4 posts categorized "Crucified"

Lent Reflections - The Cross

08_Jesus_Dies_1024
Photo courtesy of www.LumoProject.com


We’re more than half way now. In a little over three weeks it will be Good Friday. The day Jesus went to the Cross, voluntarily, to die.

For us.

In the last few weeks I’ve been struck by a few songs that have emphasized the Cross and what Jesus did for us. Last week my church had a visit from Dr. David Yonggi Cho.
Dr Cho has a remarkable ministry and story to tell. He started out as a minister to five people and now his church in South Korea has over 800,000 members. By all accounts it’s the biggest church in the world.

He attributes a lot of what he’s done to prayer. He spends three hours a day in prayer rising every early in the morning. He said when he was younger (he’s just celebrated his 80th birthday) he used to pray for five hours a day.

He mentioned that when he first starts praying he simply starts by meditating for a while on the Cross and what Christ did for us. This fills him with gratitude and praise but also assurance that Jesus has broken the hold sin has over us and “by His wounds He has healed us.”

Letting Go

It’s very easy for us to be self-absorbed. It doesn’t mean we’re selfish or narcissistic, it just means we spend too much time thinking about ourselves. I know I do. Particularly when things aren’t working out the way we want them to, we’re not feeling well or we’ve had a disagreement with our spouse. It’s like our automatic response is to think about ‘me’.

As I journey longer with the Lord I’m increasingly realizing that He went to the Cross so we would be more enamored with another story than our own. His.

His story is breathtaking. And He asks us to partner with Him in it. Blows my mind everytime.

This week spend a little time picturing Jesus on the Cross. Put yourself with His mother, John and the others as they watch in horror and absolute awe, as He chooses to die rather than save Himself. So we could live.

Perhaps reflect on these lyrics by Chris Tomlin and his song “At the Cross.” 

There's a place where mercy reigns and never dies

There's a place where streams of grace flow deep and wide

Where all the love I've ever found

Comes like a flood

Comes flowing down

[Chorus:]

At the cross

At the cross

I surrender my life

I'm in awe of You

I'm in awe of You

Where Your love ran red

and my sin washed white

I owe all to You

I owe all to You Jesus

There's a place where sin and shame are powerless

Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness

Where all the love I've ever found

Comes like a flood

Comes flowing down

[Chorus]

Here my hope is found

Here on holy ground

Here I bow down

Here I bow down

Here arms open wide

Here You save my life

Here I bow down

Here I bow down

[Chorus]

Lord Jesus, we love you. We worship you. We’re in awe of you. Words can’t express our gratitude for what you did at the Cross. For us. For our spouses. For our families. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you that you ransomed your life for ours. We praise you. We receive all the work and triumph of the cross, the blood, the sacrifice. Thank you for washing us clean. Jesus, we want more of you. Please fill us with more and help us let go of our selves so we can be of the business of running with you on your Kingdom mission. In your precious name we pray. Amen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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The Combination To The Power Of Heaven

Hi My Friends,  (Combination is at the bottom. Read all the way through.) 

Isaiah 53 5
Today I want to share a few thoughts with regard to healing. Several weeks ago I shared with you a few stories about healing.  

I finally want to chat with you about a mystery, the healing power of Jesus. Firstly, always, always, Jesus is our healer. He was bruised (Isaiah 53:5) for our iniquity and upon him the stripes of His beatings were for our healing. Man, if you just allow that thought in your head…… Recently I was listening to some teaching about healing. Did you know that Jesus’ face was beaten to a point that He was unrecognizable? When I consider the suffering He bore for my healing, I refuse to let one little bit of it go unclaimed. I will not waste the torture He endured that was meant for my healing. How about you? 

Anyhoo, by this point you know that I absolutely believe in healing. Healing of the soul, spirit and of our physical body. I’ve seen it. Experienced it and believe what the Word of God says about healing. 

But today I think we need to talk about why some aren’t healed. Why people receive healing prayer and nothing happens or a partial healing occurs. I will say right up front. We don’t know. It is a complete mystery as to why some aren’t healed and some are. 

But I can also share some firm thoughts as to what can keep us from experiencing healing. Let’s start with three things.

  1. Unbelief
  2. Unforgiveness
  3. Bitterness 

Unbelief. I want to share a story from the Healing Rooms. When the three of us, myself, my daughter Caitie and Gina entered the room, we were already halfway healed. Why? Because first, we TRULY believed we would be, could be. We did NOT doubt but truly walked in child-like faith. I’m in a season right now where God is teaching me the power of child-like faith. I have witnessed more supernatural encounters since returning from Bethel than I have ever before. I am convinced it’s because I have combined three things.

  • Child-like faith (I will explain more)
  • Compassion
  • No judgment 

Man, when you put these all together in a soul, Jesus shows up with all kinds of power and love. 

Child-like faith is the opposite of unbelief. Now get this: I choose to believe. Flat out decide that God’s Word is true, and it is. This kind of faith is gained and learned through maturity. What a contradiction of thoughts. Spiritual maturity births child-like faith. Oh how like the Lord to purpose faith this way. 

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.—1 Corinthians 1:27 

Unforgiveness which gives birth to bitterness keeps so many of us from everything of the Kingdom. I am at a place in my faith walk where I literally choose to not be offended even when I have every right to be offended. I take the offense to Jesus and ask Him to help me rid it from my heart. I choose love. I choose love. I choose love. Couple love with compassion and it’s powerful my friends. 

Which leads to judgment. Ah, now this is the place that gets in the way of most believers. We judge people so harshly. In the depths of our heart we size a person up, declare their faults and failures in our minds and then sentence them to shame, unworthiness or wickedness. And we do all that in seconds. 

What Jesus is teaching me now is some powerful lessons in choosing compassion over judgment.   

Recently I was praying and the Lord brought homeless people to my mind. And I grieved for them. I said out loud in my prayers, “Lord, I will give to them. I don’t care how they came to be homeless or that they may be drunks, druggies, lazy. I will just love them.” 

You know what God said back to me? “Lynn, if you will love these people for me without judging them, why do you judge your daughter-in-law who has left your son. She needs help right now. Will you help her too?” 

GULP! 

Ouch. I mailed her a card, a photo of Elise and money that day. Yeppers. I did. 

What I saw in the healing rooms were those who were child-like and those who were judging everything that happened. They saw God interacting with people and God can be unexpected. Things can get animated as people encounter the God of the Universe. They were skeptical and thought they knew how people should behave. These were the people who did not experience healing. They were too busy judging…. And get this- really, they were judging our God! It scares me to even think about casting judgment on God for the way He interacts with people. SCARES ME!!! 

On the way to the conference when all of us were together sitting at a restaurant for lunch, I put down one ground rule for our conference experience. I looked straight into the eyes of the teens and said, “No matter what you might see or experience this week, you cannot judge others by what they look like or what they may do. If you don't judge, you will encounter everything you are hoping for.” 

Guess what? 

They did! 

And so can you.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
 

Monday I want to share what has been happening in these weeks since Jesus has been teaching me. I feel like He has given me the combination lock to unlock the power of heaven and voice of God. Child-like faith, compassion and absolutely NO judgment. 

I’m in awe of what He is doing. 

And I’m STILL wanting to get onto this series about how to deal with the spirit of confusion, the critical spirit and few other unwelcome and evil entities we contend with. Are you up for all of this my friends? 

Why do you think I spend so much time teaching about the truths of God and focusing on our spiritual growth instead of speaking to unequally yoked marriages? It’s because, once we have our faith walk in the thriving zone, everything falls into that zone as well. 

I love you my family on the web. Stay tuned because the breakthroughs are gaining momentum and if you are a regular here, you have one or more coming. In Jesus name. Amen.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


How Much Does Jesus Love You?

Heart&CrossFor the last several months I’ve heard a constant theme about love from Christians all over the world. God is speaking very loudly to His children right now and the message is about His love and His call to love people.

The message is everywhere and, in my opinion, is unmistakably a sign of His presence at work, shifting the family of God to a new awareness that I believe is about becoming more about what we are for than what we are against.

And what we need to be about, my friends, is God’s love. The agape kind of love that isn’t possible on our own steam. But we can pray for it. We can ask God to help us love others like Jesus loves them. If you want to know how to love people, study the Bible and “watch” how Jesus interacts and loves the ones He met.

One of my favorite stories is of the rich young ruler. As this man questions Jesus again about what he must do to gain eternal life, before Jesus even answers him, He loves the man.

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." — Mark 10:21

In order to love like this I believe we need to first understand how deeply God loves us. This has been true for me because I don’t have a dramatic salvation story. I was a good and obedient little girl and teenager. I didn’t get into trouble. I was an overachiever. I did everything “right,” for the most part. (I feel like Paul here when he says he was the most zealous of Pharisees. And I could have easily been one.)

God reached me when I needed Him emotionally. But I had a long journey ahead to really understand how deeply God loved me. Sometimes we get so used to hearing the crucifixion story that we lose our appreciation of it. But when we begin to appreciate the full scope of what we’ve been given without having done anything on our part, we begin to grasp the depth of God’s love in the barest sense because I don’t think we are even capable of fully understanding it this side of heaven.

Let me share something that hit me this week. John 1 speaks of who Jesus is:

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. — John 1:3

Then we come to verses 10-11:

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

“His own” is a reference to the Jews, but this goes even deeper than the Jews and Gentiles. The first part of John 1 tells us that nothing was made without Jesus, that all things were made through Him. That includes you, me and every single person who has ever lived on this earth and ever will live on this earth. The people He walked among, the ones who rejected him, persecuted Him, the ones who plotted against Him—He made every one of them.

So here’s where my writer’s brain took a trip. As Jesus walked among the people, did He remember creating each one? Did He remember the thought and care as He crafted each person? What He intended each one to be and the potential He placed in each one? What was it like for Him to walk among the very beings He created only to have them reject Him?

Jesus knew why He was coming. Knew what He would face as He walked as a man, yet still fully God. And He still loved everyone He met.

He still does. He doesn’t ask us to change first or to become acceptable in His sight (as if we ever could). He doesn’t give us a list of requirements and expectations to meet first and then decide if He loves us.

He just loves us. Completely, totally, whether we know Him or not. That is “agape” love. That is the love that Jesus gives us. That is the love Jesus wants to do through us to love everyone we meet because He lives in us. To love our spouse, our children, our neighbor and even that stranger at the grocery story. God wants to give us His eyes of love so that when we look at others, when we truly stop and see them, we will love them. Even the difficult ones.

It’s the whole reason Jesus stepped down from His throne of power, entered the world as a helpless baby, subjected himself to rejection, torture and death from the hands of the ones He created, so that we would have no doubts of how deeply we are loved.

Why else would He endure all this unless He loves us that much? The more we embrace what Jesus sacrificed and endured to save and show us the depths of His love for His creation, the more we begin to love those in our lives and those we meet.

Just as they are and just a little more like Jesus does.

I love you, my friends, with the love of Jesus!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


JESUS DEATH - 60 SECONDS

For the next 60 seconds, set aside whatever you're doing and take this opportunity! 

THE (SCIENTIFIC) DEATH OF JESUS  

At the  age of 33, Jesus was condemned to the death penalty.  

At the time crucifixion was the "worst" death. Only the worst criminals condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, for unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion Jesus was nailed to the cross by His hands and feet, rather than tied... 

Each  nail was 6 to 8 inches long.  

The nails were driven into His wrist.  Not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. There's a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder.  The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the Wrist, that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself, so that He could breathe.    

Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross.  Jesus could not support himself with His legs for long because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back and using his legs just to continue to breath.  Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage.  

Jesus endured this reality for over three hours.   Yes, over three hours! Can you imagine this kind of suffering? A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from his wounds.  

From common images we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side... But do we remember the many wounds made to his body.  A hammer driving large nails through the wrists, the feet overlapped and a nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. And... before the nails and the spear, Jesus was whipped and beaten.  The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The crown of thorns (two to three inch thorns) cut deeply into His scalp.  Most men would not have survived this torture.   

He had no more blood to bleed out, only water poured from His wounds.  The human adult body contains about 5 liters (just over a gallon) of blood.  

Jesus  poured all 5 liters of his blood; He had three nails hammered into His body; a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His chest..  

All  these without mentioning the humiliation He passed after carrying His own cross for almost two kilometers, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones (the cross beam was almost 66 pounds of weight, to which His hands were nailed).  

Jesus had to endure this experience, so that you may have free access to God.  

So that your sins can be "washed" away.  All of them, with no exception!  Don't ignore this. 

JESUS  CHRIST DIED...FOR YOU! 

Do not believe that He only died for others (those who go to church or for pastors, bishops, etc).  

He died for you! 

Accept the reality, the truth, that JESUS IS THE ONLY SALVATION FOR THE WORLD.  

God has special plans for you because of a cross more than 2,000 years ago. Take 60 seconds and share what this day means to you. Be blessed, Lynn

Shadowcross

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4