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The hubbub of the season
hurt my ankle this week
got a lot done as I’m a little ahead of shopping
if you’ve got some stuff done, in fact you are done, than I ask you to pray, pray for those who don’t.Tray for those who are missing it, missing this whole Christmas season.
Pray for those who are roaming through this time aimlessly
This week we continued our tours of the Christmas Lights.
It is awesome sharing Jesus with everyone.
Yet sometimes people get passed our gatekeepers, and end up on the tour the wrong way, I actually saw a few people who started aimlessly wandering the path.
If you followed the path, you’d go like we have gone for the past several weeks, from the angel Gabriel talking with Mary, to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth, than the Wise Men, the Shepherds, Woman at the Well, Jesus walking on water, and then the cross.
But if you walked it backwards, or if today is your first time with us, it is totally cool because we are genuinely did save the best for last.
The last part of the tour is our light depiction of the resurrected Jesus
When you arrived at this spot on the tour I would tell you that while we have no idea what day Jesus was actually born on, we just picked December 25th, we do know what Jesus rose from the dead!
We celebrate that at Easter .”
We even find it so important that we celebrate the day every single week by gathering on the same day of the week that He rose again!
Right here this is it!
God did it!
Jesus is no longer in the grave.
He was dead.
He did not receive CPR and come back.
He was dead for over 36 hours and because the way people said the day begins and ends back then, see we make up a time called mid-night, but to them they said sunset was the end of the day, so Jesus was dead and rose on the third day.
Jesus was not resuscitated he was resurrected.
Jesus is alive!
He is alive.
He is not in a grave.
He never and will never die again!
This is the full power of God on display.
It is the completion of domination by the loving God.
God did it.
He died on the cross paying the punishment for sin but then He rose again.
That rising gives to all those who believe in him a new birth!
Something that can never be taken away, destroyed or lost.
This is the power of the resurrection, God does the work of making all things new.
This is our hope.
It is why we can never say well that’s just the way the person is.
You know that person who is so messed up, so caught up in addiction, so greedy, so mean.
That is just the person that they currently are, they have not died to themselves and accepted that Jesus, who died for their sins, is alive and gives them new life!!
No one is down and out.
No one is too small, too dumb or too useless, No one is more powerful than the Lord Jesus who rose from the dead!
In the early days when people learned that our body uses electricity to control our muscle movements, one ghastly experiment was to use electricity on recently punished by death criminals.
They would shock certain muscles and sure enough they could get the body to move, even the face to make expressions but there was no life in the body.
Today we can resuscitate the body, but we cannot make the body new.
For all those who follow Jesus we know live with a hope of the resurrection as Jesus, currently is we will be.
I am telling you the power of the resurrection is fulfilled in Jesus and will be fulfilled for all those who follow Him.
My friends the Resurrection of Jesus is true, It is power and it is our future hope.
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations (5035 The Grieving Caterpillars)
5035 The Grieving CaterpillarsArthur Brisbane once pictured a crowd of grieving caterpillars carrying the corpse of a cocoon to its final resting place.
The poor, distressed caterpillars, clad in black raiment, were weeping, and all the while the beautiful butterfly fluttered happily above all the junk down below, forever freed from its earthly shell.
Needless to say, it is foolish to remember only the cocoon and concentrate our attention on the remains, while forgetting the bright butterfly.
This is true, we can accept with full faith, in our Lord Jesus resurrection.
Yet it isn’t just for after we die or at his return the resurrection makes a difference right now.
This is the promise of our future and it begins today, not with a renewing of our body but a renewing of our minds.
Our thinking produces our actions and as Christ makes our mind new, even on this side of our own resurrection we begin to change and transform.
The writer of these verses knew how powerful this change was and He too figured out that this is the real pursuit in life.
Philippians 3:7–11 (NLT)
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
When you truly know the Joy, the Hope, the Peace, and the love that comes in Jesus, the resurrected one!
What a day!
We have seen it in my mother’s recent cancer diagnosis my friends, what a joy to see not just because she is doing better but even in the midst of this problem.
We must understand that “you could die” is not the greatest scariest thing.
You could lose everything is not the greatest scariest thing.
Since the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we have Joy that God is with us, Hope that He works out all things to the good of those who Love Him, Peace in our Hearts that God raises the dead, and Love from a Jesus who would die for us, give us life, and give us a life eternal.
This is the hope that a woman with cancer can rely on, a hope that a man in prison can still say my life has meaning in Jesus, a hope that a grandmother can know her voice is still heard by her Lord and Savior as she prays, a truth that someone in recovery can say while recovery is too hard, in the resurrected Jesus all things are possible!!
You know what is impossible?
Trying to do Jesus and pursue the things that everyone else cares about.
Too many of us are trying to have Jesus and add on to it the way everyone else lives.
We pursue a life of no problems, taking whatever makes life easier, popping pills instead of responsibility, taking shortcuts instead of patience, using rage to get what we want rather than love, We are going after easy riches.
We go after everyone agreeing with us.
We go after ease and comfort, that is not going to work.
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
The people who translated the Bible really didn’t want to use the real English equivalent of the word to say.
He didn’t write garbage.
He wrote SKEE-bal-loan.
Now skee-bal-loan is a greek word only used once in the Bible but it is used in other ancient greek writings.
It is not a nice word, but it fits right here.
It is the most forceful way that someone could say poop.
I’m only going to say it once, but this is how the Bible verse should read in today’s language:
Philippians 3:8 (CSB)
8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ
That’s the word the Bible uses.
It’s shocking because it fits.
Going after something worthless when you could be going after the best is stupid!
Now I don’t know about you but I don’t want anything to do with poop.
When I have to change a diaper at work, and some of my students need that, I double bag that diaper, I wipe that up quick, I get rid of even the gloves I used.
I even spray the air with febreeze!
I don’t want to remember it.
I don’t keep it around.
I don’t want it as a secret gift.
I don’t want it anywhere near me.
I don’t take pictures of it.
I don’t even want the smell of it do you?
Seriously, some of us get so excited when we aren’t doing the horrible things that we used to do.
Yet we now pursue new addictions that everybody else is cool with.
Or we let our lives be just like everyone else around us, except Church on Sunday.
We think and talk, and go after the same goals as everyone else.
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