Tuesday, 04 April 2017 04:28

7 Ways to Experience Christ's Love This Easter

Written by  Gena Hill
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Don't let this Easter season pass you by without taking time to reflect on the Risen Christ.  Here are seven ways to truly savor the Savior.

 

 

 

 

 

Remember

Have you ever lost a loved one?  Growing up, I always knew the anniversary of my grandfather’s death even though I had never met him.  I would know that day had come by mother’s demeanor.  She’d become contemplative and introspective.  She’d often use that day to share a snapshot of her childhood and their relationship.  On one occasion she shared, “My father used to take me on his city bus route Sunday afternoons in New Orleans; I still love public transportation to this day.”  Reliving shared memories, his presence and his impact on her life, brought him close again and reinforced my mom’s identity as his daughter.  I don’t think a year has passed that she has forgotten to remember him.

 

Christ asks us to remember Him and His death on the cross for us.  Talking with Christ daily in prayer, it is easy to forget the price He paid for the intimacy we share. Easter provides a yearly opportunity to meditate on how God’s presence has impacted us personally.  Spend the day remembering that His death means our adoption as His sons and daughters.  We have a good future because of Him.

 

Believe

Believing is not always easy; sometimes it requires work.  God’s Word confirms this in John 6:29 when it says, “...This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  This one verse has revolutionized my life.  We know that Jesus is the one who was sent.  His death has made a way for us to come to God.

 

Now, before I act I often ask myself if my actions will reflect my belief in Christ. When I’m struggling with sin, do I believe Christ has given me power over temptation?  When I am feeling unjustly treated, do I believe Christ is loving, just and he sees all that is happening to me, that He is my shield?  When I struggle, there are a number of Christians to look to for examples, one being Corrie Ten Boom.  In her book, The Hiding Place, she relates how she kept her belief in the Lord through a Nazi concentration camp, flea infested bedding, torture and humiliation.  In all these things, she believed God, and saw His salvation.  This makes Christianity uncomplicated—instead of focusing on many commands or rules of behavior, you can simply look up and choose to believe the God who loves you unconditionally.

 

Give Thanks

Have you ever heard the story in Luke 17:12-19 about the ten lepers that were healed by Jesus?  All ten men were sentenced to a slow and painful death.  All of them lost friends because of the contagious nature of their disease.  They were isolated and literally rotting away.  They cried out for mercy and Jesus healed them.

 

Then a surprising and all too familiar scene takes place.  Nine of ten men turn away after being healed and go on with their life without thanking the one that gave them life.  So many times, I have been an ungrateful statistic; only calling for mercy in my need and forgetting to be thankful for the grace I receive.  Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Don’t forget to say thank you this Easter for God healing your sin disease and giving what you don’t deserve, pardon and new life.

 

Repent

Recently, a friend I know influenced a man to quit smoking—even though she never said anything to him.  He had focused his attention on her because he thought she was beautiful.  His growing affection for her caused him to lose his desire for nicotine.  He began to think about how his harmful habit would affect her should he desire to build a relationship with her.  So, he quit.  Amazing!  Love changed his behavior.

 

This is a good reminder that what we focus our attention on is what we really desire. This Easter, search your heart.  What do you love?  It will be easy to spot.  Look at how you spend your time, money, and energy.  If your desire is to love Christ but you realize you’ve focused on something else, don’t be defeated.  Just begin to meditate on Christ’s goodness, His beauty.  Ask Him to recapture your heart.  Better to focus your eyes on Him before trying to clean up your act.  It is in looking at Him that you find power to change.

 

Listen

Millions tune into “The Oprah Winfrey Show” daily to learn what experts are saying on everything from family budgets to dealing with in-laws.  We look to those who are successful to follow their formula for success.  Whose advice are you applying to your life?

 

God gives many sure promises for those who listen to His Word and apply it.  The first that comes to mind is found in Matthew 7:24-27 when Jesus promises security for your family when your listen and apply his word.  He says this using a parable saying that a man who hears and applies Gods word is like a man who built his house on the rock, whereas a man who hears but doesn’t apply (doesn’t really listen) is like a man who builds his house on the sand.  Storms hit both homes, and only the one whose house was built on the rock still stands after the storm.  Both men heard the same words, but one man listened and built his house accordingly.  Are you listening to or merely hearing the Easter message?

 

Receive

There was a Christian man who had a hard time controlling his tongue.  He used profanity all the time.  He recognized that this wasn’t right, so he shared his struggle with another Christian friend.  His friend came up with a plan.  He said to his struggling friend, “Why don’t you charge yourself $5 for every curse word you say. Give that money to the church offering each week.”  The man agreed to follow his friend’s advice.  The first week he had to write a check for $140.  The next week was not much better.  By the third week, the man felt defeated and told his friend he could no longer keep paying for his shortcomings or he would go broke.

 

His friend, having compassion, came up with an alternative plan.  He said, “Continue keeping track of your curses, but from now on I’ll pay the bill.”  Amazingly, a change occurred.  For two more weeks the man continued to use profanity but at a lesser degree.  It hurt him to put that burden on his friend.  By the third week, his cursing ended.  The grace we’ve been given was not free; it costs our Savior a lot to be able to give it to us freely.  Meditate on the cost of His grace and let it change you as you receive it a new this Easter.

 

Forgive

Matthew 6:12 tells us, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”  Like the Christian man who paid his friend’s cursing debt (described in point number six), you may have experienced paying the price of someone else’s sin when that sin causes you pain.  When people are rude to you, insult you, ignore you, or judge you wrongly, offer your patience and forgiveness in return as a practical way of following Christ’s example of forgiveness in His death on the cross.  Your forgiveness is an earthly demonstration of His love in action—longsuffering, faithful, bearing our burdens.  The more we experience it ourselves, the more we can give it to others.  Forgive others according to what you’ve been forgiven by Him this year. 

 

Reprinted from www.familylife.com, written by

Jennifer Loftin. Copyright (c) 2017 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 April 2017 04:39

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