The First Sunrise on the First Easter

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(Photo: Rebecca Verbeten, Easter Morning 2014)

Yesterday was the 28th year that I celebrated Jesus as my Risen Lord.  Every year, I take a moment to think about how it must have been for Jesus.  That first moment that He saw the sunrise in a resurrected body, through resurrected eyes.

Eyes that held ancient eternity and recent humanity.

Now He would walk on the road and walk thru walls to meet His followers.

His mission was not done.

His work on the cross was finished but His relationship revolution with humanity had just begun.

He showed His disciples His nail-scarred hands. He walked with them on the road and opened the Scriptures to them.

Before He ascended to Heaven, Jesus told them the plan:
“Go and I will go with you.”

Where is Jesus asking you to go?
Who is Jesus asking you to tell?
Who is Jesus asking you to teach?
Who is Jesus asking you to baptize?

Q. What happened after the Resurrection?

A. The Great Commission

Go and let nothing stop you.

Your Faith

  
Your faith, your relationship with Jesus,  is more precious than the finest gold. It will last longer than your job, your goals and your body. It is the inside eternal life that sustains you through the trials of the outside temporary life. 

The same fire that destroys the wood purifies the gold. 

God will use the very thing that is discourging you to purify you.  

He will use the disappointment you are experiencing to make wrong motives and false beliefs rise to the surface so He can skim them off. 

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭23:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You have a promise here that God knows where you are, knows how to use it do an important work in you and that you will come out of it shinning.

Hold onto God during this season because He is most certainly holding onto you. 

Hopeful

  
Hope is a powerful thing. With it you can do almost anything. Without it, the smallest task is overwhelming. 

Hopelessness is a crippling, soul- sucking lie that is used to sabotage our lives and suffocate our faith.

Hopefulness is the life-altering knowledge that God is real, present and participating in your life.

When all that I am is laid before the Great I Am, all my weaknesses, strengths,thoughts, doubts, fears and dreams become quiet and the weight of the world is taken off my weak human shoulders and placed upon Him.

When I am filled with hope, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of purpose and a calming sense of rest.

Maybe this is what Jesus meant when he said:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28, 29 NIV)

You don’t have to work for hope, you just have to ask for help. God’s help comes God’s hope.

May “all that you are” find rest in the presence of the Almighty as you give him what you are carrying and receive from him what you need today.

Possessing Peace

  

Don’t be deceived into believing that more things will make you happy.

Don’t be duped into thinking that more stuff will make your relationships better.

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”
Proverbs‬ ‭17:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This is not encouragement to stuff your feelings and not deal with conflict, within or without.

This is a reminder to deal with the conflict. 

To push through the uncomfortable space of it.

To be brave and talk. 

To speak the truth in love. 

Peace never comes by ignoring the conflict but only throuh dealing with it. 

More than that, peace starts with you and God. Get your heart right with God before you deal with the hearts of those you love and live with. 

And then deal with it.

Do the hard work of communicating all the way through so that you can enjoy the blessed moments of life when you are at peace with God and at peace with others. 

You don’t need a luxurious environment to posses luxurious love. 

Don’t be passive with love and don’t look to possessions to solve your problems for you. 

Look to Jesus to give you what you need today to break through and possess peace in your most important realtionshops – those in your home.

Not Shaken

  
There may be at a lot of reasons that you feel shaken right now. Not sure how to navigate the day, not sure how to survive it.

You need a guide and I want you to know that you have one in the Lord:

“I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭16:7-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You have a Savior who will not leave you and will not forsake you:

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”   ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He will walk with you during this time, provide for you through resources you do not see and will guide you through the uncertainties of the near future. 

Jesus will equip you with everything you need to do His will where you are right now. 

He will work in your heart and move in your spirit to do more than just survive today but thrive in it.

“may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”  ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You are created to worship Him, to walk with Him and to glorify Him today. Focus on that and rest in the truth of His promise to you. 

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews‬ ‭13:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Trust God 

  
I thought you might need a picture of the beach today along with a reminder to trust God. He’s got you. 

Whatever today brings, I want to remind  trust God in it. 

Trust that He has your past forgiven. There is no sin in your past stronger than the blood of Jesus. You are forgiven.

Trust that He has your present provided for. Jesus will give you what you need, when you need it to deal with what is happening. 

Trust that He has your future in the palm of His hand. Jesus is preparing a place for you and preparing you for the place. Stressing about it helps no one. Rest in Him and wait. 

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. 

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” 

(Proverbs 3:5, 6 MSG)

Survival Mode

  
Are you making choices today based on hope or fear?  

Are your decisions steeped in the fear of repeating the past or inspired by the hope of future God has for you?  

Survival mode is triggered by a legitimate crisis. It is valuable coping mechanism but only meant to be a temporary one, you are not meant to live continually in it. 

It is easy to slip back into “survival mode” when  you get busy, tired or sick.

Jesus enables you to live an empowered life here on earth. He walks with you through survival mode and beyond it into abundant life mode. He teaches you to hope again. To trust again. To live fully and abundantly in the expance of his love and the extravagance of his grace. 

Life in Christ does not cushion you from crisis or is a promise of protection from other people’s choices, actions or the reality of living in a broken world. Life in Jesus means you have been set free to walk intimitely with your loving Heavenly Father for all the days of your life and on into eternity. 

Getting out of a mindset of survival mode means more of a perspective shift than a life shift. You don’t need to change your life, you need to be reminded who you are:

You are a child of God redeemed completely by Jesus and he has thrown open the resources of heaven for you to plunder. 

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So, I ask you again

Are you making choices today based on hope or fear?  

Are your decsions steeped in the fear of repeating the past or inspired by the hope of future God has for you?  

So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭31:24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

May your survival mode be shattered by the extravagance of God’s love and the choices you make today fueled by hope, strength and courage of that truth.