1 John 4:9 KJV — In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
God is a good judge.
He looked at our sins and pronounced us guilty.
Nehemiah 9:33 NKJV — However You are just in all that has befallen us; For You have dealt faithfully, But we have done wickedly.
The punishment He warned us about in the Garden of Eden, we chose.
Genesis 2:16-17NKJV — And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
He didn’t leave us to our condemnation.
From the time we first sinned, God had a plan to extend grace.
Genesis 3:15bNKJV — “…He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
He’d send His son to die in our place.
And those who believe on Jesus Christ will be saved.
John 3:18 KJV — He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
For those who have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, it is cherished and extremely valuable.
May we never forget what Christ paid to extend the incredible gift nor allow this life to cheapen the truth of it’s worth.
God paid the highest price to extend us grace and forgive our sins that we might not be condemned.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for Your faithfulness to do whatever was required to extend us grace. Lord Jesus, may we never become callous to Your incredible gift nor cheapen the value by intentionally ignoring You and Your Word. Lord, please help us to be purposeful, mindful of the gift, grateful for Your sacrifice, and humbled by what our sins cost You. Lord, You suffered and died, then rose again, defeating sin and death forever! Thank You! What an awesome God You are! What a wonderful gift we have through Your sacrifice! Lord Jesus, let the whole World look on Him whom they have pierced and recognize the truth. Lord Jesus, You are worthy of praise, honor, and glory! Amen.
Jesus spoke about the kingdom of heaven often and His teachings are instructions for those who follow after Him.
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: Matthew 5:1-2 NKJV
Taken individually, the words following, are full of instruction, and taken collectively, they are a path of progression.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 NKJV
One cannot accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior if one does not realize the state of their soul.
It takes those who know they are poor in spirit to seek the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 NKJV
Mourning for the lost condition of one’s soul is the beginning of repentance.
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted;… II Corinthians 7:10a NKJV
Truly, Jesus’s salvation and the promise of eternal life comforts the soul of the one who realizes their spirit’s need.
Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 NKJV
Once a person has realized their spiritual need, repented, and found comfort in Christ’s salvation, they begin to learn the ways of Jesus, following in His footsteps and inheriting the promises of God.
Psalm 76:9 KJV — When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.
Psalm 149:4 KJV — For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 NKJV
Like newborn babes, the new believer is in need of frequent feedings upon the milk of the Word of God.
1 Peter 2:2 KJV — As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
As the child matures and eats solid food, so too should the new believer grow and mature, daily being filled by God’s Word, for the Bible is such a meal to the soul that old and young can be satisfied.
John 6:27 KJV — Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 NKJV
As the heart of the believer learns the costly price God paid to extend mercy and grace to us, we better grasp the enormity of it’s gift.
God’s mercy is too precious to horde and it flourishes as it is spread.
2 Samuel 22:26 KJV — With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 NKJV
As we grow in our walk with Jesus, our understanding of God grows.
LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. Psalm 15:1-2 KJV
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 NKJV
True peace only comes from God Almighty.
It is a fantasy to think that peace on earth can be achieved without the Creator, especially since He made it good in the beginning, we sinned and evil entered this world.
Yet, as we follow after Christ, accepting our need for Him, repenting from our sin, humbling ourselves, being fed upon His Word, and choosing to be merciful as He is, then we can become peace makers, for our lives have become a testimony to the One who brought true peace, which comes through the reconciliation of our souls through His attornment.
James 3:18 KJV — And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 NKJV
From the beginning, those who rebel against God sin against those who have chosen to do right.
1 John 3:12 KJV — Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
Psalm 37:12 KJV — The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Matthew 5:11 NKJV
John 15:20 KJV — Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Those who follow after Christ should understand that in this world we will have trials and tribulations, for if it hated and killed our Lord and Savior it will hate and kill those who follow, but this world is not our home, nor our final destination.
With acceptance of Jesus Christ we are looking forward to eternity, life everlasting in heaven.
Matthew 5:12 NKJV — “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
As citizens of heaven, whose journey is guided by the Comforter, and being instructed by the scriptures, we have much to rejoice over.
Not only are we given all we need for this journey, Christ already paid for our entrance into eternity with Him.
Philippians 1:21 KJV — For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You. No one has ever done as much for me as You have. Nothing on this earth compares to the promises I have in You. Thank You for teaching me daily and showing me the path, through Your example and Your Word. Lord, I don’t know what lies ahead, but I do know Who is already there. Thank You for the security of salvation and the blessings of Your promises. They make the day-to-day things so much easier, for I know I need not try on my own. I can wait patiently for the Master and walk steadfast in His direction. Please, Lord, please continue to hone my heart that I might not sin against You. Please continue to shine through me each day, that I might honor You in all things, bringing glory to Your name. I love You, Jesus. Thank You! Amen.
Her dark eyes and dark hair were contrasted by her creamy smooth complexion.
She wasn’t looking at me, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that she was talking to me.
She leaned a bit forward with a frown just creasing her brow and asked,
“Why is it called Good Friday if it’s the day Jesus died?”
I was surprised.
I’d only met this girl recently, she’d asked to sit by me while waiting for another practice on the Youth Worship team.
I was sitting, just crocheting and enjoying the music.
So, after a bit of chit chat where I found out what grade she was in, where she lived, and that she was very new to our church, she asked this question.
I smiled and looked right at her.
“That’s a very good question.”
She turned her eyes briefly to mine, questions still creased her face, then went back to watching the adult team practice their songs.
But I knew she was listening.
“I don’t know the history of when or why it began being called Good Friday, but I’ve always been told that it was Jesus rising from the dead that made it good.”
“Remember, Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, all of them, for everyone, and when He rose again on Sunday He gave us the hope of eternal life with Him in Heaven.”
She nodded, “Oh, yeah, I guess that’s right.”
She was still listening although, not looking at me.
“What Jesus did, how He died, and paid such a terrible price for us is hard, and I’m certain the disciples didn’t see it as good at the time, but when He rose from the grave it changed everything.”
“Jesus’s rising from the grave is what makes His death so good, because through it He saves all who trust in Him and put their lives in His hands.”
Her eyes turned back to mine briefly.
The question and frown had been replaced by a look of ponder and she nodded, a slight smile on her lips.
Our conversation turned to other topics and sometimes we just sat silently, but the moment stayed with me and has been a true treasure.
What an incredible privilege to share the truth of Jesus Christ to another!
It makes me wonder if it’s a tiny glimpse into how the women felt who spoke with the angel.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. Matthew 28:5-8 KJV
This Good Friday, I hope we all have the joy of sharing why this day is so good.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your gift of salvation and the privilege of being the ones to share the truth with others! What an incredible blessing that is! Lord Jesus, thank You for this moment with that precious girl from our church. I humbly request that You continue to open her heart and mind to Your truth and that she accepts You wholeheartedly. Lord, help the Word and the music of this Sunday to bring her a deeper understanding of who You are and why You died. Please, let others come alongside her and be there to love and encourage her. Lord, I would love another opportunity to share Your love with her. Thank You for that moment during worship practice. May the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Your holy name! Amen.
Matthew 24:32-33 NKJV — “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!”
As the trees return from their hibernation, seeds sprout into tiny plants, and bulbs rise from the earth in flower, my heart turns to the greatest story of all time: Jesus’s Resurrection and His promised return.
Matthew 25:31-32 NKJV — “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
Jesus made it clear, He will return and judge the Earth.
For those who have salvation through Jesus Christ, it is a return anticipated with great joy.
Just as Spring is a time of new beginnings, so shall the return of Christ Jesus be for those who are saved by His grace.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26 NKJV
May each of our hearts find hope in Jesus’s salvation and joy in His promise.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your salvation! Thank You for the reminder in the leafy shoots of the trees and the tiny plants pushing up through the soil. Lord, thank You that every winter when things seem dead and lifeless, there’s the promise of warmer weather and new life bursting forth. Lord, may these things in nature turn our hearts and minds to Your Word and Your promises. Lord, may we walk with integrity and truth, wise and honorable servants who will be found doing the will of the Master when You return. Thank You that Your Word is truth. Thank You for Your wondrous works. May my life bring glory to Your name, Jesus. Amen.
1 Chronicles 16:10 KJV — Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
It’s not enough to simply seek Him, we should be rejoicing as we do, for He deserves all glory and honor.
1 Chronicles 16:31 KJV — Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.
Recalling that He made us, and His kingdom has no end are reasons to rejoice.
Psalm 5:11 KJV — But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
These governments and nations we now know are temporary, but God and His kingdom are eternal.
Psalm 9:2 KJV — I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
We find both security and joy in placing our trust in God Most High.
Psalm 13:5 KJV — But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
Jesus is our Savior and truly worthy of praise!
Habakkuk 3:18 KJV — Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
No matter the circumstances facing each one of us, we can choose to rejoice in God Almighty, remembering and praising Him.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word! Thank You for salvation! Lord, You are worthy of all praise, all glory. I thank You for how You sustain us and provide for us. Thank You that we can rejoice in You and trust in Your Word. This world is not the end and no matter the pain or suffering we experience here, we have so much to look forward to in Heaven. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.
In the scientific arena, things are given a set of names which are part of a classification system.
We also label our name upon a myriad of items to identify them as belonging to us.
Nothing is wrong with these things.
Naming and classifying are all important ways of organization and communication.
It actually began with God.
Genesis 1:5 NKJV — God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:8 NKJV — And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
Genesis 1:10 NKJV — And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
The Bible also shows how God gave Adam the privilege of naming the animals.
Genesis 2:19 NKJV — Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.
Part of the communication and organization of names is to show back ground and belonging.
Genesis 1:27 NKJV — So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
What an incredible background!
To be created in the image of God is truly an amazing part of our heritage.
For those who choose to follow Jesus Christ and accept His salvation we add to our background.
Galatians 3:26 KJV — For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
John 20:31 KJV — But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Is there a greater gift than to be called a child of God through the redemption of Christ Jesus?
1 John 3:1 KJV — Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Let us remember the most precious name of our Savior and cling to the truth that we too have hope eternal.
Acts 4:12 KJV — Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your name! Thank You for the salvation we have through Your name. Thank You for Your Word which clearly testifies the truth. Lord Jesus, please help me to rest in Your salvation and trust You for all things. Lord, please help me to wait patiently for You as we walk through the day. Lord, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Your love, Your grace, Your mercy, and Your truth. Thank You for being so full of compassion and long-suffering. For You, oh Lord are the One who created us. You are the One who saved us. You are the One who is worthy of all honor, glory, and praise! Amen.
Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV — Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I find encouragement in these words.
There is much about life and God’s Word I don’t know, but this I do understand.
This life is not all there is.
Jesus Christ has saved my soul from sin and death, and some blessed day, I’ll be with Him.
Thus, I can find great joy in these words which fuel my perspective to look up, look forward to the return of Christ or my release from this physical tent.
Do you have this same assurance?
Is your soul safe with the Lord?
Philippians 4:4 NKJV — Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Acts 16:30-31 NKJV — And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
1 John 1:7-10 NKJV — But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Let us, this day, rejoice in the salvation of the Lord our God, sing praises to Him and bless His holy name!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You so much for salvation and the security of knowing my soul is safe with You. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word of truth which is a lamp to my feet and bread to my soul. Lord, thank You for Your unending love and incredible mercy. Lord Jesus, please help me to live unto You alone this day, not walking in fear, not being tripped up by the enemy, not speaking words of worthlessness, but wholly leaning upon Your Word, Your truth, and walking in Your ways. Lord Jesus, please continue to touch those who need You so desperately, bringing comfort, peace, salvation, and healing to our broken world. Thank You. Amen.
(Please feel free to contact me if you would like prayer, have questions, or are interested in other scriptures.)
And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Acts 3:4-9 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your healing touch. Thank You for salvation which heals our souls. Lord Jesus, when I read this story, I am reminded of my own physical healing and how good You are to me! Lord, I want my praising of You are Your goodness to never end, to never diminish. Lord, You have not stopped doing good from the very beginning, therefore I do not want to stop praising You for it. Lord, please let my life be a beautiful song daily unto You. Thank You, Lord for healing. Thank You for the daily miracles all around us. Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness, Your wonderful works, Your love, and salvation! May the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Your name! Amen.
Romans 5:1 KJV — Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Only through Jesus Christ do we have peace.
True peace comes from the security of salvation.
Psalm 29:11 KJV — The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
Strength in the every day and peace are gifts freely given by God, but easily missed or overlooked.
Because we can get distracted by the bombardment of busyness and the snares of the enemy.
Not to mention the flesh which wars against the Spirit within us.
Thus Scripture says:
Psalm 34:14 KJV — Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
The clamor for our hearts to be anything but peaceful is throughout our society.
Yet, for those called by the name of our Lord Jesus, we should remember God’s gifts and choose to walk in them.
His Word tells us to do good, seek peace, and pursue it.
How is that possible with the tragedy and uncertainty all around?
By choosing to place our lives in God’s hands and trusting Him with every detail.
We walk in peace by remembering our souls are safe and thus nothing else is as important.
Yes, trials and tribulations will come, Jesus walked through many.
But the fear of death and suffering should be surrendered to God with an attitude of thankfulness, because no matter what we live through here on earth our true treasure is in Heaven.
We can have peace knowing eternity will be with Christ.
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV — Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promises. Lord Jesus, please continue to teach me how to walk in Your peace, how to surrender myself daily before You in prayer and how to walk in praise and gratitude. Lord, please continue to teach me how to seek peace and pursue it. Lord, when things come along which cause me anxiety or fear help me to give You my emotions and trust You with the outcome. Lord, thank You for Your love. Thank You for salvation. Thank You for Your peace. I love You! Amen.
Proverbs 27:15 NKJV — A continual dripping on a very rainy day And a contentious woman are alike;
This stings, because it hits close to the heart.
The Lord is making it clear that a woman, who is of a contentious attitude, wears on those around her.
Contention will erode relationships as steadily as water will wear away stone.
Left to itself, a continual dripping can make marked damage, thus we can see that bitterness and an argumentative attitude bring devastation.
But the proverb doesn’t end there.
This contentious woman can’t be restrained by outward efforts.
Proverbs 27:16 NKJV — Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand.
No one is going to fix this woman.
Through His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus broke the spiral of sin and rescues us from the futility of “looking out for number 1”.
Through the acceptance of His sacrifice anyone can be freed from a life of sin and selfish ambition.
For where does contentions come from?
James 4:1 NKJV — Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
1 John 1:9 KJV — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
James 4:10 NKJV — Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
As any follower of Christ can testify, our sinful nature doesn’t die easily nor quickly, and thus each of us can take a warning from these words in Proverbs.
It is vital that we guard both our hearts and our lips, that we not allow contention to reside in either place.
Colossians 4:6 KJV — Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word and Your truth. Lord, please help each of us to guard our hearts and minds from those things which would grow contention. Lord, please purify our perspective, that we might not allow unforgiveness, wrath, evil speaking, bitterness, envy, or anything else which would lead us astray. Lord, please help us to remember Your love and to walk in Your wisdom. Lord, help us to be humble and filled with Your grace. Thank You for all Your blessings. Thank You for warning us of those things which lead us away from You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.