Encouragement for Today - Apr. 1, 2010
April 1, 2010
Life Springs Anew
Colleen Reske, She Speaks! Graduate
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
I see purple buds! The first crocuses are up! Within a day or two, the gentle little flowers emerge, oblivious to the fact that several inches of snow are forecast for later in the day.
Springtime in the upper Midwest is a very welcome guest. Its arrival is long awaited and much anticipated. We spend the long winter months navigating snow-covered frozen ground, wary of nearly invisible "black" ice and the potential to lose control of our legs or vehicles at any given time. As winter progresses, we watch the pristine white snow turn dingy along the roadways, and mountains of the dirty stuff are thrust up in parking lots, eliminating parking spaces. At times, the longing to see green again becomes almost overwhelming.
We would lose all hope, except for one truth that we know to be real. Under the frozen blanket of winter snow, the earth is only asleep. Soon, the snow will begin to melt, and the rivers and creeks will flow again. The geese, and then the cranes, will come back to the marsh as it thaws. Slowly, signs of life return as the natural world gradually awakens to the light of an ever-warming sun.
Knowing springtime and Easter are intertwined always lifts my heart. Just as the earth is coming back to life, we celebrate the resurrection of our Risen Christ. The earth seems to die during months of freezing temperatures and bone-chilling winds. However, we know the truth: the greenness of the earth will return. And so we wait, resting in the knowledge that springtime always follows the winter.
It is the promise that life will return which we celebrate through the Easter season. The parallels are apparent as we mourn our Savior's brutal death. Three days later we share in joyous celebration at the wonder and promise of the empty tomb and Jesus' resurrection from the dead.
This promise of life returning to us means we are Easter people. We can live the resurrection story at any time in our lives. We are constantly dying little deaths; in our relationships, our grief, and our personal journey carrying our own cross. But there is always the hope of our resurrection, and this can only come through knowing our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6, NIV).
The only way to know peace is to know the truth of our existence. We were made to love God, and to use the gifts He has given us to honor and please Him and to further His Kingdom here on Earth. He has given us the gift of abundant life, if we will only live our lives for Him.
I praise God for Jesus, giver of life everlasting. And I praise God for springtime, for it is the reminder of the promise that all things can be made new in Him, who gives us life.
Dear Lord, thank You for Jesus, Your ever-present reminder of our opportunity to know new life. Through the gift of Your Son, we can know You and know Your peace amidst the chaos in our lives. Lord, show us Your ways. For it is only when we surrender our will to Yours that we are able to follow the path that You have laid out before us; the pathway that leads to peace and a closer relationship with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
i am not, but i know I AM by Louie Giglio
Share this good news with your kids through My First Story of Easter by Tim Dowley
Are you walking in the freedom Christ accomplished for you? Read more at The Satisfaction of the Cross
P31 Woman magazine
Do you have something on your heart that needs to be surrendered to God: A loved one in need of God's presence? A relationship in need of His direction? An important decision in your life? Trust Him to provide you with the hope and direction you need.
Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt that you were given a second chance? Can you see God's grace in this season of your life?
Do you long for the hope that can only come from God's promises for us? There are 159 references to "hope" in the Bible, with 31 in the Psalms alone. Go to God's Word to find the hope you need.
Psalm 25:4-5, "Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God and Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (NIV)
John 14:6, "Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except trough me.'" (NIV)
© 2010 Colleen Reske. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105