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April Food for the Journey

For the past seven weeks I have offered a series of messages of various confrontations Christ experienced on the way to Jerusalem and the cross. These messages included a confronta tion with Satan, Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman at the well, the disabled person at Bethesda, at the tomb of Lazarus, His betrayers, His enemies, and lastly His confrontation with death which will be presented on Good Friday evening 3/29/24. It has been my hope and prayer that you have been able to associate some aspect of your life journey with someone in each of these messages. For it is my belief that at some point in our life journey we have danced with Satan through temptation or possibly in failure. Somewhere along our life journey we have had questions for Jesus to answer much like Nicodemus; or possi bly found ourselves floundering in our life journey like the Samaritan woman at the well. There is also the very possibility that at sometime in our life journey we have experienced some form of physical affliction, maybe not as severe as the invalid at Bethesda, or maybe we have, which leads to the question of did we respond to Jesus as this invalid did, or did we outright ask for healing and restoration? Looking at Mary and Martha, did we ask Jesus what his delay was in responding to our situation, or did we walk in faith knowing that Jesus was already at work in our life and sit uation? How many times have we failed Jesus, possibly even betrayed Him as Judas did, by tak ing matters into our own hands and turning away from where Jesus would lead us or refusing to respond when Jesus asked something of us? If we ever walked away from Jesus at some place in our life journey, did we become an enemy of Jesus? I hope and pray we did not! As we prepare to celebrate Easter, may we fully remember our commitment to Jesus! May we fully grasp what He accomplished on our behalf through His crucifixion! Jesus made total commitment of Himself on the cross! There is no way around that! All He asks of us is for us to take up our cross, whatever it might look like, and follow Him! Jesus FINISHED the task He was sent to this earth to accomplish! Quoting from Colossians 2:13-14 ~ “You were dead because of your sins and because of your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice for us. Sinful human beings are simply unable to stand blameless before a holy and just God ~ our own merits fall short all the time ~ and so God sent His Son, Jesus, to stand in for us. In that one act of love we are assured of our salvation ~ our eternal place in the presence of God. On the cross that day over 2,00 years ago, Jesus finished the work God sent Him to do! The same Jesus who walked the countryside for three years sharing, touching, eating with sinners, healing the sick, and calling the disciples and others to the side of God. The work Jesus completed on the cross, forgiving your sin and mine; created a new life for each of us! And a new life ~ a new beginning! What are we going to do with that new beginning? What does our commitment to Christ look like? Where does your believing begin to waver? What else must Jesus do to earn your TRUST, BELIEVING, AND COMMITMENT? Remember, TODAY is the FIRST DAY of the REST of YOUR LIFE! LIVE IT FOR JESUS! Shalom! Tom

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