Easter Re:Verse reading–John 20:1-18 (day seven)

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11

It is hard to imagine, but it is true; through His Spirit, God works on our behalf with the same power by which he raised Jesus from the dead. This is true now, as much as it is will be when God raises our own bodies from the grave. We have access to the sin-killing, fruit-bearing, life-sustaining Holy Spirit power right now!

Such sweet news!

If God is for us, who can be (or stand) against us? Romans 8:31

This doesn’t mean we try harder; it means we trust harder! We lean in on God, trusting the promises of God over the allure of sin and the pain of suffering. God is for you! Just like He was FOR Jesus in his resurrection, He is FOR you!

Re:Verse reading – 1 Samuel 13:1-14

A Very Present Help

Easter Re:Verse reading–John 20:1-18 (day five)

“They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”  Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

I love the unchangeable nature of God in this passage. Jesus- “the image of the invisible God” says and does exactly what is described and promised in Psalm 46. “God is… a very present help in trouble.”

‭In the midst of pain, sorrow, confusion, and uncertainty, Jesus comes close.  He begins a conversation, and reveals Himself to Mary.

This is such good news: for those in need, for those who are troubled, for those who are confused, and for those who are burdened.  Start the conversation with Him, search the scriptures, pour out your heart, listen and feel His promised presence and help. He is faithful!  He is Risen!!

Re:Verse reading – 1 Samuel 13:1-14

God’s Own Heart

Easter Re:Verse reading–John 20:1-18 (day four)

Re:Verse reading – 1 Samuel 13:1-14

In our 1 Samuel passage, we see the end of Saul’s kingdom.  He has disobeyed God and his kingdom has been removed.  God would have established his kingdom forever, but instead, God sought a man after His own heart to bestow this honor upon.

In John 20, we see the culmination of that promise God will make to David in 1 Samuel 16.  David’s pure heart to obey the Lord resulted in a kingdom that would last forever.  Jesus was of the house of David and His resurrection ushered in His eternal kingdom.

For generations…hundreds of years…God’s plan had been unfolding.  Now…thousands of years later…it is still unfolding.  God has been faithful to His Word.  What does it mean to you and to me to have a God who is unchanging…who is eternal…who is faithful and true to His promises? Should our lives reflect His glory to those around us?  Could it be said of us that we are after God’s own heart?


Easter Re:Verse reading–John 20:1-18 (day three)

“He saw and believed” 

He believed…what? That the tomb was indeed empty? That the body had been moved? The text says in the very next verse that neither Peter nor John—nor by extension any of the disciples—understood that a resurrection had occurred. Far from being ignorant and backward yahoos, as those in ancient—and particularly biblical—times are often regarded, the disciples understood that dead people stay dead. They were not pre-disposed to believe fables and tales of the fantastic. Even though they had seen the Lord’s miracles, including the raising of dead people, the fact remained that the very one who had done these marvelous things had himself been killed. It remained for Peter and the other witnesses to
learn that Jesus Christ had fundamentally altered the future of the human race.

What do you believe?

Re:Verse reading – 1 Samuel 13:1-14


Whom Do You Seek?

Easter Re:Verse reading–John 20:1-18 (day two)

 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” vs. 15a

They each came with an expectation. Whatever they thought of the divinity of Jesus before, now he was just a body to be prepared for burial. They expected a body, a dead body. Nothing in their hearts or minds could comprehend any other scenario. So when Jesus meets them he directly asks who they sought. They were looking for Jesus, but only as they expected to find him. Do you see the inherent problem there? Searching for Jesus on our conditions or agenda will only confuse us all the more when he stands in front of us challenging our expectations. They meant well, they really did, but their good intentions kept them from truly seeing the Savior. Perhaps we need to seek him as he is, not as we expect.

Re:Verse reading – 1 Samuel 13:1-14

You had to be there

Easter Re:Verse reading–John 20:1-18 (day one)

“They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”–v 9

It is something we say when our words are inadequate.  A story isn’t funny/or scary to people who only hear about it.  “You had to be there”, we tell them.

The Resurrection of Christ is the same.  Words aren’t enough.  Not for the disciples and not for us.  Until you experience the Savior alive you cannot know that He is.  A real encounter is required.   Sight or Spiritual power, conviction of the conscience–  We must experience His powerful presence.

Faith doesn’t mean that we believe without evidence.  It means that we allow the evidence to mean what God says it does.

“Our gospel did not come to you in word only, but in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”–1 Thessalonians 1:5.

Happy Easter, my friends.  May we know the “power of His resurrection”–Philippians 3:10

Re:Verse reading – 1 Samuel 13:1-14

King of Kings

Re: Verse reading1 Samuel 9 & 10 (day seven)

1 Samuel 10:19 is ominous: But you have today rejected your God, who delivers you from all your calamities and your distresses; yet you have said, ‘No, but set a king over us!’ Now therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.”

Israel’s rejection of God allowed a move toward their own plans.  They desired a human king in God’s stead.  God delivered them from Egypt, but now they wanted distance between themselves and their creator.  On the surface it seems outlandish, but our tendency is to assume that we can handle life on our own when things are smooth.

A calm day gives us an illusion of personal strength we believe deep into the coming chaos.  Our only way out of self-inflicted free fall is Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the true king.   Jesus is God’s chosen one to give us the leadership we need to thrive in this life. Unlike Israel, Christians reject their own plans, and submit fully to the King of the Kingdom of God.

When God’s Yes Means Great Sorrow…and Longing

lightstock_63345_full_mikelThe Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” 1 Samuel 8:22

Make no mistake, the people’s desire for a king was a rejection of God’s leadership, and yet God told Samuel to obey their voice. God did not acquiesce because having a sinful earthly king was a brilliant idea; it was not! God, allowed Samuel to obey their voice because providentially it would lead to great sorrow and ultimately a longing for a purely noble and righteous king. He said “yes” to their request because it would point to their desperate need for an infinitely better king that would be fulfilled in Jesus.

Sometimes when God says “yes” to our persistent requests, he does so only so he can show us what (or who) we really need, it’s just that sometimes we have to see it through great sorrow that leads to longing. (Kind of like the Prodigal Son.)


Re: Verse reading1 Samuel 9 & 10 (day five)

10:26 “Saul also went to his house at Gibeah; and the valiant men whose hearts God had touched went with him.”

Don’t overlook the miracle. God touched their human hearts. God touches human hearts. Remember the testimony of the disciples on the Emmaus road? “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us?” It was not a holy persuasion. It was the Living Savior touching their hearts. He was that close.

Through His Holy Spirit, the Lord desires to touch us in that most personal, intimate and secret place- the core of our being, the location where values, priorities, and passions are formed- past all the layers to the center of our soul. He promises to be that close. We don’t need a just word or a glimpse. We need a touch! What if He did touch your heart? What would be the result? Will you pray, “God touch human hearts, beginning with mine”.

Called to Serve

Re:Verse reading–1 Samuel 9 & 10 (day four)

10:26 – “Saul also went to his house at Gibeah, and the valiant men whose hearts God had touched went with him.”

Saul had been called by God to serve…but he was not alone.  God touched the hearts of some valiant men.  They followed Saul to serve him and to serve God.  There was work to be done in Israel and God began to gather those who would work alongside Saul.  It is the same today.  God often calls a leader to a task, but He likewise calls those with open hearts to serve beside that leader.

This model is most often seen when God calls a new pastor to a church.  Valiant men and women…whose hearts God has touched…join the church and help shoulder the task of reaching a city and the world.  They may already be members of the church, but they renew their commitment to reach people and serve.  Sound familiar to anyone?  Are you ready to get to work?