90 Day Challenge – Week 8

GOYOToday is Day 57 and the start of week #9 in our 90 Day Challenge! I hope you are encouraged by the time you are spending with God in His Word.

Yesterday we finished the book of Galatians and were reminded that Jesus is all we need!  There were some people around the Galatian church who were trying to add to what Jesus did for us through His death on the cross.  They were saying you had to accept Jesus and follow the Old Testament Law.  Paul said Jesus was enough.  His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave satisfied our need for a Savior. In Galatians 2:20-21 he writes,

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

What Jesus did is enough to save us.  We don’t need to keep the Old Testament Law to be made right with God.  Everything we do should in gratitude for what Jesus did, not our effort to try to gain His approval.

Keep up the good work of the 90 Day Challenge. Remember that our goal is to develop the habit of spending time with God.  If you are right on track, behind or even ahead of schedule, keep opening His Word and listen to what He has to say.

90 Day Challenge – Week 5

GOYOYesterday’s reading completed Day 35, which signified the end of week 5 in our 90 Day Challenge. Now that we are over one-third of the way through, hopefully we are saying consistent in our reading and, more than that, growing in our understanding of God and His Word.

We are moving swiftly through the book of Acts and it presents such a great picture of what the church should look like. As they met together, they shared whatever they had with one another and met each other’s needs. Because of how they loved each other and treated each other, God brought more people into their fellowship. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a group that loved genuinely and served selflessly?

As persecution comes on the church, the followers of Jesus spread out from city to city and village to village. As they went, they shared what they knew about Jesus. As you read the sermons and testimonies that were shared, the followers of Jesus always came back to His life, death and resurrection. It was simply about Jesus.

Hopefully we are reminded and encouraged to simply share what we know about Jesus with those we encounter. Keep up the good work in your 90 Day Challenge.

Power To Raise The Really Dead

On the way to the office today, I was listening to Louie Giglio on the Passion City Church podcast.  He was teaching out of John 11 about the resurrection of Lazarus. Louie was not only giving the background of Lazarus’ sickness and death, but also the larger story of Jesus and how He was heading toward the cross.

In talking about the burial practices of that time, especially as it pertained to the climate of that part of the world, Louie talked about how quickly decomposition set in, which lead to the use of the spices and perfume on the deceased.  If you know the story of Lazarus, you know Jesus didn’t arrive until four days after Lazarus passed.

Now, if you grew up in the church, you have heard this story numerous times.  You know how it ends.  Lazarus died, but Jesus brought him back.  For some reason, the reality of “dead for four days” really set in as I listened.

If you have seen the move The Princess Bride, you may remember when Wesley’s friends take Wesley to Miracle Max because they believe Wesley is dead.  Thus, they need a miracle.  After checking him, Miracle Max says, “He’s not dead; he’s mostly dead….mostly dead is slightly alive.”

Lazarus was really dead.  There was no mostly about it.  He had been in the tomb for four days and we have to believe that the decomposition has set in.  He was really dead.  Yet, after those four days, Jesus speaks and Lazarus walks out.

It was a good (and needed) reminder that Jesus has power to raise the really dead.  What is problematic to some about the story of Lazarus is why Jesus waited four days.  It doesn’t change Who He is and what He is able to do.  I need that reminder that Jesus has power to recompose what has started to decompose.  He can bring the dead back to life.