Resurrection and Life

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall live,…”

John 11:25

Today’s words to describe Jesus are the resurrection and life from John 11:25. Here it is actually Jesus himself calling himself this as He comforts Martha from the death of her brother Lazarus who He ultimately brings back to life later in the chapter after being dead for four days.

It’s not too often that we don’t attend church (now virtually) on Sunday morning during the planned service time, but this week because of some family circumstances we did not. I also typically write my Biblejournal.net posting on Saturday or Sunday, but here I am writing it Tuesday morning after watching the sermon Monday morning. As I watched the sermon Monday, God yet again left me in amazement as the central focus of Pastor Mike Baker’s sermon was the resurrection of Jesus. Yes, all sermons are about Jesus and typically come back to the hope we have in Him because of the resurrection, but this was the central theme of his entire message. I believe there are no coincidences, and apparently God wanted a few more people who may read this but who not attend Eastview Christian Church to hear some of Pastor Mike’s nuggets.

The central verses for Pastor Mike’s sermon were 1 Corinthians 15:3-11 where Paul discusses the resurrection. Pastor Mike said, “What’s weird is not someone dying for a cause which has been done for years, what’s weird is someone rising from the dead.” Paul adderesses in these verses that Jesus was undoubtedly alive after His crucifixion as He appeared to Cephas (Peter), the twelve (all the disciples), five hundred at one time (Paul does not give the exact event but many believe this to be the ascension in Luke 24:50-53), His brother James, the apostles, and to Paul himself even though Paul states he was not worthy because he himself persecuted and killed Christians. We know in Luke 24 Jesus was with the disciples and asked for something to eat in Luke 24:41-43. Pastor Mike brought to light the fact that five hundred people don’t hallucinate and a dead person or a ghost does not eat. As I’ve written about before, what is most convicting to me about the resurrection is the fact that the disciples went from running away and hiding in the room Jesus ultimately appeared to them in as they feared for their own lives to spreading the Gospel at all costs knowing they would likely be killed for doing so as nearly all of them were. Would they have done this if they had stolen the body themselves or if they didn’t actually see and talk to Jesus? Not a chance. Well, maybe Jesus wasn’t actually dead? Much has been written on this topic to debunk this which not only speaks to how the description of crucifixion event in the Bible prove He was dead, but also the fact that the Romans were killing machines. This is what they did. They didn’t make mistakes when it came to killing someone. If this topic is something you are interested in exploring further beyond the greatest source in the Bible itself, I recommend reading the book Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. Lee was in investigative reporter and atheist who was out to disprove the Gospel. He now has written many books and travels the world spreading the Gospel.

So why does the resurrection matter to each one of us? Pastor Mike says there are two central questions we must all answer and move beyond. First, how do I get past my wrongdoings and sin? Second, what happens to me when I die? Jesus is the resurrection and also the life because He is the answer to both these questions. Believing in Him and that He was without sin yet was sacrificed for us and our sins and that He was raised so we who believe will also be raised (John 11:25) means that we can all answer both these questions and ultimately have life.

Last week I was meeting virtually with a client and as a part of our initial chit chat we were talking about all the craziness going on in the world today on many levels and especially with him being in healthcare. Although He was satisfied from our financial review, I didn’t really know how to wrap up the call to say goodbye as I knew there was still some discontentment with the world today in general. The only thing I could think of to say was that we know who’s really in control and that He has a plan. He responded by saying honestly that is only way he is getting through all of this. The only thing we have to fear is death, but as 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 says, “’O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ.” We have nothing to fear because we are ALL undefeated through Him. He is life…eternal life.

As the song “Great Are You Lord” says…

 

You give life, You are love

You bring light to the darkness

You give hope, You restore

Every heart that is broken

Great are you Lord

 

It’s Your breath in our lungs

So we pour out our praise

We pour out our praise

It’s your breath in our lungs

So we pour out our praise to You only….

https://youtu.be/ZZqV6i98SkA

Restorer

 

 

Ps 51:12, Lm 5:21, 1 Pt 5:10

About 20 years ago I was gifted a pair of Jenny Lind style twin beds from my parents. The beds were purchased by my grandparents and had been in their house before my parents got them. When they were purchased they were stained a dark rich brown. When my mom inherited them she wanted to update them to make them more usable in her home so she painted them. Over the years they were painted several more times to match whatever room they were being used in. By the time I got them, they were thick with layers of crazy colored paint and guess what style of furniture finish was back in fashion? Right, natural dark wood was the craze of the day. I was young and dumb and decided I’d just sand them down and re-stain them. I started sanding by hand. That got maybe one or two coats of paint off on the flat parts of the beds. The bulb shaped spindles and grooved frames were still loaded with paint. Not to worry, my energetic self found a family member to borrow a hand sander from and I attacked the beds again. This time I got down to the wood on the rounded bulbs of the spindles and the flat parts of the beds, but all of the rest was still multiple shades of paint. By then I was weeks into this project, I had little kids and little time to do the labor intensive, intricate sanding work, and I was missing the expertise it took to bring these beds back to their natural beauty. I had no choice…if I was ever going to be able to use these beds, I needed help! I bit the bullet and paid some guy to “dip” them in paint stripper for me. It still took me a few more days of sanding, a day to stain, and several more days to varnish, but I got them back closer to their original beauty, and definitely to a usable state. Now, ask me if I have ever tried to restore another piece of furniture since! The answer is a firm no!! I had bitten off way more than I could chew when I tackled the project and that decision and month of work has left a lasting memory in my mind that won’t ever be forgotten. I learned my lesson.

When I looked at the name of God for this morning, that bed project popped into my mind. It’s the only thing I have ever tried to restore, and it didn’t go well. When I start considering the type of restorer God is, the job becomes even more insurmountable. Most of us humans struggle to restore things. God is in the business of restoring hearts, minds and people, not pieces of wood. He has the power and patience to work on us, to restore us from sin, to bring back the joy of our salvation, and to place us on a firm foundation. To this Peter says, “all power to Him forever! Amen” I couldn’t agree more!

We serve a God who is perfect, all knowing, all powerful, and created each of us individually. He knows us intimately. He loves us deeply. He knows what is best for each of us when we probably think we know what is best, but truthfully only know what we want. He is willing and patient enough to do the labor intensive, intricate work of restoring us. He has the expertise to know exactly what motivates us and what reshapes our thinking and He is powerful enough to arrange our circumstances so our extra layers of yuck/sin can be scraped off. God can do for us what we are not able to do for ourselves. On some issues, we don’t even realize that we need to be restored. God’s perfect truth pinpoints what needs to be changed or scraped away. Because He knows us intimately, He is able to reveal to us where we are buried under layers of wrong thinking and how we are justifying sin to ourselves. His power and might can change any circumstance to help us see truth. All of this personal and individual work is done on our behalf to restore us, to set us back on a firm foundation. He is the perfect Restorer!

Resting Place

Lost and nowhere to be found in the middle of the woods. You are all alone, miles and miles away from any communication to the outside world. As the hour draws near, it starts to get dark outside, and it starts to rain. You find yourself searching for shelter to get out of the rain and rest for the night. Finally, you find a cave, a resting place.

This short story is an analogy for how we walk through life. Humans walk around looking for something significant. Everybody wants to be seen as valuable in society. People attempt to do this through their work, families, health, achievements, etc. It is exhausting, to see how much weight is put on finding value in life. Everybody wanders around to find something that will put their minds and hearts at peace.

From the time of the Fall till today, God recognizes that sense of belonging and value that individuals seek. Humans were always supposed to live with God in the garden until Adam and Eve sinned against God. They are left with a void inside themselves because of sin. People are left leading a life without a shepherd that they need (Jeremiah 50:6). Now, everybody attempts to fill that void with material goods, achievements, families, relationships, school, advancements, etc. People are running themselves exhausted because they are not rooted in the Lord.

What happens when people get to this point of exhaustion?

What does God do to help with this?

Why is being rooted in the Lord do for us?

Back to the story told from earlier, you find yourself lost, stranded, and stuck in the rain in the middle of nowhere…you are to that point of exhaustion and need a resting place. This is what happens in life, and how people find themselves in life. They get to a point where they can’t handle it anymore, and they want to give up or find some type of answer for why everything is falling apart in their world.

God knows that everyone can’t do this alone, and that is why He wants us to see Him as our resting place. Psalm 62:5-7 says, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge”. When we are to that point of exhaustion, to the point of giving up, God gives us that cave every time. He always provides a resting place in Him.

Throughout all of the Gospels, Jesus tells all the people, to allow Him to take their burdens and rest in Him (Matthew 11:29). Jesus came to give us rest from all of our labors. He came, so that way, the burden of sin would no longer leaving us to feel lost and broken.

The longing and value that everybody is attempting to find on their own are found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul says, ” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”. Everything that you are searching for is in Christ Jesus. He is the resting place that we are all longing for. He provides that cave for us every time we need it!

Refuge From the Storm

You lost your job.

Your house burned to the ground and everything was destroyed.

You lost a friend or family member in a accident.

You were betrayed by a friend or relative and the relationship is permanently strained.

Our world is unpredictable, unfair, and frequently not easy to cope with.  We feel like our lives are going well and then, out of nowhere, tragedy strikes. Your world will never be the same.  It can feel nearly impossible to deal with the intense feelings of sadness, loss, or mistrust.

Our God is a loving God who is a “refuge” in times of trouble.  The peace in our hearts that comes from trust and belief in our Father is unimaginable.  We are incapable of ridding ourselves of earthly feelings of sadness and loss if we focus on forgetting them through our own doing.  If we try to fight through tribulations without the assistance of our Father, it can be next to impossible.

How can you be ok when it does not seem like you should be ok?  How can you have hope, cope and be positive when your world is collapsing around you?

As a Christian, we believe that Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins.  We know that the world we live in now is not the world we will live in forever.  The pain we feel now is “temporary.”  The years of tribulations felt on earth seem like an eternity.  It may seem like the suffering on this earth drives us to question the existence of a God.  But we know that our salvation comes from faith in our Lord.

Prophets and apostles tell us throughout the Bible that God is with us, no matter how awful or difficult the situation.

Anxiety: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

Sadness: He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Fear: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6

Trust: One who has unreliable friends soon come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24

Temptation: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind, and God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so you can endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

We worship a loving God who provides us solace and peace at the most trying times.  All we have to do is ask for the Holy Spirit to move our hearts and minds to peace.  God cares about your burdens and wants to resolve the conflict and sadness in your heart.  Just ask Him for strength and guidance.

Lord Jesus. Help us to turn to you in times of trouble and need.  You are our refuge and strength and we should not take on our burdens without you.  We know this world is temporary and we long for the day when we can be with you in Heaven.  Amen

 

City of Refuge

God is our refuge and our strength! David, more than anyone else in the Bible, professes this nature of God again and again. God is his provider, hiding place, shelter. He is his R E F U G E.

Before David experienced this, God designed an infrastructure of the Cities of Refuge through Moses and Joshua (Deut 19). These real cities are sprinkled across Israel, and all about a day’s journey from the different areas of God’s people. It’s fascinating to learn all of the purposes and plans for these cities – from the Israelites to the foreigners, to what the city leaders were required to do. Hosting a refugee was no small feat. But the most important component of these Cities of Refuge, is that they highlight God’s heart for true justice. He provides a safe place for those being chased and persecuted unfairly (giving the example of unintentional murderers), until the situation can be evaluated and judged. God makes a way for fairness over quick revenge, for everyone.

A couple of things stand out to me about these cities. First, the responsibility was on the accused to get to the safe place. They had to seek out and travel to the City of Refuge. It wasn’t enough that it existed. It wasn’t enough that there was a law that said they should get a chance to be fairly judged. And the leaders of the location the person committed the crime weren’t  required to transport them. They had to seek refuge as an individual. It was up to them to flee and get to safety.

What does my seeking after the Lord look like, in times of distress? Is it active and focused? Am I running to the Lord first, as diligently as I can?

The other thing that stands out to me is the host leaders of the Cities of Refuge. This put a lot on them to be prepared, to host the refugee, protect the wanted man, and provide for him. People would stop what they had going on when a refugee would arrive. It wasn’t always convenient. They may have worried about having enough for their own family, let alone provide for this stranger. They may have been concerned of the character of this person. There had to be a lot of things, perceived or real, that gave them pause when these situations arose.

What’s stopping me from providing for others that are seeking fair treatment? What are excuses I use to turn a blind eye to injustices around me?

I love this example that God outlined for us! He didn’t only rescue his people from Egypt (where they were being unfairly used and abused)… he then used the people to set up rescue centers for others. To whom much has been given, much is required. The Israelites knew too well of being treated unfairly – what better group to provide for others being potentially wrongly punished?

What trials has God delivered me from, that I can in turn support others in?

While we may not be hunted or wrongly accused for intentional murder, we may have:

        • Made a big mistake at work and had a boss that owned it on our behalf
        • Had a friend growing up whose family took us in and invested in us when we needed it.
        • Had financial help when tight on cash and in a bind.

God is such a faithful refuge!

I’m thankful for this example of the Cities of Refuge. What a beautiful foreshadowing for us and our sin. He is our refuge from ourselves! He gives us time to seek him, work out our salvation and be judged by Him.

Don’t be caught by the enemy – race as fast as you can to our perfect Refuge!

Refiner

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria which produces acid that attacks the enamel of a tooth. The decay can cause holes in the teeth (cavities).

A couple years ago I had a nasty cavity that needed a significant amount of drilling to be removed. I remember the dentist saying “whoa, we really had to go deep on that one”. Of my many goals in life, surprising a dentist with my extreme ability to generate tooth decay is not one of them.

Three weeks ago I felt something very strange in that same tooth and noticed that it felt loose so I scheduled a quick visit to the dentist. It turned out that the prior drilling was so vast, the tooth became weak, and eventually crumbled. Roughly 70% of the tooth dislodged and was removed at that time (fortunately the base/roots were not impacted). What was left was a jagged, useless, painful, ugly mess. Another appointment was then scheduled for more invasive action. It was not a good situation at all, trust me.

Andiamo! The big appointment.

As I was sitting in the chair on the day of the big appointment, the dentist looked at me and said “andiamo” (“let’s go” in Italian). Then came numbing, lots of drilling and grinding generating smoke and horrendous sounds, removal of the old filling, spraying, and fluids flying everywhere. During a two hour procedure, the dentist and assistant carefully rebuilt and restored my tooth, then with great detail they refined by smoothing and right-sizing to ensure a proper fit and bite.

The end result was really quite incredible as initially they thought a root canal would be necessary. Observing the detailed (and disgusting) photo of the “before”, I was absolutely amazed at what was done in a relatively short amount of time.

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. (Malachi 3:3)

Just like the bad habits and choices in my life resulting in bacteria and acid infiltrating my tooth ultimately causing it to crumble, so it is with sin. Sin in our lives and sin in this world is causing everything to crumble. Turn off the television news and trust THE only good news: Jesus saves.

While a new tooth, new leader, new vaccine, new… book, diet, innovation, partner, house, car, gym, etc. “may be just around the corner” – a few days, weeks or years from now we’ll see those things were just moments in time and not the end solution. Jesus is the only one who can rebuild, restore and ultimately refine through his cleansing power, so let us draw nearer to him today.

My Redeemer

I never much cared for English class.  It was probably the sentence structure that did me in.  I still can’t tell you the meaning behind an imperative, participle or conjunctions.  Maybe I was just bored with the details.  I mean, I know how to speak.  Shut up already!  Yes, that was my young naiveté.  I didn’t understand the power of words.  I wasn’t willing to slow down enough to study the details so that I could later appreciate and employ the tools for myself.  For example, do you know how words are constructed?  Let’s look at one simple add on to a verb.  Do you know what happens when you add “er” to a verb?

Consider that I build houses.  It’s my occupation.  When we add “er” to the word, build, I become a builder.  Simple, right?  While this feels like a silly exercise, I have to admit that noticing the two words build and builder together, give me a better picture of who I am.  In fact, when I say that I am a builder, you get a certain picture in your head of what that looks like and how I will act.  That is your picture of “builder.”  Do you need one?

Don’t be offended.  This is not a commercial for my building services, but I do know that if you want to build a house, it’s likely that you will consider hiring a builder.   That is, if you think you need the services of a builder.  I am always amazed at the people that don’t think they need any help.  Apparently, they are experts in building.  On the other hand, many people realize that they are not able to build a home themselves.  If that is you, I hopeful that you would choose me.  Then, I would be your builder.  When people ask you who I am, you will respond, “he is my builder.”  It is a valid description of who I am and what I do.

If today, someone asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?  There are countless descriptions.  He is hope, he is love, he is the Christ.  Have you ever called him a redeemer?   A redeemer pays debts.  Or, according to google dictionary, he “gains possession of [us] in exchange for payment.”  Fitting.  Right?  Thing is, he doesn’t become a redeem-er, until someone allows him to do the work.  Do you need it?  Or, are you an expert at redeeming yourself?  Here’s the thing.  When you do finally call in the expert to root out the stubborn weeds of sin and darkness, he is ready.  In fact, he wants to be your redeemer.  In the end, you will describe Jesus as “my redeemer.”

Today’s scriptures are writing from both David and Job.  Each of them, for their own reasons, found redemption in God.  When calling upon him, or describing him, they use the phrase “my redeemer.”

Psalms 19:14 (ESV) Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Job 19:25 – For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth

The Reason for Our Hope

1 Peter 3:15-16 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

What suffering have you experienced lately? It is guaranteed that we will experience suffering in this world. Sometimes it is directly related to our commitment to Christ and other times it’s just a trait of being human in an imperfect world. My youngest experienced a taste of “suffering” when he was dismissed from his travel baseball team. I know….first world problems….but to him, it was suffering. He was disappointed, mad, sad, and confused. And as his parents, we felt the same way. The stages of grief are very real – even in this situation. The 5 stages of grief are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. We definitely battled between denial and anger pretty fiercely. Probably still hanging out there to be honest. Those feelings are the easier ones because we are looking for someone else to blame for our circumstances. We also want to do whatever we can to reverse it. Bargaining is a tool that can make us think we can get back what we lost. These are normal steps that need to be experienced before seeing our new reality. Depression hasn’t set in yet but I know it will come as we look forward to acceptance. One of the signs of depression is hopelessness or the feeling that there is nothing to look forward to and nothing good will ever happen again. Have you ever felt this way? As his parents, I know we are here to remind him that he is loved and we support him 100%, all the time. As we look forward to acceptance there is opportunity for a new hope for the future. Please know that I am not minimizing these stages of grief. They are real and everyone experiences each step differently and in their own timing. It’s even possible to move back and forth between different stages before getting to that point of acceptance and hope. If you are going through these stages today due to the loss of a loved one, I am so sorry. Your pain is real. There is no timeline and no perfect path to acceptance. As Christians, I am thankful that we have hope from the very beginning.  It is a hope we choose to cling to because we believe that Jesus came to Earth to die on the cross  for our sins so we would have the hope of eternity with Him. This is the only true constant in our lives. He is the one thing that will never change, or die, or disappoint.

Thankfully, we were able to share with our son the hope we have in Jesus. This experience is setting the tone for how he will respond to future loss, which is inevitable. In my experience, it has never really been about baseball. Yes he’s playing the game (and he loves it) but he’s also learning so much about himself and others and how things work – or don’t work. His worth and value do not come from his performance in baseball or which team keeps him. He is a child of God, deeply loved, and worthy from the very beginning. We all are. If you are experiencing loss and suffering today, God provides hope while you walk through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. He is the reason for our HOPE.

Shelly

 

 

Reaper

Good Morning Biblejournal family,

This may not be the name you first thought of when you think of the names for Jesus. Reaper.  Yes, at first maybe you would think about the outfits that appear at our seasonal Halloween spaces when describing the grim reaper.  The image today includes a sickle but in the sense of a heavenly harvest by our Lord.

Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” (Revelation 14:15)

One day Jesus will stand upon the clouds, angels will be present,  and it will be a Great Harvest. Some may believe that this day may come sooner than later based on worldly implications and social media impact.  I can only imagine Jesus standing above in the clouds with all His glory and brightness holding his hand out.  According to Revelation 14,  It will be a time of judgment that only our Lord will make.  The question will be answered. Faithful or unfaithful? No standing lines where we wait and wonder if we have done enough.  It’s a reminder its not about what we have done. (2 Timothy 1:9) It’s a matter of do we believe that Jesus was born, lived a sinless life, died for our sins, and rose again.  He is seated next to God waiting once again for His call to say, It’s time.  Go Harvest. Have we been faithful or not? Do you believe it? As Christians, we will not have to fear but have the joy of our eternal reward at this time.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come in condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24)

 

Take time to read Revelation 14:14-19. The harvest of the earth.  The first harvest will be one of the believers. The second harvest is considered the winepress of God’s wrath.

The time of harvest will come. (Jeremiah 51:33) (Matthew 13:37-43)

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your many images that are a reminder of who you are.  Thank you for your words that can transform our lives through faith in you.  Lord we know one day you will return, please remind us of your harvest and of the love you have for us.  Please help us to be obedient to your words and be ripe when your time comes.

Amen

 

Ransom

Today’s Reading: 1 Timothy 2: 6

“Where is he?”  “Have you looked in his bedroom?”   “I have looked in his bedroom, under all of the beds in the house.  I have looked in the closets.  I have looked in the basement. I cannot find him here in the house.”  “Lets check with friend A.”  “He’s not there or at Friend B or C’s house.”  At this moment, you start to fear for the worst. Your son cannot be found.  He was upstairs 30 minutes ago.  You have been in the kitchen preparing dinner and go and check on him and he is no there. You begin the fell the sense of worry and anxiety because he was just right here.  You search the neighborhood for five minutes… ten minutes… fifteen minutes. You cannot find him. Two minutes later you see him turning the corner onto the street and you are flooded with a mixture of emotions.  Your son has returned home.

This scene has happened to me and countless others in our lives.  We have lost something that is truly precious and valuable to us. This has happened several times this summer for friends and myself with our children. The blessing is that God allowed us to regain our children quickly without harm.

There are some other individuals that are not as fortunate and their loved ones have been captured and place up for ransom.  Currently this is something that still happens and the individuals affected by this are experiencing unspeakable anguish and hurt.  We lift up these and others who have been victims of these atrocities.

Every one of us have been the victim of unspeakable atrocities and our souls where place up for RANSOM by the adversary.  In the book of Genesis, our spirits were taken by trickery and malice and place up for ransom.   The adversary believed that in order to remove the Jesus from his place in heaven, he would have to sabotage God’s creation.  This assault on us created a rift between God and our spirit.  The adversary believed that if Christ would come from heaven and become flesh he would lose his power and weaken the Trinity.  There were several attempts to reconcile the people with God: Noah, Moses, and David.  Through the use of sacrifices that spilled the blood these acted as a partial payments for our sins.  The real payment would be for Christ to completely pour out his body and blood to fulfill the ransom.  But the adversary did not realize that Christ, being part of the creator and the creation, he would overcome the boundaries of the creation and fulfill the payment and reconcile himself to himself.  He paid the Ransom with his blood, so that we would be reconciled to him and be in fellowship with him.

We have all been the lost child in the neighborhood.  We have all been a person looking of that child.  When we left paradise, God was searching for us.  He could see our outside shells, but our spirits where hidden from him.  Once Christ gave his body, we have been given a new bond and relationship that will not be broken.  We have been blessed with a renewed spirit that is in continual fellowship with the Holy Spirit.  This is the joy of this Ransom.  It reconnected us with God in a manner similar to when time begin.  We have to acknowledge this connection and not allow the adversary to trick us again.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the ransom that you paid for us.  Thank you for renewing our relationship.  Thank you for protecting us and sheltering us in the midst of the chaos.  Thank you for being the anchor that we can cling through it all.  Amen