When Death Lost Its Power

"O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"   - (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Death is a powerful thing. It strikes fear in the hearts of people. It causes a sense of hopelessness and despair that some people cannot get out of. But because Christ is risen from the dead, He has proven Himself victorious over the grave. Therefore, death has lost its power over those who put their trust in Him as their Lord and Saviour!    

The sting of death is sin. Its poison is sin. But even sin loses its power over us through the risen Christ! Through humble repentance and faith in the Risen Messiah, we can be set free from the guilt and condemnation that sin brings. And because He is alive and lives in us who have put our trust in Him, we have been set free from sin's power! We are no longer slaves of sin! Let us then serve God faithfully with the new life He has given us through Jesus Christ. 

"... knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 6:9-11

THINK ABOUT IT

Are you afraid of death? Why? Reflect more on how Christ's resurrection sets you free from this fear. 

TALKING WITH GOD  

"Almighty God and Father, Your power knows no bounds. Jesus proved this when He conquered death. Forgive me, Lord, if I succumb to the fear of death. Help me remember what I have in Christ. Let Your love cast away fear from my heart. Empower me to share with others the freedom that the Risen Christ can grant them. In Jesus' Name."

TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE

Many are bound by sin and death.  Look around you and let God open your eyes. Pray for friends and loved ones who need to know Christ's liberating power. The power of His resurrection in their lives. Ask God for grace to boldly share the hope that you have in Christ to them.


BEN & RALUCA CLEARY | EASTARM Rufiji Lighthouse Teachers

Ben & Raluca have been invited by East Africa River Mission to teach English at The Rufiji Lighthouse in Mloka village, Tanzania, June-August 2019.

Remember our missionaries & servants of the Lord all across the world - Keep them in your prayers & support them in any way you can!

For more information please visit: https://eastarm.net/CLEARY/

To read their letter please CLICK HERE.

Follow their progress at www.rufijilighthouse.blog

Screen Shot 2019-04-07 at 2.09.42 PM.png

The Way is Never Easy

Jesus said that the way to life is narrow and difficult. We should not be surprised at this reality. Jesus never guarantees us an easy life. In fact, He says to us who are His disciples:

  "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. -John 15:18

But our comfort is that we do not walk the narrow road alone. Christ is with us. He bears our burdens with us. As we take upon ourselves His yoke we will find that it is easy and light for we shall go in His strength. He will give us the grace that we need to be faithful.  To stand in these dark times. We will stand for the Lord in these uncertain times. But we will do so with both courage and compassion. The way is narrow indeed, for we are called by God to stand for truth in the face of falsehood. To stand in love though we are hated. The government can declare that which is wrong as right. But we must remember that God is the Supreme Judge. It is He who ultimately determines what is right or wrong. Let us take the way of God. Where He stands... there let us take our stand. 

 

THINK ABOUT IT

Reflect on the passage below:

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.  - 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

 

TALKING WITH GOD

"Loving Heavenly Father, all things are in Your hands. I rest in You. Forgive me for my complacency and indifference. But in these perilous times I turn my heart to You. I plant my feet in obedience and allegiance to You. In Jesus' Name."

 

TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE

Where do you stand in times like these? You never go wrong when you stand for the Lord, with the Lord and in the Lord. Resolve to be faithful to Him. Get into His Word. Let His Spirit fill you. Stand strong in the Lord even as you manifest the fruit of the Spirit in your life. 

People Pleasers

For am I now seeking the favour of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10

Are we people pleasers or God pleasers? Does people’s opinion matter more than God? Paul is saying in this verse, that the gospel he preaches is not meant to please man. He does not want to tickle ears. Some people have perverted the truth and Paul wanted to clarify what the gospel really is. We see in this verse, Paul’s heart and motive. It is to be faithful to God and the message that was given to him and to faithfully proclaim it to all nations. This is an example for us. Our motives should be to do God’s will according to the Word and not our own will according to our own worldly wisdom. We must be careful or we might find ourselves fighting against the Living God. Paul said that he would no longer be a servant of Christ if he was trying to please man and seek the approval of man. Some people seek the approval man over the approval of God. They want to be recognized for all they do and in their pride they want everybody to see how great they are. As servants of God we want everyone to see how great God is.

People were always upset with Paul because he spoke the truth. People did not want to hear the truth so they tried to kill him many times. They stoned, ridiculed, gossiped, slandered and persecuted him because they couldn’t handle the truth. Paul was fighting against a false gospel. Some false gospels do not point out our sin. Some false gospels do not tell us that we are sinners deserving hell and that we are under God’s wrath. That the only way out is in Christ, not our works, gifts, talents or any other worldly thing. The real gospel tells us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead conquering the grave and breaking the power of sin over our lives. That Jesus lived a sinless life and fulfilled the requirements of the law, making reconciliation to the Father possible. That we were once separated from God but when we repent and put our trust in Him we are saved, not by works but by grace alone through faith. True repentance means that we turn away and hate sin.

Paul is saying that he is not a people pleaser so he will continue to preach the full gospel message. The truth of the gospel points out our sin but some people do not want to hear about their sin, they just want to hear about how good they are and how God will bless them for their good behaviour. They are grossly deceived and are people pleasers. They care more about what people think about them than they do about what the Word says. Are you a people pleaser or a God pleaser? Make the decision today because time is short and we can die tonight. God can take us away right now, are you ready for tonight?


Of Nobodies and Somebodies

John 3:30 - He must increase, but I must decrease.

In this life, so many strive to be a somebody. We fear being or becoming a nobody. So we work hard for it. We strive for it. And as we make progress, we take pride in our accomplishments. But if we pay careful attention to our hearts, we begin to find ourselves despising those whom we begin to consider as nobodies in this world. Not good. 

On the other hand, we may feel ashamed of ourselves because while many of our friends have made it good in life... we seem to have been left behind. And we struggle with the feeling of worthlessness. Not good either. 

God loves nobodies.  If you read the Scriptures you will find that God likes to use nobodies as His mighty instruments (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). Is it wrong to strive for a better life? Absolutely not. But don't be afraid of being a nobody. A nobody who gives his whole life exalting the Great Somebody who is God and God alone. Like John the Baptist let us seek to decrease that He might increase. Less of us and more of Jesus!