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The 12 Days of Easter: Day 12, Resurrection Life

Easter 6

Day 12: Resurrection Life

“I am the resurrection and the life.

He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” John 11:25

resurrection [rez-uhrek-shuh n]

noun

1. the act of rising from the dead.
2. the rising of Christ after His death and burial.
3. the rising of the dead on Judgment Day.
4. the state of those risen from the dead.
5. a rising again, as from decay, disuse, etc.; revival
 .
Abundant life … eternal life … everlasting life … are all made possible by resurrection life. Not just life, but resurrection life; the kind of  life  that comes after a death. Only God can make life after death. Resurrection is not an action, a thing, or behavior; it is a Person, Jesus. The Great I AM.
 Because of the resurrection there is life after death, life after divorce, life after theft, life after abuse, life after addiction, and life after lying, but it only comes from Jesus Christ. He endured an ugly, horrific death to make you (and me) beautiful.
Several years ago, a coworker asked me if I would share my testimony (my story of how I became a Christian) with her. I told her I would share my story, but to be prepared, because it wasn’t pretty. God stopped me and whispered clearly in my heart, “Your story is beautiful.”
My story is beautiful because God made it beautiful. He resurrected my life and called me forth from my grave that I dug with my own two hands to live in the beauty of His grace.
 Though your marriage is dead, you shall live. Though your dreams are dead, you shall live. Though your reputation is dead, you shall live. God is in the business of raising things from the dead. It is His specialty.
Resurrection life. Forged at the cross by the love and the blood of Jesus.
Death where is the sting? He is Risen! He is risen indeed!
Action Points
1. Accept. If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, please do so now. Tell Him your sin and of your great need for a Savior and ask Him to come into your heart.
2. Live! Stop living in the shadow of a dead past, a dead relationship, or a dead dream. Jesus is calling you forth to new life. What step can you take today to live a resurrected life?
3. Share. Someone you know is dying to hear about Jesus. Tell them today.
Happy Easter.
Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/resurrection (accessed: March 08, 2015).



The 12 Days of Easter: Day 11, Everlasting Life

Easter 6

Day 11: Everlasting Life

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. Romans 6:22

everlasting [ev-er-las-ting, –lah-sting]

adjective

1. lasting forever; eternal

2. incessant; constantly recurring

3. lasting or continuing for an indefinitely long time

Antonyms
1. transitory.

Everlasting life. Ever lasting life.

When I was a much younger Christian, I was very afraid of death. It kept me awake at night, tossing, turning, and wondering about the great unknown that would one day separate me from everything I had ever known.

Life after death seemed to be death after life. Everlasting, never ending death. I did not understand this life is only a shadow of everlasting life; silhouette on black and white,  a cardboard cut-out,  a distant echo of a beautiful melody.

Like a baby carefully cradled in the womb of his mother; life on earth is life in the shadow-lands. Until one day … we are born (again) into a new world of light, color, possibilities, and opportunities, and placed in the arms of our Father. Forever. Forever-lasting life. Everlasting life.

Death, where is thy sting?

Point to Ponder:

Please fill in the blanks below ( I did the first two to get us started).

In Jesus I have:

everlasting  joy,  everlasting love, everlasting ___________, everlasting ____________

everlasting _____________, everlasting ____________, everlasting ____________

Prayer:

Dearest Heavenly Father,

We thank you for the gift of everlasting life; a life that never ends in death.  We can live forever in Your Presence when we accept Jesus death on the cross as payment for our sins. One day we shall see Him as He is, and every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Please help us to remember that in Jesus, for every Good Friday, there is an Easter Sunday. One day we will rise to everlasting life, and live with You forever and ever.

In Jesus Holy Name,

Amen

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 21:4

This Easter, please accept the gift of everlasting life. Please click on the links below to learn how to enter into everlasting life.

Ever Lasting Life (article)

The Way To God (video)

 
everlasting. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/everlasting (accessed: March 08, 2015).



The 12 Days of Easter: Day 10, Abundant Life

Easter 6

Day 10:Abundant Life

 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

abundant [uhbuhn-duh nt]

adjective
1. present in great quantity; more than adequate; over-sufficient
2. well supplied with something;
3. richly supplied, as with resources

Exploring the beachside at sunset, declaring “I do” to the one you love, laughing until your voice gives out – these are times when we truly feel alive. Everything in us bursts with life, and our hearts reverberate with joy.

Those moments are abundant life.

And, in the same breath, they’re not. Not entirely.

When I hear that Jesus came to give me abundant life, I imagine perpetual bliss. Perhaps you do, as well. While bliss is in the picture, it’s not the whole picture. The beautiful, sacred memories we treasure are a slice of abundant life. However, we can also experience abundant life in the midst of stress, pain, and frustration.

The truth is that abundant life isn’t defined by how good or bad life is going. Instead, it’s defined by my heart condition. How tender and open is my heart to God during the ups and downs of life?

The Easter story is the perfect illustration of this. While Jesus was preparing to be arrested and die on the cross, he pleaded with God: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). According to the Blue Letter Bible, the word “cup” is a metaphor for “One’s lot or experience, whether joyous or adverse … likened to a cup which God presents one to drink: so of prosperity and adversity.”

Abundant life is about drinking deeply of whatever cup God gives us. It’s about feeling to the fullest, all the while trusting that God will redeem our pain and enhance our joys.

Jesus didn’t turn on autopilot and cruise through life. Whether he was struggling with temptation or celebrating with his disciples, he invited God into every aspect of his day. His life was the very essence of “abundant” – rich, overflowing, and plentiful. Best yet, the abundance of His life spilled over into ours – bringing redemption, love, and grace into our dusty and dry souls.

Perhaps that’s the best part of living life abundantly – the overflow always spills into the lives of those near us.

Whether we’re having a mountaintop or a valley experience, let’s invite God in. I pray that Psalm 66:12b will be true of our lives: “We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”

points to ponder

How engaged are you in life currently?

What cup is God asking you to drink today?

What’s one way you can invite God into your joys or trials?

prayer

Jesus, thank you for your example of how to live abundantly. Help me to live constantly surrendered to you. When life is difficult and painful, let my trust in you endure. Redeem the hardship for your Kingdom. When life is beautiful, celebrate with me. Let me feel your love poignantly.

I pray you’ll fill my surrendered life with abundance. And I pray that the abundance will spill over into other’s lives and bless them.

Amen.

4555735b4e5338768812a93c15c0e222Thanks to our guest writer, Amber Miller, for writing today’s post! Amber is Jane’s daughter and Mary’s niece. Here’s how she describes herself: Board game fanatic, coffee enthusiast, and proponent of loud laughing. I Live in St. Louis with my incredible husband, trying to further God’s Kingdom one small step at a time. You can read Amber’s blog at LiveandLaughLoud.com.

 




The 12 Days of Easter: Day 9, Bread of Life

Easter 6

Day 9: Bread of Life

 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

bread [bred]

noun
1. a kind of food made of flour or meal that has been mixed with milk or water, made into a dough or   batter, with or without yeast or other leavening agent, and baked.
2. food or sustenance; livelihood:
3. Ecclesiastical. the wafer or bread used in a Eucharistic service
4. necessary food; nourishment: give us our daily bread
Bread. Lehem, in Hebrew; artos, in Greek. For the ancient Hebrew and Greek, bread was the mainstay of every meal.  Mid-westerners like bread too, especially during the bitter cold of winter. After shoveling a foot of snow from a long drive, there’s nothing so comforting as hot soup and warm bread.
In the verse above, Jesus reveals He is the Bread of Life. Why did He call Himself this unusual title? Please read John 6:4-11. What amazing event had just occurred?  When Philip had admitted their inability to provide even a bite of bread, Jesus, the Bread of Life, born in Beth lehem (the house of Bread), freely provides bread for the 5,000.  Not just a bite, John 6:11 says, Jesus provided, “as much as they wanted.”
Jesus is the Bread. We are the hungry. We can have as much as we want. This Easter, what are you hungry for … love … purpose …  respect … righteousness … peace? Whatever your hunger, Jesus is the Bread of Life. He calls us to come, eat, and be filled and to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Point to ponder:
Concerning the Bread of Life, where do I fall on the scale below?

1                         2                         3                         4                          5
famished                snacking           breakfast, lunch, dinner     3 square meals + dessert     feasting!
Prayer
Dearest Father,
This Easter, we come to you hungry. You are the Bread of Life; the only One who can fill us. Just as You rained down bread from heaven for your people to gather each morning in the desert, You rain down bread for us. May we come each morning to gather our Bread of Life, fresh from your Word.  Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
In Jesus Holy Name,
Amen.

bread. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bread (accessed: March 08, 2015).




The 12 Days of Easter, Day 8: Water of Life

Easter 6

Day 8: Water of Life

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.” Rev 21:6

water  [waw-ter, wot-er]

noun

1. flowing water, or water moving in waves

2. the surface of a stream, river, lake, ocean,

3. to furnish water to (a region), as by streams; supply (land) with water, as by irrigation

In Jesus’ time, it was hard to underestimate the importance of water. Wells were a gathering point for a village or community as the people came to draw water for the day’s cooking, cleaning, eating, and watering of the livestock and crops. Cisterns were used to collect every drop of water possible.

Consequently, when Jesus said He would give “the fountain of the water of life freely to Him who thirsts,” He was using words that resonated deeply with the people on many levels. First of all, the word freely is important. The people could have as much of this living water as they wanted and needed. No drought would effect it, nor would the supply be limited by what they could carry or who owned the well.

The phrase him who thirsts  is also pivotal. Everyone gets thirsty, so everyone is eligible to receive living water if they want it, not just a privileged few.

For greater insight, we must also consider John 4:1-26. In this passage, Jesus delves deep into the hearts of the people with a lesson about Living Water. Jesus meets and talks to a Samaritan woman who is at a well drawing water. This was unusual for two reasons. First, Samaritans and Jews had a longstanding dislike and distrust of each other, and secondly, men usually did not address women in public unless they were family members.

But Jesus breaks with that convention for an important reason: He gives her an opportunity to change her life. He tells her in verses 13 and 14 that the water He gives is different; it will become “a spring of water welling up to eternal life, and those who drink it will never be thirsty again” — truly a revolutionary idea that her spiritual thirst could be eternally satisfied.

These scripture passages are just as relevant to us today as they were to the people thousands of years ago. Although many of us have easy access to water, we are still a spiritually thirsty people. Only Jesus can quench that thirst, and He does that by offering His well of eternal life that will never run dry.

point to ponder

Do you draw deeply from your well of eternal life as you go about your days? We can never plumb the depths of what Jesus has for us. This should not be a “one and done.” Give your life to Jesus, and then spend the rest of it drinking deeply, growing and learning and sharing this gift of eternal life with others.

prayer

Lord,

We thank you for quenching our thirst for redemption with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. May we draw deeply from this well each day, living our lives in Your power, finding our callings and contentment in You. In Jesus’ name.

Amen.

previous posts




The 12 Days of Easter, Day 7: Word of Life

Easter 6

Day 7: Word of Life

“Holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:16

May the book of your life be written in His words. May His words be your words.

word [wurd]

noun

1. news; tidings; information

2. an authoritative utterance, or command

3. Also called the Word, the Word of God.

  1. the Scriptures; the Bible.
  2. the Logos.
  3. the message of the gospel of Christ

The word of life is the key to living a life of purpose and fulfillment. What will bring great joy to your life this Easter season? Holding fast the word of life. There is no everlasting joy apart from God and His holy word.

In the original Greek, holding fast means the following: to have, to apply, to stop, to present. Let’s apply each of these definitions of holding fast to our spiritual life.

To have: One definition of to have is to hold in the hand, as in the sense of wearing. How can you wear the word of life? By putting on the armor of God; the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation etc. Don’t forget your robe of righteousness. To have also refers to possession of the mind. We will experience great joy as we use God’s word of life to control our thoughts, and fight our battles against sin, Satan, and our own flesh.

To apply: God’s word is an authoritative utterance that I must apply to my life. Just as it is not enough to simply believe in God (even the demons do, and tremble), it is not enough to simply read the word of life —  I must obey and apply it to my life, and heart. I do this through prayer, meditation, and memorization. Like ointment to a wound, I must liberally slather the word of life on the broken places of my soul. May His word become my words.

To stop: The word of life enables me to stop … stop whining, stop sinning, stop worrying, stop complaining. By speaking the word of life, I can stop speaking death into my relationships, dreams, goals and challenges. In Deuteronomy Gods presents His people with a choice. “I lay before you this day … blessing or curses, life or death. Choose life that you may live.” It sounds so simple. Must God have to persuade us to choose life? Yet how often do I catch myself speaking words of death instead of words of life? During Easter, the season of life, let’s purposefully choose to stop speaking death and instead speak the word of life so we may rejoice in God’s goodness.

 To present: Holding fast the word of life does not mean we keep it to ourselves. As Christians we have been entrusted with the word of life, the gospel. We hold tightly to the word of life  in one hand as we present it with the other to the lost of the world. What better time to present the word of life then during the Easter season.

point to ponder

Into what area of your life does God want you to speak the word of life?

prayer

Dear Father,

Please help me to commit myself to wearing your Word. Each morning before I dress my physical body, may I remember to dress my spirit by studying your Word. I dress myself in your Word for a reason — so I may apply it. Applying your word to my life, relationships, and problems ensures they will work for my good and Your glory. Help me choose to speak life into my life. Words of death are for Good Friday, not Easter Sunday. As I speak the word of life into my cares and concerns, may I also speak it to others who are in great need of salvation.

In Jesus Holy Name,

Amen

resources
Your Words, Your Life by Joyce Meyer

previous posts

Day 1 : Breath of Life

Day 2: The Life

Day 3. Eternal Life

Day 4. The Life Which I Now Live

Day 5. All the Days of Your Life

Day 6: The Book of Life

word. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/word (accessed: February 24, 2015).