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ALWAYS

I will always be with you even until the end of the age.                                                             – Jesus

 

The sky was bursting with color as the sun set over the sea. While on the shore the water gently rolled over the sand as the sandpipers looked for food. The disciples built themselves a fire and sat around it reflecting of the days gone by.

“I can’t believe he’s gone. It only seems like yesterday he was teaching us by the sea and telling us to follow him.” James recalled as he watched the sun set.

“Remember when he overturned the money changer tables at the temple? Or when he raised that man from the dead as they were carrying him to his grave!” said Thomas.

“What about the stories he would tell? Or all the miracles he did?” Matthew added.

“What really caught me was how he loved people, He never turned anyone away when they came to him!” John said as he looked around at the others who in turn nodded in agreement.

“It sure has been good to be with him these last few days. Now I understand why he allowed himself to be crucified. although the night he was arrested was the longest night of my life!” said Peter .

As Philip looked up into the sky he thought about the day Jesus appeared when they were all together at Peter’s house. It was the first time Thomas saw Jesus after he had rose from the dead.

Thomas came and knocked on the door at Peter’s house.

“Who is there?” a voice called out.

“It’s me Thomas, let me in, he responded. Andrew opened the door and let him in, as he looked around for anyone else who might have followed him.

“We have seen Jesus! He has risen from the dead!” Peter exclaimed.

“Yeah right!” Thomas said in unbelief.

“No! It’s true! Jesus is alive! I have seen him too! We all have!” Matthew joined in as he looked around at the others.

“Come on guys! Is this some kind of sick joke?” Thomas said angrily.

John came and put his hands on Thomas’ shoulders and said,

“Thomas, It is true. Just a few days ago, when Mary came and told us she had seen Jesus alive, we did not believe her either and then he appeared in the middle of the room! The door was locked when he just manifested out of the air!  He is alive just as he said he would be!”

Pulling away from John in frustration Thomas said,

“Have you lost your mind! I miss him too, but for you to say he came back from the dead is unbelievable. Don’t you remember what he looked like when we buried him?”

“Thomas, we all saw him! He even showed us the holes in  his hands and feet where the nails went through!”

Thomas shook his head in disbelief.

“Until I see him for myself, and put my finger in the wounds he received from his crucifixion, I will not believe he has come back from the dead!

Eight days later the disciples came together to discuss what to do next.  Thomas joined them even though he still had his doubts about Jesus being alive.

Suddenly the room filled with glorious light and Jesus came and stood  before them.

“Thomas, Jesus said as he stretched out his hands toward him.

“See my hands and feet? Put your fingers in them so you will believe and not doubt.”

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas cried out as he fell to his knees at Jesus’ feet.

“Thomas because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Jesus said as he helped Thomas back to his feet. Then he opened their understanding so that they could know the reason he came and why he had to suffer.

Sparks went up into the night sky as Peter stirred the logs to keep the fire going.  Matthew watching the sparks fade into the darkness recalled the last thing the Lord said to them.

Jesus met them on a hillside just outside of Bethany and began to instruct them on what they needed to do.

“All authority has been given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Then Jesus stretched out his hands and blessed them. As he was speaking, he started to ascend into heaven.

“Do not leave Jerusalem until you have received the Promise of the Father which you have heard from me; for John truly baptized you with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” he said as he faded into the clouds.

As they watched him go up two men dressed in glistening white apparel stood by them and said,

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

“What do you suppose Jesus meant when he said, ‘you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit?’ Andrew asked the rest of the group.

They all gazed into the fire as they thought about Andrew’s question.

“We must go Jerusalem and wait as Jesus told us to do.” Peter said as he got up to leave. The others put the fire out and began walking toward Jerusalem, rejoicing and praising God as they went.


There are many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”                    

– John 21:25


This story is an adaptation of the events recorded in the gospels.
*John 20:24-31, Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

DAYSPRING

“Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace”*

– Zacharia*

As the day drew to a close, Jesus’ friends and family watched as they lowered the lifeless body from the rugged crossbeam. When the guards where finished with him, the family came laid him on a linen cloth and wrapped it around him.

“I have a place close by we can take him”, said Joseph who was from Aramathia.

“It’s in the garden at the bottom of this hill. Follow me”

There in the garden the aroma of fresh flowers filled the air, and life was in abundance while they laid the body of the giver of life in the tomb, and sealed it with a heavy stone. Some of the disciples gathered at Peter’s house and barred the doors tightly, for they feared the Jewish leaders would have them arrested. The days seemed endless as the pain of their great loss overwhelmed them. After looking around the room Andrew approached the table where James and John where seated.

“What are we going to do now that Jesus is gone? ”

No response

“Where will we go?”

His questions fell into the silence. He continued,

“We can’t just sit around here waiting to die!”

Still no response, but how could they?

“With Jesus gone, death doesn’t sound so bad,” Peter thought to himself as he looked out the window.

As the darkness covered the land, the flickering light of the torches lit up the early morning sky. The Roman soldiers who were stationed at the tomb of Jesus paced back and forth trying to stay awake while the others took their turn sleeping.

“Well men, this is the last day we have to stand watch over this dead man,” said the chief officer.

“Good riddance!” another guard replied as he warmed himself by the fire. While the two men were still speaking, the ground began to shake violently.

“Hey what’s going on?”

The soldiers who were sleeping woke up while those who were standing fell to the ground. Suddenly an angel appeared at the tomb’s entrance with the appearance of lighting flashing across the sky. With little effort angel rolled the heavy stone away from the doorway of the tomb and sat on it. Overcome with fear at the awesome sight the guards passed out, laying on the ground as dead men. When they recovered and found the tomb empty, they left the garden and went to report what happened to the chief Priest.

“I can’t believe he’s gone!” Mary sobbed. She and some the other women who followed Jesus went to the tomb to minister to him one last time.

” These past few years went so fast!” said Joanna.

As they arrived at the tomb, They noticed the stone that was in front of the grave had been rolled away. Dropping the ointment Mary was carrying, she  and the other women ran up to the entrance of the tomb and looked inside.

He’s gone! What have they done with him?”Mary exclaimed as she turned and ran out of the garden to Peter’s house to tell them the news.

“Peter, John,” Mary cried as she beat on the door.

” They have taken him away!”

“Woman what is the matter with you? Do you want to wake up the entire city?” Peter whispered sternly as he opened the door.

“They have taken the body of the Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him!”

What?!” exclaimed Peter.

John got up and ran out the door with Peter close behind. The two men raced through the garden to see the tomb for themselves. John was the first to arrive at the entrance and looked inside. While  Peter came up behind him and went on in. The linen cloth that they used to wrap Jesus’ body laid empty on the stone slab before him. John came into the tomb behind Peter and noticed the cloth they used to wrap Jesus’ head was folded up and laid separately from the other linens.

“Surely he has risen from the dead just as he said he would. But where is he?” John thought to himself.

The two men departed from the garden with more questions than answers. They returned to their own homes thinking about what they saw at the tomb.

The sky that was once filled with darkness burst forth in an array of color by the rising sun. In the garden life began to stir once again as the song of the birds filled the air, and the flowers released sweet aroma with the warmth of the early morning light. There in the center of the garden, Mary had returned to the tomb. Her heart overwhelmed at the thought of someone taking her Lord, she wept bitterly as she stood in the garden alone.

“Where did they take him? I must know where!” she wept.

As Mary wiped the tears from her eyes, she looked once again into the place where they had laid Jesus three days earlier. Inside the tomb, two angels were sitting on the slab where the body laid. Mary stood in shock when she saw them, for she thought she was alone.

“Woman why are you weeping?” one of the angels questioned her.

“Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have taken him,” She replied as she began to cry again. Unable to stay any longer Mary decided to go home. As she turned to leave a man stood behind her.

“Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for in that empty tomb?”

“He must be the gardener, maybe he took the body from the tomb,” she thought to herself as she drew closer to him.

“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will go and get him,” Mary pleaded with him as she looked back at the grave.

With a gentle voice Jesus said,

“Mary!”

At the sound of his voice, sorrow and grief fled and joy flooded her heart. She

turned and looked into the eyes of her risen Lord.

“Rabboni!”  she shouted as she ran toward him.

“Do not cling to me for I have not yet ascended to my Father.”

Mary stopped where she was as Jesus continued,

“But go to my brethren and tell them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.”  He said as he vanished from her sight.

“He has risen!” Mary shouted.

With inexpressible joy, she ran from the garden to tell the others the good news.

He’s alive!, Jesus is alive! He has risen from the dead! My LORD lives!!” she rejoiced.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

John 14:1-3 (NKJV)

 

 

This story was adapted from the account found in the Gospel of John in the  Bible             *Luke 1:78-79

The Longest Night

… “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 

Luke 22:31 (NKJV)

 His body numb from the shock of the event that just occurred, Peter dropped his sword to the ground. Keeping their  distance, he and another disciple followed the dimly lit torches flickering against the cold night sky. The feeling of helplessness flooded Peters soul, he had always been in control of things. Knowing what to do in hard circumstances came naturally to him. But now fear gripped his heart and confusing thoughts ran through his mind like wildfire in a dry forest. As he approached the gateway leading into the courtyard, a servant girl recognized him as a follower of Jesus.

“ Are you not one of His disciples?”

“I am not,” Peter replied as he kept walking to avoid any other questions the girl might ask.

As the night went on, the cold began to take hold of him. The darkness that closed in  around them, was kept at bay by the flickering light of the fire burning in the center of the court. The angry words of the soldiers could be heard through out the courtyard as well as the murmuring of the Jews who had brought Jesus there.  Peter looked around as he stretched out his hands toward the fire in front of him, trying to find comfort in its warmth. Across from him, a woman stared intensely at him, through the flickering glow of the fire.

“This man was with Jesus!”

“Woman, I don’t know him!” he exclaimed.

“Certainly you and Jesus are together because you are both Galilean.” A man opposite of him responded.

“I don’t know what you are talking about!” exclaimed Peter.

Instantly the rooster crowed and he remembered what Jesus had told him in the upper room,

“I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” 

If one listened closely, they could hear the breaking heart of the cold and lonely disciple. The fiery questions ripped away at the man bound in fear.When the soldiers came and took hold of Jesus to bring Him before the priest, he raised his head and looked over at Peter. Unable to stay any longer, he turned and ran into the cold darkness. Guilt and condemnation flooded his heart as the sound of the rooster and the words that Jesus spoke pounded his thoughts.

“No,no,no! What have I done!”Peter cried out as he wept bitterly.

*This story was created from Luke 22:31-34, 54-62

But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Luke 22:32 (NKJV)

Have you ever felt like  you have failed in your walk with God? Or maybe you  felt like  “sifted wheat”?  Be encouraged! Jesus knows everything about you (Romans 5:8). Your Heavenly Father (God) did not send His Son so you would feel guilty and condemned (John 3:17). He set you free from all that! (Romans 8:1).  If  you find yourself in a situation like Peter was, ask God to forgive you and He will,  (2 Chronicles 7:14,) because He loves you! Later on we read how Peter went on to be one of the leaders of the church. In fact he preached the first message on the day of Pentecost and three thousand people where saved!( Acts 2: 40-41)

Notice Jesus:

  • Warned Peter
  • Interceded for Peter
  • Knew what Peter would do
  • Didn’t get angry with Peter when he denied Him
  • Gave him something to do while HE was away (“strengthen your brethren”)
  • Restored Peter John 21:15-19

      For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV)

RISE AGAIN

Here’s a throwback song that I wore out my eight track on .  This song is by Dallas Holm from late 70’s early 80’s. the video is recent but the song is an ageless classic.  Enjoy 🙂


  For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!

2 Corinthians 6:2 (AMP)

I AM Here (A PRAYER)

You are not an accident! You were created! You are valuable!


O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.  You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

Psalm 139:1-18 (NKJV) 

AND YOU HE MADE ALIVE!!!

AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind. But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One). He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus. For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God.

Ephesians 2:1-8 (AMP)


For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.  This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

Colossians 1:13-23 (NLT)

Happy Resurrection day!

Jesus Is LORD!…..He Is Alive And Is Coming…… R U Ready?

3:16

The first two verses are just some of many prophesies that were written about the Messiah. They expand several hundred years and were written by two very different people. The other three verses are written by people who witnessed these prophecies being fulfilled.

I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

Isaiah 50:6 (NKJV)

Notice it says Jesus “gave” His back and cheeks and He “did not hide” His face! In Matthew 26:53  it says in He could have called  down twelve legions ( 80,000) angels to save Him!

       They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.

Psalm 22:13-18 (NKJV)

At the time this prophecy was written death by crucifixion was not even thought of!

 


For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.

Hebrews 9:24-28 (NLT)

     He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:10-14 (NKJV)

        And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)