DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY - RESURRECTION BRINGS RECONCILIATION. The Conclusion.
For the sake of each of us he laid down his life--worth no less than the universe. He demands of us in return our lives for the sake of each other. - St. Clement of Alexandria.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, - Rom 1:1-4.
I believe in the power of the Cross! Many Christians think that you only preach the Cross at Easter, not so! The Cross is a message that needs to be preached every day, every week, every month, and every year! But we cannot preach the Cross without preaching the resurrection! This week we will look at the resurrection and how it brings reconciliation with the Father! Yesterday in Part 2, we looked at the POWER of the resurrection, today we conclude with…
GOD IS IN THE RECONCILIATION BUSINESS
God has always been in the reconciliation business, He has always promised to reconcile His repentant people! In Deuteronomy, the promise came first through Moses… and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. - Deut 30:2-3.
Disobedience eventually led to foreign captivity in Jeremiah's day, but, a time of reconciliation was coming, and this promise is provisional for all people, not just for Israel, it guarantees the greatest sinners, if they repent and get saved, they shall have all their sins forgiven, and be reconciled to God, in Christ Jesus! Hallelujah! What an awesome God we serve!
THE RESURRECTION GIVES US HOPE OF RECONCILLIATION
Christ said: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. - John 14:18-19. Death is inevitable, and all of us know it, and as the years pass, the more we realise it. Most people seek to avoid it, with drugs, with cosmetics, through superstitions and with science. But none of this will stay the unavoidable... death!
Little Philip, born with Down's syndrome, attended a third-grade Sunday School class with several eight-year-old boys and girls. Typical of that age, the children did not readily accept Philip with his differences, according to an article in leadership magazine. But because of a creative teacher, they began to care about Philip and accept him as part of the group, though not fully.
The Sunday after Easter the teacher brought L'eggs pantyhose containers, the kind that look like large eggs. Each receiving one, the children were told to go outside on that lovely spring day, find some symbol for new life, and put it in the egg-like container. Back in the classroom, they would share their new-life symbols, opening the containers one by one in surprise fashion. After running about the church property in wild confusion, the students returned to the classroom and placed the containers on the table. Surrounded by the children, the teacher began to open them one by one. After each one, whether a flower, butterfly, or leaf, the class would ooh and ahh.
Then one was opened, revealing nothing inside. The children exclaimed, "That’s stupid. That's not fair. Somebody didn't do their assignment."
Philip spoke up, "That's mine."
"Philip, you don't ever do things right!" the student retorted. "There's nothing there!"
"I did so do it," Philip insisted. "I did do it. It's empty. the tomb was empty!"
Silence followed. From then on Philip became a full member of the class. He died not long afterward from an infection most normal children would have shrugged off. At the funeral this class of eight-year-olds marched up to the altar not with flowers, but with their Sunday school teacher, each to lay on it an empty pantyhose egg. - Source Unknown.
The resurrection declares a great reunion in the future of every believer. The message of the Cross is not simply that Christ is risen, the message of the Cross is RECONCILIATION, the message of the Cross is EVERLASTING LIFE, the message of the Cross is... BECAUSE HE LIVES, WE TOO SHALL LIVE...
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. - John 3:16-17.
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior. – Source unknown.
That's what this is all about, that is why I want you to know Jesus, I want you to know eternal life in Him, I want you to know the ABUNDANT LIFE in Him, religion won't save you, your parents won’t save, the Church won’t save you, but Jesus will! He came to give you life! You say, what shall I do? Just simply confess that you're a sinner and that you can't save yourself, declare and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then, open your heart and let Him come in and save you.
Loving Father, I thank you for the power of Jesus, and I thank you that Jesus died for me, so that I may be reconciled to you! I thank you Lord that it did not stop there, but that He rose again from the dead, that I might have a new life, a life of power! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to take the principles contained in your word, and apply them to my life, that I might be a better child for you, in Jesus wonderful name I pray. Amen!