Sunday, April 8, 2012

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee!

 

 

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12: 2-3

Happy Easter! This week I have the honor of sharing a devotional thought on the significance of Easter and what this day means to me. I chose this verse from Hebrews because it tells me where Christ is now. One of the best things about the cross is that He is not there~nor is He in a tomb!! Christ has risen!! As believers we can know that Christ is seated at the right hand of God. The right hand of God signifies Christ’s authority, dominion, and rule over all. All the Earth, all the peoples, tribes, and nations, the governments, and yes, He rules over my heart.


This Easter message given by Billy Graham is one I wanted to share with you this morning. I hope it gives you much to think and meditate on and brings you the hope and joy that is found in Christ’s resurrection.

“What relevance has Easter and the Resurrection of Christ for us? Everything! The risen Christ, being alive forevermore, can do today what He did for those who received and believed Him in days gone by.

The Resurrection Redeems Us


First, the power of the Resurrection saves and redeems us. Christ said, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (John 5:25)

I have seen hundreds, yes, thousands of men and women who were among the living dead. They groveled in misery and loneliness and were bored and fed up. Life to them was a hollow mockery and sham, without purpose and meaning.

Then with simple, trusting faith, they step into the presence of the living Christ. There they put their trembling hands into the strong hands of the Crucified. In the glow of the living Christ they step out of a casket of broken hopes and dreams to become useful, integrated human beings, filled with purpose and power.

Have you been raised to new life in Christ? You who are beset by sin and temptation? You who lie at death’s door? You who are discouraged and despondent today? You who experience gnawing fear and insecurity? I tell you, on the authority of the Bible, that the risen Christ can raise you out of your spiritual lifelessness and transform you, as the coming of spring transforms a dead cocoon into a beautiful butterfly.

The Resurrection Empowers Us


Second, the Resurrection empowers us to live victoriously in this life. The living Christ is able to bring all your energies and powers into focus and to help you to be a conqueror over the world, the flesh and the devil. …I have exciting news for all those who are staggering under the burden of life’s load. After the Resurrection, Jesus promised, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matthew 28:20). It is a promise that is yours for the taking.

The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to you today. The moment you receive Him as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and takes up residence. He gives you the power to overcome temptation, to smile through tears, to have lightness of heart in the midst of life’s burdens.

When you come to the cross of Christ for forgiveness of sin, the Holy Spirit raises you from the mundane and the monotonous and the hopeless to new and adventuresome life filled with dynamic power.

The Resurrection Gives Us Hope


Is there hope? That is the constant cry of humanity, and Easter is the answer to that cry. That word occurs again and again (in the Bible) after Christ was risen from the dead. It was the Resurrection of Christ that set off a chain reaction of hope around the world. And Christian hope is the one lone ray of light on the foreboding clouds of despair that canopy our world.

On a purely human level, there is little hope in the world. International tensions become more complex and increasingly insoluble with each passing day. Crime, immorality and lawlessness seem to be worsening daily. In the battle for the minds and hearts of the world’s peoples, wrong seems to be winning, and right seems to be losing. But Scripture says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

But there is hope in the Easter message today. There is hope for all in Christ today. There is hope beyond the grave, because the same power that raised Christ from the dead will also raise those who confess Him. Death becomes only a veil, only a river to cross. On the other side is heaven, home and Christ.

Today humanity is facing a decision. Each person individually is faced with a decision. Easter, with its message of Resurrection power brings you face to face with the living Christ. You have to make a choice. Will you choose to accept Christ and the life that He alone can give you? Or will you choose to reject Him and be lost for all eternity?” ~excerpt from Billy Graham’s Easter message)

My challenge this week is to make a Joy-full card, a card that shows celebration of some type. (Does not have to be an Easter card!)
Please visit our Stampin' Sisters in Christ blog to view all the beautiful samples the DT has to share today!

I had an idea in mind when crafting this card...I knew I wanted it to have flowers showing the new life that the resurrection represents. I surrounded this verse and lily from Our Daily Bread Designs with lily flowers in lavendars, creams and yellows. The diecuts are by SU! as is the paper, Wisteria Wonder.
Thanks so much for your visit, and have a Happy Easter!

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful project and thank you for sharing such encouragement.

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  2. Happy Easter..Beautiful card and wonderful devotional.

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  3. Spending Easter Sunday with the babies in the nursery left me with the need for a good Easter message and IN knew you would supply it, so first thing when we came home I went to the blog and was not disappointed. What a lovely message to share and so true, so encouraging! Love your creation with all of the lilies and that wonderful verse. Wishing you a joy-filled week!

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  4. Beautiful Traci - Billy Graham's words are always fantastic. I remember going to hear him when I was in high school. I sang in the choir that was performing for him. It was a wonderful experience. Love the card you made - perfect!

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  5. Thank you Traci for bringing such a truth with your challenge this week - it is perfectly shared - Billy Graham was such an inspiring man! Love your card and the circle of lilies- very symbolic of new life! Thank you for blessing us all this week (and every other one) Traci! {{{hugs}}}

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  6. Thank you for sharing those wonderful words of encouragement. I hope you had a wonderful, blessed Resurrection Sunday!! Your card is gorgeous. Those flowers look beautiful and the embossing on the white is stunning. I hope you have a great week. I am so glad to call you my friend!! You are always such an encouragement to me. Your comments on my cards mean so much!

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  7. this is framed so beautifully with the dimensional blooms...gorgeous...hope your Easter was joyful

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  8. A beautiful card Traci! And such hope filled truth!

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  9. Traci...your card is beautiful. Love the dainty frame of flowers. This was a powerful biblical challenge and the card challenge was so fun. There is so much power in the gift of the resurrection. It seals all we believe about our precious Savior. What grace, what mercy, what love. Oh, what a Savior is mine! Thank you for a beautiful reminder of our sacred heritage...of our glorious eternal future. Amen!

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  10. Hi Traci! Your card is so beautiful!!! LOVE the wreath of flowers and the soft heart behind the verse! I loved reading the devotion you shared today!!! Amen! He is risen indeed!!! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful week after Easter!!!
    hugs,
    Grace

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  11. What a beautiful card!! Wonderful verse as the focus!!

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