Then came the morning!

Have you ever heard the phrase, “The darkest hour is just before dawn.”? The disciples felt that they were in the darkest hours imaginable in the hours before dawn on the first day of the week after Jesus was crucified. They had just gone through the worst of all weeks. That had gone from the high of the triumphant entry on Palm Sunday, to the kangaroo court which condemned Him and the cruelty of the cross all in one week. They had rushed His burial in the moments before Sabbath had begun. To the world, it looked like it was over. Jesus was dead. Now that the Sabbath had ended and the only thing left was for the disciples to finish the job of properly burying Jesus as they wondered what would happen to them.

Then came the morning. A group of devout women dared to return to the tomb with spices to finish the burial rituals with Jesus. Let’s pick up the account in Luke 24:2-7.

“And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.’” ‭ESV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

He is not here, but has risen! Those words change it all. Because He rose, He still lives and actively keeps all His promises. He saves all who call upon Him in repentance, He is preparing a home for God’s children, and He will come and take us home.

Today is Easter. Celebrate our risen Lord!

When the Earth Shatters

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R.E.M. sings, It’s the End of the World as We Know It.  That song led off the film Independence Day, a movie about an alien invasion which threatened to annihilate humanity and destroy our world.  Since then, I have been known to sing that line to folks when disaster strikes.   I must admit it is fun to get a room full of teens questioning the future before we would discuss current events.

During the recent flooding, I did my normal routine and for the first time was shut down by a young lady.  She reminded me that the world was not going to end by flood, but by fire and there were several things which had to happen first.  I was impressed!  She knew her Bible. This teen had a strong faith and was bold enough to stand on the truth.   What a witness to her classmates and the school staff.

There are times in our lives in which we may feel our world is coming apart.  There are even times when life as we know it ends as we undergo major change.  Some of those endings are times in which we celebrate such as graduations, weddings, births, etc.  Other times, the life altering changes are times of mourning loss of friends, family, jobs, etc.

During those major life changes, we can have the same confidence of that student.  There is a better song to sing in times of turmoil.  I remember singing it as a boy in church.  Its lyrics say, “I don’t know about tomorrow I just live for day to day. I don’t borrow from the sunshine, for its skies may turn to gray. I don’t worry o’er the future for I know what Jesus said. And today I’ll walk beside Him, for He knows what lies ahead. Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.”

When our worlds begin to shatter, we need to hold onto Jesus.

Bonus:  Here is I know who Holds Tomorrow by Alison Krauss

Security

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A few years ago I received a disturbing phone call.  It seems a company was calling to verify an order I had placed.  It turned out to be fraudulent and upon investigation, I discovered that someone had been ordering things using my debit card number.  I was soon to receive 2 different make-up of the month offerings to which I had been subscribed.  I also had 2 gamefly accounts and would be receiving games every month.  In all a couple of hundred dollars had been spent when it was discovered.  Then began the hassle of filing a criminal report, calling the companies involved, and watching for other uses.  At the same time I was keenly aware of a news report that said people were doing this and then hitting up the mailbox to get the items which would be delivered.  There had even been a shooting in the headlines related to a similar case.

Since then, I have tried to be more aware of where I use my debit card and have studied best practices to protect against identity theft.  For example, it is recommended that you use a unique complex password for every log in you have.  I recently looked into that and stopped counting at 48 places I have to enter a username and password.  There is no way I can remember 48+ usernames and passwords.  Security is important, but in our connected world, there is no way to eliminate all potential threats.

I’m glad in the spiritual realm we don’t have to worry about security.  2 Timothy 2:12 says, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.“ KJV.  When we trust in Jesus, He takes care of the security.  He can deliver what He has promised.  He won’t lose a single soul who has trusted in Him.  Jesus said in John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand.” HCSB