Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, let the wicked perish before God. But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy. Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds—his name is the LORD—be exultant before him. Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God gives the desolate a home to live in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a parched land. O God, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, So the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, at the presence of God, the God of Israel.  Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad; you restored your heritage when it languished; your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy. (Psalm 68:1-10, NRSV)

Sometimes it is hard to find joy in life.

Sometimes it is where we least expect it.

If we are in Christ and have God as a part of our lives, then joy is always there.

Just like here in these peppers. Joy!

Because God is for us, it doesn’t matter who or what is against us. We can always have joy.

Because God is our champion. He is our protector. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

So we can always find joy in Him!

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21, NRSV)

I fall to my knees and pray…

I pray that you would have strength.

I pray that your spirit will be filled with His Spirit.

I pray that Christ would be with you always and be deep down in your life so you are completely grounded in Him.

I pray you can understand how deep His love is for you.

I pray that all you know in and through Him would be the basis for your life and it would be lived out in the world around you.

I pray that He would work through you.

I pray your life is abundantly more than you ever imagined.

I pray…

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12, NRSV)

Retribution is normal.

We all want to get back at those who do us harm.

Yet God calls us to a higher standard.

God does not want us to repay evil with evil. God calls us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.

So step above the world and be the blessing that God needs us to be for His love to be made known!

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6, NRSV)

We are to be united in what holds us together.

There is one body.

There is one Spirit.

There is one calling.

There is one Lord.

There is one faith.

There is one baptism.

There is one God.

There is one Father of all.

We have this in common, so nothing should keep us from being in unity!

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.  Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.  And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11, NRSV)

Being humble is not something that comes easy for most of us.

And I don’t mean not being proud or arrogant about what we have done. Most of us are humble in this way. I mean in the second definition according to Merriam-Webster online.  This definition is: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission. We find it hard to offer ourselves to God.

But if we are to live our life to the fullest, that is to give it up and allow God to have control.

To have life we must lose it.

To be free we must submit to God.

And after we accept God’s control, we will see the life He has for us and it will be so much better than anything we could have imagined.

So give it up and humble yourself before God.

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers. (Acts 1:6-14, NRSV)

After Jesus ascended, they returned to Jerusalem, and they were together devoting themselves to prayer.

They prayed as a group, devoting themselves to praying together as a community.

We need to hold each other up in prayer. That is what God has called us to do. In loving our brothers and sisters, we need to lift them to our Father in heaven.

The cord of 3 strands is so much stronger, tightly woven for all of us.

So let us gather together for pray and hold each other up!

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. (John 17:1-11, NRSV)

On the night before He is arrested, put on trial and crucified Jesus takes the time to pray for the disciples, and those disciples that are yet to come.

On the night before He was wrongly sentenced to death He had you on His mind.

Jesus asked God, not on His behalf but on behalf of those whom God has given Him.

So know that Jesus prayed for you…