Jesus Christ evokes many images in the minds of people. Some picture Him as a baby in a manger—the Christ of Christmas. Others picture Him as a child, perhaps living in the home of a carpenter or confounding the religious leaders of Jerusalem. Many picture Him as a compassionate and powerful healer who restored the sick and raised the dead. Still others picture a fiery preacher speaking the Word of God to great crowds. And there are those who see Him as the consummate man—a model of goodness, kindness, sympathy, concern, care, tenderness, forgiveness, wisdom and understanding.
Yet the one image of Christ that surpasses all the rest is Jesus Christ on the cross. To know Christ crucified is to know Him as the author and finisher of your faith—the truest picture of His person and work.
Christ’s suffering on the cross is the focal point of the Christian faith. That’s where His deity, humanity, work and suffering are most clearly seen.
God encourages us all to be included in His family and to take care of each other. There is a place for is all in His church, no matter who we are or what we have done. Faith heals all wounds, eventually.
1 Timothy 5:8 Everyone should take care of all their own people. Most important, they should take care of their own family. If they do not do that, then they do not accept what we believe. They are worse than someone who does not even believe in God.
I am responsible for sharing the gospel with those in my sphere of influence.
Matthew 9:37-38 Jesus said to his followers, “There is such a big harvest of people to bring in. But there are only a few workers to help harvest them. God owns the harvest. Ask him to send more workers to help gather his harvest.”
In Judges 20:16 “seven hundred chosen men, left-handed men” are mentioned, with this added “each one could sling a rock and hit a target within a hairsbreadth”. The Hebrew word for “left-handed” implies they could not adequately use their right hand because of disablement. Perhaps as a result of previous battles, their arms or shoulders weak and a handicap to them.
Refusing to be exempt from service these men overcame their problems, practiced until the mastered stone slinging without missing. Heroes indeed! Despite their disadvantage the disciplined themselves and found an acceptable place, refusing to know defeat.
Does this challenge us not to hide behind our circumstances or to stop making excuses.
Judges 20:16 Among Benjamin’s elite troops, 700 were left- handed, and each of them could sling a rock and hit a target within a hairsbreadth without missing.
God is calling us not just to impact our homes, neighbourhoods and countries but to impact the world in service to Him and others.
It’s easy to get stuck in an attitude of my family, my job, my neighbourhood.
God is calling us to step out and step up boldly and practice some faith, spelt RISK!
Isaiah 49:6 He says, “But that’s not a big enough job for my servant– just to recover the tribes of Jacob, merely to round up the strays of Israel.I’m setting you up as a light for the nations so that my salvation becomes global”
In this passage as we approach Easter we see Jesus asking His Father “why?” at this the worst part of my journey have you turned your back on me. The answer Jesus became sin, by acceptance of the worlds sin, our sin and God could not look upon so much sin.
This brings up the question how should we react when we feel abandoned by God?
I. We should not give up. When things look hopeless God is still WITH Us and we need to keep our trust firmly placed in Him for a brighter future.
II. We need to realise suffering does not mean God has abandoned us. God is still FOR Us Consistent faith is the way to defeat Satan. God supports and helps us when we endure hardship, persecution and testing.
III. God is still GOOD In spite of evil He is still working out His purpose in our lives. We need never despair because our God is a loving God. We never know what GOOD He will bring out of a hopeless situation.
Mark 15:34 Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
I thank God every day for the things He does, is doing and will do in my life. I remember life without Jesus and Praise Him for the relationship we share 24/7.
Psalms 144:1-3 Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war
and gives my fingers skill for battle.He is my loving ally and my fortress,
my tower of safety, my rescuer.He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.
My wife Karen complained about the amount of time I spend typing into my iPod touch. Says he as he types in to it. From it I update all my social media and blog posts. But that’s not important.
What is important is what happened next. I remembered using it to update some posts and could not find it. For three days I searched, with my wife’s help but could not find it. Today when I woke it was on the floor beside the bed, where we had both looked previously.. Then I remembered this morning asking God to help me find it because I couldn’t on my own.
All I can work out from this is:
– God agreed with Karen, I needed to take a break.
– Instead of aimlessly searching for what was lost I should have prayed at the start and trusted God to show me whereof was when He was ready.
– Social Networking is still a great platform for sharing what God wants us to share – an audience of ???????.
Luke 15:4-7 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety- nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep. ’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety- nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!