Archive for March, 2013

Investing in Easter, Breakfast with the King

I’m partial to fisherman, I married a one. And he cooks fish better than anyone I know. In fact, I call him the Fish Whisperer.

But I think the One who created the fish could cook them better.

The story of Jesus appearing to His disciples on the shoreline and cooking them a breakfast of fresh fish and bread makes me smile, salivate, and tear up at the same time.

Here’s the scenario. Jesus died a horrific death. He was buried by a wealthy man in an unused tomb. Three days later He was raised from the dead. He appeared to Mary and Thomas and the disciples.

Turn in your Bibles to John 21:1-14:

“After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 

“Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘we will also come with you.’ They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. 

“But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you do not have any fish, do you?’ They answered Him, ‘No.’

“And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.’ So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.

“Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’ So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea.

“But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.’

“Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ 

“None of the disciples ventured to question Him, ‘Who are you?’ knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise.

“This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.” (NASB)

Close your eyes and imagine what that looked like. Think of the smells of the sea, the campfire. Hear the lap of the waves, the boat being pulled ashore. And then hear the voice of Jesus calling.

He’s still calling. For you. Through His Word. He whispers in this blog.

“Come to me all you who are weary and heaven laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Today could be the day of your salvation. There is hope in Christ. There is forgiveness in His Name.

You don’t have to live for others, they will disappoint you. You don’t have to live for stuff, or your body, or money, they will all deteriorate.

Through Christ we have overcome death.

Hallelujah!

I’d like to see you in heaven, friend.

There’s a meal coming at the end of the ages, where we will sit down with the One Who’s hands and feet they pierced.

You can be there.

Romans 10:9-11 states: “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.’”

Fall down on your knees and worship with me as you listen to “I Will Rise,” by Chris Tomlin

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Investing in Easter, The Crucifixion of the King

For some, Easter snuck up on you. It tends to do that to me.

At Christmas, we begin to hear the music and see the decorations in October. It’s almost too long.

But Easter, that’s a different story.

As I contemplated the death and resurrection of my Lord today, I wondered if a generation from now, anyone would know what Easter meant.

I don’t think so.

Easter is the most important event in all of human history.

God became man at Christmas. God died for man on Good Friday. God saved man on the  Easter.

Tomorrow, we’re going to have breakfast with the King, but for today, we’re going to meditate on the cross.

I could talk about prophecies fulfilled, or the forgiveness of Christ, or how His disciples abandoned Jesus that day.

But I think I’d like to stick to just the cross of Christ.

At the beginning of the year, I spent a day by myself in prayer and Bible study. Loud and clear I received the message. “Lift High the Cross.”

The cross of Christ wasn’t just wood and nails and suffering. It was a transaction between God and man. Christ atoned for mans’ rebellion.

I’m not rebellious, you might say.

Yes you are. The Bible says so in Romans 3:23; “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

No matter what we do or don’t do, we aren’t good enough for God.

It’s hard for us to grasp the idea of ultimate authority leading to absolute accountability, especially in America.

In North Korea there’s no problem. In China, everyone understands submission to authority.

But in America, where we have rights, we tend to think we deserve them.

Jesus–God incarnate gave up His rights to redeem us. The cross is about giving up our rights in submission to Christ.

Faith.

Take a look at this passage:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”             Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)

That’s humility. That’s love. That’s Jesus.

Come to the cross this Easter. Kneel at the feet of the one who washed His disciples feet. Marvel at His love. Meditate on His grace.

Enjoy one of my favorite Selah songs and we’ll see you for breakfast tomorrow.

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Investing in Easter, The Words of the King, Part 2

I sold my house. We close in a few weeks. So many memories. So little time. I’m grieving for the loss yet looking forward to the future.

In the last hours with His disciples, Jesus served them, taught them, and prayed for them. Today we’re going to look at a verse of what is known as “high-priestly” prayer.

“I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. John 17:11 (NASB)

Jesus knew the cross lay ahead of Him. He knew the men He’d invested time and energy and three years of His life were weak. He knew they’d abandon Him. He knew even His Father would turn His face away.

Yet, Christ prays for protection and unity for them.

In verses 20-21 of that same chapter, Jesus goes on to say, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those who believe in Me through their words; that they all be one; even as You, Father, are in mMe and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

There are a plethora of pronouns in those verses. Basically, Jesus is praying for His disciples for their protection, their boldness, and their unity. He prays for believers in the future–that’s you and me, friend–when He talks about those who believe through the words of the disciples.

Right before the cross, we were on His mind.

That’s divine.

Take time today to meditate on His Words.

See you tomorrow.

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Investing in Easter, The Words of the King, Part 1

Within a few short months, I’ll be moving to Mayberry. Our business sold, our house is on the market and we’re supposed to receive two offers today. In Tom’s mind, we’re already moved.

I’m excited about moving, but sad about leaving.

Maybe that’s how Jesus felt as He prepared His disciples for His death and resurrection–His homecoming.

For today’s reading, I’m going to zero in on John 13:33-36. Here it is from the NASB:

“Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.; A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

That’s a pretty tall order. Especially if you look back a few verses and see Jesus washing their feet.

The God of the universe, on His hands and feet, scrubbing toe dirt.

That’s love.

Here’s another passage to keep in mind:

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Jesus did that. Really. We weren’t even His friends. Romans states we were His enemies.

True. Most of us think we’re kind of good. Fact is, the Bible says no one is good and no one seeks after God.

Let me ask you a question, friend; Are you a friend of God? Not by any good works, that’s for sure. Isaiah 64:6 talks about our “good” works. Says they’re filthy rags.

The only way we to become a friend of God is through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Meditate on this:

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8

If you’re not a friend of God, make Him one today. Repent. Tell Him you are a sinner. Trust Christ alone for your salvation.

Then, rejoice my friend. Email me. Find a good church that teaches the whole Bible.

Those of you who have trusted Christ, love others.

It’s not a suggestion.

We can love because He first loved us.

Worship with me today by listening to Keith and Kristin Getty:

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Memories of My Daddy

You ever have one of those days–a memory of a loved one slaps you upside the head? Today, during my quiet time I remembered my father, Major Ramon L. Wert.

The reason? I read a song from the Salvation Army songbook written by Charlotte G. Homer, #339:

“In loving kindness Jesus came,
My soul in mercy to reclaim.
And from the depths of sin and shame
Through grace he lifted me.

“From sinking sand he lifted me;
With tender hand he lifted me;
From shades of night to plains of light,
O praise his name, he lifted me!”

I remember my daddy. He’d sing the song with such feeling that he threw his head back in his wheelchair. He couldn’t remember all the words so he sang, “From sinking sand he lifted me,” over and over again.

Some memories are hard but good.

I hope you have good memories this Easter.

If you don’t, if you are follower of Christ, you have the hope Easter represents .

New life in Christ–not the Easter bunny.

Here are the rest of the words of the song:

“He called me long before I heard,
Before my sinful heart was stirred;
But when I took him at his word,
Forgiven, he lifted me. (Hallelujah!)

“His brow was pierced by many a thorn,
His hands by cruel nails were torn.
When from my guilt and grief, forlorn,
In love he lifted me.

“Now on a higher plane I dwell,
And with my soul I know ’tis well;
Yet how or why I cannot tell,
He should have lifted me.

“From sinking sand he lifted me;
With tender hand he lifted me;
From shades of night to plains of light,
O praise his name, he lifted me!”

Celebrate your new life in Christ, this Easter.

Blessings, friend.