Thank YOU for the cross!

 

2Corinthians 5:21NKJV  21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

With Easter approaching, it is a good time to reflect on just what Christ did for each of us when He died on the cross. As we think on what He achieved through His painful death on the cross let’s approach this Easter with a thankful heart! Without His enduring the scourgings, false accusations, and crucifixion there would be no way for us to enter into fellowship with the Father. He provided THE WAY. If He at any point in His suffering lashed back and refused to endure, we would still be living a life without hope, without true joy and without the assurance of our salvation. For many of us who are gentiles, we would be outside the family of God with no way in. Thankfully, He did endure the cross and when He did, He willingly took upon Himself my sin and yours! Praise God!

Let’s take a fresh look at what the cross accomplished when we reflect on just a few verses today…

1John 2:2 NKJV And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.   (The definition of propitiation taken from Theopedia is “The turning away of wrath by an offering. In relation to soteriology, propitiation means placating or satisfying the wrath of God by the atoning sacrifice of Christ.” 

Romans 5:10 NKJV 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

1 Corinthians 15:3-5  NKJV For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

1 Peter 1:17-19 NKJV 17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

And finally, one of my favorite verses…

2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.   It blesses me so much to know that He willing became sin for me, though it was painful and temporarily caused separation from the Father, and not only did that but  replaced my sin with righteousness in HIM!  That is powerful! That is amazing! That is ultimate love!

As you spend this Easter perhaps with loved ones and friends, don’t forget to spend time with your Redeemer! He has made it possible for you and I to enjoy eternal life and a joyful life here on earth regardless of our circumstances. Take the time to thank Him for what He has done for you!

 

 

Replacing lies with truth!

 

John 8:32 NIV 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:32 NIV 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

One of the things I love about the word of God is that it really does set us free where and when we apply it. It has the ability to replace lies we have believed about ourselves, about others and about our Savior. If we read it, digest it and then apply it to any area of our life where we are struggling it can and will set us free! The secret is not just to read it or hear it spoken somewhere, we MUST apply it. I was sharing this week with another new believer how fear used to control so much of my life. I would fear making a decision in case it was the wrong one. I would fear God’s wrath more than rest in His love. I would fear man and their opinions etc. It controlled a lot of my life and thinking. When I grew tired of being so fearful I decided to take a look at the scriptures about fear in my Bible. I wrote many of them out. It wasn’t enough just to write them out. When a fearful thought would begin to form I would have to combat that thought with the Word of God and not give it place in my thinking. It worked!  I was being transformed by the renewing of my mind through the Word of God.  I will list just a few of those verses on fear here, my favorite being 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. So when fear would come upon me I could reject the fear  knowing it was NOT coming from God!  Another one is Isaiah 41:10 NIV So do not fear, for I am with you;  do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Fear is but one area that a person can be bound. There are too many to list here, however every one of those areas can be defeated through the Word of God if you read it, digest it and apply it! Too often people want an instant fix from the things that bind them but the most effective way to be free is to apply the Word of God to whatever it is. John 8:32 NIV says 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Freedom comes from applying the Word anywhere we have believed a lie in our lives. As I mentioned earlier, my battle with fear was only overcome when I searched the Bible for verses on fear, wrote them out and when fear would try and take hold of my heart, I woke quote those verses and stand on them as they are from the word of God and the word of God is truth!

The Bible is powerful. It is supernatural. It is truth. It can be relied upon, when applied, to change our lives for good. It has the power when applied to conform us into the image of our Savior! That’s powerful! If you are struggling in a particular area of your life and don’t seem to be able to have freedom in that area, it’s time you got serious about getting into God’s word and applying it. Freedom seldom comes without determination. You must decide you no longer want to be struggling in this area and search the scriptures for all the verses on this particular thing and then use that scripture as a weapon! Do not accept every thought that comes but challenge those thoughts of defeat and combat them with God’s word. That is how change comes about! Using the word as our weapon to stand on!

Freedom will come to you  as you replace the lies you are believing  with the truth of God’s word! Renew your mind on the truth!

Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Yes knowledge is power!

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

I am convinced that as followers of Christ, our greatest struggles are in the  areas where we have not learned or decided to apply the Word of God. We often compartmentalize our lives. There are those areas we easily yield to God and there are areas we keep to ourselves. Areas where we still go by sight and areas we allow our faith in Christ to direct us. It is a type of schizophrenic Christian walk. The Word of God tells us that we are to yield every area of our life over to God. We are to trust Him in all things. We are to abide in Christ daily and without reservation.  Proverbs 3:5,6 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight.  

So why then do we hold back from doing this? Perhaps for some it is rebellion. They just don’t want to yield to Christ just yet. They feel there is still lots of time to get things right. For others though, I believe it is a lack of knowing just what the Word of God says on matters. When we are ignorant of the scriptures we are open to being lead astray. We also lack confidence in the power and authority of God in many areas of our lives.

As Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power.” In this instance, I’m not referring to academic knowledge but rather knowledge of God’s Word. As we delve into His Word we become transformed by the renewing of our minds. We begin to see things as God sees them. We begin to see our faith grow. We begin to trust Him, knowing that many before us have trusted Him and He has not disappointed. We begin to apply the authority and power we have received through Christ into our lives and are thereby able to make a difference in this world we live in! His Word is life changing! It is supernatural! It is powerful!

Hebrews 4:12 NIV 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Romans 10:17 NIV 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Matthew 4:4 NIV Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Isaiah 55:11 NIV 11  So is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Too often we struggle because we do not read the Bible  and therefore don’t apply it to our lives! We live by sight more than by faith.

I personally believe there is a new thing happening in the body of Christ. I am excited with what I am seeing. Many believers are hungry for more of Christ in their lives. They are turning to the Scriptures for guidance, for knowledge and to hear the voice of the One they love. Worldwide, there are discipleship groups rising, new and old followers of Christ wanting to spend more time in the Word and growing into the disciple makers Christ has called us all to become. There is no doubt that as we grow in our knowledge of the Word of God, we will grow in our authority of the Word. We will begin to apply the Word of God to all areas of our lives! This is how we will be able to fulfill each of our own parts in the  great commission.  By knowing the Word, believing the Word and obeying the Word. By doing what Jesus told each and every one of us to do in Matthew 28:16-20 NIV 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

Stand in your confidence in HIM!

In whom can we put our trust and confidence? In whom can we be assured? Psalm 27 tells us. Regardless of our personal situation, regardless of the political environment we find ourselves in, regardless of how hopeless things may seem, we can cry out to Jesus. He will hear us and He will answer! The peace that really knowing that brings is priceless. Though we may feel anxious for a few minutes when trouble arises, we can safely remind ourselves that HE will never leave us. HE will never allow us to go through more than we can bear. We have a hope that cannot be taken away! There is nothing we need to fear! We can be totally confident in HIM!

Psalm 27 NIV

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
    the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
    lead me in a straight path
    because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
    for false witnesses rise up against me,
    spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

He will arrive on time! If you are struggling right now and don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior, it’s time you met Him.  If you are a follower of Christ and are going through a spiritual battle stand strong and take heart, as David says. Wait for the Lord! He will not ignore you. He will meet you in your battle, just stand strong in the confidence of who He is and that He will never leave or forsake you!

Father God, for any who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior we now pray the following prayer:

Lord Jesus, forgive me. I am a sinner. I have done things that have left me feeling sad and ashamed. I ask  You to forgive me right now. I ask that You would come into my life and fill me with the Holy Spirit.  I want a new beginning with You. I want to KNOW that should I die I will go to Heaven. I want to have peace and joy as I live out the rest of my life. Please guide me to a church where I may grow in my new life and help me to understand the Bible as it is Your words to us. I ask it now in the name of Jesus, Amen.

*If you prayed that prayer right now, I suggest you find a local Bible believing church in your neighborhood. I also suggest you get yourself a Bible and begin to read it! It will open up your eyes to just who God is and who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for each and every one of us! Congratulations on your new life in Christ!

If you are a follower of Christ and are struggling in your walk I suggest you pray with me right now….

Father God, I am struggling in my current situation. I need to know, as David did, that I can be strong and take heart as I wait on You to work this out. I ask that You would comfort me with your Word (the Bible) and You would help me to stand on the fact that as David said,  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.  Because of the blood Christ shed for me on Calvary, I can boldly come before Your throne and know You hear me! I don’t have to doubt or fear that You have left me! I can rest in knowing that ALL things work together for good to them who love God and who are called according to His purpose. As a follower of Christ, I have been called! I put my trust in You right now. I stand on the fact that NOTHING can touch me that You will not see me through. Please remind me as I go through this day, that You are right beside me. I need not fear! I can be confident in You! In the precious name of Jesus my King, Amen

David knew it, YOU can too!

 

I am currently making my way through the book of Psalms again. I love this book! It is full of incredible inspiration, wisdom and deep truth. The word of God tells us that  David was  a man after God’s own heart. Acts 13:22 NIV says 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ and 1Samuel 13:14 NIV 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”  I love the Lord’s mercy towards David. Though David sinned, his heart was tender towards God and he repented and God  not only forgave him but  used him mightily! Perhaps knowing that he was a man after God’s own heart is what makes David’s words of such value to me. He wasn’t perfect, just like the rest of us, but he wasn’t long in repenting after his sins. He valued his intimacy with God. He also knew that God was faithful and true and that He could be trusted with everything, including his life.

David had a life of blessings but he also endured great suffering, some the direct result of his disobedience.  The death of his infant son from Bathsheba, the pursuit of Saul for his life, the separation from his son Absalom, the death of Absalom and more.  Despite his sorrows, David knew God could be trusted. God could be counted on. Unlike himself, God never sinned, yet would still show mercy when a truly repentant heart would call on His name. Though because of his great sin he deserved abandonment, God heard his repentant heart and did not abandon him. When David sought him in earnest, God answered!

Psalm 22 beautifully illustrates their relationship. It also foretells of Christ’s death and suffering for us!

Psalm 22 NIV

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “Let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
    open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.

15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
    you lay me in the dust of death

.16 Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.

20 Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.

21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For He has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
He has not hidden His face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
    before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.

26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—
    may your hearts live forever

!27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,

28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.

30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.

31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!

Just as David knew His God would hear his cry and answer, we too can be assured that through Christ, God will hear and answer our pleas.  He will never leave us or abandon us! We can trust Him with every area of our lives, despite how dark or bleak things may seem. Despite what we have done, if we cry out to Him, He will answer and deliver us! We are part of the future generations David spoke of. We can proclaim the righteousness of Christ and declare it! We also have become that righteousness through the shed blood of Christ!

If you are struggling with something, feel abandoned, alone or depressed, call on the name of Jesus. He will hear you! He will not turn away from you!  Just as David said , For He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”  He hears the cry of a repentant heart and will not turn away.

Father God, I ask today that you forgive me of my sins and transgressions. I am sorry for the things I have done that have caused separation from you. Jesus, please come into my life, my situation and deliver me from any chains that keep me bound. Free me from anything that causes separation between us. Just as David cried out to You for help, I cry out to You today. I need you in my life. I need your favor and guidance. Please help me to grow closer to You and abide in You daily. Give me a hunger for reading the Bible so that I may learn of You more. Give me a love for others so that I may demonstrate Your love more. Fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I may accomplish all that You have for me to do, in the precious and beautiful name of Jesus, Amen.

Renewing your mind or out with the bad, in with the good!

 

This morning’s news was bleak. The thoughts of war loom over the Ukraine, aborted babies being used as fuel in a British hospital, the Quebec government challenging the rights of faith based educational institutions etc. etc… This world we live in is changing and for the most part not for good. If we didn’t have a hold on the “good news” it would be a very dismal future. However, we do! We have been redeemed, we have been filled with the Spirit of God, we have an advocate (Jesus) who is interceding on our behalf before the Father!  It is so important that on the days when we  are tempted to succumb to the “bad news” that we renew our minds with the “good news”!  Today I want to share a chapter from the Bible that does just that.

2 Corinthians 4 NIV  Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Wow!   Those are powerful words of encouragement! We are to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen because what is unseen is eternal! We, who have read the Bible, know the ending and Jesus wins! It may not seem like it when we look around with our carnal eyes but we know it with our spiritual eyes. This is all temporary and as we wait on the return of our beautiful King we have the awesome opportunity to let His light shine in our hearts in a world that desperately needs to see it! Though we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

We have been redeemed in order that we may reveal the life of Jesus in our body! Every day we have new opportunities to do just as we lean into Him and live out His love for this dark and broken world, knowing in the end we will see Him face to face!  :) Now that is good news!

So if you find yourself getting discouraged by the things you see with your eyes, fix your eyes on the truth of the gospel. Remember it is the “good news” that never changes! It is not dependent on our current leader, the economy or any other outward influence. It is true, it is 100 percent dependable and it will come to pass just as He says it will!

Have a great day letting your light shine!

“Renewing the mind is a little like refinishing furniture. It is a two-stage process. It involves taking off the old and replacing it with the new. The old is the lies you have learned to tell or were taught by those around you; it is the attitudes and ideas that have become a part of your thinking but do not reflect reality. The new is the truth. To renew your mind is to involve yourself in the process of allowing God to bring to the surface the lies you have mistakenly accepted and replace them with truth. To the degree that you do this, your behaviour will be transformed.” ~ Charles Stanley

 

Believing for MORE!

I’m excited for the things God is teaching me these days. One of the things that I am learning is  to not get discouraged while waiting on the evidence  of things not yet seen!Hebrews 11:1 NIV tells us 11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. I am growing in my confidence in God’s fulfillment of His promises. What we see with the eye currently is not what will be if we hold fast to those promises, not wavering. 

James 1:2-8 NIV Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

There have been many times in the past that I have been double-minded. Not sure if it was God’s will to do some of the things I have asked for and therefore doubting even as the words were leaving my mouth. My confidence in the lover of my soul is changing. I believe I am seeing Him more for the beautiful Savior, healer, deliverer, Lord and King that He is and that it is His desire to give good gifts to His followers.  Now I am not referring to lavish homes and cars, not that these things in themselves are bad! I am referring to all blessings that enable us to fulfill His purposes in our lives. Peace, joy, sound mind, health and strength as we need it to do the labor He has called us to. We are the called to be the light of the world and what good can we do when we are moping about in ongoing depression, anxiety, fear and bondage!  If we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior and have made a decision to follow Him, we are entitled to freedom from all these things! 

2Timothy 1:6-8 NKJV says  Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

God wants His church whole. He wants us living a life of obedience and  abiding in Christ daily. When we do, we are in a position to minister to those He puts in our path. To be a light in the darkness.  We are free  to pray for others and see answers.

James 5:16 NIV 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

I am learning that as I commit myself wholly to Him, to confess my sins before Him daily, to lean into Him, to believe Him, I am able to make a difference in the lives of those around me.  I am able to share the gospel and demonstrate the love of Christ to others and that is what He has called each of us in the body of Christ to do. His last words on earth tell us just that.

Mark 16:9-20 NIV When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating;  he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

My prayer is that each one of us will grow in our confidence of His love for us, in our faith and trust in His word and what we are able to accomplish through Him! As we do we will see the fulfillment of the great commission!

Father God, we thank you for Jesus. We thank you that we can fully trust in Him and rely on His love and kindness. Lord create a clean heart in each of us and renew a right spirit within us so that we may walk close to You and fulfill the purposes You have called us to. Let us be a light in this world. Let each of us do our part in the great commission. Increase our faith through Your word. Let each of us preach the gospel  and confirm Your word by signs and wonders as we do so. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.