Powerful Poem-This way, to truth and life — Ruelha

When it was noon, darkness covered the earth in gloom. The light went out for a whole three hours; but in the spirit realm, busy was each and every power. Then at 3 o’clock, He let out a loud squawk. He hung with the sin of all mankind. like the bronze serpent on that pole […]

This way, to truth and life — Ruelha

Jesus Understands Sorrow

Sorrow is a word we do not hear used much. It runs much deeper than simply feeling sad. Sorrow is defined as- “a feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or other” -online dictionary.

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During this time of global pandemic, there is a lot of sorrow being experienced. There has been loss of life, loss of jobs, disappointments such as canceled graduation ceremonies, weddings, and much misfortune.

Jesus understands sorrow. He experienced it the night before he was crucified. He knew what was about to happen, so he went to pray. In Matthew 26 we read:

“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Jesus felt great sorrow. His agony and distress was so much that he sweat drops of blood. But he endured it because of his love for us.

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Jesus also defeated death through his resurrection. He understands our sorrows and struggles. Because of that, he is our sympathetic High Priest as Hebrews 4 says:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Dear reader, we can come to Jesus in prayer and give him our sorrow knowing he understands. We can come to him just the way we are and be honest with our thoughts and feelings. We can find grace to help us.

That is so comforting to me during this time of global pandemic.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus, A Donkey, and His Father Part 4

In April it was a blessing to host my first blogger chat. Out of that chat came the idea to do a blog chain on the topic Jesus, A Donkey, and His Father centering around Palms Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem.

Kelly of The Simple Preacher started it off with Jesus, A Donkey, and His Father Part 1.

Deandra of Imago Dei at deandrahurst.com was second with Jesus, A Donkey, and His Father Part 2.

Dawn of Drawing Closer to Christ was third with Jesus, A Donkey, and His Father Part 3.

So today it is my turn with Jesus, A Donkey, and His Father Part 4.

When I think about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey to fulfill his and the Father’s plan for our salvation, two thoughts come to me. 1- It was a fitting way for him to ride in. 2- It is a stark contrast to how he will return.

When Jesus came the first time, he came as the suffering servant. He emptied himself of all of his glory to be born as a human baby. His earthly birth was in extremely humble circumstances being born in a stable where the animals were. He once commented during his earthly ministry in Matthew 8:

“Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

So for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey for the week that would fulfill his mission of dying on the cross to save us, it was a fitting way for him to enter. At that point he was still the suffering servant.

The stark contrast is with what his return will look like. In Revelation 19 we read;

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean”

When Jesus returns, he will return in all of his glory as the victorious Lord of Lords. He will return as King on a white horse not as a suffering servant.

The good news is if we embrace Jesus as the suffering servant, our Savior, then when he returns as Victorious King, we will be ready.

Next Tuesday Lydia of inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com will finish off the series with Part 5. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Clean by Hillsong

Precious blood has left me forgiven
Pure like the whitest of snow
Powerful to make sin and shame retreat
This covenant is making me whole So I will rise and lift my head
For by His mercy my life was spared
The highest Name has set me free
Because of Jesus
My heart is clean

Because of Jesus my heart is clean. There is no one beyond hope if they come to Jesus. He will forgive those who come to him. He will clean our hearts. Whatever our past is does not matter. He will receive us the way we, but loves us too much to leave us the way we are.

Jesus does not want us to be mired down in life. He wants to clean us up from the inside. He came here to die and defeat death for us so that we can be clean before God.

I love the song Clean by Hillsong. It expresses a beautiful truth that we can have clean hearts, souls, and minds because of Jesus. We can be free from our past. We can have a new life with him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

He Rescued Her and He Appeared to Her First-Mary Magdalene

It was the first Easter Sunday morning. There was much turmoil over the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus among his followers. They were in hiding. Soldiers were guarding his tomb. The emotions of Mary Magdalene would have been very intense.

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Jesus rescued her from a life of being an outcast. He healed her of seven demons, so she would have been on the fringes of society when Jesus delivered her from her torment. She followed him and spent a lot of time with his mother.

Mary was at the foot of the cross as Jesus died. She saw the man who rescued her from a dismal life die a brutal death.

Sunday morning came and she went to care for his body, but the huge stone in front of his tomb was rolled away. The tomb was empty. Tears filled her eyes to the point she could not see straight. He came to her and asked who she was looking for. Through her tear filled eyes she mistook him for the gardener and begged if he knew where the body of Jesus was until, he spoke her name.

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

“She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” which means “Teacher”

She wanted to cling to him. The greatest miracle out of all she had seen him do. He was alive again. She wanted to hold onto to him, but he gave her a job- Go tell. He commissioned her to be his witness. A woman be a witness? He elevated her status.

Now she will forever be the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection, It was not by accident. It was by design. Jesus appeared first to the one who was the lowliest before becoming his follower. The message? Jesus loves all people. No one is too low in life to receive Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Lives

2 greatly profound words because of what they mean to us. Jesus lives. He defeated death for us through his resurrection. Because he defeated death, it means that his death on the cross accomplished what was planned. He came to die for us, so that we can have eternal life. If he had not defeated death, then he would have just been a good man dying as a martyr. He was no martyr. It was the plan. He knew he would be crucified.

Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, we have hope. Because he lives, we can look forward to an eternal future with him if we receive him.

Jesus lives. Jesus is alive. He is seated on his throne in heaven and will return one day.

I would like to share a classic Easter song with you. It is Easter Song by Second Chapter of Acts. 2nd Chapter of Acts was one of the first Contemporary Christian Music groups back in the 1970s. I love this song with the lyrics of:

Hear the bells ringing
They’re singing that you can be born again
Hear the bells ringing
They’re singing Christ is risen from the dead

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the word, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Who or What Put and Kept Jesus on the Cross

It is Good Friday the day we remember that Jesus died for us on the cross. The day we remember that through his death, we receive forgiveness from God and eternal life. The day we remember his suffering, his torture, and his terrible death on the cross.

One question I ask my bible study students is- Who or what put Jesus on the cross?

We talk through the possibilities. Was it the Jewish religious leaders who conspired against him? No!!! They conspired but even on the night Jesus was arrested he demonstrated his power by knocking a detachment of soldiers on their butts with 3 little words- I Am He. You can read about it in John 18.

Was it the Roman soldiers? No!!! Again Jesus could have stopped it with one thought or word because he has all power.

Was it our sins that put him on the cross? No, he died for our sins, but he had no obligation to do so.

The answer to the question comes from what Jesus said John 15:

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”

It was his love for us that caused him to let the soldiers arrest him and nail him to the cross. It was his love for us that kept him on the cross when he could have easily ended it with one word. It was his love for us that motivated Jesus to endure all of his suffering.

So as we remember Jesus dying on the cross, let’s also remember he was saying to us- I LOVE YOU.

A blogger I follow, innerdialects.home.blog, has a daughter who is a gifted musician and singer. She shared this wonderful video that I think is so appropriate as we remember Good Friday and celebrate Easter.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Arrested and Falsely Accused

I will never forget the time in my life that rumors were swirling around about why I had left the school where I was studying for the ministry and I was alienated from the friends I had before I left for the school.

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I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death-literally. I was sick and dying and all kinds of rumors were swirling around about me and how God was punishing me. I had left the school not only because I was sick but also because I realized I could not affirm a few key doctrines of that denomination. So what to do with a guy like me? Perhaps vilify him?

Those issues have been addressed and healed over. I knew God was leading me to a new church, though at the time I thought it was to pray for the church while I was dying.

Being falsely represented and being accused is not something I would wish on anyone. We are human beings who mess up, sin, falter etc, but I would never wish that kind of experience on anyone.

Picture Jesus on the night he was arrested. There was a farce of a trial, A trial that was rigged before it began. He was falsely accused. He was abandoned by his friends. He knew what was ahead of him- torture and death on the cross. He could have stopped it, but he did not. Why? Because he loves us.

When we feel we have been falsely accused, misrepresented, or treated unfairly, we can look to Jesus. He endured much worse for us because of his love for us.

Today and tomorrow are reminders of how far Jesus went to love us unconditionally.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Saying Goodbyes- Jesus with His Followers

I have had the privilege of joining many special meals for special occasions. Some of them have been goodbye dinners for people leaving my city to return to their countries after completing their education. Those have been especially poignant moments as friends realizing they will probably never see each other again say goodbyes.

In such moments, we share what is on our hearts. We long to be with the people who have been important to us.

I will also never forget my friend from Korea who died of stomach cancer in June 2006. I was one of his spiritual advisers from the day he was diagnosed until the day he died. Many times he would confide in me that he was not concerned for himself because he knew Jesus. His concern was for his wife and three children. I was with him and his family the night he died. I leaned down and whispered in his ear that I would help them. It was the last time he smiled in this life.

Jesus knew he was going to die. He knew he was going to be arrested, tortured, and crucified. He also knew he would defeat death through his resurrection and return to his throne in heaven. Jesus wanted to prepare his disciples, the men he had been mentoring, for his death, resurrection and return to heaven. In John 14 he told them:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

He was reassuring them that he would come back for them to bring them to heaven to be with him. But Thomas said what would have been on our minds by saying- we don’t know the way so how can he get there.

Jesus answered:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

He told them that he is the way to heaven. We only need to know him because he is the way.

Jesus proved that when on the third day he rose from the dead in a glorified body. He defeated death for us.

As we go through this time of uncertainty, we can say- My Redeemer Lives. Because he lives I can face tomorrow.

Nicole Mullen sang it so beautifully in her song Redeemer. I would like to share it with you. Thank you for reading. God Bless.