A WORD for the Week
I am guessing we have all seen a lunar eclipse. The shining full moon is gradually overtaken by shadow. After a time the shadow covers the entire moon, completely, but only temporarily, hiding the moon's light.
Jesus is true God, 100% all the time, God. As God, Jesus is filled with glory. On the mount of Transfiguration recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke we read that Jesus's face and clothing shone like lightning. The brightness was Jesus's glory being revealed to strengthen the faith of and give courage to Peter, James, and John.
Think of Jesus's glory like the full moon shining super brightly. Imagine you are watching the lunar eclipse in stop motion photography. Each photo shows a bit more of the moon being hidden by shadow. We are soon in the season of Lent when we ponder the suffering and death of Jesus before we celebrate His resurrection on Easter. Each event leading to the cross is like photos of an eclipse of Jesus hiding a bit more of His glory.
Think of the glory eclipse beginning when Jesus permitted soldiers to bind his hands in the Garden of Gethsemane. The mock trials, the spitting and striking of Jesus by soldiers and temple guards are all steps in the eclipse of Jesus putting His glory aside in order to save us from our sin.
Our sin had to be paid for. The Father knows we are not capable of being perfect, even for a day. So He sent His Son to be perfect for us so Jesus could be the sacrifice that pays for sin once and for all.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
If Pilate saw Jesus in His glory, bright like lightning, he would not have had the courage to sentence Jesus to death. Pilate probably wouldn't even have had the courage to stand. Jesus had to hide his glory in order to be our substitute and pay for our sin.
As you think about the crown of thorns, the lashes of the whip, the nails, the mockery, remember that an eclipse is temporary. We can think of Jesus's death as the full eclipse, but the glory was coming back brighter than ever!
The glory was back when Jesus showed Himself the victor over sin and death to Satan in hell. The glory was back when the earth shook on Easter morning. The glory was back when Jesus burst from the tomb and the soldiers fell like dead men. The glory is back for good.
John 11:25 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
363. You Were Made for This by Talia Steinhauer
Bible trivia question: What is a book of the Bible where God’s name is never mentioned?
Crazy, right? How can an entire book of the Bible never once mention God’s name? Let’s take a step back, and review Esther’s story first.
It takes place 100 years after the Babylonian captivity. The King of Persia decided to hold a beauty contest to find a new queen. Esther hides her Jewish identity, wins the beauty contest, and becomes his new queen. After this, the King of Persia elevates a guy named Haman to the highest position in the kingdom. Haman is arrogant, and wants everyone to kneel to him, but Mordecai (Esther’s uncle) refuses. So Haman makes a decree to kill all of the Jews. As they deliberate on what to do, Mordecai says that if Esther is not the one to deliver the Jews, then deliverance will come from someplace
else. But then he tells Esther this…
“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
A common theme in the book of Esther is how God uses his imperfect people to fulfill his perfect plan, but that he is present throughout.
Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Who am I, daughter of the King, mom, friend, employee…?”
Now ask yourself, “What does God want me to be?”
Days fly by and we often get stuck in a routine and a mundane schedule. Stop. Don’t let those days get past you. Ask God for His guidance, because he has a wonderfully perfect plan for our lives.
320. Contentment by Janet Gehlhar
If only it were spring...
If only I could lose 10 pounds...
If only I had more money...
If only I had a boyfriend/husband who truly cherished me...
How often do such thoughts fill our minds! Here is another lie of Satan – we COULD be content if only God would give us what we think we want. I see the foolishness of such a thought, but that doesn’t stop the lie from coming back.
What if God gave us only what we asked for? Now that thought is scary. Would I want my limited opinion –rather than God’s all-knowing plan – for my future? No! God sees the big picture, He knows my purpose and He knows where I can best carry out that purpose in this life. Often I have had a plan and God took me in a totally different direction and it was so much better than I could have ever imagined!
Now I ask myself, “What does God want me to do in this circumstance?” I wish I had an immediate answer each time I asked that. Waiting on God’s timing is a lesson I am still learning.
Philippians 4:11-13 states, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Today I’m choosing contentment. I’m going to thank God for the simple blessings of the day, and I’m going to ask for patience as His plan unfolds.