Posts Tagged ‘new life’

I love spring.  The bursting forth of new life thrills my soul.  The awakening of the countryside from the drab greys and browns of winter to multi-colored flowers set against the backdrop of green simply makes me happy.

We recently experienced the birth of our 4th grandchild.  My wife helped with the delivery and today Lilah Joy is 7 days old. We actually have two grandchildren now who were born on Good Friday.  Jasper Leland was born on Good Friday 4 years ago.  As I held Lilah last night I couldn’t stop thinking about what a precious gift I held.  As she lay restfully sleeping in my arms she was totally at peace.

I was reminded that this is what God wants for each one of us… to rest in Him, to put our trust in Him, to be His child and be at peace.  Holding this precious child and considering the amazing love God has for us was both humbling and inspiring.  Roman 8:14-17 comes to mind.  We are His children and He wants to be known as our “Abba”, our Daddy.

It seems appropriate that for most of us Easter corresponds with spring.  Jesus’ resurrection marks the ultimate of new life.  There are a number of ways that Jesus coming to earth, His sacrificial death on the cross, and His resurrection changed the world forever.

There is salvation.  The price for our sin has been paid and we can enter into a right relationship with God as our Father through what Jesus did on our behalf.

There is freedom.  The power of sin is broken because of what Jesus did.  We can experience freedom from the dominating and destructive habits of our old self because of the cross and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit given to each one who accepts God’s gift of salvation.

Oh, and there is purpose.  We no longer are subject to the whims of a fickle nature.  We are called and equipped to live a life that has God-ordained purpose.

There is praise overflowing.  God gave us new life to live in Him and to live for Him.  Our lives are testaments to the one, wholly, and Holy Other.  God is worthy of our constant praise.  We do this best by living in close communion with Him and responding in prompt obedience to His nudges.

Yes, spring has sprung.  The tomb is empty.  And there is new life… radical…rich…full… abundant new life available to all who trust in and give their lives to Jesus – the lover of our souls.  Rejoice my friend.  He is ALIVE!  And so are we.  Death no longer has a hold on us.  Neither does sin, at least it doesn’t have to.  The only power sin has left is the power we give it.  Let sin no longer reign in your body, but live your life totally immersed in Jesus and His saving, cleansing, healing, delivering power.  Again I say REJOICE!

Be blessed today my friend as you bask in the new life Christ Jesus provides.

As a new grandpa’s prerogative, I included a few pics of our new grand-daughter who helped inspire today’s blog.


Read Full Post »

I mentioned to a loved one recently that I was so thankful for the conversion of our oldest daughter.  They got this bewildered look and said, “Conversion?  What did she convert to?”  When I said, “To Christianity”.  He said, “But wasn’t she already a Christian?”

If you had asked her for a religious preference she would have put down Christian.  She could have recited some bible verses for you.  She would even tell you that Jesus was God’s Son and that He died for the sins of the world.  But was He Lord of her life, I know she would tell us no, he was not Lord of her life.  And this makes all the difference.

Judas was one of the 12 persons closest to Jesus.  From the hundreds of followers Jesus selected just 12 to become His disciples.  These men were given intimate access to Him for 3 years as He healed, taught, traveled, and preached across Israel.  Judas knew Jesus personally… closely.  Judas was committed to the cause.  He had given Jesus his life.  But, he had not given Jesus his heart.

There is a school of thought that Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was based upon a misguided attempt by Judas to “force Jesus hand” to make Him declare Himself king.  The main thinking is that Judas was simply a greedy manipulator that Jesus selected knowing he would be a willing pawn in satan’s plan to have Him killed.  Either way, Judas chose his own way rather than to put his whole trust in Jesus.  At this crucial point in history his heart guided him to forsake an intimate life with Jesus and the family of God to do his own thing.

Although everyone’s story is unique, our daughter’s conversion has the characteristics that define a heart surrender to Jesus.

  • She had lived her life following her own rules for a long time, long enough to know that it didn’t fulfill her.
  • She recognized that there was something more, a sense of joy and peace that some people possessed that she couldn’t seem to attain.  She could do happiness and laughter, but these were always for the short-term.
  • She recognized that she did some things that broke even her own rules.  And that she broke God’s rules even more.
  • She came to a point of a broken heart.  She wanted to be a better person.
  • She trusted God.  She asked Him to help her.  She surrendered her heart to Him.
  • He entered her life and made her a “new creation”.
  • The transformation on the inside began immediately and it is visible on the outside as well.
  • She had worn a lot of masks and her life contained a good bit of lies and half-truths.  Part of the transformation is that she and God are identifying and discarding these.  This process, which the bible calls sanctification, is a life-long activity.
  • Today she is practicing reconciliation on a consistent basis.
  • She has given up several habits that were either harmful to her and others or were simply not helpful to growing in her new life in Christ.
  • She and her husband are closer than they ever have been as they are growing together.
  • She is devouring the bible and the Holy Spirit is opening her mind to the truth it contains.

I could go on, but the point is established – there is a fundamental difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus.  When you know Jesus, His love captures you and your heart is His.  You can know about Jesus and not experience the life-change that comes from a conversion experience.

On Easter 2000 years ago, Jesus emerged from the grave alive.  He is the living Lord.  No one else has ever died for you and risen.  Since He is alive, He is available to meet and talk with you.  It is His desire to meet with you.  To talk with you.  To help you with your needs.  To show you the right path.  To be your friend first.  But to also be your Lord.

Everyone has gods that they serve.  Some are obviously bad for us.  Others, like religion, promise to help us please God.  Religion is man’s attempt to reach God.  But God came to us.  He wants relationship, not religion.  Religion is like the workaholic father who buys his wife and kids all the stuff they want but does not invest time with them face-to-face.  Stuff and activity on their behalf is not what is needed.  Intimacy… time… relationship is what is important.  Religion can never substitute for relationship.  The best it can do is help give depth IF the relationship with God through Jesus already exists.  The worst it can do is kill people in the name of god.  More on this in another post.

God sent His Son, Jesus to live, die, and live again for you and for me.  Trust Him.  Seek Him.  Give Him your heart and you will KNOW that He is, that He loves you, and that He will live with you from now on.

If you want an intimate life with God speak to Him now.  You can pray this prayer.  You can be specific about where you miss the mark.  And about your needs.  He knows them already, but it helps us when we give them voice and share them with Him.

God, I come to you right now asking for your help.  I have run my life for so long and frankly I have made a mess of things so many times.  I am sorry for the times I have missed the mark.  I am sorry for the times I have sinned against you and others.  Please forgive me.  I turn away from my sin and I turn to you.  I want you in my life.  I want to be a new creation.  Thank you Jesus for hearing my prayer.  Thank you Lord for forgiving my sin.  Thank you Father for guiding my life from this moment on.  I give you my heart.  I accept your Lordship over every area of my life.  I give myself to you.  And it’s in the name of Jesus that I pray.  Amen.

If you prayed that prayer tell someone.  Tell me if you do not have any other believers around.  Just comment back to me.

Scripture to read – 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 5:1-5, Ephesians 2:1-10

God bless you today and always.

Read Full Post »