God & His Church

Easter – Behold the Empty Grave!

On the third day after the death of Jesus Christ, a group of followers made up of women went to the tomb to honor his body with spices and oils. However, they were met with an opened tomb and an empty grave. Then, suddenly, an angel appeared to them, and said,

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”

We celebrate Easter to remember and celebrate that death could not beat Jesus! Jesus rose again from the grave and just as he did, we will also. For those who believe in Jesus Christ, we will not be defeated by Death. Christ will raise us up also after our deaths and we will spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

Happy Easter Everyone!

I hope your enjoy your day with loved ones!

Wanna watch a service online? Check out Sandal’s Easter service!

Watch at 8:15am, 10am, or 11:45am PST!

OR, Watch on their Facebook page! 

God & His Church

Good Friday – A Horrible Day, a Good Man

Thousands of years ago, a man went into a garden to pray with his disciples. This man was Jesus, who was both a man and God’s son. He went to the garden to pray that God would change his fate, that he would not have to go through agonizing pain and a gruesome death. He prayed so hard and so fervently that he began to sweat droplets of blood.

Image result for the garden of gethsemane jesus prays

However, because of God’s love for us and because of our own sin nature, Jesus willingly accepted his Father’s will and when the Pharisees came to take him away, he went with them without a fight. When his disciples fled, Jesus was left alone. He was taken before several courts and tried unfairly for crimes he did not commit.

In fact, one of the judge’s, a man named Pilate, knew that Jesus was innocent. However, swayed by the crowd’s demands, he condemned Jesus to death by Crucifixion.

Image result for jesus crucifixion

Although innocent, Jesus was whipped, beaten, spat on, mocked, ridiculed, had nails driven into his hands and feet, was forced to wear a crown of thorns, and was vaulted naked upon a cross to die slowly via asphyxiation.

Today, we celebrate Good Friday. We call it “Good,” even though it is a day that memorializes a horrible, gruesome, violent day in history because it is the day that the Son of God willingly died for each and every one of us.

We are all sinners, including myself, but I am grateful to the one called Jesus. Who loved us then and loves us still.

 

 

In case you would like to read the story for yourself:

Luke 23 New International Version (NIV)

23 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod,who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.

13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people,14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” [17] [a]

18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand.25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
    and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Burial of Jesus

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Blogs / Life, God & His Church

Three Ways Jesus Responds to Hard Times

Life is not perfect, and the thing is, we were never guaranteed that life would be. Life is hard and often times we go through struggles, we go through hard times, and we go through pain. For those of you who are going through hard times, I am sorry. I do not/cannot understand your pain but I do know that you do not have to go through your pain alone.

Lately my Pastor preached on how God acts and responds to our tough times. I found it enlightening and comforting, I hope that you do as well.

When someone has gone through/or is going through tough times, watch what you say. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that “God never gives you more than you can handle.” YOU cannot handle life, let alone hard times, without God’s help. So instead of offering immediate advice, just shut up and listen, have compassion for others.                                    – Pastor Matt

John 9, “As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.

“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents sins?” 

“It was not because of his sins or his parent’s sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go was yourself in the pool of Siloam.” So the man went and washed and came back seeing.”

Did you know that the pool of Siloam was hidden for years? Because scholars could not locate the pool, they dismissed this event as only a fabricated story. However, in 2004, the actual pool was located in Jerusalem when utility pipes needed repairing. These stories within the Bible are not just stories, they are true events.

Now, what does this have to do with me and my own hard times?

Jesus will respond to my/your situation in one of three ways:

 1. Jesus will change my/your situation

  • This is what most of us pray for during hard times. We pray for a change, we pray that what is wrong will get better. And sometimes, that is the answer to prayer.
  • “Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray.” – James 5:13

2. Jesus will change my/your understanding

  • God always answer prayer, even if that is not a yes. Sometimes the answer is no or not yet. God is not a genie to grant wishes, and sometimes that means that we do not get the answer we want. When we don’t get that answer, God is often trying to change our hearts.
  • “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Therefore, we must expect difficulty and prepare for tough times. Life is not easy and not everything that hurts is evil and not everything that feels good is godly. Sometimes our suffering is used to bring us to God, to show God’s power, or to teach us how to have compassion for others.

3. Jesus will change my/your direction

  • God allows us to hurt physically and emotionally to direct us spiritually.
  • “So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” I Peter 4:19

 

I believe that God is there for each and every one of us. If you ever want to talk about God, please feel free to ask me questions. I am not an expert, but I am a follower who enjoys talking about my Savior.

Blogmas 2017, Blogs / Life

Blogmas: More Than a Manger

Starting the month of December, Sandals church is going back to the beginning, not only back to the beginning of Christmas, but to the beginning of all time.

I am not a certified pastor, but I am a follower of Christ and would love to share with you some of the amazing things that I heard in the last message.

Matthew 2:1-3, “Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.” 

Around the holidays, there is inevitable controversy about one thing or another: starbucks cups, santa claus, Jesus Christ, the actual date of Jesus’s birth, etc., etc., etc. This is nothing new.

Christmas has always been controversial. – Pastor Matthew Brown

One of the greatest controversies perhaps is concerning Jesus Christ himself. Jesus Christ is more than just a baby in a manger, in fact, his life did not start in that manger. Long before that manger, Jesus existed as the Word.

I John 1:1-5, “In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed. The Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him (Jesus). The Word (Jesus) gave life to everything that was created, and his life (Jesus’s life) brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” 

Indeed, Jesus did not come into existence, instead He existed with God in the very beginning of God. Jesus is the guiding force behind all creation.

  • The book of Matthew starts the story by tracing Jesus’s lineage back to Abraham (the father of Judaism)
  • The book of Luke starts the story of Jesus by tracing his lineage to Adam (the father of mankind)
  • The book of John starts the story of Jesus by going back to the Beginning – Jesus has always existed

“In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed.” John 1:1.

700 years previously, the prophet Micah shared God’s words, “But as for you, Bethlehem . . . Too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2

Jesus, having always existed, humbled himself and reduced himself to a human baby born in an unknown town. Christmas may cost you money, it may cost you time, but for God, it cost him everything to send his son to live among us and to share his good news.

To Watch this Excellent Message for Yourself, please click here

You can attend online like me!

FullSizeR

Just included this song because I love it

“. . . Now I’m not one to second guess
What angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the
World

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth . . .”