Tag Archives: today

Easter Why is the Resurrection so Important?

Why is the Resurrection so Important?

Written by Dan Lee on 11/04/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Resurrection, Heaven, Salvation
My friends, I want you to remember the message that I preached and that you believed and trusted. You will be saved by this message, if you hold firmly to it. But if you don’t, your faith was all for nothing. I told you the most important part of the message exactly as it was told to me. That part is: Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say. He was buried, and three days later he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
What makes Easter the most important day in the Christian calendar – bigger even than Christmas? Here are three simple reasons:

1. The Resurrection is a Historical Fact
Just days earlier, Jesus had been betrayed and arrested. He was beaten, mocked, tortured and executed. His disciples had scattered, His closest followers denying that they even knew Him. It seemed like total failure.

But on Sunday morning, the women who had come to anoint Him found, not a body, but an empty tomb. The Jewish leaders chose to spread the story that someone had stolen the body (Matthew 28:13).

Then, as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:5-6, “Christ appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After this, He appeared to more than five hundred other followers. Most of them are still alive, but some have died.” To back up his statement, Paul says, in effect, “You don’t believe me? Go ask the people who were there!”

2. The Resurrection is Central to Our Faith
The resurrection is more than a nice afternote at the end of the story.

Again, read what the Apostle Paul says: “You will be saved by this message (of the resurrection), if you hold firmly to it. But if you don’t, your faith was all for nothing” (1 Corinthians 15:2b).

If Jesus’ story ended at the cross, His claims of divinity and of the power to forgive sin, would be empty. Christianity would be just another philosophy for living, another list of “what to do” and “what not to do” – and eternal life, only a wish.

But because Jesus rose from the dead, his claims were confirmed and His authority validated. He truly is Lord and Savior to those who put their trust in Him. And those who do not follow Him are deserving of judgment: “No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son” (John 3:18).

3. His Resurrection Guarantees Our Resurrection
“If our hope in Christ is good only for this life, we are worse off than anyone else. But Christ has been raised to life! And he makes us certain that others will also be raised to life” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20).

Have you ever observed a baptism? As the person was dipped into the water and then lifted out, the minister probably said something like this: “Buried with Christ; raised to walk in newness of life.” This is almost a direct quote of Romans 6:5, “If we shared in Jesus' death by being baptized, we will be raised to life with him.” And Paul goes on to say, “As surely as we died with Christ, we believe we will also live with him” (Romans 6:8).

This shows that we are completely connected – that is, united – with Jesus, in His death and resurrection (Romans 6:1-11). Our sins were crucified on the cross with Jesus (Colossians 2:14), as was our old human nature’s power over us (Galatians 2:20).

And some day, the Lord will return for His people. Believers who have died will be resurrected first (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and all of us will receive amazing glorified bodies.

So this Easter, think about all that the resurrection means for us, and give praise to our great God for His glorious and wonderful plan for His children.

Pray this week:

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that You did not stay in the grave, but You are alive today. Thank You that everyone will see You and bow down to You when You return. Thank You that because You rose from the grave, we also will rise and reign with you in Heaven. Give me the faith to believe and to live for eternal things.

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Do You Know the Real Truth?

Most of us will not fall for an obvious lie, but we can be fooled by a slight twist of the truth.

Written by Joy on 12/10/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Truth
“The people of Berea were more open-minded and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures daily to see if Paul’s teaching was true.” Acts 17:11

The best way to recognize a counterfeit is to know the REAL thing! Most of us will not fall for an obvious lie, but we can be fooled by a slight twist of the truth.

Know the Enemy’s Strategy
In Genesis 3:1, Satan only changed a few words from God’s original commandment to confuse Eve. When Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4, he quoted scripture to lure Jesus into sin. Jesus quickly saw the verses had been taken out of context and used for wrong motives. People can be easily led astray by the use of scripture that gives the appearance of following God, but actually promotes selfishness and pleasure-seeking.

Know the Whole Truth
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Bible is a complete message from God, so it all fits together. Be careful of taking verses out of context. Like the Bereans, study the scriptures every day searching for an overall understanding. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth according to Jesus’ promise in John 14:16-17,26.

Know the Meaning
Pay attention to the meaning of words, and check everything against the rest of scripture. If someone talks about “Jesus,” make sure they are talking about the Jesus of the Bible who is God and rose from the dead. “…just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily listen to whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach..” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

Some say that because God is “love,” you can do whatever you want. Some say God is a “judge,” so you must obey these strict laws. Both of these ignore the total truth of scripture summarized in John 3:16 – God does love us! He graciously gave His Son Jesus to save us. Why do we need a Savior? God’s holiness required a just punishment (death) for our rebellion (sin) against God. Peace with God (eternal life) is a free gift for ALL who believe (have faith), just as it was for Abraham in Genesis 15:6 (See also Romans 4)

The entire Bible is a love letter to us from God our Creator. From beginning to end, it shows God lovingly pursuing us to bring us back into His plan which we rebelled against. If you want to go back to God’s plan, accept Christ today. How will you respond to God?

Pray this week:

For the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth.

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God’s Faithfulness Each Year

God is Always Faithful

Written by Susan on 03/01/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Everlasting, Promises, Through, Time, New Year
Jesus answered, “I tell you for certain that even before Abraham was, I was, and I am.”

John 8:58
One way God is not like us is that He is outside of time itself. This is not so easy for us to picture, but God explains clearly that He “inhabits eternity” in Isaiah 57:15. We're created beings living in time, so we experience time much differently than our God, who says “I am the first and I am the last.” (Isaiah 48:12). As we look forward to the New Year, how astounding it is to realize that God is already there! How can we relate to someone who says He is "the one who is and was and is coming?" (Revelation 1:8) What we experience in our lifetime has a lot to do with beginnings — and endings; Where is God in all of these times?

He Is.
We like to celebrate New Year’s Eve/Day, anniversaries, new beginnings, memories of friends and family, as well as just being in the presence of a loved one. Does God experience time as we do? Does He also like to look back and remember? Does He encourage us to make a fresh start? He does all of these things and more because He is not limited in time as we are. He lives outside of our time, but He is with us inside of our time also in the form of the Holy Spirit. “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) What does that mean? It means that Jesus is in the present with Abraham, just as He is present now with you and me. God’s faithfulness is a miracle. He is.

He Was.
God instructed the Israelites to look back on the way He had worked in their lives, to remember how He had saved them from slavery. Deuteronomy 5:15 says, “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” We are also to remember that God’s faithfulness means that He has provided a way to save each person in the world through Jesus Christ, His Son. At just the right time (Galatians 4:4), Jesus came to give Himself as the perfect sacrifice for all sins of those who would trust his name. “By his one sacrifice he has forever set free from sin the people he brings to God” (Hebrews 10:14). He was our complete offering of sin. He has endured the suffering that sin causes and He triumphed over the raging power of sin by rising again. He was.

He Will Be.
For fellow believers, God will always be present with us in every step that we take from this point forward. He is accessible, available, listening, caring and completely present. He promised this to the Jews long ago.

In Genesis 28:15, he reminds His people of the promises in His covenant, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” He also promises us through Jesus that He will always be with us: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39 He will be.

Pray this week:

Jesus, thank You for your promise never to leave or forsake me. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Remind me always that You are fully present with me right now, and You promise that You always will be present in our lives fully. You are faithful. May I know Your presence in a very real way today. Amen.

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Exercise Your Faith

Your faith is God-given and it works. Jesus said,
“…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,
ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to
yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall
be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20). Notice
what He said: “If ye have…” because at one time,
His disciples had no faith. That was when He asked
them, “…how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
However, for us, the new creation, we were born again
with faith in our spirits.
There’s no Christian that lacks faith. God gave to
each one of us “the measure,” not “a measure,” of
faith. He gave us all the same seed of faith, but you’re
required to grow your faith and make it effective. The
circumstances and the crises of life are at different
levels, and require different levels of faith. There’s little
faith and great faith, and then there’s weak faith and
strong faith. You increase your level of faith by hearing
more of God’s Word (Romans 10:17), but to improve
the quality of your faith—the tensile nature—you have
to exercise your faith; you have to use it.
For instance, that someone has a large body with
a lot of flesh doesn’t necessarily mean the muscles are
strong; you strengthen them by using and exercising
them. Keep using and exercising your faith by acting
on the Word; faith always works. If you acted your
faith and it seemed like it didn’t work, go back to the
Word and learn some more, and try again.
It’s like a child learning to walk; it gets more perfect
with every step. It’ll be wrong to say of a child who’s
learning to walk, “Since this child has fallen three times,
I’ll never let him walk again.” The child would have to
keep at it until finally, his muscles are strong enough,
and that same child starts running.
Keep building and developing your faith by
learning more and more of God’s Word and putting
what you learn to work. Be quick to accept, believe,
and do the Word. Affirm and declare the Word,
irrespective of the contrary circumstances. That’s how
to build strong and prevailing faith,
Prayer
Dear Father, I rejoice in your
Word that’s at work in me and
building my spirit strong! I’m set
on the path of life, guided by your
Spirit in glory, and everlasting
triumph. I live the glorious life of
righteousness, dominion, grace
and power, today and always, in
Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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