Thursday, March 01, 2012

Encouraging Words at Easter by Jaye Lewis

Hello friends,

For many Christians, this is a holy time of the year, as we prepare for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  For my friends across the world, who are not Christians, this may seem like a strange time of the year.  Who celebrates the death of their God?  And what can Resurrection mean?

Well, my friends, we Christians believe that Jesus Christ died, so that the gates of heaven would be opened, and we might all, if we believe in Him, go to heaven for all eternity.  His death, however noble, was not the real miracle.  The real miracle, that Christians the world over have been willing to die for, is that once He was dead, Jesus Christ became alive again.  Only God has that power, and Jesus Christ is God, Son of the Father of us all.  This is what we believe, we Christians.  This is the ideal.

Now, does this belief make us better than anyone else on earth?  No.  We sin.  We are offensive, unrighteous in many ways, unloving, disrespectful of the faith of others, and I could go on and on.  We should be better, but we are sometimes worse.  The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is this, our faith.  Our faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

We believe that each person must accept Jesus, in their hearts, and admit that no one can work their way to heaven.  I know.  That’s the human way.  Working for that paycheck.  But God is not an Employer.  He is in the Salvation business, and all he wants is our hearts, given freely and willingly.  That’s all.

There is not a magic formula.   All formulas were invented by men.  Jesus, I give you my heart.  I will not forget you.  Please remember me.  That’s all it takes.  It is like the thief on the Cross next to Jesus. 

“Jesus, remember me when you are come into your Kingdom.” Pled the repentant thief.

Jesus answered him, “Truly, I say to you, this day you will be with me in Paradise.”

It’s as simple as that.  Jesus forgive me!  Take me with you!  Don’t leave me!  I can’t make it without You!  Only You can save me!  I need You!  I am a sinner!  Without You, I am nothing!  No one on earth, not good works, not good speech, not good thoughts, nothing, no one can save me!  Even I cannot save myself!  Only You can!  I believe in You!!!

And Jesus said, to this sinner, Jaye Lewis, “Child, one day you will live with me in Paradise.”

Ever since that day, that I knew who my Savior is; ever since I opened my heart to Him, my life has never been the same.  And my love for Jesus has grown to consume my heart.  You might say that my love for Him, and His love for me has become a beautiful devouring fire!

Devouring Fire  By Jaye Lewis

He met me at the altar
On a sunny, winter's day.
My heart was cold;
His hands were warm.
It took my breath away.

His eyes were soft.
His face was sad.
A tear rolled down my cheek.
He knelt me down in front of Him.
I trembled.  I was weak.

"Do you love me?" Jesus asked.
"Oh!  Yes!  My Lord, I do!
I take You as my Sovereign Lord!
I choose to follow You!"

And from the moment, that I chose,
Jesus as my Lord;
A battle of the unseen host,
Began to strike His Word.

But in my heart a fire blazed,
And though it seemed, we'd part.
I heard His Voice, I saw His Face.
They were printed on my Heart.

So, don't give up!
He's there for you!
Just as He is for me!
He's waiting at the altar,
To truly set you free.

© Jaye Lewis, 1999

And so, my friends of many faiths, and those of none, this is what moves the hearts of Christians.  Jesus.  Only Him.  And I urge you ― now that you know it ― hold us to it when we stray from the compassion and love of Jesus.  We are like any other human being.  We want to love and be loved.  We believe that Jesus is the answer, but when we do not act like Him, when we do not show His face to you, in what we say and do, then hold us to it.  You tell us that we are not being like Christ.  Tell us that.  We need to hear it.  We need to be reminded, especially at this time of the year.

My fellow Christians, do not be judgmental of others who are not of our faith, who are doing the best they can to live a good life.  They may not have Christ in their lives, but maybe we should have more of Christ in our hearts, our lives, and our actions.  We get puffed up, as though we belong to a special club that says “Stay Out!”  Well, we’d better get over that right now.  Jesus did not come to rule the world.  He came to rule in our hearts.

I finish this with the words of Gandhi:  “If Christians lived the way Christ taught them to live, all of India would have come to the Cross.”  Which ones of us want to stand before Christ and say, “Well, Lord, I forgot that part about living like you.”  The greatest sermon we will ever preach is the power of Christ’s love in our lives.

Heavenly Father, I have said much today.  I ask You and my fellow Christians to forgive me if I have said too much or too little.  And I promise that I do not think I am wise, nor am I a prophet, nor a preacher, nor do I want to be.  I am a sinner, and I love you, Lord.  I love you with my whole heart.  Jesus, I will fail, this day, to be all that I want to be for You and for my fellow travelers on this planet, whether Christian or not.  I beg Your forgiveness, and theirs.  Thank You, Lord, for pursuing me, for finding me, and most of all for showing me that I have been found by You.

Dear friends, who have followed me for so long on this blog, and for those who are just stopping by, I love you.  Yes, I do.  Just knowing that there is someone out there, who needs to hear that today, helps me to bear the tribulations in my own life, with joy in my heart.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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