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Posts Tagged ‘Easter’

 

“You do not realize now what I am doing,
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but later you will understand.”
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~ Jesus
 
John 13:7
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As Jesus’ disciples did not understand what Jesus was doing, we also often do not understand what God is doing in our lives.  The following devotional thought, from Streams in the Desert, encourages me as I think about John 13:7. 
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In this life, we have an incomplete view of God’s dealings, seeing His plan only half finished and underdeveloped.  Yet once we stand in the magnificent temple of eternity, we will have the proper perspective and will see everything fitting gracefully together!    
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Imagine going to the mountains of Lebanon during the reign of Israel’s great king Solomon.  Can you see the majestic cedar?  It is the pride of all the other trees and has wrestled many years with the cold north winds!  The summer sun has loved to smile upon it, while the night has caused its soft leaves to glisten with drops of dew.  Birds have built their nests in its branches, and weary travelers and wandering shepherds have rested in its shade from the midday heat or taken shelter from the raging storms.  And suddenly we realize that this old inhabitant of the forest has been doomed to fall victim to the woodsman’s ax!  
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We watch as the ax makes its first gash on the cedar’s gnarled trunk.  Then we see its noble limbs stripped of their branches as the tree comes crashing to the ground.  We cry out against the wanton destruction of this “Tree of God,” as it is distinctively known, and express our anger over the demolition of this proud pillar in the forest temple of nature.  We are tempted to exclaim with the prophet Zechariah, “Wail, O pine tree, for the cedar has fallen …!” (Zech. 11:2), as if inviting the sympathy of every less-majestic plant and invoking inanimate things to also resent the offense.       
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We should not be so quick to complain but should follow the gigantic tree as the workmen of “Hiram king of Tyre” (2 Chron. 2:3) take it down the mountainside.  From there we should watch it being sailed on rafts along the blue water of the Mediterranean.  And finally, we should behold it being placed as a glorious and polished beam in the temple of God.  As you contemplate its final destination, seeing it in the Holy of Holies as a jewel in the diadem of the almighty King, can you honestly complain that this “crown jewel of Lebanon” was cut down, removed from the forest, and placed in such a noble setting?  The cedar had once stood majestically in nature’s sanctuary, but the “glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house” (Haggai 2:9).
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So many people are like these cedars of old!  God’s axes of trials have stripped them bare and yet we can see no reason for such harsh and difficult circumstances.  But God has a noble goal and purpose in mind: to place them as everlasting pillars in His heavenly Zion.  And he says to them, “You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God” (Isaiah 62:3).  J.R. Macduff
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Pastor Saeed has been moved from a prison cell to a hospital room.
Please continue to pray that he will be released,
and free to return home to his family.
 

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What counts is whether we have been
transformed into a new creation.
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Galatians 6:15
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My sons enjoy playing with “Transformers”, so I like to tell them that God is the Master Transformer.  I explain that God doesn’t change, but He transforms us by changing the way we think (Romans 12:2).  This transformation is a radical process!
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God wants to transform each of us into people who:
These things are only possible through God’s creative power.
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On Ash Wednesday, I shared a YouTube video about butterflies to a group of children.  We talked about how butterflies can be a symbol for Easter and how Lent is like being in a chrysalis (a time that God can change us) and how Easter is a time for celebrating God’s life-changing power.  I think the butterfly is the most incredible example of God’s ability to transform.  The caterpillar has to be broken down and reconstructed before the beautiful butterfly can be created.
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Please take a moment to watch this video clip about butterflies. My hope is that by watching this video, you will be awed at God’s power to bring about change and reminded that an astonishing metamorphosis can also take place in your life.
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Let God transform you into a new person
 by changing the way you think.  Romans 12:2
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Dedicated to Lea and Melanie, my book club friends, who inspired this post and shared this video at the Word Made Flesh Advent 2011 Retreat
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Radiance

The Son is the radiance
of God’s glory …
Hebrews 1:3
 
 
Jesus,
You are the radiance of God’s glory, 
Through You God made the universe.
You were anointed with the oil of joy.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness. 
You remain the same, and Your years will never end. 
You are crowned with glory and honor. 
You were made perfect through suffering. 
I put my trust in You.
 
Jesus,
Please help us to radiate Your glory.
Please anoint us with the oil of joy.
Please help us to see the gifts the Holy Spirit has given us.
As Your priests, please help us to be merciful and faithful.
Please make us holy, and make us people who bring glory to God.
Amen.
 
 
This prayer is based on Hebrews 1 and 2.  It was written during a devotional experience led by Dianne Dodge.
 

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