Whatever You Do

www.bible.com/72/col.3.17.hcsb

“Whatever you do or say” covers a lot of territory. The term “representative” is literally “name” so that whatever we do or say, we do in the name of Jesus. The Name is an important part of this conversation. I’m surprised HCSB made this choice. For we are called by the Name, baptized into the Name, and believe in the Name. What we are called and called to are extremely important. We are more than representatives. We hear His Name.

When a woman marries, traditionally she bears his name as part of of her marriage agreement. That means when she leaves the house and goes out into the community, she bears the name of her husband’s family (for good or ill). If her husband’s family has a good reputation, she will likely be treated accordingly. If not, even if she is a good person herself, she will be judged because of her married name.

The Lord’s Name precedes us. People we meet will already have made a judgment of who we are based on what they know of the Name. We have the opportunity to change minds if we live up to the Name. If we don’t, we may do more harm than good. I’ve met many who don’t like Christianity based on a few people they’ve met. Don’t be a bad witness to the Name.

Whatever we do affects how people view the Name. Is it a saving Name, a Holy Name, and a Name that causes real change in us, for the better? Are you living up to the Name today? I encourage you to do so. People are watching.

God bless!

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Tuesday

www.bible.com/72/psa.47.1.hcsb

Nothing special today. Tuesday is like a part of the night sky that is unremarkable, no stars or constellations. You pass over it because it is part of the whole, but you don’t celebrate it. It’s not the back to work day, or hump day, or any of the days leading to the weekend. It’s just there.

Funny thing though. When the Hubble Telescope pointed its great lenses to the darkest part of the night sky, it saw amazing collections of stars and distant galaxies. There were whole worlds of wonder along that vector that scientists are still poring over.

Tuesday is a day that the Lord has made, woken you up into it, and reintroduced you back into the world. Today is just as good a day to sing and celebrate the resurrection as any other day. Let not the joy of Sunday wear off but continue to feed the fire of joy and worship throughout the week.

God bless you today, even if it’s a Tuesday.

Easter Monday

www.bible.com/72/psa.22.31.hcsb

Though not a day we celebrate, on some calendars you will find today labeled as Easter Monday because it follows Easter. Today’s selection comes from Psalm 22, the first verse of which is quoted by Jesus in the cross. (Just consider that in the midst of his final hours, Jesus is quoting texts of ancient literature. That’s my Jesus!) He most likely makes this reference because Psalm 22:2 accurately reflects exactly how he’s feeling. He feels forsaken by God and afflicted, just as Isaiah 53 predicted.

But Psalm 22 takes a journey of its own. From the first verse to the last, the Psalm goes from lament to praise. The Psalmist laments his condition, in many ways prefiguring Christ’s own suffering. But then he speaks of the presence of the Lord, the worship in His holy Temple, and that at the last, generations will speak of the Lord’s praise and deliverance.

And here we are, the generations to be born are reading this blog today. They are reading about what the Lord has done in raising s dead man to life. Despite all the arguments that it can’t be done, today we serve a risen Savior. Sure I apprehend these things by faith, but faith based on evidence. There is more evidence for Jesus than for Socrates.

Let us tell today about the risen Savior. It may be Monday, but Jesus is still just as risen as He was yesterday. Let us celebrate His resurrection everyday.

God bless!

Easter Sunday

www.bible.com/72/jhn.11.25-26.hcsb

Happy Easter! From Romans 5:

8  But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9  Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath.

10  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life?

Do you believe this?

Jesus’ question to Martha in John 11 was not an idle one. For her faith in this fact, faith in Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life is crucial to her own eternity, as well as her brother’s. It is crucial to yours. You see as Romans says above, this deaths and resurrection is essential to our own eternity. If God had not shown His love for us through the death of His own Son, Jesus Christ, we could not share in His Resurrection. Only through Christ can you be born again.

Do you believe this?

Nearly 2000 years ago, the Son of God was hung upon a cross. He died there in the most cruel means of that time. He suffered more anyone, because He also bore the sins of the world, and experienced God’s wrath for all sin for all time, One who knew no sin. Through His death, we may live. Through His resurrection three days later, we too understand that death cannot hold us either.

Do you believe this?

If you do, and if you’ve repented of your sins, confessed the name of Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and received baptism in His name, then you also will share in His Life. You will receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, the gift of forgiveness of your sins, and Eternal Life.

God bless you today as you continue in your journey.

Black Saturday

www.bible.com/72/rom.10.13.hcsb

Every year I fall into this temptation, as I relive the original Easter experience. With Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, I imagine in my mind that I am going through the events of that passion week with Jesus and the disciples. When Jesus died on the cross, I wait along with them for Sunday morning. I know Jesus will rise again! But wait. All of this happened already. Jesus does not repeatedly die and rise again every year. He does not spend Black Saturday in the grave. He has already shown us the grave cannot hold Him. Jesus Christ is alive today and everyday, just as He has been since AD 30. While many are mourning and waiting for Jesus to come back, I’m over here celebrating Jesus’ resurrection, because He is alive. I serve a risen Savior. He’s in the world today.

Now I know it does something for us to celebrate His resurrection every year on Easter. But we celebrate His resurrection every week. We enjoy the benefits of His resurrection every moment. Don’t put all of that aside today, of all days. Many may mourn Jesus burial, but He is not in the grave. He is not there. He is risen. Black Saturday doesn’t have to be a day of mourning.

Before I go, let me say there is some merit to remembering. What must it have been like for those disciples? How would we have responded? That helps us put ourselves into the text and empathize with those early disciples. That is a good thing. But you don’t have to wait with them until Sunday morning. We can move ahead in the story, because we know its outcome.

God bless you today. Happy Easter! Enjoy the holiday, but go to church. 😁

Good Friday

www.bible.com/72/jhn.19.30.hcsb

Today will probably be like any other Friday. I will go to work, do my job, and come home. Tonight we do have church, so that will remind me of what today is about.

What is today about? It is the day we annually remember the crucifixion of Jesus. After He spent His last supper with the disciples, He went out to a garden to pray, to prepare for the next day’s trials. Overnight, He was arrested in the garden, betrayed by one of His own. He was hauled before the high priest, the Procurator, the King, and the former high priest. The charge of treason was applied to Him, but it was the crowd who called for His crucifixion. Crucifixion was borrowed from the Persians and perfected by the Romans, who reserved this vile form of execution for the most vile criminals, including those who incited sedition and treason against the Emperor.

Jesus, the Son of God, hung on the cross for an unusually short time, surprising even the professionals at its base. In only three hours, He was dead. It usually required days. Jesus was so badly beaten when he began, added to the burden of the rejection of men and the sin of the world on His shoulders, the unbearable suffering of the full weight of God’s wrath, we ought to be in awe. No greater sacrifice has ever been made, human or otherwise. Period.

“I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene. I wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean.”

“How marvelous, how wonderful, and my song shall ever be, how marvelous, how wonderful, is my Savior’s love for me.”

Maundy Thursday

www.bible.com/72/luk.22.19.hcsb

As we pass the half-way mark of Holy Week, we come upon this quiet, unassuming day of Maundy Thursday. The day marks the observation of Passover by Jesus and His disciples before He was arrested early Friday morning. It was a night that Jesus gave them what some call the Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper. He transformed an age-old tradition called Passover into testimony of His New Covenant through His body and blood.

It is usually observed with a sense of humility and awe, as we appreciate the gravity of the meal and its significance. We try to undertake the sense of commitment and love Jesus has not only for His disciples then, but for all people of all time who would benefit from His sacrifice. The Lord’s Supper is a celebration of Jesus’s love for us. It is also a reminder that He had to die for us, because we are sinners, and have no hope without Him.

Above all, remember today. Meditate on Jesus’ work for your salvation. Remember that He did all of this because He loves you.

God bless.