Who Attempted to Stop Easter?

Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. He was part of God’s prophecy to send a Son to live a sinless life and to suffer, die, and be raised again. How else could God send the message He is sovereign over our land? Because there is no other way to enter the Kingdom of God except through His Son (John 6:44), Jesus’ mission was to save believers from God’s condemnation.

Many biblical names hated and loved Jesus while He walked the earth. Had man believed in God’s ultimate plan for Jesus, these people would have realized the attempts to stop His crucifixion and/or life were futile. Five men failed God’s test.

So, who attempted to stop Easter?

SATAN

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Satan and Jesus were always brutal enemies. Their most well-known confrontation was Satan’s visit while Jesus fasted in the Judaean Desert for forty nights and days. Satan tempted Him to create bread out of stones to relieve his own hunger, and leap from a pinnacle and rely on angels to break his fall. But when Satan asked Jesus to kneel before him in return for all the kingdoms of the world, Jesus became furious.

“Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:10)

Can you imagine Satan’s fury? If he were successful in tempting Jesus, there would be no Easter. Luke 22 claims Satan was most likely at the crucifixion as he was spotted in the area days before this historical event. He probably smirked with happiness, but little did he know…

King Herod

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King Herod held the throne during Jesus’s time of birth. Furious to learn there was a Messiah who would be more loved than himself, he tried to find the pregnant woman. However, his plan backfired when the three Wisemen never returned with Herod’s information. He ordered all boys, in the age range of Jesus, to be executed. An angel warned Joseph and Mary to go to Egypt for safety as it was not part of the Roman territory.

King Herod was unsuccessful in finding our baby Savior. He died, instead, attempting to stop Easter because he was not part of God’s grand plan.

THE SANHEDRIN

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The chief priests, the Sanhedrin, were the Jewish council who hated Jesus. They wanted to kill him, so they looked for false evidence, such as blasphemy. Though it may appear they were fruitful in finally murdering Jesus, God’s plan overpowered their contempt. The empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection made news. The Sanhedrin’s attempt to stop Easter failed too.

PONTIUS PILATE

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Pontius Pilate was the judge who would not give the eventual decision on Jesus’ death. Consciously, Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, but the uproar of the people shouting, “Crucify him!” intimidated his decision. High-ranking Jewish officials blackmailed him to kill Jesus. Finally, he gave the ultimate choice to the people.

If Pilate ordered Jesus dead, we would always know him as the man who stopped Easter. But our powerful God had a better way to save the world.

SIMON PETER

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Simon Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends. In the Bible, Jesus often referred to him as Peter. We know his famous story as the fisherman who couldn’t catch his daily supply of fish… that is until Jesus arrived on the scene. He convinced Simon to return to his boat and drop his nets overboard. Soon  the nets overflowed with fish. Simon was a faithful follower of Jesus’ ministry, and later became an apostle.

When Simon was alerted that Jesus was arrested, he headed for Jerusalem. At the unmerciful sight of our Lord’s whipped and beaten body, he drew his sword in anger. He cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant before Jesus stopped him (John 18:10-11).

Jesus said to Simon, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

Simon Peter felt as if he failed to save his friend’s life. How could God allow this to happen if Jesus was really who He pronounced Himself to be – the Son of God? He, too, doubted his friend’s identity until God resurrected Jesus. The Lord’s plan for mankind was greater than Simon’s attempt to stop Easter.

There lies a common theme in this morning’s Easter message: God is the ultimate ruler of our life. He sent His son into the world to give us eternal salvation, but what we do with this gift is our decision.

Today, as we reflect on our lives, we beseech God to intervene with the world’s problems. May He save us from a scenario we didn’t invite into our life. Some are trying to stop us from celebrating Easter. Is this a life experience and are we part of God’s ultimate plans? You bet! The evildoers won’t or can’t stop Easter. We may not enjoy egg hunts after Easter service, but we will exult our Lord Jesus, in the name of our heavenly Father, God.

On this Easter Sunday, we are challenged – is Satan behind the mass hysteria again? You bet! How else could a virus travel so fast around the world? It’s entered places where people do not visit often. Only Satan can try to stop Easter. I, for one, won’t let him do it!

God bless all our family, friends, and subscribers! Have a blessed, healthy, and peaceful Easter.


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Social distancing does not mean Spiritual distancing

Even though we are in the season of social distancing as a result of covid-19, we must not let it divert our attention from the only thing that matters or affect our relationship with God, rather it should draw us closer to Him.

He lives forever

As we celebrate Easter, know that the risen King has fully paid the price for us;

He was forsaken that we might always experience God’s presence.

He was made sin that we might be made His righteousness.

He was punished that we might be forgiven.

He was rejected that we might be accepted.

He was wounded that we might be healed.

He became poor that we might be rich.

He died and rose that we might live.

How can one access these divine blessings?

  • Accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, and receive Him into your life (John 1:12)

  • Believe unto righteousness with your heart (Romans 10:10a)

  • Confess with your mouth. With the mouth, confession is made unto
    salvation (Romans 10:10b)

Happy Easter! The Lord make His face shine upon you with favor, and be gracious to you surrounding you with lovingkindness today and always.


Many thanks for dropping by, until next timeBe Still! GOD IS IN CONTROL.

Danny

Was It a Good Friday?

A quote was written about 539 B.C.,  just before King Solomon’s death and after God brought the Jews back from exile. Life was not always fair… it wasn’t then, and it isn’t now:

“I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11

As far back as time prevails, religious and political persecution were prevalent. But today, we mark the holiest of days in biblical history. Jesus died for us on a Friday, and He forgave our sins so we may live as pure as possible.

In the present day’s turmoil of political unrest, the Book of Ecclesiastes remains a mirror image. Jesus’ message was to proclaim the kingdom of God, a political offense in biblical days. He spoke of what it will be like when God is the ruler of the world, and this created a conflict with Roman authorities. Does this sound familiar? Much of social media has limited or shutdown religious postings. Our missionaries and religious leaders are murdered around the world for proclaiming the kingdom of God.

But Jesus’ issue with the Roman Empire was the sacrilegious offenses occurring within the temple of Jerusalem. It had become the NY Stock Exchange of its day, and worse yet, the high priests were getting a cut of all the money. These priests became wealthy from international trade. Jesus was appalled because the temple was to be a house of prayer – not corruption. To avoid a massive upheaval, the people arrested Him at night. And yes, it was the Jewish citizen’s decision to murder Jesus, not the government. If they killed Him and His true identity truly was the Messiah, the government would reap serious consequences. It was better to let the people decide our Lord’s fate.

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As the crowds in Jerusalem shuffled to and fro, Jesus quietly displayed his condemnation against the ungodly government power and corrupt system. He rode a donkey into their town. Believers who knew of Him waved palms at His entrance. Others gasped in disbelief at “the king of Jew’s” entrance. He was sadly aware of His fate.

Jesus’ crucifixion was not just hanging on a cross, it was torture – a violent death. They whipped Him beyond sight with an iron ring that had six or seven leather straps. It had bone or metal attached to the ends to rip the flesh away, and then He was made to carry His own heavy cross.

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Under normal circumstances, hanging upside-down was a quick death, but that was too easy for the punishment of Jesus. The thick nails piercing the palms of His hands and feet were excruciating and led to the dropping of His body pressure. Yet, He stayed alive for six hours on the cross, suffering for you and me. Jesus Christ died for our sins so we could live as pure a life as possible on earth.

Oh, the political Jews and pagans thought they won the war!

On Sunday morning, let us sing His praises and commemorate the reign of this holy man who sacrificed His life for us. With corruption running rampant in biblical days, there was only one way God could prove his identity – allow His Son to mingle with disbelievers three days later. They would surely understand our Father, God, not mankind, rules this world! So, for the next forty days after Jesus’ resurrection, He preached the mighty awesome power of His Father in heaven.

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I would like you to test your faith by looking in the mirror on this day. Was it a Good Friday? What have you learned? Would you surrender your life, as Jesus did for you, by hanging on a cross? Are you able to discuss with others what Christianity means to you? Can you evangelize, or do you fear for your life? Do you study the Bible regularly? If you responded “yes” to all of these questions, your deep faith will be honored on earth and in heaven. As for those wavering on a “yes” answer, it is time to analyze your faith and love for Jesus Christ. He will wait for you….

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“40” Days

God opened a door this morning and sent me this simple message: “40 days.”  So, I explored the Bible for hardships endured based on the number forty. It astonished me to discover that in biblical history, forty is found 159 times across both the Old and New Testaments. It appears to be a set time for testing and trials in times of vulnerability and trouble.

Here are just a few of the examples where the number “40” played out in the Bible:

The ultimate test of faith occurred with Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. They fasted for forty days and gained new insight into God’s plans. Moses received the Ten Commandments, Elijah was told how to lead the people of Israel, and Jesus denied Satan’s temptations in the desert.

Three Hebrew kings – Saul, David, and Solomon each ruled for forty years, of which twenty of those years were prosperous. The other twenty years their lives were in ruin because the kings took more from their people than they ever returned – a test of dedication and prosperity.

Remember the story of David and Goliath? Goliath and the Philistines humiliated and fought the Israelites for forty days. Then God sent the shepherd, David, to defeat them and solidify Israel. This was a test of the Philistine’s humility.

Noah built an ark under God’s instruction. Because man’s sins were too great, He flooded the earth for forty days and nights, destroying every living thing on earth. It was a test of Noah’s faithfulness.

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Days before they crucified Jesus, He prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem. Forty years later, the Roman Empire burned the city to the ground.

Jesus spent forty days on earth after His resurrection

Today, as you are reading this message, we are in Lent, the “40 days” before Easter. The Lenten season is a time to reflect on Jesus Christ and the meaning of His life – the most significant sacrificial event in the world for Christians. It also includes self-examination and fasting.

Though the Bible does not mention the custom of Lent, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in a few scriptures:

“So I turned to the LORD God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.”  Daniel 9:3

“Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.”  2 Samuel 13:19

The Lord does not call us to search for secret meanings in the Bible, but interestingly, this figure plays a huge part in scriptures. Pagans trust numerology, but I have great faith that God used “40” for specific reasons. One such cause is that the word month was unknown, so “40 days” was just a general time period of about a month in biblical times.

So, I ponder this question: Are our prayers answered in about 40 days of a trial and testing? It’s a refreshing thought the Holy Spirit could replenish our spirits and faith every forty days. What an inspiring idea of hope! Our God is awesome!

To those who believe He does not answer prayers, begin practicing your faith on a deeper level. It just might take you “40 days,” but rest assured – God is waiting!


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Source of power

Many people clamour for power, but are completely ignorant of how to get it. And sadly, instead of learning how to do it, they go about it the wrong way; and the price we pay is exorbitant.

Power is available to all of us. But to get it, we must know how to get it.

What is the source of power?

The source of power is the word of God. I mean the good source of power or the source of real power. There is real power and fake power or negative power. Here, we are talking of positive power.

The word of God has tremendous power. It gives tremendous power. If you want to be powerful, go to the word of God. It will give you power.

It can give riches in abundance. It can give you all the riches you can ever aspire to have. If you desire to rise in position, the word of God can enable you to rise to any height you desire. This is a fact. The word of God can make you successful in business. The word of God has the secret to a happy marriage. The Word of God is the Master Key to every blessing in the universe. Whatever you want, go to the Word of God and it will tell you how to get it; and when you do what you are told, you will get it.

The word of God can change your life. It is a life changing instrument. It can lift you from oblivion to prominence. It can take you from the bottom to the top. It can transform a poor person into a super rich person. It can take you from the gutter to an ivory tower. It can lift you from mud to the throne.

We humans have only one wall blocking us from the attainment of what we want from this world. It is our ignorance of the power of the word of God, and failure to use it as stipulated.

If the world is beset by problems, it is because we are not giving the Word of God the opportunity to give us an excellent world. We are not using the word of God to solve the problems of poverty, war, violence, exploitation of man by man, injustice, etc, whereas the Word of God is the instrument that God has put at our disposal to use to find solutions to these problems.

The word of God is found in the Bible, which is the greatest book that has ever, and will ever be written. More bibles have been printed, sold, circulated, read and studied than any other book in the world.

It is an amazing book. God is it’s real author. But since man is the hand of God on earth, he dictated it to the various writers through divine inspiration.

The Bible expresses the mind of God. It gives God’s plan for humanity and the universe.

All that is in the Bible is true. All the information given is accurate. It tells us about God, who God is, what God likes and does not like, what God wants us to do and should not do, and how we must relate to him, live with him, and relate with one another.

The truth about life is if we followed the instructions given to us in the Bible, the world would be an excellent place for everyone to enjoy.

The way to get anything we want from life is to do what the bible or word of God says we should do to get it. If you want anything in this world, go to the Bible and find out what God says you should do to get it. If you do it as instructed, God will give it to you. Obedience to God is the only way to get God to do what you want. It is a pre-requisite for God to answer your prayer.

It is rather unfortunate that we do not do what God has instructed us in his word to do. For example, he has asked us to love one another, but do we ? If we obeyed this command, the world would be perfect. Imagine that everybody loved the other, there would be no hatred, no quarreling, no fighting, no wars, no poor and no rich.

God has instructed us to love him with all our heart. Do we? He has asked us to put our whole trust in him. Do we? We don’t and the result is there to see – a torn world; a world of poverty, disease, suffering, wars and loss of human life and property.

Jesus Christ had a vision of an excellent world for all, and set up his church to pursue it.

The Church is on that vision. It is a long and difficult task. It will not be realized in our life time. But there is something we can do in our lifetime. We can each transform our life. We can become the person God created us to become.

For this to happen, we must play our role. In the job of shaping our destiny, we are fellow workers with God. God could do it alone, but he has decreed that it will be a joint endeavour. We are fellow workers with him in this. He has already accomplished his own part of the task which is making the tools we need available to us through his word. All that is required of us is to dig into that tool bag (the Bible) get the tools we need and use them to get what we want.

Are you ready. If you say yes and mean it, your life can never be the same again. You will attain the great heights that it is God’s plan for you.

If you look at the history of the world, you will find that the greatest men and women who have ever lived got their greatness through their effort to obey the word of God. They did not only struggle hard to obey the word of God but inspired, encouraged and helped others to do same. For their effort, God rewarded them abundantly.

Do your own best in that direction; and seeing your effort, God will surely, reward you.

A Stone of Faith

Sometimes in life, our faith in God waivers in and out. We might roll our eyes when confrontation is before us and shun the real strength we prayed for in difficult times. But then we return to the very spot we waivered from in the beginning. Our Almighty God always remains with us, though, with welcome arms and forgiveness of our bad decisions.

Last night my eyes were opened a little wider by a word God whispered to my conscience. I woke in fear of trying to comprehend His message. So I picked up my Bible for protection and tried to find the meaning of the word He sent me. As many knows, I’m a man of great faith. I’m not a Bible scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but I do my digging when times like this are derived from God.

Before I tell you what the Holy Spirit spoke to me, you must know this word is written in scriptures only three times. It was used in the Old Testament in 543 B.C. by Samuel. He, too, was a man of great faith who led the Israelites to a battle with the Philistines for over forty years. The Israelites lost twice, but then Samuel looked to God and set up an Ebenezer between two mountains. He said, “Lord God, You are my stone of faith, my rock I shall not break.” (1 Samuel) Scriptures say, “The Lord thundered loudly against the Philistines that day and threw them into such confusion that they were defeated by the Israelites.” From that day forward, Ebenezer became the name of an altar for God to protect the Israelites.

So the bigger question is, why did God send me the word Ebenezer? Is it because I, too, am fighting two personal battles, and God came to tell me it will be Ok? Is it to inform you that your struggles are being watched over by the Lord? Yes, all the above is true! Remember, your enemy is not greater than God. He can make miracles occur with a stroke of His hand.

My word for the day, Ebenezer, is the moment you realize you could not have made it through the fires without God’s help. Your faith is like a stone, and only God can bring you through these impeachable battles.

Ebenezer is as powerful of a word today as it was with Samuel in the Old Testament. We all bear our crosses, and as Christians, we must realize it is only God who protects us. Our awesome Father will come to our rescue in times of need. All you have to do is humbly pray for His help. May your Ebenezer be an altar as it was for Samuel. God bless.


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Goodbye 2019

Last night I told my mom. when she said she was grateful 2019 was almost over, there were good things which happened in 2019.

Be grateful for the good things in 2019 and leave behind the rest.

I say again: BE GRATEFUL FOR THE GOOD THINGS IN 2019 AND LEAVE THE REST BEHIND.

Going further, be grateful for the lessons learned from the bad things that happened in 2019.

Overall, move in 2020 with a grateful heart. Forgive the events, people, and perhaps most importantly, yourself. Gratitude for the what was and gratitude for what will be. This is the best way to progress into the next decade.

I end with my favorite Scripture. Philippians 4:4-9:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.