Jesus is alive!

April 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: `The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
(Luke 24:1-8 (NIV))

We just celebrated the resurrection of Jesus.

This celebration marks the yearly remembrance of why our faith has meaning!

Contrary to those who claim that his body stolen, and to those who say that Jesus was not real, we know better. We, as the Body of Christ, through faith, know the truth.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

We are certain of the resurrection. We know beyond all doubt that Jesus is alive!

Christianity is built upon this foundation. If you do not accept that Jesus is alive, you cannot accept that He is your Savior. If He is not alive, you cannot possibly believe that he has come to rescue us from our sin. If He is not alive, His power and authority are nonexistent.

However, if we simply stop there, we lose site of why He came to suffer and to die.

He did not come to this earth to be an atoning sacrifice so that we could continue in our sin. He did not come into this world to tell us that it was okay to live our lives against the Will of God. He did not preach that we could call upon His name as savior and then go about our sinful ways. He came to be our Lord and Savior. We are to submit to His teachings.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
(Matthew 5:17 (NIV))

“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:11 (NIV))

Too may people falsely claim the first part as the whole teachings of Jesus. It is true that Jesus does not condemn. He came to bring life. He did not stop there. He told us to leave our lives of sin. Sadly, too many in the church have forgotten this.

If Jesus came and taught that it was okay to continue in our sin, why did He have to go to the cross and die? Why would He tell us to leave our lives of sin? If we did not need someone to pay our debt of sin, then His death had no meaning. If His death had meaning and His resurrection is true, then it logically makes sense that we are to leave our lives of sin.

It is impossible to accept the teachings of Jesus, His death and resurrection and ignore where He tells us to go and leave our lives of sin.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
(Joshua 24:15 (NIV))

Jesus is alive!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The love that Jesus showed

April 4, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
(Mark 8:34 (NIV))

Easter is rapidly approaching. The day that we praise for it is the yearly celebration of the resurrection of the crucified Jesus. It is something to celebrate. It is the culmination of all of the promises, for without the resurrection, the cross means nothing. Without the empty tomb, we are all guilty sinners without any hope.

Have you ever thought about why Jesus said that we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him?

The world thinks that following Jesus is a joke. They look upon those who proclaim a faith in Jesus as less than intellectual, as someone stuck in childlike fantasy. Following Jesus is not always the easy thing to do. We have influences from all realms of society that mock us and try to get us to do things that we know are not right. We are to stick to the path laid out before us as believers. We are to not only accept the grace and mercy but show this same grace and mercy to others.

Think about Jesus on the cross. Was it socially acceptable to do what He did? Was it politically correct to preach and teach as He did? Was is in His best interests as a human to be seen with tax collectors, adulterers and sinners of all types?

Jesus denied Himself in ways that we can only imagine. He said and did things that He knew would anger the Sanhedrin. He kept the company of those who were social outcasts. He did all of this without any regard for His well-being. He even went to the cross without any resistance.

This was the ultimate act of denying yourself. He placed others first.

We are to do the same. We are to seek the lost and offer them a path to grace. We are to see the hungry and feed them. We are to feel the pain of a lost world and pray. We are called to do things beyond ourselves.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
(John 13:35 (NIV))

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

Think of the love that Jesus showed for all of creation.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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