~ Word ~
"The Ascension of Christ" by Banska Stiavnica
April 9, 2023
“Then Simon Peter came, following him,
and went into the tomb;
and he saw the linen cloths lying there,
and the handkerchief that had been around His head,
not lying with the linen cloths,
but folded together in a place by itself.
Then the other disciple,
who came to the tomb first,
went in also;
and he saw and believed.”
happy Easter! this is the familiar story many have heard of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. but if so many people have heard it, why do they not believe the way john (the other disciple) believed here? the story is simple. Jesus was God in the flesh. He came, born in this world, to save us by His sacrifice on the cross. He lived a perfect, sinless life and taught the people of His day the True Way. He performed countless miracles and healings, and even with all of this, many still did not believe He was the one true God. His final offering was Himself, Who died a brutal death on the cross, but three days later, He rose from the grave. and then, as if this still wasn’t enough, He stayed on earth with the witness of many disciples, spending another 40 days with them! this may sound like a crazy story, but we do crazy things in the name of Love. and this crazy story is 100% true and proven through history. there were thousands that witnessed His life after death. there were countless disciples who retold His story because of the mere fact that it is true! there were many who died (very gruesome) deaths in His name, as they were persecuted by others for their beliefs. our very method of tracking dates is based on his life: b.c. and a.d.. and here we are 2023 years after His death and resurrection and we are still telling His story! because its true! look into it for yourself and make the most important choice of your life: to believe like john believed here in the Word of God.
"Born Again" by Wayne Pascall
April 4, 2023
“But now you yourselves are to put off all these:
anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy,
filthy language out of your mouth.
Do not lie to one another,
since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
and have put on the new man
who is renewed in knowledge
according to the image of Him who created him,
where there is neither Greek nor Jew,
circumcised nor uncircumcised,
barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free,
but Christ is all and in all.”
we have all heard about being reborn through Christ, but what does that really mean? those who do not know Christ have heard Christians call themselves “born again”, but to an outsider, this term can seem idealistic, naive and self-righteous. but honestly, what happens when we truly give ourselves to Jesus is nothing short of miraculous. we do entirely die to sin, sin holds no more power over us, and we become new in Christ. the power in His resurrection was enough to pay the debt of billions upon trillions of people, and it was enough to give them all hope in a new life that lasts eternally. when we are blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, we feel different. it’s almost as if a plumber switched bodies with a carpernter, and the carpenter goes to use the plumber’s tools (like he used to) and just has no clue what he’s doing. the tools don’t feel right in his hands, he doesn’t even know how to use them, and any plumbing job he attempts just flops. when we try to use malicious words or even think dark thoughts we are convicted by the Spirit and we feel the same way that carpenter felt using the plumber’s tools. it just feels wrong. thankfully, the Lord is gentle. He does not condemn us, but He is our Teacher too. He will teach us the new Way and we will learn.
part of our faith journey is putting our faith into action, like Jesus did. we do this by loving others. this is what Jesus demonstrated to us years ago. the ways we used to go about things before knowing Jesus were fruitless and selfish. we didn’t know how to love, so we weren’t much help to those around us. it may have been easy to swear and be vulgar, to watch offensive movies, to overindulge in the pleasures of our choosing, to bully or gossip about the unpopular person, or lie to our friends, but it’s not easy anymore. we are renewed in knowledge, and the things we know about the goodness of God, we can’t un-know. His truth is so powerful - it cuts right through our hearts. His love is so great that all boundaries of racism and separation between peoples have been dissolved. we, together, are united in Christ and we are one as a body. the worldly lies that tell us how separated we are from eachother only apply to those who haven't surrendered to Jesus yet. fellow believers are our brothers and sisters, because we share the same heavenly Father who teaches us the same lessons and feeds us the same nourishment. let us move forward today seeing with eyes to see and propelling the actions that Jesus initiated until our family is so large that we need to move into a bigger house!