Acts – to take action or do something
Ax – to end or cancel
Some acts are important.
I must show acts of kindness.
I must show acts of repentance.
I must show acts of earnestness.
How I act is important.
Some things in my life need the ax.
Give hatred the ax.
Give unbelief the ax.
Give sin the ax.
Things that are not like God, give them the ax.
Pain And Love Mean Salvation
We tend to be a society that values flawless physical beauty and perfection. I find this ironic as none among us can fit into this category. We all have some bruises or blemishes no matter if we are taking an internal or external view. Sometimes I find myself wondering what stories lay behind the scars. Many mothers can attest to the willingness to endure the scarring of a cesarean delivery in order to bring life into this world. However, this act of love is quite minor compared to the action of love demonstrated by Jesus. Our Savior was scarred and suffered for us. Jesus had a crown of thorns placed on His head. Jesus carried His cross up the hill to Golgotha. Jesus was given vinegar to drink as He hung parched and dehydrated. Jesus was pierced in His side. Jesus was spat upon. Jesus was struck with a staff. Jesus was crucified leaving Him with physical scars. However, what affected Jesus on the outside is the basis for the opportunity for change for us on the inside.
The next time you see someone with a scar that may first strike you as unsightly, take a moment to think on the story from long ago. Scars can be reminders. It is important to remember that Jesus was inflicted with pain and nailed in His hands that left scars in his palms. We must never forget what transpired so many thousands of years ago and what it means to our salvation. We must always remember that Jesus endured pain because He loves us and how that action translates into the gift of life through salvation. It was pain and love meaning salvation.
John 19:6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” For the extended story read: John 19:1-37, Matthew 27:27-44, or Luke 24:38-40.
Necessary Action – Incredible Loving Savior
Springtime is an occasion when many of us find ourselves involved in a home repair project. Whether we are trying to expand our space, complete renovations, or tidying things up, getting started often requires supplies usually including some nails. And wow! When was the last time you looked at the variety of nails from which to choose?
Nails come in an assortment of sizes and can be found in most home improvement or hardware stores. Need to put together a shelf? Get some lost head nails. Building a gutter system to protect your home from the rain? Let me suggest a pipe nail. Extending your outdoor living space? Try some masonry nails. Expanding your storage space? How about an annular ring nail? Each time, a nail is used to hold something together. We are aware of the nail’s literal use.
To extend this thought on the literal use of nails, nails were used to put Jesus on the cross. However, there is an idea beyond the physical concept of nailing things together. Have you ever thought about the metaphorical concept of the nails “holding it together”? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This means the broken pieces of my life, Jesus helps me hold them together through His intercession on my behalf. That means when my life has tears and rips, Jesus is there to mend me up. When I go through times of separation, gaps, loose pieces, Jesus is just the answer to create a solid, stable product.
Beyond the restoration we might conduct during an annual spring-cleaning, we should also be reminded each spring to reflect on the spiritual mending that took place over 2000 years ago.I cannot imagine the pain of the crucifixion but I understand that the nails were a Necessary Action from an Incredible Loving Savior.
Act 2:23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross.
Christ Has Arranged New Growth Everyday
A wise person once said, “Insanity is doing things the way you have always done them and expecting things to change.” This is crazy. Our American culture has come up with many euphemisms to indirectly point the finger at crazy. Things like, “ He is a few quarters short of a dollar.” Or, “She is a few slices short of a pizza.” One of the most profound catapults to change is remembering that we cannot do things as we have always done them. To get to that next level, one needs to push through. One needs to hang on. One needs to be bold. And most importantly, we must put our trust in the hands of an almighty God. It is crazy not to change when you just might be:
Most of us have reached that point where a certain aspect of our life needs a complete overhaul. Setting your sights on making that change can have a daunting effect. For example, our intentions are to save for retirement on a regular basis. Maybe, the alarm is set for that new early morning workout. Or, we plan to be faithful in our daily prayer and meditation time. But alas, we don’t reach the desired goals as we thought we would. Change is hard work. Having a support while going through the change process strengthens one’s resolve during the journey. The change guided by Christ will create the best transformation. When the naysayers come along (whether they be outside or inside your head), remember the greatest advocate to your change is as close as a whispered prayer.
Let the Christ within you be the driving force for change.
Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. –New International Version
Phenomenally Ordained With Exciting Results
Our God has all POWER from A-Z
Awesome – Psalms 68:35 O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people Blessed be God! Bountiful – Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all–how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Continuous – Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Dutiful – Acts 15:18 …that have been known for ages Everlasting – Isaiah 40:28 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. Faithful – 1 Corinthians 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. Glorious – Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests. Holy – Revelations 4b Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come. Incredible – Luke 1:27 For nothing is impossible with God. Just – 2 Thessalonians 1:6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you Kind – 1 Corinthians 1:14 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Loving – 1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. Merciful – Deuteronomy 4:13 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which He confirmed to them by oath. Necessary – Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Omnipotent – Daniel 7:14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Perfect – Matthew 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Quintessential – Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Righteous – Romans 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference. Satisfying – Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. True – John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Unequalled – Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Victorious – 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Wise – Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! Xristos – John1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Yours – John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Zealous – Psalm 66:20 Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer nor His loving kindness from me.
Our God Has POWER like no other!
Risen Omnipotent Crucified King
Have you ever heard the phrase, “hitting bottom?” Hitting bottom is when you have reached your lowest point in your particular circumstances. Even though this phrase has its origins in the field of chemical dependency, many of us can identify with being in a predicament that seems to have no positive resolution. It seems you have nowhere to go and no way out. All is dark, and you see no solution. It brings to mind another idiom.
Another well-known description of distress is thought of as, ”caught between a rock and a hard place.” Most of the time we want to avoid these types of incidences; but let me offer a different spin on this familiar adage.
I used to think of a rock and a hard place as an existence that was futile and unsolvable until one day I came across a thought provoking greeting card. The card said, ”When you are between a rock and a hard place, choose the Rock!” A rock is something steady, solid, and secure. I can attribute these same characteristics to Christ. The Rock that the card was referring to is our heavenly Father. I look at my Rock as my Risen Omnipotent Crucified King. The Bible makes this illustration much better than I can.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress. I will never be shaken.
II Samuel 22:2-3
… “The Lord alone is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take refuge…”
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock eternal.
Hitting bottom enters most everyone’s life in some form, and in many cases we will experience the metaphorical squeeze between two difficult options more than once in our life times. So the next time you or a friend is in the middle of something that appears to be unsolvable, be reminded that help is close at hand. The hard places may not have the solution that one needs, but the Rock sure will. The Rock can take us from …
Despair to Deliverance
Disappointment to Delight
Dull to Dazzling
Destruction to Discovery
Darkness to Dawn
Dislocation to your Destiny
Deterioration to Determination
Disillusionment to Direction
Disbelief to Discernment
Down-trodden to Dynamic
Christ can make all the difference in one’s life. If you know Jesus as you Risen Omnipotent Crucified King, be not dismayed. We will all face challenges in which the assistance of a qualified earthly professional can be beneficial. In some cases, it is a struggle in a marriage, finances, substance abuse, personal/spiritual contemplations. In your case, the challenge may present itself in an entirely different form. When the next struggle comes into your life, know your options. When you have hit your bottom and you are between a rock and a hard place, choose the ROCK!
New International Version
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
If your children follow your instructions at the first direction, tell the rest of us your secret. If time on your job is filled with daily happiness and joy, tell me where I can get an application. If your marriage has only seen blissful moments, please start a support group to help those of us less fortunate. In my life, there are falls, scrapes, bumps, bruises, and even collisions. Yes, in my blessed Christian life, these difficulties occur. Encouragement can come when you least expect it. At the prompting of my sister, I went to see War Room.
Many of us have a favorite gospel or Christian song that speaks a message in the midst of a trial, confusion, or even temptation. We can pull out that tune on phones, other digital listening devices, or if you are old school like me, you might even have it tucked away on a CD. However, finding a movie with faith-based messages is a bit more challenging.
The Kendrick Brothers have worked hard to fill the void of limited Christian movies released to mainstream audiences. If you have not seen Facing the Giants, Fireproof, or Courageous, I encourage you to find them on a computer movie site or DVD. If are waiting to see War Room, do not let this one get by you. The plot line is believable. The characters are engaging. The message is timely. Most important, the catalyst of the movie hinges on the following scripture:
“But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
Matthew 6:6 NIV
After seeing the movie, I began immediately thinking. My inner room? As depicted in the movie (for most of us today), an inner room is usually a closet. My inner room? Where will I put my shoes? Where will I put my winter clothes? Where will I put all that extra junk that I never use anyway? I have made space for my sewing stuff. I have made space for my computer and teaching stuff. Recently, I even reorganized closets to make more space for my clothes. But now, I am instantaneously stuck as to where to put Jesus. How many of us struggle to make room in our lives for Jesus spiritually let alone given Him physical space in our homes? Some will argue to the symbolic nature of an “inner room.” That is one of those debates I will let you hash out with Jesus yourself. As for me, I am not worried when at tuning myself to directions given in the Bible. It is time that I put on the whole armor. I am going to repurpose my war tactics (and space) to employ the greatest strategy (prayer) ever created against the most critical confrontation (Satan) ever experienced to see what amazing results are to come.