As we approach Easter weekend…Good Friday, remembering our Savior being beaten and killed for our sins, Resurrection Sunday…knowing He still lives and He has overcome, I thought reviewing this strong courage and faith seemed appropriate.
The strength, courage and faith of these 21 men could only be given by Christ. They encompass what we all hope we would do in that situation. They faced the fear, the pain, the anguish not with timidity, but with singing and praising the Lord. And moments after, they joined their Savior in eternal perfection of Heaven.
Maybe the most amazing part of this story is that there was one man taken with the group of Christians who was not a Christian. He, however, chose their same fate after seeing their faith. He saw their faith and knew their God (our God, the only God) is real. He gave his life to Christ moments before joining Christ in His Kingdom.
When we go into this weekend, we praise the Lord for giving us earthly examples of incredible faith. We also praise Him for being the only One through Whom we can be saved. He paid the ultimate price…pain, suffering, death on the cross, taking every sin of all of ours onto Himself. There has never been greater pain, and He took it for us to offer us a way to Heaven. He is the ONLY way. Not anything good we do, but knowing we are not good enough and giving our lives, ourselves, to Him.
Remember His sacrifice this weekend, remember His love, remember His daily grace and mercy. And talk to Him…thank Him…give yourself up to Him.
This passage from Rick Warren was part of an email message I received and I wanted to share.
I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me. Philippians 4:13 (GNT)
The key to a faith-filled life is not in trying harder. It’s not in psyching yourself up, but in relaxing in God’s grace, so he can do through you what he desires to do.
Paul says this: “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me” (Philippians 4:13 GNT). Notice that it doesn’t say, “I have the strength for most conditions.” It says all conditions. That includes breaking bad habits and creating healthy ones.
—Pastor Rick Warren
I have not been hard on myself lately in terms of diet and exercise. There are perks to this…more sleep, more time, less stress, etc. There are also downfalls…slight weight gain (though not too bad), less routine, less commitment, worse shape. Most noted though is that since I used to wake up at dawn to work out, that was also when I would do my quiet time, devos, etc. Those have been shortened lately, and while I continue to focus upward and spend time in the Word, I am not doing nearly what I could be…or should be. Not entirely directly related…I feel guilty when I pig out…not just because I feel gross, but I feel like a glutton. I do believe that it is sinful to overeat and/or not take care of your body (your temple) in the manner in which we are called.
Hence, I am coming back to my blog to keep me accountable in improving my time with my Savior, who deserves every millisecond of my life, as well as improving my diet/exercise (which as I said, is not terrible, but could use a little kick). I am going to keep it simple. I find it amusing that there are so many diets and eating plans that claim to be different, but truly are the same…or awfully similar. Diet = a way of eating. Diet does not = starving yourself. Most diets ask for 80% or more effort. Most diets encourage protein and veggies to fill up your plate. The biggest difference in many diets are the issues or grains and dairy, but if you are following whichever diet you choose at 80%, then putting 20% of dairy or grains in your day or week is not big deal. I digress…I did say I would keep it simple.
Each day I will come on and put up a verse, a scripture, a question or a brief commentary of something I have read in the Bible or from a devotional book or a study book. Each day I will eat no more than 1500 calories…aiming for heavy proteins, veggies, water and green tea. Each day I will do a minimum of 45 minutes of exercise. Sundays will be my day off of workouts and calorie counting. Anyone who would like to come along on this journey with me, just reply to my daily posts and we can get better together! 🙂 I am convicted to be better for Jesus (not that anything good is of me, it is all of Him) but I want to commit to being better for Him, for my family and for me.