Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jesus Knew

Jesus knew He had to go into the wilderness for 40 days.
He knew He would be hungry and dared and tempted and tried.
He knew He would have a need to be baptized of John.
He knew the people would run out of wine at the wedding feast and His mother would expect Him to do something about it.
He knew how many times, in spite of what they had seen; His disciples would doubt Who He said He was.
He knew He would meet a woman at the well who not only had five men, but the one she was living with was not her husband.
He knew the woman who was caught in adultery and that no one would be able to throw the first stone. (He also knew the man that was with her).
He knew how many times the Pharisees and Sadducees would challenge Him and question His authority.
He knew that Zaccheus would climb into a Sycamore tree to try and see Him, and that He would later eat at His house.
He knew that Mary would wash His feet with her hair.
He knew that His disciples would fall asleep even though He asked them to watch and pray.
He knew that Judas would come and betray Him with a kiss.
He knew that people would love Him one day, waving palms and shouting Hosanna and then yell out, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him” the next.
He knew Peter would deny Him, not once, not twice, but three times and He knew how bad Peter would feel after doing so, which is why He told him three times, to “feed My sheep.”’
He knew He would get spit on, mocked, beaten, bruised, scourged and hung.
He knew He would be pierced in His side and left to die on a rugged cross
He knew He had to die.
But He did it anyway.
Because Jesus knew we needed to be free.
He knew that we would need peace.
He knew that we would need joy; the world could not give us.
He knew we needed to know that by His stripes we have been healed.
He knew that we needed hope.
He knew that we needed to know forgiveness.
That we needed His mercy, His grace and His power
That we needed to experience His love.
Jesus knew that we needed a way to His Father.
And He stretched out His arms and died
Because He knew.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Precious Death

With Easter upon us and as I was reflecting on the season and the birth, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I was reminded of something that I shared with my church family a few weeks ago.  Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”  I have heard the Scripture many times, often mentioned when it comes to a loved one passing, a saved loved one in fact, going home to be with Jesus.

As many have taught on this Scripture, it’s comforting to know that when we die, God considers it as precious in His eyes.  God is delighted to see us in heaven with Him.  But one day I was sitting at my desk, and my son, Joseph came over to me and just started talking.  And we were talking about doing things for church and how often we are asked to do things that we might not consider ourselves “qualified” to do.  Now anyone who really knows me and knows of the journey that the Lord has brought me on, knows that when I am asked to do things that are out of my realm of comfort, more often than not, I have cringed at the very thought of it.  (Yes, I admit, I still do sometimes).  Whether it be teaching Sunday school, sharing a Word, leading our Women’s group, those things are not comfortable for me.  In fact if it was left up to me, I would remain on the last row, behind the video camera, perfectly satisfied to be the church cheerleader.  But God.

Well anyway, Joseph says to me, that when I am called upon to do something I appear to be at ease.  He said that I look comfortable in doing what I am asked to do.  And that’s when that Scripture took on a whole new meaning for me, because God spoke to me and said, “How precious you are when you die.”  And I was a little taken aback for a second, but God continued to speak, and said, “Every time you die to what you want in order to fulfill my will, I count it as precious in My sight.”  He said that every time that I have not buckled up against His authority and have submitted to what was asked of me, in spite of what I believe are my shortcomings, I am precious in His eyes.  Every time that I die to what I would rather do and make a decision to do what He asks of me (or His servant asks of me), I am precious in His eyes. 
God said, the reason why my son Joseph thought that it came easy for me, was because of my decision to die.  My desire to do what God has asked, instead of what I wanted.  My choice to lift up God’s will instead of my own, made God look good.  God said, that dying to my will and desiring that He be glorified in it, made whatever I had to do, look easy.

With Easter upon us and as we continue our Christian walk of faith, just as Jesus picked up His cross and died, we need to remember to die.  Jesus death was precious in God’s sight.  God wants us to die.  Jesus said Himself, Anyone who is not willing to pick up His cross and die, is not worthy of Him.  The great apostle Paul said that he died daily in order that the Father’s will be done.  So must we.  We have to die constantly to our wants and desires that we may be able to pick up the will of the Father and allow Him to be glorified in it.  Every moment that we are faced with a decision to obey or not to obey.  To forgive (and forget), to love, to submit… we ought to die to ourselves that it might be precious in the sight of our loving Father.  Because God says, “Precious in His sight is the death of His children.”  Natural and spiritual.  Precious in His sight, of high cost or worth; valuable, highly esteemed and cherished.  That’s what God sees when we die. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His child.  Me.  You.

And if you are a parent, just think about this for a moment (and try to visualize it if you are not), every time we ask our children to do something and we know that it is something that they would rather not do, but yet, because we have asked, they do it, how does that make you feel?  How does that look to you?  Precious.  It’s precious in our sight when they obey.  And so it His with our heavenly Father.  Precious in the sight of our God is the death of one of His saints.

God is good.  And He’s real.  And so for Him I live, for Him I die… again. J

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E