“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:6
Easter is a holiday that is celebrated around the world. Children all over the world are often looking forward to candy and the Easter bunny. The majority of the focus is on the candy and having a fun time.
While searching for eggs and candy is going on, there are also many people talking about Jesus. The same questions arise every year around the world: Who was Jesus? Was Jesus real? What did Jesus teach? Did Jesus rise from the dead?
From the world’s point of view, it does not make sense that Jesus rose from the dead. No one rises from the dead, or he was not really dead.
Many people had been standing there watching as Jesus was crucified on the cross. They saw Him physically die and get buried in a tomb. As this occurred they had forgotten what Jesus had said would happen.
Three days later as some women went to the tomb, they got there and found out that His body was no longer there. They were afraid. Yet, an angel was there who told them not to be afraid, because Jesus had risen just as He said He would.
The world tries to deny that Jesus did actually rise from the dead. If He did rise from the dead, then it means He was right. If He was right, that also means that people are dead in sins, unless they turn to Him. The world does not want to be wrong, so they continue to deny the truth. They do not want to change their ways to follow God.
As a believer, you can be confident that Jesus did rise from the dead. And if He rose from the dead, He will forgive you and save you for all eternity.
Give your life to God and follow Jesus. He is the conqueror of life and death, nothing can destroy Him.
Today celebrate what Jesus did for you by dying upon the cross so that you may live for all eternity. Do not be like the world and question whether Jesus is alive.
He is alive!
Know this and believe it!
Let the world know that Jesus is alive today and the tomb is empty.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know that Jesus is alive; that you will tell others that Jesus is alive; and that you will serve God with all of your life.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. Ephesians 2:1-2
When a person is born, he is seen to be alive, however, when he begins to sin, he is no longer alive, but dead, even though he is alive physically. Sin causes a person to die. They die spiritually, because they no longer have the life of God in their lives.
The people of this world are living for themselves and temporary pleasures. People sin and accept and promote sin in others. It is a life that is against God.
Without God in the picture a person cannot see or know that in reality he is dead. Paul says he is dead in sins and transgressions.
Every person that has been born, has also sinned. This means that every person who has been born is also dead, even while they walk this earth. They are living in sin and in bondage to sin. True life can only be found in Jesus.
Once a person believes in Jesus and accepts what He has done for him, he is no longer dead. He is now alive in Christ Jesus with an eternal life.
Paul points out that as a believer one was once dead in sins, but is no longer dead in those sins. This is showing that there is a change in life. The believer should no longer be chasing after those sins or living a sinful lifestyle. He should no longer be living like this world.
The believer is now a new creation in Jesus. He is now following God, rather than this world and Satan.
As you look at your life, who are you following? If you are following Jesus, you should be dead to sins and transgressions. Do not seek to find ways to sin or promote sin, flee from all sin. Do not allow yourself to follow the ways of this world and cause yourself to die again.
Live for God, not self or this world. You turned away from this world, now stay away from it. Live the full life that God is giving you. The ways of this world only bring about death.
I pray today that you will know the life Jesus offers you; that God will show you the way of true life; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; and that you will be alive in Christ Jesus for all the world to see.
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 2 Corinthians 5:9
Goal setting is something that every successful person states is a requirement to do in order to accomplish anything. Setting a goal gives a person something to aim for. Without any goals set, a person will just aim at nothing and will just wander around never really getting anywhere.
One of the most common goals that people are told to make is in investing for a future retirement, setting money aside. Often people who have this goal will begin by setting aside some money on a regular basis. A little here, a little there and it begins to add up. Without a goal, people will spend every penny they have and leave nothing for retirement.
There are an infinite number of goals that a person can make. Some are houses, things, positions, marriage, education, titles, travels, and the list goes on. Those who set and focus on their goals, can usually obtain them, if they put the needed work into it.
While there is nothing necessarily wrong with these goals, the believer should have a different, higher set of goals. Goals to reach the lost, to be more like Jesus, to know God’s word more, to pray more, to minister more, and the list goes on. However, there is one goal that Paul recognized and aimed for that will include all other goals. That goal is to please God.
As a believer sets the goal to please God many things will happen. He will turn away from sin, pray more, be more of a witness, disciple more, encourage more, serve more, worship more and again, the list goes on.
The benefit of pleasing God is that it is an eternal goal with eternal benefits. This goal is with the believer in life and in death. The rest of the goals that this world likes to set are just temporary and will not last forever. Once a person dies, it is over.
Take a look at your own life. What goals are you setting?
There is nothing wrong with setting the temporary goals, but the goal of pleasing God should be number one in your life.
How are you doing at working at pleasing God with your whole life? Are you pleasing Him just on Sunday, or everyday of the week?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your goal will be to please God; that God will give you an eternal perspective on life; and that your life will be one that God will be pleased with.
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation. Psalm 85:6-7
When a person passes out, that person is as though he is dead. He is unable to do anything at all, and appears to be dead. In order for him to do anything again, he must be revived, brought back to consciousness.
The same thing occurs when a person has a heart attack and his heart stops beating. In reality the person has died and needs to be revived in order to live again.
Being dead does not do any good for a person in this life. He cannot do, think or say anything to or for anyone in this world. His life is over.
Many people in this world are living in this very way. They are alive physically, but are very dead spiritually. While most have never been alive spiritually, there are many who have been.
Throughout the churches around the world, there are people who had come to Jesus for salvation. They were excited for a time and followed God with excitement.
Somewhere along the path of life, something made them give up the spiritual life. They died spiritually. There is no more excitement about going to church, or worshipping, or praying, or reading God’s Word, or telling others about Jesus. In reality they are dead and need to be revived.
Unlike many people in this world, God is right there ready to revive His people. He wants His people to be alive and living for Him. God’s love will never fail to love everyone, no matter if they spiritually died again or were never alive spiritually. God wants to give everyone His salvation.
Take a look at your own life. Are you alive or dead to God?
To determine which you are, think about what excites you. Are you rejoicing in God throughout your day?
Or is God just a quick passing thought on Sunday, because that is just what you do on Sunday?
You can be going through all the motions, but still be dead. Allow God to enter your life and make you alive. Find the joy of His salvation. Rejoice in what God is doing in your life.
Allow God to revive you.
I pray today that God will revive you; that you will rejoice in God’s salvation; that you will live for God each day; that you will know the love and salvation of God; and that you will be a witness to this world of Jesus.
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17
James makes another strong statement to the people. Many of the people were evidently stating that they had great faith in God, but were refusing to do any good deeds. They were being “holy” unto God and not into “legalistic” actions, so they would not do good deeds, their “faith” was enough. James bluntly states that if there is no action, that kind of faith is dead.
Times have not changed the way some people think. There are many in the church who are believers in Jesus, yet, they do not do anything. They refuse to teach Sunday School, clean the church, help a neighbor, feed the poor, visit the sick, help the orphans, or just be a good friend to a non-believer.
Some of these people had done all those things in the past and now state that they are done, they have done their work. Others, just refuse to do it saying that their faith in God is enough. They are focused on caring for themselves.
It has been said that doing good deeds is being legalistic. This is true if you are doing them to earn your salvation. You cannot earn your salvation, but you can do something with it. It is saying thanks to God for what He has done by passing it on to someone else. God helped you, now you can help someone else.
God wants all believers to love everyone. Loving people means helping them, putting them first, meeting their needs. You cannot do everything, but you can do something.
Just speaking the words that you believe in Jesus is enough to be saved, but what are you doing with your salvation?
Are you hoarding everything to yourself?
Or are you passing it on to others?
Don’t allow your faith to be dead. Seek God and ask Him what you can do to show your faith to others. What actions can you do to make a difference in someone else’s life today?
I pray today that God will reveal to you what type of faith you have; that God will show you ways to put your faith into action; that God will bless your work you do for Him; and that you will trust God to meet all of your needs as you meet the needs of others.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” Ephesians 2:1-2
People always think of themselves as being alive, that they were alive since the day they were born. No one typically thinks of a person as being dead when they are breathing and walking around. Yet, this is what Paul was saying people were. They were dead, while physically alive.
Being dead here is a spiritual death. They were dead in their transgressions and sins. These transgressions are things that there were doing that did not follow God’s ways of doing things.
The reason that people lived this way was that they followed satan and his ways of doing things. They lived as the world lives. The majority of the world still lives that way. Although they are walking and breathing, they are spiritually dead. They have not lived life.
If you have believed in Jesus and accepted Him and His forgiveness for you, you are no longer walking around dead. You are no longer to be living your life following the ways of this world. Paul is saying that you were once that way, but are no longer living that way.
Now you are to live for God. Jesus came to give you true life, and more life than you have ever known. You are to no longer be disobedient, but to obey and love God and others. Do not allow the spirit of this world to lead you any more. Take a stand for God and follow Him.
Live in a way that you will be able to accept Paul’s words that you were once dead in sins, but are no longer that way.
Also know that many others around you are still dead in their sins. They need to know about Jesus and what He has done for them. Be His witness today. Live like and for Jesus. Do not be a dead person walking any more.
I pray today that you will allow God to guide your every step; that you will live the life God has for you; that you will turn away from all sin; that you will be obedient to God; and that you will be His witness.