Significance of Women’s Discovery of Empty Tomb

I am not toting some womens’ liberation agenda here. Quite the opposite.

As this excellent article (written by Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition) points out again, the culture and its view of women at the time of the Bible’s writing had a low regard for women. Did you not notice that two men had to go to verify what the women said? I think it says a lot about how the followers of Jesus loved one another in that in Johns gospel account he RAN to the tomb.

Women were generally regarded as a subclass. In many cultures around the world today women are still seen as chattel, possessions, and servants to be seen (or hidden & NOT seen) and not heard.

Why does it matter? Just like Jesus birth, the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah, was first made known to lowly shepherds; His resurrection was revealed first to women! Did you notice that the Roman sentries (men who guarded the tomb by Roman order) were not the avenue of discovery and report. They fell asleep and otherwise left their post. I believe even that set up the lowly regarded women to be the first to experience the Resurrection joy.

Also, the fact that the stone was “rolled away” (blasted out of place, shattered to pieces or whatever) was not needed for the resurrected Christ to exit the tomb. Remember: later in the book Jesus “suddenly appears to the disciples who are locked in a room together. This is Christ we are talking about! He can walk through walls or suddenly materialize and yet eat and have his flesh touched by a doubting Thomas! The Creator of all nature is not bound by its laws! Quite to the contrary; He who created all things can wield and reshape them as He wills.

Today I delight in how God routinely uses the lowly and last to be the first to proclaim His glory and Majesty. It is a great joy to realize – the last shall be first!

A Modern Parable: Computer and Our Spiritual Journey

20140210-153759.jpg“Our lives are run [enabled, controlled] by one of two ‘operating systems,’ either the [natural] flesh or the Spirit [supernatural]” -Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

THAT was the statement made on this morning’s radio program “Revive Our Hearts” that spurred this post.

Suddenly I was developing an analogy between the computer and our Christian walk. Sort of like the object lessons that Jesus would use to explain spiritual concepts, my creative mind hurriedly captured the thoughts for a modern day parable. Any brand names are used for illustrative purposes only.

Let me start with the initial phrase and build from there:

Computer and Our Spiritual Journey.
Our lives are run [enabled, controlled] by one of two ‘operating systems,’ either the [natural] flesh or the Spirit [supernatural].”Computer and Our Spiritual Journey
The pure operating system was made by the Creator to work perfectly: powerful, useful, pleasurable and efficient. When initially installed properly the OS works great in and of itself.
But we users [people, believers or not] make operator errors. We must interact with other programs and the internet [world] which are infected without becoming infected ourselves. When, not if, we do encounter problems [sin, embedded patterns of behavior] we must turn to the manufacturer [God, personally in prayer] and/or the manual [Bible, THE source] to know how to identify the problem [discern and identify sin] and how to properly fix it. [The Word of God instructs us how to repent and reconcile, purge and correct].
WE, ourselves, must be diligent at installing [applying] the latest upgrades [truth of God’s Word] and pay attention to ‘error messages’ [warnings] to prevent ‘bugs, viruses & crashes’ [sin in thoughts, patterns and behavior] from slowing our progress. It is our responsibility to exercise care.
We must stay alert for unwanted ‘spam’ [diversions] and “false links” that hijack us to a foreign place or plant a “worm” [not so unlike that ‘snake’ in the garden] which causes bad things to happen [as we stray from pure truth], often when we are carelessly unaware.
Carelessness can result in having the Enemy be able to steal the contact info for all our friends or even our passwords. Then the enemy will not only infect our system, but also those of others. He can send out all kinds of junk [problems] to all our contacts [loved ones] without our even being aware of it via background programs running invisibly. [we war with not just the “seen” but the unseen]. Worse yet…these false links are sent out in OUR name. Our testimony , reputation and relationship with others is damaged! The Trojan Horse is allowed into the gate because your friend trusts you not to harm them.
We ALL need to be discerning when receiving messages; even from friends, lest we ensnared.
How do we do that?

These are just some of the basic things that I have learned:

1. Know your Operating System (OS)
– If you have a MAC based [Christian] system, then you need to know that a Windows program [non-Christian] will NOT work with it, and vise versa, UNLESS there is a [conversion] program [Holy Spirit] is at work as well. Likewise, if you are used to working on an Apple based computer at home and then at work they use an IBM, you will NOT be able to operate in the exact same way.

2.Know where you are going and why.
-A link (place you are heading) sent without any explanation (no ‘Re:’ in an email’s topic field) or one that makes promises of instant gain or other “too good to be true” outcomes are earmarks of trouble…EVEN IF sent from a friend or family member! [God’s Plan is Understandable, true and knowable by our purposely seeking God and His ways]. Appearances can be deceiving- false labels and promises [deceit and lies are Satan’s forte] are more easily recognized when we study the truth [Bible and its teachings].

3. Know your “friends”.
– Really know who they are and help them know when you believe they are under attack.
-The definition of the word “friend” has been warped to include not just our true friends, but also acquaintances, service or business contacts and previous strangers. The nature of the Internet allows some people to assume false identities and to put forth falsehoods much too easily. By personally knowing your friends…you can watch out for one another against the various dangers surrounding us.
[the book of Proverbs speaks to the importance of keeping good company, dangers, and the need to not only beware of enticements but to put distance between evil and ourselves.]

4. Know the SOURCE!
– There are many places that offer us information and even FREE programs, items, music, computers and devices. In this I quote an oft repeated Army phrase– “STAY ALERT; STAY ALIVE!” [Bibles numerous warnings on deception and staying alert and wickedness] Remember that problems often enter by posing as temptations and pretty packages. [remember the temptations of Jesus Himself by Satan who twisted the truth. The victory came as Jesus quoted God’s Word… not an interpretation…the ACTUAL words of Holy Scripture revealed and overcame the deceit].
Likewise, There are ways to check if a link is taking you to where it “says” its taking you (view sources). In general, the old rules of common sense is right on, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” AND “nothing is FREE”. Also, the more familiar you become with Truth, the more easily recognized is deceit.

5. KEEP CURRENT. [don’t stop growing in righteousness]
“Use it or lose it”. The longer that you’ve been away from your computer, the greater the chance that there may be more work to bring it up to date. Everyone can see this in that a daily attended E-mail box has hundreds less waiting items than does one that hasn’t been opened in a week! The junk builds up, important items may be overlooked and opportunities and deadlines missed.
It’s important to install updates and upgrades, because they most always have improved filters of junk and fixes of problems. BUT…even with those… KNOW the source. It is possible to get a blindly sent email CLAIMING that you just need to install this onto your computer or click this link or tell them your password, birthdate and Social Security ID! Don’t fall for it! There are legitimate ways for real people to get those private pieces of information and it does NOT involve email where we don’t REALLY know who is asking or what they intend to do with the information.

Although God created man in His own image and pure. Because of sin, this Life is NOT problem free! We must turn to God [the Creator, manufacturer] for a rebuild [forgiveness and grace; the application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross paid for our sin=justification] and then subsequent training and upgrades [sanctification, growing in Godliness]. God’s way is not just an “additional” program or “add-on app”! God’s way is the Operation System! We can do NOTHING (good, holy, right) without Him!
I pray this modern day parable is helpful to you in some way. I hope you have enjoyed this little analogy and that it has given you pause to think about other ways that God uses in our everyday life and activities to continue to teach His ways to us. Of course, it is MOST important to be reading, learning and applying the Bible to our lives. But it is nice that He uses things all around us to turn our minds toward Him.

I would love to hear your own thoughts. Please leave a comment below.”

Reflecting on Good Friday

JesusCrossDaubDark copyHello Friends! Today is a special day out of the yearly calendar . . . Good Friday. It is a time when I take the entire day to intentionally contemplate the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on behalf of all mankind who choose to accept the precious gift of God’s grace. We can never earn our way to a Holy, perfect God. Yet, God Himself arranged for the price of sin to be paid so that we (any who choose to) may exchange the punishment that we deserve for God’s grace that we do not.  To anyone who has been hesitant in accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior… I have but one question… why?

What person who has thrown an expensive party and then had the party coordinator come to them with hundreds or thousands of dollar’s worth of bills come to him before the entire party and torn those expense statements all up with the announcement “I am not charging you a single penny!”…which person would then reach for his wallet or checkbook and not graciously accept the gift?!

You see, that’s what God did for us. He took the debts we owe and cancelled them. We deserved God’s wrath, but instead God provided the perfect payment… His spotless sacrificial Lamb (Jesus Christ). The sinless took on all the sin for all time! Because Jesus paid it all, we are allowed to be called “children of God”. The price has been paid. . . so put your wallet of “good deeds” away! Accept God’s grace and pay it forward in how you treat others. As God has forgiven, how can we not forgive? As God has given, how can we not receive?

Salvation can be yours and there is no better time than RIGHT NOW! Yes it is Friday and a terrible price was paid, but . . .Sunday is coming and there is a glorious future coming!

Here is the link to the Good Friday Poem that I wrote.