Put to Death

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9: 23

I Must Testify

After the last blog post, I waited for the next piece of writing to be revealed, but nothing came. I had little desire to write, so I immersed myself in the Easter celebrations. A few mornings later, I rose with an overwhelming desire to share this message. God had used the celebrations to renew my spirit. I had fallen in love with Jesus all over again. I knew I had to testify, so here goes.

A “Christian” Easter

Last week, I celebrated my first Christian Easter. I say “Christian Easter”, because I have always enjoyed the Easter holidays, but this time it was different. Of course it was! In my BC (Before Christ) life, I understood the significance of this holiday for Christians, but I never truly appreciated this free gift. Now that I am a new creation, I am able to experience these events with fresh eyes. Like a new born baby, I patiently wait to encounter all the other milestones in Christ.

“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NIV

The Free Gift

This Easter, the message of Christ and his resurrection sunk in! As I reflected on Jesus’ body on the cross, I asked many questions. Who would die for the sins of the world? Would I have done such a thing? Hmmm, I’m not to sure about that one, but I do know that one man died for me. Today, I can approach God through Him and ask for forgiveness.

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 NIV

I have unlimited access to the Creator of the heavens and the earth, because of one man. I have the power of the Holy Spirit within me, because Jesus died for me. God’s power raised Him from the dead and this same power lives WITHIN me. That’s not even the end, actually, not even death is the end. I have the opportunity to inherit the kingdom that God prepared for me from the beginning of creation ( Matthew 25:34) and I owe this to our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 1 John 2:2 NIV

Now, think about this! YOU have unlimited access to this free gift, if you believe in Him. Jesus’ death was not only for me, but he died for the sins of the world. How blessed are we?

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2: 2 NIV

The Planting of Seeds

As I left the office on Good Friday’s eve, I sensed that Easter will be a new experience. I departed with a new spring in my steps; Jesus was the hot topic of the day. It’s interesting, when I first moved here, everyone was tight lipped. Eight months later, they were asking about the Lenten season. (Lent traditionally lasts forty days, modelled after Christ’s forty day fast in the desert, and ends on Good Friday).

“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan: and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.” Mark 1: 12-13

I listened to my team and smiled in my heart. In my first week of work, my colleague explained that she believed in Karma, after I expressed by belief in God. That was fine for me. Today, we can discuss Jesus’ death on the cross! God positioned us opposite each other in the office for a reason. On one of our early morning chats, she jokingly stated that she would soon be converted by my words.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 NIV

Yes, there is that much power in the tongue. Who knows what God has in store for her? As a disciple of Christ, I am to plant seeds through my words and actions, it is God who determines whether these seeds grow.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 1 Corinthians 3:6‭-‬7 NIV


Spiritual Eyes
On Good Friday, I joined the local churches in celebration. In my BC life, I would have happily had a lazy day in bed, but this time I couldn’t. I had to deny these pleasures, as Christ denied himself for me.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6‭-‬8 NIV

As I stood in the town centre, we sang praises to God. Passers by stood and watched, while others went about their shopping. In the far corner, I heard someone mocking us while we prayed. My heart was overwhelmed with compassion, it triggered a piece of memory which will forever remain in my heart. It took me back to the time when God first opened my eyes.

The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. Psalm 146:8 NIV


Inspired Messages

In August of 2018, we journeyed into Southampton for a day out. As I entered the crowded mall, something changed. It was as if I was seeing people for the first time. They were going about their own ways, but it was as though time had stopped. As I looked around, this came to me, “Look around you, these people will not be saved if they do not believe in me.”

“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! Matthew 6:22‭-‬23 NLT

In that moment, I had a burning desire to reveal this message. I wanted to tell the world about Jesus, but I was fearful of sounding like a mad person. I felt like the odd one . Looking back, I had quenched the Holy Spirit. He wanted me to reveal this message, but I was more concerned about embarrassing myself. Consequently, I departed from the local shopping area.

Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; do not despise inspired messages. Put all things to the test: keep what is good and avoid every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19‭-‬22 GNB


Compassion

I walked away with a heavy heart, but it was not yet over. As I sat down to eat my meal, I couldn’t touch the food. My heart was filled with so much compassion, it affected my stomach. Do you know that feeling you get when you learn of relative’s death? If someone informs you of a death during your supper, it’s all over for you, that’s why you should always eat your meat first! On Good Friday, I had that same overwhelming feeling of compassion as passers by went about their daily shopping.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:36‭-‬38 NIV

Put to Death
As the curtains closed on the Easter celebrations, I reflect on Christ’s death on the cross. When I’m reminded of those three nails, I thought about the pains He would have suffered. At one point he shouted in a loud voice,
” My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” Psalm 22:1 NIV. (This can also be found in Matthew 27:46, but I’m using this verse because it’s more descriptive).

How difficult this must have been for God, who loves his dear son? To have watched Jesus calling his name, but couldn’t intervene. So with all of this being said, what is now required of me?

Take Up my Cross
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9: 23
How can I follow Jesus? How can I deny the desires of my own heart and seek His will everyday? How do I put to death the things which prevent me from acting in obedience? Is this even possible? Here are three responses which give me hope:

1. ” What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18: 2 NIV

2. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33 NIV

3. ” You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1John 4:4 NIV

What blessed assurance 🙂

The Holy Spirit
Jesus reminds us that He has conquered the devil while He lived on earth. More importantly, through His death, we are given the wisdom to understand the life which awaits us beyond the grave. A life which is more beautiful than what the world will ever offer. We also have the power of the Holy Spirit. He will guide and teach us the ways of the Lord.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14: 16:17

A year ago, I was one of those passers by, going about my own way. The moment God intervened, He changed my path and lead me to roads I’ve never travelled. I walk with Him holding my hands, for I know am not strong enough to overcome the temptations and trials of this world on my own and that’s OK.

We will one day be made righteous, if we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us. For any day, Jesus will return to separate us. He will return to take us to the place He has prepared for us (John 14:3). We must be ready for when this time comes.

Today’s Prayer
Thank You God for sending your one and only son, to save us from sin. His death and resurrection has given us more than what we ever deserved. Lord we are truly grateful for your mercies.

Lord, I pray that you transform the hearts and minds of those who are reading this message. May your Holy Spirit work within us, to do your good and perfect will.

God, I ask that you peel our selfish desires and put to death anything which prevents us from acting in obedience. Lord, please teach us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
May the good Lord bless and keep you, as he continues to work in you. May He be gracious and merciful to you now and always.

Love,

Ann 🙂

4 Replies to “Put to Death”

  1. This is inspiring. God bless you for the level of sacrifice you use to write. It’s my prayer you launch a book soon. Keep it up darling. It was a pleasure to read this post.

    Like

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