Archive for strength

The Cross (Good Friday)

Posted in following Jesus, God, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2011 by rylanreed

Today is a solemn day, but a joyous one because of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for the sins of the world.  The sins of everyone that has lived on this earth and will live before Christ comes back on that glorious day, He took it all so we could be able to live with Him in Heaven someday.    These are Jesus’ words and a description of the night before:

Matthew 26:39 “‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.'”

Mark 14:36 “‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'”

Luke 22:44 “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

And Jesus on the cross:

Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, Lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

There was a time when I was younger, (and I’m sure others’ have as well), I used to think that when Christ prayed and sweated blood in Gethsemane, he was not wanting to go through the torture that was going to happen on the cross. And when Christ was on the cross it came to a point where it was too much to bear.  That was my perception because Christ was human, God becoming man, and having to go through all of the suffering; I know I could not have handled it and I’m sure no one else really could.

I’ve grown to understand, and heard it again a few weeks back, that it was way more than just the physical pain.  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have all been together, so when Jesus came to the point of the cross and His crucifixion, he knew what was going to happen that had never happened before.  Because of God’s love for us, He sent His Son down to die for our sins, being blameless and without sin, was able to take on all the sins of the world.  But because God hates sin soo much, He could not be able to bear to see His Son with the sins of the world on His shoulders.  God is perfect and he can not bear to be near to sin, so when Christ was put on the cross, God had to turn His back on His one and only Son.  Jesus loved us soo much that he gave up His connection with the Father to give us a chance to live with Him forever in Heaven.  He did a work that I couldn’t have done myself, and no one else could, because He loves me (and you) with everything.

Let us remember what He has done for our lives. Let us take the time to be still and wait on His love. Let us stop what we are doing and praise Him who took on what we could never have accomplished by ourselves. Let us remember HIM!

(the link is a sermon, about an hour in length, and the part on this starts around the 46th minute. I would recommend listening to all of it, if you have the time)

I’m a Christian poem

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2010 by rylanreed

I’M A CHRISTIAN

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin’.

I’m whispering “I was lost,” Now I’m found and forgiven.

When I say…”I am a Christian” I don’t speak of this with pride.

I’m confessing that I stumble and need CHRIST to be my guide.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong.

I’m professing that I’m weak and need HIS strength to carry on.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success.

I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect,

My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain,

I have my share of heartaches …So I call upon His name.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not holier than thou,

I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow.

~Maya Angelou~

Why seek Jesus?

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by rylanreed

Other than the fact that He is the only saving grace that we have, He has also been through everything possible in a life time, that we could go through, and definitely not as bad as Jesus had it.  This is a quote from The 3:16 Promise Book by Max Lucado:

Why seek Jesus’ help with your challenges? Because he’s been there. To Nazareth, to Galilee, to Jerusalem. But most of all, He’s been to the grave. Not as a visitor, but as a corpse. Buried a midst the cadavers. Numbered among the dead. Heart silent and lung vacant. Body wrapped and grave sealed. The cemetery. He’s been buried there. You haven’t, yet. But you will be. And since you will, don’t you need someone who knows the way out?

In Hebrews 4:14-16 it says this:

Jesus the Great High Priest: 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

We can be able to look to Him for our comfort in everything cause we know we have someone that has been through it all and can and will carry us through what we are going through right now or down the line.  1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

“He himself hath suffered being tempted.”  Hebrews 2:18

It is a common-place thought, and yet it tastes like nectar to the weary heart—Jesus was tempted as I am. You have heard that truth many times: have you grasped it? He was tempted to the very same sins into which we fall. Do not dissociate Jesus from our common manhood. It is a dark room which you are going through, but Jesus went through it before. It is a sharp fight which you are waging, but Jesus has stood foot to foot with the same enemy. Let us be of good cheer, Christ has borne the load before us, and the blood-stained footsteps of the King of glory may be seen along the road which we traverse at this hour. There is something sweeter yet—Jesus was tempted, but Jesus never sinned. Then, my soul, it is not needful for thee to sin, for Jesus was a man, and if one man endured these temptations and sinned not, then in his power his members may also cease from sin. Some beginners in the divine life think that they cannot be tempted without sinning, but they mistake; there is no sin in being tempted, but there is sin in yielding to temptation. Herein is comfort for the sorely tempted ones. There is still more to encourage them if they reflect that the Lord Jesus, though tempted, gloriously triumphed, and as he overcame, so surely shall his followers also, for Jesus is the representative man for his people; the Head has triumphed, and the members share in the victory. Fears are needless, for Christ is with us, armed for our defence. Our place of safety is the bosom of the Saviour. Perhaps we are tempted just now, in order to drive us nearer to him. Blessed be any wind that blows us into the port of our Saviour’s love! Happy wounds, which make us seek the beloved Physician. Ye tempted ones, come to your tempted Saviour, for he can be touched with a feeling of your infirmities, and will succour every tried and tempted one.   C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening; Evening, October 3.

His Remembrance

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2009 by rylanreed

“And I will remember My covenant” Genesis 9:15

Mark the form of the promise. God does not say, “And when ye shall look upon the bow, and ye shall remember my covenant, then I will not destroy the earth,” but it is gloriously put, not upon our memory, which is fickle and frail, but upon God’s memory, which is infinite and immutable. “The bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant.” Oh! it is not my remembering God, it is God’s remembering me which is the ground of my safety; it is not my laying hold of his covenant, but his covenant’s laying hold on me. Glory be to God! the whole of the bulwarks of salvation are secured by divine power, and even the minor towers, which we may imagine might have been left to man, are guarded by almighty strength. Even the remembrance of the covenant is not left to our memories, for we might forget, but our Lord cannot forget the saints whom he has graven on the palms of his hands. It is with us as with Israel in Egypt; the blood was upon the lintel and the two side-posts, but the Lord did not say, “When you see the blood I will pass over you,” but “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” My looking to Jesus brings me joy and peace, but it is God’s looking to Jesus which secures my salvation and that of all his elect, since it is impossible for our God to look at Christ, our bleeding Surety, and then to be angry with us for sins already punished in him. No, it is not left with us even to be saved by remembering the covenant. There is no linsey-wolsey here—not a single thread of the creature mars the fabric. It is not of man, neither by man, but of the Lord alone. We should remember the covenant, and we shall do it, through divine grace; but the hinge of our safety does not hang there—it is God’s remembering us, not our remembering him; and hence the covenant is an everlasting covenant. C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening, Evening August 13

What a great thing to grasp, that we don’t have to remember all the time or try and remind God of what He told us with the convent of old.  He remembers and will always remember, not letting one of His children out of His sight and out of His controlling, comforting hands.  We don’t have to do anything, and we didn’t DO anything to deserve this, since us and this world is all for the glory of God and His covenant allows us to be apart of His plan for world redemption.

Fightin sin pt. 1

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by rylanreed

“Let not one of them escape.”   1Kings 18:40

When the prophet Elijah had received the answer to his prayer, and the fire from heaven had consumed the sacrifice in the presence of all the people, he called upon the assembled Israelites to take the priests of Baal, and sternly cried, “Let not one of them escape.” He took them all down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. So must it be with our sins—they are all doomed, not one must be preserved. Our darling sin must die. Spare it not for its much crying. Strike, though it be as dear as an Isaac. Strike, for God struck at sin when it was laid upon his own Son. With stern unflinching purpose must you condemn to death that sin which was once the idol of your heart. Do you ask how you are to accomplish this? Jesus will be your power. You have grace to overcome sin given you in the covenant of grace; you have strength to win the victory in the crusade against inward lusts, because Christ Jesus has promised to be with you even unto the end. If you would triumph over darkness, set yourself in the presence of the Sun of Righteousness. There is no place so well adapted for the discovery of sin, and recovery from its power and guilt, as the immediate presence of God. Job never knew how to get rid of sin half so well as he did when his eye of faith rested upon God, and then he abhorred himself, and repented in dust and ashes. The fine gold of the Christian is oft becoming dim. We need the sacred fire to consume the dross. Let us fly to our God, he is a consuming fire; he will not consume our spirit, but our sins. Let the goodness of God excite us to a sacred jealousy, and to a holy revenge against those iniquities which are hateful in his sight. Go forth to battle with Amalek, in his strength, and utterly destroy the accursed crew: let not one of them escape.  (Evening, C.H. Spurgeon July 17)

Oh, how I hate sin only after the fact of me doing it, which is usually more of a convicting feeling rather than one of remorse and wanting to fight the sin right from the start.  Why can’t I hate sin before the fact of it happening, when I totally know what the outcome will be and how I will be feeling about the sin in my life.  Only through God’s grace, mercy, strength, and power will I be able to beat the sin that is so prevalent in my life.  If I ask of Him and hide under His mighty wings, can I be able to start living a holy life devoted to Him.  I am still a sinner and will always sin til I die, but hopefully as I grow older the sins will start to decrease in their consistency and power.

Keep striving to fight sin in and through the power of Jesus Christ.  When we seek and savor Jesus for who He is and what He has done for our lives, helps us better want to live our lives for Him and not to satisfy our self-wants and desires.  Strive for Him to be glorified and you will be fighting sin along the way.

Shout to Him pt. 1

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2009 by rylanreed

Exodus 3:9 “Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.”

“are we crying out for God to hear our(and our brethren) plight?  Or do we try and work things out by ourselves and when they go bad then we get mad at Him who could have given us’…the way out.” Unknown Author

When situations come up, do we go to God for our help, or is it more of the fact that we just rely in our self and maybe others as well.  I know I have fallen into the trap of trying to do things on my own, or depending on others to help or comfort me in different situations, but it usually don’t work out to well and I feel incomplete.  Well, God (if I can use an illustration) is the ball that fits exactly into the circle hole of your heart, so snug that when He comes into that place He will never leave it again.  If you turn and look to Him when you need the strength to get through some situation or get wisdom to do something, He is there and willing to help if you just rely in Him.  He has the power and strength to give you, because He is all powerful and all mighty.  This is what Spurgeon says in his Morning and Evening devotionals, July 8 Evening:

“Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.”  Psalms 28:1

A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and a suitable utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us; but the cry must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the readiness of the Lord to hear, and his ability to aid, we shall see good reason for directing all our appeals at once to the God of our salvation. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgment, but our Rock attends to our cries.

“Be not silent to me.” Mere formalists may be content without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot; they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in calming the mind and subduing the will—they must go further, and obtain actual replies from heaven, or they cannot rest; and those replies they long to receive at once; they dread even a little of God’s silence. God’s voice is often so terrible that it shakes the wilderness; but his silence is equally full of awe to an eager suppliant. When God seems to close his ear, we must not therefore close our mouths, but rather cry with more earnestness; for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and grief, he will not long deny us a hearing. What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become forever silent to our prayers? “Lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” Deprived of the God who answers prayer, we should be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in the grave, and should soon sink to the same level as the lost in hell. We must have answers to prayer: ours is an urgent case of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our agitated minds, for he never can find it in his heart to permit his own elect to perish.

Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.

what we’re giving

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2009 by rylanreed

Are we always trying to give our best, or are we just doing enough for us to look good enough to be a so called “follower of Christ”?  I know, for me personally, I don’t always give everything to Christ and live for Him fully each day.  We should also know that we are sinners and won’t be perfect, but its the desires of the heart that truly matters to God.  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Matthew 22:37&38

I recieved this message from a friend here in South Africa, who is trying to reach out to those that have become outcasts to society.  This is the message that he challenged those in the group, Torch Bearers,  to think about, and I think it is good for us to think about it too…

Is this all you can give?

“Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give?”

These powerful lyrics by As I Lay Dying are a powerful challenge to us all. Meditate and pray on it.

“Open our eyes, to see the things that make Your heart cry, to be the church that You would desire. Your light to be seen.” -Hillsong

Matthew 4:20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Wow, do we have the courage to do the same? It’s simple, but not easy, but trust that He will give the strength and ability to do it. we just need to choose.

André Baladi