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God’s Canvas April 2010 Love the Lord your God With Key Verse: For what will
God’s Canvas April 2010 Love the Lord your God With Key Verse: For what will

God’s Canvas

April 2010

Love the Lord your God

God’s Canvas April 2010 Love the Lord your God With Key Verse: For what will it

With

Key Verse:
Key Verse:

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36

“Weight”-less

Alright, the time of truth is coming when those of you par- ticipating in the “Biggest Loser/ Battle of the Sexes” are going to weigh in. Be encouraged to remember that you have been successful and should be proud of what you have ac- complished. Keep doing what you’re doing and help your family choose a healthier life- style. The warm weather is coming and that means you have the perfect opportunity to go outside and let life be an adventure. Use this time to remind yourself that, arguably, YOU are the biggest influence in your home and are in the unique position to set a climate of love, laughter, and good health. Also, don’t take the hard work you’ve put into meeting your goals for granted. Remember what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to- ward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

Congratulations, Ladies! You’ve done us all proud.

All Your Soul

Please take the time to read the Bible verses below.

Soul is a difficult word to define because it is so often used interchangeably with spirit. Soul is the word we use to de- scribe the immaterial part of ourselves. In Luke 12:27, the Hebrew word used for soul is psyche, from the root word psy- cho which means “to breathe”. It is the breath of God that gives us life so that is what we’ll refer to as soul—it is our life, our innermost being.

Matthew Henry says that loving the Lord with all your soul means you love Him with an entire love, meaning, “He must have our whole souls and must be served with all that is within us. We must love nothing besides Him, but what we love for Him and in subordination to Him.” In simpler terms, when you love God with your life you love what He loves and you hate what He hates.

When you live for loving God, you be- come transformed (Romans 12:2). Transformation happens by the renewing of our minds, and there is no other way to do that than to saturate our minds with the things of God. To be transformed is to have everything you experience in your life related to your love for God. What you feel is grounded in God, the decisions you make are grounded in God, what you choose to think about is grounded in God, and what you want to pursue is grounded in God. Realizing this in your life can be done by reading the Bible, listening to Christian radio, reading inspirational books, and surrounding yourself with people strong in the faith. By choosing the things of God over the things of the world, the Holy Spirit works this transformation in you.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is in learning how to make choices that don’t compromise godly convictions. Convic- tions aren’t merely the things we do or don’t feel ok about getting away with. Convictions are an unshakable belief in something that is bigger than you. When God’s Word tells us to do or not to do something there is no room for debate. The convictions the Bible teaches us to have are not open for in- terpretation but are a blueprint for our lives. The truth of the matter is that the gradual compromise of these godly standards is a sure way to stop loving what God loves.

These are some of the ways the Bible teaches us to love God with our lives:

honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12), keep the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14), let no corrupt word come from your mouth (Ephesians 4:29), do not get drunk (Ephesians 5:18), put others be- fore yourself (Matthew 22:39), encour- age each other in godliness (Hebrews 3:13), give thanks to God in everything (Colossians 3:17). These are the types of things that characterize a life that is loving God.

Challenge yourself today. The next time you’re with your friends be extra con- scious of the things you do and say and weigh them against the Word of God. How you live is your choice and today you can CHOOSE to love God with your life.

choice and today you can CHOOSE to love God with your life. Contact God’s Canvas Newsletter

Contact God’s Canvas Newsletter by e-mailing GodsCanvasNLBC@gmail.com

April 2010

God’s Canvas

April 2010 God’s Canvas Love the Lord your God Emmaus — Luke 24:13-32 By Becky Hilton
April 2010 God’s Canvas Love the Lord your God Emmaus — Luke 24:13-32 By Becky Hilton

Love the Lord your God

April 2010 God’s Canvas Love the Lord your God Emmaus — Luke 24:13-32 By Becky Hilton

EmmausLuke 24:13-32

By Becky Hilton

We were walking down the same dusty road we’d traveled so many times but this time was different. Perhaps it was our burdened hearts that slowed us down. Or maybe it was that we had hardly slept for three days. But that didn’t matter. Nothing mattered right now. I looked at my friend beside me as we talked about all that happened, trying to make sense of it.

A man came close and walked beside us. He must have

overheard us talking since he asked about our conversa-

tion. I was astonished that He didn’t seem to know. Every- body near Jerusalem knew and they were all talking about it. It was Jesus of Nazareth. The one I had hoped would redeem Israel. The One who taught me about forgiveness —about life! The One I was sure wasn’t another imposter.

I must have been wrong. He’s the One that’s dead.

I saw the whole thing. I was there when they took Him in

the dark and dragged Him before the high priest. I was there when He was beaten, spit on and mocked. I was there when they forced Him to carry the cross. He could hardly make it to the hill, His flesh was ripped so badly. If I hadn’t watched maybe now I’d have peace from the im- ages in my mind.

It wouldn’t have mattered though. They’d been trying to

trap Him with His words for years. And when they finally got their way He did nothing to stop them. He stood there and watched. He let them get away with all of it without so much as one word in His own defense. He just looked at them. I think He even looked at me. His eyes were so swollen you could hardly see them but I felt the force of His gaze. He looked out at the crowd and they looked back at Him. I looked too. I look at Jesus and was just as silent as He was. I said nothing.

They made a complete spectacle of Him as He hung on that wretched cross! They cursed Him and cursed them- selves. And I watched. The people had forgotten how He

healed their families and mended their broken lives. They had forgotten that just a week earlier they’d praised Him as He entered Jerusalem. They’d forgotten themselves and cried out for His blood. Oh, to be innocent of His

blood!

He hung on that cross for what seemed like days but it

was only hours before He died. Never have I felt the earth shake and the heavens rumble as they did in that moment.

I thought I was witnessing a miracle. Maybe I wasn’t

wrong. Maybe He still could be the Chosen One. After His

body was taken down and placed in the tomb, the

entrance sealed, I tasted the bitterness of defeat. All my hope was gone. Jesus was really dead.

My sadness turned to anger and confusion when Mary told us that somebody took His body. The tomb was empty! It’s

a cruel joke, if a joke is what it is. Those of us who fol- lowed Him had already suffered enough. Why bring us this pain? It was too much to carry, too much to understand. My friend and I couldn’t make sense of it.

The Man spoke again. His eyes were intense, excited. He asked me if I’d ever read the Scriptures. At first I was of- fended. I’m a Jew! I was born to know the Scriptures. As the Man kept talking I forgot my anger and soon became mesmerized by the passion in His voice. He want back to the very beginning of time and shared the stories and words I’d heard so many times…

Israel. A people chosen by God to be a blessing to the world. They were called to be a holy people, set apart. Israel was given an opportunity and a promise. An oppor- tunity to live for God and be His vessel to the world and a promise that they would be redeemed. But obeying the Law was too much for them. They couldn’t keep it be- cause of their sin. That is why they needed the Sacrificial Lamb.

The Sacrificial Lamb is perfect and unblemished. It is white and pure. This Lamb is required to shed its blood to cover the sin debt of the people because life is in the blood. This Lamb is as the lamb given to Abraham as he obeyed God’s instructions to sacrifice his only son—it is a Lamb provided by God. This Lamb gives his life so that others may be forgiven and live.

The man talked of the Messiah. The Anointed One. He

was to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, a child of the tribe of Judah. He was to be humble and comely. He would declare the Word of the Lord and bring healing to the peo- ple. But the people wouldn’t understand. They wouldn’t recognize Him. He would triumphantly enter Jerusalem on

a donkey with palm branches cast down before him and

then He would be rejected and beaten beyond recognition. He would be cursed. For just as Jonah was in the belly of

the great fish for three days, so would the Messiah be in the grave. But the Messiah would live!

My heart began to quicken as I listened to the familiar words. It was as if I had heard them for the first time. I looked at the sky above and pushed forward. It was get- ting dark and I suddenly couldn't wait to get home. When

Continued on next page

April 2010

God’s Canvas

April 2010 God’s Canvas Love the Lord your God Emmaus — continued we got there the
April 2010 God’s Canvas Love the Lord your God Emmaus — continued we got there the

Love the Lord your God

April 2010 God’s Canvas Love the Lord your God Emmaus — continued we got there the

Emmauscontinued

we got there the Man prepared to leave us. We asked Him to stay. Our eyes connected. My mind flashed back to those few seconds just days before when I had locked eyes with Jesus. I ask the Man to stay again—and again, until He agreed.

We sat down to eat the evening meal. Our women put the bread before us. The Man picked it up, blessed it, and broke it. He passed the broken pieces to us. He looked at me again and I remembered. I remembered the Passover meal I’d shared a few days ago with Jesus. Just as this Man did, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, and broke it. He told us that is was His body that would be broken. Then the Man took the cup. Again I remembered Jesus, raising the cup of redemption, the red wine spilling over and stain- ing the ground beneath Him. He said it was His blood that was going to be spilled to cover the sins of many. He told us to remember.

With eyes closed, I held the broken bread in my hands. Images of Jesus’ beaten body raced before me. I saw Je- sus holding the cup of redemption and I saw Him hanging on the cross. I saw the blood pouring from His body until it became lifeless. And I knew. The Messiah is the Sacrificial Lamb. I opened my eyes to look at this Man. Jesus smiled back at me and was gone.

If time had ever stood still, it did right then. I stared at the empty seat across from me as the realization of what just happened sunk in. Jesus is the Messiah and He is alive!

Scriptures referenced in Emmaus

John 18:13— Jesus arrested, brought to the high priest Luke 22: 64—Jesus blindfolded, struck, told to prophesy Matthew 27:28-33—Jesus beaten and mocked. Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry Jesus’ cross to Golgotha. John 11:57—Priests and Pharisees plot to seize Jesus Isaiah 53:7—Messiah silent before accusers Matthew 27:12—Jesus is silent before the high priest Luke 23:35-38—Jesus mocked while on the cross Luke 23:44-46—Jesus died in 9th hour, earth darkened John 20:2—Mary Magdalene tells Peter of empty tomb Genesis 12:1-3—God gives promise to Abraham Exodus 12:1-5—The first Passover and the significance of the Sacrificial Lamb Leviticus 17:11—”The life of the flesh is in the blood” Genesis 22:1-14—Abraham commanded to kill Isaac, God provides a ram in the thicket Isaiah 7:14—The Messiah will be born of a virgin Micah 5:2—The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem Isaiah 37:31—The Messiah is born to the tribe of Judah Luke 3:23-28—Genealogy of Jesus through Mary Isaiah 53:5-6—We are healed by the stripes of Jesus Zechariah 9:9—Messiah rides into Jerusalem on a donkey Isaiah 53:3—Messiah is despised and rejected by men Deuteronomy 21:22-23—He who hangs on a tree is cursed of God Luke 11:30—The sign of Jonah given to the people Mark 14:22-25—The first communion

given to the people Mark 14:22-25—The first communion Family Fun: Easter Story Cookies

Family Fun: Easter Story Cookies

(http://www.dltk-bible.com/recipes/easter_story_cookies.htm) To be made the evening before Easter. Ingredients: 1 cup whole pecan, 1 tsp vinegar, 3 egg whites, pinch salt, 1 cup sugar, zipper baggie, wooden spoon, tape, Bible.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (VERY IMPORTANT TO DO FIRST) Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:29-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His live to give us life. Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door, and turn the oven OFF> Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

Go to bed. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 –22

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.