He is Risen!

Garden Tomb

He is not here, for he has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.  Matthew 28:6

From the Garden of Gethsemane to Golgotha,
From the cross to the tomb,
From the empty tomb to the right hand of God,
Our Lord reigns!
May the passion of Jesus as He contemplated
the cross grip your soul.
May you comprehend the love of Jesus as He took on the sin of the world
for the joy that was set before Him.
May you walk in the power of the resurrection and the joy set before you.

Wishing you a blessed Easter.

Surrender all, possess your inheritance, your healing

I surrender all

Look! For so many years I have been serving you, and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a kid that I might be merry with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him.

My son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. Luke 15:29-31

Jesus told a parable to demonstrate His statement, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10 It was the parable of the Prodigal Son.

The younger son demanded that his father divide his wealth between the two sons and give the younger son his portion, instead of waiting until the father died.

The younger son left the family and squandered his wealth. When he found himself in a pig pen longing for what the pigs were eating, he realized that his father’s servants were better off than he was, and he decided to return to his father and ask to become a servant.

The father saw the son in the distance and ran towards him, embracing and kissing him. The father put a robe and ring on the returned son and called for a party.

The older son heard about it and confronted the father.

Look! For so many years I have been serving you, and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a kid that I might be merry with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him. Luke 15:29-30

That would be my retort.

My son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. Luke 15:31

The older son already had the fattened calf. He could have killed the calf and celebrated with his friends any time, but he did not take advantage of what he had.

Heirs of the Inheritance

  1. God’s children are heirs of His kingdom. Both sons were heirs. The younger son chose to leave the father, take his monetary inheritance with him and squander it. The older son chose to stay with the father, work in the estate, and build it.
  2. In His presence, God’s children can possess all that the Father hasThe older son worked hard for the Father, serving him. The older son does not speak of the joy of remaining with the Father, of experiencing his inheritance.

Possessing the Kingdom

Before the Lord healed me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I meditated on these Scriptures and wondered about my inheritance.

Was my inheritance a life filled with pain and fatigue?

What if I were like the older son in the parable, thinking of my life with the Father as a life of hard work and service rather than basking in the presence of the Father?

But we had to be merry and rejoice,  for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found. Luke 15:32

The younger son spent his inheritance, but he began to live  when he realized his hopelessness and returned to his father, asking to be treated as a servant. That’s when the celebration began, and he entered into the joy of the father. He surrendered all.

Broken, destitute, empty. No hope within the younger son, himself.

No hope within me. The doctors could no longer help me, I had run out of magical cures and ideas of what I could do to make myself better.

The Father healed me when I came to Him as a completely broken woman, telling Him that all I wanted was more of Him, more of His presence.

In His presence is fullness of joy, the fullness of the inheritance of the kingdom.

My prayer for you

Heavenly Father, may we enter Your Presence with abandon. We want to possess all that You have for us. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and guide us as we serve You with gladness and joy.

Won’t you share how you are possessing your inheritance in the Kingdom of God?

5 strategies to possessing God’s promise for you

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Entering the Colosseum in Rome, visitors are struck by the magnitude of the stone walls–as grasshoppers to this amphitheater of memories past–gladiators fighting to the death,  Christians martyred, sailors surviving mock sea battles, hunters pursuing wild animals, and executioners slaying men and women. Walls 157 feet high with a base of 6 acres and an original perimeter of 1,788 feet, this gargantuan death memorial collapsed on its outer south side in the great earthquake of 1349, tumbling travertine stones to the base.
 

Several thousand years earlier, Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan River on dry land to camp at Gilgal. Looming in the canp’s view were the mighty walls of Jericho, with a stone wall around it of 12-15 feet high, an embankment of about 3 acres with a mud-brick wall at its highest point 46 feet higher than the baseline.  Continue reading 5 strategies to possessing God’s promise for you

Pieta, a sculpture of love, disappointment. Waiting for sculpture of joy of Risen Lord

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“… Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.’” Luke 2:34-35

We lived in Italy about 25 years ago. Keith was in the Air Force, and we were privileged to be stationed at Aviano AB, a 1-hour train ride northeast of Venice. We lived in a 700-year-old town named Dardago.

We toured Vatican City 25 years ago, before the Pieta was vandalized, and it was not protected. I returned three times just to stand before the funeral memorial and weep.

This July, we returned to Rome. The Sistine Chapel paintings were more vivid and beautiful than we had ever seen them, since they have been restored and cleaned. But I was anxious to move through the Chapel to get to St. Peter’s Basilica to stand before the Pieta.

Before the Pieta, I wept.

The window reflection near the head of Mary made me think of the many people standing there taking photographs and then moving on to the next beautiful piece of art. Many did not understand the story. Others knew the story but did not stop to see the window of opportunity to understand more about Jesus, more about Mary, and to experience the pain of the moment.

“Pieta” in Italian means “pity.” Michelangelo was 25 when he released the Pieta from its marble. He believed that the sculpture already existed in the marble, and he just released it.

“Pity” is not the word I would have used to name this sculpture. From a mother’s eyes, I saw a woman who had experienced everything miraculous about this Son, her Savior, her Lord … from his birth, to the turning of water into wine, from raising the dead, to healing the lepers, restoring sight to the blind and song to the deaf. This was the Man who was going to save Israel. Here was all her hope, all her love, all her dreams. Beaten beyond recognition. Dead.

I wonder what sculpture is waiting to be released that shows Mary’s joy when she saw her Son, her Savior, risen.

My prayer for you:

Lord, You took on the beating, the scourging, the sins, the diseases, for us. You hung on the cross to take on sin and pay the price that we should have paid. AND You rose from the dead! You conquered death, and You are at the right hand of God making intercession for us. Fill us with the Holy Spirit and with Your wisdom, so that we can understand the power and joy that only You can bestow upon us as we contemplate our risen Savior.

May the Lord richly bless you as you contemplate Mary’s pity and Mary’s joy.