resurrection gives us eternal life. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24) How wonderful that we can rest in this promise.

The real meaning of Easter

Christ’s resurrection is for us now. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5:25) Christ’s death and resurrection is open to all who believe, it is not just reserved for those who witnessed it or lived two thousand years ago. No, the Gospel, God’s gift of eternal life, is just as relevant – if not more so – to us today than it was those years ago.

“May the Lord have mercy on us so that we can live a life of being conformed to the death of Christ through the cross,” Witness Lee wrote in his book God’s Economy, “Only those who have passed through death and resurrection can have their eyes opened; they live and walk by the revelation that they have seen.” Without Christ’s resurrection, we would not have the privilege of living the crucified life.

Of all that is and was against us – every sin, every fear, every sorrow, every grief, every earthly affliction, every thing that “was contrary to us” – Christ took it out of the way and nailed it to His cross! This – all His suffering, all His anguish, all His pain, all His torture, all His humiliation, – this was Christ’s triumph (Col. 2:15) and His victory through resurrection!

Praise the Lord, He is the resurrection and the life, and when we believe in Him, though we may die, yet we shall live; “whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26)

Originally published as “Easter Encouragement.” Independent Plus. April 9, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Friday

10

April 2020

Good Friday

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"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." (Ephesians 1:7) | Good Friday | Read more at hopereflected.com

It is only when we understand Good Friday that we can truly celebrate Easter Sunday

What’s so good about Good Friday? It’s a fair question, especially given that Christians the world over commemorate the crucifixion of Christ each year on Good Friday. It’s an occasion that makes many wonder how Christ’s death can be something that we call good. Whether you believe Good Friday is just the bastardization of God’s Friday or not, I’d argue that Good Friday could even be called Great Friday.

The day Christ was crucified was the day that He went, willingly no less, to His death, for you. “But how can that be, when I wasn’t even born yet?” you may ask. He knew you before you were born. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee,” (Jeremiah 1:5). God knew you before you were even created. And since sin has been a part of mankind since Adam and Eve walked in the Garden of Eden, we all have a need for a Saviour.

Easter, Redemption through His blood

Christ died so that you could be redeemed. Think about that for a second. Consider even your actions and thoughts just this past week. God knows all of your motives, and while you’re thankful that no one else can hear your thoughts, God knows them too. He knows each one of us right down to our rotten cores, and He loves us anyway. Where we can never measure up, His grace overflows. Where we can never be good enough, His blood is more than enough. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7).

Good Friday is a great day not because Lent is over or you get a day off work, no, Good Friday is a great day because it is the reminder to each one of us that Jesus’s blood is God’s love. His suffering was for our salvation. Yes, there is someone who loves you that much! It is only when we understand Good Friday that we can truly celebrate Easter Sunday.

The Resurrection of our Lord

Easter Sunday is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. The day that we rejoice in the greatest friend we could ever know. Jesus, the One who while hanging on the tree in complete agony asked God to forgive the very people who had put Him there – you and I. In Christ’s resurrection, we are reclaimed, redeemed, and restored. It is in His resurrection that we can recover, regroup, and find revitalization. It doesn’t matter what your past is, God already knows. He also knows your future and He longs for you to let Him love you. God isn’t forceful, but when you let Him, He’ll help you move forward. Jesus lives so that you can have life. How?

Recognize that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that you are in need of forgiveness (Romans 6:23), accept Christ’s gift of salvation which He provided through His death on the cross (Romans 5:8), claim Christ as Lord of your life (Romans 10:9).

Originally published as “Easter.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. April 18, 2019: 6. Print. Web.

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