I Believe it Was the Hand of God!

When I view the tremendous suffering of the cross, I am be tempted to ask, “Why doesn’t Jesus stop this miscarriage of justice?” After all, He is the one who calmed the raging sea and raised the dead. Only hours before in Gethsemane, He sent a whole group of soldiers sprawling backwards to the ground with just a simple reply. He could ask for legions of angels to come to His aid. But he doesn’t.

The hammer falls, the nail pierces his flesh, and the blood begins to flow. Why? Why would God allow this? Why did Jesus surrender to this?

I BELIEVE IT   WAS THE HAND OF GOD.

The same hand that formed Adam out of clay.

The same  hand that wrote the commandments on stone tablets.

The same hand that stilled the sea.

The same hand that mixed mud and daubed it on blind eyes that would eventually see.

The same hand that  reattached Malchus’ ear.

Hands of power. . . . . Hands of hope. . . . . .But crucified hands.

 The Psalmist declared, You drove out the nations with your hand…It was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance. (Psalm 44:2)

 Isaiah said, When the LORD stretches out his hand, both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down. (Isaiah 31:3)

When he touched, God touched.

The soldier thought he was swinging the hammer, but he was mistaken. Heaven was.

When the hand of Jesus opened for the nail, the doors of heaven opened for me.

And now I can  say with absolute certainty, “I’m forgiven!”

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I MUST KNOW HIM!

The power of the resurrection is the power to fully know Christ in the pardon of sin!

 Two men sit at a table heavily laden with delicious food. One of the men is a doctor of chemistry with cancer of the stomach, the other is an ignorant laborer with a healthy appetite.

The chemical expert may take the food to the lab, analyze it, and give a description of its ingredients and the nutritional values of each…but he cannot eat any part of it.

The hungry laborer knows very little about the chemical composition of the meal, but it tastes delicious, he eats it, digests it, and subsequently he knows the power of the food to build a healthy body……through experience.

 The simplest child of God takes Him and knows Him by faith, tastes His goodness and mercy, and the power of His resurrection.

 I believe in a living Lord. 

The Angel said to the women, “Why seek ye the living among the dead.”  He is risen…He lives…He arose from the dead…He is exhalted at the right hand of God…and is become a quickening spirit.

I must know him…..in the power of His Resurrection!

In the Bonds opf Calvary,

Triumphant or Tearful?

Everyone loves a parade.  Whether it’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or the Rose Bowl Parade, there’s just something exciting about a procession on display with floats, marching bands, and clowns!

When Jesus entered Jerusalem to die, there was a parade, too. It took place during the Passover season when the population of Jerusalem swelled from about 30,000 to almost 200,000. In this act Jesus was fulfilling Biblical prophecy.

Jesus entered Jerusalem as a humble King: Throughout Biblical history when a conquering king entered a city after a time of warfare, he would ride on a horse or something even more impressive.

History tells us Julius Caesar returned to Rome in 45 B.C. in a golden chariot harnessed to 40 elephants!

But whenever a king entered a city on a donkey it was a sign he was coming in peace.

On this day people were celebrating by laying their garments in front of Jesus–that’s like rolling out the red carpet. John tells us they were waving Palm branches as well; that’s why it’s called Palm Sunday.

 Jesus was intentionally fulfilling the scripture God had given through the prophet Zechariah 500 years earlier. The Bible says, “Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! See your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)

A revolutionary is willing to kill others for his cause but a Redeemer is willing to die for others. And Jesus came as our Redeemer!

What happened on Palm Sunday is often called the Triumphal entry but it was actually a Tearful entry. But, there will come a time when Jesus returns to this earth and He will be welcomed into the city of Jerusalem as the conquering King.

And….it seems to me….. that it won’t be long.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

An Intentional Church Plant

I was asked recently to write a blog for Pastor Ben Liles. He posted the blog this morning and I thought that I would share my thoughts with you on my blog as well.

Guest Blogger: Dr. E. Bob Kuschel

March 25th, 2010

In continuing with my desire for you to hear a different perspective about why people invest in church plants, I have asked Dr. E. Bob Kuschel, Senior Pastor of Westwood Hills Ministries in Gainesville, Florida to chime in. He was a church planter in the past and has seen it evolve into what it is today. Enjoy!

“It was 1975 and I felt a strong calling in my spirit to “start a Church” in Boca Raton. That’s how we referred to a new work back then.

So, after obtaining the proper permission and authority, I headed for that community to “start a church”. I had a Bible, a family, a calling, ……… and $.35.

Things have changed since then! We now call them “Intentional Church Plants”. That terminology brings with it the idea that some thought, planning and prayer have been exercised.

I am so happy about that because it brings with it a sense of community, connection and support.

And support is such a vital life-line to a church plant. Support means that I care about the people in the community where the church is being planted. It means that I am willing to extend myself beyond what I find comfortable. It means that I will be praying for the people and the leadership team of the new church plant. It means that I will make some financial adjustments in my own life so that I can have a part in the harvest.

Baypointe Church in Panama City Beach is an intentional church plant that has a great leadership team that has my complete support.

They need your support. Let’s all help and watch God at work.

In the Bonds of Calvary,”

Dr. E Bob Kuschel

Knowing the King of Glory

The story says that there was a debate one day among the choir about the King of glory.

The basses asked the question, “Who is this King of glory?”

The tenors replied, “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.”

The altos were not satisfied and they asked again, “Who is this King of glory”?

And the sopranos answered, “The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.”

At that time the conductor got weary of the conversation and said if you want to know about Him, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.”

I am lifting up my head, and my hands, right now.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

He Did it for Me!

The most beautiful part of why Christ died at Calvary was that He died there for me.

It is sad to think it was necessary, but comforting beyond words to know He was willing to do whatever was required, up to and including dying, in order to have a relationship with me.

His love for me is not merely a bunch of words in a book, but a reality expressed in the most visible and memorable fashion possible.

Never was any statement more true than the words of the familiar song – “When He was on the cross that day, I was on His mind.”

Living in the power of His Love,

My Guatemala Experience (part 3)

Over the course of my life I have been in thirty countries. I have been a visitor, a warrior and a part of an occupational peace force.

Until two years ago I had never done any work as a missionary in another country. I prayed for and supported missions but never experienced the emotional, financial, and physical relationship that I do now.

These last three trips have affected me in a way that I now wish would have happened many years ago. I have been re-introduced to pain and poverty and must increase my efforts to help.

I grew up in a foreign country. I know hunger! I grew up hungry.

And when I grew up I wasn’t hungry anymore and somehow I forgot about all those who were. Now I have been reminded again that there are so many that are hungry and have no hope of the next meal.

I must do someting about that. And I will.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

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