Thinking of Spring

Is it a coincidence that Easter is in the spring?  Of course not!  The symbolism is staggering.  The rebirth of the land; flowers, new leaves, planting season… the proverbial spring lambs and chicks, birds nesting… Ah, Spring!

What is the symbolism to a Christian?  The resurrection, the “born again” experience, (necessary for believers) and baptism, are all symbolic of the righteousness of Christ and fulfillment of God’s promise.  What we do with this and how we view the promise is up to us.  Our free will is constant in our walk towards Christ.  Sanctification is a continual process, one in which our participation is not just needed but required.

How are we sanctified?  This process of growth is a willful freeing of ourselves from the world around us and our daily immersion in things of God.  Sanctification comes when we read God’s Word, when we pray, when we study and council with other believers. It is the work of the Holy Spirit.  It comes when we stop struggling against a habit or a thought and turn it over to God.  It is the place we stand, when we are in that valley experience, and still cling to the truth that God is with us.  Sanctification and spring, each comes in their season, each comes with a predictability that blesses us with abundance.

It is for that abundant life, the renewal of the earth and our spirit, that we wait.  We are told in scripture to wait on the Lord, to walk, to run, to sit, to stand and most importantly to know.  Do we?  Do we, through sanctification, renew our spirits, rejoice in the spring time of our lives that comes when we look, and see, and know that God is?  He has given us so much and in this season of new hope, let us look at the abundance around us.  Along with the new buds and spring flowers, do we see, with joy, the gifts that are around us?

We are wealthy beyond our dreams.  Look around.  Is that house, big or small, a blessing?  What about the clothes you are wearing; the job that you have, can you see the blessings the abundance that you live in every day?

Look at the people in your life and see how abundant they are.  Friends, family, brothers & sisters in Christ, each bringing who they are to you, to fill you up with their love and joy and needs and opinions and pain.  If they allow you to know them, if you strive to know them, you will be sanctified.  Christ came knowing all of us.  He knows our every need and he sees us as we are, can we do less?

Be sanctified and with each step you will be given the abundance of a life full of God’s gifts.  Be sanctified and the pain that you suffer today will be the gift you can give to another in the future; help them understand and show them God’s grace.  Be sanctified and rest in the abundance of this very moment.  Rejoice in today, tomorrow and in the eternal abundant future with Christ.   Look, see and rejoice!

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A New Group in Fifty Days

The majority of the changes in our lives started with a pivotal event. Some were good experiences such and graduations, marriage, birth of children or new jobs. Some of these pivotal experiences were painful such as job loss, divorce, or death of love ones. Whether the experiences were positive or negative, all of these key events started a series of processes which took our lives in new directions.

As we come to the end of the week of the celebration of the death of Christ and His resurrection we are reminded of the greatest changes within any group in history. When Jesus first appeared to the 11 disciples after The Resurrection (Judas committed suicide Matthew 27:3), they were hiding in fear behind closed doors (John 20:19). With the help of Jesus opening their minds to the Scriptures (Luke 24:45), by Pentecost they became the excited voice of the fulfilled New Covenant (Acts 1:15-16).

Like the change of the 12 disciples (Judas was replaced by Matthias Acts1:26), through the pivotal event of the death and Resurrection of Jesus, we also should experience a change when we accept Jesus as our personal savior. This transformation of accepting Christ, not only affords us a personal relationship with Jesus but also should change our lives to always pursue a life-pattern of service to God according to His perfect will (Romans 12:2).

In the months following the celebration of the Resurrection, let us remember to continue to celebrate with the renewal of our life to Jesus the Christ.

(Reprint from Homewords Small Group Bible Study Ministry, Facebook, May 2011)

He Has Risen!

Luke 24:1-12

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood behind them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day rise again.’ ” Then they remembered  his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdelene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away wondering to himself what had happened.

Happy Resurrection Sunday from Homewords Ministery, because He Has Risen!

He Lives, We Have Not Seen, Yet We Believe

John 20:17-18. Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news; “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

John 20:28-29. Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

He lives, we have not seen, yet we believe.

Happy Resurrection Sunday to all from Homewords Small Group Bible Study Ministry.