Victory Vitamin Blog – Luke 7:14

“Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, get up!’” 

-Luke 7:14 NIV

I remember my mother’s funeral like it was just a few weeks ago.  I still miss her, but I don’t know what I’d do if someone came up and did what Jesus did in the verse above.  My mother, and all those who have died in the faith are at peace in the perfection of heaven.  What selfishness to allow my temporary sorrow to interrupt her eternal glory.  But Jesus did it for this widow from the town of Nain.  Jesus brought her dead son back to life.  I don’t know if that boy was in heaven, but I’ll assume he was.  Why would Jesus bring him back?  1)Because Jesus has compassion.  He knew the widow’s grief and his heart went out to her.  2)Because He could.  Jesus proved to everyone present, and to all who believe God’s Word, that HE has power over death.  Death does not have the final say, Jesus does.  3) To show us that as life entered that boy’s body a second time, so life will be restored to us.  Not temporary, earthly life, but perfect, heavenly, eternal life.  By HIS death and resurrection Jesus has seen to that.

Victory Vitamin Blog – John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

-John 16:33 NIV

 

Money trouble, relationship trouble, health trouble, car trouble.  That list could get out of control.  Jesus takes a very matter of fact approach to earthly troubles.  He says, “Yup, you’re gonna have troubles in this world, but take heart!  I’ve overcome the world.”  In what way?  Does that mean we won’t have trouble anymore?  No.  Jesus acknowledges the fact that as long as we live in this world, we will have trouble.  His point is that in the midst of our troubles, we take heart, which means to have courage, to be comforted, and be of good cheer.  We live in the midst of troubles that have no bearing on our true happiness.  Our sins are forgiven, our eternity is secure, we’re just waiting for perfection to be delivered to us.  Faith in Jesus enables us to cheerfully overlook many of the things that would trouble us in this life.  We may have to deal with them on occasion, but they don’t need to trouble us.  Our eternal happiness is guaranteed in Jesus.  Cling to Him, press on, and take heart.  Our present troubles aren’t worth comparing with the glory we’ll enjoy in heaven.

Victory Vitamin Blog – John 13:34-35

“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” 

-John 13:34-35 NIV

It’s clear from Jesus’ words that we are to love others.  In fact, we MUST.  What may not be as clear is how we are to love others.  Jesus says we are to love others as He loved us.  How exactly did Jesus love us?  He loved us by sacrificing, suffering, and dying.  Now, hold the phones.  I’m not saying you need to die to show your love for others, that likely wouldn’t do them any good.  The point is that as you put love into action for the benefit of others, you will likely have to make sacrifices of your time and your money.  You may be inconvenienced, you may experience suffering.  Real love isn’t easy, just ask Jesus.  Jesus gives us a new command, and it is that we must love other people.  We don’t have to agree with them, enable them, or even like them, but we must love them in action.  Sacrifice for their good.  Give of your time and energy.  Encourage, serve, provide, just as Jesus provided us with something we never would have acquired on our own, forgiveness and eternal life.

Victory Vitamin Blog – John 10:27

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

-John 10:27 NIV

 

“Be a leader, not a follower.”  I’ve said it to my kids.  It’s generally good advice but there are times when it would be ignorant not to be a follower.  If a firefighter wants to lead you out of a burning building, by all means follow.  If you’re lost in the woods and a ranger finds you, please follow them back to civilization.  If you’re destined to die, (and we all are) please follow Jesus to eternal life.  It makes good sense to follow Jesus.  He’s proven His love for, and His loyalty to us.  He’s promised to lead us beside still waters (Psalm 23), and to springs of living water (Revelation 7).  As followers of Jesus, we will go where He has gone.  He entered the tomb dead, and walked out alive. We will do the same.  He ascended into heaven and on the day we die, our souls will follow Him.  On the Last Day, our bodies too will rise perfected and follow Jesus to heaven.  It’s foolish to follow people who aren’t trustworthy, but when it comes to Jesus, being a follower is a sign of strength and wisdom.  Follow the Leader!

Victory Vitamin Blog – John 21:14 NIV

“This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.”

-John 21:14 NIV

 

When it comes to the resurrection of Jesus, the only question is, “Do you believe the witnesses or not?” Jesus appeared to plenty of people, plenty of times. Do you believe the witnesses? If you won’t believe their words, let their actions speak. Remember how the disciples locked themselves in a house after Jesus was crucified? They were afraid they’d be the next to die. But after the risen Jesus appeared to them in that house they had no problem walking the streets and talking freely about what Jesus had done. According to tradition, 10 of the 12 disciples were martyred for their faith in Jesus. Do you think they’d be willing to die for a man who was a fraud, a man who said He’d rise, but never did? There’s no question the tomb was empty that Sunday morning. We know that because the guards had to come up with an excuse to explain why Jesus’ body was gone. The question is, do you believe the witnesses? Are you influenced by their bold post-resurrection actions? What those men and women saw with their own eyes, we now cling to by faith, and it makes us bold to talk about what Jesus has done. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, and because He lives, you will live also!