Thursday, March 29, 2018

Happy Easter and a Linky

Good Friday and Easter

In honor of Good Friday and Easter, I have a special post this weekend. I'm sharing a chapter from my book, Happy Moms, Happy Homes. The chapter is titled, "Thankful in Light of Our New Covenant." Each chapter in the book ends off with one of my poems and below is one of my favorite. Wishing you all a blessed Easter!

by Christina Morley

The Israelites didn't have the Holy Spirit available to them in the same way that He is available to us today. In the Old Testament days, the Holy Spirit visited specially appointed individuals. Usually those individuals had to fulfill a special role or convey a prophetic message. To have this kind of personal relationship with God was highly unusual.

Since Jesus, it is possible for everyone to have an ongoing and intimate relationship with the Father. By accepting His gift of salvation, we automatically receive His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our seal guaranteeing that we are God’s people (Eph. 1:13), like the seal made by a king’s signet ring. Once the seal is made, it can’t be broken.

Moses brought the Old Covenant (the Ten Commandments), which was written on stone, to the people of Israel. This Old Covenant was imperfect because it couldn’t make them righteous. It only pointed out the problem of sin in their lives. Jesus brought us the New Covenant, where the law is written on our hearts instead of on stone. This New Covenant also makes us right with God in that He paid the penalty for our sin with His blood.

The New Covenant, which is made through faith in Christ, is not a two-way covenant. It’s not a little bit of us and a lot of God. It’s all God. The Old Covenant, on the other hand, was a two-way covenant. It was all about keeping the law. It was up to the people to keep the covenant, and if they didn’t, curses would follow. In Old Testament days, the priests had to make daily and yearly sacrifices to keep covering not only the sins of the people, but also their own sins. No one was perfect, and no one was without guilt.

In contrast, God Himself takes on completely the requirements and fulfillment of the New Covenant through His Son. Jesus Christ became our one-time perfect sacrifice. He took all that guilt upon Himself and paid the penalty for our sins. When we do something wrong, we don’t have to beat ourselves up about it. He took that punishment for us. The focus is not on our ability to try to do things right all the time, but on Him having made us right.

The moment we believed in Him He took our unrighteousness and gave us His righteousness. The more we understand this, the more victorious we’ll be in receiving true freedom. It’s crucial that we get this truth. It’s what makes true Christianity different from all other religions. Every other religion has rules and regulations to follow in order to reach Paradise, Karma, Reincarnation, or whatever their goal may be. However, no one can achieve God’s standards on his or her own merits, and with Christianity that’s just the point: we all fall short of God’s standards and need a Savior.

Christ’s blood makes us right with God and transports us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. This New Covenant is better than the Old because God guarantees it no matter how we feel about ourselves or to what degree we’re able to keep His commandments. Even though we’re imperfect, we receive Jesus' one-time sacrifice to pay for all our past, present, and future sins. Righteousness no longer has anything to do with us, because it has everything to do with Him.

One simple prayer of faith makes us right with God and forever allows us access into His presence. With that prayer, He gives us new life by His Spirit. However, we still make mistakes. That’s because our old nature is at war with the new. The old nature wants to do everything its own way, contrary to God’s way.

We need to remind ourselves regularly that God has given us His Spirit and a new nature. We should not live out of our old nature any longer. This requires the renewing of our minds: the process of changing our thought-life by developing a new perspective. He wants us to realize that He is there to enable us to accomplish His will in all areas of our lives.

We can be thankful that we have Christ’s Spirit living inside of us. Even if we embarrass ourselves in a moment of weakness, He has promised to stay. He is more concerned with the condition of our hearts than He is with our outward achievements. We can confidently surrender our lives with all our weaknesses to Him because He will empower us for successful living. Jesus paid such a heavy price for you and me because He thought we were worth it.

Our lives are like stories acted out in a play.
Yet at times those stories get jumbled in some way.
Maybe we read the wrong script or misread how it goes,
And then find ourselves caught in the middle of life’s throws.

To him that overcomes is victory living.
Our strength comes from God and He keeps on giving.
No man can go down where God cannot go,
And God is a jealous God, His love He will show.

If we miss out on the best, that’s not the end to our story.
All things work together for the good to God’s glory.
He came to give us life and life abundantly.
It’s a joy-filled life He’s given both you and me.

He knows we’ll get hurt and experience life’s stings,
So He reminds us not to focus on these things.
But to focus on Him is life evermore,
And He’ll bring us to that glorious shore.

The story is not over, it’s just begun.
The race is not finished till the crown is won!

by Christina Morley


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