Resurrection of Jesus Christ

By Lori Willard

A Heavenly Inheritance

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3-5   (NKJV)

RESURREC’TION, noun s as z. [Latin resurrectus, resurgo; re and surgo, to rise.]

A rising again; chiefly, the revival of the dead of the human race, or their return from the grave, particularly at the general judgment. By the resurrection of Christ we have assurance of the future resurrection of men.

Webster’s Dictionary 1828

Since we have just celebrated Easter, here are some thoughts to ponder regarding the remembrance of our Savior’s Resurrection Day.  My husband and I were convicted this year that we did not focus our attention on Easter as much as we focus our attention on Christmas.  God helped us to change our thinking and actions.  We should truly be grateful that our Heavenly Father gave us Jesus Christ in His birth but what was Jesus’ purpose; what was the vital task of His Father?  He came to redeem a lost race; to seek and to save that which was lost. (Lk.19:10 NKJV)

Fellow Christian – Christ died for our sins, and rose again on the third day because God is satisfied with Christ’s atoning sacrifice!  We have a living hope because of His resurrection!  Do we realize what a daily blessing is ours?  We have a hope that only comes to us through Jesus – the only man on this earth that came back to life on His own power because He is God!!!  Through faith in Christ, we will receive the same resurrection to eternal life. What a precious gift our Father has given to us – Eternal Life through His Son!!!

May we remember that Christmas is a blessing but Easter is an ongoing blessing – well into Eternity – for those who put their faith in Him for their salvation!

Truly – To God Be the Glory Great Things He Has Done! – for each and every one of us as we turn our hearts and ways to Him!!  Eternal Life is ours from that moment and beyond!

May we focus on His resurrection and realize that:

He has RISEN!  He has risen INDEED!

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No Root System

By Lynn Wellumson
WMF National President

When we were returning our home to normal after Christmas, we put out our live Christmas tree out in the front yard. There was just enough snow that it stood upright and we awaited the notice in the paper where trees could be disposed of properly. We, then, happily made a grandparent visit across state and took a little vacation. When we returned home, the notice concerning trees was prominently posted, which was all well and good, but new snow had fallen and frozen several times and our little tree wasn’t going anywhere until spring. Several times looking out our bay window this winter, I have realized that a tree planted exactly where our Christmas tree is standing would be a very good idea. It actually looks planned, well-trimmed, just waiting for the birds to come back this spring. Just this week the truth about this tree is becoming evident. It’s getting brown and a little shriveled looking. With no root system, no way to get water, with brutal weather elements, it cannot stand the truth of its condition.

On our own, we are just like that tree. God loved us too much to leave us that way and has provided salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. With His promises, we can know the assurance of sins forgiven, the hope of a heavenly home, and peace through trials. His Word, the Bible, contains all we need to know of Jesus’ finished work on our behalf. Ephesians 3: 17b-19 reassures us:

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  (NIV)

Candlelight

by Velma Amundson

I like candles. I like to light up my living room in the evening and watch the flames flicker. It soothes me. I read somewhere that the human eye can see the light from a single candle two miles away. It seems almost impossible to me. But, driving home at night along country roads, I can see yard lights and house lights and know that they are at least that far away, and sometimes even more.

In the church year, we use light and dark. In Advent, we build from the steady light of the Pentecost season until the “Light of the World” enters to a fully lighted church. Epiphany blazes out the light of Christ. I’ve been known to do a candle theme similar to Advent, only in reverse. I begin with the number of candle in that Epiphany season (say 6) and each week remove one candle until Lent when only one candle is left. We’ve then entered the dark period of Lent when we take the time to examine our lives; to remove the sin in our life and examine our relationship with Christ. Easter again lights up the world with the light of Christ. The Day of Pentecost shines forth bright, sending the Light of Christ into the world, to fade into the season of Pentecost; a time of growth and learning.

Right now we’re in that dark period of Lent, with only one candle burning. I’m glad they say that one candle will guide us home. One candle is enough to hold off the dark and lead us to Christ. I pray that one candle will hold you and guide you. I pray that Christ’s light will continue to shine in your life; leading you safely into the full light of Christ’s love and grace.

Dead of Winter

by Velma Amundson

My mother has been visiting us over Christmas. We were talking the other day about being in the “dead of winter”. You know, that time of year when Christmas is over, it’s too cold to go out and “do” anything, it’s dark, and seemingly hopeless. I will admit that I have problems with winter. It’s too long and cold for me, and I end up feeling restless and a little lost. OK, sad might work. I look at the snow covering the green grass, the trees, and everywhere and I feel just as blanketed as the world outside.

But, we’ve just entered the season of Epiphany in the church year. For me it’s when we look at how Christ’s light shines in the world. We see how He is God, our Savior,His beauty and glory light up a world darkened by sin. January’s “The Lutheran Ambassador” showed various ways that Christ’s light shines. For me it shines in the “dead of winter” with the promise that God made:

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22, ESV).

I know I can make it through winter, or hard times, or anything else because of Christ’s promise of resurrection, both His and ours at the last days. No matter how dark and bleak winter might get, Christ’s light is never extinguished. I pray that Christ’s light will illuminate your walk and your life. God bless you.

Editor’s note:  You can also connect with the Ambassador Magazine on Facebook.

Be Amazed! Be Amazed!

by Barb Moland

God’s grace – that is amazing! Our summer Bible camp pastor reminded us again and again – be amazed! Be amazed in God’s Word. I slipped a strip of paper in my Bible – “be amazed!”

Our back yard is partially under the canopy of our much loved large Rainier cherry tree. Viewed from a spacious kitchen window, it is glorious year round – I am amazed! It is beautiful from the beauty of every branch and twig in winter against the gray/blue sky (or a most glorious wet snow on every twig angle at the rare snowfall) to the bursting of white blossoms, center blushed in pink in early spring. The deep green canopy of leaves rustle in a gentle breeze over our yard through the summer, providing shade if desired. When autumn comes every leaf turns a vibrant yellow that glows in the sun and becomes yet more radiant at twilight. I am amazed! The cycle of life – creation and onward, speaks poignantly to God’s amazing grace. Be amazed!

God’s provision in Christ is yet far, far more amazing!

In spite of ourselves, God has sent a Redeemer for us – creating us, then patiently, lovingly buying us back to Himself. Galatians 4:4,5 (CEV) – When the time was right, God sent His Son, and a woman gave birth to Him. His Son obeyed the Law, so He could set us free from the Law, and we could become God’s children.

In spite of ourselves, God has provided a help for each hour of the day, along life’s way. II Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Is spite of ourselves, He has given us His peace. John 14:27 NIV) – Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

In spite of ourselves, He has promised to keep us. Philippians 1:6 (NIV) – He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

For this and more, we praise and thank our loving God. As we completed “Pearls for a Princess”, our 2012 WMF Bible study, we gathered our hearts in the pearl of praise.

Be amazed! – every year, every season, every day, every moment. Looking to God’s Word we find the amazing grace of God offered so lovingly and freely to each of us, in spite of ourselves. The framework of redemption from creation through the accounts of biblical history and lineage of Christ, as well as Christ types, is indeed amazing. The New Testament gospels bring the incarnation of Christ right to us! We go on the early Christian church writings and messages regarding the return of Christ. This is amazing!

This grace was surely offered to the great, great missionary of all time, Paul. Quoting Beth Moore in Jesus’ watch from eternity on Saul’s (later Paul’s) presence in the stoning of Stephen in To Live Is Christ Day by Day:

One for Him; one against Him. One covered in blood: the other covered by prayer shawls. One who could not save himself from men: the other who could not save himself from sin. One dead in body but alive in spirit; the other alive in body but dead in spirit. One loved by God; and the other loved by God.

BE AMAZED!