Food For Thought Friday

It’s More ‘Good’ Than We Acknowledge

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I often wondered why such a seemingly unimaginably awful Friday as this is called “Good Friday.” Translation certainly has something to do with this naming, as the word ‘good’ in Old English is better translated to our modern day ‘holy’. And it is certainly a HOLY Friday. Today is the day we commemorate God sacrificing His one and only Son, Jesus, on the cross. Killing Him in a horribly painful way to save us all.

All of us.

So if you are thinking you are too ‘bad’, too old, too tainted, too far gone, not good enough…that this sacrifice was not for you because you don’t need the Blood of Jesus Christ to save you… Well, however, crazily un-PC this may be…

YOU’RE WRONG.

There is one single way to Heaven: Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:16

You cannot be good enough. You cannot give enough or go to church enough or meditate enough. The only thing that is enough is Jesus.

On today, Good Friday, God is asking you to do one thing: Acknowledge He gave His only Son a death sentence to save you. Believe that Jesus is the Son of the Living God and that He loves you – beyond ANY type of love you have ever experienced, beyond any type of love you could imagine. Nothing on this earth gets remotely close.

Once you acknowledge this fact, you simply have to believe, thank God for the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE and allow Him to be your Savior, by asking Him to forgive you and turning away from your past.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”               John 3:16-18

This is a reason today is a ‘good day’… without the death of Christ on the cross, there could be no resurrection, no Easter Sunday. He died for YOU and for ME, and in doing so overcame death completely. His resurrection on the third day means that the day I die, I can say with confidence that I will be with Jesus in Heaven.

 “One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You received the same sentence he did. Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.” And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!” Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.” Luke 23:39-43

With death being the great uncertainty in life, knowing my destination is an amazing comfort that allows me to live for Jesus, able to follow Him no matter what the consequences are – not that any of us are ever 100% successful in this. We all sin, no matter how much we try not to. As much as I strive to listen to God, satan tempts me too.

I do not understand what I do; for I don’t do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. Since what I do is what I don’t want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right. So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me. I know that good does not live in me—that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. I don’t do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do.If I do what I don’t want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me.” Romans 7:15-20

Craig and I are about to embark on a new adventure for Christ – the details will be ‘spilled’ soon – and so many people have asked, “How can you just follow like that – no questions asked?”

And I have 2 answers:

  1. Plenty of questions were asked – whether they should have been or not. We are not experts, by any stretch of the imagination, in trusting God, but we are trying. He asked us; we pleaded with Him; we questioned Him; we questioned each other; we relented; we followed.
  2. Faith in the outcome. God the Father sent His Son to die for our salvation. Jesus, flesh on earth, asked for there to be ‘another way’…He was frightened. He was both totally human and totally God. But He followed His Father’s Will – and while it was painful for Him…more painful that I could ever fathom, His Father knew the outcome…and aren’t we all glad He obeyed?

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

You may have seen on Facebook or Instagram that someone recently made some pretty rude comments toward Craig and me regarding our infertility. I am trying to believe that they misinterpreted our faith for complacency. Just as I ask the Lord to ‘help my unbelief’ for my Christian faith, I ask Him the same mercy for our lack of children.

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‘Though [the Lord] brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.’ Lamentations 3:32

‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.’ Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’” Lamentations 3:21-24

He loved us so much He sent His only Son to die for us even though we did nothing to deserve this. If He loves me this much, He will provide for our every single need. How could I possibly doubt that? How can I worry about food, bills, a mortgage, children…when He provided even His only Son for me.

Can you fathom that?

Think of the person on this Earth you love most – your child, your spouse, your parent. Now imagine the entire world is sick. A disease is killing every person on earth and it is spreading like wildfire. The only cure is the blood of your loved one. That’s it. To save the world, you have to hand over your husband, your son, your daughter, your mother, your father, to be killed. And not in some pretty way. And not to a group of people who are grateful. No, you are handing over the one you love most to pain and torture so unbearable you don’t dare imagine it. And to a group of people who hate and despise the one you love most.

Could you do that? Could you sentence the love of your life to death to save people who don’t deserve it, even remotely???

I couldn’t. I don’t possess that much love.

So how in the world can I turn away from the only One who could, and did – Just for you and me?

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Thirsty For Christ Thursday

I Believe…

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As you may have seen via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter last night, I’ve embarked on a challenge – A challenge specifically dealing with drinking more water every day – One Gallon, to be precise.

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At first, it was incredibly daunting – especially since I was literally starting at square one (aka I drank zero water per day)… but I’ve been following this health and fitness guru who swears by drinking a gallon per day. The health and detox benefits are phenomenal – I mean, I can already (on Day 4) feel a difference! It’s crazy how one ‘little’ change can seem so impossible, and yet make such a huge difference!

Mere water isn’t the only little change with big results.

True conversion to becoming a Christ Follower makes an even BIGGER and EVERLASTING change in your life, both now and for eternity. But that conversion is just what the word means – CHANGE. One cannot be a true Christian and live life in the same old way he (or she) did in the past. There must be a conversion, a change, a turning away from the past, a new life. This is what is means to be reborn.

Just as I’m adding a gallon of water to my daily intake, as a believer (and I’ll get to that tricky little word in a moment) I’ve added Bible reading, prayer, avoidance of certain activities, attending church services, and a daily strife for the strength to do all of these things (through He who strengthens me!) to my lifestyle. No one is perfect. No one gets it right all of the time! Just as there may be a day when I just can’t fit ALL of that water into my diet…but I don’t give up! “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Belief is a tricky little term – one I believe (no pun intended) satan has tricked a multitude of people out of salvation with. You see, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.” James 2:19 True Christianity is more than just “I believe in God and Jesus…”

No ma’am. That’s missing the mark.

Billy Graham has this to say about the word BELIEVE and how it is used in the Bible and in reference to our salvation – vs the sneaky way satan has encouraged it to be translated in society:

The word “believe” in the Bible means more than simply agreeing in our minds that something might be true. It means “trust”—that we believe so strongly in God that we are willing to commit our lives to Him and live the way we know He wants us to live.

Suppose you were walking along a path and you came to a bridge which crossed a deep canyon. You might look at it and believe that it would hold you, and you might even see other people walking across it so you know it would hold your weight. But so far, your “belief” in the bridge is only in your head. When do you really believe the bridge will hold you? You only really believe it when you are willing to commit your life to it and actually walk across it.

It is the same way with Christ. Yes, we can believe that God exists, but God wants us to come to know Him personally. And He has bridged the gap between us by sending His Son to remove the barrier of sin and become that “bridge.” To believe in Christ is to commit our lives by faith to Christ—to trust Him personally as our Lord and Savior.

“They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:31 The Greek word translated here as ‘believe’ is ‘pisteuson‘, which means “to entrust, to place complete confidence in”.

This is different that society’s definition of the word: “Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. In other words, belief is when someone thinks something is reality, true, when they have no absolute verified foundation for their certainty of the truth or realness of something…”

Obviously, these two types of belief of vastly dissimilar, as Dr. Graham points out in the previous passage. Being a Christian is more than  just ‘believing that God is real and thinking there is no factual evidence to prove this’.

Being a Christian means placing your complete confidence in Christ, which involves making real and significant change in your lifestyle and routine.

If you want to truly experience the abundant life that a relationship with the Lord Jesus provides, totally entrust your life to Him. Peace With God will show you step-by-step how to do just that – it’s a website with a beautiful purpose, and there are even counselors there to speak to you, free of charge, about your decision for Christ and how to make the change.

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The Christian life isn’t easy. You can’t sit back with your feet up, as satan would love for you to believe…but the RESULTS (eternity with God in Heaven!?!?!) are well worth the effort!!

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