"Give, and it will be given to you you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
I always have a number of things on my to-do list. Every day there is ...laundry to wash, dirty dishes to clean and dinner to cook. On some days the list never ends and always seems to grow. However, on other days I feel like I have wasted my day and the precious time the good Lord has given me. How to balance it all can be a conundrum. Frustration can creep in when you do nothing but run all day for others and never have time for yourself, but guilt can creep in when you have extra time and do nothing productive with it. It is a tough balancing act, especially if the days priority is to please the Lord.
Time is such a precious commodity that we can waste, or spend, or invest. We can all understand wasting time. How best to spend and invest in it is the question we need to answer. Moses prayed, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 Nothing better displays our true heart than how we spend our time, especially surplus time. I believe if we turn our eyes and hearts to others needs then blessings will be poured out to us in full measure.
Next time you look at your watch while standing in line at the bank or grocery store and our tempted to get frustrated or impatient, remember, you can never get a refund on that moment in time. Charles Spurgeon said, “Serve God by doing common actions in a heavenly spirit, and then, if your daily calling only leaves you cracks and crevices of time, fill them up with holy service." Even if it's standing in line at Walmart do not waste a smile or a friendly gesture, because... "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2 Time is a gift, do not waste one precious second if it.
I have this video conundrum on my website. Have a look.https://www.pawsforlovemystery.com/mysteries(This is what you'll see. Put a blindfold on someone, take them to a park or a beach or a meadow and ask them to walk for as long as they can in a straight line. Then watch what happens) There are so many things in life we can't explain or understand. Like when you go shopping at Walmart on what seems like a slow day. Few cars in the parking lot, lots of available shopping carts...yet when you get in line to pay every cashier has ten people in front of you. 🤷🏼♀️ I would include the "mystery" of bees on that same can't explain list.
https://creation.com/dancing-bees. . The top row shows the dance pattern which the bee performs to tell others in the hive the distance and direction to find the new food source. Life is full of inexplicable and contradictory moments. But when I think of the blindfolded person trying to walk a straight line my brain immediately responded. When we have in our sights the mountain top of Christ we our guided in the right direction. Sure, along the way there will be the rain storms and earthquakes of life causing us to go off course a bit, but in the end we still make it to our destination. Eternity in the New Heaven and the New Earth. However, if we are blinded, distracted or ignore the mountaintop because of the things in this world then when the rainstorms and earthquakes of life hit we become disoriented. We think we know better, and besides that mountaintop seems so far away. We think, wouldn't it just be easier to make our own path whether its circuitous or not? I pray you won't walk in circles through life like the blindfolded man in the video, but you will set your sights on that thing that holds eternal value and will always set your paths straight.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
22 Reasons Jesus Rose From The Dead A. He predicted he would rise from the dead
Because he was the Son of God, he knew about his coming death in Jerusalem. But he also knew about his resurrection. In John 2:19-22 he said that he would be raised in three days—although the disciples did not understand it at the time. In John 10:17-18 he plainly said he had the power to lay down his own life and then to take it back up again. At the moment when Peter declared, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus told his disciples for the first time that he must go to Jerusalem, that he would be put to death, and that he would be raised to life on the third day (Matthew 16:21).
Anyone can predict his own resurrection; only the Son of God can fulfill such a prediction.
B. Jesus really died
The Romans were experts at killing. Everything they did to a victim was calculated to make him suffer unbearable pain and then to die an agonizing death. No one could have survived what Jesus suffered. He was dead when they took him down from the cross.
C. His body was embalmed and then buried
Jewish burial customs of that day involved a complex mixture of spices and resin that, when placed between the layers of the graveclothes hardened to produce an impenetrable shell. The primary purpose, of course, was to keep robbers and animals out, but in this case it has the additional purpose of keeping the dead man inside. It also prevented unpleasant odors from spreading. The total weight of the winding cloth with the spices and resins would be 75-100 pounds.
The evangelists note that Jesus’ body was taken down and hurriedly prepared for burial in the last few moments before sundown since Jewish law forbade touching a dead body on the Sabbath. He was buried in a newly-dug tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea. He and Nicodemus, along with the women, prepared the dead body for burial. Afterwards Pilate ordered the tomb sealed and then placed a squad of soldiers in front of the stone as a precaution against mischief of any kind.
Although it is not often noticed, the gospel writers actually give quite a few details regarding the handling of the body and the preparation for burial. The only possible conclusion must be that Jesus was in fact actually dead on Friday evening.
D. The disciples didn’t expect a resurrection
In my mind this is one of the most telling points. Even though Jesus had repeatedly predicted his resurrection, somehow that truth simply failed to sink in. Either they didn’t understand it, or they didn’t want to think about what it implied (Jesus’ death), or they forgot it in the emotion of watching him die. All four gospels make it clear that before the crucifixion, none of the disciples understood Jesus’ references to the resurrection.
E. The women saw him first
In our modern culture we don’t appreciate the significance of the fact that the women came first to the tomb. No first-century fiction writer would have put the women at the tomb first because women weren’t considered reliable witnesses. The only reason to say that the women saw him first is because that’s what actually happened. No one would have made up such a strange detail.
F. No one believed it at first
Not only did the disciples not expect a resurrection, Luke 24 makes it clear that the men didn’t believe the first reports from the women. Discounting them as unreliable, they decided to check the tomb for themselves. Remember, the disciples went into hiding after Friday because they feared for their own safety. They last thing they expected on Sunday morning was a resurrection. In the beginning, it wasn’t just Thomas who doubted. None of them believed the early reports and all of them had to be convinced over and over again that Jesus had risen from the dead.
G. The Jews tried to cover it up
Why try to cover up the resurrection if the body is still in the grave? The cover-up and the payoff only make sense if the tomb really was empty. Otherwise, they just trot out the dead body of Jesus and the resurrection becomes just another story with a bad ending.
H. The stone was rolled away
Josh McDowell goes into this at some length. First, the stone itself was three to six feet in diameter and weighed two to five tons. It took several strong men to roll it into place. Second, the New Testament uses several prepositions that indicate that the stone was not just rolled away; someone picked it up and physically moved it. Third, the seal on the stone could only be broken by a Roman official. Anyone else caught breaking the seal would be put to death.
Who rolled the stone away? The disciples? The Roman guards would have stopped them. The Jews? Same thing. The Romans? Not likely. They had no motivation. And who would risk death to do such a thing?
Who rolled the stone away? God did, because he’s the one who raised Jesus from the dead.
I. The angels testified to the resurrection
To the Jews angels always signified a special message from God. In the Old Testament angels were sent by God to announce very important events. In this case the angels announced the most important event of all time—the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
J. The graveclothes were still in place
When John wrote his version of the Sunday morning events, he includes the fascinating note that when he and Peter entered the tomb, they found the graveclothes lying in place with the linen head cloth folded next to it. Evidently the spices and resins had hardened into the shape of Jesus’ body, leaving the appearance of a cocoon after the butterfly has escaped. How do you explain that fact? Grave robbers would have taken the body without unwrapping it or they would have unwrapped it and thrown the winding sheets to the side. No one steals a body and then rewraps the graveclothes.
I believe that when Jesus rose from the dead he literally passed right through the graveclothes leaving behind the linen wrappings just as John and Peter found them.
K. The tomb was empty
It’s interesting to note that all the contemporary witnesses agree on this fact. The disciples, the Jews, and the Romans all knew that the tomb was empty. It’s true that each group viewed that fact differently but no one disputed the basic assertion that on Easter Sunday morning Jesus was no longer in the tomb.
L. No one ever found his body
Again we come back to the fundamental issue. The Jews never produced his body. In fact, they concocted the first Easter conspiracy precisely because they didn’t know what happened to it. The Romans went along with the conspiracy because they didn’t know what happened either. If anyone—anyone at all—had produced the dead body of Jesus, the entire Christian movement would have gone the way of so many other short-lived religions across the centuries.
No one has ever found the body of Jesus and no one ever will. The skeptics simply can’t answer the question, “What happened to his body?”
M. He appeared to many people
Taking the gospels together with 1 Corinthians, you get a list like this: First to the women, then to Peter and John, then the disciples on the road to Emmaus, then to the disciples in the Upper Room, then to the disciples and Thomas one week later, then to the disciples in Galilee. And somewhere along the way he appeared to 500 people at once. There were other appearances as well that we cannot date precisely.
Taken together, the list is impressive enough that it cannot be cavalierly dismissed as wishful thinking. Writing some 30 years later, Paul commented that most of those who saw the risen Christ were still alive and ready to testify to what they had seen.
N. He showed his wounds to Doubting Thomas
When Jesus appeared to Thomas a week after the resurrection he offered the ultimate apologetic proof. Spreading forth his hands, he said, “Touch my wounds. See for yourself.” When Thomas saw the wounds, he knew at last that it must be true.
O. He ate with the disciples
Luke 24:42, 43 tells us that Jesus ate broiled fish in the presence of the disciples. A ghost doesn’t eat fish. Neither does a dead man.
Ghosts don't eat fish.
P. He stayed with them for 40 days
Forty days is a long time. If Jesus had only appeared once or twice, we might be tempted to discount it as a hopeful vision. But Jesus “showed himself alive” according to Acts 1:1-3 by “many infallible proofs.” He stayed long enough to convince all his followers that he had indeed come back from the dead.
Q. The disciples were utterly transformed
Here is one of the most remarkable facts surrounding the resurrection. Whereas before that Sunday the disciples were unsure, timid, doubting, and in general a lackluster bunch, afterwards to a man they were utterly, radically and completely transformed. They were quite literally new men. Suddenly these timid souls became first-century Billy Grahams, totally dedicated to spreading the good news to anyone who would listen. Persecution didn’t stop them, opposition didn’t faze them, hatred didn’t intimidate them, hardship didn’t slow them down, the threat of martyrdom didn’t intimidate them.
To a man they became dynamos of Christian evangelism. In the words of the Bible, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. These were the men who turned the world upside down.
What made the difference? I submit that the only possible answer is that these men met the risen Christ and he changed their lives forever.
R. The early Christians all believed he had been raised
This is nothing more than a simple historical observation. All the early Christians—without exception—believed that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. The Jewish Christians believed, but so did the Gentiles. Wherever the gospel went, it produced converts who joined in proclaiming the risen Christ.
S. The resurrection was the centerpiece of their preaching
It’s interesting to read the accounts of the early Christian sermons from the book of Acts. They all centered on the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. We today tend to focus more on the death of Christ. But it was not so in the beginning. The first Christians understood that without the resurrection, the crucifixion had no meaning.
T. They died testifying to the reality of the resurrection
Church history tells us that of the eleven original disciples (not counting Judas) plus Paul, all died violent deaths for their faith in Jesus. The one exception was John, who spent his final years imprisoned on the island of Patmos. Beyond that, thousands of Christians died in the various Roman persecutions.
Why would men and women die for a myth or a legend? Why would the apostles die for Christ if they knew he had not risen from the dead?
U. For 2,000 years no one has produced a convincing answer to the question, “If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, what happened to his body?”
This is the ultimate unanswered question. Where is the body of Jesus? No one throughout 2,000 years of history has provided a credible answer to that question. In fact, I will go so far as to state that no one ever will. I’ve been to the Holy Land and I can tell you that you can start in the north and dig to the south or start in the east and dig to the west. You’ll find bones everywhere you dig. But you won’t find the bones of Jesus because they aren’t there.
V. Today over one billion Christians unite to proclaim that Jesus Christ is alive
This morning we join with Christians around the world to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. We stand in a long line of believers who proclaim with the angel, “He is not here, for he is risen, just as he said.”