Dates:  March 26th-April 1st

March 26th:  God Is Merciful

Read: 2 Chronicles 30:9

 Continuously, in The Bible, God is described as a God of mercy. There are almost as many scripture references to God’s mercy as there are references about His love.

Mercy and love are two separate characteristics, though sometimes they are confused or used inter-changeably.  The Bible says, “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

The Bible also says that “The Lord your God is gracious and merciful.”  Love describes a way God feels and acts towards us; mercy describes a way that God reacts to our condition.  The dictionary defines love as “an affection based on admiration or benevolence.”  It also says that love is “a warm attraction.”  It describes mercy as “a compassion or forbearance shown to an offender or subject.”  It calls mercy “a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion.”  Love, then is that feeling God has toward us, whom he has created.  Mercy is an attitude God takes toward us who are not worthy of His pardon.

Mercies means “to relieve the miseries.”  God has the power to change our situation and relieve our miseries.  To show mercy is to act in ways that is not required.  God does not have to accept sinful people.  His perfection could cause Him to shun His imperfect creatures.  But because of His mercy, God literally reaches down and touches us who do not deserve such treatment from a Holy Being!

Because of God’s mercy, Jesus paid our price.  It is because of God’s mercy that Jesus died. God’s mercy is reaching down to all of us, through His grace.  He wants all of us to make the choice to live and love Him forever.  But He has given us the option; the choice is ours to make.  We can either claim or reject His mercy.

Today’s Application:  Thank God for His mercy that He has shown to you.

March 27th:  God Is Loving

Read:  John 3:14-18

 God is love.  These words are so few, yet so profound.  If we fail to understand that God is a God of love, then we fail to grasp the full meaning of His personality.  In His sovereignty, God hates sin, judges sin, and punishes sinners.  If it weren’t for God’s love; His sovereignty and holiness would demand that every human being be crushed, judged, condemned to eternal damnation, and destroyed the minute he/she sins.

Because God is love, He loves.  His sovereignty cannot be contained; neither can His love.  Read Romans 5:8. Christ is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us.  Read 1John 4:9. God’s love is something that must be experienced.  The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was God’s greatest expression of His love reaching out to us.  On the cross, God reaches out to us, to touch us and to save us.

The love of God is not something we can earn.  We cannot deserve it by working for it.  We can only experience it.  We cannot barter or bargain for it.  God did not send Jesus to die for our sins because we loved Him so much, that He wanted to do this for us.  God loves us, sinners that we are.  We cannot clean ourselves up to make ourselves worthy of being loved by God.  Christ died for sinners.  God loved the world as no human has ever loved another.

Read Ephesians 2:8,9.  God’s love cannot be earned.  We cannot achieve it.  We can’t do anything to merit it.  If you have to work to obtain something, then it is no longer a gift.  God’s grace is not deserved.  God was in Christ; doing for sinners, not only what we do not deserve and cannot earn; but also doing what we could not and cannot do for ourselves.

God’s love is inexhaustible.  It cannot run out or be depleted.  God’s love is inevitable.  It simply had to be.  He simple could not stand by and watch humanity continue forever lost and operate in spiritual death, and doomed to eternal damnation.  God’s great heart was moved with compassion for us.  He is The Divine Initiator and The Great Originator.  He brought the means for our salvation.  God loves us!!!!!!

Today’s Application:  How will you respond to God’s love today?  What is His Spirit bringing to your mind?

March 28th:  The Sunday before Resurrection Day

Read:  Matthew 21: 8-11

It was Palm Sunday.  The multitudes in Jerusalem gave an enthusiastic hero’s welcome to Jesus as He entered their city.  The disciples were ecstatic that their master was being hailed as The Messiah.  They wanted Him to assert Himself.  They wanted him to establish His Kingdom.

Despite His three years of public ministry, even those close to Jesus still misunderstood the nature of His kingship and kingdom. The first Palm Sunday, people were eager to hail Him in a public demonstration; as the promised Messiah, as one who, they thought, would restore the kingdom of David.  Jesus did not enter Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to restore the kingdom of David, but to establish His Kingdom in the hearts of men.

The central truth of Palm Sunday forever remains: “Behold, thy King comes unto you.”  Jesus Is, and forever shall be, The King.  On that day, Jesus made a royal entry into the city of Jerusalem and received a royal acclaim.

Today, the body of Christians believers recognizes many phases of the kingship of Jesus.  He Is The King of love, joy, peace, King of glory, and of truth.  He rules and reigns as the Head of the whole Church of the living God.  He is King of and in the lives of His disciples.  His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom.  This is The King who makes a triumphal entry every time someone; anywhere on earth, surrenders his life to Him and becomes His disciple.

May The Eternal God, grant that now and forevermore, that Jesus may have a triumphal entry our hearts.  May The King of Glory enter in, while we pay our joyful homage before Him.  Hosanna to The Son of God, our Savior!  All praise to our Conquering King!!!!!

Today’s Application:  What area of your life does Jesus not have lordship?  What things, people, attitude, bondages, concerns, or problems do you need to surrender to Him?

March 29th:  The Sayings from the Cross

Read:  Luke 23: 32-49

The crucifixion of Jesus represents the darkest deed in all of human history.  This was the day and hour when the darkness of the earth had its way.  This wicked world did to Jesus what it willed.  It did not mean that God gave up control of His world.  But God and Jesus, found it necessary to let the world do its worse.  Only so that the world would come to know the depth of God’s love and His power; to redeem through the crucified and risen Savior.

Good Friday, the day when Jesus was crucified, was indeed good.  Behind the tragedy of it, we see the radiance of the unfailing love of God and the limitless forgiveness of Christ.  We see the good in Good Friday, when we as individuals, repent of our sins and accept the Father’s salvation, through faith in the crucified and risen Savior.

As The Savior was enduring the cross, He still was focused on His eternal mission.  For the next few days. we will examine His last sayings on the cross.  Luke 23:34 tells us His first saying.  It was “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”  The first basic need of humanity is forgiveness.  The Bible tells us that, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  The first words from the cross show that, in His darkest hour, Jesus could still feel the infinite love toward those who had brought Him to His death.

The second saying was in verse 43, of Luke 23.  Jesus was upon a cross.  With Him were two thieves being crucified.  Jesus told one of them that, on that day; he (the thief) would be with Him(Jesus), in Paradise.  This word says many things.  First, it says that no matter what we have been or done, Christ forgives us if we are sincerely penitent.  He forgave a man who deserved execution.  It also says that; no matter how dark and dismal our circumstance may be, Jesus has the power to turn darkness into light.  

Finally, this word says that eternal love is bound up with Christ.

Today’s Application:  What is it that you need to ask God to forgive?  Pause and do that now.

March 30th: The Sayings from the Cross continued…

Read: John 19:26, 27; Matthew 27:46; John 19:28

 The Third Word:  John 19: 26, 27

It is a dynamic moment.  Jesus hangs on the cross, the crowds were pressing in on every side.  Jesus is almost forsaken by those whom He loves the most and for whom He is giving His all.  Through all of the pain and agony, He sees His mother.  He looks at her.  The man standing near her is John.  Jesus can barely turn His head and direct His eyes, but He grips His mother with those eyes and speaks the words of love, “Woman, behold thy Son. His words echo in our hearts today.  There is love at the cross.  Two things are equally clear here, Jesus would not let His family ties come before His duty to God and the Kingdom, and He loved His mother so much that in His dying agony, He could think about her.  Jesus wants those who shared, and now shares His love; to love one another.

The Fourth Word:  Matthew 27:46

This is one of Jesus’ two, Old Testament quotations on the cross.  It offers our deepest insight into the cost of our salvation. Jesus cried out to His Father, “My God, My God!  Why have you forsaken Me?”  Sin’s price could never have been paid, unless The Savior had the sense of being utterly abandoned by God.  Here is the expression of the ultimate in loneliness.  Even in such moments Jesus did not yield to bitterness, nor did He surrender to defeat.  The truth is that we are never alone.  God is always nearer than we know; closer than we think.  His abiding presence surrounds us every hour of the day and of the night.  We may think that we are forsaken, but He is always near.

The Fifth Word:  John 19:28

No physical suffering is more torturous than burning thirsty.  Spoken from the cross, the Savior’s words, “I thirst,” represents the cry of universal need.  He, too, experienced burning thirst.  In calling for water, the Son of God identified Himself with all mankind.  He knows our greatest physical need.  Above and beyond our longing for refreshing water, there is a much greater need:  spiritual refreshment for dying souls.  We often live in moral and spiritual deserts.  The hot, angry sun of sinful pride, selfishness, godlessness burns down upon us.  Our souls are in danger of perishing.  Christ, Himself brings the cool, soul-satisfying water which gives new life.

Today’s Application:  Finish this prayer, Dear God I thirst for_________

March 31st:  The Sayings from the Cross continued….

Read:  John 19:30; Luke 23:46

 The Sixth Word:  John 19:30

Jesus’ words, “It is finished,” contains deep spiritual meaning.  A few hours before Jesus was crucified, He had said in the high priestly prayer: “I have finished the work which you have given Me to do.”  He had put into operation the divine plan of redemption.  “It is finished.”  Rich overtones of joy and triumph find outlet in these words, because Jesus has fulfilled The Father’s purpose. He had accomplished His work for man’s eternal good!  All that had been written in the prophets, was fulfilled in this mighty word: “It is finished!”  The whole debt of our sin was paid, and the plan of redemption was finished.  This is the message of the cross.  It is for us to appreciate Christ’s sacrifice, confess our sins, and accept the redemption He offers.

The Seventh Word: Luke 23: 46

“Father, into Your hands, I commit My Spirit!”  This is another Old Testament quotation.  This dismal scene on Calvary ends in triumph.  Jesus’ life was begun, carried out, and now committed at death; into the hands of God.  For us, the message from this prayer is that, we can face any circumstance even death, with confident trust.  We can do this if our lives are lived in a setting of commitment to God and His will.

We must let every day be one in which we commit our own spirits into the hands of God.

Today’s Application:  Regarding the things in your life, emotions, or excuses that you have given to God; finish this sentence:  It is finished_____________________________________

April 1st:  The Power of The Resurrection

Read:  Mark 16:3-6

One of the most important, vital, and extraordinary historical events concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, is His resurrection from the grave.  By this, Jesus fulfilled His promise that He would rise from the dead.  His resurrection demonstrates the mighty working power of God Almighty.

Something greater happened on that Resurrection morning.  A massive stone that laid against the tomb in the garden, was rolled away.  Almighty God spoke. The Lord Jesus Christ, The Lord of Life, rose from the dead.

Christians then, now, and everywhere can testify to His presence and to His dynamic power which forever sustains and gives them life. Those who profess Christ as Savior, know that God broke asunder the bonds of darkness and death.  It is by the power of The Holy Spirit, Who indwells us.  By His power, we can live victoriously.

There is joy in heaven and hope on earth.  We, too may live.  There is great power in our risen and living Lord, to save forever all who will believe in Him.  This Christ is the loving Savior.  He says, Because I live, you shall live also.”  Because He arose, we may also arise to eternal life in and with Him.

Praise God, Good Friday with all its depth of anguish, was not the last word.  In the glory and joy of the Resurrection, Christ triumphed over sin, death, hell and the grave.  Because He lives, we can live victorious lives.

We can live blessed and power filled lives.  We can live lives as children of The Most High God!!!!

Today’s Application:  Click on the two songs below. Or type them to Youtube. One is, “There is Power in The Blood,” sung by Bill Gaither and friends.  The other one is “Because He Lives.”  Be blessed and encouraged!