He is risen! Take off the grave clothes!
May 6, 2017
"Jesus called out in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!' Then added, 'Take off the grave clothes and release Him.'" (John 11:43-44)
Christmas came. Easter went. So what? What next? Well, take off your grave clothes! Quit "living" among the dead. Look alive! Jesus saved you by grace, through faith, not just unto death, but unto life! Shouldn't that make a noticeable difference in your life today?
Just as the human Jesus was raised by the Spirit of God Easter morning, the Holy Spirit wants to raise each of us from the dead. So live! Don't let this world steal your joy. Don't let Satan rob you of your peace. Since the Spirit of God has power over death, is there anything in your life that He can't handle? We need to remember that today. We have been brought from death unto life. Stop worrying over tomorrow. Start living!
If He can raise the dead to life, we can trust Him to help us make our house payment or whatever struggles our lives may hold. The same grace that forgives us of our sins is also for transformation and power. Power that flows within us and through us to someone else's life. Think of it as saving grace, God working for us, doing what we can't do for ourselves. Then, standing grace, God working in us, helping us stand successfully to not do what we shouldn't and helping us to do what we cannot. And serving grace is God working through us to help, save and love others.
John 1:14 states, "We beheld His glory … full of grace and truth." Grace is more than a subject, it is a thing to be possessed. If we are to be as "full of grace" as Jesus was, it has to be more than a curriculum. We need to "get it."
Paul said, "It is by grace that you have been saved and that comes through faith." (Ephesians 2:8, ESV) We cannot be saved by our efforts and works, our successes and failures. God's grace is God giving us what we don't deserve, and the mercy of God is not giving us what we deserve. In addition, Paul wrote, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing (comes) by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17)
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Hear Jesus' words of promise. I have come that you might have life — and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) On the cross, Jesus declared, "It is finished (mission accomplished – project completed)!" (John 19:30) Are you well? Delivered? Whole? Sound? Set free? Easter is not just about being released from prison; not just about being sin free, but set free — to take the next steps out of the gates — free from the past, ready to live tomorrow. Everything we'll need has already been made by and through the grace of God — purchased in His death and resurrection. What we lack now, and what we're praying for, has already been taken care of in this grace. It's part of the salvation package. We need to read more and hear more of the Word of God. Read it, listen to it, meditate on it, get it, and then take off your grave clothes! Look alive!
Pastor Bill Baltz is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.