Many people refer to Saturday of Passion Week as SILENT SATURDAY. It seems hope has died. A black cloud of despair from Friday’s trauma settled into the minds of Jesus’ followers. We focus on the grief and sorrow of the disciples on Saturday, but it’s interesting to see the viewpoint of the enemy…
The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate.63 They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’64 So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.” 65 Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.”66 So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it. Matthew 27: 62-66
The enemy was nervous and doing everything possible to SECURE defeat — why? Because Jesus had said – I will rise again. What has Jesus said to you, over your life? If you haven’t seen your promise yet, don’t give up hope! The devil is scared of your victory and working hard to get you to throw in the towel. You may be down, but your not out! Don’t let lies talk you out of your legacy. Keep believing. Guard your hope, while the enemy is trying to guard your victory!
My life’s verse, Psalm 27: 13-14, has given me strength on many “Silent Saturdays” of darkness and seeming despair.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed, That I would see the goodness of the Lord. In the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14 NKJ
Ecc. 3:11 says that everything is made beautiful in it’s set time. If it’s not beautiful, it’s not time. The season of victory is coming. Wait on the Lord with great expectation. He is working all things together for good. There are things MOVING in the spirit – behind the scenes. Things being set in place, divine appointments, open doors, divine connections. Don’t stop reading on SATURDAY — there’s another chapter forming…
Death will not have the final word. Sunday is coming.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
The Prophet Isaiah also boldly declared…
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isaiah 53: 7
Many made preparation for Passover just as generations before–all the way back to Moses, but today the passover lamb would be different. This would be the final sacrifice – made for all.
It is finished.
Jesus paid the debt. Think of the largest debt you’ve ever acquired. What if it was SUDDENLY PAID IN FULL!Maybe a school bill, a mortgage, a hospital bill – there is NO WAY you can ever pay it yourself. How would you feel if it was suddenly dissolved by a wealthy benefactor. Can you see that bill being torn in two. Forgiven. Paid in Full. The CROSS paid the entirety – it is finished.
23 for we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. 24 Yet through his powerful declaration of acquittal, God freely gives away his righteousness. His gift of love and favor now cascades over us, all because Jesus, the Anointed One, has liberated us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin!
25 Jesus’ God-given destiny was to be the sacrifice to take away sins, and now he is our mercy seat because of his death on the cross. We come to him for mercy, for God has made a provision for us to be forgiven by faith in the sacred blood of Jesus. This is the perfect demonstration of God’s justice, because until now, he had been so patient—holding back his justice out of his tolerance for us. So he covered over the sins of those who lived prior to Jesus’ sacrifice. Romans 3:23-25 The Passion Translation
Many Christians call Good Friday a day of mourning. Yes, it is serious and somber as we think in detail the extreme brutality of Jesus’ sacrifice – from beatings, to lashes, to crowns of thorns, the ridicule and mocking. Then the nails…
We look to the cross from the side of victory. On THIS side of the CROSS – it is not a day of sorrow. It’s a day of gratitude and worship. As we remember in full the price He paid on His WORST day, we inherit our BEST day. How can we not receive the greatest gift ever given to us? It is a Good Friday.
I’m praying not only for them But also for those who will believe in me Because of them and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind— Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, So they’ll be as unified and together as we are— I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, And give the godless world evidence That you’ve sent me and loved them In the same way you’ve loved me.
Wednesday of Passion Week yields a stark contrast of devotion between a women who spills out her life and seemingly “wastes” it — and Judas who scrambles to save his.
Are you “wasting” your life?
Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? – Matthew 26:6-8
Pure nard. The woman (John says was Mary, sister of Lazarus – John 12:3) opened up a sealed alabaster box. This box represented all she had – her future, her security, her provision for a rainy day. It was not a cheap imitation, but an imported luxury that she lavishing poured on Jesus — anointing him for burial. She poured it all out. No going back, picking it up or sieving it back — all she had was His and it was the least she could do.
All who seek to live apart from mewill lose it all. But those who let go of their lives for my sake and surrender it all to me will discover true life! Matthew 10:39 TPT
Judas mocks her worship. Jesus defends it. Judas disguises his greed with a religious rebuke – we could have sold it and given it to the poor! All the while knowing – a secret portion would be siphoned as he “carried the bag”. Judas turns his heart against Jesus, and looks for the highest bidder.
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. Matthew 26: 14-16
What has your devotion cost you? One poured it all out in adoration, one “sold out” for 30 pieces of silver. Which one are you?
Join me for Passion Week Devotionals leading to Easter Sunday. We love to observe ADVENT at Christmas to understand the significance of the birth of Christ. Why are we not as creative at celebrating Passion Week and teaching our kids? The celebration of the CROSS and Jesus’ RESURRECTION should be even more important as we celebrate our salvation. Each day of Holy or Passion Week bestows spiritual souvenirs for our journey into Christ’s sacrifice for all our lives – All Race, All Ages and All Kinds.
Could your dreams use a jumpstart in 2018? Join me in this little pep talk…
Kris… (insert your name)
What are you waiting on? Is your dream worth it?
What excuses keep your hands tied?
Who are you blaming for your lack of progress?
Who are you hoping will show up and give you permission to step up and finish what you started?
You don’t need permission to live your dream; you only need a co-mission! A GREAT one to be exact – Go into all the world and preach the gospel – with your dream.
You are in charge your own dream. You’re the leader. The ball’s in your court. Your potential is waiting to be awakened. Stop waiting for a red carpet entrance.
If you don’t believe in it, no one will.
God spoke it to you. Planted it in you. Matched it to your DNA for such a time as this.
No one else is going to take charge of YOUR calling. (If they do it’s just become their dream.)
Stop waiting for an acceptance letter in the mail, when you’ve already received one in your heart?
Stop waiting for the cheerleaders to arrive and invite you out to the field. The crowd’s ovation cannot validate your inner stirrings.
YOU are the steward – the host – the captain of the dream ship set to sail out of your comfort shores.
You are the master gardener of the seeds the Father has planted in your heart! You water the seeds, pull the weeds, protect them from the storms. Stop waiting on someone else to do the job that’s only ordained for your hands! What’s in your hands? What’s in your heart?
I HEAR THE VOICES OF SELF DOUBT…
What if I fail?
What if it’s not good enough?
What if no one applauds?
What has God given you to share? What has He asked you to do? What strength has the Holy Spirit imparted that’s lying dormant? Don’t copy the Matthew 25 dreamer who buried the talent out of fear when no one showed up to hold their hand and coax them to try.
Today our culture sees dreams as automatic melodramas. Entitlement orders them to be passively watched from the sofa like Netflix. If I dream it, it will come…
For some strange reason our Father enjoys partnership—relationship. He provides the trees, we build the house. Don’t be the person who sits in the middle of the forrest and cries because they have no table. Roll up your sleeves. Sharpen your axe. Watch others. Learn how to use your tools! Take a class. Be in intern.
Get busy! Steward the seemingly small thing in front of you, and watch the sweat of faithfulness multiply the small!
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” Luke 16:10 NLT
It may seem small. Small steps are good. Don’t despise or ignore the seemingly small opportunities today. Embryos are beautiful. Packed with all the DNA to mature into a breathing baby, they require care and nutrition. Have you starved your dreams by refusing to feed them because they weren’t seen yet? Those days of embryonic dream growth are special, don’t underestimate their power.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10 NLT
Stop looking for the easy button. If it was easy, everyone would do it. If it was easy, we would not need HIS STRENGTH. If it was easy, God would not get the glory. If it was easy, you wouldn’t need His breath in your sails. But you have to GET UP and MOVE OUT before He can empower your steps of faith. It may not get easier, but we will get STRONGER!
“My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for[My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” 2 Corinthians 2:9 Amplified
What’s in your heart? Who are you called to care for – inspire – encourage? Every “God dream” is bigger than our own joy – it’s a key to unlock someone else’s.
Like a domino tipping off a beautifully synchronized sequence, your obedience sets destiny in motion.
Every “God dream” reaches someone else, but it must have a carrier. A vessel. A runner.
What can you do today?
What seemingly small action can you take to acknowledge and nurture the dream?
“Every journey has a beginning and an ending. Along the way, we may face hills to climb, rivers to cross, challenges to engage, but many times we encounter unexpected pleasures. It is the unexpected that becomes the most powerful part of the journey. Opening your heart to the adventure of a journey can release unexpected treasures for you to find along the way.” – Mike Stewart, Journey to Christmas
Join us this year as we celebrate Advent together.
You can see daily live devotionals from The Bridge Church Facebook page or posted here. Each day has an inspirational quote, scripture reading and challenge to put our faith in action.
Advent comes from the Latin word “Adventus” meaning “coming.” During this busy holiday season, let us prioritize our time to COME TO HIM daily, as he first came to us! This year let the season be a journey into God’s beautiful presence, instead of a holiday of hassle, hustle and hostility. Take your heart on a journey of awe and wonder for how Jesus CAME into the world, how he continues to COME into our hearts, and how he will COME again!
NOTE: Each Sunday before Christmas we will focus on the Advent themes of Hope (week 1), Peace (week 2), Joy (week 3) and Love (week 4). If you’d like to participate at home, each Sunday light a new candle for that week’s theme, until all four candles are lit. This is a great time to bring your family together and refocus on the true meaning of Christmas.
DEC. 1 – Lamentations 3:26 | Challenge: Express extra patience and graciousness today when you have to wait.
DEC. 2 – Psalm 62:5-8 | Challenge: Every time you are tempted to worry today, say out loud, “Lord, I will trust you.”
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT – HOPE DEC. 3 – Psalm 46:10-11 | Challenge: BE in the moment today. Don’t let distractions keep you from engaging your all in the moment. (Put the phone away and have a conversation with someone.) Make sure nothing distracts you from your Advent time.
DEC. 4 – John 1:1-4 | Challenge: Pray for an opportunity to shine into someone else’s darkness today. Let His love be a light!
DEC. 5 – Matthew 20:28 | Challenge: Find a way to significantly serve someone like Jesus today.
DEC. 6 – Luke 1:26-28 | Challenge: Look up the prayer of St. Patrick, called “Christ Before Me” and pray it out loud.
DEC. 7 – Luke 1: 30-33 | Challenge: Surrender your will to the Lord and give him the right to totally rule your life.
DEC. 8 – Luke 1: 34-38 | Challenge: Pray for miracles for someone that comes across your path today.
DEC. 9 – Luke 1: 39-45 | Challenge: Write out scriptures of God’s promise to you in an area of struggle. Place them where you can see them throughout the day.
SECOND SUNDAY of ADVENT – PEACE
DEC. 10 – Luke 1: 45-55 | Challenge: Find a NEW song of praise today and share it with someone special.
DEC. 11 – Matthew 22:37 | Challenge: Take time at the top of the hour to tell the Lord how you love him.
DEC. 12 – Matthew 22: 39 | Challenge: Do something special today for a neighbor, co-worker or friend to express God’s love to them.
DEC. 13 – Philippians 4:7 | Challenge: Make peace with someone that you’ve had a strained relationship with. Do something to bless them and see the peace that rebounds into your own heart (no matter if they appreciate it or not).
DEC. 14 – Galatians 4:4-7 | Challenge: Refocus your schedule and calendar to reflect what’s important to God and his kingdom as his child.
DEC. 15 – Luke 2:1-5 | Challenge: What fears do you have for your future?Say a prayer of faith to trust it to his good purpose for you.
DEC. 16 – Luke 2:6-7 | Challenge: Show hospitality to a stranger today.
THIRD SUNDAY of ADVENT – JOY
DEC. 17 – Luke 2:8-9 | Challenge: Say a simple prayer of availability and see opportunities God places before you in small ways that may be significant to someone.
DEC. 18 – Luke 2:10-12 | Challenge: Share the “good news” today about Jesus love.
DEC. 19 – Luke 2:13-14 | Challenge: Take inventory of your thoughts today. Are they peaceful or anxious? Banish thoughts that aren’t peaceful or don’t give glory to God. (Philippians 4:8)
DEC. 20 – Luke 2:15-16 | Challenge: Is there something you know you need to obey the Lord in before the year ends? Do it now. Give him your YES.
DEC. 21 – Luke 2:17-18 | Challenge: Speak positive words of love and encouragement. Notice people who need some life-giving words today.
DEC. 22 – Luke 2:19 | Challenge: Store up God’s treasures in your heart today. God for a walk, look around and notice God’s big and small blessings in your life.
DEC. 23 – Luke 2:20 | Challenge: Fill your day with praise today–start to finish! Take 5 minute PRAISE PAUSES through the day and praise him for his goodness!
FOURTH SUNDAY of ADVENT – LOVE
DEC. 24 – Isaiah 11:1-2 | Challenge: Sing “Silent Night” and let God’s spirit rest upon you in a special moment. (Look up all the verses and sing them. You can also read the special story of how it was written here.)
DEC. 25 – John 3:16-17 | Challenge: What is your gift to Jesus? Pray about something special he would really love you to give him for 2018. Write it down and present it to him. (This is a great thing to do with your kids before or after opening presents.)
All these pieces, Broken and scattered, In mercy gathered, Mended and whole (Broken Vessels, Hillsong)
We awoke in the middle of the night startled by a loud crash. My husband and I raced out of our bedroom to find the source of the intruding noise. Suddenly…the realization hit me with the same alarming shock. Could it be my beloved china plates I had just hung in the dining room? I rushed to confirm if the incident was true, and yes; bone china shards pummeled the hardwood floor and scattered into a million broken pieces.
Have you ever stood and surveyed broken pieces of your life? How could this have happened? How could something so treasured and seasoned with hope suddenly slip from our fingers and fly in slow motion into a heap of fractured fragments?
I knew how it happened and I was to blame. It’s one thing when accidents randomly happen with no finger to point, but all evidence convicted me as the culprit.
For years I had admired the china plate walls at La Madeline’s french cafe. Delicate china in all shapes, sizes, colors and patterns were arranged into a beautiful wall of art. I dreamed one day I would have a dining room where I could do the same thing and filed the idea in my card catalog of design options. I collected different pieces anticipating the day, and finally the time came to decorate my dining room wall in our new house. I arranged and rearranged the plates on the floor striving for the correct abstract pattern, until finally I had it right and it was time to recreate it on the wall.
It was all going well, until I realized I didn’t have a plate holder big enough for the large blue and white Mikasa plate. Should I WAIT and patiently save and shop for the right one…OR should I Pinterest a DYI idea to make one myself? I had to finish the wall that night, right? I had waited long enough! I had to see it finished NOW–even at the risk of my delicate plate.
My plate hanging DYI solution (as you can imagine) involved my faithful friend, the hot glue gun, along with gorilla tape and a metal key ring. It really LOOKED like a clever idea on Pinterest! Something in my gut told me to wait. This plate is worth too much to risk it. It looked beautiful for almost a week.
Until it all came crashing down…
I left the wreckage of the china pieces there for a few days until I could summon the grace to deal with it. I knew the big blue plate was the cause, but I was more disappointed about the small Royal Albert Rose Cameo vintage tea saucer that was my favorite.
Honestly, I left the pieces there in floor because it was symbolic of greater brokenness inside me. Summer was not generous to us. It brought many emotional surprises that chipped a few pieces off my heart. Circumstances caught me by surprise and slipped through my fingertips in every effort to save them. Sometimes things get dropped, hearts break and best laid plans are forever altered.
Days passed and I was reminded of my disappointed dishes and I knew I better sweep it up before the sharp-edged slivers injured someone. I’m reminded of a Maya Angelou quote that went something like, “In my pains, I don’t have to be one.” Lord, help me quarantine disappointment and hurt from spreading to others.
My heart jumped as I fully laid my eyes on the pieces. I couldn’t believe what I saw! There in the middle of the brokenness, mercy had gathered my rose saucer. “Lord, I can’t believe you did that!” I cried.
Even in my failure, a pillow of mercy caught my heart.
I’m reminded how King David tried to collect his broken pieces after “Hurricane Bathsheba”. First he tried to hide them, then he tried to blame others, finally the prophet made him look at them for what they were. Broken human attempts to fix it.
No matter what has caused your broken pieces, there is mercy and grace for your tomorrow. God may choose to mend and repair the pieces, or He may ask you to wait and believe for new provision. Either way, as we give the painful pieces to the Father, mercy gathers and graces provides healing for a hopeful tomorrow. Charles Dickens wrote in the classic novel, Great Expectations, “I have been bent and broken, but I HOPE into a better shape.”
Mercy gathers and grace provides healing for a hopeful tomorrow.
Jesus came for broken hearts, will you let him come to yours?
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. Luke 4:18
Lately, I’ve heard a lot of motivational gurus harping their mantra that “you are enough” or “you are good enough”. I’ve been scratching my head thinking, “Really?”
How could any of us be “enough”? Or good enough? Who says what enough is any way? The contrasting standard would determine what “enough” was or how much had been obtained or not. Who gets to determine that standard? Should it vary from age to age? Education? Life Experience? Shouldn’t there be a point where we “know better” and live it? How can humans ever be enough?
Even the best of us get divorced, make mistakes, miscommunicate, misunderstand. I think it’s a condition…of being human. Earthen pots in constant need of a sustaining source.
Enough: occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations (Merriam-Webster’s)
I’m not enough. (Unless you’re thinking about “enough” in usage where a man can’t take anymore of his wife’s nagging and finally screams, “Enough!” I might have been that. Sigh and smile.)
I need more than me.
I need someone to hug me from time to time. I need someone to talk to. I need someone to pray for me and discuss things with me. I need friends. I need community.
I need a savior.
In me I wasn’t enough. I failed. I made mistakes. I didn’t have the correct information to make the best choice and caused land slides (literally, in my back yard-lol).
I am not enough — and it’s okay.
God never intended me to be enough.
The creator actually made us to NEED. I need oxygen, I need food. I need coffee 😃 . We are not created “all sufficient” and all knowing—so trying to live that way is futile…and exhausts all JOY because it’s quarantined from the source of joy!
Jesus came for imperfect people because the Father loved us in our need.
It’s okay to not be enough, because that’s how he created us — to need others, to need beauty, to need kindness, to need a second chance…to need HIM, because He IS enough. He is the only sufficient one and He gracefully extends “His enough” to me.
Freedom comes (along with a big sigh of relief and a ton of pressure off our shoulders) when we stop expecting other people to be “enough” for us, or demand the exhausting “enough” from our ourselves. Our father can route the reservoirs of resource to us when we turn our expectancy towards His grace in our weakness and mistakes.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
His GRACE is ENOUGH!
We often quote Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” In the verses right before this Paul is thanking the church in Philippi for sending things to bless him. Here’s how it reads in the Message paraphrase…
“And now I have it all—and keep getting more! The gifts you sent with Epaphroditus were more than enough, like a sweet-smelling sacrifice roasting on the altar, filling the air with fragrance, pleasing God no end. You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.Philippians 4:19 Message (emphasis added)
We see the beauty of how God meets our needs through others or straight to us. It all comes from Him.
Solo is good for cups, but not people.
We are made for partnership. The only thing that wasn’t “good” in the garden, was for man to be alone. We are not enough; we need connection.
Okay, I’m going to yell it…ENOUGH!
It’s time to stop the perfectionist, trying to measure up, exhausting people pleasing (the “people” is usually me) trap. Breathe.
You’re not enough and it’s ok, because The Father is MORE THAN ENOUGH for you! (That’s Huper!)
Receive your confidence back from your mistakes. Your failure is not fatal. There is an eternity to regain, regroup and relive.