Made New..

Spring is here and we’re excited. Everything is blooming and the birds are chirping, which means Easter is on its way. As we celebrate Easter and Jesus’ resurrection, lets keep in mind everything He created is made new. As his children should be celebrating His resurrection everyday.

How wonderful, how marvelous, is His love! To think, He was mocked, beaten and killed for us. What a day of rejoicing that must have been when He rose and realized it was all over–He had won the victory!

He arose in victory, joy, liberation, and freedom from the hands of evil men. Now we can say with the apostle Paul, “O death, where is your sting? O Hades [grave], where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

Thank you Jesus for dying for us!

Happy Easter!

The last few weeks I can’t help but notice we are in the, “Month of Love.” Every store I enter I am bombarded with the colors red and pink, hearts and cupids, chocolates and flowers. Valentine’s Day is a great reminder to stop and appreciate the ones we love, however if we are only expressing our love once a year, we might find ourselves in trouble! Buying my wife flowers and chocolate once a year is not going to cut it. Carving out an hour once a week to spend time with her is not enough either. My love for my wife is demonstrated by spending time with her daily. Making sure that I am meeting her needs, cultivating and nurturing her heart. I need to make myself vulnerable before her.

When I think of how I am to love my wife, I can’t help but be reminded of the Author of Love, Himself. God’s love for his creation is so profound, so vast, he brought redemption to this world through Jesus. This was God’s demonstration of love. And when we are moved to respond to His love, He asks to be loved by us in return. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Matthew 22:36-38

Our response to receiving God’s love is to love him fiercely in return. But if I’m honest, fierce love often looks like fleeting acknowledgements, quick prayers, a few minutes reading my bible when I can squeeze it in, and an hour or so on Sundays.

Maybe you can relate. Does your love for God seem a little flat? I think most of us can use a little heart examination concerning our love for our Creator. The beauty in doing so rests in God, the one who stirs our affections for Himself. We just need to ask Him to do so!

Join me and lets lift our hearts to the Father together:
Lord, thank you for your demonstration of love which brought hope to a hopeless world and transformed our hearts. Lord teach our hearts to beat with yours. Draw us, Lord, further into your love. May we long to be in your presence, and not allow busyness to be an excuse to neglect our first love, You. Use us to be vessels of your love in the world around us. Thank you, Jesus! Amen.

As we begin this new year, it is a time of planning, starting new goals and hoping to meet them, and reflecting on what we did or did not accomplish last year. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions mixed in with the time we spend on the busyness that the new year brings.

As I, myself go through all of these thoughts, plans, and emotions, I am reminded how fast time is flying by. As I think about how fast last year went by, and how fast this year is already moving, it gives me chills to think about verses like Psalm 39:6: “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.” This causes me to pause for a moment and look towards God. To embrace this time right here, right now with Him.

How are we spending our time in this moment, looking to what God is doing in us and around us? Are we embracing Him or already looking to the future plans we are making? Are we enjoying where we are with Him right now, or dwelling on what we did or did not accomplish last year? My encouragement and prayer for you and me is that we would spend this moment right here, right now, worshiping Him, praising Him, and sharing His message with those around us. Meet Him in what He is doing and has done for this moment of time.

Here is our hope: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) God sent His son for this moment in time. Will you spend this moment praying with me for what God is doing right here right now? Lord thank you for saving me. You are all I need.