Easter - a time to reflect on the death, burial
and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many thoughts and pictures flood our minds when we think of what took place 2000 years ago. Many people know of how Jesus was betrayed by a friend, was tried by Pilate, had a crown of thorns pushed into his head, was beaten unmercifully, was nailed to a cross, died and rose after 3 days. How did he get to the place where this could happen to him? It happened before he came to earth. It happened when he yielded himself, submitted himself to his Father. They came up with a plan to redeem us from the snare of the devil. Jesus was the one who worked it out in the flesh.
To think this was easy for the Father, Son or Holy Spirit would be completely inaccurate. It was a sacrifice for each one of them because they are 3 in 1. In Jesus the sacrifice was demonstrated.
Now, as a demonstration of our acceptance of this sacrifice, we yield ourselves to God and become who he made us to be in Christ. This does come with a bit of sacrifice on our part. The reason there is sacrifice is because our flesh wants to do whatever it wants. Jesus proved that we could overcome our flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. The problem is that our flesh constantly puts up a fight every time it doesn’t like something God wants us to do.
The only way to conquer our flesh is to do what Jesus did. He knew who he was and he knew the power he had in God the Father & the Holy Spirit. He relied on their help and his identification with them to overcome the temptations that came. In doing so, his spirit man was victorious over his flesh.
Today the battle with our flesh is won the same way. We must identify with the finished work of the cross of Christ, know that Christ died for our sins and acknowledge him as Lord of our lives. Every time we choose this route our flesh no longer can be victorious.
I pray that we would continually yield ourselves to God so that his will is accomplished in our lives.
With Jesus’ help, I continually offer my sacrifice
of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name.
With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice
of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name. Hebrews 13:25
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• Prayer Devotional •
Do you want something more in life, or is your life a little dull, unfulfilled and unproductive? Iʼm sure we have all felt this way from time to time. But remember, YOU were created for a purpose, a destiny! YOU are NECESSARY and have GREAT VALUE!
Some people look for power and authority, and when they canʼt find it to change their environments, they turn to addictive substances or behaviors to numb their disappointments and pain. But I have GOOD NEWS for you!! There is something that is GOOD for YOU with NO BAD SIDE EFFECTS ... Itʼs the manifest, endearing, fulfilling PRESENCE OF THE LORD!
Recently I was chatting to a friend. We raised our children in similar environments, and her teenager mentioned that he had never experienced the PRESENCE OF GOD ...That put my mind into action ... Do we recognize the PRESENCE OF THE LORD? How do we sense His manifested presence? By recognizing the Lord in prayer and in worship.
"for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’" (Acts 17:28, NKJV)
What is His PRESENCE ?
- the state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing
- a person or thing that exists or is present in a place
- [in singular] a group of people - God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
- the impressive manner or appearance of a person
God is omnipresent. He is always with us, and we can experience Him. While His presence is always with us, it is not always manifest. When we talk about experiencing the presence of the Lord, we are talking about the realization of Godʼs presence – of perceiving His presence and being conscious of Him in prayer and during worship.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
(Proverbs 3:6, NKJV)
When we acknowledge the Lord, He manifests His presence. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve walked in the presence of the Lord every evening. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His Spirit comes to live within us - Him in us and us in Him! The Glory of God, His presence, is embodied in Jesus!
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2: 9-10, NKJV)
As we make right with God by repenting to him, we get refreshed in his presence. Mark, my husband, shared this scripture last week in church ...
19 So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And that He may send [to you] the Christ (the Messiah), Who before was designated and appointed for you—even Jesus. (Acts 3:19-20, AMP)
As you settle down in prayer, you may be joyful or tired, you may be overwhelmed, or disappointed, or ashamed; but when you repent and run into His presence, the invigorating, revitalizing, reviving, restoring presence of the Lord you find peace and rest! We receive life, healing, forgiveness, love, joy and rest in His presence.
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? (1 Thessalonians 2:19, NKJV)
Enjoy His presence! The Bible showcases numerous examples of how the presence of God empowers His children to live for Him, to do the impossible, to love supernaturally, to forgive and to do great things for His glory. I was recently reading about Smith Wigglesworth. He would sit in a train cabin and quietly read his Bible. Then he would pray for the people sitting around him, and release the presence of the Lord to convict them of sin. Within some time, they were asking how they could be saved.
Without the presence of the Lord, it is useless to attempt anything. Moses was convinced that living without the presence of the Lord was profitless. He spoke face to face with Almighty God.
Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. Exodus 33:15, NLT)
What is the point of taking another step without the presence of the Lord. Yet He assures us of His presence. Godʼs presence leads us and directs us and brings wisdom and peace, even in His church today! This act of recognizing the presence of the Lord in prayer is what sets us apart from the world, and empowers us to do the Fatherʼs will beyond what we can ask or imagine ... in His power and by His Spirit! Without Him, we are incapable, powerless, impotent, weak, defenseless, vulnerable, exposed, unprotected and open to attack. But WE TRUST THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD!
Stop striving and sweating to do things or change people or rush around; rather, rest in the presence of the Lord! Cast your cares and obstacles to Him ... let Him fill you with joy ...
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11, AMP)
Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way. (Psalm 16:11, MSG)
For You have made him most blessed forever; You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence. (Psalm 21:6, NKJV)
Being hungry for the presence of the Lord and desiring to walk His presence is what we must yearn for daily! Make it your PRIMARY CONCERN and PRIORITY! Be aware of the Lord as you pray... He is there, He is present, He is listening... now pray in faith...
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7, NKJV)
JESUS IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD! His RESURRECTION power lives in you! Jesus is always present with His Word! Let Him manifest His presence to YOU! You will sense His love, acceptance, and joy as you bask in His presence.
Written by Colleen Aitkenhead. Colleen & her husband, Mark pastor Christian Family Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee.