Good Morning from England, even to you ones who are in America and just now heading to bed! Here in my part of the world, it is already the morning of 6 January 2014. This is written so that you may know joy. Have a beautiful joyful day, and a
joy-filled life. Yours, PK x
CRYING OVER SPILLED LIVES
The Lord has been teaching me about sorrow and joy. Over the years I experienced so much abuse and depression and heartache; physical pain and trauma that I closed up my heart so that I would no longer feel the sorrow that walks hand in hand with the pain.
But,I have grown so much in Jesus,and in His Word recently that one night when faced with selfishness from a loved one, I felt a spark of anger I could hardly contain. I managed to speak with kindness and to walk away, but it was difficult. I could barely contain it.
I immediately felt the tears coming as I spoke to the Lord, “Lord, I am so ashamed of myself to feel unrighteous anger. It shocks me because I walk in love and I have been free from negative anger for a long, long time. I am asking you to please forgive me.”
He surprised me more with His answer than I had surprised myself.
“That’s not anger, Paula. It’s sorrow. Get in touch with it, keep in touch with it. Tap in, Tap in!”
Yesterday, I saw a verse I had scribbled down on paper. John 11:25.
And I read it out loud,
“I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet he shall live: and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
I asked myself, “Is that right? Did I copy that verse down correctly?”
I turned to John 11:25 to check.
John 11 tells the story of a family who became close friends with Jesus: the man, Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha.
While Jesus was ministering one day, the sisters sent word for Him to come quickly. Lazarus was very sick and near death. Jesus was the only one who could save him.
But Jesus spoke these words about Lazarus to his disciples,
“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”
After Lazarus had died and his body had laid in a steaming hot tomb for four days, Jesus showed up. Martha went to meet Him. She said to Him,
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know, that even now, whatever you will ask of God, God will give.”
Jesus assured her that her brother would rise again, but she thought He meant in the resurrection when the dead in Christ--the ones who know Christ--shall rise. So Jesus said unto her,
“I AM the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
Martha said, “Yes, Lord: I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
In verse 32, Mary came to Jesus, and falling down at His feet, she said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had followed her also weeping, He groaned within His spirit, and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see.”
When I lingered on “Jesus wept” as tears kissed my eyes, I said to Jesus,
“Jesus,You wept for them and you weep still. Many times I’ve seen you weeping for me and weeping for others.”
Sometimes Jesus answers in words that surprise me, and He did so then.
“I weep for you all. Oh! for the day when I can take you out of this world!”
Then He spoke once again to me about sorrow,
“It’s this sorrow, this identification with the people that unleashes My power.”
He spoke of His own sorrow, both now and when He walked on earth the first time as the Man of Sorrows, and He spoke of the growing sorrow in my own heart.
This is why Jesus has not allowed me to close my heart to sorrow, saying instead, “Get in touch with the sorrow. Stay in touch with it. Tap in, tap in!”
He has told me, “The more you pray, the more power (His power within me).” Yet, it’s through the sorrow that the power is released,because being in touch with the sorrow means I’m releasing His love so that it can flow to others, being moved to compassion that only His love within me can perceive.
I had for years, as I’ve said, closed my heart to sorrow. I didn’t want sorrow. Like many other people in the world I only wanted to have fun. I’d had enough of pain.
In the world, to not show sorrow or pain is praised as being “brave.” “Look at how brave she is. She’s didn’t even shed a tear.”
But that’s not brave, it’s not gutsy at all. It takes more guts to show sorrow in a world where hearts have grown as cold as if they were cut from stone, than it does to stuff it, and pretend “I am strong. I do not sorrow. I do not cry.”
Suddenly, I understood the words Jesus has spoken to me in prophecies many different times,
“You will know the greatest sorrow, you will experience the greatest joy...”
You may be thinking, “Paula, you’re insane. You’re urging me to receive Jesus, but why would I want to? Sorrow doesn’t sound much fun to me.”
Yes, my friend, but Jesus doesn’t bring sorrow. This world brings sorrow. But, if we don’t allow ourselves to be moved to sorrow, we’ll never be able to know the joy that’s ours’ in Jesus.
His joy far surpasses the happiness the world offers.
The thing about happiness is that it’s like a mirage in the desert. There you are parched with thirst, your tongue sticking to the roof of your mouth, your lips cracked and painful, when suddenly you see before you a cool stream of running water, fresh and clean. You run to it, you reach for it, and “Poof!” it’s gone.
Happiness is the same. You run to it, thinking, “If I can achieve this, I’ll be happy...if I get that, I’ll be happy...if I marry him, I’ll be happy...if I marry her, I’ll be happy..if I, if I, if I!
But like that mirage, whenever you reach out for that happiness, “Poof!” it’s gone. Just like that mirage.
The joy that Jesus brings is in our heart. It’s not a mirage that goes, “Poof!” and vanishes each time we reach for it.
Jesus gives the joy that’s the real deal; the joy that no man can steal from us. The moment we believe, this joy is ours.
It’s no mirage, it’s real.
Now back to John 11:25. What is Jesus’ promise again?
“I AM the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
I’ve known death, and so do you. Without Christ, the Bible tells us we are dead while we yet live.
I’m not talking about physical death. I mean spiritual death. Ephesians 2 talks about this kind of death. We do not choose it. Thanks to Adam,we are born into it. We only choose to remain in it when we choose against Jesus. When we choose against the author of life,we are choosing to remain in death.
Ephesians 2 explains this spiritual death better than I can,
And you has He (the Father), quickened (made alive) who were dead in your trespasses and sins; wherein in times past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (satan), the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.
Among whom also we all had our conversation (our lifestyle or manner of life) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath (sinners)...”
Our lives are sounding downright dismal and hopeless, aren’t they? So get ready for the big hairpin turn in the road, take that turn and you’ll see this:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins...”
Picture this: here we are evil and sinful by way of natural birth, being descendants from Adam. We’ve just killed the Father’s only begotten Son--
“Ay!” you say, “ Wait just a minute! I didn’t cause the death of Jesus. I didn’t kill Him.”
“Yes, the Bible tells us that Jesus sacrificed His life in order to save us. Read the 5th chapter of Romans a few times.
Jesus gave His life to save your life. So yes, you are as guilty as if you’d taken the weapon and driven those huge Roman nails into His hands and feet yourself.”
We took that whip and ripped the skin off His body...
We plucked His beard out, one hair at a time...
We shoved that crown of thorns onto His bruised brow...
We spit on Him with the venomous spitting of an attacking snake...
We blindfolded His eyes, and struck Him repeatedly in the face, saying, “Prophesy, prophesy! Who hit you that time?”...
We shoved that cross onto His shoulders and watched Him stumble and fall to the ground under the weight of it...
We said to the Saviour who perfectly fulfilled every one of hundreds of prophecies, “If you do this, we’ll believe; if you do that, we’ll believe. If you’ll just show us a sign, we’ll believe...”
And He answers, “No, you won’t. If you don’t believe Me now, you won’t believe Me then.”
No need to ask, “Why’d they kill Him? Why’d they kill Him?”
We killed Him by our own disobedience.
Yet, at this point, the heavenly Father, our Creator, who loved us, throws the curve ball.
Ephesians 2:4 tells us,
“But, God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us...”
In the aftermath of Jesus’ death, God loved us how much?
God loved us greatly. He loved us greatly.
He loved us so greatly, He acted on His love,
“even when we were dead in sins,(He) has quickened (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace you are saved:)”
By God’s grace, God’s mercy; by His great love, His ability, His strength, His might; by His power, by His undeserved favour, we are saved.
Do we deserve saving? No.
Can we earn Salvation? Again, no.
So how do we get it?
“For by grace (undeserved, unmerited favour) are you saved through faith: and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Turning back to John 11, we look back at this tiny verse with the big message,
The Jews who were with Mary said amongst themselves,
“Behold how He loved him!”
And again, we see and feel the compassion, the great love,
“Jesus therefore groaning in Himself, comes to the grave...”
Who was Christ, the Anointed One, weeping for?
Was He weeping for His friend, Lazarus?
In part, because physical death had taken the place of the eternal life He created man with. It was not His choice; it was man’s choice.
But, as Jesus had told Martha, and tells us now,
“I AM the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live: and whosoever lives and believes in Me: he shall never die.”
Remember what I said earlier? That we are born naturally into death: we are dead while we yet live?
Note the words of Jesus,
“whosoever lives and believes in Me, he shall never die.”
Jesus came to give us new birth. Receiving Him is called being born again. When we are born again, we live and believe in Jesus, and we shall never die.
Lazarus believed. He would never die.
So who do you suppose Jesus wept for most of all?
He wept for the Jews. He sorrowed. They did not believe in Him. They saw Him only as a great prophet. They refused to see Him as the God who loved them so much that He came to sacrifice His own life so that they might live.
And His tears were for you and for me, those of us who came after, and especially for you, the one who chooses not to believe in Him, and are destined to spend eternity in 12,000 degree flames in the heart of the earth, hotter than the surface of the sun,but never meant for man.
Jesus wept. And He was weeping for you.
Then He spoke, first to the heavenly Father,
“Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard Me...”
Then to Lazarus,
“Lazarus, come forth.”
And here came Lazarus still tightly bound in his grave clothes.
Physical death is nothing for Jesus. He dominated death when He died on the cross and was raised by the Father to new life (Romans 6:9)
Sickness is nothing for Jesus. He had all of our sicknesses laid upon Him (Isaiah 53, Mt. 8:17, 1 Peter 2:24).
Bondage is nothing for Jesus. He chose to be bound so that we could be free.
Fear is nothing for Jesus. He triumphed over fear so that we can be bold (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Lack is nothing for Him. Through His death, He conquered lack so that we would have abundance in this life and the next (Galatians 2:13-14; Romans 5:17).
Problems are nothing for Him. He proclaimed victory over problems, so that we would not know defeat.
The perfect love, our perfect Saviour: He wept, and He weeps still--for a lost world, a world filled with the death He did not create.
He weeps for you, that you may believe, and turn, and receive all He came to give you.
His words to you,
“I AM the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:...”
Hear Him as He speaks to you today,
“...and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
We that believe in Him shall never die...we shall never die...we shall never die.
We do not fear death for we live and believe in Jesus, and we shall never die.
God has already done it. He’s raised you up by the blood Jesus shed for your redemption and set you in a place of victory over all of this world’s enemies. Where’s that? With Jesus (Ephesians 2:6; 1:20-23).
Receive Jesus and all you have through Him, and spend the rest of your life basking in His perfect love, and discovering all of the rich and wonderful promises Jesus died to give you.
So many will choose not to believe. Don’t be one of them.
Jesus wept and I weep so that you might believe.
Know a love so perfect that He gave all He had to give so that you may be whole and complete, both now and throughout eternity.
Know the joy that Jesus gives, the joy that no man can steal.
Know this joy for yourself and for other believers, and know the sorrow for all the ones who don’t believe.
Why do I not fear death? Because in Jesus I shall never die. I will not know death.
This is not a mirage in the desert that goes “Poof!” and vanishes away like happiness or anything else the world gives that never quite satisfies.
This is Jesus, the perfect one from above. And unlike a mirage, He is real, and the abundant life He came to give is real.
He weeps still, and I weep, that you might turn and believe, and be whole and complete, and satisfied.
The great I AM, the true and living God came; our perfect Saviour came, and He speaks these words to you today,
“I AM the resurrection and the life:”
Know the life. Know the joy. Know Jesus.
Be bathed in the tears He weeps. Be cleansed, be freed, be healed by His precious blood.
Know Jesus today.