Having a Different Spirit

I didn’t know this morning how my “spirit” would be tested. Caleb from the Old Testament is one of my favorite Bible characters. I love his enthusiasm and optimism. I love that at age 85 he felt just as strong as when he as a 40-year-old went to explore the land of Canaan. While there, he fell in love with a mountain area, and he asked Moses if he could have that as inheritance. But he had to conquer it!

How could he feel just as strong at 85 as when he was 40? It probably was thanks to the manna diet! I’m talking about a man who spent 40 years in the desert, eating manna. No variety in his diet. The same thing every day! But it was bread from heaven! You can read about it in Exodus 16. God would not feed his people any kind of food. That “dew” that covered the ground every morning must have contained every kind of nutrient the body needed to stay strong and healthy.

Moses ate manna. Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated” (Deut. 34:7). I wish I had the eyesight of Moses! And his vigor! It was the desert air and the manna diet! The manna “was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16:31).

The story that I’ve worked on this week is about the spies that Moses sent to explore the Promised Land. I asked the Lord to give me a word for the teachers. That is my standard request on Thursday mornings. That’s when the words “a different spirit” stood out. God himself said those words about one of the spies.

But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it. Numbers 14:24

What was this “different spirit” about? Caleb “wholly followed the Lord.” That’s the kind of people we need to be.

My hero Caleb returning with sample grapes.

When the spies came back, ten of them discouraged the people. Caleb and his friend Joshua were the only ones that believed that God would be with them to conquer the land. When the people heard the bad reports of the faithless spies they cried the entire night! They wanted to choose another leader and go back to Egypt! And about Joshua and Caleb… they wanted to stone them!

God was tired of the grumbling people and punished them by having them wander for 40 years in the desert, until the unbelieving generation had died.

But his servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and followed God fully, would go into the Promised Land, and his descendants would possess it.

So, here is the story of the strong 85-year-old:

Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart.

“But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’

“And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.

“So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”

Then Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel. Joshua 14:6-14

How was my “spirit” tested? It’s being tested as I’m writing. I got ready to dive into all the files I needed to prepare for uploading the story. Guess what? I couldn’t open them!

My assistant had her computer updated and cleaned and the person helping her installed another version of the program we work with. It’s complicated. She should have been at her home office, so we could resolve this, but she was in some distant suburb in Lima running an errand. (Lima has some 10 million people so there are distances to conquer!) I’m glad God is helping me to keep my cool. That’s what I mean by my “spirit” being tested.

Have you ever tried to work with someone thousands of miles away? We only look at each other through Skype and things that challenge my “cool” come up from time to time. Now I feel sorry for all the teachers across Latin America waiting for their story. This might take some time for us to resolve.

How would Moses have handled it?

“Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). That’s the “spirit” he had. He was humble. And he had a very special relationship with God. When his brother and sister spoke up against him, this is how God answered:

 And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” Numbers 12:5-8

God punished Miriam with leprosy. Did Moses tell her, “Good for you. You deserve it. Why did you complain? Suck it up and go on with life as a leper.” No, he prayed for her. That’s the kind of “spirit” he had!

What about Daniel?

How did he handle his problem-situations? In the worst of moments, when his fellow-workers had tricked the king into making a decree that whoever prayed to someone else than the king for thirty days would be thrown to the lions, he prayed!.

When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Daniel 6:10

The king had been tricked. He knew what kind of a man Daniel was. When Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions, the king declared, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” (Read the complete story in Daniel 6.)

Daniel slept well that night. The lions kept him warm!

A good night’s sleep for a cool guy.

But the king could not sleep. He didn’t eat, and he wanted no diversions.

Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”

Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. Daniel 6:19-23

How about Joseph?
What kind of “spirit” did he have?

Joseph was treated unjustly by his envious brothers. They sold him as a slave. “The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master” (Genesis 39:2). But there he was accused of making sexual advanced to his master’s wife. What a horrible thing for an honest young man like Joseph! And he was put in prison.

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed. Genesis 39:21-23

After interesting turn of events, he ended up in the king’s palace, advising the king about his strange dreams. When Joseph suggested to the king that he find a man as his administrator the coming years, Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Genesis 41:38).

That, my friend is the key! We need to have the Spirit of God in us.

How did God describe David?

“[God] raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will’” (Acts 13:22).

O, to be a man/woman after God’s heart!

“I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him” (Psalm 89:20).

Today we can be anointed with power by the Holy Spirit.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8

How was Paul’s “spirit”?

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24

The only thing that mattered to Paul was to finish the race and the ministry. Once a zealous young man persecuting the followers of Christ, he was now zealous follower of Christ, unto the end.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

What about Abraham?

He was a man who was called a friend of God (James 2:23).

There is so much to say about this obedient servant of God. Paul wrote about walking in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had (see Romans 4:2-12).

But now, my friend, I can do something about my weekly story. My assistant is back from her outing, and she has saved all the files in a new format. Instead of starting in the morning to work on getting them ready, I will start now, in the evening.

We’ll talk some more another time. Keep the thought about what “spirit” you have. We want a different spirit, one that honors Christ in whatever circumstance.

We need to explore some of the Bible women with a different spirit.

I’m glad I kept my cool.

Blessings!

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Carrying the Cross Around the World

Nine years ago, I had an interesting assignment. I was asked to translate into Spanish the close captions for a film about a man who walked around the world carrying a cross!

Jesus told us to take up the Cross and follow him. This man has done that literally. Since Christmas Day, December 25, 1969 he has walked around the world carrying a 12 foot cross for Jesus. His story is amazing. He has covered more than 42,000 miles on foot, in all the countries, island groups and territories. His name is Arthur Blessitt. He is celebrating 50 years of carrying the cross from country to country.

This man is listed in the Guinness World Records for the “World’s longest walk”. Arthur says, “I Love God, I love people, I try to keep it simple.” Go to his web site at http://blessitt.com. It’s worth a visit!

I was reminded of this man while watching TBN last night. It moved my heart to see the love with which he has spread the Gospel around the world.

Here is a story from the film I did captions for. Arthur was walking across West Africa. It was hot and he was tired. He had heard about a missionary guest house and for two months he had been looking forward to getting there. They had air condition and he needed stretch out and cool off a little bit. When he finally got there and asked for a room, he was not accepted because he was not a “missionary”! Talk about misconceptions! Who is more a missionary than a man taking the message of the Cross around the world?!

He left the missionary complex hurt and disappointed. Those people might not have considered him worthy of staying at their guest house, but God did not forget his servant. Arthur Blessitt had not even walked half an hour down the road when a white Peugeot pulled up alongside him. This couple got out of the car –schoolteachers– and said they had heard about him.

They were atheists and told him they didn’t believe in God. But that didn’t stop them from providing the shelter this servant of God needed. The atheist couple moved out of their air-conditioned bedroom and offered it to Arthur. They provided food and rest for the “pilgrim with no credentials for the mission compound,” as he says in the movie.

In one way or another God will care for his servants!

In the Roman Empire, when a man was sentenced to be crucified, he would have to carry his cross, from the prison to the place of execution. That would be a weight of at least 100 pounds on the shoulders of someone that had been brutally beaten. They would tie the heavy beam to the arms, resting it between the neck and the spine. If the prisoner stumbled, he had no way of protecting himself from a fall.

When our precious Savior carried the cross to Calvary, he was exhausted and stumbled under the weight. More than the weight of the heavy beam on his shoulders, Jesus carried the weight of our sins.

As the weight on the shoulders of our precious Savior was too much, they stopped a man coming to town from the country, Simon from Cyrene, “and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus” (Luke 23:26). I wonder how Simon felt. I’m sure he was never the same after that day. You’re never the same after an encounter with Jesus.

Simon carrying the cross

Simon from Cyrene was seized and forced to carry Jesus’ cross. God does not force anybody to follow him and carry the cross, so to speak. With love and compassion He invites you to come to him, to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, to be made his adopted son or daughter, to inherit his kingdom. Come to him today. You will never regret it.

Simon from Cyrene was seized and forced to carry Jesus’ cross.

Arthur Blessitt was chosen by God to carry a cross around the world.

We are all called to take up our cross and follow Jesus.

And [Jesus] said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26

 

 

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Are You Sleeping?

As a young girl I was very impressed by a picture that I have somehow recreated. It’s not as dramatic as the picture that spoke to me, but it still carries the message. I want to convey the seriousness of the day we are living in. People are dying without Christ, literally going to hell, while the Church in many instances is fast asleep.

I have been thinking about what to write as a message to go with the picture, which I also have in Spanish and Swedish. This morning something interesting happened. I decided to sort through some files with letters and articles that my mother had saved from her early years as a missionary. I came across a clipping about missionary Hudson Taylor. He was one of the pioneers in China, the man who founded the China Inland Mission.

Dr. Hudson Taylor, 1832-1905, a physician, was a man full of the Holy Spirit, entirely surrendered to God. He had heartfelt compassion and great power in prayer. For 40 years he was on his knees at sunrise every morning, praying for the salvation of the Chinese.

During one of his furloughs to England, in 1855, he was preaching when he suddenly stopped. He stood speechless for a time with his eyes closed. When he began to speak again, he explained:

“I have seen a vision. I saw in this vision a great war that will encompass the whole world. I saw this war recess and then start again, actually being two wars. After this I saw much unrest and revolts that will affect many nations. I saw in some places spiritual awakenings.

“In Russia, I saw there will come a general all-encompassing, national SPIRITUAL AWAKENING so great that there could never be another like it. From Russia, I saw the awakening spread to many European countries. Then I saw an all-out awakening, followed by the coming of Christ.”

This is an excerpt from an original Russian article titled “Spiritual Revival” published in Finland in 1945.

The world has seen the two World Wars. We have seen a great shift in Russia. I remember when it was closed to the Gospel. But we have not yet seen the revival so great “there could never be another like it!”

I was very moved by reading this account. This morning, when I found it translated to Spanish, and then another paper that read the same thing in Swedish, I took it as a sign. It was a confirmation about what is weighing heavy on my heart. Jesus is coming soon! And people are dying without hope for eternal life.

The signs of the end times that we find in the Bible are clear. This year Israel celebrates 70 years since it was proclaimed a nation. Israel is the greatest sign of the things prophesied.

Read the signs of the end of the age in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.

The message I want to convey, first of all to my own heart, is to wake up.

Are you sleeping? I wonder if they still sing that song in schools. The words are sure speaking to me. I want to be the Church awake! I want to be on fire for Jesus. I want to save others by snatching them out of the fire. How about you?

On average 150,000 people die each day. In the time it will take me to write and publish this blog, about 20,000 people will have stepped into eternity. We need to put it in this perspective to understand the seriousness of the hour.

If it takes you around 20 minutes to read this blog, then 2,400 people have stepped over the threshold.

Two per second!

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:11-14 ESV

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:20-24 ESV

If you are not sure about your eternal destination, please let me help you find salvation in Jesus. Write me a comment and I will get back to you. Nothing matters more to me than to make sure you will spend eternity with Jesus in heaven.

FILES FOR PRINT

I have made some files for you to use for personal reminders or to send to friends, even for your classroom. Choose what fits you best. The different sizes you can cut out.

COLOR:  Time to wake up CO

GRAY:  Time to wake up GR

B/W:  Time to wake up BW

 

 

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The Glory of Resurrection

It was a joyous morning! How glorious to wake up this day and know in my heart why we celebrate Easter. Jesus is alive! But every morning is a celebration because of Jesus.

My thoughts go to Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Salome, and the other women as they woke up that first resurrection morning with sadness weighing on their hearts. Their dear Friend and Master was dead. They were going to the tomb with spices to prepare Jesus body for burial. Such a difference from the celebration in my heart!

Jesus had been handed over to his enemies, “sold” by one of his own for thirty silver coins, betrayed by Judas Iscariot with a kiss.

Jesus was arrested. He did not resist the mob that came with clubs and swords to capture him. He knew the reason why he had come to the world—to give his life a ransom for sin!

  • Jesus was humiliated.
  • They spit in his face.
  • They struck him with their fists.
  • They slapped him.
  • He was blindfolded and told to prophesy about who struck him.
  • Peter called down curses on himself and he swore that he didn’t know Jesus.
  • The guards beat him.
  • He was bound and sent him to Governor Pilate.
  • Jesus was then sent to King Herod.
  • Herod and his soldiers ridiculed him.
  • They dressed Jesus in an elegant robe and sent him back to Pilate.
  • Jesus was exchanged for a criminal.
  • The multitudes shouted, “Crucify him!”
  • Pilate had him flogged.
  • The soldiers stripped him.
  • They put a scarlet robe on him and twisted a crown of thorns for his head.
  • They mocked him.
  • They put a staff in his right hand and knelt before him, hailing him as king of the Jews.
  • The soldiers also spit on him.
  • They struck him on the head, again and again.
  • They took the robe off him and led him to be crucified.
  • The heavy cross on Jesus’ bruised body was too much. Simon from Cyrene was forced to carry the cross for him.
  • They crucified him, with a criminal on each side.
  • They offered him wine mixed with gail.
  • The soldiers divided his clothing by casting lots.
  • Pilate put a sign on the cross: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
  • People that passed by hurled insults at him. “Come down from the cross if you are the Son of God!”
  • The chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.
  • The robbers crucified with him heaped insults on him. But then one of them repented and was granted entrance to Paradise with Jesus!
  • They filled a sponge with wine vinegar and offered it to him on a stick.

The women stood at a distance. When Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross they followed Joseph and Nicodemus and saw how Jesus was laid in the tomb.

With heavy hearts they went home to prepare spices and perfumes. They rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

That was probably the saddest Sabbath in their lives. All their hopes and dreams crushed. Their loving Master crucified like a criminal. Happy memories blended with the sad and humiliating events for their beloved Messiah. Now their Savior was dead.

Then came the glorious morning of the empty tomb! The message of the angels that he was risen! And Mary Magdalene met him in the garden by the tomb!

“I have seen the Lord!” was the news she brought to the disciples. Her sorrow had turned to rejoicing!

“Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b

I cry humbly before my Lord. I don’t have words to thank him for what he did for me on the Cross. This Resurrection Day is full of rejoicing. Every morning I have reason to rejoice. Jesus is alive!

Rejoice with me that we serve a risen Savior!

The sinless man paid the price for sinners.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Have you accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation?

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Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

There was a home in the outskirts of Jerusalem where Jesus was welcome. It was Mary and Martha’s home, and their brother Lazarus’. There were probably other homes, but this one in Bethany is mentioned by Luke and John.

Mary loved the Master. A few days before his sacrifice on the Cross, she gave Him a most extravagant gift. Let’s meet Mary, on the three occasions she is mentioned in the Gospels. Each time we find her at the feet of Jesus.

LISTENING

I picture Mary as a quiet and gentle woman with a heart of gold. The first time we meet her in the Gospels she is sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to his words. When her sister complained that she didn’t get help in the kitchen, Jesus said,

“Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

PRAYING/WEEPING

The next time we meet Mary, she is confused and disappointed. She and Martha had called on Jesus when their brother Lazarus was sick, but Jesus took his time and didn’t arrive until Lazarus had been in the grave four days! Both sisters had the same thing to say,

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

We find Mary weeping at the feet of Jesus, with a prayer of disappointment on her lips. “If only…” How many times have we cried out to the Lord, if only…?

Jesus had a greater miracle in mind than healing Lazarus. He did a resurrection miracle! What an amazing sight it must have been when Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave. “The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face” (John 11:44). Because of this, many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and saw the miracle, put their faith in Jesus.

GIVING

Next time we meet Mary is six days before the Passover, when she showed her love for Jesus with an extravagant gift, a pint of pure nard — an expensive perfume, that she poured on his feet, and then she wiped them with her hair.

The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume!

I’ve asked myself, Did the fragrance linger? It lingered in Mary’s hair! Maybe she waited with washing her hair because of the fragrance. It reminded her of the glorious moment at the feet of Jesus!

How much did it linger on Jesus’ feet? Was some of the fragrance there during the beatings and the flogging? Precious Jesus!

Not everybody appreciated her act of sacrificial love. Judas Iscariot complained, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” As we have seen, Martha complained to Jesus because Mary didn’t help her in the kitchen, and now Judas complained because of her generosity. There will always be complainers when we shower our love on Jesus. But He understands, and He sees our heart.

Mary must have been a hardworking woman. Either she inherited the perfume or she got it by saving up with hard work. A year’s wages in our day would at least be thirty thousand dollars. Nothing was too precious for Jesus!

When Mary poured the perfume at the feet of Jesus, not only Judas complained. All the disciples were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor” (Matthew 26:8,9). Nothing we give to Jesus is a waste!

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Mark 14:6-9

The key for any act of love is just that: to do what we can. Mary chose what is better, like Jesus said in the Sermon of the Mount.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [food and clothing] will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33

This is a very special week. Let’s sit at the feet of Jesus, so to speak. Let’s open our hearts to listen to him. Just sit quietly in His Presence. Make time for Him!

Would you, like Mary, pour a precious perfume, worth a year’s wages, at his feet? I don’t know what that would mean for you. We have different things that are precious to us. Jesus is worth it all. Nothing we give to him is a waste!

When Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet, He had one thing to say,

“It will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

When you chose to be in Jesus’ presence, no one can take that away from you. There is nothing like the sweet presence of Jesus. It can fill your environment, like what happened when Mary poured her offering on the feet of Jesus. The whole room was filled with the fragrance of the perfume!

Sit at the feet of Jesus.

LISTEN to his loving, sweet voice.

PRAY for whatever concerns you.

GIVE with a generous heart.

To print the circle:  Mary at Jesus feet

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Let’s Celebrate Jesus

Holy Week is upon us, the celebration of Passover. The first Passover was that night when the people of Israel were ready to get out of slavery and take on the long journey to the Promised Land.

That day many little lambs died, and their blood, painted the doorposts and the lintel of the houses saved the first-born. There was a great cry in Egypt, and no house was spared. The first-born of people and animals died. But where there was blood painted on the doors the angel of death passed by.

“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.” Exodus 12:14

For generations the people of Israel remembered this Passover. Then came Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and now we remember the Passover when He sacrificed his life for us. But we don’t do it only once a year. Every day we carry in our hearts the infinite gratitude for the redemptive work of Jesus.

The Lord’s Supper

Jesus instituted a Celebration Supper, in which we remember his death and resurrection, a Supper in which we announce his glorious awaited coming.

With the help of my assistant I have prepared a “Remembrance Circle” to help us recall the wonderful work of Jesus. I credit pastor Jeremiah Blasi for the three words that are keys to this idea. He preached a Communion message that started my brain spinning with ideas.

Farther down you will see a file for printing. The circle is made in normal size but also on three pages, one word per page. This is perfect to use in a classroom and at home. At the end of the file there is a blank circle that can be used for students to write the words.

REMEMBER: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
REFLECT: Psalm 103:1-5
REJOICE: Philippians 4:4

REMEMBER where you came from, what God brought you from (Psalm 40:1-3).
REMEMBER what Jesus has done for you (Isaiah 53:3-9).

REFLECT on the great goodness of God (Psalm 34:8; 86:5).
REFLECT on all of God’s blessings (Psalm 103: 1-5).

REJOICE for salvation and everything God has in store for you (1 Corinthians 2:9).
REJOICE because your name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20).

Thank be to God for his inexpressible gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15

This coming Holy Week, as never before, remember all the wonders Jesus has done for you. Reflect on God’s goodness and all the blessings that God pours out daily in your life. Rejoice!

The Lord is at hand. His second coming is nearer today than yesterday. Each day we are closer to the glorious day when we will be forever in His presence.

Let me tell you something I’m doing this Holy Week, something you might want to do together with me. The inspiration came after listening to a testimony about a child whose face was disfigured. His parents began to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with him every day.

After two weeks the child’s face was completely normal. They remembered each day Jesus Christ’s work of redemption and the prophecy given by Isaiah (chapter 53). I was touched by the testimony, assured that if Jesus could heal that boy he can bring healing in my body.

I had never had the thought about celebrating the Lord’s Supper every day in my home. That is what I will do this week and maybe in the future. I have prepared a centerpiece with the material of the Remembrance Circle.

Two days ago, I started this ritual, and I had the joy of having my granddaughter Sarah with me. She enjoyed it very much. The chair that has red lining is reserved for Jesus. I imagine Him sitting there with me. The purpose is to make this experience very real. As a centerpiece I have the three key words:

REMEMBER
REFLECT
REJOICE

I have a tiny glass for the wine (grape juice) and a small container with bread on the table. I’ve added the flag of Israel and an ornament with a daisy, to represent my ministry (Margarita=daisy).

The purpose of this is to have a daily time dedicated exclusively to worship Jesus and to thank him for all he has done for me. It’s not for asking for things but only to enjoy His Presence.

To make the centerpiece, print the three sheets with the words and the cross. Cut them out and glue them on a poster board. You might want to have it plasticized or cover it with transparent contact paper. (Don’t mind the Spanish in the picture.)

File for print:  Remembrance Circle

Even if you are not up to doing this daily exercise, make the centerpiece so that during the days of Holy Week the whole family has these words in mind. Use them as a conversation starter.

We have also made bookmarks. Print a bunch and distribute. Having this in your Bible will remind you to:

REMEMBER JESUS
REFLECT ON JESUS’ LOVE
REJOICE FOR JESUS IS COMING

Bookmark: Honor Jesus Bookmark

Let’s celebrate Jesus like never before!

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Imagine the Day!

I’ve just come home from watching the movie “I Can Only Imagine.” It’s the moving story about how this song came about. If you live where they have the movie showing, I recommend you go watch it. It’s a testimony about the transforming power of Jesus. It’s a story about forgiveness.

This was my celebration for this day… one of them! As I’ve said, I’m celebrating all this month!

I just realized I have another great thing to celebrate! Today is five years since I started doing stories for children in English and started the blog:

MX1414.wordpress.com

This came after the hard blow that I talked a little about in my previous blog. God birthed this in me and gave me the promise of MX1414. M stands for Miracles. X stands for Exodus. 1414 is for chapter 14 verse 14: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Five years the Lord has been “fighting” for me. I don’t have words enough to express my amazement and gratitude. “Be still and know that I am God,” we read in Psalm 46:10. If you come visit me you can read it around the house. I have it on my walls. I have it in front of me every day as I sit working. “Be still!” It’s like, “take it easy.” Don’t worry, trust the Lord!

Here comes an interesting part. This can only be the Lord guiding me in my planning. What story will I be publishing this week on my English story-page? I will start a series based on what happened when Moses said the words in Exodus 14:14.

This is a story that I picked up more than 30 years ago. I feel very bad that I lost the name of the author. It has been in my files since my time in Bolivia. I don’t know how much I have added or adapted. I know that from #10 I will write it completely. If you recognize the story and know the author, please let me have the information.

“I can only imagine” what it will be when we meet Jesus. That is going to be the most awesome day. Close your eyes and enjoy a moment of just imagining.

Another thing, totally different, that I try to imagine is the insurmountable task Moses had to guide the at least three million Israelites out of Egypt. This is the story that I will start having on my story-page.

I welcome you to join us. There must be some children in your life that you can share them with… children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, friends, students, neighbors.

Now I have to take care of my most precious. Sarah, my grandchild is having a sleep-over and she wants he grandmother.

See you soon!

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