8 months ago
Our hope is found in an empty grave and a living Savior. Our prayer is that God will meet you right where you are and will open your heart to His love.
Too often one can be guilty of placing all of their emphasis on the big event. They miss the importance of the peripheral things that lead up to the big event. It is the peripheral happenings that prepare you for your big moment. If you fail to recognize and deal with the peripheral circumstances correctly, your big moment will not be as successful as it could be. Preparation and development during the process is essential for the success of your important hour. Jesus epitomizes the necessity of preparation in His attention to the circumstances that led to His greatest hour; His Crucifixion. Everything that happened in His life prepared Him for the grand hour so that, “Love Could Reign.” His preparation prepared Him for success so that God’s love would won. Victory was achieved and “Love Reigns: Living in the Hope of Easter.” The love of God overcame death and the grave so that we can have a new life in Him. The love of God that we experience in Jesus Christ offers us a resurrection life.
The scene shifts from a dinner in Bethany to a public display on the streets of Jerusalem. John recounts the triumphal entry into Jerusalem only briefly. Luke gives the longest narrative of the event, while Mathew and Mark proved the most vivid account. Their writings differ in details, but they agree on the event itself and on how the crowd responded. When the pilgrims who had come for the Passover, heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they exploded with enthusiasm.
As Jesus was being crucified, the soldiers mocked him. They placed a crown of thorns on His head and a sign on the cross over his head that read “King of the Jews.” They did not accept Him as a legitimate king who rules and reigns. After Jesus’ resurrection, He revealed Himself to His disciples. His defeat of, and triumph over death validates His claim of “all authority over heaven and earth.” Jesus is the only true and wise king. It was Jesus’ love for His creation that nailed Him and held Him to the cross. His love continues to reign in every person that puts their faith, hope, love, and trust in Him as their Savior, Lord and soon coming King! I pray that you allow Jesus’s authority in your life and that His love reigns over the way you live your life. Release your desire for control and allow Jesus complete leadership of your life.
Today, I want to address the ways that the love of God reigns over your past. Because of Jesus’ atonement on the cross, you do not have to be controlled by disappointments and failures of your past. Jesus Christ demonstrated His love for humanity by sacrificially giving His life on the cross and resurrecting from the dead. Because of His incredible act of love, those who are in Christ have become new creations. Too many people believe that their past is a hinderance to their present and future. It can be a heavy burden to bear when you feel weighed down by previous choices you made. All of your sins and failures have been covered by the blood of Jesus. Your past no longer has the last word and final say over your life. You have been given a fresh start. You have been reconciled to God, and you can give hope to others by making an appeal for God’s forgiving love to them as well. Your past does not define you. You are more than what you have done. The heavy burden of your past no longer weighs you down. Decide to get beyond your past by believing in, and applying to your life the forgiving love of Jesus Christ.
God’s great mercy became a transforming reality through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This mercy is a result of God’s love for His creation, and His love invites His followers to live life differently. Disciples are to be living sacrifices that no longer conform to the patterns of the world. The carnality around us is deceptive, selfish, angry, and foolish. These cannot be the patterns that followers of Christ live by. Rather, you must renew the way you think, and in doing so, you will discover God’s will and purpose. To be a living sacrifice is a persistent battle because a living sacrifice is constantly tempted to remove itself from off the altar. The decisions you make today will determine who you are and what you will be tomorrow. God’s mercy has given you the chance to “die to yourself” and to be “alive in Christ.” Determine the current patterns in your life that are destructive and replace them with Christ’s best ways of living.
God’s great love is so awesome and it has been demonstrated to you in so many ways and so many times. His promises made to you are “yea and amen.” They have blessed you and kept you as you have navigated your way through life. One of the greatest promises He made to you is that, “He would never leave you, fail you, or forsake you (Heb 13:5) and that He would go with you always even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20). To fulfill this promise, Jesus had to ascend back to the Father and He said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper/Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you (John 16:7). “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper/Comforter, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16-18). Jesus did ascend back to His Father and ten days later the mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the “Day of Pentecost” took place. This promise is for you today as well. Jehovah God has sent His Holy Ghost, whose power is greater than all the powers: “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). God’s love reigns through Pentecost.
The past and the present have been at odds with each other for a very long time. “You cannot live in the past, only the present.” “You cannot change your past, only your present.” “If you don’t deal with your past, you are doomed to repeat it.” How often do you hear these declarations and other similar statements? I believe that it is imperative that you apply the life lessons learned from the past to help guide you in the present. The church lives in both the past and the present. The follower of Christ’s security rest on the ways of God that are observable in history. At the same time, your development and progress depend on the dynamics in the present. Your spiritual foundation is settled in the Sacred Scriptures, but your spiritual vibrancy and growth depend on your daily renewal and commitment. Your spiritual experience cannot become stagnate because of what you once experienced. You must be active in the present through the indwelling of the Holy Sprit. The question is two-fold: “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? ” and “Are you now actively living the Spirit-filled life?”