Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)

Author James Bryan Smith gives us this affirmation:

“Jesus rose from the grave. (Because I have been raised with Christ,) there is nothing I cannot rise from. Even death cannot hold me down. Nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”

It’s all because of the Resurrection. As Christians, all we believe hinges on the resurrection. The Resurrection has the final word. It has the last laugh. It is our victory, our healing, and our hope. Because of the morning the tomb was found empty, we celebrate Easter.

But our celebration shouldn’t stop then and there. We should celebrate this ultimate and underlying victory every single day. Defeat is no longer an option. Death no longer has any hold. Sin no longer has any power.

Because of Jesus and our faith in Him and His resurrection, you and I are raised with Him, and as a result, you and I can rise above it all! As Smith says above, “There is nothing (we) cannot rise from!”



I just have to share what I just read:

“Out of love Jesus was conceived and out of love he chose to die. There is something in us that God finds lovable. It is certainly not our sanctity, nor is it our fidelity. When I look at my own baseness, my incredible ability to sin at a moment’s notice, I wonder what God sees in me.

“Just recently I experienced a wonderful hour of prayer. I felt all warm inside, centered on God’s love, and ready to share that love with everyone I met. While driving to work, someone cut me off on the freeway, and immediately I began screaming at him. Where did this anger come from? It was in me all along. It is a good thing that God does not wait for us to be perfect in order to accept us.

“‘But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God’s love for us is amazing in that he loves us without much of a reason. If we doubt it, all we have to do is consider the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. For centuries that has been the clearest sign of God’s radical acceptance. Too often we reduce the cross to a mere decoration when in fact it is the most glorious demonstration of love that has ever been.”

Embracing the Love of God, James Bryan Smith

The deepest chasm…

“Religion is the human search for God; Christianity is God’s search for humans.” — James Bryan Smith

Have you ever seen the ceiling of The Sistine Chapel? I haven’t either – personally – but I’ve seen pictures. One of the amazing paintings by Michelangelo is The Creation of Adam, depicting Adam reclining and reaching toward God. God, surrounded by angels, in turn is reaching down from heaven toward Adam. They reach and reach, seemingly straining toward each other and are only separated by what seems like an inch.image

Except that inch would later become a chasm of endless width, breadth, and depth. It is filled with my deepest, darkest thoughts. It is filled with my most wicked acts and deeds. It is filled with secrets. It is filled with sin. My sin. Your sin. Our sin.

In His great love for us, God gave us the gift of eternal living through the death and life of His Son, Jesus Christ. He came to us. He wanted us. He made a way. We owe it all to Him. We didn’t go looking for Him. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We were stuck drowning in our own chasm of darkness. It’s all His doing. We have tried reaching for Him for millenia. In one instant, He reached out for us and bridged the widest canyon in human history.

And He still is reaching for us today.

That’s why it’s called the Good News.

(Thanks to my friend Nancy Jo for posting in Facebook the short sentence at the top of this post. It’s from the book we’re all reading at church written by James Bryan Smith. Actually, over 250 people are reading from the same chapter of the same books each week for the past nine months, and that is a powerful thing. Lives have been changed… mine included. I highly recommend them. You can find them HERE.)

No Chains On Me

I love music. I always have. During my teen and young adult years, I listened and loved everything from Bluegrass to New Wave… my love of music was eclectic as well as passionate. The funny thing is: I am passionate about music but I’m not musical. I can’t play an instrument and I can’t really sing. I can sing in my car or the shower like everyone else, but that’s about it. But music is always on at home, in my workspace, or in my car.

After I came to know the Lord in 1996, my taste in music immediately changed. For years, I listened to nothing but Praise and Worship and Contemporary Christian music. I didn’t really have a desire to listen to anything else. (That has changed and I listen to all types now)

There’s a few songs that I link with certain times in my life. I’m sure you do the same. When you hear a song, it takes you back to a place and time. And there are certain songs you link with certain events like your wedding or a holiday. For me, a lot of the time, it’s obscure songs… music that no one else is listening to.

Such it is with Easter. While I’m sure you have your favorite Easter song, mine is a song by Chris Tomlin called “No Chains On Me”. I’m not sure it’s really an Easter song, but it is a song of celebration. Easter is a time of celebration.

It sums up what’s been done for you and me

You can listen to it here (with lyrics):

This is the dream, a dream for the world to see You
A dream for the world to know You, to love Your name
Lift up a shout, lift up a cry to shake the ground
Shout and the walls are coming down
Yeah, we’re running after You

Like a rolling stone, like a runaway train
No turning back, no more yesterdays
My heart is free, no chains on me
God, You raise me up, up from the grave
The cross before, I’m on my way
My heart is free, no chains on me

Now is the time, now is the time for freedom
Abandoned by cold religion, my heart on fire
We hear the sound, the sound of revival coming
The sound of Your people rising
Yeah, we’re running after You

The walls are coming down

Have a great Resurrection Day!