VIDEO What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You – Way to Permanent Faith

The Way to Permanent Faith

Indeed the hour is coming…that you will be scattered… —John 16:32

Jesus was not rebuking the disciples in this passage. Their faith was real, but it was disordered and unfocused, and was not at work in the important realities of life. The disciples were scattered to their own concerns and they had interests apart from Jesus Christ. After we have the perfect relationship with God, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our faith must be exercised in the realities of everyday life. We will be scattered, not into service but into the emptiness of our lives where we will see ruin and barrenness, to know what internal death to God’s blessings means. Are we prepared for this? It is certainly not of our own choosing, but God engineers our circumstances to take us there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is sustained only by feelings and by blessings. But once we get there, no matter where God may place us or what inner emptiness we experience, we can praise God that all is well. That is what is meant by faith being exercised in the realities of life.

“…you…will leave Me alone.” Have we been scattered and have we left Jesus alone by not seeing His providential care for us? Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God. Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve. Our faith is real, but it is not yet permanent. And God is never in a hurry. If we are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in His blessings, instead of in God Himself. The sense of God’s blessings is fundamental.

“…be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Unyielding spiritual fortitude is what we need.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

God created man to be master of the life in the earth and sea and sky, and the reason he is not is because he took the law into his own hands, and became master of himself, but of nothing else.  The Shadow of an Agony, 1163 L


What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You

The cross was Jesus’ goal and destination from the very beginning; and it happened exactly as Jesus had predicted. The crucifixion and resurrection were God’s well thought out plan. God takes our endings and turns them into new beginnings.

In the Garden

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” John 20:18

My dad loved to sing the old hymns. One of his favorites was “In the Garden.” A few years back, we sang it at his funeral. The chorus is simple: “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known.” That song brought joy to my dad—as it does to me.

Hymn writer C. Austin Miles says he wrote this song in spring 1912 after reading chapter 20 of the gospel of John. “As I read it that day, I seemed to be part of the scene. I became a silent witness to that dramatic moment in Mary’s life when she knelt before her Lord and cried, ‘Rabboni [Teacher].’ ”

In John 20, we find Mary Magdalene weeping near Jesus’ empty tomb. There she met a man who asked why she was crying. Thinking it was the gardener, she spoke with the risen Savior—Jesus! Her sorrow turned to joy, and she ran to tell the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” (v. 18).

We too have the assurance that Jesus is risen! He’s now in heaven with the Father, but He hasn’t left us on our own. Believers in Christ have His Spirit inside us, and through Him we have the assurance and joy of knowing He’s with us, and we are “His own.”

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

How is it comforting to know that you don’t have to do this life on your own? When have you intimately felt Jesus’ presence?

Jesus, I’m so thankful You’re alive and that as Your child You live in me!

To learn more about the resurrection of Jesus, visit ChristianUniversity.org/resurrection.

Sunday Reflection: Our Empty Spaces

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

We may not relate to the idols people worshipped long ago. But in modern life, potential idols are everywhere—and on the surface, they sometimes appear good and praiseworthy.

Take health, for example. Is regular exercise an effort to be a good steward of the body God has provided, or do we turn to it for a sense of identity or worth? And what about finances—do we save money to wisely prepare for the future and fund kingdom work, or do we cling to financial security out of fear?

Whether we see such things as good or problematic, whatever we allow to take God’s place in our heart will never ultimately give us what we truly desire. They may satisfy for a time but in the long run will fail (Gal. 4:8-9). 

There is only one way to be freed from the idols we’ve constructed: We must repent and then receive God’s love and forgiveness. But it takes humility and a willingness to let His Holy Spirit fill those empty spaces that have been left behind.

Think about it
• How do you spend your time? Pay attention to your choices this week. What tasks, interests, or habits do you turn to for comfort or affirmation? Where does your faith come into the picture?

Risen with Christ

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)

The wise believer revels in the fact of Christ’s resurrection. Some things in Scripture may be easier to identify with and apply, including Christ’s substitutionary death, but it is the resurrection that gives us power to live victoriously. “Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

We have been “crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed” (Romans 6:6). Nevertheless, we are risen with Him, as our text and elsewhere clearly teaches (Romans 6; Ephesians 2:1-10; etc.). This resurrection is an inward one, of course, but our bodily resurrection is also guaranteed by Christ’s bodily resurrection, should we physically die. “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:14).

Power to serve Him effectively comes through His resurrection, for we have access to the “exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:19-20). We have authority over all human and demonic institutions through Him who even now operates as head of the living church of His followers.

Perhaps the most precious of all benefits of the resurrection is that “we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens” who is sympathetic to “the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16). JDM

Long Before the Lord

But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he tool me vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. —Exodus 34:34

It is written of Moses that he “went in before the LORD to speak with him…. [a] nd he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel.” This is the biblical norm from which we depart to our own undoing and to the everlasting injury of the souls of men. No man has any moral right to go before the people who has not first been long before the Lord. No man has any right to speak to men about God who has not first spoken to God about men. And the prophet of God should spend more time in the secret place praying than he spends in the public place preaching….

One swallow does not make a spring nor one hot day a summer; nor will a few minutes of frantic praying before service bring out the tender buds or make the flowers to appear on the earth. The field must be soaked in sunshine over a long period before it will give forth its treasures. The Christian’s heart must be soaked in prayer before the true spiritual fruits begin to grow.   ROR105-106

Quiet my heart today, slow me down I pray. Amen.

The Fruit of Obedience

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. —James 1:22

Look at the fruits of obedience as described in the New Testament: The house of the obedient man is builded upon a rock (Matthew 7:24).

He shall be loved by the Father and shall have the manifestation of the Father and the Son, who will come unto him and make their abode with him (John 14:21, 23).

He shall abide in the love of Christ (15:10)….He is set free from sin and made a servant of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). The Holy Spirit is given to him (Acts 5:32).

He is delivered from self-deception and blessed in his deeds (James 1:22-25). His faith is perfected (2:22).

He is confirmed in his assurance toward God and given confidence in prayer, so that what he asks is given to him (1 John 3:18-22)….

What does all this add up to?…Just that the power of God is at our disposal, waiting for us to call it into action by meeting the conditions which are plainly laid down. PTP028-029

We…have a power within us to do what we are commanded to do. What is it we lack? The power? No; the will. JAS084

Easter Is Exciting!

1 Corinthians 15:57

What makes Easter so exciting is its cosmic quality. Easter has less to do with one man’s escape from the grave than with the victory of seemingly powerless love over loveless power.

I personally believe in the resurrection of Christ for two reasons. The first is the documented enthusiasm of the disciples. A historian may find little objective evidence to support the story of the empty tomb, but no historian will dispute the fact that, after Easter, the disciples became ten times the people they were before. Promise-making, promise-breaking Peter, that fearful fellow we remember on Good Friday, suddenly after Easter was so aflame with faith that he gladly lived and bravely died for the Master he had thrice denied.

In fact so great was the enthusiasm of all the disciples that we can say Christianity really began at Easter. Had there been no resurrection of Christ, there would have been no gospels, no epistles, no New Testament, no Christian Church, including The Salvation Army.

But Easter was not a function of the disciples’ faith; their faith was a function of Easter. They were convinced Christ had risen from the dead. Christ was a real presence. What is dear is that the disciples recognized Christ’s identity, His personality and His character. Instead of death, they beheld a metamorphosis. As it is written in the preface of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass: Life is changed, not ended.

But the historical reason is only a buttress for my second reason for believing in the resurrection. I, like so many throughout the centuries, have experienced in my own life the presence of the risen Christ and the Holy Spirit. I experience the risen Christ as a mirror to my humanity, showing me what human beings should be about. I experience the risen Christ as a window to divinity, revealing as much of God as is given mere mortal eyes to behold. I experience the risen Christ as strength above my own, as joy deeper than the heart’s understanding. Best of all, I experience the risen Christ as that love which indeed does “make the world go round,” the love that binds us, one to another and all to God.

What is beyond the grave we may not know, but we do know Who is beyond the grave. Life is eternal and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing but merely the limit of our sight. What then shall we declare but, “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Peter & Grace Chang, The Gift of God