I nestle down in my writing nook and open the window to cool spring air and birds singing. Before my alarm goes off to remind me to write, I’m writing. This is the first morning to click the “Add New” link in WordPress in well over a month. There seems to be a calm before a storm outside my window. The sky is funereal and the still-bear trees reach and sway upward toward it as if to lift hands to heaven. Crying for what’s to come.
It’s not for me and my writing.
It’s as if it is for these next days leading up to Easter. All creation groaning for its Creator.
I remember what my friend, Suzanne, told me just a few days ago. That we need a bigger view of God this Easter. We need to take our eyes off of ourselves and make all of this more about Him and less about us and make Him bigger. And maybe that has been the problem lately. Maybe my writing worries and woes have too much to do with me and less to do with His glory.
Maybe, in all areas of life, it should be less about me and my ability and strength and more about His.
There is a quote by Charles Spurgeon that has either been brought to me or has come to mind more than once in the past week or two.
“It is the Holy Spirit’s role to always turn our eyes to Jesus and away from ourselves, but satan’s role is exactly the opposite, for he is constantly trying to make us think of ourselves rather than Christ. Satan insinuates, “Your sins are too many to be forgiven, you have no faith, you don’t repent enough, you will never be able to endure to the end, you don’t have the joy of God’s children, and your grasp on Jesus is weak and wavering.” All these thoughts are about self, yet we will never find comfort or assurance by looking inside ourselves. The Holy Spirit turns our eyes away from self, telling us we are nothing– but that Christ is our “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28).
Remember it is not your hold on Christ that saves you– it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you– it is Christ; it is not even your faith in Christ, although that is the means He uses– it is Christ’s blood, work, and worthiness. Therefore, don’t look at your own hand with which you are grasping Christ— look to Christ; don’t look at your hope— look to Jesus, the source of your hope, don’t look at your faith– look to Jesus, “the author and perfecter of [y]our faith” (Heb. 12:2).”
Every other Tuesday my church runs a Good News Club at a local elementary school. After school and IN the school, kids are learning about Jesus and even calling Him King! This past Tuesday Miss Pat, a woman from our church who puts on puppet shows, performed for the club.
Miss Pat doesn’t have a big voice, but our 25 kids listen intently. She doesn’t show a flashy video, she uses her flannelgraph to tell truths from Mark chapter five and the kids are enthralled. She doesn’t depend on fleshly or worldly strength. Her performance is rooted in Christ and the true stories she points us to remind us of the need to live and trust in the same.
Miss Pat tells about the woman who believed that if she just touched Jesus’ cloak, she’d be healed. It wasn’t her superstitious faith that healed her. It was WHO she was trusting in.
Miss Pat shares the story of the demon-possessed man who was healed by Jesus. It wasn’t his strength of faith that saved him, but WHO expelled the demons.
She tells about Jairus and his little girl who had died. In the face of complete hopelessness, he reached out in desperation to Jesus. It wasn’t even his desperation that saved his little girl, it was WHO he reached out to.
We’re all listening now, not just the kids. The adults are taking it in too.
As Miss Pat says, “IT MATTERS WHO AND WHAT WE ARE PUTTING OUR FAITH IN.”
This is the night that we Christians contemplate Jesus’ last dinner with His disciples. It is the night He was betrayed. Betrayed by Judas and even betrayed by Peter. Before the rooster crowed Peter had denied Jesus three times. And yet…was it Peter’s strength of faith that ultimately saved him or was it in WHOM he believed?
“No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”
“In Christ Alone”, Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend, Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music In Christ Alone
Jesus matters. Jesus is our strength. He really is our all in all. We might be tempted to think He was weak on the night that He was betrayed as we head into this Holy Thursday and Good Friday…
“Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. [The Crucifixion of Jesus ] So the soldiers took charge of Jesus.” -John 19:16
“This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” -Acts 2:23
“Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” -John 19:11
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” -John 10:11
“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.” -John 10:17
“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” -John 10:18
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” -Hebrews 12:1-3
I found these verses and truths helpful as I enter into Easter. What has God been placing on your heart? Please leave a comment, I’d love to connect!
Linking up with these lovely bloggers this next week: