Sow & Gather

Luke

Take A Second Look At Easter

EasterMarci AnthonyComment
Take-A-Second-Look-At-Easter-He-Is-Risen #sowandgather #Easter www.sowandgather.com

He is not here, but He is risen. Luke 24:6

Fear, grief, and confusion must have mingled together on the morning that Mary Magdalene first visited the tomb. I can almost picture it, still dark just before the sun peaks up over the horizon. Oh what a dawn it was going to be, but they did not know that yet. As they reached the tomb, they discovered that the stone had been rolled away. Quite a feat since the stone probably weighed more than a ton, and it would have needed to be pushed uphill. 

When the angel spoke the words, “He is risen”, I wonder what thoughts went through their heads. Obviously, Mary lacked complete understanding because in John 20, she finds herself standing at the tomb for a second time on the same morning. And after everyone left, she remained weeping in deep grief over the loss of her Savior. Jesus was probably the only man who had shown any kind of love for her, as she was a prostitute and had been possessed with seven demons. Now, here at the tomb, she finds that she is all alone again. 

As she hovers on the ground, bowed over with the grief of her loss, Jesus gently calls her name, "Mary." Oh the love, the grace, the mercy, the acceptance she must have felt in Him calling her by name. Recognition has its genesis in her thoughts and she knows it is Him. 

Why was she the one that He appeared to first? Perhaps because of all those who followed Him, hers was the story that most showed God's great power to save. For who would believe a woman who had been soiled and demon-filled? She would have counted less than property. Worthless in the eyes of society, Jesus, God Himself, with this act revealed His own thoughts. She was valuable because her identity was in Him and not in what she had done. 

What if Mary had not gone back that second time? Would she have missed what Jesus wanted to reveal? I find too often that I fail to go back and take a second look so that I too might gain a greater understanding of what the resurrection means. Sin and death have been conquered. A new dawn has come with a sweet acceptance from a Savior who will call me by name and give me a brand new identity no matter what my past holds. What inexplicable joy and peace!

This new day brings with it the light of the risen Christ dawning in the darkness of the world. 

Dig Deeper |

John 20:1-18 

Action Item |

Take a second look at resurrection and what it means to you as believer. How are you allowing the resurrection to change how you live your life? 

Prayer |

God, thank you so much for raising Jesus from the dead. Thank you for showing me that you can breathe new life into me and that you are a God that keeps His promises. Help me to live my life in a way that reflects the hope resurrections gives. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post. 

Finding Peace This Season

Advent 2015Marci AnthonyComment

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27  ESV

For most of my life I have sought after peace in various things: self-control, books, shopping, trips, religion, money, education, and people. While all those things by themselves are not wrong, the motive to which I have used them is.

Instead of asking my Heavenly Father to pour His peace over me, I seek to find it myself. This may last for a short while, but then I find myself searching again for the next moment of peace or putting my trust in things I believe will bring me peace. 

I was reminded this Advent season of the peace I have with God through His son Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). At night, when I lay my head down after a long day, my mind is at peace because I have been justified by faith and have been reconciled to Him by His grace.

So why do I try to manufacture peace in my life? The answer is simple. I don’t submit myself daily to the Most High God who will guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). I let myself get troubled by the events in my life and allow them to rule my thoughts and actions. I forget that Jesus is my source and supplier of the only kind of peace that will last. 

Jesus knew we would fight for peace in this world. He knew it would be hard so He told us to not receive the peace from the world, but from Him. We are not to be fearful, anxious, or troubled but to look to Him daily. He tells us that in this world we will have tribulation but we are to have courage because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

I’m tired of trying to fight the battle on my own. The only way I will overcome it is to believe in Him who died for me and who promised to return as the Prince of Peace.

This season, wherever you are, I pray that first you will have peace with God through His son, Jesus, and that He may fill you with His love, strength, and peace that sustains. Draw close to Him daily, seek His face, ask for wisdom, and say a prayer of thanks for the gift of salvation. Join us next week as we celebrate the love of Christ!

Dig Deeper |

Luke 3:1-7; Luke 1:68-79

ADDITIONAL LITURGICAL ADVENT READINGS | 

Malachi 3:1-4 ; Philippians 1:3-11

Action Item |

What are you using to find peace?  Seek the only true source of peace, Jesus.

Prayer |

Dear Father, I come to you acknowledging my anxious thoughts and fears and I ask that you pour your Holy Spirit into me and fill me with your peace today. Amen

Join Us | 

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

This post is part of the weekly linkup up with author Susan B. Mead.


The Twenty-five Cent Bible

Psalm, Prayer, seekSow & Gather - Tamera B.Comment
twenty-five-cent-Bible-pray-God-answers-prayerssowandgather

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 

In a world of fast food, Amazon Prime, and smartphones the skill of waiting is hard to practice.    

A couple of years ago a dear friend of mine was in need of a new Bible. The Bible, given to her when she began her Christian walk, was coming apart at the seams, literally. 

She checked into having the binding restored, but it cost as much as a new Bible and her tight budget didn’t allow for either one. She knew that God would provide a Bible for her in His timing so she prayed and waited while carrying that Bible with rubber bands keeping it together.  

Pray till prayer makes you forget your own wish, and leave it or merge it in God’s will.
— Frederick William Robertson (1816-1853) English clergyman

The library in her local town also sold books. One afternoon while she was there gathering books with her children, she decided to stop off at the library book store. On the shelf in the “Religion” section sat a brand new, burgundy leather, New Living Translation Bible for twenty-five cents.  She couldn’t believe her eyes as she knew who had provided that Bible for her. 

To this day she carries around that Bible with the twenty-five cent sticker on the inside cover as a reminder of the Lord’s provision. She never misses an opportunity to glorify God every time she opens it! He always provides what we need when we need it. We just have to wait and pray for the eyes to see it. 

Dig Deeper |

Matthew 21:22; Psalm 62:5-6; Luke 11:9-10

Action Item |

Believe that God will supply all your needs, pray, and wait on Him.   

Prayer |

Dear Father, in the morning I will pray to You and eagerly watch and wait. Amen.

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.