Monday, April 9, 2007

Psalm 40

I was looking up a Bible verse for a friend that was down today, and read this in Psalms. What an amazing passage of scripture! To read how much David just wanted to praise his God!! I can't wait to meet David someday in heaven. To be ale to talk to him and hear how much God helped him and encouraged him and lead him in his life. His best friends dad tried to kill him, but yet he listened and waited on the Lord. David wasn't perfect, he got another man's wife pregnant, and then had her husband killed so he could have her for his own wife. Yet the Lord still referred to David as 'A man after God's own heart'. How amazing is that??? How amazing is God!!!!

Psalm 40
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;

he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man

who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
5 Many, O LORD my God,

are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,

but my ears you have pierced;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.
7 Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—

it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, O my God;

your law is within my heart."
9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;

I do not seal my lips,
as you know, O LORD.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;

I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;

may your love and your truth always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;

my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to save me;

O LORD, come quickly to help me.
14 May all who seek to take my life

be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!"

be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
"The LORD be exalted!"
17 Yet I am poor and needy;

may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.

I hope that we can truly allow ourselves to praise God. To exalt His name above all names. To be patient while waiting for His answers. And to praise Him in the hard times when the answers aren't what you want to hear. He is truth, and He knows what is best for us.

I hope you love Him with all your heart!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Meaning of Easter is not Lonestar...

When did churches start thinking that the commercialization of Easter was ok? I'm at work right now, and we just had someone come in talking about an Easter egg hunt that she was taking her kids to this afternoon somewhere in town. She went from how cold it was for Easter to inviting the three of us to her church for Easter. But here's the kicker. She didn't share anything about Easter that wasn't commercial. She told us that we should come to her church at 10 tomorrow. It was going to be held at MTSU, and then she told us how Lonestar was going to be performing and that there were going to be real bunnies and an Easter bunny and that they were going to have all kinds of fun for the kids. And, again, that Lonestar was performing and it wasn't going to cost anything. Free Lonestar concert.

So, for those of you out in blog world who live somewhere near Murfreesboro Tennessee, there's a free Lonestar concert tomorrow at 10 am. If you don't give a whip about Easter and you like country music, you go and have fun. But for anyone out there that wants to know the truth of Easter, here it is in Matthew 27:11 through Matthew 28:6:

Jesus Before Pilate
27:11Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus said, "You have said so." 12But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13Then Pilate said to him, "Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?" 14But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
The Crowd Chooses Barabbas
5Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" 18For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream." 20Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21The governor again said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas." 22Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Let him be crucified!" 23And he said, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified!"
Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified
24So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood;[b] see to it yourselves." 25And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!" 26Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged[c] Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
Jesus Is Mocked
27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters,[d] and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 30And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.
The Crucifixion
32As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." 38Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." 41So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42"He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" 44And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
The Death of Jesus
45Now from the sixth hour[e] there was darkness over all the land[f] until the ninth hour.[g] 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 47And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, "This man is calling Elijah." 48And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49But the others said, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him." 50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
51And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, "Truly this was the Son[h] of God!"
55There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Jesus Is Buried
57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The Guard at the Tomb
62Next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63and said, "Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, 'After three days I will rise.' 64Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first." 65Pilate said to them, "You have a guard[i] of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can." 66So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
The Resurrection
28:1Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Happy Easter!

Ok, Easter is this weekend and there is something about this holiday that I truly love. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but I think Easter comes in a close second. A lot of people seem to think that the most important Christian holiday is Christmas. It's the day we celebrate Christ's birth. But I don't agree with that. Easter is when we celebrate Jesus death on the cross followed by Him rising from the grave. This is the most important part of my faith. It is why I believe. Anyone can follow a dead person, but I am lead by a risen Savior!!! He is alive!! What other religion can claim that???

So, because I feel that way, I like to go to services for Maundy Thursday (aka Holy Thursday - it commemorates the last supper that Jesus had with the apostles) and Good Friday as well as the Easter service that's at my church (Third Baptist in Murfreesboro, TN ~ feel free to check us out!). Well, 3BC isn't having a Good Friday service. It kind of throws me off. Pretty much every church back home has a Good Friday service. Maundy Thursday isn't as common so I don't expect it from most churches. It's truly something that only a few denominations even observe. But Good Friday!! I don't think I'd ever even heard of a church not having a good Friday service until I moved to Tennessee. Is it a northern thing? Do protestant churches in Chicago have Good Friday services only for the reason that catholic churches do? I understand that Christians celebrate Easter because it represents the day that Jesus conquered death and rose up from the grave. It is the truth behind my salvation.

But isn't it important to remember that He died first?

He died.

He was dead and rose up again from the grave!! It's the story of life. My life. He died and He lives. It's the ultimate symbol of Christianity. We were dead. We were dying. And now thanks to the miracle of Jesus death and life, I will live eternally in heaven!! I was dead, but now am alive in the name of Christ Jesus. The Messiah. The Savior to all. Born in a manger, killed on a cross, and brought back to life by God the Father. He ascended into heaved and left us with the Holy Spirit here on earth to restore our hearts and to help us stay strong in the knowledge that one day God will come back and claim His bride. His bride the church. He will make a new heaven and a new hell and will remove the sin from this earth. And we will live in perfection basking in the amazing glory and knowledge of the fact that we will be able to spend eternity praising the name of the Father. And shouting His honor and glory and love.

He loves me

He died for me

He will return for me

I will live with Him forever

And all I had to do was ask.