Principle of Life

Principle of Life

Luke 24:5-7 (NLT)The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”

Waking up to the smell of field peas cooking in the crock pot, I remember what today is. I need to get up as there are a few extra things to do before heading out to church. As I hesitate, my husband whispers in the dark as if not to chase it away, “Happy Easter!” I love this day. It has become my favorite of all days. A day to celebrate life and all the opportunities released the day it was clear that Jesus was no longer in the grave. He was alive. He is alive. The Living Christ lives in me. Works through me. Changes me. Challenges me. Pushes me. Presses me. Everyday strengthens me delivering mercy in the morning and more grace throughout the day. I am promised His Power because He is omnipotent. Death could not hold Him. The one thing that is feared the most by all humanity had absolutely no control over our Lord and Savior who is life.

People struggle with the concept of the Risen Christ. The Christ who exists on paper and in theory must be encountered to exist in us, impact our life and change us. It is one thing to say, “I believe in Jesus Christ” yet quite another to make this our principle of life. Ray Dalio, a hugely successful investor and founder of Bridgewater Associates who is one of the world’s largest hedge funds, said, “Principles are what allow you to live a life consistent with those values. Principles connect your values to your actions.” A principle is the fundamental truth from which all others are derived. An applied principle is to take that truth or belief and base all other attitudes and actions upon it. It is our accepted rule of conduct. Do you live like Jesus is alive? Do you truly believe that His Life influences your existence? Will today be the day that you do?

John 1:1-4, 14 (NLT) In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.  

Jesus is the creative power behind every living thing. He is the Word of God which once released must do exactly what He promised it would do. It cannot return void. It is impossible. When God breathed life into Adam – Jesus was that one breath that perpetuated all life. Think about that for a moment. Jesus is life. He is the essence of life from God that enables us and empowers us to live up to the Glorious Standard set for us that people abandoned for sin. His Blood is the life giving power that washes us clean and allows us to apprehend such a life again. The Word of God wrapped himself in flesh to come demonstrate love for all people so that it would be vividly clear that God loves us and desires us above all things. Even with a Living Color Lord, they did not believe Him. Don’t beat yourself up. The men and women who walked with Jesus did not get it either.

The women were coming to the tomb that day to give Jesus a proper burial. They did not expect to find life but finalize His Death. They called Him the Messiah but did not believe it to be so. They expected to find Jesus trapped in a tomb, but that’s not at all what happened that day. Jesus was alive. They ran to tell the others and still no one really believed. The enemy had already begun to perpetuate lies and accusations. The body was stolen. He did not come back from the dead but was hidden by his followers. The enemy always tries to hide the truth with a lie.

John 10:9-10 (NLT) Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18) Jesus came to give us a rich and satisfying life. In the New King James Version, it is called an abundant life. For God so loved the world that He gave His Son so that whoever believes will have everlasting, eternal and forever life. Often this is projected forward and put into a futuristic setting. Jesus did not come to judge people. He did not come to condemn them, but that through Him that they would live. Live now. Live tomorrow. Life this life. Life forever. It is all about believing. It has nothing to do with one’s ability to change their life, make better choices or even do good things. It is all about what you believe and our ability to live that belief. The principle of life for the believer begins with the empty tomb and continues from that point throughout all eternity. If just for today, as we celebrate Easter and honor the Resurrection of Christ, we could for a moment inspect our life.

John 11:21-27 (NLT) “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Lazarus was dead. Jesus appeared to be delayed and upon His Arrival everyone was in mourning. Martha met the Lord and said, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Then she went on to say, “I know that even now Go will give you whatever you ask.” Martha was conflicted. Her heart and mind at odds. She said that she believed and oh how she wanted to believe but she struggled with disbelief just the same. Jesus told her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” He is saying the exact same thing to us today. The same Jesus that came barreling out of the tomb, visited many people, and ascended into Heaven is alive and well today. He is still the Resurrection and Life. The same person who called Lazarus to come up out of his grave and he did. This is the Jesus who lives in you and me today. We have the power to see dead dreams come to life and the Glory of God to fill our life. But just like Martha, we struggle to truly believe.

Romans 8:10-11 (NLT)  And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

What if it is true? What is Jesus Christ really is alive in us? What if His Spirit is trying to give us new life every single day? What if grace really is enough to release God’s Power, His Resurrection and Life-Giving Power, to every single dead thing? What if it is my unwillingness or inability to believe that is holding the doors and windows of blessing shut? What if it is my stubborn foot standing over the seeds of faith attempting to produce good things and harvests in my life? What if my words are poisoning the good fruit that His Spirit is attempting to grow in me? What if I am aborting the birthing of my promises? What if it is me? Today changes everything!

I challenge you as the Lord challenges me today – if you are headed to church, just got home, running late or not doing anything at all but hunting some eggs with the kids and spending time with your family – look for Him today. Not the dead Savior hanging on a Cross, but the Powerful Lord who came alive with the keys to every locked door in your life, heart and mind. Jesus is alive and well. The Living Savior ready to break every chain, release your burden, heal your body and release every other forgotten benefit that marks the new life that He promised. His Promise still stands. God’s love for you cannot be taken or shaken from you. He loves you! He always loved you! He paid the highest price for you – not to make you a performer but a producer of His Love. Your dead dreams are only sleeping. Your potential is not lost just hidden in the soil of your heart. Once fertile, it will explode with life again. Every blessing and promise for your life is safe and sound. Your inheritance is secure. It is your heart that Jesus is after. Do you believe? It is impossible to please God without faith. Faith makes all things possible…we must only believe. Jesus is the principle of life. He is life. He gives life and power to those who love and trust Him. Apply this principle to your life and you will live in peaceful prosperity both now and forevermore. Living for Jesus Christ should be a satisfying life not filled with disappointment. Hope never leads to such a thing. If my life is less than I expected, then I need to let Christ increase in me. He promised to do more than I can think, imagine or even ask. This is the principle of life to be satisfied. To apply Jesus Christ who is alive and well in all areas of my life. Christ is the One who completes this process in us. He gives new life. We become new creations.

John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

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Just Because He Lives – A Devotion

Just Because He Lives

Luke 24:1-8 (NIV)

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”Then they remembered his words.

 

“Then they remembered His Words…” Oh how many times I fall into that category of believer. When we drift off course a little just living or hardship unexpectedly comes knocking on our door, we continue to do life as we know it and forget that confident hope we have been given as believers. The angels asked the women that day, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen!” These words are a source of endless comfort. They are the fuel that fires our testimony in life. The existence of our faith is in the simple fact that death had no power over our Lord and the grave could not hold Him back from fulfilling His Purpose. His Death paid the price for every sin, weakness, and sickness committed. His Burial signified the fact it was finished and He marched straight into hell to take back the Keys to the Kingdom to give them back to God’s Kids. When He stepped out of that tomb and later ascended into Heaven it secured our freedom to be Children of God. It gave substance to faith and confidence to our hope. It doesn’t matter what happened in our life yesterday, what happens today, or what will happen tomorrow, just because Jesus is alive I am well-equipped to have the victory. I have everything that I need to overcome the enemy just because He is alive. I am fully stocked with everything I need to thrive and prosper in this life. It is all mine because Jesus lives. Even those things I do not understand, He will make clear to me one day. All those loved ones who I am missing are secure in His Kingdom and we will be reunited. All because He lives.

“Because He lives…I can face tomorrow. Because He lives…all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future…life is worth the living just because He lives. (Because He Lives – Bill Gaither)

I Corinthians 15:17-28 (NIV)

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

 

We are made alive in Jesus Christ. The death sentence in our life was rebuked when He paid for our sins in red blood. Perfect blood. Sinless blood. Innocent blood. He sacrificed His Life for us but until He was made alive again – we had nothing. Jesus Christ is the first fruits of all that God has promised us. First fruits are the first productivity. He is the first harvest of many blessings to come for God’s Children. If God was simply out to save you and set you free, the Cross was more than enough. But God was out for full restoration. He intends for you to fulfill the purpose given you in Creation despite the fact that sin took over. Jesus is a fresh clean start for every man and woman who accepts Him as Lord and Savior. We must learn the importance of the resurrection power of God in Jesus Christ. We must know the significance to step into the reality of our salvation and prosper in God’s Love. Jesus sits at the Right Hand of God interceding for you and I today. He will remain there until “everything” has been put under Christ’s Authority. How can this be? I thought Jesus already won the victory. He did. Now it’s our turn to accept the prize.

Matthew 27:50-51 (NIV)

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

At that moment, resurrection power was released across the world. When Jesus died and gave up His Spirit, the earth literally shook with power. Rocks split and tombs broke open. But wait there is more, holy people who died were raised from the dead. In the past few years, I have learned to rely heavily on the Power of God in our life. We have walked on the verge of death with our son not once but five separate times. Each time that I have been told, “It’s cancer” has pushed me into a deeper reliance on Jesus Christ. He is life. My son needed life so we went to the source. He became our only hope and proved to be enough. What about the others who did not beat the disease on the earth? What about those taken too soon? Christ remains our only hope. Full reconciliation to Christ only happens in the resurrection of the dead when we finally shed the sin that kept us back for the life that we have been promised. So how about now?

John 11:23-27 (NIV)

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

When Jesus arrived Lazarus had been dead for three days. He was buried in a tomb and the family was mourning his death. When Martha met Jesus on His Way to her house that day they had a conversation that I believe benefits you and I on this Resurrection Sunday. Jesus told Martha, “Your brother will rise again.” But Martha had already accepted death and decided in her heart that they would be reunited in Heaven. Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live…” Martha agreed. She then confessed that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. She professed her faith in the Lord at that moment. But Jesus wasn’t talking about forever, but He was talking about “today”. She was willing to wait to see Lazarus again but the Lord was ready to release His Power in her family today. I wonder if that is the message for our life. Yes, the Resurrection of Jesus and fact that He lives is the foundation of faith that leads to salvation. But maybe just maybe Jesus is reminding us that Resurrection Power is for our everyday life as well! Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead that day. (John 11:43-44) We think we are letting the Lord off the hook when we accept the situations in life with hope but sometimes the Lord is calling forth our faith for new life now! Jesus released His Spirit and the Power of God became possible in every single person who gives their heart and life to Christ. That means you and I will have supernatural outcomes when we accept that Jesus is alive and in us as a way of life and not only hope for the future.

Acts 4:32-35 (NIV)

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

 

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus…wow does that blow the top off modern day evangelism. You mean to tell me to be successful in sharing the Gospel all I have to do is tell people that Jesus is alive. Yes! All believers where one in heart and mind. Imagine the revival that would come to the modern day church if we stopped worrying about everyone else and chose just to share God’s Love. You cannot share something you do not know firsthand but must experience the Love of God and His Power first. God’s Grace works powerfully in us to slay our flesh and give way to the Spirit who is life. People literally laid money at the feet of the apostles unprovoked. We want God to bless us. We ask Him to prosper us. We desire healing and wholeness. We want what is rightfully ours. We cry out for release. We have all these things simply because Jesus is alive. If we can learn to focus on the Life-Giving Power available just in knowing Jesus – nothing more and nothing less – we will have all these things and so much more. Simply the message to others today – life is worth living just because He lives. That’s it. He is more than enough! Celebrate Jesus today!

Ephesians 1:18-21 (NIV)

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.