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Why The Crucifixion Matters

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We have all heard and read the crucifixion story many times. In fact, we may be so familiar with the facts of the story that we are not as moved by it as we once were.

We look at the passion week as the time in Christ’s life where his suffering begins, but his entire life was one of suffering. Even as a small child he experienced an attempt on his life that caused his parents to have to flee the country.  Not much is known about his childhood years but I would assume that he was no stranger to loneliness since he was the perfect Son of God living among people who were filled with sin and selfishness. We know that once he became a man and started his ministry he was ridiculed and rejected not only by the religious authorities, but also by his own people. He was tempted by the devil and then tortured by the sinners he came to save. Horatius Bonar said that his entire life was “but a pilgrimage to Calvary with the cross upon his shoulders.”

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Is. 53:3

And he did this for you and for me!

He suffered for those he came to save and his suffering ultimately ended in his death on the cross.

Why does the Crucifixion matter?

On the cross Christ experienced the full force of God’s wrath against sin. Every single ounce of God’s justified anger, which was once meant for us, was satisfied by the blood of the one who was and is holy, righteous and perfect.  It is hard for us to understand how great a debt we owe because we don’t really understand the horrendous nature of sin.

The crucifixion also matters because on the cross God’s love shines most brightly. You want to know how much God loves you? Look to the cross where he sacrificed his son for your sins–many of which we aren’t even sorry for. If you ever doubt the love of God for you go to the cross and really think about what he has done for you. Marvel, weep, and rejoice.

Through the crucifixion you were rescued from the power of sin and the torture of hell. You were placed into the family of God, given Christ’s robe of righteousness, sealed with the Holy Spirit, and given a new heart. This kind of love can’t ever be broken or undone.

While we must give an answer to God for our life, Christ has become our answer. We experience many sorrows in this life, but Jesus became the “Man of Sorrows” in order to procure for us an inheritance which includes everlasting joy in the presence of God himself.

I am not sure if you are familiar with this song, but we sing it often at our church. This should be our response to the cross of our Lord.

“Man of Sorrows,” what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless, we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full redemption—can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die,
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high;
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
To His kingdom us to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Looking to Jesus,
jen-sig

 

 

jenthorn.com

Comfy Cooking with Kids

Today we have a special post from our dear friend, Janelle, who blogs at Comfy In The Kitchen!

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Hi Ladies! I am SO excited to introduce to you the release of my latest ebook, ”Comfy Cooking with Kids“…  designed to help guide you, guide your children, in the kitchen! 

 To celebrate, I’m practically giving it away for 99 cents at Amazon.com for 2 days only!

That’s RIGHT! From Wednesday, April 2nd until Friday, April 4th you can hurry over to get your Kindle version for JUST 99 cents!!! 

Please feel free to leave feedback on Amazon to let me know how you are enjoying the book! Also, feel free to share this deal with anyone- FB, Tweet, and Pin away! 

I pray you’ll enjoy using this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always, I will continue to pray for your families and the ministry you’re teaching them ….starting in the kitchen! 

About the ebook:

JanelleBookAmazonFile

Congratulations, Parents!
 You’re about to teach your children all about how to get “Comfy in the Kitchen!”

As you go through this e-book with your kiddos, you’ll teach them how to: Use many basic kitchen tools, incorporate simple cooking techniques, properly set a table, make delicious recipes the entire family will love, and even teach them how to clean-up afterwards! All of the recipes displayed are handpicked to be simple enough for small children to make with a parent and/or older children to make on their own. A variety of different cooking tools and techniques are highlighted to help your children gain cooking confidence.

Because cooking goes beyond just following instructions, “Food for thought” ideas are highlighted under each recipe giving you teachable moments to share with your children. Some examples include: “What is Shoe peg Corn? How do I separate an egg white from the yolk? And, why do we use oil rather than butter when we cook on high heat?” Who knows, maybe you might even learn a thing or two!

Gluten-free options are also available under each recipe to accommodate my allergy-suffering friends (hand raised!). So, here we go…. let those kiddos crack eggs, pour milk, measure, and make a mess. Did I say make a mess?! Ohhh, yes I did, but don’t worry, Mama- as I mentioned above, the kiddos will learn how to clean up the kitchen in the last chapter, they’ll even learn how to make their own cleaning supplies. Last, but not least, when the baking and cooking is done, make sure to sit down and take in those precious moments and indulge in the delicious creations you and your children have made together! 

Example Recipe: Classic French Toast 

french toast

*Food for Thought: It’s easier to whisk eggs when you break the yolks first! Just poke them, then easily whisk together.
 *Gluten-Free Option: Use Udi’s GF bread.

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“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin


Available for 48 hours at Amazon.com at the LOW introductory price of JUST 99 cents! Hurry!

When you’re just plain tired of the sacrifice…

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“I’m sorry, this momma is done for the night.”

I had had it.

I was done with a capital D.  So much so that I even let the words slip out of my mouth in frustration to one of my kids.

It had been one of those weeks. One very sick little girl had spent three full nights awake with a high fever.  She was kept company by a brother who kept waking up claiming that he “just couldn’t sleep” (which I’m sure was legit, but oh.my.goodness).  Another was seriously trying my patience in the obedience department, and the fourth sweet child just wanted me to listen for hours on end to the long list of inventions (mostly involving jet propulsion and duct tape) that had been forming in that brain of his that never stops.

Jesus help me.

I signed up for this, I know full well.  And I am blessed beyond measure to be sure.  And truly, all these years later, I expect the unexpected and the sacrifice that comes with kids.  I really do.  Oh, I know it in my head, but when my flesh and my heart are weak, Jesus help me.  In my flesh, I’m not naturally built to handle this kind of sleep deprivation on a regular basis and still practice any resemblance of patience at the end of a long day.

At our weakest moments, if we’re completely honest, I’m guessing that we’ve all been here about something at some point in our lives. Deep down in our core, we’re just plain tired of the sacrifice.

Maybe you’re the honest, loyal employee who fails to get recognized while others cheat their way to the top.

Maybe you’re the church worker who has faithfully, quietly served behind the scenes without an accolade in years.

Maybe you’re the caregiver who provides selflessly, or the patient who fights endlessly.

Or maybe you’re the friend, daughter, sister, wife, mom… who always seems to be on the giving end, but rarely on the receiving one.

Maybe, you’re just really, really trying to live for Jesus, and the giving up of the things of this world seems like an overwhelming price to pay.

The world and a thousand self-help books will tell you to quit. That the sacrifice is too much. That you should look out for you.

But Jesus came with a counter-cultural message that would change the world.  And He didn’t just preach it.  He actually lived it.

He served in the suffering…

When Jesus gathered with His disciples at the Last Supper, He had every right to demand to be treated like their King. His body was surely tired from some of his last grueling days of ministry on earth. He had selflessly served – over and over feeding the poor and healing the sick - yet the Jews continued in their unbelief that Jesus really was the Messiah, even after witnessing miracle after miracle.  This man of sacrifice served even with the knowledge that some of his closest followers would soon betray and deny Him.

No other King in history has given more and received less. But then again, He wasn’t just any other King…

And if that all wasn’t enough, in the midst of His serving, He carried the heavy weight of His imminent death. And He could have cried out, “Father, I’m done. The sacrifice is too great.”

But instead, he put Himself aside, and He humbly stooped down to wash the feet of sinners. Oh, friend, don’t let the repetition of this story or the simplicity of this act distract you from the profound mystery that is Christ. Instead of wallowing in the dark days which were upon Him or demanding recognition for saving the world, Jesus demonstrated that he came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28).  He would even kneel down and serve the very one who was about to hand Him over to be killed. That is unthinkable in human terms. It was far from a job fit for the King of Kings, but it was a profound example of how those of us who are in Christ should live our lives.

You see, in Christ, everything looks different. 

Those sleepless nights, and those hard days when I’m just plain tired of the sacrifice?  It all looks different because of Jesus. And with His strength, I can serve instead of seeking to be served.  I can sacrifice even in the midst of suffering, and I don’t have to wait until I’m appreciated or in a good season to initiate love, encouragement, and generosity to others. I can humble myself and not expect earthly recognition, knowing that it is far better to treasure Christ.

Why does the Last Supper matter?  Because it begs us to take our eyes off of ourselves, and to NEVER FORGET the willing sacrifice that Jesus made for you and for me.  And when we really remember deep down to our core, then we can say…

No sacrifice is too great.

Father, not my will, but Yours be done…

 

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

~ John 13:14-15

At His feet,

Why Easter Matters {Week 1} ~ Nothing But the Blood…

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Good Morning Girls… it’s finally HERE!!!!

This week marks the beginning of our {Why Easter Matters} study, and we honestly couldn’t be more thrilled that you’re sharing this space with us!  Welcome back to those of you who have been part of the Good Morning Girls community for a long time, and a special warm welcome to you new faces out there… oooohhh, God is so good to unite our hearts in His Word for this time!

The Easter season falls on a beautiful time of year here in the Midwest.  Springtime is upon us, and the earth is transitioning from death to life.  The hard, frozen ground is finally thawing from Winter’s sleep, and the first buds of new life are beginning to break through. Days are getting longer, I’m waking up to birds singing instead of snow shovels scraping, and soon soft colors will replace dull, dead branches. And as crazy as it sounds, this little change in the weather brings renewed hope after death had overtaken for so long.

As I sit here with my Bible open and my coffee close by, I know full well that you didn’t come here to talk about the weather.

But I hope you did come here to talk about new life.

Because as unpredictable as the weather - and this world- can be, the new life that is available through Jesus is quite the other extreme:

Complete.

Consistent.

Unfailing.

Abundant.

Sure.

Like many of you, I’ve watched the news and I’ve read the headlines this week. And yes, like you, I’ve fought worldly battles and temptations, and I’ve longingly searched for small signs of hope in stagnant places.

And as I’ve gone to God’s Word for help and hope, He has refreshed my heart again with this truth: apart from Jesus we are deader than the longest winter: incomplete, inconsistent, and longing for a hope that neither all of our valiant efforts nor this world can provide.

This… is why Easter matters.

What, then, can make us alive?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus…

{If you’re unable to see this video, you can view it here.}

 

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.

No other fount I know; nothing but the blood of Jesus.

~ Robert Lowry

 

At His Feet,

 

{Week 1} Challenge: Make a list of things in your life that you’re tempted to rely on other than Jesus. Every day this week take time to pray over your list, asking God to help you place your full dependence and trust in Christ alone.

{Week 1} Memory Verse: 

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{Week 1} Reading Plan:
  
Week 1 Reading Plan

 

{Re-Post} How To Soap Your Quiet Time

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I’m proud of you….I really am….I want YOU to know that.

I’m proud of you for making the commitment this session to be in God’s Word…..to be reading it each day and applying it to YOUR life……the beautiful life our Lord has given YOU.

Each session we create a study guide that goes along with the verses we are reading.  This study guide is to help you interact with God’s Word and learn to dig deeper…. slowing down to really read what God is saying to you that day.

Today I want to take the time and explain what the S.O.A.P. method is and WHY you should use it during your quiet time.

Why S.O.A.P. it?

It’s one thing to simply read scripture, but when you interact with it, when you learn to slow down to REALLY read it,  suddenly words start popping off the page. By SOAPing your verses you are able to dig deeper into scripture and “see” more than if you simply read the verses and then went on your merry way. Let me encourage you to take the time to S.O.A.P. the daily verses and see for yourself how much more you get out of your daily reading……you’ll be amazed.

What does S.O.A.P. mean?

S- The S stands for Scripture- you physically write out the scripture……you’ll be amazed that what God will reveal to you just by taking the time to slow down and actually write out what you are reading!

O- The O stands for observation- what do you see in the verses that you’re reading? Who is the audience? Is there a repetition of words? What words stand out to you?

A- The A stands for Application- this is when God’s Word becomes personal. What is God saying to me today? How can I apply what I just read to my own personal life? What changes do I need to make? Is there an action that I need to take?

P- And finally P stands for Prayer. Pray God’s Word back to Him. If He has revealed something to you during this time in His Word, pray about it. Confess if He has revealed some sin that is in your life.

Studying God’s Word like this can take as little or as long as you have time to give. Some days it can take just 10 or 15 minutes, other days longer.

How do I S.O.A.P.?

Here is a personal example….

Colossians 1:5-8

S- The faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

O- (Many times I just bullet my observations……what I’m seeing at first glance when looking at the verses)

  • When you combine faith and love, you get hope.
  • We have to remember that our hope is in heaven…….it is yet to come.
  • The gospel is the word of truth.
  • The gospel is continually bearing fruit and growing from the 1st day to the last.
  • It just takes one person to change a whole community…..Epaphras.

A-Something that stood out to me today was how God used one man, Epaphras to change a whole town!!! I was reminded that we are simply called to tell others about Christ……it’s God’s job to spread the gospel….to grow it and have it bear fruit. I felt today’s verses were almost directly spoken to GMG…..“all over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.” Isn’t it fun when God’s Word becomes so alive and speaks directly were we are at?!!!! My prayer today is that all the women involved in this Bible study will understand God’s grace and have a thirst for His Word.

God's Word SOAP

P- Dear Lord, please help me to be a “Epapras”…..to tell others about you and then leave the results in your loving hands. Please help me to understand and apply what I have read today to my life personally, thereby becoming more and more like you each and every day. Help me to live a life that bears the “fruit” of faith and love……anchoring my hope in heaven, not here on earth. Help me to remember that the BEST is yet to come!

_____________________________________________________

I’ll be honest with you and say there are many days I write on the front and back side of my study guide…..but you don’t have to. Just take it one day at a time, and write as you respond to what God has shown you through His Word.

The most important ingredients in the S.O.A.P. method is YOUR interaction with God’s Word and your APPLICATION of His Word for YOUR life.

I hope this explanation helps you today as you learn to dig deeper into God’s Word.

“I have a feeling that we would have revival in our churches if all true believers dared to live what the Bible teaches.”

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela

 

Subscribe to the blog. All the materials you will need (reading plan & study guide) will be attached to EVERY GMG email you receive from us after you subscribe and confirm your email. Once this new session begins, you will receive a GMG email on Monday, Wednesday & Fridays. http://feeds.feedburner.com/GoodMorningGirls

Don’t forget to invite some friends and join us on March 30th as we begin our new 4 week Why Easter Matters study! It just wouldn’t be the same without you!:)

Easter blog graphic

 

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Good Morning Girls

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