Dressing Up For God

When I was a little girl, we usually got new Easter clothes and shoes.

♫“In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade…”♫

We put our pennies in the Penny March, listened to the story of Jesus, and sang the Easter songs.

♫“Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph o’er His foes….”♫

We had egg hunts at school and in our yard, but not at church. Some years when it rained, we hid Easter eggs in the house. We knew there was something fishy about a rabbit laying eggs; you couldn’t fool us.

♫“Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail…”♫

Sure it was a cute story, but we knew what the real Easter was all about—Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection on the third day.

When my children were young, I spent every Easter weekend staying up late, making two Easter dresses, one for my daughter and one for me. It got to be a joke that sometimes we had our Easter dress for church for the 4th of July..

Now during the week, I don’t dress up much for work, although I am always clean and modest, but I fix my hair and dress up in my best for the Lord on Sunday morning, knowing that I have an audience with the Creator of the Universe, the Lord God Almighty.

I have material, patterns, thread, and a new sewing machine, but I haven’t made an Easter dress in more than 10 years I still have time to make myself an Easter dress and I am sure that if I dig around in my fabric stash, I would find enough material and a pattern to make it.

I just want to be sure that I look good for my precious Saviour. I always dress up for God.More importantly, I prepare my heart to come into His throne room on Resurrection Sunday and every day.

I Samuel 16:7 NKJV, “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Is my heart prepared to be in the presence of His majesty?

Missing in Action

Several years ago the Department of Defense announced that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, 1st Lt. Shannon E. Estill, U.S. Army Air Forces, who was missing in action from World War II, had been identified and returned to his family for burial with full honors. He had been considered missing in action for over 50 years.

Many servicemen went missing during the Vietnam conflict and it appeared nothing was being done to find missing personnel. Several famous movies were made about men who went in alone to recover their missing comrades.

There are many missing-in-action people from our churches these days, those who no longer are with us. No, I don’t mean they are dead. I mean they have quit going to church. The number one reason is that someone in the church did something to hurt them and it was easier not to go back.

Christians, look around this Sunday and think about those from your congregation who are missing. Write their name down and make a note to call them this week and invite them to come back. Sometimes all it takes is one invitation, one person who acts like she cares, that will be the deciding factor in bringing these people back to the church. If you come in contact with someone who has left their church, take that opportunity to invite them to go to church with you this Easter.

Everyone ought to go to church at least on Christmas and Easter to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection. And if every person in town went to church on Easter Sunday, every church would be full.

Are you MIA? Missing in action from your church? If you just can’t go back to that church, find you a church where you can attend.

I know God’s heart’s desire is like mine—that every church in town be full and running over on Easter morning so people can hear the Good News.

The Right Time

When Joseph brought his father and brothers into Egypt during the time of famine, God had a purpose in it—to save their lives and their lineage, to make them a great nation. When the first Hebrew went into Egypt, Joseph, he was a slave but he rose to become the prime minister of Egypt.

Later Joseph wanted his father, Jacob, to join him there. God had told Abraham that his descendants would serve the Egyptians for 400 years, then He told Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, “Go to Egypt, for there I will make of you a great nation. I will go down with you to Egypt and I will also surely bring you up again.”

400 years later, Moses was tending sheep in the wilderness, when he saw the burning bush. God told him, “I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters for I know their sorrows and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.” Exodus 3:7-8

Before they ever went down to Egypt, God had a plan to bring them out. He heard them when they cried out to God, but that was not the first time God knew about it. He knew what was going to happen and it was all a part of His master plan to make a great nation of Abraham’s descendants. He even knew how long it was going to take for them to grow to the number that He had planned.

God knows what you are going through. It has not taken God by surprise. It is all part of His plan, to make of you a great nation, a people of God like no other before. He knows how long it is going to take to bring all the pieces together, like a jigsaw puzzle, to reveal your destiny.

Don’t stop on the edge of a miracle; don’t give up too soon. God has a plan and a timetable. Keep crying out to God for deliverance.

At the right time, the opportune time, the kairos time, God will bring the grand plan together.

Hanging Out in Sodom

Are some of your relatives still hanging around Sodom? Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was. The Lord came to Abraham’s tent one day to visit and while Abraham entertained Him and three angels, the Lord told him that Sarah would have a son.

 Then as Abraham was seeing them on their way, the Lord said to the angels, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am going to do to Sodom and Gomorrah?” With that the angels departed for Sodom and Gomorrah, but the Lord stayed to talk with Abraham.

 Abraham pleaded for the lives of the righteous people living there, and the Lord agreed He would spare the cities if He could find even ten righteous people. But sadly he could only find four—Lot, his wife, and his two daughters.

 Lot met the angels at the city gate and begged them to come to his home and spend the night. They asked Lot to get his family, daughters and sons-in-laws, any of his relatives, and bring them out of the city.

 But Lot lingered all night. When morning came, the two angels urged Lot to hurry, but while he lingered, they grabbed him, his wife, and two daughters and dragged them out of the city. When they got outside, the angels said, “Run for your lives and don’t look back.” Of course, you remember the part about Lot’s wife looking back and she became a pillar of salt.

 But think of this, Lot and his family were really only saved because Abraham prayed for their lives. In fact, even when they didn’t seem to want to leave, the angels forced them out of the path of destruction.

 Genesis 19:29 says,  “God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow.”

 When you pray, God will deliver your relatives. He may even drag them out when they really don’t want to go.