It Had to Be…


Agonized breaths jerked each muscle taut, draining his strength, shaking his body. Bloody and battered beyond recognition, his bruised body hung suspended between heaven and earth. Crucified as a criminal–hated and scorned–he still promised the thief beside him hope: “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” Dying a slow, tortuous death, in naked shame, he hung humiliated in front of those he loved most.

Eternity was at stake, and he was the key: life or death would win this battle nailed to a tree. Followers left him, mockers ridiculed him; friends abandoned him; his own father forsook him…he was…alone.

Jesus on cross“God, my God, why have you forsaken me”–he cried out to a hollow heaven–to the Father who couldn’t bear to look upon the Son pierced as a sacrificial lamb. Heaven turned dark with shame for an evil human race and the sun refused to shine.

“I thirst,” his voice cracked from a dehydrated, parched throat;  they brought him sour wine which he refused for he would not be drugged from the pain of the world. Jesus wept and tears, mingled with his blood, stained the old wooden cross for a people who did not care.

“King–a king?” they mocked, not realizing they were killing the King of kings, the ruler of the whole universe.

Lovingly, he stretched out his arms and gave his life willingly so all humanity could be saved.

“Mother, don’t cry,” his heart wept upon seeing her sorrow, and then looking to John, he said, “take care of her….”

Never a thought for his own safety, he boldly came to Jerusalem even when warned it would be dangerous–that men sought to take his life.

Omniscient, he already knew the outcome, of accepting this assignment given by his father; he’d known it since birth and he knew there was no other way; this had to be.

Peering at the crowd, he whispered, “Forgive them, Father; they don’t know what they are doing.”

Quaking, the earth shook, the skies ripped apart and lightening flashed as hearts trembled in fear and awe. Rumbling in the distance, the sky predicted a dark ending to that sad day.

“Storm’s brewing,” the guards warned as they looked warily at the frightened crowd. Thunder claps of fury sent men and women scurrying in every direction in fear and dismay.

Unveiled in the inner court, the holy curtain was torn from top to bottom – everyone could now enter freely and boldly before the throne of God.

Victory in death–how could it be that by dying he would win the battle for life? Winning the prize of eternity, eternal life was now made possible to anyone who believes in God’s atonement for sin through His only begotten son.

eXcitement overcame believers when the stone was rolled away and the tomb was found empty–“He is not here, He is risen–He lives forevermore!”

You–me–everyone young and old, rich or poor, every color, every gender, every race–salvation is for all people everywhere because He died for us to make us all free!

Zion’s Son: our hope, our glory, our life!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son–that whosoever believes on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

______________________

This was written in 26 sentences from A-Z and is part of a new devotional book to be released this summer – Thoughts for Evening Time. Watch for it on Amazon.

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Your Jewel Case


old252520jewelry252520box_thumb25255b225255dWhat if we are all characters in a story–the imagination of some higher power writing the plot of our lives? Could someone be orchestrating every move, every scene, or do we, as characters, really write our own story? If so, can we change the ending?

Think of your life as a jewel case. On the day you are born, you are given a jewel case full of priceless gems. God has placed a gem for each day of your life in this jewel case. As each new day begins, God selects a jewel and presents it to you. Continue reading

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Assurance of Stability in Unstable Times


The Markhor of Pakistan

Habakkuk, the prophet of old, trembled at what was happening in his nation. Scripture says his lips quivered and his knees buckled at the calamity soon to come. Yet, he rejoiced in the fact that his God would keep him safe. “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;(stable and secure), and leads me to high places.” (See Habakkuk 3)

 

I seek the Solid Rock on higher ground when everything below becomes mud and muck. I purpose to search beyond me and to look above for my strength. The Sovereign Lord promises protection and security if I stand upon His promises -the solid and true Word of God – and give direction when there seems to be none. I can be surefooted and resolute in my faith. I can rise above the storms below and rest securely in His assurance. How? I only need to trust. God is still in control.

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Never alone…


Gehazi panicked when he woke up and saw the city surrounded by the Syrian army. It turns out the entire military was bearing down on the city to capture just one man — Gehazi’s boss, Elisha. For his part, Elisha wasn’t worried. In fact, he already knew about the manhunt. He also knew about the […]

via You are not alone — Mustard Seed Budget

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Believe And Worship God


Simple trust is so hard – but so necessary.  Sometimes, that’s the only thing left. Today, I choose to believe.

Don’t stop trying, because your trying will be transfigured into accomplishment. Don’t stop believing God, because your believing will develop into fulfillment. And whatever you do, don’t stop worshiping God, because your worship, (like King David), will transform your life, city, and nation. The enemy wants you to stop. However, God […]

via Believe And Worship God — Pure Glory

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Is a “Look-See” Good Enough?


Look-seeMy Dad often used the term, “look-see.”  If something needed to be inspected, he had to go take a “look-see.”  As a child, I thought it was funny; it sounded as if he said the same thing twice. I didn’t know it was an actual word. Merriam-Webster says so. It means to “take a quick peek or visual inspection of something.” The word was first used around 1883 by Chinese immigrants trying to get a handle on the English language.

Although both actions use the eyes, looking and seeing are really two different things. When you stop to ponder it, you can look all you want at something and not really perceive it or understand it. “Seeing is the ability to discern and understand intellectually or spiritually; to have insight and perceive or construct a mental image; to consider, and then visualize.” [Dictionary.com]

We may look around and note deprivation and destruction all around us, and it may not mean a thing. We may watch all the bad, sad news on TV and not be affected at all. Looking isn’t enough. It takes the act of “seeing” to understand, and a keen perception to view what lies beneath the surface.

Is the tattooed person with all the piercings a rebel? Is the panhandler on the street just lazy? Is the glamour star successful and happy? At first glance – a look – it may seem true. So now we have a choice. We can either look down our noses, or try to get a glimpse of their story. Seeing into their heart may give a whole different perspective. More than a quick “look-see,” we need to really see people and understand where our nation is headed.

We must look before we can see. To become a caring and understanding person, we must go beyond the act of looking. The right and proper thing can only be seen with our hearts. When we see clearly, we’ll know how to respond correctly. Discernment is a skill that is honed by polishing the lenses of sight. In these uncertain days of disenchantment, let us strive to be “seers” instead of only “lookers” and reach out to those who are in need.

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The Fragrance of Springtime


daffodils_on_the_lake_sideSoon, my yard will smell like onions. Why, you ask? Because in this part of the country, wild chives grow everywhere. When we mow the grass with all the chives popping up here and there, fresh onion odor infuses the air. Not terrible, but I would prefer the smell of freshly mowed grass. I love all the fragrances that welcome springtime. Daffodils and Bradford pear trees are in full bloom; my azalea has buds, and soon tulips and hyacinths will be out. I close my eyes, breathe in God’s wonderful perfume, and give thanks. The new freshness of springtime is amazing and beautiful, and I worship my Lord in it. Continue reading

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