May 2, 2019
There are certain times during the year that we remember Jesus, or at least give Him a passing thought. Christmas: The time of year when we decorate trees, give gifts, and dust off the Nativity Scene. Easter: The time of year when we buy new Spring clothing, color eggs, eat chocolate bunnies, and sometimes call it Resurrection Sunday. If you don’t attend worship services any other time of the year, those two dates are most likely when you join with fellow Christians to remember Jesus. Joining with a congregation doesn’t mean you’re a Christian. Many pews are filled with people who haven’t bowed before the Lord and accepted His blood sacrifice for salvation. If you’re a Christian it’s easier to walk in your faith when you fellowship with fellow believers. That’s especially true if that fellowship is a daily thing you do rather than just on Sunday. The friends you choose make a difference as to how faithful your walk is with Jesus. If you try to blend in with the secular world you’ll clash with Christians. Jesus Christ lives today and Christians need to serve Him.
I serve a risen Saviour; He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ should be on a Christian’s heart every day. It’s the foundation of our faith. “For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how 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:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. The cross was empty and the grave couldn’t hold Him. Christ arose from the dead and no matter what non-believers say, He lives today. As He walked throughout the Holy Land, many people followed Him. Some liked what they heard, some wanted healing, and some just followed the crowd. Jesus showed them love and it must have been like a breath of fresh air to listen to Him speak. Then things changed. The joy which people found in the novelty of His teaching changed quickly to fear and denial when He was arrested and put to death by crucifixion. People haven’t changed much over the years. It’s easy to follow Him when there are no challenges to our faith. When illness strikes our faith is tested and He gets blamed. Other people laugh and mock our faith, and rather than stand up for Jesus we deny Him. When we venture into the darkness of the world around us we may find ourselves denying Him. When sin tempts you and anger causes you to use foul language or make obscene hand gestures, remember that He sees you and hears you. Jesus isn’t just some words on paper or fire insurance in case of trouble. When you accept Him for salvation then you accept the lifestyle He has given as an example. Other people watch Christians and see how we represent our Lord. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24. Humble yourself before Him, put self-interest aside, and let others see Him through you. Jesus lives.
In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary I never will despair.
I know that He is leading, thro’ all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing will come at last.
We have many choices in life. Some make us better people and some tear us down. The most important choice is to accept Jesus Christ for salvation. If you’ve done that then make a choice to see Him everywhere. That’s not always easy. There’s so much in the news today about horrific things that people do to each other, and to themselves. Mass shootings horrify us. Christians are murdered as they worship our Lord, politicians and the loony left promote the murder of babies, schools will accuse parents of child abuse if the parents don’t allow their child to choose their own sex, homosexuality is politically acceptable, and the list of horrors goes on and on. How can we see God’s love in a world that’s very much as it was in the Days of Noah? In spite of the evil, God’s love is all around us. We need to keep our eyes on Him and be an instrument of His love. Even in this day and age, many people are coming to salvation. Jesus never promised that when we turn to Him for salvation that life would become easy. In fact, He said just the opposite. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12. The persecution is becoming worse and it seems as if it’s easier to choose to turn away and deny Him instead of following Him daily. Through it all, Jesus is with each and every Christian. The Christians in Sri Lanka weren’t abandoned by Jesus when the Muslim terrorists murdered them as they worshipped our Lord. The Christians who refuse to deny Jesus and are beheaded for their faith are strong and I admire their courage. Christians who won’t compromise God’s truth and are sued and persecuted for not conforming to the world are standing on God’s word instead of denying Him. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Christians need to keep our eyes on Heaven and understand that this world is run by Satan. It’s that evil fallen one who is behind the persecution and hatred. Our blessed hope is that Jesus will call us all Home one day soon. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:13-14. Whether the Rapture will happen next month or 10 years from now, don’t despair. Every day be aware of His loving care all around and take every opportunity to spread the Gospel.
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian! Lift up your voice and sing.
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.
Rejoice! Sometimes it’s not easy to rejoice as the pressures of life weigh us down. When things look bleak, remember that Christ lives. Nothing can change that fact. Every Christian has much to rejoice about…we have His resurrection. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4. Take a look at Paul’s life and you’ll see a man who was changed by Christ. He faced much persecution because of his faith but still said to rejoice in the Lord always. The hope we have in Jesus isn’t the type of hope where you cross your fingers and really want something to happen. Hope in Christ is an eternal reality. No matter what this life brings, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we will live eternally with Christ. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” 1 Corinthians 15:19-20. That hope is why we, as Christians, rejoice.
He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.
Jesus Christ is alive today. No religion, not even Christian religion, offers hope. Religion is full of rites and rituals which cannot bring salvation. True Christianity isn’t a religion. True Christianity is faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That faith guides a Christian’s life. Is He a reality to you every day, or do you just think about Him on special occasions throughout the year? On the day that the tomb was found to be empty, two men who had followed Jesus were on their way to Emmaus. They were confused about what had happened and discussed it between themselves while they walked. As they spoke, Jesus joined them. The men were so consumed by their confusion that they didn’t recognize Him. I can truthfully say that if someone I loved died but suddenly began walking and talking with me, I don’t think I would recognize them. Human logic tells me that when someone dies they don’t come and chat. In fact, we aren’t to communicate with the dead. As they walked along, the men told Him all about what had taken place in Jerusalem. Then He began talking to them cleared up their confusion. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:27. Jesus walks and talks with us today. The question is, do we listen?
The song “He Lives” was written by Alfred H. Ackley and is usually only sung during Easter. It’s words proclaim a truth that needs to be sung loudly and with rejoicing throughout the year. Jesus is not dead. He lives today and because He lives we can live eternally by placing our faith in Him. “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead;” Matthew 28:6-7a. The angel directed the women who found the tomb empty to go tell the disciples that Christ had risen. Christ gives us the responsibility to share the Gospel with all the world. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. Jesus Christ is the only hope in this fallen world, and if Christians don’t share the Gospel then we are not living our faith.
He lives! “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:55. Because of Jesus Christ, the grave holds no victory. Remember that fact throughout the year and share the Good News.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at our Home Page on our website under the Newsletter Archive tab.
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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