Tag Archives: Sunday

Spring 2013 and Easter

This is a post I made in spring 2013. I thought it was worth posting again. Hope you enjoy!

I’m looking out the window at the car lot watching things move as a slight breeze is in the air, little specks of snow are twirling in the air as if they are dancing in rhythm with the breeze, and it’s warm in the office so all in all,  things are good.

Then I have to go outside.

Suddenly, the gentle breeze is fierce and will cut you in two. (seems like) AND the snow specks are like little aggravating insects hitting me in the face. AND, it’s COLD outside!

WOW! Just a few feet difference in my position on earth seem to make a huge difference in how I view and experience things. The breeze didn’t change. The snow specks didn’t change. The temperature didn’t drop suddenly. All that changed was my physical position in relation to the elements around me. And what a huge effect it had on my experience.

That’s the way it is when you become a Christian. Not one thing in the world changes, except you!

This life is full of troubles. Everything from sickness, money problems, job problems, marriage problems, family problems, loneliness, depression, loss of loved ones, etc…… The list could go on and on as it seems that there are almost as many problems as there are people. Life is hard. Jesus said it himself in John 16:33These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

I for one am very glad that this verse is recorded in the scriptures. Being a Christian does not mean that problems vanish. Problems are a way of life in this world. Jesus said that in the world we would have tribulation. AND He said to be of good cheer, because HE has overcome the world. AND He is willing to help us overcome the world also. Jesus is telling his followers about the Holy Spirit and how he would come to be with them after He is gone. They didn’t understand why Jesus was leaving or where He was going, but Jesus was reassuring them they would not be alone.

When we become a Christian, we also have God’s Holy Spirit living inside us to teach us, comfort us and guide us.

Remember at the beginning of this post how that a small change in my physical position made a huge difference in the way I experienced the things outside? Remember how I said this was like becoming a Christian? Here’s why. The office is a warm place that offers me protection from the cold, the wind, the snow specks, and whatever is outside. It’s a place that I can go to escape all the harsh ugly stuff we call weather. Just a few feet difference in my PHYSICAL position makes the difference. Likewise, just a small step in my SPIRITUAL position makes a huge difference in the way I experience life’s problems. Just like the weather, the problems are still there, but now God’s Holy Spirit is alive in me, comforting me, guiding me and giving me peace. I still have problems, but now experience them in a whole new way. I don’t have an office that I go to, but I have a God that comes to me. He comforts me, gives me peace, uses my problems to glorify Himself and in the end, shares that with me. He’s pretty awesome.

In a few weeks, we will celebrate the death, burial and most importantly resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has overcome all that this world had to offer. And through Jesus Christ, I will also.

 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:9-10

The Stumbling Stone

A recent lesson in Sunday School was about Jesus being the only Savior. This I totally agree with. There is absolutely no other way for us to be able to approach God with out Jesus. One of the verses in the lesson was Romans 9:33, which states “As it is written, Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” This stumbling stone is Jesus. He is the stumbling stone to many people mostly because God asks us to trust in Jesus and nothing else. This is hard to do because of our pride which is the root of all our sin.

Most of us can relate easily to giving something to gain something. Like when I give $10.00 to buy a meal at a resturant. I give something and in return get a meal that most of the time really hits the spot. This makes sense to us and it’s easy to follow. But it gets hard when we get something and don’t have to give anything. Most of us struggle with this concept. Maybe one reason for the struggle is that we always feel like we owe someone when this happens. Even if we didn’t ask for it, we still feel like we should help the giver in some way.  So, instead of paying for the service, we “help” them in some way. This helps us to feel better about the exchange. We weren’t required to give, but we did anyway and this makes it alright.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Isaiah 64:6

God on the other hand doesn’t want our help. In fact, we are told that our attempts at righteousness are really pretty bad in God’s sight. He described them as “filthy rags” if I remember correctly. (Isaiah 64:6) This explains why God had to send Jesus to die in our place. We simply weren’t good enough. We could not save ourselves. If we admit it, we don’t even see all the bad that is a part of us. For sure we see some of the bad, but not all of the bad. God though, sees everything, all of our good and bad. Then He called the good “filthy rags”. That verse also says that we would not last, like a leaf that fades away. Did you ever wonder why we count the good as good when God didn’t see it that way? The stumbling stone.

To be sure, God never intended for anyone to stumble over Jesus. But He knew that some do. They rely on their own works to help them gain heaven. Most of the time if I ask someone if they are going to heaven, they will say something like “I certainly hope so”. If they were trusting in Jesus and Jesus alone, they could know for sure they were going to Heaven. Jesus becomes my hope and I am no longer trusting in my effort, but resting on His effort. The same verse that tells me some will stumble also gives me assurance, if I believe on Him. It tells me that I will never be ashamed. He won’t let me down. He will be able to deliver me to heaven and provide me a place in heaven where he is.  I no longer have to worry if I have done enough because I know that He has done it all.

Even though there are so many of us and we all have different ideas, there are only two ways to see Jesus. One is the stumbling stone that keeps us from totally trusting Jesus and the other is the solid rock that becomes our foundation that we build everything else on. To some, Jesus will be the stone that blocks the entrance to heaven and to others He is the foundation that heaven itself is built on. Which way do you see Jesus?

During this lesson, God gave me another thought about this verse. We were talking about sharing our faith with non-believers and the subject came up of all the rules that we have in church. These are rules that are not written down, but they exist anyway, Like how we should all dress in church, how we should all worship, how we should all act, and you know all the rest. As Christians, we need to remember that we are all different in our personalities, but not in our sin. We are all nothing more than sinners saved by grace and we need to stop making all these un-written rules that keep people from attending church. We need to be more gracious in our approach to non-beleivers. We need to let Jesus be the only stumbling stone. People are going to have enough trouble accepting Jesus without us getting in the way. I really liked this thought and I for one am going to try to put it to use. Just as Jesus is the only one who can save the lost, He should be the only reason they refuse to believe. I can’t help but think that this would help save some.

Hope ya are having a great day and may God bless you and yours. See ya later.