Month: April 2023

Just when the Caterpillar thought her life was over!

John 12:24‭-‬25 TPT

Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies.

Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died.

“The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever!

The Eye is the Lamp of the Body!

Matthew 18:8-9 New International Version

8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.

9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Struggling to Accept – Experiencing the Resurrection

Luke 24:13-27 NIV

On the Road to Emmaus

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 

15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 

21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 

23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 

27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Luke 24:30-31 NIV

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

Amazing Encounters – Experiencing The Resurrection

Luke 24:1-12 NIV

Jesus Has Risen

24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 

but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 

‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 

11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

I wanted nothing to do with Christianity

“I wanted nothing to do with Christianity!”

Satabdi was born in India and raised in an affluent family of the highest Hindu caste. She was a proud Hindu in her formative years. In fact, she used to think Christians didn’t understand anything. She believed that all names referred to a single god—some called him Christ, others called him Allah, and she called him Krishna. “We used to celebrate Christmas, Hindu, all the gods and goddesses, all the festivals. And because we thought Jesus was one of the Hindu gods, we loved him—but we hated Christians,” said Satabdi.

Each year, a Gideon visited her Hindu school to offer Testaments to students. Satabdi always declined the gift. “We had enough gods and goddesses. I didn’t need to read that book,” she said. As a child, her mother had given her a children’s book with pictures and stories based on the Bible, but she never wanted to read it.

“We had enough gods and goddesses. I didn’t need to read that book.”

Satabdi eventually transferred to another school, where she became friends with a young girl who was Catholic. Satabdi knew all about what Hindus believed, but she wondered about other beliefs. Specifically, she grew more curious about Christians.

After her 10th grade year, she decided to read that children’s book. She told her Catholic friend, “Hey, I read the Bible.” Satabdi admitted, “I knew that was a lie because it was not the Bible.” She started feeling guilty for lying to her friend and the feeling would not go away. Around the same time, she encountered another Gideon at her new school. She decided to accept the Testament he offered. She thought that if she read from the Testament her lie would be fixed because she would have actually read from part of the Bible.

Satabdi began reading her Testament. “As I came to the book of Romans, I realized from chapter one how far my community had gone away from God by making idols,” she recalled. “My society, my ancestors, my caste that I was so proud of had gone away from God.”

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (ESV)

Throughout her whole childhood, she and her family had done meditations and fasted to various gods. Satabdi considered herself very religious and believed she would surely go to Heaven. But she got to Romans 3:23 (ESV) and read, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” She realized that if God was the holy, true God, He couldn’t accept all of the fruits, flowers, and money she had given to other gods and goddesses. He could not be a righteous judge if He was overlooking her sins. If He was not a righteous judge, He could not be God. At that point, she realized she had been worshipping idols.

She came to Romans 5:7-8 (ESV), which reads, “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus was not just a good person who had experienced bad things. “He was the true and living God who created me, who loved me enough to die for me!” realized Satabdi.

She couldn’t fathom how God could love her that much! Not wanting anyone to see her, she went to the bathroom and began to cry. “The Lord opened my heart. I knew that I believed through reading the Scriptures,” she said. Her parents and family thought someone had brainwashed her, yet Satabdi continued studying God’s Word. It took her almost a year and a half to find another believer, and she eventually joined a church in Calcutta. “I prayed, ‘God, what do you want from me?’ and He answered, ‘Go, spread the Word.’”

Today, God continues opening doors all over the world for Satabdi to share her story. She encourages members of The Gideons by saying, “It is because of those faithful Gideons who did not stop going to schools and sharing the Gospel—thank you for the work you do. Do not ever give up!”

“I prayed, ‘God, what do you want from me?’ and He answered, ‘Go, spread the Word.”

One with Mental Illness – called from the Margins of Society

Mark 5:1-13 NIV

Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.[a] When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 

This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

Mark 5:18-20 NIV

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 

20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[a] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Jesus – they wanted him alive

Via Sis. Radha Menon

“He received 39 stripes because 40 was known to kill a man. They wanted him alive. They held handfuls of his beard, and hair and pulled it out by the roots. They wanted him alive. They kicked, punched, and spit on him for hours. Until there wasn’t a single spot on his body not covered in blood.

They wanted him alive. They shoved a crown of thorns down on his head so harshly it stuck in his skin. They wanted him alive. After hours of being beaten, mocked, whipped, flogged, and tortured they made him walk with a cross. They made him carry it. A rough piece of wood with splinters digging into fresh wounds. They wanted him alive.

They wanted him to feel every ounce of pain they could bring. He had to feel it in order to heal us. Crucifixion was historically one of the cruelest most tortured deaths a human could face. Hours upon hours of torture. Torture most of us can not mentally think of because the cruelty isn’t normal. It isn’t something our minds can comprehend. We celebrate Easter with pastel colors, happy children hunting eggs, and chocolate. But the truth is — there was absolutely nothing happy about the day Jesus died.

It was cruel, bloody, and nasty. He could have stopped all of it. He could have called every angel in heaven to demolish every person standing and shouting “Crucify Him!” But He didn’t. He knew in order to have a Sunday, you have to have a Friday. He knew in order to have joy you have to carry your cross. He felt everything that day. He felt how your heart broke wide open when you had to watch your baby die.

He felt how heavy your life was when you were staring down the barrel of a gun wondering if the man you called husband was going to shoot you. He carried the weight of the burden you have felt since your spouse died and life just doesn’t seem right since. On that cross he held the rapist and murderers, the sinner and the saint. He leveled every playing field and said ALL of you are worth it. He knew he had to carry the cross.

He never promised the cross you carry in this life would not be heavy. His wasn’t. His promise is that Sunday is coming. No matter how heavy Friday is. Financially, emotionally, mentally, or physically. Friday is heavy. That cross is weighing you down and you are about to crumble under its weight. His promise was simply this. He won’t make you carry it alone. What kind of king would step down from his throne for this? Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God did. For you. He did every bit of it for you and me. Oh yes it is heavy. So heavy sometimes you do not think you can take one more step. But look up, because Sunday is coming.”

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