Is Your Jesus Dead or Alive?

RESURRECTION 5

 

Easter is the time that traditional Christianity comes together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We in the faith may argue whether or not He died and was buried for a full three days or three nights as He prophesied, or whether they were portions of three days and nights. We in the faith may argue among ourselves in regards to the symbolism of the bread and wine; whether the bread is actually His body or simply a reminder of His human sacrifice. We in the faith may also debate whether or not communion is an institutional doctrine of the church to be taken only in a “Church Service” or more of simply Jesus’ method to remind us at each meal (Middle-eastern culture)when we break bread and drink wine to acknowledge what Jesus did and a reminder that He shall return.
No matter the discussions and disagreements, there is one universal truth among believers: Jesus arose from the grave and lives today!
He didn’t arise and simply disappear into heaven for His sake. He is now at the right hand of God the Father; intervening for humanity before our great God. He is working through the hands and feet of His body, the universal Church, preparing a people for His return. A time where the Bible describes a one-thousand year reign where Christ’ Kingdom will be visible; a time that will prepare the way for a new heaven and a new earth to finally merge together as one with God’s throne among all people visible for all to see.
How many people do you know live their life with a living Christ rather than a dead Christ? As we live each day in faith, trusting the Spirit to lead us into a deeper relationship with the living God, isn’t that where Christ becomes more real and alive in us?  However, if we try to do it all along, thinking that Christ is dead and is not coming back, doesn’t that leave one struggling with a dead faith?  Easter is a time to reflect on what Christ did, is doing, and will be doing as He moves history toward the restoration of all things. My prayer is that all may come to know and allow Christ to express Himself freely through us all.

OUR PRAYER

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Holy Father, Holy Lord, and Holy Spirit – Thank you for revealing yourself through creation, the Bible, and your involvement in our life. Help me every day to listen for your words of encouragement, love, and mission. Help me to come and know you more and more each day. Help me to hang out with you more and more each day. Let your resurrection power be expressed through me and toward others so they may also experience the great life you have to share with your children. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

 

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God
Portal: EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

If You Are Seeking a Devotional Study, Check Out My New Book Be Radical…Follow Christ.

ARE YOU IN GOOD HANDS WITH GOD’S PLAN?

A DISCIPLE’S PRAYER

PRAY 9

Our Awesome Heavenly Dad:

 

All glory, honor, and worship belong to you. You are greater than we can even imagine. Our small glimpse of you makes us shudder in how

awesome you truly are. You created everything that is in existence. You keep everything in order throughout the universe. You have a time table that you move history through its pages. You are One Awesome Being.

 

Let your greatness always be magnified in our life. Help us see your greatness in every aspect of this life. Hide nothing from us. Let us learn about you and teach you to others. Reveal your truths to us. Reveal your creation to us. Reveal your plan of salvation to us. Reveal your glory to us.

 

Help those who are searching for you. Help them find you. Open the doors to your kingdom for them. Let everyone enter. Let everyone see your awesomeness. Hide nothing from us but let you glory be praised throughout the nations.

 

Help us be your faithful child in the Lord. Let us be the apple of your eye. Grant us your favorite blessings. Shower upon us your richly treasures. Hold back nothing of you to us. In return, help us share you and your riches with others. Help us always to glorify you before others.

 

You are our God. You are our Creator. You are our Provider. Thank you for making all this possible Jesus. Amen.

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 TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

  “Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”    1 Corinthians 15:12-19 NAS

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Are You in Good Hands with God’s Plan?

 

          Heaven and earth united for eternity. The Kingdom of God in all its fullness. If there is no resurrection, no future life after death, than have we been a fool in living this way? What assurance do we have that the plain teachings of the Bible are going to happen? What does the future hold?

 

     

RESURRECTION 9

 

I think we have all asked ourselves the above questions at one time or another. The answer of course always goes back to the beginning. Is there a God? If there is no God, than let’s party. Let’s live and let live. Anything goes. Who cares about anything but getting what’s best for me now. Anyhow, anyway, anywhere, anything and everything goes IF there is no God.

 

          Or on the other hand, if there is a God, we better fear. We better seek out what He is all about. We better find out what He expects from each one of us. All these thoughts have entered my mind at one time or another. Thankfully, God reveals Himself through the Bible, through creation, through the lives of other people, and through life’s experiences.

 

          If creation was a happen chance, so are we. But on the other hand, if creation was a planned activity, doesn’t that mean you and I are a part of that plan? Which is easier to believe? The bottom line is if creation was a planned activity, than it requires a planner. And that planner must be One Awesome Being to pull it all off. I believe that is what scares those who find it difficult to have faith in a Creator. Because if there is a Creator, than we all are only small dudes with someone larger than ourselves that we may be accountable to in life.

 

If the Bible is not God’s working manual for mankind, than it’s the second greatest con job of all time (Jesus’ resurrection would be the first). However when you read it, you find quotes from God Himself. And these quotes are challenging us to exercise trust in Him; quotes that are giving us a choice of lifestyle that would benefit us individually and collectively; quotes that are directed to us personally to prove Him. And when you take Him up on His challenge, you begin to experience radical changes in your life that is described throughout the Bible. You begin to realize that God uses the Bible to reveal Himself to us and to help us know Him better. It points us to having a relationship with the Greatest Dad of all; a heavenly Father that is good and wonderful to all; a God who reveals Himself as the Creator of all and cares about His creation.

 

Doesn’t the Bible already reveal all that we need to know at this time about our future? A future with Christ for all eternity. If there were no other people involved in this adventurous journey of transformation in Christ, than I could easily see doubts arise in my own walk with the Lord. However, when  one is a witness to the internal, spiritual transformation in people’s lives, than it reassures me that what we are living through is for real. When I discuss the internal struggles with others and they understand me, than I find it reassuring that I’m not going crazy. That this Christian life is for real, and the experiences, struggles, hopes, and joys are not something strange but the realization of walking with a living God. The bond and unity you experience in sharing yourself in a small group or in a congregational worship service reassures me that God is alive and living in the lives of those that have fully acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Likewise, when I read the classical writings of the saints from yesterday and thoroughly relate to their everyday struggles, hopes and faith, it again reassures me that my walk is not something new, but the way it has been from the very beginning. It is the way God reveals Himself to us and builds His masterpiece – the invisible, universal Church.

 

          If my experiences through life were all disappointments, then I probably would question my walk with the Lord. However, there has been much joy in witnessing the power of God in one’s life. From answered prayer, to blessings of joy, God has extended His unmerited grace and favor upon me. Even if I didn’t live in America with all its physical trappings of abundance, 1 believe  that God would  have still showered upon us His grace and blessings that only a Believer really understands. Yet, I am very thankful that my earthly dad persuaded my mother to come live in America. It makes the Christian walk more challenging in many ways that our brothers and sisters in other countries can’t even phantom. For it allows us to experience facets of the good life and see the abundance of God’s wealth and leads us to a better comparison of the physical wealth with God’s spiritual riches. We are constantly tested to choose between the two. It allows us to practice self-control that people in other countries can’t even imagine.

 

The Christian in America does have a different challenge than many of our brothers and sisters in third-world countries can’t even imagine. We are privileged to learn how best to manage our wealth for the betterment of others. Many of us are challenged to learn how not to indulge ourselves at every meal. We eventually learn that blessings are not just a physical matter. In many ways, physical blessing could become a curse. The real riches of life are found in the spiritual treasures that God gives to those who truly yield themselves in heartfelt obedience to Him. And to experience the Giver with all His riches is truly the greatest high this life has to offer. I am very thankful that He has included me to live a life as a disciple of His!

 

 

What about you?

 

 

 

In Christ,

 

Dr. Mike

 

 

 

 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD?

RESURRECTION 2

I Peter 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for  you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

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Matt. 22:29-32
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.  At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 

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John 11:24-26
Martha answered, “I know he (Lazarus) will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”Jesus said to her, “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. Do you believe this?”

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I Cor 15:12-57
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.  But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own turn: Christ, the first-fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  For he “has put everything under his feet.”  Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.  When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made  subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead?  If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?  And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?  I die every day – I mean that, brothers – just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.  If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained?  If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”  Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”  Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God – I say this to your shame.  But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”  How foolish!  What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.  But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.  All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.  There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies in another.  The sum has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and the star differs from star in splendor.So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.  The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.   If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.  So it is written: “The first Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.  The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.  The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.  And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, not does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.””Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!   He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Rev 20:4-6
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.  And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.  They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands.  They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.)  This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection.  The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

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Acts 17:18-19
They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

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Phil 3:10-11
I (Paul) want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

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Acts 4:1-2
They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

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Luke 20:35-36
But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels.  They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.

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Luke 14:13-14
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.  Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

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How does your theology explain life after death in comparison with the resurrection from the dead?

All scripture taken from the New International Version Bible unless noted.