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SMC Women's Ministry

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Posts tagged Easter
Let Jesus Bring You New Life

As Christians, Easter is the ultimate celebration of new life. Christ’s resurrection provides hope of new beginnings unlike anything else.

 

When I think about new life, images of fresh breath, renewed optimism, a stunning sunrise and even an incredible night’s sleep come to mind. Truly, it can be anything that provides a reboot of your perspective. 

 

We’ve all been on earth long enough to have been in at least one spin cycle. You know what I mean, those ruts where we just go through the motions over and over and over again. Each day is just a touch different, but in reality they all feel the same. We get by on a regular basis, but we’re not really living - not life to the fullest at least. Not truly enjoying it.

 

In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul reminds us that God provides new life “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

 

Eighteen months ago, we moved my mom into an assisted living facility. Gradually, she became more and more miserable. It became easy for her to skip meals and on occasion she would refuse her medicine and sometimes even medical treatment. For eleven months, she was on a waiting list for a different facility. Just over three weeks ago, we finally received the long-awaited call and Mom got to move. This has been her new life. I haven’t seen her this bright and smiling so big since before my dad died.

 

As I write this, I just returned from an exotic location with my husband for a few days. This respite provided me with a much-needed new perspective. Experiencing Easter on an island oasis made me feel awe and wonder at the precious gift of new life Christ gave us by becoming human. And dying one of the worst deaths imaginable. Just because of His love for us.

 

Let me couple this notion one step further with a verse in Ecclesiastes. Bear with me a few minutes.

 

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Ecclesiastes 11:7 – Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning!

 New life experiences like a move or vacation are wonderful opportunities for the new (breath, perspective, etc.). We must not forget about the ordinary and seemingly mundane new life: showers, exercise, the changing of the seasons. While it’s good to find new life in every day experiences, we really need to go to God to renew our life daily.

 

The song Death was Arrested (many artists have sung this song) has become a favorite of mine. As I think of new life I’m reminded of these lyrics from the chorus:

 

“Oh, Your grace so free

Washes over me

You have made me new

Now life begins with You

It’s Your endless love

Pouring down on us

You have made us new

Now life begins with You.”

 

These lyrics provide such wonderful, poetic images on new life.

 

I’m guilty of not being consistently disciplined and deliberate about making daily time to be with God. I’m trying to wrap my head around the knowledge and recognition that time daily with God most definitely creates new life and refreshes. So why am I not more determined to just make it a part of my daily routine? How is this even something I need to think and talk about?

 

Ah yes. I’m human. I frequently need to relearn and remember. I must sometimes re-experience lessons for them to become ingrained in my psyche.

 

I spent a great deal of time in reflection these past few days. As I’ve considered new life, I think of the major names in the Bible. One of the things they commonly share is that they’ve endured tragedies, persecution and severe punishment because of their belief and love of God. Job, the disciples - truly any of the great Jesus followers experienced great suffering because of their deep faith.

 

Lamentations can be difficult to read, but when I think of new life, these chapters must be included. Although no one knows for sure, Lamentations is often credited to have been written by Jeremiah. In Lamentations 3:22-24 it says “God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, His merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great Your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” (MSG)

 

God proves to be with us every step of our journey. Don’t we all get to the point where we feel like nothing is left.  As we turn a new page, or get cleaned up or even awake refreshed each morning, God’s promises alone should constantly provide the hope of new life. How great His faithfulness indeed!

 

Colossians 3:10 – Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.

 

We don’t need to wait until Easter each year to find new life. Every day – when we make a choice to include God in our day – we can find new life and find a way out of our spin cycle

~Angela Hailey

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Rest this Easter

I couldn’t decide exactly what I needed to write for this.  It’s intimidating to write for this particular week.  I mean, I could really mess this up, and I’m super busy this time of year.  Who has the time to sit quietly and listen for God to tell them what to write anyway?  Between doctor’s appointments and school functions and various weekend adventuress, I haven’t had time to sit still and think.  I’ve driven three hours round trip to witness a wedding today, and it’s only Monday for goodness sake.  It’s crazy!

Explaining all this busyness to God in the car this afternoon gave me my answer.  This is Holy Week.  The week we celebrate the gift God gave us through His Son.  How can I not make time?  I’ve made time for everything else, and I’m exhausted.

If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks.  If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap.  It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late and work your worried fingers to the bone.  Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? Psalm 127: 1-2 (MSG)

This certainly doesn’t say that we shouldn’t work or that we should be lazy.  But it offers us rest in God.  I need that rest right now.  God gives us so much, and sometimes all we have to do is accept it.

Paul told the Colossians, “I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God.  Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ.” (2:2, MSG).  Being at rest is being focused on Jesus.  I think we can all read between the lines about what the opposite would be, and that one stings.

Jesus had a thing to say about rest as well.  “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

Ladies, I want to encourage you to find a place of rest.  I want to honor God all the time, but especially this week, and He put it on my heart to do it in this way.  Give Him your time and your attention, and He will honor that gift.

I was one of those writers who could tell you all how to do something right because I’ve tried it, and I’ve mastered it, and I’m doing it.  Alas, I am not.  So as I start to write this post during Holy Week, I am pretty much I wish talking to myself.  If anyone else gets something from it, even better.

I couldn’t decide exactly what I needed to write for this.  It’s intimidating to write for this particular week.  I mean, I could really mess this up, and I’m super busy this time of year.  Who has the time to sit quietly and listen for God to tell them what to write anyway?  Between doctor’s appointments and school functions and various weekend adventuress, I haven’t had time to sit still and think.  I’ve driven three hours round trip to witness a wedding today, and it’s only Monday for goodness sake.  It’s crazy!

Explaining all this busyness to God in the car this afternoon gave me my answer.  This is Holy Week.  The week we celebrate the gift God gave us through His Son.  How can I not make time?  I’ve made time for everything else, and I’m exhausted.

If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks.  If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap.  It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late and work your worried fingers to the bone.  Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? Psalm 127: 1-2 (MSG)

This certainly doesn’t say that we shouldn’t work or that we should be lazy.  But it offers us rest in God.  I need that rest right now.  God gives us so much, and sometimes all we have to do is accept it.

Paul told the Colossians, “I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God.  Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ.” (2:2, MSG).  Being at rest is being focused on Jesus.  I think we can all read between the lines about what the opposite would be, and that one stings.

Jesus had a thing to say about rest as well.  “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

Ladies, I want to encourage you to find a place of rest.  I want to honor God all the time, but especially this week, and He put it on my heart to do it in this way.  Give Him your time and your attention, and He will honor that gift.

Julie

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