Monday, 25 March 2019

Why Did Jesus Come?

Lent- Easter 2019 “Why Did Jesus Come?”
March 27, 2019

Life Death and new life. Jesus’ purpose was to redeemer a fallen human
race. In order to dot his Christ had to do something unimaginable- kill death. He had to kill death dead and in order to do this, he himself had to do this. This is what the cross was all about. Killing death.
Jesus took sin’s penalty so that the guilty could be free. Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.”
One of the people who was closest to Jesus was Mary Magdalene.  Mary had been possessed by seven demons and yet through Jesus she was changed. She became a devoted follower of Jesus who walked in faith. Her life, values, priorities all had been changed. She did not want to be separated from Jesus and so she stayed with him when many others had left.
Mary Magdalene stood strongly at the cross. Heartbroken and devastated Mary stayed and witnessed the brutality of the cross and Jesus’ suffering. She needed to be with him along with other women.
When we walk through Lent are we walking far behind Jesus or in true devotion like Mary Magdalene. Mary’s life had changed because of Jesus and she trusted him so much she wanted to be with him always. And so she stayed with him even when he was on the cross.
As we reflect upon Jesus coming to us, do we devote ourselves fully to him?  Jesus came to save sinners- he healed many from afflictions, but he also healed people from their own poor choices. As we continue to learn about what this Lenten journey means for us—are we really wiling to understand that he came for us- you?
Out of Love for us O God you gave us Jesus. But turned away from his teachings as they felt threatened and insecure in their own way of thinking and learning. They were unsure of what it meant and means to be Christian just like us today. Yet in this Lenten season we can focus on Jesus’ as the one who came to save us. Like Mary Magdalene we need Jesus’ guidance and strength every day and so we ask O God that you would help us to discern who we are and what we might be able to do through faith and with hope. Guide us we pray as we continue to discern why Jesus came. Amen.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Smiling because of God’s Joy

Smiling because of God’s Joy

Psalm 4:7 “Fill my heart with joy”

                The photographer grabs everyone’s attention and just as
the photo is to be taken she says, “Cheese”. All in the photo ultimately smile and the result is a beautiful photo of people smiling and appearing happy.
                But what is the photographer said, “sour” or “Winnie the Pooh”? Would the photograph be different? Yes, different facial expressions are made and this results in a negative picture.
                Yet what is more important is that when it comes to true happiness and joy it is not just a smile for the camera that is needed, but to have real peace and gladness is to have joy from the inside out not the outside in.
                In Psalm 4 David describes the different courses of action he took when he was feeling distressed. He asked God for relief. He also took comfort in knowing that he was favoured by God and that the Lord heard him when he called. David was also quiet before God. David did what was right put his trust in Him. He also rested in the assurance of God’s peace and safety. He was confident that in all of this he would receive joy in his heart as a gift from God.
From where do you experience and receive joy? God gives us this joy within when we believe and receive his Spirit. Do you know the joy of the Lord?
“You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grand and new wine.” (v.7)
God of love and mercy we pray that you will grant us your joy in our hearts today and forevermore. Enable us to smile and fully know the joy of the Lord. Amen.

From Psalms: 90 Devotions from Our Daily Bread c.2014 p 9