Why is Christ’s Death so Grim?

I know what you say. Christians are obsessed with the death of Jesus. You ask why. You admit he suffered a painful death, but people have suffered harsher deaths. Well there are several valid reasons Christians feel so strongly about Christ’s death.

1. Jesus was innocent. Innocent men have been imprisoned many years for crimes, and then those same men were freed when DNA evidence vindicated them. This stirs such a sense of injustice in you, doesn’t it? Consider the injustice of capital punishment on Jesus, the man who never sinned.

2. Jesus was the son of God. A community is disheartened when anyone from a community is killed, but consider how much more the community reacts when someone of great importance has been murdered. Like President Abraham Lincoln or President John F. Kennedy? Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Jesus was way more important than those men. He was the most important person in born in all of creation.

3. Jesus is beloved. Death brings about sadness for everyone, but no life event brings about more pain or stress than losing a loved one. Christians are in a deep personal relationship with Jesus. Even though we recognize Jesus has risen from the death, it still brings such great grief to remember his suffering and death.

It may be difficult for nonChristians to understand how Christians can be in a personal relationship with a man who died over 2,000 years ago, but it should be perplexing enough to ask yourself if there is something to this Jesus Christ. Could you get to know him personally like a brother or a friend? It is possible if only you ask for it in prayer. Give it a try right now. You have nothing to lose.

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A New Type of Prayer

A few years ago, I edited a free ebook called Never Forsaken: A Testimony Collection. Something miraculous happened as I read the submissions. My own faith grew. Of course I had faith God exists, but I did not necessarily know how to apply all of the promises God has for us in the Bible.

I learned one such promise and application when I read one of the testimony submissions by a woman named Kristen Nelson. She shared a testimony of how God healed her wrists and included a Scripture from John 10:10. It says, “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  She didn’t have inoperable brain cancer. She simply wanted a fuller life.

Sometimes people are afraid to pray for God to help us in little ways as though He were too busy or something. Other times they are scared to ask God to help people on their deathbed because we are all destined to die. This is my new prayer for people on their deathbed. “Dear Lord: All of our days are numbered, but You came to give us life abundantly. While this person is here on earth, give them life to the fullest.  Thank You for being our Healer. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

A few days ago, I prayed it over my elderly cat who has not been well. That particular day she would not eat and could hardly stand. We were all preparing our hearts for her death. Then I prayed this prayer over my cat. Guess what? The very next day she was eating and walking around. She even ran upstairs! She may die tomorrow, but today she is living life to the fullest because God is good.

Christian Hypocrites (?)

Skeptics might accuse Christians of being hypocrites because we do not follow Old Testament laws. In answer to that accusation, please know the Bible is clear that those laws were written specifically for Abraham’s descendants. In fact, the New Testament says Christians are free from the Old Testament laws.

Many Christians find wisdom in the Ten Commandments and try to keep them. One such command is to observe the Sabbath. To Abraham’s descendants, observing the Sabbath meant resting on a specified day to remember the Lord set them free from slavery to Egypt. They did not free themselves. God did it. However, Christians observe the Sabbath to remember the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead. We did not save ourselves. God did it.

I hope that explains some things. If you have not trusted Jesus as your Savior, please consider saying this prayer now:

“Lord, thank You that You died for my sins so I do not have to do any other work other than believing and trusting that You paid for my sins with Your blood. I believe that You rose from the dead and will put Your Spirit in me to guide me to holy decisions. Thank You that I will be live eternally with You in heaven because You saved me. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

Anxiety (testimony)

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” —Isaiah 9:6

For most of my life, I have dealt with a great deal of anxiety, stress, and a genuine lack of peace. It seems genetic to some degree because a large number of my family members suffer from those things also. However, those negative feelings have increased over time due to some traumatic situations . For instance, I was involved in two bad car accidents. God miraculously saved me from death or serious harm, but the memory of the accidents have caused me extreme anxiety while riding as a passenger in cars.

When I first accepted Christ as my Savior, a great peace settled on me. I stopped suffering from anxiety and could go to sleep almost anywhere without worrying about a thing. As time passed and negative thoughts encroached, the worry and anxiety had returned. Any time a pastor mentioned “peace” or I read a Scripture about peace, I would talk to God saying things like “The Holy Spirit lives in me. Where is my peace?” or “If you want me to have peace, then give me peace.”

One day, I opened a daily supplement I had been taking to promote stress reduction. I heard the Lord say, “I will heal you.” Lightning did not strike at that moment. In fact, I pondered it in my heart during the next two days. Then I woke up and noticed something had changed. God’s wonderful, all-consuming peace had settled on me. It has been about a month now that I have enjoyed the fruit of the Spirit called peace. God did exactly as He promised and healed me.  If you suffer from anxiety, please join me in the following prayer.

PRAYER: Lord, We come before You today with the knowledge You can and will heal Your children. We ask that You would lift off anxiety, stress, and worry from anyone reading this blog right now and their friends or family members. We ask that You replace it with Your wonderful and all-consuming peace. Thank You, Jesus, that You are willing and able to do this for me and others because You love us so much. We welcome Your Holy Spirit into our bodies and yield to His leading. We praise You, oh God. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

25 Reasons You Doubt Christianity

There are many reasons people doubt Christianity. How many of the following reasons apply to you? Answer true or false.

  1. People consider me a rebellious person.
  2. Friends think I have too much pride.
  3. I avoid certain situations because I am fearful.
  4. I suffer from deep emotional pain.
  5. My family says I am stubborn.
  6. I hate conformity.
  7. I have not forgiven someone for abandonment/death/divorce.
  8. I have not forgiven persons for neglect/abuse.
  9. I have not sought healing/counseling for neglect/abuse.
  10. It is hard for me to accept my own vulnerabilities/weaknesses.
  11. I think I should be the master of my own life.
  12. I do not think God is loving.
  13. I do not think Jesus is the Son of God.
  14. My identity is in my family.
  15. I often worry and have anxious thoughts.
  16. I have not sought information about God.
  17. I depend on my physical beauty to gain approval.
  18. I depend on my skills/success to gain provision.
  19. I depend on wealth to protect me.
  20. I depend on indulgence/pleasures to make me happy.
  21. I depend on intellectualism to make all of my decisions.
  22. Righteousness seems boring to me.
  23. I enjoy my sins.
  24. No one has taken the time to explain the deeper things of Christ.
  25. I have never asked Christians about God or to visit their church.

Even one single reason can block you from knowing the true God. You need God’s help to see He is loving, and Christ is His only Son. Ask God to show you if He is real. Ask Him to tell you if Jesus really is His Son that died on the cross for Your sins. When you discover all these truths, do not waste a moment! Tell God you trust Him to save your soul. Tell Him you do want to live eternally with Him in heaven. Today, you have been invited into the kingdom of God.

MY PRAYER FOR YOU: Lord, I pray for any person reading this list and their loved ones to overcome these blocks to salvation. Bring about healing for the ways in which they have been wronged. Open their eyes to Your true character and the true nature of Your Son. Inspire forgiveness, wisdom, and righteousness in their hearts. Deliver them from any thing that keeps them from accepting Christ fully into their lives. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” —Matthew 7:7

Back in the 1990s, there were Magic Eye posters everywhere. Magic Eye posters look like a patterned image, but there is a hidden 3D image inside that pattern. It is some type of stereogram optical illusion. For some reason, everyone around me saw the 3D image immediately. They talked about how cool it was to see. Meanwhile, I could not see it no matter how hard I tried. I stared at it and tried their tricks and tips to no avail. Then one day, I finally saw it without really trying hard at all. Suddenly, I could not help but see the hidden images.

I have often thought how much this mirrors my walk with God. Everyone had talked about how great Jesus was, but I saw absolutely nothing. Then one day, I met Him for myself. In fact after that point, it would have been impossible to unsee Him. Now I am in agreement with the others. God is beyond great and well worth serving.

If you keep hearing about how Jesus is so amazing, but you haven’t seen anything so far….don’t give up seeking Him. Tell the Lord you want to meet Him. Seek Him out in prayer. No one will be able to stop you from becoming a committed Christian.

Follow the Spirit

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh….” —Galatians 5:17

When I was a young girl, I dreamed of getting married and having children. As I grew into my teen and young adult years, that dream faded. A new dream of an accomplished career emerged. I felt fulfilled by intimate relationships without marriage and no longer wanted children. Then I became a Christian, and the Holy Spirit birthed in me a desire for His will for my life.

I felt the Spirit redirect my life focus. God wanted me to remove the career from the lofty place it held in my heart and allow that original dream of marriage and children to re-enter. This was not an automatic shift in my heart! I was in conflict with God, but I prayed that the Holy Spirit would change me. I prayed for God to send me a husband and for a desire for children. Years later, my prayers were answered. I am currently happily married with two wonderful teenagers, and I could not imagine life without them. I should also mention that God has given me a distinguished career as well, but it is so much less important than my family. Now it seems hard for me to understand how I ever prioritized career so high in my life before Christ. God is good and knows our innermost desires. He delights in giving us good gifts. Our greatest joy will be found in His path for our lives.

Free Indeed!

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” —1 John 4:4

Before I became a Christian, my goal when I drank alcohol was never to get tipsy. It was always to get drunk. I was not an alcoholic. I only drank on the weekends when I was out with friends, but I drank excessively when I did drink. I had a drinking problem because I could never stop after one or two drinks. I made poor decisions when I was drinking, and those choices really damaged relationships with the ones I loved.

Shortly after I became a Christian, I felt like I should give up drinking since I could not do it in moderation. I wrote a contract promising God I would not drink. I kept the contract perfectly for years, but then I began to backslide and would sometimes drink. However, it was not the same as before. God had done something amazing in me over those years when I did not drink. He gave me the ability to drink in moderation and not become drunk.

Shortly thereafter, God delivered me from my backsliding ways. I decided to give up drinking again. This time it was not because I had a drinking problem, but it was because I know I make the best decisions for myself and my family when I am completely sober. My relationship to God seems so much closer to Him when there is nothing between us. I feel truly grateful to God for delivering me from the cycle of a drinking problem as well as the negative consequences such as destroyed relationships with loved ones. Thanks to God—I am free!

God’s Promises (A Testimony)

I heard this testimony from a widow in my Christian church home group. She said her driveway started cracking and crumbling beyond repair. It needed to be replaced. The widow knew she did not have the funds for a new driveway so she started praying. She felt the Lord told her not to worry about it. He would take care of it for her. As time went on, the driveway grew worse. She began to become concerned that her car was being damaged by it. She was feeling desperate and reminded the Lord again of His promise to her. The next day there was a knock at the door. It was an employee of the water company. He notified her of a large water main break in the area. They pulled up her driveway, fixed the water main break, and then repaved her driveway. The widow had received a brand new driveway without paying a single penny! The Lord comes through on His promises.

God Provides

I was at the store yesterday shopping for a shirt to wear to Thanksgiving dinner. I found the perfect one on clearance for $9! We were running late for church so I handed it to my teen daughter with $11 to pay for it while I pulled up the car. My daughter arrived at the car with the shirt and my $11. I asked how she paid for it, and she said the person behind her gave her a coupon that made the shirt cost nothing! I could have easily afforded the shirt, but I LOVE to see how God provides. Plus it encourages me to be more generous with my giving since I know God’s has endless amounts of provision and creative ways to provide for us. Things like this happen to our family often. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this testimony with others. I hope you and your family enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. I pray the Lord provides for your family in some special way this week so you will know He is looking after you. God bless!

*If you love to read testimonies, you may be interested in a free ebook called Never Forsaken. You can find it right HERE.