Last week of Jesus- Resurrection


And if Christ has not had been raised from the dead, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.   1 Corinthians 15:17
To be “in Christ” is the opposite of being “in sin.” To be in something means you get the benefit of it. To be “in Christ” means you receive grace, mercy, forgiveness, adoption, unconditional love, and eternal life. To be “in sins” means you receive shame, guilt, judgment, death, and ultimate condemnation.

If Jesus did not rise from the dead then his sacrifice was deficient. It was not powerful enough to remove sins once and for all. Our hope is in vain. The gospel is not good news but a false hope. It’s like someone telling us to fly and then not giving us wings to do so.

This is why Jesus appeared first to the apostles and then to 500 more. He wanted them to know that He had conquered death by rising from the dead and thus freeing them from the bondage of sin. This appearance by Christ is why the disciples were willing to give up their lives for Christ later on. As Paul stated, “To live is Christ; to die is gain.” Once you fix your gaze on the risen Christ you will not be the same.

Here are a few truths I take from the resurrection:

  • Resurrection promises me that I will one day have a resurrected body that I will have for eternity
  • Resurrection power is not just for the life to come but at work in me now.
  • Resurrection means that Jesus was the spotless lamb whose sacrifice was sufficient to cover all my sins.

I hope as you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus today that you are reminded that hope is not found in a job, bank account, beauty, or stuff. Hope is only found in a risen Christ.

Last Week of Jesus- Friday


4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, Yet he opened not his mouth; Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.   Isaiah 53:4-7

It’s Friday. Today we call Good Friday. We look forward to Fridays every week. The weekend is before us. Friday for Jesus would be the day he died. But it would not be a quick death; only after being mocked and ridiculed, beaten bloody to the point of being unrecognizable would He finally breathe His last. What seemed like a senseless death was anything but.

He bore a huge weight on the cross. The soldiers who put him up there couldn’t see it. The crowds who gathered around to mock Him or weep for Him were not able to see the burden either. The burden was much worse than the beatings or the spear in his side or the thorns digging into his forehead. The burden was my sin and yours. Not their sin but our sin. It was personal.

Jesus didn’t deserve to die. Should we have been on that cross? Nope. Not because we didn’t deserve it but because we couldn’t do anything significant with the burden. He who knew no sin became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God. There is no salvation without the cross and it was Jesus who had to die.

Wonder of the cross…God expresses judgment upon sin & endures judgment against sin at the same time. David Platt

The crowds saw a man hanging on the cross. God saw a sin sacrifice. A sacrifice for sins once and for all. A sacrifice that would open the way for all men and women who believe to have eternal life. What Satan meant for evil this day, God would use to redeem the world.

You ever played that game as a kid where you like someone and you took a daisy and picked the petals off saying, “she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me….” Every drop of blood that fell to the ground from the body of Jesus said “He loves me, He loves me, He loves me.” The cross put on glorious display the love God has for His people. Every scar, every mocking voice, everything that happened on this day had an eternal purpose.

Today starts the most important three days in the world’s history. What happens this day and onward will change the world. The question really is can you personally read it and not be changed? God wants you to experience the realities of the cross everyday. He wants you to remember daily the sacrifice that was made for you. He wants you to be a person who gives grace and forgiveness freely because you were given those freely. He wants this story to change your life and to keep doing so. If you are a Christian you need this story as much as the lost soul. It is your hope. You need to be reminded of it daily.

A few things I challenge you to do today:

  • As you finish this please don’t go on to something else quickly. Take a moment to pray and thank God for loving you so much. You have no hope apart from Jesus. As gruesome as it was for Him to die on a cross, you needed Him to do so.
  • Tell someone today about why this day is significant to you. Interrupt their reality with the remarkable good news of Jesus.
  • Today, I choose to so identify with Christ that I see myself being crucified with Him. My life is His.  Will you make the same declaration for your life with me?

Tips for A Christian at the Ballot Box Tuesday


From a Christian perspective, we must not lose sight of the real battle. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against Satan and his demons. Just because you don’t see them waging war does not mean that it is not happening all around you. In the spiritual realm is where the real war wages.

So what about politics? Should we still care about who wins the White House? Sure we should. We are Americans and we care about our country. The person in that seat decides a lot of things for us. But that is not where the war is won. It’s much greater than that. This is an epic battle of supernatural forces. So pay attention and be ready to do your part but don’t lose perspective.

A few things to consider as the election looms:

1) Voting for the moral platform is our duty as Christians.

Go out and cast your vote. Make an informed decision. But being aware of the real war means voting for the candidate that upholds the morality of God’s word. What their stance is concerning issues like abortion, same sex marriage, and separation of church and state are issues that have eternal repercussions. Don’t let any other agenda guide you more strongly as a believer. Don’t let their stand on taxes or immigration or unions be the deciding vote for you as a believer.

2) Voting for the true Christian candidate.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, pretty much every candidate claims Christianity in some form. Their words and actions show  their faith often to be a ruse. As a believer you should be looking for the following from a candidate in order to know them by their fruits:

  • A clear acknowledgment that their faith is in Jesus Christ. Make sure they clearly state their salvation and not just religious  jargon from their speech writer. Be wary of cliches like church goer or believer in God.
  • That Jesus is the only way to salvation. Be wary if they speak in terms like:  Jesus is my way but your way might be different.
  • That the Bible is their source of authority for life.
  • That their views match up with their professed faith. If they claim to be a believer but hold to different morals than what the Bible proclaims then there is an issue.

3) Don’t see the winner as either savior or devil.

So many speak about the election as if the very fabric of Creation hangs on the ballot box’s thread. God is bigger than the election. His church will not fail. There is no reason to fear. Do I think there is a lot at stake with the election? I definitely do but my hope is not in a politician or a government. It never will be placed in them because they are not worthy of my faith. My faith is in Christ and He will never abandon us.

4) Be informed before you speak about candidates.

So many Christians are making statements publicly about candidates without having all the facts. Be informed on what candidates stand for and what they believe. Take time to research it and speak informatively. Let’s be a witness for Christ by speaking hope and peace into a tumultuous environment. Encourage other believers not to fear but to trust.

5) Should I vote for the lesser of two evils

Let’s first recognize that unless we are voting for Jesus we are always voting for the lesser of two evils as no candidate will be without sin. When Christians face two morally corrupt individuals, they should not justify a vote for either. In a case like this we would be better off voting for a write in candidate who did uphold Christian principles. They won’t win you say? Most likely true but you didn’t compromise either. I cannot vote for evil. It just flies in the face of a holy God. For those who would come back at me that we at least get some good things with one candidate versus another, I would say put your trust in God and not in a morally bankrupt person you are hoping follows through on their political promise to do moral good. If Christians would ever unite and be work together we could shape every election in our country!

You have to make the decision to vote your conscience. I cannot do that for you. We just need to know that we are accountable for our actions. I am for mine and you are for yours.

Don’t lose perspective. The battle is beyond flesh and blood and we are squarely in it. I have read the last pages of scripture and the victory is ours in Christ Jesus. Praise Him.
Dax