The Resurrection of Jesus demands that we live for Him!

Thankfulness - sunsetOnce a year, most of the world comes together in the celebration of Christ’s triumphant entry, through the Passover, the crucifixion all the way to the empty tomb! Then it’s back to work on Monday as normal. Now, don’t get me wrong I love this season. It reminds me and re-aligns me with God’s purpose and love!

I am so glad the story of Jesus doesn’t stop at the cross or even at His burial? But, come to think about it, why do we even allow the story to stop at the resurrection? The Story of Jesus’ love for you and I goes on and on! It’s not over once the weekend is done, its actually just beginning. I do understand and have no problem with focusing on these three glorious foundational events annually. The basis of the gospel is most definitely the death, burial and resurrection of Christ! (1 Cor 15:1-4)

Yet, if we aren’t students of the scriptures we can miss so many things in the work of Christ. Peter brings to light that Jesus went to the chained demonic angels, who are awaiting their final judgment and proclaimed that His redemption of mankind was completed!(1 Pet 3:19) During these three days Jesus also took back the dominion from the devil that Adam and Eve had turned over to the deceiver(Gen.1:28, Lk 4:6, Col 2:15) , then Jesus gives it back to his children again once He goes to God the Father.(Matt 28:18-19, Jn 20:17-21, Lk 24:39) Where he also presents and leads the first fruits of the believing saints into heaven.(1 Cor 15:20) The story even continues, in the fact that He shows Himself to his followers over the next forty days before the great ascension.(Acts 1:1-2) But even after all this, Jesus which had foretold the disciples earlier (Jn 14:16-21) refuses to leave His followers by themselves, declaring in Acts 1:4-5, “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father… “you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’”. The last thing Jesus the resurrected Lord, lets them know before He ascends to the Father in the glory cloud is that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would empower them to be a witnesses all over the world for Him. (Acts 1:8-10)

What happened on resurrection day is what gives His followers the authority and dominion as His ambassadors and the infilling of the Holy Spirit empowers us to walk victoriously here on this earth. Being confident with our assignment of making disciples and establishing the kingdom of God, knowing Jesus is now seated in heaven next to the Father interceding for us. (Rom 8:34-35) You see, the work of Jesus still continues as He leads us. Not only does Jesus call Himself the Good Shepherd, but also we read in Rev 7:17 that He is still shepherding His people throughout eternity.

Paul writes to the believers in Colosse and says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith”.(Col 2:6-8) Paul is telling the Christian that once they accepted what Jesus has done for them to continue living their life in the benefits and authority of it. Jesus became our substitution and therefore our redeemer from the bondages of the wicked one. His works enable us and demand us to live a life worthy of His calling with confidence. Therefore let me ask you, “What are you doing with the Message of the Cross? Is it nothing more than fooliness to you or is it the Power of God to be His witness”. (1 Cor 1:17) The resurrection of Jesus demands that we live for Him!

Advertisements

The Night Hope Broke In to our World

3330791The walk from the back of the church seemed to be in slow motion as I walked to a narrators reading of the Christmas story. As I took each step in my makeshift gunnysack shepherd costume, this nervous six-grader who was in the Christmas program was drawn into the biblical truth. Though my cane and turban might have been nothing more than homemade, the reality of the birth of our savior was becoming personal to my young heart.

Every year as I watch the young children put on their annual Christmas programs I can’t help but reminisce not only on my own experience of the birth of Christ but also the account of the shepherd’s that were tending their flocks. In Luke 2:8-10, we read their story, “there were … shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…”.

Let your minds eye wonder with imagination to that hillside outside the city in a distant field. Not only did the livestock live and settle there but the lowest of the social pyramid, the shepherds also made it their home. An occupation that was high


Hope didn’t come through a palace but through a Savior being born in a humble stable for all the earth to receive.       (tweet)


on the list many years before had now slid down to the lowest of low. Shepherds were in the same category as tax collectors and those that cleaned up dung in the streets.

It was quite different from what we had seen mentioned early in Genesis and throughout the times of the Patriarchs being a shepherd was a desired lifestyle for many sects of mankind. The sons of Isaac and Jacob tended flocks (Gen. 30:29; 30:12). Jethro, the priest of Midian, employed his daughters as shepherdesses (Ex. 2:16). Even Moses was a shepherd on the backside of the desert before he was branded by God’s glory. Yet, in the course of time things had changed and now being a shepherd was for the lowly.

Hope had also dwindled in the midst of God’s chosen people for it had been spiritually quiet for four hundred years. I am positive on a clear night many shepherds as they watched over their herds would gaze at the beautiful star-studded sky Continue reading

When you get Bucked off the Horse… get back on!

RODEO: MAY 10 Mother Lode Round-upNot everyone can say they have been bucked off a horse during their life. Well, it would seem that not only was it a “right of passage” in my upbringing but it was something that happened more than once. Even though my father had a talent for training and breaking horses. I had just the opposite effect on them. Whatever the reason might have been, whether the horse was ornery, poorly synched or just a wild hair, I’ve landed on the ground more than I would like to admit. But my father’s words


Just because you get bucked off the horse doesn’t mean you don’t get back on!    (tweet)


always echoed in my mind, “Bill, you must get back on”. His point being, if you allow the fear of “what if it happens again” keep you down, you will never get back on and enjoy the ride.

Over the years, many believers have been bucked off the wall of their responsibility as intercessory prayer warriors. Many have become discouraged from not seeing prayers answered; some have fallen asleep spiritually or grown spiritually weak and frustrated. But now is the time to shake off the spirit of fear, rejection and apathy and get back on the wall as intercessors and watchmen. For God has called you in these crucial days to be alert and watchful more than ever before in behalf of His people.

Just like getting bucked off of a horse—it is essential to get back on. Enough is enough! Whatever has caused you to be distracted, whether just or unjust, your fault or someone else’s, bottom line is it has knocked you out of your post,! The Father is lovingly saying, you must get back on the wall and fulfill your responsibility.

If the wall is broken down and needs restored, we must roll up our sleeves and build it back up. When Hezekiah saw the enemy’s onslaught, he realized the need to strengthen himself and his kingdom, (II Chron. 32:5). Things had gotten relaxed, the walls had eroded and were weakened; therefore, the King was alerted to set things Continue reading

His Love Written in Blood!

165500423Like most young boys growing up we reenacted what we saw on our favorite TV shows. I loved the old westerns and therefore played with my brother and friends dressed in cowboy hats and chaps. I remember just as we saw on an episode, we would make a blood covenant by pricking our fingers and letting our blood mingle. Though we were just young boys playing and having fun, the message that we were reenacting was a realistic method of coming into a strong commitment and sealing it with your own blood. It implied a person was serious about making an agreement and becoming a faithful friend. In Deut 12:23, it says that the blood is the life in the body. Therefore spilling of blood in a covenant represented a commitment of your life.

Paul writes to the Christians in Rome letting them know that when we were all in the valley of hopelessness Christ intervened and rescued us. In verse eight of Rom 5, it reads, “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” In other words when you and I were on our journey in life doing our own thing, not even desiring a change, God sent His Son to purchase and pluck us out of the bondage of sin. He illustrated His love for us through His actions.


Jesus’ ultimate gift to mankind… “His love written in His blood!”   (tweet)


Verse nine signifies we are saved and made just in the sight of God through the payment with the blood of Jesus. This was a fulfillment to the Levitical Law concerning the payment for sin with the shedding of the blood of animal sacrifice.

Let me remind you of a story that played out on January 26th, 2005 when a California train derailed. Sadly to say it killed 11 people and injured over 200. One of those 200 was a 44 year old man named John Phipps and his story which…. Continue reading

Let’s Quit Talking about It and let’s Fish!

IMG_2453Fishing along the Little Salmon River was incredibly invigorating to say the least. I remember there were days growing up that my father would intentional get off work early and grab me to go down to the river and fish before dust. He seemed to know the right seasons and days that the fish would be biting the best. Thinking back I honestly have to say that those times of fishing were some my most joy filled memories.

Jesus told his disciples that if they would follow Him, He would make them fishers of men. Since Jesus was speaking to men that were professional fishermen it struck home. Jesus was connecting with them through their way of life and how they made a living. We read in Luke 5:6-7 where it says “…they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking“. The disciples after having a bad day of fishing in which they had not even


God wants to turn our vocation into our motivation for winning souls for the kingdom of God. (tweet)


 

caught anything, heeded to Jesus’ direction and went back out to fish again. The result was a net breaking catch. They went from catching nothing to catching so many fish that they needed help getting all of them to shore.

There is a saying that says, “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at the office”. If that’s true then we should be constantly fishing. My grandmother always kept her tackle box, a chair and a fishing pole in her car trunk. Why? Because she wanted to be ready at any opportunity to fish that might arise along her daily journey. The scripture tells us in 2 Tim 4:2 to be ready at any season to share the gospel. God wants to turn our vocation into our motivation for winning souls for the kingdom of God.

I am so tired of talking about it, preaching about it, going to seminars about it. Continue reading