What If There Is No Resurrection?
What If There Is No Resurrection?
Dr. Charles Stanley
1 Corinthians 15:12-19
On a very cold November afternoon, I sat under a green tent with my mother’s coffin in front of me. How many times had I stood in cemeteries, offering comfort and the Word of God to those who had lost a loved one? But this was my first experience of being on the other side of the casket. As I sat there, a shocking thought suddenly popped into my head: Suppose there is no resurrection! This idea was quickly driven away by my faith and confidence in Christ. But it had lasted just long enough for me to feel the despair and hopelessness of such a belief.
To help us appreciate Christ’s victory over the grave, let’s consider what the outcome of life and death would be without resurrection. First of all, Jesus would still be dead. That means our faith in Him would be worthless, and our message to the world would be a lie. Not only that, but Jesus Himself would be proved a liar since He claimed that He would rise from the dead.
There would be no forgiveness of sins, no possibility of reconciliation with God, and no hope of heaven. Even the believers who have died throughout history would have perished, and we would have no hope of reunion with our loved ones. Without the resurrection, everyone’s destiny after death would be hell.
Thank God, none of these scenarios are true. Our Savior lives, our sins are forgiven, death has been defeated, and believers in Christ have assurance of eternity in heaven. After considering how hopeless we would be without a resurrection, let’s rejoice all the more in the greatness of our salvation.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/.
The Fertile Pasture
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
"Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands" (Mic 7:14).
"I've called you to pastor the bank," said the Lord to my friend Chuck. "Pastor the bank? How does one pastor a bank, Lord?" "The things I taught you I want you to teach others," came the reply.
There is a people who live isolated in fertile pasturelands. They long for a shepherd who will help them discover their own inheritance. They are the lost majority in the marketplace who are living lives as though they are a child lost and aimless in a deep, dark forest.
Though most do not know it, they long for a pastor who will reveal to them their destinies. Your staff, which represents your vocation, is the means by which God is going to use you to pastor those in your sphere of influence in the workplace.
A fertile pastureland means there is a great harvest that can come if only there is someone to do what is necessary to bring a harvest from it. This is where you will derive your inheritance. The people you serve will be the spiritual inheritance God has allotted to you.
This forest is more fertile than all other potential fields because the power and authority represented by this forest has the potential to impact far greater fields. This forest has CEOs, presidents of nations, entertainment moguls, media tycoons, and educators to name just a few. They are the shapers of society who have yet to meet their Maker.
Are you willing to use your staff to be a shepherd to those in the fertile pasturelands?
O Lord, thank You for Your wonderful promises! Though in this world, I face troubles, you have told me to take heart because You have overcome the world! (John 16:33 ). I am so relieved and thankful that through You, I am an overcomer. So, Lord, when I am overwhelmed or discouraged or faced by great challenges or tempted, please remind me that I can overcome when I rely on You. Remind me to "take it to the Lord in prayer" and allow You to carry me through. I also pray for wisdom and for that way out when temptation comes my way. Thank you. In Jesus' name, amen.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders
When You Praise Him
Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Cast up a highway for Him who rides through the deserts; whose name is the Lord, and exult before Him (Psalm 68:4).
Friend to Friend
I love the story of the woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. "Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today. She did and she had a wonderful day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "Hmm", she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today." She did and she had a great day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. "Well," she said, "today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did and she had a fun day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. "Yes!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!" Now that’s what I call having a good attitude.
Attitude can transform anything and everything – thoughts, habits, and perspectives. We can literally change our lives by changing the way we think. In Isaiah 26:3 (NLT), we find the promise, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you.” A mind filled with thoughts fixed on God will produce a heart filled with praise – and girlfriend, praise is a powerful tool in our spiritual arsenal.
Praise brings healing to our spirit. When we honestly express our trust in God, then choose to give thanks, healing begins. Praise provides a highway upon which the Father conveys deliverance and blessing. Praise invites God to take up residence in the midst of our messy lives and becomes a free-flowing conduit of God’s very presence and power at work in us. God funnels infinite blessings into a life that praises Him. Stress and anxiety fade as peace floods the heart that is filled with praise.
Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Cast up a highway for Him who rides through the deserts. (Psalm 68:4, ICB)
But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22: 3, NKJV)
Don’t miss the life changing truth that we can enthrone God in every situation of our lives by praising Him. Praise converts our everyday surroundings into His dwelling place. It is from that throne of praise that God dispenses victory. Praise tunes us into His sovereignty and allows us to experience the reality and power of His presence.
Praise strengthens our prayer life. Prayer is not only a remarkable privilege that we often fail to recognize or understand, it is also part of our worship to God. There is the asking side of prayer when we seek forgiveness, lay needs before God and intercede on behalf of others. Then there is the appreciating side of prayer when we offer praise and thanksgiving to God for who He is and what He has done. Our relationship with God is strengthened through prayer and praise.
Now here is my favorite truth about praise. Are you ready? Praise devastates Satan and his forces. Yes! I love it! In fact, Psalm 20:5 (NIV) promises, “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.” Satan is well aware of just how powerful praise is and I suspect he absolutely hates it … which absolutely delights me! I can almost sense his fury when I choose to praise God instead of questioning Him. He hates it when I walk by faith, setting aside feelings and emotions while focusing on God’s Word and His faithfulness in my life.
Through continual prayer, through the power of God’s Word and through faithful praise, we declare our trust in God to deliver us. Praise lifts up the shield of faith in spiritual warfare. Praise makes a frontal attack on doubt and fear. Even in the midst of Satan’s best efforts, we can find victory when we praise Him.
When you can’t seem to find the right words to pray – go to the Word of God and pray Scripture. Join me in a prayer of praise found in Psalm 150.
Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with timbrel and dancing, praise Him with the strings and pipe, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.
Now It’s Your Turn
Are you known as a woman who praises God?
As you begin each day, take time to position your mind and heart for praise.
Look for opportunities during the day to praise God – then voice that praise aloud.
Begin keeping a praise journal in which you write your praises to God.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Monday, April 11, 2011