Fire - Where There Is Smoke
Monday, April 2
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”
Jesus, your Savior, was the ultimate example of how to live with purpose and intentionality. The reason why so many people stop short of the dreams and purposes God has for their life is simply the fact that
they let their circumstances and trials to pull their attention off of their purpose. Jesus, even in the midst of excruciating pain and despair, kept His focus on just exactly what had to be accomplished, or finished, for Him to remain the perfect sacrifice required for mankind’s salvation. How many times in life have you allowed a temporary circumstance to take precedence over the areas of your life that have eternal significance? When you purpose to walk the path that God has laid out for you, you can expect adversity to not be too far behind. But, if like Jesus, you’ll keep your focus and priority on the eternal, the temporary and circumstantial things that come your way will pass and you’ll be all the stronger for it. As another Easter Sunday has come and gone, take the time to renew your focus and determination in honor of the sacrifice that He made so that you could walk into the divine destiny that He has for you.
Tuesday, April 3
A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus was given sour wine while He was on the cross? Many scholars and theologians will tell you that it was a way to dull the pain for those who were being crucified. But, if you’ll really think about it, why would the same people wanting to inflict pain do something that would prevent it? When Jesus was eating the final passover meal with His disciples, He took the wine and told them that it was the New Covenant being established in His blood. The two instances are too similar to deny. Just as He was
fulfilling the Old Covenant and establishing the New, He took the old wine and by His sacrifice enabled us to receive the His Holy Spirit who is referred to the New Wine. You see, not one instance in all of Jesus life can be chalked up as coincidence. Everything He did from the time He stepped on the scene until He ascended was divinely orchestrated to establish the New Covenant in His blood. The next time you feel like your life is meaningless and lacking in purpose, remind yourself that your Savior made sure that every detail of His was perfect so that your’s could have the potential to be also.
Wednesday, April 4
30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
When Jesus said “It is finished”, most people believe that He was taking about His life and that He was about to release his spirit. However, Jesus throughout the entirety of his ministry here on the Earth never limited the scope of His focus to life on this side of eternity. So it would not make sense for Him to simply be letting everyone know that He was about to die…that part was pretty obvious. Quite to the contrary, Jesus was announcing to all creation that the work of redemption was about to be completed. You see, every word, of every account the took place in the Old Testament was leading up that very moment. God’s redemptive strategy, that had been initiated at the fall of man, was coming into it’s fullness right before the eyes of all who were watching. Jesus was not proclaiming the end, no, He was announcing the all preparation from the fall until then was done and that the age of grace was here. So what was finished exactly? Your bondage to sin was finished. The enemy’s claim to your life was finished. Your future and destiny full of victory and glory was about to begin.
Thursday, April 5
“28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
The life that Jesus lived here on this earth as well as the gruesome death He died were not simply just a means to punch your ticket to Heaven someday. In fact everything that He did was to bring you victory today. The ultimate promise and hope of the believers’ faith is Heaven, of course. But, His purpose in dying was so that the Holy Sprit could dwell once again in the hearts of men. It has never been God’s intent that you should eek through life and collapse in his arms as you fall through the pearly gates. His purpose in suffering and conquering the grave was to enable you to receive the very power that Jesus Himself walked in. Religion will tell you that no one could ever operate in the power of God the way Jesus did…you’ll just have to do the best you can until someday you go home to be with Him. That’s not what Jesus said. He said the you should do the same things He did…and greater! So, if you’ve allowed yourself to be lulled into uselessness by the lie that you can’t walk in power and anointing, it’s time to wake up and receive the very gift that He died for you to have. Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit and fire. You were never meant to be weak, powerless and ineffective.
Friday, April 6
“4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’”
All believers have accepted the Gospel of salvation. This is why they are called believers, because they have believed on the One who died for them. Unfortunately, this is where the Gospel for most believers stops. After receiving the saving work of Jesus you must move on into the Gospel of the Kingdom. The word ‘Gospel’ simply means ‘good news’. Upon hearing the good news that Jesus died for you, you were born again and Heaven became your eternal home. That Gospel was for you. But, now that you’re born again, you must realize that the Kingdom is about so much more than you. The good news of the Kingdom is that you are now commissioned and empowered expand His Kingdom here on the Earth. The Gospel of the Kingdom involves you doing what it takes to see that those around you have the opportunity to receive the Gospel of salvation. Those who are in the Kingdom are expected to operate under the freedoms that come with it’s citizenship. Your being born again was your citizenship, your receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit is your empowering to be a productive member in the Kingdom. Have you accepted the Gospel of the Kingdom since you’ve been born again?
Saturday, April 7
And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
Have you ever bought a box of matches? If so, you’ve probably noticed that you can get a lot of matches for very little cost. Upon examining a single match, you then realized why the were so cheap. There’s really not much to a match. It’s essentially a splinter of wood with a combustible chemical at the tip. However, as seemingly worthless and insignificant as that little match is, if you’re needing to start a fire, that little splinter of wood becomes extremely valuable. This is a great example of the cross. The cross in and of itself has very little value…it just a couple of logs tied together. Jesus was not the only person to die this way. Countless, thousands of people have been crucified. Just like that match was one of possibly hundreds in the box, Jesus was just one of many to die that way. You see it wasn’t the cross that saved you, it was the the One who allowed Himself to die on it. When they killed your Savior, they didn’t stop what He started, in fact, they actually struck the Match who lit the fire of salvation that is still burning today. Because they struck your Shepherd, the Gospel was sent into the world and it eventually got to you.
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