Victory Vitamin Blog- Acts 4:12

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

-Acts 4:12 

To many people, these words sound divisive and non-inclusive. To others, these words sound like the truth. As Christians, all we can do is take God at His Holy Word. From a practical viewpoint these words make sense. You can’t drive South and also be heading North. You can’t be driving to Chicago and end up in Montana. Practically, it makes sense that if there’s a heaven, there’s a specific way to get there. The Bible tells us that faith in Jesus is the way there. Having said that, as we discuss our faith with people, we may not want to start with the fact that every other religion is wrong and Christianity is right. (Sort of a conversation killer, I think.) Instead, in our words and actions we communicate the message of God’s love and mercy shown to all people in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Exude joy over the certainty you have in Christ so that others will see it, experience it, and want it for themselves.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Acts 3:19

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”

 – Acts 3:19

Attending a worship service may not appear on your top ten list of most refreshing things…yet. Consider the benefits and blessings we receive during an hour in the presence of God. Comfort, hope, and certainty for the future from God’s Word, the community and consolation of our brothers and sisters in Christ, the opportunity to thank and praise God in song, the actual forgiveness of our sin and guilt through the absolution, and in Jesus’ body and blood in the Lord’s Supper. Those things are spiritually refreshing to me! And although those are primarily spiritual blessings, I do feel physically and emotionally refreshed after worshiping in God’s house with my fellow Christians. Just as I would encourage people to make use of all of their vacation time each year, I also encourage people to take advantage of every opportunity to worship God, and receive these spiritual blessings. Start this Sunday. Get refreshed!

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Corinthians 15:17

“if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”

– 1 Corinthians 15:17 

I’ve unofficially dubbed the first Sunday after Easter, “Doubting Thomas Sunday”.   Every year on that Sunday the Gospel reading is the account of Jesus appearing to the disciples, minus Thomas.  Thomas later shows up and says, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my fingers where the nails were, I will not believe it.”  There’s nothing the devil wants more than for people to doubt the resurrection of Jesus.  If they deny the resurrection, their fate is sealed.  It’s simply not enough that Jesus died.  Anyone can do that.  Billions have done it since the creation of the world.  But to come back from the dead, that’s a big deal.  It’s the biggest deal.  Jesus defeated death so that through faith in Him we can too.  If Jesus didn’t defeat death, well, our faith is futile and we’re still in our sins.  I know it’s difficult to believe that a person came back from the dead, but we’re not talking about an ordinary person, we’re talking about God in the flesh.  Nothing is impossible for Him.  He did it and through faith in Him, you will do it too.  Your body will rise from the dead when Christ returns to live forever with Him in heaven.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Hallelujah!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Romans 14:9

“For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”

– Romans 14:9 

There it is in black and white; the Truth of Easter.  Jesus died and returned to life.  The claim is not that Jesus was in a coma and then recovered, He was dead and is alive again.  It’s a busy week for Christians.  Tonight we observe the institution of the Lord’s Supper, tomorrow we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus, and Sunday we celebrate His resurrection!  Christ died, and Christ is alive again.  I sincerely hope and pray that you find a place to celebrate this miracle on Sunday.  We have reason to celebrate, not just because Jesus came back from the dead, but because all who have faith in Jesus will come back from the dead as well to live eternally in heaven.  We have God’s Word on it.  1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 NIV “According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.”  Encourage each other with the Truth of the Resurrection.  Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.  Because Jesus lives, we too will live forever!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Zechariah 9:9

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

– Zechariah 9:9 

What a strange thing to do.  I can think of far cooler ways to make an entrance, but this wasn’t about appearances.  This was about fulfilling prophecy!  God had promised through the prophet Zechariah (9:9) that one bringing salvation would ride on a donkey.  So that’s what Jesus did.  On Palm Sunday he rode on a donkey.  God promised it and Jesus fulfilled it.  It may seem like a detail, but if God is faithful in keeping promises like this one, we can be assured that He will keep His much bigger promises to us.  He promises to work for good in all things, (Romans 8:28) and He keeps that promise.  He promises to forgive our sins and remember them no more, (Jeremiah 31:34) and He keeps that promise.  He promises that His grace is enough to see us through any earthly hardship, (2 Corinthians 12:9) and He keeps that promise.  Best of all, God promises that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved, (John 3:16) and He keeps that promise.  This coming week is Holy Week and we’ll review the events of the week leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus.  If you’re nearby, please consider worshiping at Victory this Holy Week to rejoice in the promises God keeps to you!  Wherever you are, find a church where you can hear what Jesus has done for you and rejoice in the promises God keeps to you!  Christ has died, Christ is risen and because God has been faithful in keeping those promises, we can be certain that one final promise will also be kept.  Christ will come again.