Never stop believing, we made it to the end of a week. Lord I thank you for giving me the strength to believe even when giving up was also an option.
Happy Good Friday, what’s good about today you may ask? Most of the time when we say it’s a good friday, we are happy to be finished with a hard week at work, anticipating socializing with friends, or we are reminiscing old times. However, today throughout the world people are celebrating “Good Friday”, but on this day, a man, was mocked and unjustly crucified. A week prior he was lauded by hundreds, but all those people turned on him. He was betrayed by one of his closest friends and denied by another. His mother was forced to watch him die on a old rugged cross. This man did not even have his own tomb, and was placed in a borrowed tomb. He bore a violent death, unjustly.
We can all think of people that have died unjustly or violently. Acts of violence are never acceptable, but they touch our heart and souls when innocent people are the victim. Around the world people are greifing for love ones that have been killed, by stray bullets, terror attacks, police etc. It’s hard to reconcile why these events happen. They simply make no sense. But in the aforementioned case, the man who was crucifed on the Cross died for a specific reason. And that reason is us, you and I.
As we reflect on today we are not celebrating the act of murder, but we are more appreciative that Jesus Christ chose to sacrifice himself for the remission of our sins. It was a selfless act that will never loose power. It was and is a good friday, becuase of this act, we are free and have access to grace and forgiveness. We have a blessed assurance that when we pray, that we are praying to a savior that understand the struggles of this world.
So its a Good Friday, because on this Friday all of our debts were paid, and we are free to live abundantly in Christ.
1 Peter 2:21-25
The Message (MSG)
21-25This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.
He never did one thing wrong, Not once said anything amiss. They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.
Sometimes we wake up after a long nights and the problems of yesterday cloud the joy of the morning. Today, we need to be infused with energy to make it through the remainder of the day and week. God, has a plan for our life says Jeremiah, a plan for a hope and a future, further the writer says,”faint not”, “don’t get weary in good doing”. We have to keep pushing, take rest in knowing that God will replenish your spirit and body. Replenish us with a joy and a energy that cannot be taken away. Hope is not always an easy tenet, but it’s essential to survival. A story is told of a elderly lady that walked several miles with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when asked by her fellow marchers if she was tired, she responded by saying, “my feet are tired, but my spirit is strong”. Your body maybe tired, but your spirit is renewed everday.
The poet, Ruyard Kipling, “If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your thier turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!” So today, let us squeeze every bit of energy we have to make it through today. Let’s not worry about tommorow, the songwriter says, “I dont worry about tommorow becuase I know who hold my hand, God’s eye is on the Sparrow and I know he watches over me”. Let us pause, breath. Breath in peace, joy and strength and breath out frustration, hurt and pain.
Lord, I may be tired but, I will hold on until you renew my strength.
Our theme for the month of March continues to be: “The Gift of Grace” from the text: Ephesians 2:8-10.
In this text, the apostle Paul makes two bold, deliberate and life-changing declarations:
- You are saved.
- You are God’s workmanship.
Firstly, you are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, and to God alone be all the glory. Like so many today, I didn’t always understand, nor appreciate this truth. I grew up in an era where salvation was a set of do’s and dont’s – more dont’s than do’s. Consequently, like so many of my peers, I served God out of fear of losing what I thought I could lose. Hence, in the process I lost the joy of living. But now, I know that God loves me too much to have me living on the ‘edge’ – in doubt – in fear. “For God has not giving us the spirit of fear, but of love, of power and of a sound mind.” In fact, I now know that there is no fear in love; for perfect love casts out fear. I am now free to live the abundant life – life to the fullest, with joy!
Secondly, you are God’s workmanship created unto good works. It’s truly amazing that we who were once slaves to sin are now created – born anew – given a new nature that not only gives us a desire to do good, but actually enables us to do good. Wow! For as the Word declares: “It is God who works in us: both to will, and to do of His own good pleasure.”
So then, we no longer serve God out fear, but out of love. As the writer says, “We love Him because He first loved us … His love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit … teaching us to love one another.” We no longer think too much or too little of ourselves. We rather confess that we are ALL that God says we are, we can do ALL that God says we can do – we are are His workmaship! We do not write off anyone. As recipients of grace, we cannot help being gracious to others.
By. Rev. Dr. Melvin A. Turnbull, Senior Pastor
God, please open my mind and guide my path and direction. Today I put you first. I thank you for My life…My beauty…My love. I thank you for this day and view it as a new opportunity to get closer to you. God you are here. I don’t want to forget that. God you are present. You are within me, around me and your Spirit flows through me. God continue to breathe into me, so that my every word lingers with the essence of your grace. God fulfill me and move me in the right direction-closer to you. Let me see how the situations I deal with everyday can give you glory and get me through. God on this earth, today, I need you to help shape my perception of my reality so that I can make it through the day. I am leaning on you-hold me up until I am upright. Then strengthen me to go on with the luminance of your light in my every step.
By. S. Turnbull