Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Empty Tomb

"Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdaline came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance."  John 20:1
Last night, I went to a play called "The Witness", which was a musical production of the life and death of  Jesus. How powerful to see actors recreate the story of  Jesus. At the end of the production, there was the empty tomb and then there was a light that came from the tomb and Jesus walked out. Everyone in the audience shouted with joy and clapped their hands. What excitement we all shared, and that was the end of the play. But then the actor that played Simon Peter exclaimed, "This is not the end, but just the beginning".  Oh yes, the empty tomb was the beginning and not the end, for now the door is open and it starts the beginning of a new journey for many. The empty tomb not only signifies victory over death, but it signifies  new beginnings. Just as Mary Magdalene had a new beginning in her own life, we too have the promise of the "Empty Tomb". The Empty Tomb is the open door for many of us to leave the place of death and walk into life. Look carefully at the perspective of the picture above. We usually think of an empty tomb from the perspective of standing on the outside looking in. If we were doing that, we would be standing in our current life and we could only see a dark and empty place of death. But stand where Jesus stood from INSIDE the tomb. Here we are, living in this world, in the place of death. But we do have hope and since the stone was rolled away and now we can look outside to the place of life and there is hope. If we die to ourselves and accept the free gift of eternal life that only Jesus can give us, then we will be able to see the magnificence and the promise of eternal life. What a difference it makes as to where to stand in life. Are you standing outside the tomb and looking in? Or are you inside the tomb and looking out? Let us tell as many people as we can today, that Easter is all about the promise that the empty tomb brings. The tomb is empty because there is life through Jesus! 
God's Promise:" For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him."(John 3:16-17)

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Father's Love

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”Luke 15:31-32

This parable of the lost son, is such a touching story. It is about a son that has taken the wrong path in life and then when he hit rock bottom, he realized what he had done. He realized that it was not about the riches of this world but it was about finding out what was really important in life. He was lost in the world of pleasure and excitement – and at the end of the parable, he returned to the loving safety of His Father’s House and received the father's unconditional love. Isn’t that also the other story behind this, is that we may have once been lost children, living away from the Father and sometimes we had to hit rock bottom before we see the truth and return to the Father. Once we may have been dead in the Spirit and then we are born again and are alive in the Spirit. We were lost and now we are found. At first, the story began to speak to me about a wayward child that returned back to his home and was reunited with his father. Then I began to realize there was a bigger story that Jesus was trying to tell us. That was about the lost children, those that are not saved and that these "lost" can also return to the Father’s love and to a promise of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. We may not have to hit rock bottom, but we may be living in the world and seeking the pleasures that the world gives us. This is so far away from the Father! I was once on that same path and when my eyes were opened as I returned to church and there I found the Father that I had wandered away from and I knew I needed to come home. I found the Father’s love, the love that did not condemn but that accepted me just the way I was and I was cleaned up like the Prodigal Son and was accepted back as His Child. I was lost and then was found...I was dead and now alive in Christ. Let us celebrate this Easter season for many of the lost children to be returned to the Father’s home. May those that were lost, be found...those that are in the world, they turn and run back to the Father’s loving arms!! No matter if you are saved or unsaved, we can all learn something from this parable, we can turn from our own ways and return to the Father. Make that course correction today! He is waiting for you with open arms.

Question: Have you wandered away from the Father's love and need to return?

Monday, April 11, 2011


Before they call I will answer; 
   while they are still speaking I will hear." Isaiah 64:25
Have you ever been thinking of something and someone you are near to, says the exact same thing you were just thinking? It is like they are reading your mind. Well, the same goes for Isaiah 65:24 when the verse says that the Lord will answer before we call and when we are speaking God will hear. How does this happen? It is about knowing God intimately and Him knowing our hearts and what are our needs, even before we speak. Scripture says that God knows us intimately, even as to how many hairs are on our head! God knew us when He created us in our mother’s womb. He knows every tear, every dream, every hurt, every single part of us. What God desires from us is intimacy. From the creation of man, God walked and talked with his Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God still wants to have that relationship with Him today. We can draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. We can expect Him to already know our prayers even before we speak, if we are in an intimate relationship with Him. Our communication is so intimate that we can call him, Abba (Daddy) Father. He is Dad. Sometimes we can just sit in silence and be with Him in solitude prayer. It is about being in His presence, and we can just enjoy that time with Him. The more we spend with him, the more we want to be with Him. Seeking God daily is an encounter. Everyone can experience God if we choose to find a place where we can be quiet and get away from the busyness of life. Jesus would often get away to pray after ministering to others and he modeled this for us for prayer in solitude.

Question: Can you find 10 minutes a day to find some solitude to encounter God?