32 Days to Pentecost

So they waited……

During the time that the Apostles were waiting for the gift Jesus promised, they didn’t fold their hands and wait, they took action, they walked back to Jerusalem gathered together and prayed. 

Acts 1:12-14 

 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

When you don’t know what to do, do you seek God for answers as the Apostles did?

They walked with Jesus, they saw Him go out alone to seek His Father for direction and guidance but Jesus could not sit still He took action, He prayed and walked ahead, He came into people’s lives and changed them for eternal rewards not earthly. He gave hope to those who were suffering, healing to the sick and love to the unlovable. Maybe what you have a story to share and that would bring hope to someone, just as Jesus took action, we have the gift of sharing His love with others as He tells us to “Feed His Sheep”.

Do you continue to share your life story with others who may need that encouragement?

Are you taking the time to sit with the Father in prayer?

Shalom

Nancy

The Christian Writer

35 Days until Pentecost

A time of waiting

For those who are not sure what Pentecost is about this is a definition from biblestudytools.com-

What does the Bible say about the topic of pentecost?

Pentecost was a Jewish festival that happened during the Feast of First Fruits. Happening 50 days after Passover, which celebrated Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, Pentecost was a time to celebrate the initial harvest feast. Israel gathered together to offer the Lord two loaves of wheat bread made from firstfruits of the grain. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit comes to the apostles to fulfill Jesus’s words that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit to glorify God’s name to all nations. As a result, we, the church and body of Christ, are called to bear witness to all nations through the power of the Holy Spirit to glorify the name of God!

Back to the Book of Acts- Jesus was giving the apostles instruction to wait for the gift He promised them.

Acts 1:6-11

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restorethe kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (www.biblegateway.com)

During this time of self isolation are you worrying about things that cannot be changed or are you thinking about your relationship with God? Jesus came into this world to save you from eternal death and to give you new life with Him, an eternal one in Heaven.

Something to take seriously, Jesus will come again, but only God knows when that will be. Are you ready to meet your savior?

Shalom

Nancy

The Christian Writer

37 Days to Pentecost

The Gift is coming!

On one occasion while He (Jesus) was eating with them, He gave them this command:

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. Fot John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Why is this important?

The Holy Spirit draws us closer to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is a calming gift from above and you will see what Jesus does as we draw closer to the day.

Stay tuned!

Shalom, Nancy

The Christian Writer

Rejoice He Has Risen!

After Jesus died on the cross, a rich man named Joseph who was a disciple of Jesus went to Pilate and asked for Jesus body and he gave his new tomb over to Jesus and wrapped Him in clean linen cloth and rolled a stone in front of the tomb. After preparation  day the chief Priest and Pharisees went to Pilate to have the tomb guarded because they were afraid of what Jesus said about rising again after three days. So a guard was sent- but that wasn’t going to stop our Lord!

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb after Sabbath at dawn, there was a violent earthquake and an Angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled back the stone and sat on it. He shone like lightening and they were afraid but the angel assured them not to be and that Jesus was no longer there that He Has Risen!

The angel tells them Jesus is going ahead of them into the city and to go tell the disciples. We can’t imagine the joy they must have felt knowing that the Lord has come back to life, He was resurrected from the dead, He Defeated Death and is the only Living God.

Make no mistake about it, the account of this part of His life should assure you that God loves you and that no matter what you have done you can go to Jesus and confess your sins and ask for His forgiveness and make Him your Lord and Savior.

HE HAS RISEN

Shalom 

Nancy

The Christian Writer

Ref: Matthew 27, 28

Peter Denies Jesus, Scriptures Are Fulfilled

Jesus and His disciples are sitting together at the table, Jesus makes a bold statement:

“You will all fall away.” And letting them know- “it is written – I will strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.” Zechariah 13:7

Then Jesus tells them- “but after I have risen I will go ahead of you into Galilee”

Peter says “ Even if all fall away I will not.” But this is not the case as Jesus tells him, “Before the rooster crows twice you will deny me three times.” At this Peter empathizes with Jesus and says I will die with you and won’t disown you, so did the disciples. 

Right after they were finished eating as Jesus goes the the Garden of Gethsemane, he’s praying and deeply distressed, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” 

He asks the disciples to watch and pray and says to them don’t fall asleep “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” They did fall asleep and Jesus says the hour has come and I’m going to be betrayed into the hands of sinners, just as he says this they come for him and Judas is at the lead with a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priest, elders and teachers of the law. 

Judas walks up to Jesus and gives him a kiss signaling them that he was the one. Peter steps up, striking Malchus, the servant of the high priest cutting off his ear. But Jesus healed and restored him, saying “i’m not leading a rebellion, you have seen me everyday teaching in the temple courts, you didn’t arrest me then, but the scriptures are being fulfilled.

…….and they took Jesus to Caiaphas the high priest.

Next post: Jesus Faces High Priest & Roman Governor

Shalom

Nancy

The Christian Writer

Ref: Matthew 26

Jesus Faces High Priest & Roman Governor

After Jesus  is arrested He was then brought to Caiaphas the high priest for questioning in front of where teachers of the law and elders gathered where the whole Sanhedrin were looking to to falsely accuse and gather evidence against Him and wanted to put Him to death. Peter had followed them and stood in the background in the courtyard. 

Fifty two false witnesses declared that Jesus said He was able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days. (Jesus was referring to Himself) But Jesus wouldn’t answer but when asked by the high priest to tell them if He was the Christ, Son of God, Jesus replied yes it is as you say. What came out of Jesus mouth next was for those who lived before us and now-

Jesus said: But I say to all of you: in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming in the clouds of heaven.

With this the high priest rips his clothes calls Jesus a blasphemer as  they spit and slapped Him in His face, mocking Him. Meanwhile Peter still in the courtyard and was confronted three times about knowing Jesus and denied it. Then the rooster crowed and Peter remembered what Jesus said, that Peter would deny Him.

Early the next morning the decision was made by the high priests to put Jesus to death, so instead of doing it themselves they handed Him over to Pilate the Roman Governor and while this is happening Judas the one who betrayed Jesus, in remorse brought the money back to the priests and confessed his sin because he knew he betrayed Jesus innocent blood. Judas then hung himself and the priests knew it was blood money and bought a potters field to bury foreigners and called it the field of blood. We are reminded of Jeremiah’s prophecy which was fulfilled that day- “they took the 30 silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel and they used them to buy the potters field, as the Lord commanded me to.” 

Jesus stood in front of Pilate the Governor as he questioned him and Jesus just stayed quiet. Pilate’s wife had a dream that they were going to kill an innocent man and when she saw Jesus she told her husband don’t have anything to do with that man’s blood. As the crowds gathered in the courtyard The chief  priests were pushing the crowds to shout for a well known prisoner Barabbas to be saved over Jesus for a death sentence. The crowds shouted Barabbus!!

Jesus was then taken to be flogged, mocked beat and forced to carry His cross to His death.

Along his route to Golgatha, hardly able to continue from the pain, there was a man named Simon from Cyrene the Roman soldiers forced him to carry Jesus cross. As they arrived they laid Jesus down on the cross and nailed Him to it. It was 12:00 midday. He spoke to His Father and said “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Then He said, Into your hands I commend my spirit.” He died on the cross that day.

Next post: Rejoice, He Has Risen!

Shalom 

Nancy

The Christian Writer

Ref: Mathew 27

Jesus & The Disciples Share The Last Supper

Celebrate!

As we prepare our hearts for this week for Easter, lets back track to the events that happened just before Jesus rose from the dead.

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey and is declared king- Messiah by the people. The jews are angry that He is disrupting their Passover Holiday week. They didn’t want Jesus to anger the crowds which would enrage Roman authority. 

On the first day of the feast of unleavened bread -which is their custom to sacrifice a Passover lamb, Jesus tells his disciples to go ahead to the city and follow a man carrying a jar of water to his house. Then ask him “where is the guest room where I could eat with my disciples?” The owner showed them the upper room furnished and ready.

So evening came Jesus and his 12 disciples arrive. While they were eating Jesus said- “I tell you the truth one of you will betray me- one who is eating with me.” The disciples were sad and said “Surely not me?”

Can you imagine sitting at the table with Jesus and looking through your own conscience and saying could I have betrayed the one true love, the King of my heart? The disciples must have been questioning themselves and saddened at the same time. 

Who could do this to my Lord?

Jesus said It’s one of you 12 and it is the one who dips his bread in the bowl with me, Jesus said “the Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But watch out for the one who betrays the Son of Man- he’s be better off if he had not been born.” This was Judas, Jesus told him to hurry and do what he was planning to do.

Jesus took the bread, while still eating, gave thanks and broke it and gave it to the disciples saying ”take eat this is my body” and then he took his cup also gave thanks and offered it saying “drink this, this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many, I will not drink this wine again until I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

This is how we receive communion with God, by remembering Jesus great love for us and how His shed blood on the cross was for forgiveness of sins. Yours and mine.

Let’s prepare our hearts for what Jesus is about to go through for us, He will be betrayed and denied, Jesus will suffer what was predicted by the prophets and carried through as God’s plan of redemption from the beginning when Adam and Eve first sinned against God is the garden, now His plan to redeem the world through His Son is about to unfold. 

Next post: Jesus Tells Peter He Will Deny Him

Shalom

Nancy

The Christian Writer

A Time For Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Jesus Comforts Us In Times Of Trouble

Clearly it’s easy to be tangled up in what’s happening around us but today I am choosing to be set free of whatever binds my mind in the world and share this with you as hope in a place of an unknown future. The scene is this; It’s the Last supper as Jesus gets ready to depart from His disciples to face the cross, He leaves them with these words; 

 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1

As we go through many trials and troubles in life, one thing that is always our hope it’s that Jesus is with us. When we feel as though everything is falling apart we can always count on Jesus. This world is fading away, our hope should not be in what we see but what is unseen. 

How do we know we can count on this?

Jesus tells us this:

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

What assurance do I have that I will be alright?

Jesus says:

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:2-4

The disciples didn’t understand why Jesus was telling them this now, their world was going to change rapidly -just like our world does when things happen we don’t understand. Naturally they are upset, Thomas steps in and asks Jesus: 

Where are you going?

 How can we know the way? 

Jesus answered, 

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7 

Of course now the disciples are really baffled and are trying to understand what Jesus is saying, so Phillip intervenes;

“Lord show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

 Jesus answered: 

Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? 

The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  

Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.  Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:9-14

When things are going well in our lives we feel great but as soon as things get rough , not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel we can fall into a dark place. But we have assurance that when we look to Jesus we have hope, the darkest of places are no longer overcoming our lives and the peace of Christ overtakes our minds and bodies, giving us comfort.

So what do you choose today? 

To be swallowed up by what is happening in the world or to be set free in hope that God is in control and will bring you through whatever you are facing. 

May the peace of Christ overflow into your life today. Jesus tells us “Do not Be Troubled”.

Shalom

Nancy

The Christian Writer