Holy Week: It Is Not Goodbye!

 

 

 It is Saturday. The day after the worst day of their lives.

The unthinkable deed has been done.

Jesus—the expected Messiah, Mary’s first-born son and the disciples’ beloved friend and master—has been crucified and his body lies in a sealed tomb.

It’s over!

What can be more final than death?

What grief… what confusion… what mixed emotions Jesus’ loved ones must have experienced! How forlorn they must have felt.

I can recall feeling devastated when my mother died.

I can recall:

  • the mixed feelings of peace and assurance that she’d gone to be with the Lord,
  • the relief that she no longer had to endure loss of dignity and suffering,

 and also

  • the void in my life that she left behind.

As I considered what I should write about today and how I should tackle the theme of this post, I remembered searching for the right poem to read at my mother’s funeral. I wanted a poem which would adequately express my family’s feelings. Although this was not one of my choices, the following poem came to mind, as one which eminently suits the circumstances of our Saviour’s death.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sun on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.1

Now in the case of our Lord and Saviour, the above words have a particular resonance because we know that Jesus, is God. He fills all and is all. He is the First and Last, the beginning and the end. He is Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8, 11).

More importantly, Jesus told his disciples that he would arise from the dead.

And so, unlike our mortal loved ones, even though Jesus had died, he’d previously declared to his disciples that he would not only live again but they’d see him alive with their own eyes. In fact, he even arranged to meet them in Galilee (Mark 16:7).

However, the disciples found this a difficult concept to wrap their head around—as would you or I!

And so, despite being present when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead2, despite being aware that their Messiah friend had brought a young man back to life during a funeral procession3, despite witnessing the astounding resurrection of Lazarus who’d been dead for 4 days4, the disciples either did not believe Jesus, or were so overwhelmed with grief that they failed to remember his words.

Before his death, Jesus had given them words of comfort and assurance which should have been a solace to them. He was saying in effect: Yes, I am going to die. But, No – it is not permanent. It is not goodbye!

And as I considered these things it made me think about how many times, we as God’s children, may hear the Word of God and know his promises yet fail to believe them, or fail to remember them, even at times fail to allow them to be a source of comfort, or strength, to dictate our behaviour, or guide our decisions.

I can imagine that alongside their grief, the disciples struggled with condemnation. They had failed their Messiah friend. And those who were the closest to him, had run away in fear during Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. Peter, despite declaring that he was ready to die with Jesus, denied him in no uncertain terms. And poor Judas was so remorseful about the treacherous part he had played that he hung himself.

Now, as I mentioned above, we often look for words which express our heart and feelings towards our loved ones, to share at their funeral. We have seen that Jesus left behind words of assurance for his disciples and loved ones, which they either disbelieved, or failed to remember.

I wonder what words of comfort Christ might wish to speak to us today. I imagine they could be something along the lines of this:

 

Friends and followers, I pray my message today will remind you that God is loving, merciful and forgiving. That is why he sent his Son to die for us.

Jesus did die. The deed was done. But hallelujah! He faithfully completed the task God sent him to do. It is finished!

Today, let us be thankful to our Heavenly Father that it’s not goodbye to second or third or even a million chances. It is not goodbye to God’s blessings, grace and mercy. And for those of us who enjoy an ongoing spiritual relationship with our Father God and with Jesus Christ – it is not, and will not be goodbye to his precious presence – forever!

Happy Easter!

Love from

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

 

References:

1 – Written by: Mary Elizabeth Frye – source link:

2 -Mark 5:22-24; 35-42

3 – Luke 7:11-15

4 – John 11:38-44

 

 

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Good Friday Reflection

 

 

For Christ also suffered once for sins,

The just for the unjust,

That He might bring us to God,

Being put to death in the flesh

But made alive by the Spirit.

(1 Peter 3:18 NKJV)

 

God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’

– Billy Graham

 

In Christ we see a maturity of love that flowers in self-sacrifice and forgiveness; a maturity of power that never swerves from the ideal of service; a maturity of goodness that overcomes every temptation, and, of course, we see the ultimate victory of life over death itself.

Vincent Nichols

 

AGNUS DEI

 

Wishing you all a Happy Easter!

 

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Stop Complaining and Making Excuses — The Light in the Heart

Maturity is when you stop complaining and making excuses in your life; you realize everything that happens in life is a result of the previous choice you’ve made and start making new choices to change your life. Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the heart

via Stop Complaining and Making Excuses — The Light in the Heart

Father God’s Invitation

This is God’s Message,

The God who made earth,

Made it livable and lasting,

Known everywhere as GOD:

‘Call to me and I will answer you.

I’ll tell you marvellous and wondrous things

That you could never figure out on your own.’

(Jeremiah 33:3 The Message)

 

Beloved, the answer you need is just a call away. So don’t delay – send Father God your knee-mail today.

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

Captives, Chains & the Power of Christ

But thus says the Lord:

“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,

And the prey of the terrible be delivered…” (Isaiah 49:25)

 

In order to fully appreciate the message of this post, please listen to the following video of gospel artist, Tasha Cobbs.

Singing a Song of God’s Deliverance:

Wow! Whether through preaching, praise or prayer, what an honour to be able to have such influence, to be a vessel through whom God’s glorious power can be released!

 God Cares About the Captives:

There is power in the name of Jesus!

And in the mighty, matchless name of Jesus, every chain can be broken!

Do you believe that?

Maybe as we look around us and consider the problems of this world, we find it hard to believe. Perhaps even our own personal experience stands at odds with the above statement.

So if that’s the case, what is one to do?

Beloved, let me encourage you to take a leaf from the book of a humble and honest man in the Bible, who cried out: Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

Did you listen to the above video? I hope you didn’t skip it because I know it will bless you, and this post is in part my response to it.

Greater is God’s power within us than the Enemy’s attack against us!

I have spent a good 2 hours or so this morning, listening to Tasha Cobbs sing her powerfully anointed song: There is power in the name of Jesus!

Following an overwhelming and persistent attack of the Enemy upon my mind and physical being, I began to watch this video. Listening to this song and responding to the power and anointing of Jesus as Tasha ministered, changed the very atmosphere around and within me. Furthermore, it has stirred a new desire to be used mightily by God, to see people set free from the lies and deception of the Enemy.

A heart of compassion:

Dear readers, I’ve been listening to this song quite a lot this week. And yes, whilst I’ve been touched by the testimonies of God’s power, I’ve been even more deeply moved by the cries of individuals beseeching God to change them… to change their lives… to deliver them from addictions and all manner of brokenness or the destruction of their circumstances.

And these testimonies, these pleas for God’s intervention, have birthed afresh in my heart, wonder and amazement and adoration for a Holy God who could love as He loves, who could be so merciful and generous of heart that he would stoop down to rescue those who call upon him, whether in faith, or in desperation. What a mighty God we serve! What an awesome God we serve!

Privileged to serve:

And what an honour, privilege and responsibility we’ve been given as Christ’s disciples, as members of his Body to bring that message of hope and reconciliation to others. To come alongside our Heavenly Father as his co-labourers and use our gifts for his glory, and to serve those he brings across our pathway. What an honour to be entrusted to pray and intercede for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven… to command that the chains of Satan’s captives be broken!

Dear friends, I am positive that there are no addictions, afflictions, overwhelming cares, bondages, or besetting problems in heaven. Absolutely none!

So if that is the case, why are we not seeing more of God’s will being accomplished here on earth? Has God’s power diminished? Has the power resident in the name of Jesus somehow decreased?

Ridiculous even to ask, isn’t it? Of course it hasn’t!

So if the problem is not with God’s power, if it’s not with the name of Jesus, then what’s the problem? Who’s the problem?

That’s the question you and I have to ask ourselves honestly. This is the time to examine ourselves—not our colleagues, not our neighbours, not our leaders, not our pastors or politicians!

Why am I not experiencing the phenomenal power of God in my life, in the lives of my loved ones, in my work place, local fellowship, city and nation?

Heeding Christ’s Call to Prayer

Creflo Dollar once said that every failure in our lives is the result of a prayer failure.

Bearing this in mind, may I remind you of what Jesus said whilst he walked on this earth? He said that “…men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not forget Creflo Dollar’s words. And let’s begin to be diligent in obeying Jesus’ uncompromising direction. Let us pray always and not lose heart.

Have a blessed and victorious weekend!

Love from,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

 

Credit: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

A Tale of Mr Little, Nothing & No-one!

 

We all learn lessons in life. Some stick, some don’t. I have always learned more from rejection and failure than from acceptance and success.

Henry Rollins

 

Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.

Charles Stanley

 

Our self-perception determines our behavior. If we think we’re small, limited, inadequate creatures, then we tend to behave that way, and the energy we radiate reflects those thoughts no matter what we do. If we think we’re magnificent creatures with an infinite abundance of love and power to give, then we tend to behave that way. Once again, the energy around us reflects our state of awareness.

 

Have you ever been made to feel like so high?

Perhaps it was your boss at work, or a colleague.

Whoever it was, they managed to convey their low opinion of you – that you are of little, or no significance – in their estimation that is! And I can bet the Enemy lost no time in confirming those thoughts.

In the Bible, we read of a character named Zacchaeus, who was not only little of physical stature but also little in the eyes of others. As a tax collector, he would have been rejected, scorned, even reviled. And so you can bet your life (don’t do it though!) that even the religious people of his day marginalised him and dismissed him as of little, or no consequence.

How about you?

Have there been people in your life who have shoved you to the margins of dignity or respectability?

And have circumstances or the way you are treated, reinforced within your mind any negative feelings you may have about yourself and your future?

 

STOP!

Don’t listen to the voice and lies of the Enemy. He used the same tactics on Jesus and will do the same to his followers. After all, Jesus himself said:

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. (Matthew 10:24 NKJ)

 

In terms of how others were ill-treating him, listen to what Paul said of himself and his fellow-workers:

…being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. (1 Corinthians 4:13 NKJ)

 

 As I wrote this, I suddenly had an epiphany.

You see I’d get upset with God because since He is in control, why is he allowing my ill-treatment and persecution? Why does He allow it to continue? And how does being constantly maligned and misrepresented bring glory to you Lord?

But what I, and what you need to realise, is that we occupy different roles and those roles carry different responsibilities and attract different challenges and trials.

  • As an ambassador I am supposed to reflect the principles of his kingdom and promulgate its benefits.
  • As his child, I am supposed to love and trust him, develop my relationship with him.
  • As his disciple, I am supposed to pick up my cross daily and follow him.
  • As a member of the Body of Christ, I am to live according to rules which differ from those of the secular world and adopt a mind-set that usually thinks contrary to popular opinion.
  • As a servant of God I am required to serve him faithfully to the best of my ability.
Swimming against the tide of popular perceptions

It is precisely because we are swimming against the tide of popular perceptions and what is deemed as normal behaviour that we Christians can become a target.

Like Zacchaeus, we need to get out of the way of the crowd… raise ourselves above the environment of the status quo. However, realise that in doing so, the spotlight of other people’s malice or contempt will almost certainly focus upon you.

Now dear reader, if you have been, or are currently being mistreated, climb out of the box in which others have pigeon-holed you. Don’t passively accept or participate in those scenarios of victimisation or rejection, which other people have orchestrated for you.

In order for him to see Jesus, Zacchaeus’ strategy was to elevate himself above the general crowd, above his circumstances and the perception of others (i.e. his littleness of stature and character).

Dear friend, choosing to stay on the same level as the crowd means you will limit your perception of self… means you can only see this crowd… means you’ll become carried away by it or absorbed into its mentality… means you’ll only see yourself in relation to it.

Now, if you can relate to anything I’ve said in this post, allow me to counsel you today. Learn a lesson from Zacchaeus who chose to climb higher—and go do likewise!

Choose to be a victor!

Wishing you a peaceful and victorious week.

Love from

 

Carol (aka Lady Cee) ♥♥

 

CREDIT: all the above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com

Have you been blessed by this post? Why not share it with others? And would you be so kind as to let me know your response in a comment box below? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Living Life

LIFE flows like a river. No matter what gets in the way, it flows on. It’s something meant to be enjoyed and cherished. But it’s always changing. And we can’t stick too long in the past, because then we lose sight of the beautiful future. (source unknown)

 

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about LIFE: it goes on.
(Robert Frost)

 

My LIFE is my message. (Mahatma Gandhi)

 

Dost thou love LIFE? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff LIFE is made of.

(Benjamin Franklin)

 

LIFE is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
(Albert Einstein)

 

In the end, it’s not the years in your LIFE that count. It’s the LIFE in your years.

(Abraham Lincoln)

 

…I came that they may have and enjoy LIFE, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

(Jesus)

 

 

Wishing you inner peace, heartfelt joy and victory as you continue your life’s journey in 2019.

With love and best wishes,

Carol

(aka Ladycee)

 

 

The above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com