Sunday, April 27, 2014

Caught In a Storm of Faith

After I made a profession of faith and the pastor baptized me I thought, “Shouldn’t I feel saved?” I wondered what I did wrong.

Caught in a storm of faith, I believed I was unforgivable. I avoided Christians, Sunday school, and Bible study—fearing condemnation. When I opened my heart to God’s love and forgiveness, many wounds healed and sinful habits fell away.

Are you caught in a storm of faith?

Through the Easter season, we read about many instances of failed faith by those who knew Jesus best. Peter denied him and the cock crowed. (Luke 22:60) The disciples hid behind locked doors in fear. (John 20:19) Thomas insisted on touching Jesus wounds to believe. (John 20:25)

Are we of stronger faith than the disciples? Is our storm any different? Not mine. Like the disciples, I lived in the flesh for many years. The devil knows our weaknesses and failures as he knew the disciples. Our separation from God pleases the evil one.

After reading a children’s book about Elijah and Elisha, I prayed for faith like theirs. Then one day, in the midst of my storm, Jesus showed up, cleaned me up and filled me up! Yet I still fall short of God’s desire in my faith daily and must feed on his word continuously.

“Strengthen your commitment to Christ—now. Don’t wait until the storms of temptation, or sickness, or old age threaten to blow you off-course; now is the time to strengthen your faith.” ― Billy Graham, The Heaven Answer Book.

“When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’ ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied (2 Kings 2:9 NIV).

In Christ,

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Adopted on Easter

Our local church talks a lot about adoption. We have added so many children recently I have trouble keeping up with their names. They bless us with their love, joy, and faith.

We have celebrated Easter with loud “Hosannas.” We’ve listened to Jesus’ forgive his murderers. We have shouted, “He is risen!” and “Christ is risen indeed!”

Before I understood the need for Jesus’ death, I knew adoption. My husband adopted our daughter. My father-in-law accepted me as a daughter. We became part of a family full of love. 


Jesus was beaten for our transgressions. He was crucified for our sins. He rose to conquer sin and death in this dark world. And he did it all because he loves us (John 3:16).

The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ offer eternal life and adoption into his royal family. When we accept his great love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness we become children of God.

Adopted. Sonship – full members in the family of God.

Unlike me, God is able to name each of his adopted children. He has their names written in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16). He has inscribed our names in The Lambs Book of Life.

Jesus is my Brother. My Savior. My Friend.

God is my Daddy. My Father. My King.

“The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba Father’” (Romans 8:15 NIV).

In Christ,

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

It Is Written: Jesus' Death

I’ve been mulling around this idea as we follow Jesus to the cross:

How well do we represent the Jesus of Good Friday to the world? How do we show the love of the Father to the skeptic, the atheist, the young mother who sees images she doesn’t want her child to see?

·        Jesus was beaten, scourged, slapped, spit on and his beard was pulled out.
·        Jesus was crowned with thorns, cloaked in purple and called “The King of the Jews”.
·        Jesus was nailed to a tree, yet refused medicinal wine.
·        Jesus forgave his murderers and welcomed a thief into paradise.
·        Jesus was mocked, “If you are the Messiah save yourself.”
·        Jesus took the sins of the world upon him and felt separation from his Father.
·        Jesus committed his spirit to God, died and was buried in a borrowed tomb.

Is that enough to frighten and turn people away? Yes, I agree. But how can we portray that day of Jesus suffering and sacrifice as a witness to what he provides?

·        Jesus took all our sins and transgressions, and the punishment for them, upon his body.
·        Jesus shed blood offers forgiveness to the children of God into eternity.
·        Jesus death allows us to live righteous and holy before God and man.
·        Jesus life tells us to represent the gospel of Jesus Christ always and everywhere.
·        Jesus tells us to love God and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Jesus’ death – and resurrection – cleanses our spirit, renews our strength, and satisfies our soul.

“The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” (Romans 6:10 NIV).

In Christ,

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