Friday, April 19, 2019

On this Solemn Friday




By: Sarah Geringer


About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" (which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?").

Matthew 27:46 NIV

Jesus had never been separated from his Father until the day we remember as Good Friday.

In taking sin’s curse upon himself on the cross, Jesus had to accept that terrible sentence. 

This may have been the worst of his sufferings, but he suffered many other things for your sake that day.

On this solemn Friday about 2,000 years ago, Jesus removed the barrier between us once and for all so we can live in his presence forever if we believe in him.

On this solemn Friday, take a few quiet moments to remember what Jesus suffered for you.

Meditate on Matthew 26 and 27:

Jesus was betrayed and deserted by his closest friends.

He was mocked by religious authorities.

He was spit upon, slapped and beaten by the Pharisees.

Jesus was flogged with a lead-tipped whip, a treatment that often killed others.

He was stripped naked and shamed.

He wore a painful crown of thorns.

Jesus was nailed to the cross.

He listened to shouts of abuse from those who knew the most about God's Word.

He was offered sour wine.

Jesus released his spirit for you.

His body was wrapped in linen and laid in a tomb.

Honor Jesus today in your own way for everything he suffered for you on that solemn Friday.

If you want to share feedback on this post, please leave a comment below. You can always share at my site if you have any trouble leaving a comment here.
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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,



Photo from Canva.com

Reflection questions:


1. Have you ever felt forsaken? If so, how does Jesus' story make you feel less alone?




2. How can you find comfort in Jesus’ suffering?


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

His Purpose

By: Jenifer Metzger

Early in the book of Genesis we see sin enter into the world. The earth was no longer flawless, no longer sinless. As time continues on, evil is all around. God loved His earth, His creation. He loved His people. So, He gave His people commandments to live by. Yet, many wouldn't follow this commands. But God had another plan.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16


God sent His Son, His one and only Son to this world to die for us. Jesus' purpose of coming to this earth was to die for us. For you. He died so that we can live. He came to give us life.


...I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.
John 10:10

As we near Easter, let's praise Jesus for what He did for us.




It's time for Share A Link Wednesday! Each Wednesday we invite you to leave a link to your latest blog post in the comments. We still desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories.


Monday, April 15, 2019

He Comes to Save

By: Joanne Viola



Yesterday was Palm Sunday - the day we remember the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

"Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, "Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven" (Mark 11:9-10, NLT)

We have all seen the images – Jesus riding on a lowly donkey. The crowd around Him. The palms waving as He passes by.

The people had expectations of Him which would go unmet. They wanted Him to come and restore kingship, leadership to Israel.

His very actions were indicative this would not be. He had not come to be the military and political leader they were hoping to receive. No matter how big of a reception they were to give Him, He was not going to overthrow and take political action.

Their shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” were shouts for Him to save them.

Yet they missed the point –  He was not coming to save them from their society. Instead of salvation from their political and social oppression, He had come to bring salvation for their souls.

The ones who stood praising and waving palms would soon be the very ones to yell, “Crucify Him!” when they faced disappointment in His mission.

Are we any different than the crowd that day?

We have a tendency to desire a particular outcome to our present circumstances, rather than see the treasure which may lie hidden in the dark times. We long for immediate relief or comfort over the eternal.

And yet Jesus still says to us today:
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33b, NIV)

Jesus knew this world would bring each of us much turmoil and discomforts. But He gave us Himself – His Presence – to get us through these times. Even when surrounded by that which makes us fearful, anxious, and unsettled, we can be in peace and have peace.

May our adoration of Jesus be firmly established in our hearts and minds.
And may we wave our palms in worship to Him, each and every day!



Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday thoughts...


With His gaze set on His destiny, His will yielded in obedience to His Father, and His great heart set on the joy of the redemption He was going to bring to all who would receive Him, Jesus entered Jerusalem. As He road into the city on a borrowed donkey, the crowd gathered along the road, cutting branches from the trees and removing their coverings to lay them in the road before Him. "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!", they cried.

Gathered in that praising crowd there were those that, just days later, would be trading their praises for shouts of, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" Perhaps they became offended when He entered their temple, turning over the tables of the money changers and those that sold the doves for sacrifice, declaring that His house was to be a house of prayer and not a den of robbers. Perhaps they listened to the chief priests and scribes who insisted that He was full of the devil and was most definitely not the long awaited Messiah. Perhaps they became disillusioned when He didn't fight against their Roman oppressors like they thought the Messiah would. Perhaps it was all of the above. He just wasn't measuring up to their idea of what and Who they thought the Messiah would be, which means He must be an imposter. Their disappointment in Him turned into despite of Him.

Also, gathered in that praising crowd were those who were convinced of His goodness. They had seen Him heal the sick, feed the hungry, raise the dead.Yet, they couldn't quite put the puzzle pieces together about Him. Was He John the Baptist come back to life, maybe Elijah? Was He another great prophet sent from God?

There were a few in the crowd who knew in their heart Who He was. He was the Messiah sent from God. Some of the things He said and did were hard for them to understand. His talk of His coming death made no sense to them. If He knew that the religious leaders were out to kill Him, why was He insisting on going to Jerusalem right into their trap? Yet, He had changed their lives. Their understanding of Him was lacking, but still growing. Yet, they believed.

This weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday. Next week our churches will probably be a but more full than usual as we gather to celebrate Easter Sunday. Like that Palm Sunday crowd centuries ago, there will be those who have ideas and expectations about Who Jesus is, yet they don't really know Him personally. They may come in disillusioned about Him because of suffering and injustice that has touched their life. They may even be offended or angry. There will also be those Who think Jesus was a good man, a prophet or a great teacher. They don't realize that He is God's only Son, the Messiah, the Savior sent to save them from their sin, the One Way to relationship with Father God and life eternal. And there will be those Who really know who Jesus is, they have made the choice to receive Him as their Savior and Lord. Perhaps they don't understand Him fully, but they are seeking Him and wanting to grow in their understanding of Him and relationship with Him.  This week let's pray for those who will gather in our churches this coming Easter Sunday-the hurting, the offended and angry ones, the unbelieving, the disappointed, the seeking-that God's truth would penetrate their minds, that the reality of Who Jesus is will be made clear to them, that God's love will penetrate their hearts, that they will open their hearts to Him, receive Him and decide to follow Him.
www.justfollowingjesus.com

Friday, April 12, 2019

Offering the Fruits of the Spirit





By: Sarah Geringer




But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

What is your favorite fruit?

I love fruit and eat it every day. It's hard for me to pick a favorite, but I think cherries take the prize.

When I think of fruit, happy memories come to the surface. My great-grandma put fresh raspberries in coffeecakes, wild blackberries in custard pie, and grapes from her own vine in homemade grape juice. My mouth is watering just thinking about that dark, flavor-packed juice in a Mason jar.

My grandma helped me grow my first cantaloupe when I was probably 8 years old. Nothing tasted better on a hot, humid August day than ripe cantaloupe from the garden.

Picking strawberries with my children. Fighting playfully over who gets the fresh pineapple juice while my husband and I cook Chinese food. Making a fresh cherry pie, all from scratch, with cherries picked from the tree at the family farm.

Fruit is a simple, delightful pleasure for almost everyone I know. I love that the Bible describes the best parts of the Christian life with a metaphor of fruit.

When we bear fruit through the Holy Spirit's power, we cause others to crave God. 

Our love, joy, and peace taste much sweeter than the stale offerings of the world.
Our patience, kindness, and goodness whet others' appetites with the flavors of heaven.
Our faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are refreshing and rejuvenating compared to the harsh, bitter everyday fare that lost and hurting souls take in every day.

You know how wonderful fresh fruit tastes. When you share the fruit of the Spirit with others, you give them a taste of God's goodness and abundance. 

I know it's difficult to keep offering good fruit when you feel worn down. The beauty of this scripture is that you don't really have to do anything except depend on the Holy Spirit to produce fruit through you. 

When you abide in God's presence, you are connected to the Vine who will produce fruit in your life.

Friend, I encourage you to draw close to Jesus in these twelve days before Easter. Consider His sacrifice for you, and how you can share the good news of Easter with someone this year.

Abide in Jesus' presence, and He will produce fruit through you.

Remember, you may be the only person who shows Jesus to someone else today. What you do and say really matters, because you are chosen and loved by God, and He has given you a unique purpose to fulfill.

If you want to share feedback on this post, please leave a comment below. You can always share at my site if you have any trouble leaving a comment here.
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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,



Photo from Canva.com

Reflection questions:


1. Which fruit of the spirit is easiest for you to bear, and why?





2. How can you bear more spiritual fruit leading up to Easter?