Easter is more than a day!

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“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole” (1 Peter 1:3-5, The Message).

     Long after the plastic eggs are cracked and put away for another year and the dyed and decorated eggs have passed their time and purpose … the Lord behind the celebration, longs for connection in a loving eternal relationship with us. Many Christian Believers celebrate the day of Christ’s Resurrection while somehow failing to realize Christ did not rise to become a symbol on a day to commemorate new life. The Risen Christ desires to bring new life to us by being the truth, the way and the life to us. He left His Spirit especially for that purpose … to teach, convict, direct and guide us as He empowers us into a new life.

Since our sins were nailed to the cross by Christ’s willingness to suffer and die for the sin of the world and every sin in each of us, He also took every one of those sins to the grave where they were permanently laid and left in the carved stone tomb. Our new life comes as the Risen Christ meets each one of us, knowing every facet and nuance of the weaknesses in our human heart and every foible in our personality. He comes to us to encourage and help us live the new life He brings through His endless and eternal grace.

He is the way, the truth and the life but many times we hold unto our way, our truth and our life; which is actually living in our old ways, believing our illusions of the truth and walking in the selfishness of our life. This is how the Risen Christ can be set aside or discarded like the colored eggs and decorations of the Easter season. The Risen Christ does not desire to be a decoration in our life but to be our life as we live out the days of our lives. The purpose of the Resurrection is not a story or a theme about a new life but to impart a new life to us. The victory found through the Resurrection is not in the knowing about a new life but in desiring the new life that our Lord and God can bring when the Risen Christ is allowed to be alive in us. His ways are the ways we follow, His truth is the truth we believe and His life is the life we desire.

The celebration of Easter is not about a day nor can it be contained in a day. The celebration of Easter radiates through the Risen Christ living in us. A Risen Christ who guides, leads and encourages as He meets and walks with us in every moment of our days until He greets us as we come into His presence forever in eternity. There is no condemnation in His love for us, nor is there anything on this earth or in the heavens that can separate us from His love (Romans 8). His Spirit may bring conviction but the conviction is simply to turn us in repentance from the futile life of sin and selfishness towards the new life He desires that we live.

It is sad to limit the blessing of a new life the Resurrection brings to us, to a celebration on a single day. A single day ends like the grass, naturally fading away as it comes to an end. The new life our Lord and Savior desires us to be part of, is an endless string of new days in the abiding presence of the Risen Christ. Celebrate each and every day in the life you have with the Risen Christ walking along side you, as your Lord and Savior. It is the only journey that will matter in this life and in eternity.

“Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.”
(1 Peter 1:18-21, The Message)

 

Suggested Reading … 1 Peter 1, From The Message

 

Read the Online Message Version @  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+1&version=MSG

Steady our gaze on You, O Lord.

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV)

   We must steady my gaze upon our Lord. Faith doesn’t automatically just rise up on the situations and occasions we face as we live out our days.   Our faith must always and continually be fixed on God.  We must gaze upon Him and care, guidance and power, He brings to our days.  Abraham’s gaze was fixed upon God and His provision enabling Abraham to walk in faith. Joshua’s gaze was fixed upon the mighty strength of Almighty God because he had faith in the God he knew and trusted.  This faith empowered him to lead a vast nation into the Promised Land.  David’s gaze was upon the hand of God and he did not see the giant before him but only the victory through the power of his God.  Peter could walk on the water as long as his gaze was upon his Lord and he took each step in faith. Our gaze must be fixed on God as well.  With our gaze fixed, our faith remains fixed in the struggle, in the bleakness, in the danger and fear, in the waiting, in the daunting, in the impossible and in the sustaining through everything we encounter and face.

       In bleakness, we look for God’s provision and sufficiency.  In struggle, we look for God’s support.  In fear and danger, we look for God’s strength and rescue.  In the daunting, we look for God’s mighty hand. In the impossible, we look for the possibilities of God’s presence. In the waiting, we look for God’s wisdom.  In the unknowing, we look for God’s knowledge. In the bitter, we look for God’s grace.  In the broken, we look to God’s remaking.  In the shattering, we look for God’s mending. In the busy, we look for God’s calming. In the noisy, we look for God’s quieting. We fix our gaze on God because we know His love is steadfastly fixed on us and His love endures forever. We must even steady our gaze in the abundance, because if we see only abundance than all you have is abundance. Our abundance is a gift from God and we must remember to fix our gaze on Him in thankfulness.

       If you glance at God while gazing at what is around you, you will over whelmed and consumed with what is around you. You have only yourself for strength. If you glance at what is around you, while fixing your gaze upon God, what is around you will not overwhelm you, as God is with you. God becomes your strength.  If you see only fear, disappointment and discouragement than all you have is fear, disappointment and discouragement. If your gaze is fixed upon God in the midst of fear, disappointment and discouragement you will see and find God and all that He is.

      Our gaze must be upon our Lord.  We should not look to the right or the left, but follow trusting and obeying in all things and in all ways.  By trusting and obeying, we will come by faith into the land of promises fulfilled.  Our true strength is in God alone because His provision will always be more than we need or imagine.  His grace is always sufficient because His love is so extravagantly wrapped around all of our days.

      Oh Lord, steady our gaze in the bleakness, steady our gaze in danger and fear, steady our gaze in disappointment, steady our gaze in heartache and doubt, steady our gaze in everything we face including abundance, that we may see only Your love, care, guidance, will and provision.

 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-12, NIV)

For God so loved you …

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17, KJV).

 

  His love is incredibly longsuffering, releasing a saving grace for all believers in His Son. A Son, whose liberating life, death and resurrection demolishes all oppressions and every stronghold.

 

His love overcomes all sin and separation and is overreaching in its capacities to satisfy. His love saves us, bringing a living hope to the hopeless. His love is a love from which we cannot be separated.

 

His loving us as sinners, allowed His Son to be humbled in the most vulnerable of sacrifices unto death. Christ’s love is beyond vigilant in the shedding of His blood to cover all the sins of a fallen creation lost in its sin, disregard, pride and lusts.

 

His love is unfathomable and extravagantly lavished upon us when we are so obscenely self-centered. His love is eternally securing in our relationship with Him granting us a peace that passes understanding.

 

Longsuffering and liberating, overcoming and overreaching, vulnerable and vigilant and extravagant and eternal are just words that describe God’s love. Still these and millions of other words fall away insufficient to describe even the beginning facets of His love. A myriad of words from a myriad of angels cannot express the love of God unfolding before them and the world cannot contain all the books it would take to express the love lived out in gift of His Son.

 

Oh, that we would grasp the slightest dimensions of the width and breath and length of His love that through His grace makes us adopted royalty in a living Spirit secured eternity.  Oh, that we would allow this incredible favoring, to fragrance our lives with the love of Christ to become to others the compassionate love that He is to us. Oh, that we would love like we are loved by our Living God.

 

Oh Lord, pour out your love again upon us … your indescribable love that carries us now and eternally home. Dear Eternal Father, you are love. Thank you for your love steadfast and everlasting upon us.  Thank you for loving all the world. Thank you for loving us.