Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jesus' death and resurrection

Life can be hard sometimes. That's how it's been for me. I'll have some amazing moments, and some really bad ones. I can be really happy, or really sad.
The past few weeks have been pretty difficult in relation to my overall health, and it has caused some very discouraged moments. 
I don't feel well, and it makes me saddened.
My brain doesn't work right and I become confused.
My heart and chest feels sick and I am half scared.
I hurt sometimes.

But I've decided to think about Jesus Christ whenever I don't feel right.
I'm not sure why I never thought of this before, because it is a really humbling and almost encouraging experience!

I grew up knowing the Bible, knowing about how Jesus died for me to pay the price of my sins, knowing that He came back to life on the third day, and that He will once again return to take me home. I knew it all. I believed it all. And I still do.
But I never related Christ's death, to my sickness.
If you read The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel does a really detailed job of what He probably went through on the Cross from a doctors perspective.
How His bones were snapped.
How He was beaten so badly, that He was unrecognizably covered in blood.
How difficult it was for His lungs to breathe due to the horrific position He was in, stretched out on the Cross.
How lacerated His body was, severing muscle tissue, arteries, and skin.
How little muscle He had left in order to pull Himself up to breathe.
How hard His heart had to work to try and keep up with all that He was loosing.
How His immune system had to work trying to get the bacteria and germs out of His system.
How He probably had pieces of glass and metal in His body causing agonizing pain.
How they put nails through His palms, and feet crushing the tissue and bones in the way.
….and all this happened after staying up all night long in the garden of Gethsemane.
He was thoroughly fatigued. Exhausted. Worn out. Broken.

And He willingly did this for me. And for you.

How does my problems in life compare to that of Jesus' pain and sorrow?
It doesn't. At all.
The suffering He experienced so that we may have Eternal life, is almost completely unimaginable. He could have saved Himself by doing some miracle. But He didn't. Because. He. so. loved. us.

So when you suffer, just think about how much Christ suffered.
When you have the stomach flu, think about Jesus.
When you have a splitting headache, think about Jesus.
When you have been diagnosed with cancer, think about Jesus.
When you have a disease, think about Jesus.
When you break your arm, think about Jesus.
When you have back pain, think about Jesus.
When you have a seizure, think about Jesus.
When you stub your toe, think about Jesus.
When your stomach hurts, think about Jesus.
When you have a cold, think about Jesus.
When you have an asthma attack, think about Jesus.
When you feel tired, think about Jesus.
When you are alone, think about Jesus….because you are not alone.

He did this for you. Would you do that for Him?
He loved us, and still loves us that much. Do you love Him like that?

After Jesus died, He was resurrected 3 days later. The only scars on Him were the nail holes, otherwise, you wouldn't have any clue what He had just went through. And one day, we will be resurrected too. Once we have finished everything God planned for us here on earth, He will take us Home to be with Him forever. And we will be healed. There will be no more pain, or sorrow, or sickness, or disease.
Does that sound nice or what? 
We have a hope. A hope that we will get better. Whether in this life or the next, we will. And in the meantime, we will have to suffer, and think about Jesus. And thank Him for what He graciously did for us on that Cross of Calvary.

He is worthy and greatly to be praised

 Olivia Grace

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Judging, favoritism, and righteousness


It is amazing how one can take a break from God's Word, and long for it so bad that it is absolutely refreshing to read it again! That is what happened to me, sad to say. It got so crazy while trying to move, that I dropped it, and never picked it up again until yesterday. I had started a couple of weeks ago in Romans, so I decided to read the second chapter...and I couldn't even finish the whole thing.
It. Was. That. Good.
I don't have a whole lot of time to blog right now, but I wanted to share with you what stood out to me yesterday in The Word.  Because to me, it was awesome.
Romans chapter 2 starts out with this:
"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone
else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning
yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." (vs. 1)
Woa, hold it there. I had to take a 5 minute break just to soak that all in.
How often, and how easy is it for each one of us to judge someone else without even knowing! I'm afraid it comes all too naturally for us, me included. And yet we are pretty much condemning ourselves by doing so...because we have a tendency to judge people when they do the bad things we are prone to do.  It is something the Lord has to work in our hearts, to recognize when we are quick to judge.
In verses 2-4:
"Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things
is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them
and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and
patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?"
I have never thought about that. God's kindness leads us to repentance. I guess that would mean when we realize that God still loves us and is kind to us despite our sin, it is humbling and makes us feel sorry for what we've done, and ever grateful for His love and mercy. To me, that is quite a deep thought that He put in the Bible!
Verse 7-8:
"To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor
and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are
self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will
be wrath and anger."
To those who by persistence in doing good. So it is saying that when we try our hardest to do good and please the Lord, He will give us eternal life. Because obviously none of us are perfect, so therefore we have to be persistent in doing the right thing. To work hard in being pure and right before the Lord. However, if we do the opposite which is doing things for our own pleasure (not God's), self-seeking, and rejecting the truth, there will be wrath and anger. Consequences for not doing the right thing for the right reason.
"For God does not show favoritism." (vs 11)
This verse really hit me hard.
And it's really short : )
But this is something I am shamefully guilty of. If someone looks a certain way, acts a certain way, or dresses a certain way, I tend to look at them with disgust. To not show love. To think they're weird, ugly, odd, immodest, or uncaring. I look at others, my friends, and think they're pretty, handsome, nice, loving, caring, modest, or beautiful. Look at the difference. One is a bad way of seeing people. And the other is a more healthy way of seeing people. The only problem? They are not the same. But God does not show favoritism. So if I want to be like my Father, I need to not show favoritism either. I need to look at both groups with the same love. The Agape love.
Last but not least, verse 13:
"For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's
sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared
So just knowing the Bible, and hearing it at church or even in your personal devotional time, is nothing if you don't obey it. It is those who obey, and do what it says to do and not do in the Bible, that are declared righteous. Wouldn't that be such an honor to be declared righteous by the Lord? Then we need to not only know Him, but obey Him. We need to read His Word, and do it. And He will help you, if you only ask! Praise the Lord.

He is worthy and greatly to be praised

 Olivia Grace