Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Prayer Experience

Good morning!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Sometimes at this time of year, we carry burdens with us that we should leave at the Cross. We are troubled by this world and wonder why we have to endure this side of Heaven. Let's take heart in knowing that as we confess our sins to Jesus we are freed from the bondage of sin. We can turn our hearts towards Jesus as the author and perfecter of our faith. All this thanks to Jesus dying on the cross and his resurrection.

Last night, Paul and I went to our church's Prayer Experience. They had 8 different stations.

Station 1 was about the crown of thorns that Jesus had to wear on his path to the crucifixion. We could touch branches full of thorns and have an idea of what he had to suffer. The presence of the thorn branches made the experience very real!

Station 2 was very moving: THE CROSS
We were encourage to write a sin down on a piece of paper and take a nail and nail our sin to the Cross. This was a two fold experience:1- that Jesus had to pay for my sins by being nailed to the cross, and 2- that I was completely forgiven of that sin and was no longer slave to it because Jesus took it from me! This station moved me very much

Station 3 was The Vinegar
We were asked to take a Q-Tip and dip it in vinegar and put it on our tongue, just like Jesus was offered Vinegar while he was carrying His cross. This was to taste the bitterness of our sins and to reflect on the sweet Love of Jesus!

Station 4 was the Confession
We took a dice and the number of dots that we would get were the number of things we needed to confess that was keeping us from seeking after The Father. This was very meaningful to me as well. To be brought right before God because of the confession of my sins is very refreshing. It is hard to admit and be at a place where you can go to your Heavenly Father and lay your sins down, and see the objects of your affections and ask for them to be changed to JESUS CHRIST.

Station 5 was writing your name
Wriitng my name on big whiteboard was to be reminded of God's everlasting Love and if one has accepted Jesus as Savior of their own life and their personal sin than he will NEVER be forgotten. Each one of us wrote a a thank you note to our Lord and Savior. This was to take from the passage in the Bible where the thief on the Cross says to Jesus: "Jesus, remember me in your kingdom. "

Station 6 was the tearing of the curtain
In order to get to the next station we needed to tear the curtain ad behind was an Easle with a passage of scripture and different cloths. I was able to rejoice that we can now boldly come to the Throne of Grace thanks to Jesus' death and how He tore the curtain of the Temple and basically invited EVERYBODY to confess their sins and be freed by HIM directly. At His death we did not need any more Priests and high priests to intercede for us, because Jesus became our High Priest!

Station 7 was Communion
Paul and I broke bread together (It's an actual loaf that you break!) and drank the wine (juice really) and we were able to worship Jesus Together! It was beautiful!

Station 8 was being the light of the world!
It was a very unique experience to be at that station. There was a big mirror with candles and what the station was about is that throughout the evening, the other stations prepared us for being the light to the World because the light is in us through the Holy Spirit. That by communing with God and seeking after forgiveness and for His love we come to a place where He wants us for service and to be light in a dark world!

You see, like I said yesterday in my other blog, God the Father made me not because he needed me but because He wanted to share Himself with me and show me how loved I am. In and of Himself, He can display his glory better without me. But we are created to worship him and enjoy Him forever. It is because of His love for me that I am enabled to serve Him. Not because I first loved Him but because He first loved us!

The father did not just make me in my mother's womb (Psalm 139) but He bought me with a price! he bought back what was rightfully His! WOW! Now THAT is love my dear friends!

My Chains fell off. I've been set free!

On these words I bid you a very wonderful day!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seeking Jesus at the Cross

Good morning!

I have been reading a book called "The Heart of the Cross" by James Montgomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken. That is where I am getting my inspiration from this week. I strongly recommend it to anyone who desires the Cross to be the Center of their lives. By this I don't mean that we go to the Cross and wait and not live the life that God has given us, but to satiate our thirst for knowing our Lord and Savior(If that is even possible)!

This weekend, I was reading about the plagues in the time of Moses and how God was showing His Beauty and power through Moses. It struck me when there came the plagues of the frogs that once The Lord stopped the frogs from invading houses and lands that He kept His promise and all of the frogs fell to the ground and died. 3 things struck me, 1- God does not need us to show his Greatness in all the land, which means that 2-God gave us the gift of life so that we could enjoy fellowship with him and taste of His Mercy and Love, and 3- That God can take my life away just like those frogs. It made me realize just how fragile life is, yet if I keep my eyes on Jesus, My life is secure! God gives life, and God takes it away.

When we look at Luke's passage of the crucifixion, we see that there are 2 thieves hung on each sides of Jesus. Both of them ask for salvation. The unrepentant thief mocks Jesus like the crowd below and is only thinking about himself and how he wants to live the here and now: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" He does not see passed the present. He is talking of a physical salvation and he asks with his lips.
The second thief realizes that he got what he deserves and rebukes the other Thief: "Don't you fear God since we are under the same sentence? We are punished Justly but, for we are getting what are deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong. And then he said 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." This passage is powerful for 2 reasons: 1- The repentant Thief admits that he is a sinner and also admits that Jesus is God and 2- He sets his mind on the future and asks Jesus to remember him in the life to come. He came to Jesus with His whole heart and met him at the cross. He did not want to be saved from this life, He wanted to be saved from all of his sin and believed in the unseen, Christ's Kingdom.

This passage reflects what we should do when we go to the cross. In this passage, the thief pays for his sins but we don't have to pay for ours. We don't have to hang on a cross or be judged for our imperfections in this world because Jesus payed the price for them on the Cross!

I challenge you all to take a moment and think of your life and bring it all before the Cross and surrender it all to Him; your treasures, your worries and most of all your hopes and dreams. It is so much more secure in His hands than in your own!

Let's meet together at the cross and share our burdens with our Savior!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Week!

Hello Family and friends!

I have been pondering all week end on the marvelous Love of Jesus. His empowering Love which pierced through our hearts and continues to do so every day. More so, His sacrificial Love that we are preparing to celebrate in less than a week from now!

Let us be reminded of Jesus' words on the cross: "Forgive them Father for they do not know what they are doing."

If I was hanging from a tree with nails pierced in my hands and feet and people mocking me below, it would not be my first reaction to forgive those who were hurting me. THAT is how we know that Jesus is truly God.

Let us be reminded of His great Love for us and the cost that comes with true forgiveness! As we believe in Christ and The Salvation he offered on that Cross, it may not have been costly to us but it was costly for Our Lord. It would not have been JUST for God the Father to have no payment for our sins...Only we did not pay for them. In THIS truth do I rejoice and find Peace, and yet feel sad for my sweet Lord and his sufferings.

Thank you Father for forgiving me and considering me your child on the basis of your perfect Son's sacrifice on the Cross. Help me find TRUE meaning in my life on that Truth alone. That gratitude would be the fruit of a thankful heart.

Happy Easter week and let us find strength at Jesus' Feet!