Could We Do the Same?

What would you do if you knew people you had brought into close confidence, your closest friends, family, were going to betray you?  How would you respond?  What would you do if the friends you had abandoned you for no apparent reason?  Or left you with no explanation?  Or began gossiping about you on why they thought certain things were happening in your life?  What would you do if you knew about it in advance?  Would you still be their friend before the betrayal or abandonment or gossip?  Would you forgive? 


Our example is always Jesus.  His friends betrayed Him, they abandoned Him, He was gossiped about, lied about, beaten, and so much worse, and Jesus knew in advance that these things would happen.  Jesus knew that it was Judas who would betray Him into the hands of those who would later crucify Him.  Mark 14:10 “Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.”


Jesus knew in advance that Peter would deny Him, and He even told Peter so.  Luke 22:61 “The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times."


Jesus knew that His friends would abandon Him during the most painful time of His life.  John 16:32 "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.”


Jesus knew in advance that He would die a most painful death on the cross for all of mankind.  He knew that it was His Father’s will that He die on the cross.  Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 


Yet even as He is dying on the cross He cries out to His Father in Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."  How is that for forgiveness?  He is being tortured, yet He is not thinking of Himself He is thinking of those who are torturing Him and crying out to His Father for THEIR forgiveness. 


Could we do the same?   Matt 16:24 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."  What does taking up our cross and following Jesus mean?  Does it mean we will endure some of the same things that Jesus endured (gossipped about, abandonment, betrayal, lied about)?  If you knew this was going to happen, would you be able to say "God, not my will, but Your will?"  Look at what happened to the disciples.  Peter was crucified.  Paul was stoned, beaten, thrown in prison, shipwrecked, and eventually beheaded.  John the Bapitst was beheaded.    Do you think these men would say they had the full life that Jesus promised in John 10:10?  I think they would say yes.

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Easter Invitation!

Okay — so check out what all the churches in Sultan are doing!!   They have all combined, and are inviting people to come to whichever church — just come to a church on Easter, and hear the message of the gospel of the true Jesus Christ!  It doesn't matter which church you choose — whichever one you choose will be the one that God wants you at!  So just do it!  Go for it!  What have you got to lose?  By not choosing Christ, you have made a choice — if you choose Christ — you have chosen LIFE! 

I personally lived a life without Christ for far too long, and I can tell you — what the world offers is nothing compared to what Christ offers.  You're saying to yourself — "well, what can Christ offer me?"  I'll tell you what.  He offers you eternal life forever with Him, He offers you FREE forgiveness of your sins because He paid the price fully on the cross for all of our sins my friend.   He offers you LIFE.  If you choose to not choose Him — you have made the choice that when you part from this earth that you will forever be separated from our Heavenly Father, who is so loving, so caring, so patient, so worthy of our praise — and you will live in eternity where it has been described as HOT, weeping and nashing of teeth, wormy, etc, constant and forever torture.  Hell was never meant for us humans, which is why God sent His only Son Jesus, and why Jesus chose to come and pay the price for all our sins so that we could have eternal life with Him forever. 

If you don't believe in God — all I've got to say is how can you not.  He is everywhere.  Look around.  Do you really think a big bang created all of this?  I mean seriously.  And if man evolved from apes — why aren't the apes of today still evolving into humans?  Come on.  Again, what have you got to lose?  I read on a sign at a church and thought it was funny, it said "give Jesus a try, if you don't like Him I'm sure the devil would be glad to have you back." 

My life is so much better with Him in it — I have more peace now — more love — just everything is so much better.  I have also been clean and sober now for almost 5 years, and its all thanks to Him. 


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Time Out

"Relax, you need time to recuperate.  God understands.  You're human.  You're going to have feelings and emotions to work through.  Take it slow, pray, ask God to show you where it began and renounce what you have done to yourself and to others.  Let Him start afresh in your life.  Let God deal with you first before you go back out into the field.  He doesn't expect you to do this immediately.  Know that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter.  He's your best friend in times of loneliness.  Let Him minister to you.  Rely on God , and not on man.  Shut yourself up with the Lord.  Learn the voice of your shepherd.  Get back to a balanced life as you feel ready to make new friends in another church or at work.  Be careful not to be paranoid or cynical or critical, which are all human reactions to leaving an abusive setting.  The healing process can be long or short, but it can't be rushed or controlled.  It has to be God that heals for it to be genuine.  Learn from your experience.  Don't become bitter, but better.  Know that you just got a lesson in spiritual discernment, and that you can be used in this way to help others.  Let your trials and tribulations be turned around for God's glory, and not let any bitterness or anger overtake you.  Know that there are lots of people out there that share your hurt and are willing to help.  You are not alone."

I came across this as I was dinking around on the internet, and it comforted me greatly as I have been going through a healing process.  Each time God does a little more healing, I am amazed at how He does it and the little things that He does to make me laugh to bring my joy back.

A couple of weeks back after church I told my husband that I shouldn't be even in church I felt like such a hypocrite.  I just felt mean and nasty, cranky, I was hurting, in pain both physically and emotionally, and no matter how much I prayed nothing changed.  I would bad mouth people.  I would cuss (immediately would ask forgiveness, but it was there), I had cuss words flying around in my head just waiting to burst forth, and tear down the person who was there.  Thankfully, the Lord has given me self control in that area, and I resisted that temptation.  So back to me being a hypocrite.  It's those things that I don't want to do, that I do, and so how can I lead others to Christ if I can't even get it right myself, huh? 

So, the following Sunday, my pastor, who is totally awesome and real and so down to earth, makes a comment that there may be someone in the congregation who was thinking that they didn't even want to go to church because it was just full of hypocrites anyways (which I wasn't thinking that by the way — just thought I myself was a hypocrite), and my pastor raised his hand and said "I'm a hypocrite."  Then he said, we all are hypocrites, but we have room for one more.  The Lord brought that comment to my remembrance later that evening as I was spending time with Him, and I literally laughed out loud.  I later told my pastor that that little comment he made, brought even more healing to my heart.

I truly am so blessed, and so thankful to the Lord for so many things in my life — I don't ever want to take any of it, or anyone for granted.  I love you Lord. 

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