Grave Clothes

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Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

John‬ ‭11‬:‭43-44‬ NIV

Lazarus was dead. His body wrapped tightly in grave clothes and laid to rest. The world had already moved on, the end of the story already written. It was over.

But the story was not over for God.

Just when Mary and Martha thought that it was too late, Jesus came and did the most unexpected thing: He raised Lazarus from the dead. He had someone roll away the stone and then called him out.

In one of the most remarkable passages of Scripture, Jesus speaks to death and it is defied. It is powerless before the commanding Word of the Son of God.

You may think that your story has already been written.

That it is over.

That where you are right now is where you will always be.

That your usefulness, your marriage, your ministry, your job, your purpose, your hopes lay dead and lifeless at your feet.

Jesus still defies death. You may think the story is over but God doesn’t.

He will call life from death and unbind the grave clothes that cling.

He will call your name, remind you who you are and whose you are.

He will change the ending. 

He will resurrect relationships, restore callings, redefine life as you know it and move you into the light.

The story of Lazarus is more than an example of a miracle, it is a proclamation of the power of Jesus to raise the dead things in us and a reminder to us today that all death means nothing in the light of His love.

When fear rises up to tell you that your story is already over, begin to loudly proclaim that in Christ your story has only just begun.

God Can Make a Way

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Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

John‬ ‭11‬:‭43-44‬ NIV

God can make a way where there seems to be no way.

Lazarus was dead. His body wrapped tightly in grave clothes and laid to rest. The world had already moved on, the end of the story already written. It was over.

But the story was not over for God.

Just when Mary and Martha thought that it was too late, Jesus came and did the most unexpected thing: he raised Lazarus from the dead. He had someone roll away the stone and then called him out.

In one of the most remarkable passages of scripture, Jesus speaks to death and it is defied. It is powerless before the commanding Word of the Son of God.

You may think that your story has already been written.  That it is over. That where you are right now is where you will always be. That your usefulness, your marriage, your ministry, your job, your purpose, your hopes lay dead and lifeless at your feet.

Jesus still defies death. You may think the story is over but God doesn’t.

He will call life from death and unbind the grave clothes that cling.

He will call your name, remind you who you are and whose you are.

He will change the ending. 

He will resurrect relationships, restore callings, redefine life as you know it and move you into the light.

The story of Lazarus is more than an example of a miracle, it is a proclamation of the power of Jesus to raise the dead and reminder to us today that all death means nothing in the light of His love.

When fear rises up to tell you that your story is already over, begin to loudly proclaim that in Christ your story has only just begun.

Heaven

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Earth is not our home- heaven is.

What does heaven look like? What does it feel like? I don’t know. But I do know what the Word says about the atmosphere God creates and place where He dwells:

“Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place.”

1 Chronicles 16:27 NIV

I may not have the details of what it looks like but I know that it is magnificent. More than that, joy and strength permeates the air and fills its rooms. Truthfully, wherever God is, He brings these attributes with Him. They are a part of who He is.

When I am feeling weak and my heart is heavy, I whisper these sweet words of invitation: Father, may your presence fill this space, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Where He is, strength abounds and joy lives.

Heaven is a real place and someday you will be there.

Until then, may you experience God’s presence here on earth and be filled with such peace and deep joy that it makes you homesick for heaven.

The Edge of Eternity

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We are all walking on the edge of eternity.

Because of Jesus, we come to the edge of glory without fear.

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.

The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”

1 Peter  1:3-5 MSG

On the morning of December 22, 1899, one of the great preachers of his time, DL Moody, came to the edge of glory. Before he slipped away, his son Will, heard him slowly articulate these words:

“Earth recedes, heaven opens before me”.

Will said to him, “Father, you are dreaming”, to which Moody replied, “No. This is no dream, Will. It is beautiful. It is like a trance. If this is death, it is sweet, God is calling me and I must go. Don’t call me back”.

Today I am reminded that my real home is with God. My destiny is beyond the veil of mortality. Death is not the end- it is only the beginning.

The year that DL Moody died, he spoke the following words to a crowd in New York City:

“Someday you will read in the paper that Moody is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now… I was born of the flesh in 1837, I was born of the Spirit in 1855. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit shall live forever.”

With our eyes, we only see this side of eternity but with our hearts we can see the glimmer of glory that seeps in past this present temporary reality to remind us that there is more. Eternity is a step away. Heaven awaits.

 

What You Can Do

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Are you living in contentment?

Paul says he has learned the secret of being content:

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:12, 13 NIV

Easy to say, difficult to live, but NOT impossible to do.

YOU CAN do it.

Being discontent can become a way of life and a mindset that will sabotage your joy and peace at every turn. It drains your energy and distorts your vision.

It is NOT God’s will for your life.

Q. What is the secret to being content no matter what is happening in your life?

A. Looking to Jesus for strength. 

Because of Christ in you, you can do whatever is placed before you.

You can be content with:

where you are,
what you are doing,
with your body,
with your age,
with your job,
financially strapped or prosperous,
physically healthy or not,
in conflict or in peace.

YOU CAN do all this and more thru Christ who STRENGTHENS you.

By yourself, you can’t manufacture contentment. You think you need a miracle so you can get something you want. The bigger miracle is to be content with what you already have and trusting God to give you what you need.

There are a lot of things you can’t do right now but one can do is trust God to give you the strength you need for today.

Your Story is Not Over

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

John‬ ‭11‬:‭43-44‬ NIV

Lazarus was dead. His body wrapped tightly in grave clothes and laid to rest. The world had already moved on, the end of the story already written. It was over.

But the story was not over for God.

Just when Mary and Martha thought that it was too late, Jesus came and did the most unexpected thing: he raised Lazarus from the dead. He had someone roll away the stone and then called him out. 

In one of the most remarkable passages of scripture, Jesus speaks to death and it is defied. It is powerless before the commanding Word of the Son of God.

You may think that your story has already been written. That it is over. That where you are right now is where you will always be. That your usefulness, your marriage, your ministry, your job, your purpose, your hopes lay dead and lifeless at your feet.

Jesus still defies death. You may think the story is over but God doesn’t.

He will call life from where death prevails and unbind the grave clothes the cling. 

He will call your name, remind you who you are and whose you are. 

He will change the ending. 

He will resurrect relationships, restore callings, redefine life as you know it and move you into the light.

The story of Lazarus is more than an example of a miracle, it is a proclamation of the power of Jesus to raise the dead and reminder to us today that all death means nothing in the light of his love.

When fear rises up to tell you that your story is already over, begin to loudly proclaim that in Christ your story has only just begun.

The Story is Not Over

  
It was a simple sentence uttered at a complicated time.

The world had already moved on, the end of the story already written.

But the story was not over for God.

“So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.”

“Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

“The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (‭John‬ ‭11‬:‭43-44‬ NIV)

You may think that the story has already been written. You may have closed the book and rolled the stone over that part of your life.

Jesus still defies death. You may think the story is over but God doesn’t.

He will call life from where death prevails and unbind the grave clothes the cling.

Be free. Have faith. Grab onto life and step out of the old grave clothes that cling to your soul.

When fear rises up to tell you that the story is already over, begin to loudly give thanks that in Christ your story has just begun.