Acts 2

Father, make a difference in my heart that’s daily evident in my life.

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“…this Jesus, following the deliberate and well-thought-out plan of God, was betrayed by men who took the law into their own hands, and was handed over to you.  And you pinned Him to a cross and killed Him.  But God untied the death ropes and raised Him up.  Death was no match for Him.” (v 23-24 MSG)

“...it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him” (v 24 NIV)

Oh, Jesus!  MY sin pinned You to that cross, pierced Your hands and feet to impale You on that wretched tree.  Yet … THAT wasn’t the end of the story nor the last step in Your Father’s plan.

No way could You be kept in the grave!  YOU are Lord of life, Lord of all.  Your power supersedes all things, all powers, all authorities!  And the wondrous thought that comes with this is that You supply that kind of power to me when I surrender my life to You.

You wrote to me centuries ago through Paul’s pen: “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…” (Eph 2:4-6 NIV)  And elsewhere, he wrote: “…’Death has been swallowed up in victory.’  ‘Where, death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?’  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:54-57 NIV)

You have promised me a resurrected body after this earthly one is gone.  You have promised me a new life forever with You in a new Home.  Even now, in this life, with every “death” You bring a resurrection.  When a part of me finally dies, when I die to my self, You are free to bring forth a new me.  You carve away the old scar tissue and bring forth new skin, new tissue, new organs.  You make me new in my thinking and discard the old patterns.  When I die to the choices, events, experiences that have bound me for so long, that have immobilized my spirit, YOU bury it all and bring forth a new “me,” a freed “me,” a “me” that knows, relishes, and dances in Your victory!

As David said about Jesus, Father, may it be said of me:  “I saw the Lord always before me.  Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.  You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.” (Acts 2:25-28 NIV)  Bring on the resurrection, Father, as You keep on making me just like Jesus!  Amen.

Mark 16

Show me Jesus, Father, and show others the Jesus in me.

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“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’  … After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was take up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God.  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, AND THE LORD WORKED WITH THEM…” (16:15-16, 19-20 NIV)

You came to this earth in a simple way: born as a baby.

You lived on this earth in a purposeful way: teaching and modeling Your plan for redeeming Your people.

You left this earth in a glorious way: resurrected from death and ascended into heaven.

You continue to impact this earth in a personal and vicarious way: working with and through those who follow You and by Your Spirit’s activity among us.

Thank You for exerting Your power over death to raise Your body from the grave.  Thank You, for that act brings me the assurance of one day conquering death alongside You by that same power being engaged in my own life when my body is no more.

Everyday there are dead areas in my life which need the force of Your resurrection power.  There are attitudes, actions, choices and opinions which are like corpses needing disposed.  Yet, You have the power to resurrect what is dead in me, to fill me completely with Your life.  Like Paul said, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11 NIV).

Here am I, Lord, take my heart, mind, …all of me, and make me fully alive in You… Let there be no part of me which has not been resurrected.  Then, guide me to breathe out life-giving words to others, as You continue to make me just like Jesus.  Amen.