Taking Evil Out of Circulation

I love this time of year when all of creation springs back to life. It is the season we celebrate the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of our Savior Jesus Christ. And, while the focal point of His story is that a holy God chose to leave heaven to take our place on the cross so that we could become the Sons and daughters of God, His sacrifice did so much more.

Too many people focus only on the gift of salvation but miss out on all the other gifts his death and resurrection provided for us. For instance, we know that Jesus was severely beaten across His back. This act of “suffering stripes” did not pay for our sins, so why did He endure it? To provide divine healing for us and to fulfill the following prophecy:

Isaiah 53: 4 – 5 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. NKJV

He came to save us…AND to heal us. He also came to deal with poverty, abuse, neglect, and so many other twisted and perverted worldly things.

We live in a day and age where people have lost the art of civility. We answer violence with more violence. We justify our hate because of the greater hate we see in someone else. We blow up people on social media, in front of unbelievers, and justify it by our Christian belief system. So, in celebration of Christ’s sacrifice, I’d like to us to consider this powerful statement made by N.T. Wright;

“God’s plan to rescue the world from evil would be put into effect by evil doing its worse to the Servant – that is, to Jesus Himself – and thereby exhausting its power…Jesus exhausted the underlying power of evil when He died under its weight, refusing to pass it on or keep it in circulation.” N.T. Wright

Wow! Jesus absorbed all that evil could throw at Him and instead of retaliating; He grasped it and fell back into hell, removing all that evil from circulation! Can you imagine how different our world would look if we chose not to pass on hate, violence, anger or fear and instead removed the accumulative amount of all that toxic junk from circulation? Our world would be better; we would be better. Let’s prayerfully take some evil out of circulation this week. For more on this subject, please got to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J03xHlJrnbI&t=2058s

 

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Life Overflowing

Are you living your dream? When I was a youth pastor, I asked my students how many of their parents were truly living their dream. Out of about 50 kids, 4 raised their hands. Those four students represented two families in our church. I tell you that story because it breaks my heart when I see people struggling to get through life, not even close to living the dream they were created for.

I believe it is possible to live in such a manner that our life ends up being so full it overflows. This passage from the gospel of John describes the life Jesus intended you to have:

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to     destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. NKJV

Jesus came to earth so that we might experience LIFE on three different levels.

With Jesus, we should be able to do the basics of life well. He teaches us to be content in all things and how to love. Living at peace and having true relationships is a great level one kind of life.

But, Jesus also promises us abundant life. That word abundant means “to exceed or be more than expected”. Jesus wants you to outlive your own expectation! Can you imagine living a life that is better than you could dream of?

And, finally Jesus offers us eternal life. Eternal life is based on a relationship with Jesus. If you have a relationship with Jesus, your eternal experience has already begun.

This quote from Julia Cameron’s bestselling book, “The Artist’s Way” sums it up;

“We have all heard that the unexamined life is not worth living, but consider too that the unlived life is not worth examining”.

We each have one life to live. Let’s live an overflowing life. For more on this go to  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2058&v=J03xHlJrnbI 

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