THE GREATEST ACT OF LOVE – An Easter Acronym

April 13, 2014

Is Easter only about colored, decorated eggs, the Easter bunny, “Peeps” and jelly beans? Is it simply another long weekend? Or is Easter about having the table set with fine china, an impressive Easter centerpiece and an excess of well-prepared food? What is Easter?

We can best understand Easter by seeing what God has to say about it. After all, it was His greatest act of love that prompts this annual celebration: The death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Looking at an acronym for the word “Easter” will give us insight into its meaning.

E – Everlasting life. That’s the foundation of our celebration. In one of the most well-known Bible verses, we read: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

A – Assurance. In a long heart-to-heart session with His followers shortly before His death, Jesus assured them (and us) “Because I live, you will live also.” (John 14:19)

S – Salvation. Before Jesus made his physical appearance on earth, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, announcing Christ’s arrival. He said: “You shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

T – The Gift. Throughout the Bible, we are reminded that we are all sinners, deserving death. But we praise God that “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

E – Enemies. That’s what we were when Christ died for us. Because Jesus died, we are offered reconciliation. The apostle Paul explained it this way: “…when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.” (Romans 5:10)

R – Resurrection. To a woman who was grieving the death of her brother, Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:25,26)

Color the eggs. Eat the “Peeps” and jelly beans and enjoy your delicious family meal. But always remember God’s greatest act of love, and let the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection be the center of your celebration. That’s what Easter is all about!

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LOOK WHAT MADE THE HEADLINES!

June 30, 2013

In the past months I’ve acquired a growing fascination for headlines. Indicating the nature of the article, headlines are a type of bait to lure the reader into reading the writer’s opinion or the information that is presented. I started writing down some interesting headlines, and found that many articles posted on the news outlets on internet have to do with happiness, self fulfillment, becoming younger and eternal life. Others are just plain unbelievable. I’m sure you will mumble an “Are you kidding?” when you read some of them, just like I did. Reading the headlines without delving into the content of the articles, I found that the Bible has the answer to every issue.  Look what made the headlines!

NEW GENE THERAPY TRIALS AIM TO MEND BROKEN HEARTS
Psalm 147:3: “The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Skip the new therapy!

DO-GOODERS FEEL HAPPIER
Acts 20:35: “…remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “Exactly what Jesus said about 2,000 years ago!

BUDDHA WAS RIGHT: STUFF WON’T MAKE YOU HAPPY
Ecclesiastes 2:10-11: “Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure…And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.” Solomon declared that a few centuries before Buddha did!

BE HAPPIER WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
Hebrews 13:5
: “…be content with such things as you have. For He Himself (God) has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake yo.’“.  Having this promise, we have everything. And we are happy.

9 WAYS TO LIVE A HAPPIER LIFE, ACCORDING TO SCIENCE
Matthew 5:3-13: The Beatitudes. There are exactly 9 of them! No science there; Christ’s teachings suffice.

CRUSH YOUR FEARS LIKE A BUG
Psalm 56:3,4: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear…” King David was not a bug-crusher. He was a God-truster.

26 WAYS TO FEEL YOUNGER NOW
2nd Corinthians 4:16: “…Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” (The Message) We can feel younger now – AND every day!

REVERSE AGING? SCIENTISTS DISCOVER PROTEIN THAT MAY TURN HEARTS YOUNGER
Isaiah 40:31: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…” Not “may”. It’s guaranteed!

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH? BRAIN REGION FOUND TO CONTROL AGING
Psalm 103:5: “He (God) renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.” (The Message) No need to drink of the Fountain of Youth!

JELLYFISH HOLD THE KEY TO IMMORTALITY
John 17:3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” No jellyfish involved.

ETERNALLY REST IN A ‘PIECE’ OF ART
Revelation 14:13: “‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” My artwork will not follow me to my eternal rest. My works will!

SPOT IN HEAVEN UP ON Ebay
1st Peter 1:3-5: We have a “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,  who are kept by the power of God through faith” Don’t waste your money on ebay! Secure your spot through salvation in Jesus.

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR BEES THAT DIED IN OREGON LOT
No comment. Just one word. Really???

UK MAY APPROVE CREATING BABIES WITH 3 PEOPLE’S DNA
Acts 17:24,25
: “God, who made the world and everything in it, … gives to all life, breath, and all things.” Only God is the Creator of life!

EVERYTHING YOU EVER HEARD IS A LIE OR A HOAX
(Which means that even this headline is a lie or a hoax, which we know it is.)
1 John 5:20:And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” THAT is true!


REASSURANCE IN CONFUSING TIMES

May 31, 2010

During the three years Jesus was with his 12 disciples, there were a number of times when they just didn’t get it. In the gospel of John chapters 13 and 14, we see Jesus and a very confused group of followers. It was at the “Last Supper” that they seemed to have more questions than answers. When Jesus announced His betrayal, we read that “the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.” asking, “Lord, who is it?” (13:22, 25) After Judas Iscariot was identified as the betrayer,  Jesus told him “What you do, do quickly”; they had no idea what was happening. Their confusion mounting, Jesus offered them reassurance for every question they had.

Jesus announced that He was going somewhere and that they couldn’t follow Him. Peter asked “Where are you going?…Why can’t I follow you now?” (13:36,37) Confusion. In response, Jesus reassured them with the timeless promise that has comforted believers ever since: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions;…I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also…” (14:1-3)

Still confused, Thomas spoke up for the whole group. “We do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” (14:5) Jesus reassured them, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. (14:6) Not satisfied with that, Philip asked that Jesus show them the Father. Again reassuring, Jesus replied: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”. (14:9)

Understanding their bewilderment, Jesus continued reassuring them with promises.

He reassured them that their prayers would be answered. “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do.” (14:13)

He reassured them that they would not be alone. He promised them the Spirit of truth, saying “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…” (14:18)

He reassured them of eternal life: “Because I live, you will live also.” (14:19)

He reassured them of His love: “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him…” (14:21)

He reassured them of His peace: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…” (14:27)

Like the disciples, sometimes we have more questions than answers: our future, our employment, our families, our health, our finances, our relationships…. we get confused, and spill out our concerns and doubts to the Lord. Just as with them, He understands us and puts us at ease with the same promises: Our prayers will be answered. We are not alone, He is with us. Because He lives, we live. He loves us no matter what. He gives us His peace. Praise God for His reassurance in times of confusion!


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