Praise with Conviction! by Julie Luetke
The season of Easter lasts for a number of weeks. During that time we continually celebrate a victory, the victory over sin and death, won by Jesus rising from the dead.
When we witness a victory, or any big event, we speak about it with confidence. Our stature is tall, we don’t mumble when sharing the details. We speak clearly, because we know it really happened just the way we are telling it. We make no effort to hide the excitement in our voices or in our body language. Telling and hearing the same story over and over keeps the thrill alive. Some of us even put up signs to tell our friends and neighbors.
The Easter story is especially joyful because the good guy won in a hands-down landslide! Even better, Jesus won it for us. His win is also our win. He reigns alive in heaven and so will we.
Thousands of years before the tomb was found empty, Job said, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25 NIV)
He didn’t say, “It looks like he lives.” or “All evidence points to it.” Job knew it and he said it with conviction. Like us, Job was not an eyewitness. God the Spirit had filled his heart with faith to believe the promised Savior would come. God the Spirit fills our hearts with faith to believe the promise was fulfilled 2000 years ago.
Think about it: you know Jesus is alive. That hole in the rock is empty.
Now it is time to praise with conviction. Hold your head up high, stand up straight, sing, dance, shout, and put a sign on your house!
Praise with conviction:
I know that my Redeemer lives!
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever living Head!
(I Know that My Redeemer Lives, Samuel Medley, 1738-1799)
Photo by Julie Luetke
Happy Siblings Day! by Carolyn Webb
Did you know that National Siblings Day in the United States is April 10th? I wasn’t aware of this myself until recently. If God has blessed you with a good relationship with a sister and/or brother, you might already enjoy celebrating Siblings Day.
Some of you might feel that this holiday doesn’t apply to you. Maybe you are an only child. Maybe you don’t have a good relationship with your siblings. While this holiday was established to celebrate the special relationship between natural siblings, I think it gives all of us the perfect opportunity to reflect on and celebrate our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Through Jesus all believers are brothers and sisters. “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So, Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 2:11 (NIV) Throughout the New Testament there are 124 references to believers in Christ being brothers and sisters. Many of these verses are exhortations for how we should live together as Christians.
Whether it relates to siblings by birth or siblings through rebirth by baptism, Siblings Day can be a day to reflect on the gift of relationships that God has given us. “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
Happy Siblings Day, Sisters!