Devotion Message No.11

Good morning friends! 
We give thanks to almighty God for the privilege He gives us this morning. Today we will continue SERMON ON CHOICES.
We must choose…. The Right Attitudes (Attitude is the manner in which we approach/face/confront something)

1. The attitude of obedience–whatever God tells me I will obey.
a) This was the attitude of Jesus: Jesus Christ was humble, willing to give up his rights in order to obey God and serve people. Like Christ, we should have a servant’s attitude, serving out of love for God and for others, not out of guilt or fear. Remember, you can choose your attitude. You can approach life expecting to be served, or you can look for opportunities to serve others. See Mark 10:45 for more on Christ’s attitude of servant hood. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (read ..Philippians 2:5-8)

Jesus was in great agony as he prepared to face death (Lk.22:41-44). Although Jesus cried out to God, asking to be delivered, he was prepared to suffer humiliation, separation from his Father, and death in order to God’s will. [Was Jesus trying to get out of his mission? It is never wrong to express our true feelings to God. Jesus exposed his dread of the coming trials, but he also reaffirmed his commitment to do what God wanted. The cup He spoke of meant the terrible agony he knew he would endure-not only the horror of the crucifixion but, even worse, the total separation from God that he would have to experience in order to die for the world’s sin]. At times we will undergo trials, not because we want to suffer, but because we want to obey God. Let Jesus’ obedience sustain and encourage you in times of trials. You will be able to face anything if you know that Jesus Christ is with you. Have you ever felt that God didn’t hear your prayers? Be sure you are praying with reverent submission, willing to do what God wants. God responds to his obedient children. (Hebrews 5:7-9)

b) This should be our attitude as well: Peter writes, (read…1 Peter 2:21) “we may suffer for many reasons. Jesus suffering was a part of God’s plan and was intended to save us. All who follow Jesus must be prepared to suffer. Our goal should be to face suffering as he did with patience, calmness and confidence that God is in control of the future”.

2 Corinthians 10:5, 6 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
Spirit-empowered believers must capture every thought and yield it to Christ. When exposed to ideas or opportunities that might leads to wrong desires, you have a choice. You can recognize the danger and turn away, or you can allow unhealthy thoughts to take you captive. Capture your fantasies and desires when you honestly admit them to the Lord and ask him to redirect your thinking. Ask God to give you the spirit of discernment to keep your thoughts focused on his truth.

2. The attitude of perseverance/patience–wherever God puts me I will remain faithful.

It is easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? We can’t really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for grow. Thank God for promising to be with us in rough times, Ask God to help you solve your problems or to give the strength to endure them. Then be patient. God will not leave you alone with your problems; He will stay close and help you grow.
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
James 1:2-4 “When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow for when your endurance is fully developed, you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
Rev. 2:10 “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.” Remaining faithful by keeping your eyes on Christ and on what he promises us now and in the future. If you are experiencing difficult times, don’t let them turn you away from God. Instead, let them draw you toward greater faithfulness. Trust God and remember your heavenly reward.

3. The attitude of good stewardship–whatever God gives me I will use it for him.
The first principle of stewardship–We must give of ourselves “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 8:5).
The second principle of stewardship–We must do the best with what we have–Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30).
The third principle of stewardship–We must be faithful with what we do. “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that a man is found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1, 2). Paul urged the Corinthians to think of him. Peter and Apollos as mere servants of Christ entrusted with the secret things of God. A servant does what his master tells him to do. We must do what God tells us to do in the Bible and through his Holly Spirit. Each day God presents us with our needs and opportunities that challenge us to do what we know is right.
“MAY WE ALL CHOOSE THE RIGHT ATTITUDES, AND BE RIGHT WITH OURSELVES.” God bless you through reading of this message.

Pastor Hejang Kipgen
Director, Ebenezer Ministries

Devotion Message No.12

JESUS RISEN FROM THE DEAD ( Matthew 28:1-15)

This is the morning that when the Christian church celebrates what we have come to know as Easter Sunday. It is the day when we commemorate and celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. May I remind you that Resurrection of Jesus is not about the giving of gifts? It is about celebrating the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the dead on the first Resurrection Sunday.

The angel who announced the good news of the Resurrection to the women gave them four messages: (1) Don’t be afraid. The reality of the Resurrection brings joy, not fear. When you are afraid, remember the empty tomb. (2) He isn’t here. Jesus is not dead and is not to be looked for among the dead. He is a live, with his people. (3) Come, see. The women could check the evidence themselves. The tomb was empty then, and it is empty today. The Resurrection is a historical fact. (4) Go quickly and tell. They were to spread the joy of the Resurrection. We too, are to spread the great news about Jesus’ resurrection.
Jesus’ resurrection is the key to the Christian faith. Why? (1) Just as he promised, Jesus rose from the dead. We can be confident, therefore, that he will accomplish all he has promised. (2) Jesus’ bodily resurrection shows us that the living Christ is ruler of God’s eternal Kingdom, not a false prophet or impostor. (3) We can be certain of our resurrection because he was resurrected. Death is not the end-there is a future life. (4) The power that brought Jesus back to life is available to us to bring our spiritually dead selves back to life. (5) The resurrection is the basis for the church’s witness to the world. Jesus is more than just a human leader; he is the Son of God.

With that in our minds this morning, let's journey back to that first Resurrection Sunday morning. Let's look in on the events at the tomb of Jesus that day and see what happened and what it means for you and me!

(Matthew records the fact that two women came that morning. The other Gospel writers reveal the fact that others came also. There is no contradiction, they probably arrived as part of different groups. However they came, they were sad, defeated and discouraged. Some had witnessed and others had heard of the death of Jesus on the cross and they were coming to pay their last respects to the body of the Lord. As we consider their motives for coming, we can see what they were doing early that Sunday morning.)

*Some Came To Look - Matt. 28:1 – May be they were coming to pray or to meditate near the place where His body had been buried. Maybe they were coming to make sure that everything was in order at the tomb. Whatever the reason, we are told that they "came to see the sepulchre".

Can you identify with these women? Thank God for those people who just want to be near Him. Thank God for those who just want to love Him and worship Him and serve Him faithfully. It is those people to whom Jesus reveals Himself. It is those people whose hearts burn with the flame of love for the risen Savior!

Humanity was the only one that sent ambassadors to the tomb early that morning. Heaven also sent an emissary to proclaim the good news that Jesus was not dead but alive. Let's look in on the activities of the angel that first Resurrection Sunday.)

He Rolled The Stone - (Obstacle One Removed) - Mark 16:1 tells that while the women made their way to the tomb to finished preparing the body for burial, one of their concerns was how to remove the stone. That stone represented the finality of death. For them, that stone was an exclamation point at the end of the sentence of death. That stone said, "He is gone forever!" Thank God, the Lord took care of that stone! Not to let Jesus out, He was long gone before that angel ever arrived on the scene. That stone was rolled away so that men could look into the tomb and see that it was forever empty! One of the obstacle to faith, the stone, was rolled away!

They were reminded of the crucifixion. Of course, these ladies needed no such reminder. They had both been there, John 19:25. Still, the fact of His death is emphasized. This reminds us of the importance of the death of Jesus on the cross. His death provided the sacrifice that was needed to cleanse sinners from their sins and to make them right with God, Isa. 53:4-6; Heb. 9:22; 1 John 1:7.
You see, a dead Savior can save no one! But a living Savior can offer salvation to all who come to Him by faith, Heb. 7:25. When Jesus died on the cross, He said, "It is finished!", John 19:30. When He rose from the dead, God the Father said, "I am satisfied!"

What a glorious message those women were given that day! It was a message of hope. A message of life. A message of victory. It was a message that every one needed to hear. It still is! May we never forget that the message of that tomb is as fresh today as it was then! Jesus is still alive and men trapped in the bondage of fear and sin still need to hear about it. May we do as they did and carry the message with swift feet and joyful hearts to a world that needs desperately to hear about a risen Lord!

The Appearance of the Lord - As they were going to tell the others, Jesus Himself met them in the way. He came to give them a personal word of encouragement and hope. He came to them personally so that they might know first-hand that He had indeed raised from the dead.

It is a wonderful thing to hear from others what Jesus can do. But, there is nothing like meeting Him for yourself! Oh glorious day when Jesus Himself comes to that one trapped in sin and reveals Himself as the living Lord! There is nothing meeting the living Christ for oneself! Do you remember that day?

The Adoration Of The Lord - When they meet Him, they are so overcome with love and joy that they fall at His feet in worship! That is the natural reaction of those who love Him! They cannot help but come into His presence with worship and praise. It is a fact, those who know the risen Savior have a desire to worship Him!

May I just remind you that He is worthy to be worshiped? He is worthy of all the praise we can heap upon Him! There is no need to hold back in your love and expressions of love for Jesus. After all, He is the theme of Heaven's worship, Rev. 4:11; 5:9-10. He should be the theme of worship on the earth as well, Heb. 13:15.

The Assurance Of The Lord - When the Lord speaks to these ladies, it is to comfort their hearts and confirm their mission. He assures them that all is well and that the time to be afraid had forever passed. He is alive and will take care of all that arises in life! That is glorious news! Only a living Lord can give peace and assurance to the hearts of His people, John 14:27! Only a living Lord can be present with them in the way, Heb. 13:5! Only a living Lord can speak words of comfort, peace and hope! Thank God for our living Lord this morning!

I praise the Lord for the life! It has changed my life forever. The events of that day will forever reverberate throughout eternity. Those who come to Jesus by faith will be saved, and become partakers of the life of God in Christ. 
As I close, let me just remind you that this was the first Resurrection Day, it won't be the last! Because He lives, those who place their faith in Him will live too! Those in the graves will come forth one day, 1Thes. 4:13-17, and those who are alive when He comes will never taste of death. Because when He died He tasted death for us, Heb. 2:9! Thank God for that day when death lost the battle with Life forever! Thank God for the day the battle was forever won for you and me! 
I encourage you today to allow Jesus to complete His victory in your lives by receiving Him as Lord and Savior and giving yourselves 100% to Him for His service

Pastor Hejang Kipgen