He is Risen, Allelujah!

Jesus died, but Christ is risen!
The Kingdom of Heaven is repeated many times in the Gospels…”The Kingdom of Heaven is like this”…, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like that”…”The Kingdom of Heaven is within you”…., “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. Jesus talks about the Kingdom of Heaven is where he is going to be with His Father. Whatever the Kingdom of Heaven is, it’s very important to what Jesus teaches us.
christ is risen

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So what IS it? Biblical scholars have debated this question for as long as there have been Biblical scholars. Many Christians assume that Jesus was risen to a Kingdom of Heaven that is the place where we go when we die- if one has been “saved”.  But the problem with this interpretation is that Jesus himself specifically says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you (that is here ) and ” it is at hand” ( that is now).  The Kingdom of Heaven is not later, but lighter- this experience is available to us right now. “You don’t die into it, your awaken into it” (R. Rohr).

Where did Christ rise to? Where will we go after we die? Author Jim Marion’s wonderfully insightful suggestion is that the Kingdom of Heaven is really a state of consciousness: It is not a place we go but a place we come from. It is a whole new way of looking at the world, it is a transformed awareness that literally turns the world into a different place.
The hallmark of this awareness is that there is not a separation between where we are now and where we were, and where we are going. No separation between Christ and God, between God and humans, not between humans and other humans.
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. This such a great mystery!


Faith – Serving Christ in Different Ways

Mary and Martha were sisters, but they were both different in their ways of thinking and their approach to faith. Both sisters had faith in Christ and great love for Him, but Martha was focused more on the tangible reality of life, while Mary was more interested in the things that are eternal.

Mary anointed Jesus with perfume and was berated by the disciples for wasting her costly oil. Jesus defended Mary and said that she would always be remembered for this act. When Mary’s act made sense to no one else, she did it anyway, showing courage and faith.

Faith First

faith hope love

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Martha shows up when Jesus stayed at her home. Many women can identify with Martha as a homemaker with meticulous hospitality. She was focused on preparation for His visit, busy with many things, while Mary is focused solely on the teachings of Jesus. Mary is listening to Jesus rather than assisting Martha in the house work. Martha addressed her concerns with Jesus, and He told her that Mary had chosen the better option. This is a reminder to seek God and His kingdom first and let everything else fall into place.

Mary’s story is one of encouragement, to be bold and earnestly seek Him. What Mary sought could never be taken away from her.

God of Hope Romans 15:13

Our hearts sing with hope, to our God, the God of Hope. So what is up with this concept of ‘hope’? Today’s modern idea around hope is a kind of wishy washy optimism. Its no sure thing, just a big maybe. Today’s modern idea of hope simply doesn’t match up with God. The God of maybe? No, that simply doesn’t work. Biblical hope is a much stronger idea, its a strong and confident expectation, it has certainty attached to it, it is about the nature of God himself. Hope is about things we can’t see or haven’t received, sometimes both. Our God of Hope both holds our hopes and offers us hope. God wants us to abound in hope, to have strength in hope, to be certain of our hopes. Hope is a part of God’s essence, just as God is love, God is also hope.

Approached biblically, hope is an active thing, it gives our lives new dimensions. It gives us power to live with courage and grace, knowing that we are here for a purpose, even if we don’t see it yet. We are watching for eternal outcomes and know that what we can see is not the whole story. If things are looking discouraging, we can turn to God and know that with his perfect love, his infinite resources, we can find compassion, help and support. His mercy doesn’t fail.

Meditate on the God of Hope, let this idea fill your thoughts and heart. Ask God to fill you with joy and peace in believing, ask to abound in hope. Let hope lift you up and bless you with its beautiful future and grace in the very heart of God.

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God of Hope Romans

May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing

Look at the Birds of the Air Matthew 6:26

God has the power to provide for us.  As he does for the the birds of the air.  He knows what we need, so we should not doubt his power. We can be free of the worries of our needs for food and clothes and shelter, we can rest in his care.  So we can seek God’s agenda, leaving our needs in our Father’s tender care.  Our faith can’t be some superficial ritual to get what we want, rather faith is obeying God’s will and know that he will ultimately do for us us what is in our best interests.

We all have basic needs, Gods knows that, but Jesus calls us to depend on God for our daily needs. Jesus refers to God as our Heavenly Father, a good father who provides, who knows what we need well beyond this moment and well beyond what we think we know.

Your heavenly Father feeds them

Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of move value than they?

Yet when Jesus forbids us to worry about tomorrow, this does not mean that concerns will never press upon us. It means instead that we should express dependence on God in each of these concerns. We should pray for our genuine needs.

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Those Who Hope in the Lord will Renew their Strength

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

This is a favorite verse of mine. I have always focused on the renewing strength part, wanting to soar and run and never be faint.  But lately I have been thinking more about the hoping part, often translated as waiting.  Patience is an elusive virtue, but God has His own timeline. So I wait and trust, believing His word from this verse that the rewards will be worthwhile.

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hope in the Lord to renew your strength

The rewards of hoping and waiting on the Lord Is 40 31