Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Healing Death

This Sunday, my husband will be preaching on the Healing Death of Jesus. It may seem like an odd topic for the last Sunday in Advent, but then again, maybe not. The Advent Season is a time of expectant hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 says this:
"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus."
If that's not expectant hope, I don't know what is! If we have received Jesus as our LORD and Savior, and we "fall asleep" (or die in the flesh), we will one day be completely healed! According to the verse above, we will rise again with Jesus! This is why we can say:
This is the message that sets us apart from all other religions. A message of hope, of victory, of healing. May God inspire all of us to share that message with someone this week.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Victorious Life

"Everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1 John 5:4
I came across the following quote by Corrie Ten Boom, from her book, Not I, but Christ:
"A Christian's lifestyle must be one of victory, of joy, or abundance - a life given to us by Jesus Christ from God's fullness. We must not draw from our possibilities, but from God's possibilities, not from our limited strength, but from His immeasurable strength."
The verse I started with, from 1 John, says that everyone born of God is victorious. They overcome the world. This Advent season, my husband has been examining the life of Jesus - from his conception to His resurrection. This coming Sunday his message will focus on the victorious life of Jesus. His life was not victorious in the sense that He became rich and powerful. His life was victorious because He surrendered His self and drew on the unfailing resources of the Almighty God. In the book They Found the Secret, it is called "the exchanged life," and it is possible for everyone who is truly born of God. The following poem, called Himself, by Dr. A.B. Simpson describes this exchanged life.
Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.
Once 'twas painful trying, Now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once 'twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting, Now my anchor's cast.
Once 'twas busy planning, Now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once 'twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking, Now 'tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the vail.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Humble Birth

Last Sunday's focus was the Miraculous Conception of Jesus Christ. We learned that the seed that was planted in Mary is the same seed that is planted in us at our new birth. It is the Holy Spirit.

This Sunday we will focus on the Humble Birth of Jesus Christ. As always, Jesus' life - from His conception to His resurrection - is an example, a pattern for us of how we are to live out our lives here on earth. In John 3:5, Jesus told Nicodemus that "no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." Jesus was born of a woman, born of water. He was also born of the Spirit.

We are also faced with the example of a God who would humble Himself to the extent of being born in the flesh, in a barn. What an example of humility! This makes us come face to face with our own pride and we are brought low. But we also come face to face with a God who saves the humble (Psalm 18:27). I have been born of water, but because of the example and mercy of Jesus Christ, I have also been born again. Hallelujah! What a Savior!