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Perhaps you need to look up...?

When last we were together, we considered the impact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But I got to thinking about it--while the resurrection of Jesus is miraculous, while it truly is the focal point of all history... it is all just poppycock unless we grab ahold of what Jesus accomplished and realize the meaning it has in our own life.

You see, there is head knowledge and that which penetrates our hearts and changes us! Like with the love of God--I lived all of my life with the knowledge that God loved me, but it has taken the last number of years for that truth to truly sink in. Let's think together about the proofs of his love for us. Uniquely created in God's image, we were given free will to follow him; after the first couple thought they knew more than him and disobeyed him: ->enter sin and brokenness into the world. God however did not stop loving mankind and set in motion a plan to offer us restoration.

That plan?

->Jesus. The four gospel accounts capture the virgin birth of Jesus--his life, death and resurrection. He walked out of the grave victorious because he was indeed who he said he was, the Son of God, equal in all ways with the Father. . . death could not hold him. And because Jesus rose from the grave, so will we--this is the blessed hope of our future! There is a new life to come.

Again, soooo what?! Because that is so, this life is not all there is, just the gateway to eternity.


1. The resurrection of Jesus was a guarantee of our freedom! >Are you stuck in the muck or are you free? Paul said: "if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!"1 Forgiven of our sin and cleansed, we are no longer who we used to be. How about you? Have you given God permission to make you new or are you stuck in some rut doing the same thing the same ol' way? Time to once again accept the boundless grace of God by taking ahold of his hand by faith, and let him make you new.

**I am in Utah as I write--flew out to see Dylan for a couple days. This morning, I watched church on-line, a message I was meant to hear, Jim Cymbala* who said, "the perseverance of Christians is made out of 10,000 new beginnings; we take ahold of God's grace which is the secret of the victorious life--and by faith, continue to reach out for his grace..."

What else does the resurrection mean to us?

2. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we ought not fear death but rather picture it as graduation day, baby! This is not our home; we are citizens of Heaven. Consider this great news: "our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."2

3. Because of the resurrection, because we serve a living God, we not only can be cleansed and forgiven, our consciences cleared and shame erased--we can be renewed, and we can be transformed! H.O.P.E., right? Read this carefully: "With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity."3

'But wait,' you say, 'go back to the part about forgiveness, shame erased--how is that possible?' hear this good word: if we freely admit that we have sinned, we find God utterly reliable and straightforward—he forgives our sins and makes us thoroughly clean from all that is evil.4 He has removed our sins as far from us

as the east is from the west.5 Further, "And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”6 Yes, that is pure grace.

And then I remind you today, Christian-- you have the power of the risen Lord in you.7 What difference does that make? It is the Spirit in you that gives you the freedom to make you strong, the Spirit inside you who will help you when you pray, the Spirit who hears and answers prayers to God for miraculous healing and breakthrough. Will you let him? Will you fully trust him? Jesus told the disciples that they would do even greater things than he did because the Holy Spirit would be in them. Believing friend, that is you. You are not powerless--far from it. You have the Holy Spirit of God living within you; in him, you have strength, endurance, perseverance, the power to overcome, the faith to see the miraculous, discipline and self control. Whoa!

So the above picture? As I was thinking and praying early the other morning, I stopped and looked up. This decorative old window, painted by my treasured friend, was on the wall before me. Can you read the words around it? 'And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am his own...' words from the old hymn In the Garden. Funny thing, I had so many comments when I included the song in a recent Morning Briefing, but today I wonder as I wonder-- do you walk with God and talk with God, do you give him a chance to tell you that You are His own? See, it is not enough to read of his love, believe what Jesus accomplished on the cross and by defeating death, but you must participate in that great love.

With love,


*Brooklyn Tabernacle this Sunday--

1 - 2 Corinthians 5.17, NIV

2 - Philippians 3.20-21

3 - Romans 12.1-2, J.B. Phillips

4 - 1 John 1.9

5 - Psalm 103.12

6 - Hebrews 8.12

7 - Romans 8.11

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