Glorifying God devotions by Pastor Chris
I saw this one-of-a-kind car on display at a shopping mall. It was a promo for the latest movie, Batman vs Superman. Wave after wave of crowds took photos. We did too – with some of our church elders – for the fun of it!
Some who watched the movie have issued their verdict. Not of the superhero war but of the superstar battle. Christian Bale is the hands-down winner over Ben Affleck as the quintessential Batman.
Life is a series of battles. We love choosing between winners and losers. We love belonging to the winning side.
Today is Easter. Easter celebrates the greatest victory in the mother of all battles. “It is true! The Lord Jesus has risen and has appeared to Simon.” (Luke 24:34).
This was the bewildered testimony of the first witnesses of our resurrected Lord Jesus. How unreal to all our sense and sensibilities!
Jesus knew this. That is why the first thing he said to the first witnesses was: “Peace be with you.”
Yet, they were startled and frightened, thinking they had seen a ghost. Jesus said to them, Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see, a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” (Luke 24:36-39).
Easter is not simply the excitement of meeting a man who came back from the dead. Easter is not merely the uniqueness of an after-life encounter. Easter has surely nothing to do with eggs and bunnies.
It is about a merciful God coming to save us from our 3 unwinnable battles. We are permanent losers in our battle against Satan, sin and death.
The Bible tells us to resist the devil and submit to God. Most of our moments in a day, we do the exact opposite. We submit to the devil’s temptations, accusations and condemnation. And resist God’s justification, salvation and glorification.
Little wonder our days are a series of ugly moments when we cave in to Satan’s temptations.
Each time we choose to hate instead of love, to accuse instead of affirm, to lie instead of speaking the truth, to be bitter instead of forgive, to bicker instead of bless, to be proud instead of humble – we are losers, in God’s eyes.
We have given in to Satan’s way to seek our own kingdom instead of God’s kingdom. As a cynic said: Life is hard and then we die.
And after such a painful life of moral loses in our hearts and homes, we die. After a lifetime of personal turmoil, office or church politics and national chaos, we die. After a lifetime of destructive self-pleasing and hurting others, we die. What a hopeless losers’ way to live!
That is why Easter is the mother of all victories. It declares God’s victory over Satan, sin and death.
Because God’s Son is risen and God’s Spirit is poured out freely on all who humbly believe, we no longer have to live and die as implacable enemies of God and one another.
Because of Jesus and the Spirit, your life and my life can be a series of beautiful moments living for God, instead of ugly moments living for self.
A woman came up to me up after hearing God’s Word in my sermons in a conference. She said her husband and her had slept in different rooms for years. But, last night, after the message, he said he will change and make up to her. That’s victory. That’s a battle won. But only through Jesus.
Easter is about God’s rightful victory through Jesus supreme love and sacrifice. Make sure you are on the winning side by humbly believing in Jesus. Your life will never be the same. Amen.
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