Wednesday, September 11, 2019
And they said one to another,
Did not our heart burn within us,
while he talked with us by the way,
and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Have you ever experienced this type of “heart burn?” I would welcome this heart burn every day! It is a reminder of Jesus’s presence, His nearness to us. I remember an incident that the Holy Spirit used to set my heart ablaze. A man I did not know at the time, but I would later admire greatly stopped me as I rolled past him and another man talking on my way out of a worship service. He said, “Excuse me. When you walked past me, I felt the power of God all over you and your life. May I pray for you?” He prayed, “May all the dreams and visions according to God’s will for your life come to full and complete fruition.” He then assured me that God said I was loved and beautiful just as I am, cerebral palsy and all. I left feeling as if I were impermeable, insulated by the Spirit of God. I knew I was empowered as if I could soar to the highest heavens. It was a supernatural high that no drug could possibly imitate. This burning awareness of the Lord’s presence lasted for several hours. I was overwhelmed with joy, and the limitations of my earth-suit could not affect it. My shell no longer mattered. I was aware only of the wondrous connection of my relationship with Jesus.
Father, thank You for the times that we literally feel Your power burning within us. Help us to remember those moments in the times that we may feel distant from You. Reveal Yourself to us in Your word and draw us nearer to You.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
I HAVE SEEN THE LORD!
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
Mary Magdalene had gone early in the morning with some of the other women to complete the process of putting spices on Jesus’s body for burial now that the Sabbath had passed. The stone had been rolled away, and the astonished women reported this to the disciples. As Peter and John entered the empty tomb, Mary stood outside weeping. Two angels asked why she was crying and she, still not comprehending the meaning of the empty tomb, told them the body of her Lord had been moved. Mary turned around and saw Jesus behind her but thought He was the gardener who had moved the body. When Jesus called her by name, she fell at His feet and called Him “Teacher.” Jesus urged her not to cling to Him, giving her a message for the disciples that He would soon be returning to be with God the Father. At first the disciples did not believe Mary Magdalene or the other women. After all, a woman’s testimony would not hold up in their courts of law. But Jesus chose to have women be the first to see the resurrected Savior standing before them in human skin. According to Mark’s gospel, Jesus reproached those unbelieving men. Mary Magdalene, who was not only a woman but had once been delivered from demons by Jesus Christ had the extreme privilege to be the first to see Him alive and give testimony to His resurrection! We may think, “How dense could these disciples and women followers of Jesus be to not realize immediately that the empty tomb meant He had risen from death. After all, on more than one occasion, Jesus had point blank told them He would rise on the third day.” However, can we honestly say if we had seen Him hanging drained of life on the cross, wrapped in linen, and laid in the tomb, we would be able to fathom the idea that He was alive again?
Father, we thank You that Jesus not only died for us but was raised to life again to pave the way for us to be resurrected and join You in Heaven. As Gloria Gaither penned, “Life is worth the living just because He lives.” We thank You that Jesus’s death purchased us not only life, but abundant life both here on earth and eventually in His presence.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Jesus’ cradle was a feeding trough
Because the inn had no more room
And when He died upon the cross
Was laid in a borrowed tomb.
He had not much to show
For His thirty-three years on earth.
His status was not much changed
From the poverty of His birth.
His true identity was hidden
From all but a chosen few,
And even those closest to Him
Doubted what they knew.
As they laid Him in the tomb,
They wept with tears of mourning.
Their terror made them forget
What He had promised for Sunday morning.
They solemnly laid Jesus in the grave,
and sealed it with a large boulder.
The Jews feared men would steal His body,
So, the place was guarded by soldiers.
Joseph of Arimethea,
Nicodemus, and the Marys
Left to prepare for the Sabbath.
It was late and they could not tarry.
They thought all hope was gone now.
They had buried their Messiah and Lord.
But they had forgotten His promise.
He had given them His word.
He had said He would rise on the third day.
When reading God’s word, it seems plain.
But they had seen their Master crucified
And were shaken with terror and pain.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
And when the centurion,
which stood over against him,
saw that he so cried out,
and gave up the ghost, he said,
Truly this man was the Son of God.
This centurion had watched as Jesus was nailed naked and beaten beyond recognition to the cross. He had stood close by as part of his job was to verify when the condemned had expired. He had witnessed Jesus forgiving those who thus abused Him and assuring the believing thief he would join Him in paradise. Then the soldier heard Jesus cry out, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46) and die. This man had not been one of Jesus’s disciples, nor was he a Jew who recognized Him as Messiah. He was a Roman who did not even believe in Israel’s God. What prompted the declaration he exclaimed as Jesus breathed His last? He had seen no miracles except the darkness for three hours in the middle of the day (Matthew 27:45) which a person might be able to explain away. However, He had seen grace in action as Jesus forgave all who persecuted Him. He had seen the kindness of the Lord as He spoke with the thief who expressed belief. He saw Jesus’s love and compassion toward all and especially expressed in designating John to take care of His mother. He had witnessed a person who in the direst of pain cared more about others than Himself. He had seen the Lord’s confidence that His Spirit was in God’s hands. Therefore, though he had probably never heard Jesus preach or witnessed with his own eyes His miraculous healing power, he could see that Jesus was completely different than any man he had seen crucified. Tradition says this man later professed Christianity and became a martyr but there is no concrete proof of that. But at least in that moment, He was touched by the Spirit of God to declare truth. What do you see when you gaze upon the cross? Do you see an unfortunate man who was crucified despite His innocence? Or do you see the Son of God willingly sacrificing His own life to save yours?
Father, may we reflect upon Jesus dying on the cross and see the attributes of God in His demeanor and His words. May we always remember that He endured those things willingly on our behalf. He was not martyred but was the voluntary Lamb of God dying for those He loves.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST
When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too;
so that my proud ego no longer lives.
But the Messiah lives in me,
and the life I now live in my body
I live by the same trusting faithfulness
that the Son of God had, who loved me
and gave himself up for me.
Galatians 2:20 (CJB)
The logo for Precious Jewels Ministries is designed to depict our three foundational scripture verses, one of which is Galatians 2:20 which in the King James Version begins, “I am crucified with Christ.” If you look at our logo, you will see the letters PJM as if they are hanging on the cross. It is our way of visualizing that Christ nailed our sin to the cross thus crucifying our sin nature when we trust totally in Him. What exactly does it mean in terms of my daily life on this planet to be “crucified with Christ?” It means that I am no longer ego-centric (self-centered). I choose, instead to be self-less and Christ-centered. It means His Holy Spirit is working to make me more like Jesus every day, or as Paul put it, “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” What does that look like? It involves exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” This can only be achieved when the Holy Spirit lives in me. The Holy Spirit enters my life when I trust completely in Jesus just as He trusted in and obeyed the Heavenly Father completely. I must let go of selfish ambitions and instead have “the mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5). I was crucified with Christ the moment I surrendered my life to Him but dying to self and living in Christ is a daily choice. Each day I must “take up my cross” (Matthew 16:24) and walk the path Jesus shows me. Yes, the logo advertises our ministry, but for us, it is a reminder to make that daily surrender to be “living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
Father, thank You for nailing our sin on the cross by sacrificing Your only begotten Son, Jesus. Thank You, that His death and resurrection enable us to be at peace with You, Holy God, and live daily as You would have us live. Help us to wake up each day with praises on our lips and the determination to be completely surrendered to Your will, to live as ones who have been forgiven and purchased with the blood of Jesus.
Phillips, Craig, and Dean have a beautiful song based on Galatians 2:20. You can listen to it here:
Phillips, Craig, and Dean have a beautiful song based on Galatians 2:20. You can listen to it here:
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
WHO SENT JESUS TO THE CROSS?
But they would not relent.
They shouted louder and louder
that He should be crucified,
and eventually Pilate capitulated.
Luke 23:23 (VOICE)
Who killed Jesus? The Jews? Pilate? The Roman soldiers? God? Jesus Himself? Me? You? YES! The Jews plotted to kill Him and accused Him before Pilate (Acts 2:22-23 and Acts 4:10). Pilate sentenced Jesus to death even though he found no fault in Him (Luke 23:4,13-15,22-23). The Roman soldiers carried out their orders without question (John 19:16-18). It was God’s plan from the foundation of the world that Jesus be slain (Acts 2:23, Mark 14:35-36, Revelation 13:8). Jesus willingly surrendered Himself to be killed (John 10:14-18). My sin was the reason He went to the cross, and so was yours (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8-10). Who killed Jesus? All of the above. Not one of us can point a finger at another person, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). But the good news is Jesus did not die in vain. His death accomplished God’s purpose of providing redemption from our sin and guilt. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” (Romans 6:23).
Father, thank You for convicting us of our sin, our turning away from You in disobedience. Thank You for providing Jesus to suffer the death penalty demanded for sinners in our place. Thank You for forgiving us and adopting us into Your forever family—we who killed Your Son.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
The Jews’ accusation against Jesus
Was that He claimed to be a King.
They wanted Jesus crucified,
manipulating Pilate to do this thing.
If Jesus admitted a claim to kingship,
A usurper to Caesar He’d be,
And Pilate’s hands would be tied.
He could not easily set Him free.
Jesus verified His kingship
Otherworldly and supreme,
But He had come into this world
To bring Truth’s eternal beam.
Jesus is the only Way
To forever peace with God.
He is The Truth, The Light, The Life
Who walked on this earth’s sod.
He did not defend Himself
As before Pilate He stood
For He knew crucifixion was God’s plan
To bring about ultimate good.
Pilate thought he had power,
But in reality he had none
Except what the Father had given
As verified by Jesus, the Son.
Jesus spoke always only
The truth which He had heard
In the voice of the Heavenly Father
Now recorded in God’s word.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
IT’S ALL IN GOD’S HANDS
The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord,
as the rivers of water:
he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Then saith Pilate unto him,
Speakest thou not unto me?
knowest thou not
that I have power to crucify thee,
and have power to release thee?
Thou couldest have no power at all against me,
except it were given thee from above:
therefore he that delivered me unto thee
hath the greater sin.
John 19:10-11 (KJV)
Pilate thought he had the power of life and death over Jesus. However, God is ultimately the One who places people in the position of authority: Romans 13:1b “For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Jesus informed Pilate of this truth. Jesus did not fear Pilate because He knew that His Father controlled Pilate’s actions and was allowing Jesus to be subject to his judgment for the purposes of God’s Kingdom. Jesus had the benefit of knowing God’s plan for certain, knowing He had to face death and abandonment to redeem us, but knowing He would be restored to His rightful throne.
We do not have the ability to know our future. However, we can trust in God with the same certainty Jesus had. The truth is that God controls even the highest earthly authorities just like He controls the waterways and the winds. God is sovereign over the earth and all who reside upon it. If you know Him as your Father, this is a comfort. If you are not in right relationship with Him, you may find this truth terrifying. Wouldn’t you rather be on the side of the One who controls the hearts of earthly rulers?
Father, we thank you that we can rest assured that You are directing our paths. We are safely held in Your hand. Though storms of life will assail us, we know our lives our built on the firm foundation of faith in Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
ETERNAL FATHER HAS FINAL WORD
People go about making their plans,
but the Eternal has the final word.
Proverbs 16:1 (VOICE)
It would be best to say,
“If it is the Lord’s will and we live long enough,
we hope to do this project
or pursue that dream.”
James 4:15 (VOICE)
In order to achieve “success,” we are told we must have short-term and long-term goals. We make business plans detailing what we hope to achieve this month, this year, or this decade. We engage in financial planning to ensure we can bring these plans to fruition. It is not that we should give up marking out a path for ourselves, but that we realize all our best laid plans are dependent upon the Lord. The Lord uses “circumstances” which we may perceive as good or bad to direct us exactly where He wants us to be. It is far better to recognize this reality from the beginning and surrender to His control than to be dragged kicking and screaming along the stepping-stones of life. When we seek first God’s will and ways and ask Him to guide us in the way that furthers His kingdom and glorifies Him, He provides for our needs (Matthew 6:33). When we evaluate our earthly “failures” in the light of God’s control, we can rest assured that He will set us upright as we trust Him. God’s having the final word in our lives can sound ominous or glorious depending on our relationship to Him. If we have trusted Jesus as our Savior and have been adopted as God’s children, we can rest easy in His sovereignty. If one rejects the Lord, that person will forever be struggling to stay on even ground. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV).
Father, we trust in You to keep us on Your path. When our short-term or long-term goals conflict with Your plans for us, light the path, making it clear where we need to re-direct. (Psalm 119:105)
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
We need to take this week off to handle some family and household matters. Take this time to check out our archived posts that you may have missed! We will be back next week, so stay tuned! We appreciate all of our viewers and pray for you. Remember, you can submit specific prayer requests on our website: www.PreciousJewelsMinistries.org