Tag Archive | redemption

Retweeting Easter’s Message

If the church would put the same intensity, prayer, outreach & vision they do into Easter Sunday every week, what a force it would be.

~ Jon Tyson  Pastor, Trinity Grace Church, NY

Facebook, Twitter, and the internet was saturated with the Gospel message yesterday!!   God’s Word was being proclaimed across every conceivable pathway or route.  Shouts of

HE IS RISEN!

were rolling out non-stop, crossing boundaries and perhaps, firewalls, bringing the good news of the resurrection and redemption into dark nations and hearts.

Below reflects a two-hour window from “friends” and “followers”, covering everything from personal Easter greeetings and wishes, to Scriptures, hymns, and weighty quotes:

Tweets and Stats:

So thankful that He is Risen!

Easter Sunday the day that Jesus rose from the dead, looked Satan in the eyes and said, “Game over!”

Beyond the shadow of a doubt..

My king, has risen!

Happy Easter everyone! He is risen indeed!

“Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!” – St. Chrysostom

Death swallowed Christ and Christ destroyed it from the inside out.

There is NOTHING foolish about The Cross, or what happened on The Cross

Oh the depth of His love – that He would send His only Son to pay the penalty for the sins of you and me!

Lives again our glorious King, Where O death is now thy sting? Dying once He all doth save, Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Creator. Healer. Beginning and End. Prince of Peace. Living Water. Lamb of God. Wonderful. Counselor. Rock and Salvation. Redeemer. Friend. Holy One. Comforter. Defender. Word of Life. Faithful and True.

Jesus. He is Risen.

Empty Tomb! He is risen…happy Easter everyone.

Let no one caught in sin remain inside the lie of inward shame! Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death! Come awake! Come awake! Come and rise up from the grave!

Forgiveness was provided because of the cross by a loving God who never had to compromise spiritually, go corrupt, blind, or lower His stand.

Easter is not the “happy ending” after Jesus’ death. It is the happy beginning of God’s new creation!

Christ the Lord is Risen — today and eternally. May Christ’s church resound with this message this Lord’s Day,

Christ is risen! “He’s alive and I’m forgiven. Heaven’s gates are open wide. He’s alive!” – Don Francisco

Ok kids, brace yourself…There’s NO such thing as an Easter bunny (same thing goes for Santa)…I just thought you should know…:) – HAPPY EASTER ALL…HE IS RISEN…

He is Risen! Living he loves us, dying he saved us, rising he justified our salvation! Happy Easter! Give glory to GOD……..not the bunny! The bunny does nothing except poop in my yard!

Scriptures and Quotes:

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realised the new wonder; but even they hardly realised that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.” – G.K. Chesterton

But sometime before dawn on a Sunday morning, a spike-torn hand twitched. A blood-crusted eyelid opened. The breath of God came blowing into that cave, and a new creation flashed into reality…. Russel D. Moore, author.

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. John 17:14-19 NKJV

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.  Romans 5:10 ESV

Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when He comes back. -1 Corinthians 15:23

They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. -Hebrews 11:35

Jesus was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness. Rom 1:4

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen!” Mark 16:4-6

Tunes and Lyrics:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future
… And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again
Woke up singing:
Love crucified arose
The risen One in splendor
Jehovah’s sole defender
Has won the victory

“Lord You know just how far the east is from the west
I don’t have to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other”

Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me

Living He loved me! Dying He saved me! Buried He carried my sins far away! Rising He justified freely forever! One day He’s coming! Oh Glorious Day! Oh Glorious Day!

~~And YouTube vids of Natalie Grant, Matt Maher, Hillsong, and Casting Crowns!

~~~

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 

Matthew 5:16

~~~

Let your light shine Believers! Not just on Easter, but Everyday!  Keep your lamps lit, watch and pray,

and let your very

LIFE,

not just your internet status,

share the Light and Aroma of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Christmas Carols Grace Notes – 3

Today’s Christmas hymn is little known and rarely never sung.  It was written by John Newton, who also penned “Amazing Grace” and countless other beauties.  In this mediation/song, Newton expresses his wonder and sadness at the human apathy towards the Lord’s incarnation.  He rightly claims that our praises should outshine the angels, for Christ came in OUR image, and for OUR redemption!

 

Flesh of our Flesh   

Jesus, who passed the angles by,
Assumed our flesh, to bleed and die;
And still He makes it His abode;
As a man, He fills the throne of God.

Our next of kin, our Brother now,
Is He to whom the angels bow;
They join with us to praise His Name,
But we the nearest interest claim.

But ah! how faint our praises rise!
Sure ’tis the wonder of the skies,
That we, who share His richest love,
So cold and unconcerned should prove.

Oh glorious hour! it comes with speed
When we from sin and darkness freed,
Shall see the God who died for man,
And praise Him more than angels can.      [1]

 

[1]  C.H. Spurgeon, compiler, Our Own Hymn Book, Reprint and 2nd Ed, Pilgrim Publications, Texas, 2002.  Page 66.

Story of a Song

“For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods!” Psalm 97:9

I EXALT THEE!

Every song has a story, even thousands of stories.  The obvious story is what’s being said through the lyrics.  Then there’s what the writer felt but, perhaps, never verbalized through the words of the song.  And then, there’s a story for each and every listener of the song–the pain or joy they equate with it, or where they first heard it, what they were doing, who they were with, etc. 

We have a story for “I Exalt Thee” which, as Spurgeon says, ‘shows that the goodness of God has been the same to us as the saints of old.”

Flashback:  1977.  Okinawa, Japan.  I was pregnant with our first daughter (Joy).  In the decades before  Amazon.com, UPS, FedEx and other express-mailing days, it was so exciting to get packages overseas.  Every month we ordered a record album through an old-school Columbia House membership.  When Pete Sanchez’s album arrived, it didn’t take long to realize what a treasure we had received!!  All the songs were so worshipful!  John loved them so much that he made a cassette copy for us to use at a home Bible Study that we attended.   Sitting in the small living room of our friends’ military apartment, our feeble voices joined with Sanchez’s to exalt the Lord above all other gods!

Flash a bit forward:  1989-1994.  A time when we were far away from the Lord.  During that time, we’d occasionally find ourselves in church with family, or *accidentally* listening to Christian radio, and “I Exalt Thee” would be sung or played.  I would weep, realizing how far away we were from that humble worship time in Okinawa–how far our hearts were from exalting our Lord above all gods.  How far we had fallen. 

Present:  The video above—singing” I Exalt Thee” with His church and precious believers in Ottawa.   After sixteen long years of God’s wounding and healing, tearing down and building up, rescuing, restoring, and reconciliation, we sang as if we were back in Okinawa.  That could only be the Lord’s doing.

And that is our story of “I Exalt Thee.”  That God is faithful.  He sees beginning to end.  In 1977, when we poured our hearts to Him in worship, He knew there’d be days ahead when we would fall away for a time, just as He knew Peter would deny Him three times.  And what did Jesus say?

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus didn’t let go.  Jesus didn’t quit on us when we quit on Him.  That’s our story–His faithfulness!

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6

 

PS.  You can read more about our church service on Saturday nites at  SaulGood  and Andy’s blog, HERE.

Loss of a Friend

Weizen aka Bob

Bob is no longer with us.   He’s been part of our family for over 11 years.  His real name is Weizen, which our daughter, Grace gave him when she first saw his soft white-wheat coat and golden eyelashes.  Weizen was her 16th birthday present…and a lot more to our whole family:  best friend, companion, counselor, listener, and spiritual teacher.   Those closest to us may have also recognized Bob as John’s alter ego, his reason to get home, and often, his reason to wake up each day.

Some of John’s thoughts prior and upon this difficult time:

August 20th:

Today, I called the animal clinic concerning putting Bob to sleep.  It is really difficult for me emotionally, but as Bob’s primary caretaker, I need to make this decision based upon his needs.  Thank you Lord, for letting me care for this beautiful animal.  He has a wonderful spirit and I will miss him more than I can let myself admit today.  Bob has represented the sovereign will of God in our lives.  Many places would I have gone but did not, because of Bob, yet many other places we went or lived would not have been, except for our consideration of Bob’s needs and place in our lives.
As with our faith in God, many people questioned me about why I didnt put Weizen aside so we could travel.  My answer is, I am an emotional being and I could not be ME and do that.  Help me, Lord Jesus, to have the strength to do what is right!

Bob will be fondly remembered through pictures and memories, as the true soul mate he was to all of us.  Life is spiritual, life is eternal, and the physical is momentary–I know when we are in God’s Kingdom, Weizen will run up to greet us once again!

I doubt that I’ll be able to write tomorrow, or for a while as I am such an emotional creation.

The Holy Spirit encouraged me from Hebrews 4:13-16, to let me know that He will be with me and Bob when the time comes:

“Before Him, no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the One to Whom we must render an account. Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore approach the throne of Grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find Grace to help in our time of need.”

August 22nd:

Yesterday, our beloved friend and companion went home to be with the angels. This experience is among the most painful moments in my life.  Bob fell asleep after being sedated and we said goodbye… This was my first morning without Bob’s presence, and yet I sense him even more!  Thank you Lord, for giving us hope!  The Lord offered some comfort for me through Romans 8:18-39, a beautiful portion of His word concerning death, life, and God’s love in Christ towards us:

Vs. 20:  Creation (Bob) was subjected to futility (sin), not of his (Bob’s) own will or fault, but by the will of the One who subjected creation (Bob) that is God, in hope that the creation (Bob) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning [including animals, in my opinion], with labour pains until now; and not only creation, but we [humans] ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoptions, the redemption of our bodies.”

Bob has been “set free”! 

I like verse 26….“likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.”  I am weak, and we read in Hebrews, Jesus is able to help us in our times of weakness.  Thank you, Lord.

Verses 24 and 25 also give me hope:
For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what is seen?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

To paraphrase another verse (Proverbs 13:12) on hope:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick.  But when hope is fulfilled, it brings forth new life!

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” 

1 Corinthians 15:55-57