Monday, April 27, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Last night, I spoke on the subject of what the resurrection meant to the ones who first witnessed it. The Scripture text I used was Luke 24:1-12.
Here's the outline of the message:
WHAT DOES THE RESURRECTION MEAN?
I. TO THE WOMEN
A. The women were identified/ named in verse 10.
B. The women were loyal and faithful supporters of Jesus – c.f., Luke 8:1-3; 23:46- 49; 24:1
*IN LIFE - 1 Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, 2 along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; 3 Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples. (Luke 8:1-3)
*IN DEATH - 46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.
47 When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.” 48 And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. 49But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching. (Luke 23:46 - 49)
*IN BURIAL - 1 But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. (Luke 24:1)
C. The women were the first to receive the news of the resurrection and one of them (Mary Magdalene) was the first one to see Jesus alive.
A. Their service was never in vain - How would you feel after realizing that all that you have worked for and all you have invested in with your strength, time & resources have come to nothing?
1 Corinthians 15:58 “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
B. Their sorrow turned into joy –
II. TO THE DISCIPLES
A. The disciples were student-followers of Jesus. Judas betrayed Him and later committed suicide. In contrast to the women, they all deserted Jesus when He was arrested. Peter, the most vocal among them, denied Him three times.
B. Imagine their fear, shame and sense of loss.
C. Then they heard the news from the women (verse 9). But they didn’t believe it (verse 11). They thought it’s too good to be true.
A. There are things that block our reception of the truth, even how Good the News is. Are we aware of any? How can we remedy it?
B. Jesus showed them kindness, love and forgiveness. How would you feel when you meet someone you know you have offended or have sinned against? I suppose that’s what Peter felt. That’s what the other disciples felt. Yet, Jesus Christ restored them into a right relationship with Him and commissioned them for ministry as His witnesses.
III. TO US
A. We were not there when it happened some 2,000 years ago. But, this greatest miracle in history has reached us today. What are we going to do about it?
B. Well, we have two options:
- We accept and believe it; or,
- We ignore and do not believe it.
C. I pray that we will choose to accept and believe it. But, why should it matter whether Jesus Christ rose from the dead? ANSWER: Because, if it is true (and it is) there are eternal consequences. His physical resurrection is important only if it’s true. If Jesus didn’t rise from the grave, then the unbeliever is no worse or better off than before. However, if Jesus did rise from the dead, then it is reasonable to believe that everything He claimed is true. If what Jesus claimed is true, then He died for the sins of the world and one receives eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul told the people in Athens that God wants all people everywhere to repent because he has set a day when He will judge the world by Jesus. He has given proof of this by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:16-33). Paul asserts that Christ has indeed been raised from the dead (I Corinthians 15:20-22).
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
NEW LIFE IN JESUS!
I am a caterpillar. I hardly make a sound.
I look for lots of leaves to eat up high and on the ground.
And as I eat, my body grows. I am ready for a change.
I wrap up in a chrysalis (cocoon); it looks so very strange.
Though it may seem to those who watch that inside I could die, our God is making something new-
See, now, a BUTTERFLY!
Our Savior works in this same way. He died for you one day. He rose again on Easter morn to take your sins away.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor. 5:17)
Through faith, believe in this great gift. He’ll make your heart brand new! And just like me you’ll be transformed; he gives new life to you!
DEAD AND ALIVE
I’d like you to meet my friend Chris. We’ve been friends for a very long time.
Wow! It looks like Chris is pretty tired. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the oldest caterpillar in the world!
Leader: Chris, tell us, how did you become the oldest caterpillar in the world?
Chris: Well, to be honest, my life wasn’t supposed to be like this. I was born to fly. My dad was a flyer. So was my mom. My grandpa was a radical flyer. He did things most flyers never dream of doing. And I was determined to be the greatest flyer of them all!
クリス う～ん 正直言って僕の人生はこんなはずじゃなかったんだ。僕は飛ぶために生まれたんだよ。僕のお父さんは飛んでいたし、お母さんもさ。お爺さんなんかサイコーだった、誰も想像出来ない位すごかったものさ。だから僕は誰よりも素晴らしく飛ぶんだって心に決めたんだ！
Leader: What kept you from flying Chris?
Chris: I’m not exactly sure. I worked harder than any other caterpillar around. I exercised. I ate the right vegetation. I got the proper sleep. I even read Flyer’s Weekly where I learned techniques from the best of the best. But then came the day of covering.
Leader: The “covering”?
Chris: I will never forget it. I was sitting on a leaf, minding my own business, when something started to cover me. My parents said “the covering” was how they became new creatures. They said it was the day they became free to one day soar through the sky!
But I wasn’t expecting it. What was happening? I was afraid. So I squirmed out from underneath it.
Oh, I knew I was supposed to change into a chrysalis, and then a few weeks later, I’d change again to become a butterfly. But I saw a chrysalis once. It sort of freaked me out. It looked dead! How could anything good come out of that? What if I didn’t come out at all?
So every time it starts to happen, I squirm away. Now I’m the oldest caterpillar ever. And I never become a flyer.
Maybe one of these days … it seems kind of risk, but maybe one day…
Leader: What do you think? What has Chris missed? Why won’t he allow himself to be covered?
The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor 5:17).
Jesus came to earth so that through his life, his death on the cross, and his resurrection, he could make us new.
He came to cover all our sin and disobedience. But He didn’t just cover it up; He took it away!
He makes us his new people. He gives us His own purity, his own goodness, his own holiness, so we can live as God’s friends now and forever.
We don’t have to earn this new life. We don’t have to work and strive to get it. New Life is a free gift. Do you want to accept that gift?
In Jesus, you have become a new creation! Just as God turns caterpillars into beautiful butterflies, he has made you his beautiful new creation through faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross! You are new!
Let’s thank Jesus for his great gift of new life!
“Dear Jesus, thank you for making me your new creation. Thank you for covering my sin, my mistakes, and my selfishness with the blood of your cross. Thank you for giving me your very own goodness in place of my sin. Make me strong in faith so I can live out the new life you created me to live. I love you Lord Jesus! Amen.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Last Sunday, North Korea finally launched its rocket passing through Japan's airspace and then it went down into the Pacific Ocean.
Although the issue is not yet over, we in Japan are glad to know that there's no untoward incident that happened here relating to the said launch.