You can experience the resurrection life of Jesus--as your Savior and Lord
Paul's concern at the end of verse 15 is that God's saving grace in Jesus Christ is spread to more and more people. I ask again: Have you seen the glory of God in the face of Christ? Has God driven back the darkness of sin and unbelief from your heart? Are you experiencing the resurrection power of Christ in your life? Has Jesus rescued you from bondage to the fear of death?
If your answers this morning are no, do you perhaps realize that you are spiritually blind, and that you are living in the darkness of sinful rebellion against God? Is your life dull, dead, and barren? Are you in bondage to the fear of death?
The good news of the Easter message is that Jesus can open your eyes to spiritual reality. He can forgive your sinful rebellion, dissipate your fear of what happens after you die, and he can give you life to the fullest right now. All you need to do is turn to him as Savior and Lord. Romans 10:9-10 explains that "...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness [being made right with God], and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
What better way to celebrate Easter than to accept the new life Jesus offers today.. Trust him as your Savior, surrender your will to him as Lord. Then you will know the thrill, the joy, and the security of the resurrected Christ Jesus living inside of you.
Later in this letter, Paul writes with a sense of heightened seriousness and urgency, "And working together with Him [Jesus], we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain--for He says, [God speaking through Isaiah] 'AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.'" Paul adds, "behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is the "DAY OF SALVATION..." (2 Corinthian 6:1-2).
If you have never asked Jesus Christ to come into your life, I want to invite you to open your heart to him and accept the salvation he offers. Jesus says to you, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him, and will dine with him, and he with Me" (Rev 3:20). Please respond to his gracious invitation.
Love God with all my heart, soul, strength and mind. Love others as myself.Love others as Jesus loved me.
Do not lie.
Do not steal.
Do not commit adultery.
Do not covet what others have.
Honor my father and my mother.
Do not misuse the name of God.
Worship only God, no other.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy and resting.
Do not make anything into an idol.
Do not murder.
The Value of your Soul
Would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? How about both for $20 million? No one in his right mind would. Your eyes are priceless to you, yet they are merely the windows of your soul. Your life (your soul) is of such value, Jesus said that you should despise the value of your eye compared to it. He said that if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is better to enter Heaven blind than to go to Hell seeing (Matt. 18:9). In other words, of all the things you should prioritize in your life, it's not your health, your vocation, etc., it's your eternal salvation.
Think of a man who has committed adultery. His faithful wife is more than willing to take him back, so what is the attitude in which he should approach her? It should be one of tremendous humility, asking for forgiveness, and determining in his heart never to even think of committing adultery again.
That's how you should approach God (see King David's prayer in Psalm 51). Put your faith in Jesus Christ in the same way you would put your faith in a parachute. You don't just "believe" it will benefit you, you actually trust yourself to it by putting it on.
Confess to God that you have broken His Law and sinned against Him. Ask Him to forgive your sins. Thank Him for Jesus Christ's death on the cross in your place, paying for your sins. Believe that He rose again and conquered death for all mankind. Accept His gracious gift of eternal life, a gift that you could never earn. Place your trust in Him as your Savior and Lord.
Then, once you have made peace with God, read the Bible daily and obey what you read.
Hebrew verb: shabbath, meaning "to rest from labor"; the day of rest.
The Sabbath is first mentioned as having been instituted in Paradise, when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:2). "The sabbath was made for man," as a day of rest and refreshment for the body and of blessing to the soul.
In the subsequent history of the Jews frequent references are made to the sanctity of the Sabbath (Isa. 56:2, 4, 6, 7; 58:13-14; Jer. 17:20-22; Neh. 13:19). In later times they perverted the Sabbath by their traditions. Our Lord rescued it from their perversions, and recalled to them its true nature and intent (Matt. 12:10-13; Mark 2:27; Luke 13:10-17).
The Sabbath, originally instituted for man at his creation, is of permanent and universal obligation. The physical necessities of man require a Sabbath of rest. He is so constituted that his bodily welfare needs at least one day in seven for rest from ordinary labor. Experience also proves that the moral and spiritual necessities of men also demand a Sabbath of rest.
The Sabbath was made for man. God made it for men in a certain spiritual state because they needed it. The need, therefore, is deeply hidden in human nature. He who can dispense with it must be holy and spiritual indeed. And he who, still unholy and unspiritual, would yet dispense with it is a man that would fain be wiser than his Maker" (F. W. Robertson).
THE CHANGE OF THE DAY
Originally at Creation, the seventh day of the week was set apart and consecrated as the Sabbath. The first day of the week is now observed as the Sabbath. Has God authorized this change? There is an obvious distinction between the Sabbath as an institution and the particular day set apart for its observance. The question, therefore, as to the change of the day in no way affects the perpetual obligation of the Sabbath as an institution. Change of the day or no change, the Sabbath remains as a sacred institution the same. It cannot be abrogated.
If any change of the day has been made, it must have been by Christ or by his authority. Christ has a right to make such a change (Mark 2:23-28). As Creator, Christ was the original Lord of the Sabbath (John 1:3; Heb. 1:10). It was originally a memorial of Creation. A work vastly greater than that of Creation has now been accomplished by him, the work of redemption. We would naturally expect just such a change as would make the Sabbath a memorial of that greater work.
True, we can give no text authorizing the change in so many words. We have no express law declaring the change. But there are evidences of another kind. We know for a fact that the first day of the week has been observed from apostolic times, and the necessary conclusion is, that it was observed by the apostles and their immediate disciples. This, we may be sure, they never would have done without the permission or the authority of their Lord.
After his resurrection, which took place on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), we never find Christ meeting with his disciples on the seventh day. But he specially honored the first day by manifesting himself to them on four separate occasions (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:34, 18-33; John 20:19-23). Again, on the next first day of the week, Jesus appeared to his disciples (John 20:26).
Some have calculated that Christ's ascension took place on the first day of the week. And there can be no doubt that the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was on that day (Acts 2:1). Thus Christ appears as instituting a new day to be observed by his people as the Sabbath, a day to be henceforth known amongst them as the "Lord's day." The observance of this "Lord's day" as the Sabbath was the general custom of the primitive churches, and must have had apostolic sanction (compare Acts 20:3-7; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2) and authority, and so the sanction and authority of Jesus Christ.
The Eleventh-Hour Man
And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle— Mat_20:6
Staying outside the Kingdom to the Last
By the eleventh-hour man I mean the man who at five o'clock is still outside the Kingdom, and one would notice first that in the parable there is no hint of this man being bad. There was another eleventh-hour man, who had taken to evil courses on the highway. He had left home, and broken his mother's heart, and we see him at last hanging on a cross. But this first man was a much more usual type, haunting the marketplace in search of work, not forgetful of his wife and children. If you want the prodigal, go to the far country. If you want the brigand, take the road to Jericho. Our Lord, in that most masterly way of His, has always a fitting background for His characters. And this man, against the back ground of the market-place, stands for the ordinary, well-intentioned person—yet at the eleventh hour he is still outside the Kingdom.
Not without Excuse
One notes, too, that he was not without excuse. It is so like our Lord to touch on that. When the man was asked why he was standing there, he could truly say that nobody had hired him. That this excuse was not entirely valid is, I think, embodied in the parable. For at the third hour and at the sixth and ninth hours the householder had been out looking for workers. Now had this man been tremendously in earnest he would have thrown himself in the employer's way; but there is not a hint that he did that. Probably at nine o'clock he was in bed; men out of work are prone to oversleep. At twelve o'clock he would be having dinner, and at three enjoying his siesta. But the beautiful thing is that, though this be true, the Master sees, and is at pains to show us, that this man was not without excuse. There are men outside at the eleventh hour who are utterly without excuse. Deaf to every call, they have resisted the inviting Spirit. But there are others who are different from that, and one of the charming things about our Lord is that He finds room for that suggestion in His story. Such may have sat under a sapless ministry, or had the Gospel presented in repellent ways. They may have been plunged, when little more than boys, into dubious or soul-destroying businesses. Someone they loved, who made a great profession, may have proved (long years ago) a whited sepulchre—and at the eleventh hour they are still outside the Kingdom.
The Lord Still Calls at the Eleventh Hour
Now the wonderfully hopeful thing is this, that this man was called at the eleventh hour, for the eleventh hour (as Bible students know) is an hour when nothing ever happens. With the exception of this single parable I am not aware that the eleventh hour is mentioned from the Book of Genesis to Revelation. The third hour is a great hour of Scripture, for then (according to St. Mark) our Lord was crucified. And the sixth and ninth are both great hours of Scripture, and all three are Jewish hours of prayer. But the eleventh hour is an hour unchronicled—it is an hour when nothing ever happens— and it was just then that this man was called. Nobody had ever heard of such a thing. Nobody ever expected such a thing. The oldest frequenter of the market-place had never known anyone to call at five o'clock. And yet that is what happened in the story and our blessed Lord would never have told the story if it could not happen now—and to you.
God Is an Extraordinary Employer
For this employer is an extraordinary person. It is that which Jesus is eager to impress on us. Had the employer been thinking of nothing but his grapes, he would never have acted in this amazing fashion. What! to hire men when the work day is closing, and to pay them with an insane extravagance? Whoever heard of a businessman like that! Such conduct in an employer is unthinkable. And then our Lord would smile, and flash a glance at them, and say, "Children, that is exactly what I am driving at, for remember that My householder is God." "My ways are not your ways, neither are My thoughts your thoughts." This is an extraordinary householder because God is an extraordinary God, giving His only begotten Son to die for us, waiting and watching and yearning for the prodigal, putting a ring on his hand and shoes upon his feet, when in the evening he comes home.
He Got More Than He Ever Dreamed Of
And then this eleventh-hour man got far more than he had ever dreamed of. It was almost incredible, but it was true. The men who came at break of day were bargainers. They began by driving a bargain with the master. They said, "Let us settle the wages question first," and he settled it, and gave them what they bargained for. But the eleventh-hour man did not drive a bargain; filled with gratitude, he left things to the Master, and he got more than he had ever dreamed of. That is the kind of faith which God delights in, not the conditional faith that drives a bargain, not the faith that says, "If Thou wilt do so-and-so for me, I will do so-and-so for Thee"; but the faith, born of a wondering gratitude that leaves all issues in the Master's hands, perfectly certain that His name is Love. Think of the amazement of the eleventh-hour man when the whole penny was lying in his hand. "What! all this for me? All this for me?" Yes: "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (1Co_2:9).
Loving Heavenly Father,
I come into your holy presence believing in your promises; have mercy on me and heal me. If there is anything in my life displeasing to you, kindly forgive me the same. Wash me with the blood of Jesus and make me pure, O Lord. I believe that you are the Lord who heals me and that you are all powerful to heal all my sicknesses. Send your Word and heal me now O Lord. Bind my wounds and heal my broken heart dear Lord.
I believe that by Jesus wounds I am healed. Because of your great love and mercy for me, kindly heal me and glorify yourself dear Father.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
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Today's Bible Verse
Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The person who believes in me, even though he dies, will live.
Joh 11:26 Indeed, everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe that?"
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