Happy Resurrection Day!

Hope you were all as eggcited as I was, and that you’ve had an eggcellent Easter!
(Points for trying?)
I did purchase Creme eggs and Haribos for myself! #LonerStudentLife

Coming back to the point of this post, I want us to reflect on what we’ve just celebrated and should celebrate every single day – The Resurrection of Christ!

My church’s Senior Pastor delivered this message on the 6th of April 2012, I have it written down on the back of my Teen Bible. (I’m still in denial over turning 21.)
I wanted it to remind me of the ultimate sacrifice made on my behalf; for a sinner.

Good Friday

Jesus spoke seven words on the cross. (seven statements)

  1. Luke 23:24 – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
    –  As Christians, we believe that Jesus is the son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins. Most people these days would find that ridiculous! How can some person die for people he didn’t even know, and why, and what, and who again? I’ve asked these questions myself. (That’s a post for another day.)
    – So, Jesus died the death of an ordinary man. If He can forgive those who crucified Him, then who are we to judge now?
  2. Luke 23:43 – Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
    – Here ‘you’ is the criminal who was nailed to a cross, as his punishment. Verse 41 says, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong”. 
    – We’ve done things that we regret, we as Christians note them down as ‘sins’. Why do we do what we do? That question confused me as well but really, why do we do … what we do? I often used to think that “ohh everything’s God’s will so my actions are basically determined by His plan”, which made it easier for me to blame God for a consequence of my own doings. We are given the ability to make our own choices or else this world would be a huge puppet show.
  3. John 19: 26-27 – When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple,“Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
    – What do we understand by this? In my opinion: Becoming one in Christ – New relationships are formed – Broken lives are made new. Simple as that!
  4. Mark 15: 34 – And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
    – When I read this verse, I was certain that I had heard it before. Read Psalms 22:1 🙂
    – On the cross, He could bear mockery, pierced hands and legs that nailed Him to that very cross, His clothes were divided (I’ve read this in the Old Testament as well: King David wrote in Psalms 22:18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.) – Read point 1 in this post: They did cast lots of his garments. My point here being, He didn’t mind all this but once He felt the separation from God, He could not bear it.
  5. John 19:28 – Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
    – Through this we know that Jesus obeyed God till His death.
    – He accomplished His purpose on Earth: to clear the debt the world owed to God, He wiped away the debt of sin.
    – And that He thirsts; here, Physical thirst. Also, He thirsts for you and me.
  6. John 19:29-30 – A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
    – This fulfills Psalms 69:21 “…and gave me vinegar for my thirst.”
    – Christ came to this Earth to finish what God started – The forgiveness of sin.
    – The purpose as to why Jesus was sent to us was to bring about a change to mankind. He did it. It is finished. All is said and done. You just have to believe and experience the change brought by your faith in Him.
  7. Luke 23:46 – Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
    – Take a look at Psalms 31:5, it’s amazing how these words were in one of King David’s prayers: Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.”

Easter

We are not here to mourn the death of Christ but to rejoice because He rose again. ‘Death’ is temporary!  The tomb couldn’t contain Him. He is risen indeed!

What can be more powerful than knowing we worship a living God?

The nails didn’t hold Him to the cross, it was His love for you and me.

John 11:25-26 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

I’ll admit I found it difficult to write this post. I had to pause many a times and I held back from writing it well. I even saved it as a draft for about an hour and did nothing about it. By why should I shy away from the faith I have in Christ? What about his unfailing love for me? I’m saved by His amazing grace and I’m proud to call Him my saviour. I’ve been redeemed! I’ve been set free!

Instructions from the Book of James

So it’s been a while since I’ve uploaded a post.

Why not kick it off with a set of instructions given to us in the book of James –

1. When you lack wisdom, ask God for His unfathomable depths of knowledge.

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

2. Pray with an unwavering faith.
Once you have prayed, don’t doubt it! Have faith in your faith in God. (if that makes sense)

James 1:6 “… he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

3. When you are being tempted, don’t blame it on God.

James 1:13-14 “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desires, he is dragged away and enticed.”

4. Quick to listen, slow to speak, even slower to anger.

James 1:19-20 “… Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

5. Two words – Don’t Swear!

James 1:26-27 “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless … keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

6. Don’t show favouritism. (Yikes! Note to self.)

James 2:2-4 “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

7. Be merciful.

James 2:13 “… judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement!”

8. Let your deeds define your faith. (serious one here guys!)

James 2:17-18 “… faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”

James 2:24 “… a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.”

James 2:26 “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

9. Think twice before you speak?

James 3:1 “… that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

James 3:5-6 “… the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

James 3:8-10 “But no man can tame the tongue … With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing … this should not be.”

10. Pray with the right motives, and not with wrong intentions. (DUH!)

James 4:2-3 “… You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

11. Do your best, and leave the rest to God.

James 4:7-8,10 “Submit yourselves, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and He will come near to you … Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

12. Don’t boast about tomorrow. We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds our future.

James 4:14-15 “… you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

13. Do the right thing in all situations!

James 4:17 “Anyone, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, he sins.”

14. Be patient, and don’t grumble.

James 5:8-9 “… be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, or you will be judged.”

15. Know that our Lord is so good!

James 5:11 “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

16. Don’t swear by Heaven or Earth.

James 5:12 “… do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.”

17. Pray, pray and pray some more. In every situation, PRAY! It’s only a conversation with God after all. He’s waiting!

James 5:13 “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.”

18. The elders of your church should be called to pray in time of need.

James 5:14-15 “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.”

19. Confess your sins and pray! Be it for yourself or for loved ones or for others.

James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

20. Talk to non-believers, and invite them to Christ. Those Christians who have been led astray, bring them back to Jesus!

James 5:19-20 “… if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”