Easter Activity: Day 12 (Easter Sunday)

HE IS RISEN!! HE IS RISEN INDEED!!

Supplies: Egg #12 – EMPTY!

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.”  Matthew 28:5-6
 
The women were coming back to apply spices to the lifeless body of their beloved teacher.  What they found wasn’t encouraging to them at first because they had forgotten the promise that Jesus had made to them that on the third day he would rise again.  How could they forget? How many times do we forget our Lord’s promises to us in just the span of one day? When God asks us to wait on Him for things that we have been praying for what seems like an eternity, how often do we let our minds wander to questions that start with things like, “If He really loved me,” “Doesn’t He see me?” or “Why have you forgotten about me?”
 
If we allow ourselves to go to the foot of the cross and mourn the death of Jesus remembering that we were the ones that belonged there on the cross, we then can rejoice because we he has beaten death.  We have nothing to fear. The command, “Don’t be afraid,” is not a suggestion. He is here with us in the form of His Holy Spirit, which was a promise made to the disciples and to us as well. He has given and will continue to equip us with all we need to fight our battles on this earth, but it requires action on our part.  We are to daily put on our armor (Ephesians 6) and trust that he is who he says he is and will do what he has said he will do. Any other voices that (like the questions above) are suggestions from Satan himself. He is the father of lies and will stop at nothing to make you second guess the love of our Father.
 
Make no mistake, God will never accomplish his will by doing things in the way that you think he will – the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is the most amazing reminder of that.
 
The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”  I Corinthians 1:18-31
 
We have so much to boast about when it comes to what the Lord has done!  He is risen – make no mistake – He is coming again and we have much to do, dear friends. The last song in the list below is Matt Maher’s new one and I love the chorus.  In this strange time we are in right now, it is so important to remember these things.
 

Joy still comes in the morning

Hope still walks with the hurting

If you’re still alive and breathing

Praise the Lord

Don’t stop dancing and dreaming

There’s still Good News worth repeating

So lift your head and keep singing

Praise the Lord
 
The Good News is the same this morning as it was the morning that he was no longer in the tomb.  We still have access to Jesus and the power that brought him out of the grave. It’s in me and it’s in you, if Jesus lives inside you.  His promises ring true every time and because of it, we have nothing to fear. Be blessed by the life of Jesus and use it as an example of how to bless others.  HE IS RISEN!
 
Reflection Think about how the resurrection affects your everyday thinking.  Does it shape the way you respond to others, to fears, to road blocks, to times you have been asked to wait? When you look at others, do you see Jesus in them or is your go-to to find fault? Since we are spending so much time with our families these days, can you list three ways that each person in your family displays the qualities of Jesus?
 
 
 
 
 
“Alive and Breathing”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYUJjsgd96k
 

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Easter Activity: Day 11

 
Scripture: “Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left.”   Matthew 27:59-60
 
The Scriptures tell us that Joseph was a righteous man, a follower of Jesus and a rich member of the religious high council, who did not agree with those around him. When Joseph hears that Jesus is dead, he takes a risk and asks Pilate for Jesus’s body. He knows that it is most likely that Jesus does not have a place prepared for His burial. He does not want Jesus’s body to be further abused, so in a final act of love and respect, Joseph takes Jesus’s body, wraps it in a burial cloth and places it in his own tomb. So that no one can further hurt Jesus’s body, Joseph takes a large stone, rolls it over the entrance and leaves.
 
Mary Magdalene and another Mary, watch carefully to see where Jesus’s body has been put, and then go home to gather what they will need when the Sabbath is over to fully prepare His body for burial. The actions of Joseph and the two Mary’s are done out of love, respect and honor, and come at potentially great risk to themselves—especially Joseph. Each of them longs to honor Jesus in death as well as life.
 
Yet their actions also reveal what they believe—that nothing is stronger than death and that Jesus is forever dead. They had heard what Jesus said about rising from the dead. They had seen Him raise others from the dead, but watching Jesus be beaten, tortured, crucified and finally die was too much for their minds to overcome. What body could survive all that and come back again? I don’t know what they were thinking, but their actions tell me they believe Jesus is not coming back.
 
I can relate to that. It can be very difficult to look at the world around us, the hard things that happen, the suffering that takes place and believe what Jesus says instead of what the world looks like.  When we meet people who are hurtful and unkind, it can be hard to believe that Jesus can change them and restore them. Sometimes like Joseph and the Marys, it seems easier to simply do the best we can, accept defeat, and walk away. But what this verse reminds me of is that nothing trumps the word of God. Jesus said He would rise again, and He did. He said He came to set free every person tied up in sin, and He has. He said His death would enable us to be in relationship with God, and it has. He promised to send us the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us, and He has. He said He is coming back to get us, and He will. He said He is getting the house all ready for us, and He is. He says we can know the power of the resurrection in our own lives, and we can.
 
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”   Romans 8:11
 
Questions: What situations or people seem bigger in your life than God’s power? What verse reminds you of what is true about God over the problem? Have you ever walked away from a situation or person because you thought God wasn’t able to work in it or them? Remember, sometimes there might not be anything We can do. We don’t have the answer. And we might have to step back. BUT—we can expect God to work. We don’t have to be afraid. We can anticipate His Spirit moving and producing new life in that which was dead—just like He did for Jesus. We can “watch and pray” like Jesus urged the disciples to do in the garden. We can choose to believe in the Words of God more than we believe what our eyes can see right now. We can give offerings of praise and thanksgiving.
 
“That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.”   Romans 4:17 NLT
 
Activity: As you listen to these songs, March (if you’re the marching kind), or walk around your house and yard. Prepare the way for the Holy Spirit to come into all your places and people. Rejoice!!!! Jesus is coming!!!!
 
Songs: “Your Promises” / “What a Beautiful Name” / “Fight My Battles” / “Pour My Love On You” (Philips, Craig and Dean)
 
 

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Easter Activity: Day 10 (Good Friday)

 
 
Supplies: Egg #10 – Cotton Ball with Spices
 
“Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.”  Luke 23:56
 
Jesus was surely dead.  Everyone that was there at the foot of the cross was absolutely positive the horror of it all was over.  They saw the soldier pierce his side and blood and water ran out (John 19:34).
 
So now what? Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body.  When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.  Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth (John 19:38-40).
 
Now was the time for Joseph and Nicodemus, who were both prominent men with a lot to lose, to give Jesus the best of what they had.  Joseph owned a tomb, never used before, but before he could do anything, he had to get permission from Pilate to take Jesus’ body down. He could no longer secretly worship Jesus.  Nicodemus purchased the supplies needed to wrap and pack Jesus’ body. They wanted to give him a proper burial, which would not have been the norm for someone crucified like a common thief.
 
Luke 23:56 is talking about the women who had been followers of Jesus, including Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses.  They saw where Jesus was buried and went home to prepare the spices to finish the preparation of the body of Jesus. They used their own means to purchase the spices and ointments, but because of the Sabbath, they waited to complete the task at hand.
 
God used their desire to give their very best to set them up to be the first witnesses of the greatest miracle to ever occur.  The women knew exactly where Jesus’s body was. There was no mistaking it. There was also no way that they could have mistaken which body in the tomb was missing (since it was a tomb never used before).  Although their desire was to give, they knew the time wasn’t right yet – they had to wait. Little did they know that in their waiting God was still working. If they had snuck back in to finish the job (although their intentions would have been good), they wouldn’t have had reason to go back to the tomb on Sunday morning.  They might have missed their opportunity to witness the empty tomb, and to be the first to proclaim that Jesus was alive.
 
How often do we run ahead of God and manipulate situations or justify the means because our intentions are good?  When we give our very best to God and wait on Him to use us and our offerings for His glory and not our own, we are letting Him set us up to witness Him move and show us how powerful and miraculous He is.  We need to remember that everything we offer back to God is His anyway and the mountain that seems like it is in our way, may be there to set us up to witness miraculous wonders. If this life isn’t about me, then I can trust God with the timing of everything.
 
Activity: Draw an empty tomb.  Either write the words or draw the best of the gifts that you can offer God.  Then pray that we can wait on His timing to use the things we offer for His glory and our good.
 
Songs:
“I Will Offer Up My Life” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWP05Fm39sY
“Great Are You Lord” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZqV6i98SkA

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Easter Activity: Day 9

 
 
Scripture: “One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to Him on a reed stick so He could drink.”  (Matthew 27:48)
 
Immediately before this, Jesus has shouted, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some in the crowd misunderstood His words, and came and offered Him a drink of sour wine. Jesus’ words however, hold much more desperation than simple thirst. Have you ever felt really alone? When you didn’t think anyone understood you or cared about you or even noticed you?
 
During His life on earth, there were many times when Jesus was lonely. Many times when the people around Him didn’t understand what He was saying or doing. Many times when people were rude and mean. Many times when He was far away from His family. Yet always Jesus was connected to His Father in heaven. No matter what was happening around Him, Jesus could always spend time with God: talking, listening, resting and being loved by Him. But at this moment on the cross, Jesus doesn’t have His Father. Because of our sin that Jesus is carrying, God must turn away from Him. He can’t look at Jesus, talk to Him, love Him or comfort Him in His pain. For the first time in His life, Jesus is abandoned. No wonder is pain is so great and His words so desperate. And yet, amazingly, Jesus finishes what He has begun. He doesn’t run away even now. The bitter wine from the crowd, mirrors the bitter cup from the Garden, and Jesus drinks every drop from the cup for your sake and mine.
 
Activity: Doing the right thing is often hard. Finishing well what you have begun is also hard. In your house, what good things are hard for you to do? What things are hard for you to finish doing well? Encourage someone close to you today in their “hard thing”. For example, if you see someone speaking kindly and patiently, thank them. If you see someone working hard, encourage them to keep going. If you see someone obeying God or others, tell them they are doing a great job. Spend time thanking Jesus for not giving up when it was so hard, but for finishing what He started. Ask Him to help you in your hard things. Remind yourself that because Jesus completed His sacrifice, you are never abandoned. You are never alone.
 
Songs: “Your Love Is Deep”
“Light of the World” (Cave Quest)
“Thankful”-(Roar VBS)

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Easter Activity: Day 8

 
Supplies: Egg #8 – Sign that says, “King of the Jews”
 
Luke 23:38 — A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
 
No one that was gathered around the cross understood the fullness of what was happening. Their human incapability to see the big picture kept them in their fear, sadness, and unbelief that this could possibly be the way that it would end. The fact that we have the whole story (you know – the part where we know this isn’t the end), makes it so easy to look at elements of the whole Passion week and judge the disciples for their betrayal, denial, and fear. We know the end of the story, though, and we still live as though we don’t.   One of the problems Christians have is that their relationship with God is rooted in their physical state of being comfortable. What shaky ground that is! We don’t recognize sin as the covering that keeps us from seeing who Jesus is and how much we need him. We need to live making choices that reflect the fact that we understand the life and death effects of those decisions.   Jesus understood the life and death part, so he was willing to do whatever it took for us to have life. Because of the sacrifice Jesus made, we have the ability to say that we are free from the bondage of sin.
 
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 says, But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.   As we choose to seek the face of God each day, we have to understand that we are never finished and we are capable of terrible things. The more often we practice the seeking, the more we look like Him. It is the Spirit of the Lord that is working in us – transforming us to be more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self controlled. We make the choice to turn our faces away from the things of this world and to the face of the one who died for us.   So what about the sign that they placed over Jesus’ head? It read: “This is the King of the Jews.” Just like the disciples and us too, when we don’t remember that our choices result in life or death, they only had a small piece of it. No matter what their motive in the sign was, it did say KING. But, he wasn’t only the king of the Jews. He is KING of all – Heaven and Earth, always has been and forever will be. He can be the King of your heart too – but you have to choose to accept Him and the gift he offers. And, that phrase “more than conquerors” – it means that because of what Jesus did (obliterated death), we have overwhelming victory through Jesus – we don’t just eek it out. We can live knowing the whole story – that the victory is already won, and that this life is only temporary. Our father asks us to trust that he is working on our behalf, even when we don’t see or feel it. He is never taken off guard and He knows best how to take care of his children. He is so good.
 
Activity: Read Roman 8:31-39 and discuss how Jesus has helped you conquer in your life. Have your kids draw a battle scene depicting God’s army winning and Satan fleeing. Sometimes our kids need a very concrete way to process things that we have a hard time explaining to them. If you give them a platform in which to stand, you might be very surprised at how much of the spiritual world they really do grasp.
 
“Where the Spirit of the Lord Is”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt8k62M7oBI
“More Than Conquerors”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p8_4NbrcKA

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Easter Activity: Day 7

Scripture: “There they nailed Him to the cross. Two others were crucified with Him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. “ John 19:18

Devotional: Crucifixion was designed for maximum pain and humiliation. It was designed to make suffering linger-death was slow to come. This is where Jesus is today-body, soul and spirit in agony-his suffering on full display to anyone who walks by and to his friends and family gathered.

The Scriptures tell us that he was crucified with two others. This wasn’t unusual, crucifixion was often done in groups, but we are also told of the exchange that goes on between Jesus and the other two men, and this is unusual. One man uses his pain and suffering to berate Jesus, to push Jesus away. The other man is able to see through his pain and suffering to who Jesus really is. His request to Jesus is “remember me when you get to your Kingdom.” In other words, “I know who you are, Jesus. This isn’t the end, and when you get to your Kingdom, remember me.”Think about this, in the midst of His pain-body and soul- Jesus listens to one more plea for His help and answers with love. In the process of being sacrificed, Jesus does not fall into self-pity, He offers salvation. He hears the man’s spoken request and silent need and responds to both: “I see your faith. I see you. I promise you, I’m bringing you with me.”

 

Activity: Hold your hands in front of you, cupped. Imagine they are holding all the times you have been angry and frustrated at Jesus. Think about Jesus looking at you. He sees you. Just like He saw the man next to Him on the cross.  His eyes are kind towards you. He can be trusted. Let go. Return your heart to Him-and repent if needed. Then, and this is important, receive and hold onto what Jesus has promised. (Perhaps read them out loud.)  

“I am going away, but I will come back for you and we will be together always.”  (John 14:28)

“I am sending the Holy Spirit to you to remind you of all the things I have said.”  (John 14:25,26)

“My Father and I will come make our home in those who love and obey us.” (John 14:23)

As you are reminding and receiving these truths, hold on to the person’s hand next to you as a physical symbol. If it’s just you or your people aren’t the hand-holding type, clasp your hands together. Which of these promises is hardest for you to believe? Write this promise down and add it to your collection of devotional artwork. Look at it often and believe.
 

Songs: “One Day” — “If God/Nothing but the Blood” — “More” (Mylon LeFevre & Broken Heart)


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Easter Activity: Day 6

 
Supplies: Egg #6 – The Cross
 
John 19:16-17 (NLT) “Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha).”
 
What comes to mind when you think of the cross?  In our culture, we are very far removed from the fear that came from the sight of a cross in the time of Roman rule.  However, in the time when Christ was on the earth, it wasn’t uncommon to see this very public display. It was used to keep people in line, reminding them of who was in charge.  I love that God used a symbol of fear to obliterate our fear of death forever!
 
Verse 16 was just the beginning.  Before he could gasp the words, “It is finished,” he would have so much more to endure, beginning with him carrying the very thing that would bring his death.  He knew he had to endure it to fulfill the prophecy and become the sacrificial lamb on behalf of all mankind. There was no other way. It is symbolic of him carrying the weight of all of the sin that ever was and ever would be.  And the most amazing part was that he didn’t back down. This is amazing grace!

 

So what does Jesus ask of us?  In each of the gospels, He asks that we lay down our own lives (wishes, wants, desires), take up our cross, and follow Him – not backing down.  For the disciples, that actually meant that they would need to be willing to lay down their physical lives beside their ways and desires. Are we willing?  Are we willing to take our crosses outside into the world to be recognized as Jesus’ followers? If people have any knowledge of who Jesus is, most would associate the cross with Jesus.  Is it obvious that you are carrying a cross or do you look too much like the world? The world will know where your loyalty lies by the fruit we bear, and it looks like this.
 
Galatians 5:22-23  “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
 
The choice is ours each moment of each day.  Because of Jesus’ sacrifice and the fact that the veil was torn, we have the express privilege of going straight to the Father Himself to ask Him to help us to die to ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow after Him.  That way, we look less like ourselves and more like Him.  
 
Activity: Take a piece of paper and draw a cross on it.  Write on it all the attributes of Christ that you want to display in your daily life.  Pray that God will help you to die to yourself and put on Christ daily as you carry your cross. Talk with your kids about baptism and what it means.  This is such a wonderfully physical representation of what Christ did for us.
 
Songs:
“Hallelujah for the Cross”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npe6gqweNUk
 

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Easter Activity: Day 5

 
 
Scripture: Mark 15:15 / Isaiah 8:11-14 “So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead tipped whip, then turned Him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.”
 
Background: Jesus has gone through a fake trial with the Jewish religious leaders. He has then been brought before Pilate, the Roman appointed governor, for another “trial,” because the Jewish leaders cannot legally kill Jesus on their own authority. Pilate doesn’t get much out of Jesus, but doesn’t see how Jesus has broken the law. He says that Jesus is innocent, and wants to release him. The leaders and the crowd freak out and insist that Pilate crucify Jesus.
 
Two men, Jesus and Pilate in this horrifically overwhelming scene. Two vastly different heart- sets and reactions.
 
Pilate is afraid of the opinions of others. He is afraid of the crowds. He is afraid of the powerful religious leaders. He is afraid that if he mishandles this situation it might get back to his superiors and get him in trouble. He cares deeply about what people think about him and how they will react to him.  We call this “the fear of man.”

 

This fear runs so deeply within Pilate, that he agrees to the punishment and death of Jesus even though he KNOWS Jesus is innocent. Even though he KNOWS that the only reason Jesus was arrested was because the high priests were envious of Him (Mark 15:10). Think about that-Pilate is willing to let Jesus die because he doesn’t want to make the people angry. On the other side we have Jesus, who fears only One. Only One has His focus, His reverence, His trust, His obedience, His identity. His Heavenly Father. We call this “the fear of the LORD.” And so even though Jesus is misunderstood, betrayed, arrested, accused, judged, beaten, mocked and murdered by men-and even though those that Jesus cares deeply about are confused and stunned and hurt, He chooses the path of obedience-the “right way.” Because the One whom He fears, the One whom He has given all of His love and devotion to, and received everything He needs from-is good and perfect in every way. Completely trustworthy and able to deliver that which He has promised.
 
Questions: Who’s opinion is most important to you? Who do you need to like you? Do you know who your Heavenly Father says you are? Do you know who your Heavenly Father says He is? Do you trust Him? Ephesians 1:3-8
 
Songs: “Amazing Love” / “For the Joy Set Before Him” / “Tremble”

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Easter Activity: Day 4

 

Supplies: Egg #4 – Thorns

 

Matthew 27:29

29 They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!”

 

How do you want people to see you?  

We go to all kinds of lengths for people to like us.  Some people show off, some people hide who they are in fear that they won’t be liked, and others put on a completely different persona to be what they think others will like.  Jesus never did any of those things. He only spoke truth in his ministry on earth. We believe that Jesus and God are one (John 10:30) and that God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). His accusers used the truth that Jesus spoke to mock him; they didn’t believe that Jesus was a king, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t so.  

 

Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he will do whatever he can to make you question who you are and what you believe.  If you are uncertain about who you are and what the truth is, he can convince you of anything through your own self doubt and what others say about you.  How sad it is that we as God children will believe these lies on a daily basis!

 

What do you believe about yourself and where does that information come from?  Romans 8:15 talks about how God has adopted us as His children and that along with Jesus we are heirs of God’s glory.  If we believe what God says about us, that gives us confidence that can come from no other place. Jesus knew where truth came from and what the truth was, so it didn’t matter that he was being mocked by a label that mere men put over him on the cross.  Oh to have that kind of confidence!

 

This is where we can all help each other out a bit.  If we would use our ability of blessing more often, those words of truth will help us to believe more of what God says about us.  When you see someone using a talent that is most certainly a God-given spiritual gift, encourage that person in that. When someone is stepping out of their comfort zone to fill a need that others have not, speak up and let them know how much you appreciate their efforts!  When you see someone struggling, come alongside them and walk the journey with them, speaking words of life into their life to help make the journey more bearable. We have the power to help each other believe what God says about us.

 

James 3:7-12 speaks to the power of the tongue. 

7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

 

Activities:

-Pray that we will use each and every day to look to opportunities to practice blessing others (especially within our own families).  Blessing others ALWAYS returns the blessing and helps us to believe what God says about us too.  

-Be intentional about it – it is easy to “get to it later,” but if we specifically take time to write a letter, send a text or make a phone call, that time will not get away from us.  

-Say out loud to God several times a day, “I am who YOU say I am.”

 

Songs:  

You Know Me Better – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fejhEz-WFSI

Royalty – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_XLpnNkiWY


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Easter Activity: Day 3

 
Preparation: Cut 14 strips of paper and divide them into two groups. Each strip of paper will contain one word.  On the 1st group of words write: exposed, vulnerable, scared, terrified, weak, alone and humiliated. On the second group write: peaceful, strong, protected, beloved, confident, covered and worthy. (Use a different colored ink for each group)
 
Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28
 
“The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor’s palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped Him and dressed Him in a red robe.” The Message
 
Also, Isaiah 53:3-7 and Hebrews 2:11-15
 
Background: Jesus has been arrested and brought before Pilate. Pilate doesn’t think Jesus has done anything wrong, but the Jewish people insist that Jesus be crucified. Pilate gives in to the crowds and hands Jesus over to the soldiers. The soldiers don’t just want to whip and crucify Jesus, they also decide to humiliate Him. So they take His clothes, leaving Him naked, and then place a royal robe on Him, mocking His role as the Prince of Heaven. They also aren’t content to mock Jesus amongst themselves; they invite the whole brigade in so that everyone can watch and participate in Jesus’ humiliation.
 
Think about this: Jesus – bloody, naked, alone, while dozens of soldiers taunt Him. It’s stomach turning.
 
And we wonder, why do the soldiers feel that they need to shame and mock Jesus along with punishing Him?
And why does Jesus take it?
 
When we shame and mock others or ourselves, we do it because we feel ashamed and unworthy and it makes us angry. Those soldiers more than likely, didn’t know Jesus personally.They didn’t hate Jesus – He had done nothing to them. They had no reason to want to see Him suffer more. They were the ones suffering and they took it out on Jesus. Jesus knew that.  God the Father knew that.
 
And God knew that the only way to make our relationship right with Him and each other was to have Jesus be our sacrifice. Without the covering of Jesus’ blood we would be forever alone, sin covered, feeling naked, weak, ashamed, angry and unworthy.
 
Jesus offered Himself as our sacrifice because He chose to obey His Father in Heaven. He chose to love us. He chose to give us a new identity as His brothers and sisters, as children of God – that we might be unashamed before everyone.
 
Activity: Spread out the “negative word” strips of paper. Read them out loud. Think about a time when you have felt those ways and think about Jesus standing in your place. Now, spread out the “joyful word” strips. Read them out loud and match them up with their opposites. Give thanks that because of Jesus, we now belong to the second group forever. Ask Jesus to receive what He says is true about you and to stand with Him. Use the papers to make an Easter collage as a reminder.
 
Songs: No longer Slaves / No Shame / Jesus, You’re Beautiful (Sara Groves)

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