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A wonderful gift was given. A tremendous price was paid.
An investment for your salvation was sacrificially made.
Christ gave His life, shed His blood for our sins. On the cross He was crucified.
Like a criminal He was led to death, but as our Savior He died.
Yet, with His death came life anew, and victory over sin!
The debt He paid said, “I love you. Now your sins are forgiven.”
Forgiveness, a word oft’ misunderstood, means to pardon or excuse,
It means giving God’s grace and receiving His grace, that grudges are refused.
It doesn’t mean there won’t be punishment, or consequences to be paid,
But in response to Christ’s gift of Easter, heart’s offerings should be made.
For the Bible says to us be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving, too;
Even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. 1
The Bible also says Christ’s forgiveness, will make us clean and white as snow,2
That in Christ we’ll live forever. Shame and evil will rule us no more.
Let’s rejoice in the gift of forgiveness! Let’s rejoice that Christ overcame sin!
Let’s rejoice in Christ’s victory over death, and for eternal life with Him!
Renee Myers, 4-9-12
- Ephesians 4:32
- Isaiah 1:18
It can happen in an instant, or take time coming. It’s the situation that changes everything. A diagnosis. A ruling. Loss of job. Financial crisis. Marriage crisis. Family crisis. Loss of loved one. Whatever it is, the shock can be overwhelming, devastating.
What do you do? What’s next? What’s going to happen? How will you manage? How will this affect your loved ones?
So many quesitons. So much uncertainty. The uncertainty is the worst.
Then comes the most important question: How will you cope?
Shock, trauma, and fear take hold quickly. You need something to grasp hold of, something to cling to. Something to help you when hard times come.
That something is faith. Let it lead you to the Lord.
Pray hard and pray often. In your prayers let go of all the negative things taking hold of your heart – fear, anxiety, hopelessness. Ask for God’s guidance and the wisdom and courage to follow as He leads.
Look to God for perspective, understanding, hope and help. Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. (Proverbs 3:5) Seek His truths for your life.
Push out of your mind all the negative thoughts that want to defeat you. Those thoughts aren’t of Christ. Instead, think of what right, honorable, and true. (Phillipians 4:8)
Jesus came to save, not to condemn. (John 3:17). He does not call you a failure, or worthless. His plans are not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
In Christ, you are redeemed. Jesus isn’t just your Lord, He is your Savior! He paid a heavy price when He gave His life on the cross so that you could be freed of the sins and wrongs of your past. Claim the victory that is yours in Christ!
Remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways. Even when things seem hopeless to us, He has a way to respond to our needs.
There are many things we can’t control in our lives. Are you able to give control to God? Are you able to take a step in faith and surrender all to God? Let Him take the lead in your life?
Know that God is with you, responding to your heart, even before you call. (Isaiah 65:24)
Following are some of God’s promises, truths to hold onto when hard times come:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” – Jeremiah 29:11-12
For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. – Romans 8:28
Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done. – Pslam 105:4-5
God will never leave you, nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6
With God all things are possible. – Matthew 19:26
God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in time of need. – Psalm 46:1
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
PRAYER OF ST PATRICK
As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit, Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Oh, there’s nothing like sunlight streaming in through the windows to expose the dust and dirt in our house. Yesterday it was dust covering the countertops and stove surface (that I’d just wiped down the night before). The day before it was the hardwood floors where dirt and pet hair were gathering along the cabinets (where I’d just swept the day before). Today it was the steps and spindles of the staircase (more dust and pet hairs). Ugh.
Each time this happened I stopped what I was doing and cleaned the exposed areas, as well as the surrounding areas, too. Although not thrilled to do it, I have to admit it felt good when I was done. Then I was thankful the sun had revealed areas that needed more attention.
It’s like that with Christ, too. His light shines upon us, even makes its way inside us, and exposes the places within our heart and soul where we need to do a little cleaning. It’s a good thing! Rather than letting problems, concerns, worries, hurts, anger, fear and other “dirt” build up inside us, we stop the mess and wipe it away. The best part is that Jesus does the hard part! When we surrender our messy selves to Him, He cleans away the old and offers a clean, new start.
What better time than now, during this Season of Lent (no pun intended!), to let the Son shine in and do a little spring cleaning in preparation for the celebration of Easter.
Lord, you have brought light to my life, my God, you light up my darkness. – Psalm 18:28
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10
Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. – Pslam 51:9
“Come now,” says the Lord. “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18
That’s what Easter and the salvation of Christ is all about. Praise be to God!