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The Difference a Few Days Can Make . . .

The Difference a Few Days Can Make . . .
 
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."  1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NIV)
 
We are a week  past Good Friday . . . and five days past Easter.  Five to seven days don't seem like that big a deal in the scheme of life, but think about those events around the first Easter.
 
First, you had Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  He was celebrated as the great King He is.  Then a few days later, He was arrested, beaten, and killed horribly on the cross.  Then on Sunday, He walks out of the tomb, proving He really is the Lord of Lords and our Savior.
 
That is all really good, but think about the emotional roller coaster Jesus' original followers were on.  My goodness, they went from a manic high to the deepest of sorrows in a span of a day or two.  And then their joy hit the high mark of their lives!
 
How are things going with you today?  I hope they are going fine.  But if they are not, hang in there.  You never know when Jesus may show up and turn things around.  And you can be sure He is with you . . . and will see you through it.  I love Galatians 6:9 (NIV),
 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
 
Hang in there, you may be in the midst of a dark Friday, but the Lord is near . . . and He will see His faithful ones through it!
 
   
 
 
 
 
Chris Craig
 
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Ruston, Louisiana
Author, Bible Prayer Book--"BECOMING A PERSON of PRAYER"--Book Publisher: Xulon Press, 2007
eThoughts Team-Extended Week-day Free Devotionals--Vol. IX, No. 04-04CC -- Archived
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission.  All rights reserved worldwide.
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HOPE ? ! . . .

HOPE ? ! . . .
 
I am a man who enjoys "guy" movies.  I like "Rambo" and "Rocky 1 through Rocky 78."  If you like other types of movies, that is great, this is just a taste issue.
 
Years ago, I was forced to see the movie "Hope Floats." It was not my flavor.  But the title:  "Hope Floats" still rings a bell.   Hope does float . . . it survives . . . it makes it.  Hope doesn't dissipate, sink, or disappear.  It remains at the top!
 
At the funeral of Christians, pastors often use 1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NIV).  This verse says . . . "But we do not want you to be informed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope."
 
This passage is talking about death.  It is saying as Christians, we grieve when we lose someone we love.  But, if that someone is a Christian and we are Christians, we grieve . . . but with hope.  Biblically . . . hope is not wishful thinking, but confident expectation of good.   We grieve the earthly loss of the loved one; however, we know we will see that loved one again.
 
This verse has wider application than just death.  We live in times that are uncertain and unnerving.  It is normal to have some fear and uncertainty, but hang on to hope!
 
We know God will never leave us!  Life is rather tough at times, but if we will live for HIM . . . HE will work out everything for the best and for our best.   We have hope!
 
Yes, the movie was not for me, but "Hope Floats"!
And our hope and trust in Jesus Christ will keep us
afloat during the "coronavirus year of 2020."
 
Hang on to Jesus!    Hang on to hope! 
Christ Craig
 
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Ruston, Louisiana
Author, Bible Prayer Book--"BECOMING A PERSON of PRAYER"--Book Publisher: Xulon Press, 2007
eThoughts Team-Extended Week-day Free Devotionals--Vol. IX, No. 03-03CC -- Archived
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission.  All rights reserved worldwide.
If you received this email as a forward, we invite you to sign-up at   www.ethoughtsteam.com
You are receiving eThoughts . . . either with your permission or by a friend's forward.
eThoughts Team | P. O. Box 605 | Ruston, LA 71273
Posted by Chris Craig with

"Thanks a Million" . . .

"Thanks a Million" . . .
 
Years ago the mayor of Lubbock, Texas, Dub Rogers wrote a book and dedicated it to his orthodontist friend titled "Thanks a Million."  It was a bound work that literally said "thanks" one million times.  Not an interesting read, but what a great concept.
 
The Apostle Paul never wrote a work like this, or at least it did not make it in the Bible,but he sure said thanks a lot. In nine of the 13 New Testament letters God wrote through him . . . he says "thanks" to his readers.   I Thessalonians 1:2 (NIV) is one example of this, "We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers."
 
With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, let's start thinking about "thanking."  I want to challenge you to carve specific time out in your day to thank God.
 
I also want to challenge us to get into the habit of thanking others daily.  This is also a great time to write a few extra letters or emails to deserving people.
 
Who helped you find Christ?   Who has helped you grow in Christ?   Who has been there for you during life's tough times?  Who has or does make your life better?   Thank them!  Specifically, intentionally, and without reservation, let them know how much you appreciate what they have meant to you.
 
Being thankful certainly pleases and blesses God.  It certainly blesses others too. Another neat thing is . . . when we are inwardly and outwardly grateful to people, it blesses us also.
 
You may never write a book that says "thanks" one million times, but you sure can be a "thankful" person.  LET'S DO IT!
 
   
 
 
 
 
Chris Craig
 
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Ruston, Louisiana
Author, Bible Prayer Book--"BECOMING A PERSON of PRAYER"--Book Publisher: Xulon Press, 2007
eThoughts Team-Extended Week-day Free Devotionals--Vol. XIII, No. 11-11CC -- Archived
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission.  All rights reserved worldwide.
If you received this email as a forward, we invite you to sign-up at   ethoughtsteam.com
You are receiving eThoughts . . . either with your permission or by a friend's forward.
eThoughts Team | P. O. Box 605 | Ruston, LA 71273
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