Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ACE #193: Are You a Team Player?

Yesterday, Don Sterling received a lifetime ban from the NBA as a result of the racist comments he made in a recorded conversation.  He was also fined a whopping $2.5 million. None of this surprises me.  What did surprise me was the unified position the Los Angeles Clippers players took at center court by wearing their warm-ups inside-out, hiding the Clippers logo in silent protest.  The Miami Heat followed suit.  Many think that NBA commissioner Adam Silver should be praised.  Others have criticized the players by saying their actions weren't enough.  It certainly got the point across to the fans and the franchise!  Whether they won the game or not, each one showed that he was a team player.

It makes me wonder if Christians would ban together in a unified voice for a common cause, how much greater would the kingdom be? #TeamJesus #TrueDiscipleship

Psalm 133:1
1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
John 17:23
23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Romans 6:5
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

Image by Getty Images, bleacherreport.com

ACE #192: Don't Lend What You Can't Give


verb: lend; 3rd person present: lends; past tense: lent; past participle: lent; gerund or present participle: lending
  • grant to (someone) the use of (something) on the understanding that it shall be returned.
One of the quickest ways to fall out with someone is to lend them some money.  I have seen the best of friends become enemies quickly over money. 

In Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace" book, he writes:

When someone borrows money from another, we understand they have an obligation to repay.  A study in the dictionary will show you what this really means.  A definition of obligation is 'bound,' which is defined as 'tied; in bonds; a bound prisoner.'  The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).  Don't become a prisoner or slave to debt!

My general rule is not to lend any amount of money that I can't afford to give.  For example, if I have a bill due for $150 and someone asks to borrow $50.  If I don't have an extra $50 beyond what my bill is, then the answer has to be "no".  Why?  Because if the person doesn't pay me back in a timely manner, I am left $50 short for my own debt/bill!  Be mindful, someone else's money emergency is NOT your money emergency and vice versa.  If I cannot afford to GIVE someone $50 without coming up short or missing the money, then I won't LEND them that money because when they don't pay me back I will be furious and we will fall out. I will always hang it over that person's head (subconsciously) or at least it stays in the back of my mind. Someone borrowed $100 from me 10 years ago; after two years, it became a gift.  I never said a word, but that person knows there is a debt that hasn't been fulfilled...  

If you decide to lend money, make sure the person knows it's a loan versus a gift.  My general rule goes something like this:

Them:  Can I borrow $50?
Me:  Why do you need it? (If they won't tell me, then it is an automatic "no"!)
Them:  I need to pay my phone bill.
Me:  Okay.  I will let you borrow it.  Let's be clear.  If you don't pay me back, it becomes a gift.  But you can't ever ask me to "borrow" again.  Don't say "borrow" if you don't really mean borrow.

If you are the lender, then it is your rules.  If you are the borrower, then it is the "banker's rules".

Don't make it a habit of becoming someone else's bank.  There are plenty of banks out there from which people can borrow with contracts, agreements and stipulations.  The rules are clear and relationships can stay intact.  Yes, as Christians we are required to be generous; we are not required to be fools.  Also, don't make it a habit of owing someone something all of the time.  It becomes part of your reputation and your character.  People will run from you when they see you coming!  And don't go getting mad when someone asks for what you owe them.

It is absolutely a blessing to be the lender and to live in abundance, but we have authority over our blessings, our financial decisions, and our bank accounts.  Use your authority wisely.

Psalm 37:21
The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.

Ecclesiastes 5:5
It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.

Deuteronomy 15:1-2
At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed.

Monday, April 28, 2014

ACE #191: Unfriend Me!

I see so many social media posts with people threatening to “unfriend” other people.  I’ve been connected to many people through social media over the last three years, and I’ve never “unfriended” anyone.  BUT that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it.

There are really only two things that would make me want to “unfriend” people.  The first thing is if their comments are racist.  The other is if people speak negatively about Jesus.  Why are these things the non-negotiables?  Simply put, these are the things that are really close to my heart and would, therefore, elicit a very strong response from me.  In my mind, if a person does not consider the impact race has had and continues to have on my life and the negative emotions associated with racism, then they don’t know ME…at all.  Secondly, anyone who could talk negatively about Jesus …well, that means to me that they don’t know HIM either!

One of the biggest issues with the social media landscape is that we post stuff all “willy nilly” and in our emotions with our unfiltered opinions and then have the nerve to get mad when people respond negatively.  Well, isn’t that why we posted it in the first place…to get a response?  Then comes the “telling off” of people in cyberspace…most of who are not going to read your post anyway.  Let's be honest, social media is way more than connections and communication.

Why do people “unfriend” others? Most people “unfriend” because they want to declutter their social circles.  Others “unfriend” because they get offended.  Yet, still others “unfriend” because they never really knew the person in the first place.  Imagine that…

Sometimes “unfriending” becomes a major deal and spills over into real life situations because people take that kind of stuff personally.  If you find yourself constantly threatening to “unfriend” someone, maybe you should take a break from social media, clean up your friend’s list, or stop accepting everyone’s friend request.  When I find myself thinking about deleting someone from my friend’s list, I have had to check my intention for being on social media in the first place.  Yes, I am on there for the connections.  But my primary purpose is for ministry and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Even when people offend me on social media, I won’t “unfriend” them because of MY intention.  However, I will take them out of my News Feed.  I will always be mindful to guard myself against the things that cause me to think negatively or are just straight up disturbing like photos of dead people, abused animals, and a flurry of angry four letter words (none of which are "love").  I am also mindful that people might still see my messages even if I take them out of my News Feed. 

The ultimate goal for Christians is to have a Christ-like mind.  That is why I try my best to spend more time reading my Bible and devotionals than I do reading social media posts.  Always be mindful that negative thoughts, words and images have the power to disturb our peace and influence the rest of our day.  Protect your peace and reexamine your intention!

Proverbs 4:23

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind".
Photo from theexaminer.com


Sunday, April 27, 2014

ACE #190: Breathe Through Me

In the church today, it appears that we have lost our hope in the risen Christ who came to save all who would believe. Government policies, confused beliefs, health and health care concerns, financial worries and host of other issues has many of us in a low valley with no life. We have somehow allowed these issues and  problems to cause us to forget about the God who saves, heals and delivers. The bible explains it as a valley of mixed dry bones with no life, no activity.

When The Lord set Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones and gave him the instructions, He explained the scenerio as the house of Israel. He said their hope (His peoples hope) had persished and as a result they believed that they had been cut off. In other words, they had allowed themselves to get out of the presence of the almighty. I'll admit. That is exactly  how I feel at times knowing my past. But God...the merciful, loving and forgiving God He is; He has something else in mind amidst a valley of lifeless bones who feel all hope in gone. 

God told Ezekiel to speak to the bones. After a brief discussion, Ezekiel was obedient and did exactly what The Lord commanded. Ezekiel began to set the stage for The Lord to bring life into a dead situation. You know the story. 

You see, if God wanted dry bones with no life, He would have let the bones lay and let Ezekiel be. But, He gave Ezekiel the vision because He needed some life in His house. Why do we look for the living among the dead? 

It's time to listen to what is being spoken through the word of God. We need to hear the word of The Lord spoken in services and studied on our own so He can breathe life into us. We need to start coming together and making some noise to let the world know that the church is not dead. We are very much alive and God has breathed life into His people.

Breathe through me, Lord. 



                   Photo Cedit to:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

ACE #189: "Text" Message

Today, we do a great portion of communicating via text message. Text messaging seems to be the easiest way to reach people. I often find myself requesting people send text messages to communicate information. I also receive daily scripture through text messaging. It has become a powerful way for us to converse with others non-verbally.  

I know right... It's easier this way. We don't have to deal with people. We don't have to deal with attitudes. It gets the points across and we are on to the next thing in life. It doesn't matter that people can't see our actions or hear our warm feelings through this method of communication, especially when there is differences to be settled (humility). We just want to type it and then move on. 

I get it. This is cool. But as Christians, set apart by our hope in Christ, there is hardly any accountability in this method. As the the sender, I have made my request or said what I need to say and that is it. As the recipient, I can choose to respond, or not. This could go on for a time, good or bad. And, we may never get to truly experience the person who needs our testimony or vice versa. 

Where am I going? 

Well, as self-denying followers of Christ, He wants us to be living sacrifices. He desires us to be His living message from the text (His word). I am not saying texting is bad. It is actually a powerful ministry tool. However, sometimes, people should to SEE Christ's love pouring out of us. People need to HEAR the voice of believers as we should be encouraging one another. We should be the living the text so people will get the message and be encouraged by the word of God that will bring us continued hope in Jesus.

Brothers and sisters, electronic text messaging is not bad. Don't get me wrong. That is certainly not what I am implying. I am simply saying that we, as believers in Christ, should always be ready to be a living message of the text that is God's uncompromising gospel. We are the "text" message. Tell it. Don't always type it. 


Friday, April 25, 2014

ACE #188: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Joshua, the son of Nun, became the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses.  His name means, "Yahweh is salvation".  Joshua was appointed by God, specifically, to succeed Moses, but was also the commander in many battles.  Under his direction, many battles were won, but not all of them. 

After the Israelites spied on the people of Ai, they thought they could easily defeat them because Ai was small in number. However, the Israelites were run out of town with about 36 casualties.  As we read in Joshua 7, we find out the reason that the Israelites lost the battle was because Achan, son of Karmi, had deliberately disobeyed God.  He saw the beautiful things around Him and took them.  God specifically told the Israelites not to take any of the "devoted things";  God called them out in their thievery, their lies, and their covetousness.  As a result, he removed his favor from them, which weakened them in battle.  The Israelites also failed to consult with God before the battle. 

How often do we fail to obey God and then get surprised when things don't go our way?  How often de we fail to consult God on major decisions in our lives and our plan fail?  God also told them that there were "devoted things" around them, which included false idols - yet those things had to be removed from their presence if they wanted to secure their victory.  How often do we continue to have things and people around us that have no godly influence and then wonder why we are constantly in a state of turmoil? 

Achan's sin separated him from God.  He had to die for his sin even after he confessed it to Joshua and the Israelites; yet we have assurance that Jesus already died for us so our sins can be forgiven.  Joshua consulted God, obeyed God, and then consecrated everything around him.  And then the Battle at Ai was won!  God delivered the city into the hands of the Israelite army. It also resulted in the renewal of the covenant.

Win your battles through your consultation with the Master, your consecration of the things around you, and your obedience to the Word of God!

Joshua 7

10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.
13 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.

Study Link:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ACE #187: Me and Those Daisy Dukes

The photo below of the little girl and her mother reminds me of a story that I’ve told often.

When I was about 20-years-old, I came home from college one Saturday to wash my car.  I wore a bikini top and some “Daisy Duke” shorts.  Of course, I thought I was cute.  I hated washing my car, but I was on a college student budget so I had to do what I had to do.  I figured that I just might as well look good while doing it.  Cars were driving up and down the street, which was normal for a Saturday afternoon.  There were boys and men paying just enough attention, but not too much because everybody knew that my daddy was not to be played with when it came to his girls.

After a while, my mother asked me to go to the grocery store for her.  Quite naturally, I knew I would need to change clothes…and I did.  When I came back, I went to my room to change back into my bikini top and my Daisy Dukes.  I looked for them for a while and I couldn’t find them.  I asked my sister, “Where are my shorts?”  Her response was, “Oh, Mom threw them in the dumpster at the end of the street.”  I went to my mother and asked, “Maaaaaa…why did you throw away my shorts?”  She said, “If you want them, then get up in that dumpster and get them.  I put them where they belonged!” 

Anybody that knows me knows that there is nothing that I want badly enough to get my hands dirty in that manner.  Washing my car was already way too much for me.  That situation taught me a lesson that I will never forget.  Did I care more about my appearance (to attract attention) versus my reputation?  Believe it or not, our own reputation is tied to our parents' reputations...even if we don't live under their roof. 

My mother made it clear in her actions that my attire was not a good representation for my reputation...or theirs.  What we look like, which includes what we wear in public, is also a part of honoring our parents...and God!  Lesson learned.

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

Ephesians 6:2

"Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ACE #186: The Song Heard 'Round the World

Willie Myrick, a 10-year-old boy from Atlanta, was kidnapped in his front yard days ago.  While being held hostage, he sang a popular gospel song by Hezekiah Walker called, "Every Praise".  The kidnapper just couldn't take it anymore.  He tossed the boy out of his car.

You can hear this song at any black church on any given Sunday.  As a matter of fact, I am certain this song completely transcends race because it is the song heard 'round the world!  The simplicity of the song is what is so amazing, yet it carries such a powerful message.  My favorite part is:

God my Savior.
God my Healer.
God my Deliverer.
Yes, He is! Yes, He is!

It reminds me that whatever I need God to be for me and my needs...He is!

Mark 8:29
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah."

Watch the story here:


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

ACE #185: Your Head is as Hard as a Rock

There will be times when people will push your buttons; you will shake it off.  Then there will be other times when people will just drive you to a point of rage and it will difficult to recover quickly.  They will say something or do something that completely unnerves you.  Maybe they will do it and not know it.  Maybe they will do it intentionally. In Numbers 20, the children of Israel were thirsty.  They were so aggravated by their thirst, that they had “gathered together against Moses and Aaron” – their leaders.

In response, God instructed Moses to do four (maybe five) things:
  1. Take your rod.
  2. You and your brother gather the congregation together. (Maybe this is two steps because he had to fetch his brother first).
  3. Speak to the rock in front of the people.
  4. Give a drink to the people and their animals.
Notice that God did NOT tell Moses to speak to the people.  He told Moses to speak to the rock!  In anger, Moses scolded the people and struck the rock twice.  (That poor rock; it didn’t deserve that).  He was also being "hard headed".  And those errors cost Moses.  The text reads, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.'”

The lesson: Don’t let your anger or your emotions (with people or situations) cause you to disobey God to the point of hindering yourself from receiving God’s promises. 
Speak to your rock(s).

Numbers 20

Moses’ Error at Kadesh

20 Then the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there and was buried there.
Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! Why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.” So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.

12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”
13 This was the water of Meribah,[a] because the children of Israel contended with the Lord, and He was hallowed among them.
Photo from tomskillinglive.com


Monday, April 21, 2014

ACE #184: Do You Have an Empty Net?

Yesterday, we celebrated Resurrection Sunday, or Easter Sunday, when Jesus arose from the dead. Today, it's Monday.  So what's next?
As I was studying John 21 I realized that the text says that Jesus had appeared now three times to the disciples, after his resurrection, while they are fishing by the Sea of Galilee.  The text also says that the disciples had been out fishing the night before and had caught nothing; then it was early in the morning when Jesus appeared to them.  And then a few things hit me.  There's something about spending time with Jesus early in the morning.  There's something symbolic about the break of day. Something fresh.  Something new.  Something quiet. Something still. Something uninterrupted...where we can hear God clearly and come into obedience with Him to start off our day. 
When the disciples had obeyed Jesus, and followed his commandments, that's when their overflow came!  The Word says, "they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish". 
Don't miss that. Our abundance, our overflow, our fruitfulness, and our success are in our obedience.  Let Jesus be Lord of your life and watch things shift from barrenness (empty nets) to more than enough.  Faith says, that just like the disciples, we can go from 0-153 instantly.  Whatever place in our lives that feels "empty," Jesus can fill it beyond capacity.

John 21


Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c]When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Image by lavistachurchofchrist.org

Saturday, April 19, 2014

ACE #183: The Holes Are There

Happy Resurrection Sunday. He got up!

So many times we want to believe things because we see it. But that is not faith. Faith is believing in what we can't see yet we know it is true. 

Today, we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus the Christ. And, for some of us, we are still trying to see the proof like Thomas. Instead of taking God at His word, we tend to want visible evidence of this fulfilled prophecy. 

It's not enough that the tomb was empty, Amen. We have to see the holes. It's not enough that I was sinking deep in sin and Jesus saw fit to bring Godly people into my life that helped me understand that a king was in me. I need to see the holes. It's not enough that every time my enemies plot, He raises up a standard against them. I still need to see the holes. It's not enough that He loves me unconditionally. I know this because He keeps making a way out of dead ends. It's not enough that when we tried for many years to conceive a child He delivered just when were about to throw in the towel. Again, I need to see the holes. 

Make no mistake about it. The holes are there. Jesus did exactly what He said He would do. We just have to believe it. His grace is more than enough and He has proven it more and more. 

Jesus told Thomas after Thomas put his finger in the holes, "don't be faithless any longer. Believe!" I know He lives. Why? Because He lives in me. How do I know? The scales are off my eyes. I am a fisher of men. Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. I need thee every hour. The holes are there, but more importantly He is there because He is a living God. He got up! Believe that.


John 20

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

ACE #182: Saturday, the Day After

Yesterday, we celebrated Good Friday. Tomorrow, we will celebrate Resurrection Sunday. But what about today? What is today? 

Well, as I was reflecting this morning and thinking about Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I thought about today. Where am I today? 

Well, here's what I know. 

If it had not been for yesterday, I would not be able to look forward to tomorrow. Now, I know some of you all might be saying that's obvious. We know Jesus promised that if the temple was destroyed, He would rebuild it in three days. I believe that just like you. 

But, here is what I am saying. When I accepted Christ, I had to accept that what happened yesterday was for the person I was. When Christ took the punishment, it was not for what He did. He was perfect. It was for what I would do. Therefore, I look forward to tomorrow because the plan is complete. I know without a shadow of a doubt He took my sins on the cross with Him and it was finished. Tomorrow assures me that because He lives I can get pass who I was and live life in the abundance. 

So, today I reflect and rest on the promise of tomorrow that because He lives, I can face it. He rested today knowing that tomorrow will bring new life. So will I. 

Thank you Lord for the death, burial and resurrection of Your Son Jesus. Only He could fulfill the plan. I am grateful that I can celebrate a Savior that went to the extremes of a crucifixion to save a friend.


John 20:1-2

The Empty Tomb
20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”


Friday, April 18, 2014

ACE #181: What's So Good About 'Good Friday'?

Crucifixion was one of the most painful, disgraceful, dreaded and public ways to die through capital punishment for those who broke the law.  Nails were driven into the criminal's hands and feet. 

Mary Child writes:
This type of capital punishment was primarily reserved for traitors, captive armies, slaves and the worst of criminals. Crucifixion became common under the rule of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.).

Jesus was none of those things.  He didn't deserve to die in this manner.  He really didn't deserve to die at all.  There's just nothing "good" about dying this way, especially for someone who had to spend six hours in this condition.

Today is "Good Friday".  It's a Holy Day.  Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ - His suffering, His agony, His blood, His tears...and the victory that is to come from His death after three days.

I accept that Jesus died for me and my sins.  Through Him I am forgiven and have an opportunity for eternal life through my belief.  It was why He came to earth anyway.  It was His purpose.  It was God's plan. He laid down His life for all of us.  Nobody really took it from Him.

"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father" (John 10:17-18).

He was the sacrificial lamb whose blood covered a multitude of our sins and a multitude of sinners.  So, what is good about "Good Friday"?  Oh, because Resurrection Sunday is on its way...He didn't stay on the cross or in the tomb. That's the good news!

I invite you to read the story...


Matthew 27:32-56

The Crucifixion of Jesus
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[b]
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[c] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,[d] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

"Don't Cry" - Kirk Franklin