Monday, April 24, 2006

Easter: Monday, April 24, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Exodus 14:21-31

We see in this passage the people of God won the victory and they were now finally free. Two things come to mind out of this passage. First, it was God that won this victory. All the Israelites had to do was walk where God led. God did all the heavy lifting in this battle.

The same is true for out battles in life. If we try to do it on our own, we will fail. We can't push back the waters. We can't make it where we walk in dry ground. We can't defeat the enemy in our own strength. But, God can. Through the power of the empty grave, the battle has already been won. Through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can share in this victory. We can't do it alone, but by the power of God, we can win those battles in our lives.

Second, they were free at this time, but anyone that knows the Old Testament knows that they would not be free for long. They would be oppressed by other others peoples, and more importantly, they would be oppressed by sin. They had seen God win this battle, yet they would choose to enter into sin again and again. Paul tells the Galatians, it is for freedom you have been set free (Galatians 5:1); do not enter back into slavery. If the Son had set you free, you are free, indeed (John 8:36). Today, live in your freedom; do not enter into the slavery of sin.

New Testament Lesson

1 Peter 1:1-12
Just as gold is purified through fire, so is our faith. Just as gold is tested to find the truth of its worth, so is our faith. It is easy to praise God in the good times; it is much harder in the times of trial. But in those times, our faith grows. It is interesting to read the mystics, through Christians who have had great visions from God, they say that the spiritual life is not about those moments of ecstasy, but rather the spiritual life is about the day to day living. In the day to day, we find God, and in being faithful, we find those moments of great joy.

The same is true for trials. If we are faithful in the good times, when the storms come, we can weather them better. Today, are you being faithful, whatever you condition may be? In times of trial, we can find the grace that we need to grow. In times of trial, we learn to hold onto Jesus. And that is really all that we need to know, good times or bad. Hold onto Jesus.

Gospel Lesson

John 14:1-17

Our Lord promises us that where He goes, we will go also. He promises that He will come back and bring us to Himself. He promises that He will send the Holy Spirit to be with us. He has promised us many great things that will comfort and console us. But, he also reminds us that we must do our part. First, we do not receive any of this but through Him, for no one comes to the Father but by the Son. His promises do us no good unless we are in Him.

How do we know we are in Him? That we keep His commands. Jesus always taught that His children would not just believe, but obey. Today, do you keep His commands? It is not enough just to say that you love the Lord, you must actually love Him, and that love in seen in our obedience. His peace He leaves to His children. Today, are you His child? Do you love and obey?

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