Archive for: March, 2012

Easter Essence

Mar 26 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

by Carolyn Hittenberger

On bleeding feet He trudges the path ordained for Him

His life alone untainted by the deadly curse of sin

 

Son of God and Son of Man, the Perfect Sacrifice

 The Lamb of God advances to pay the vile price

 

Behind Him, sins of centuries – covered, lay in wait

Before Him, sins of those to come, in suspended state

 

Murder, treason, lies, infanticide, and greed

Rebellion, incest, hatred, every evil thought and deed.

 

Putrid guilt from all the ages, in concentrated might

Jesus’ holiness recoils—His love walks toward the fight

 

Nearer He comes to Calvary, the culmination place

Where sin and death, all Eden’s curse, meet God’s sufficient grace

 

With breaking heart He faces the plan that had begun

Before the earth had seen first light, or stars and planets hung.

 

His dying throat sounds one last cry, as sin inflicts its spell

“IT IS FINISHED!” He proclaims… Chaos breaks loose in Hell!

 

For there at gate stands LIFE, not death-God in holy fury!

 Conqueror over sin and death, and still the Lord of Glory!

Carolyn Hittenberger is Assistant for the Caribbean Regional Office at Global University and also works with University Communications. For more information about Global University, visit http://think.globaluniversity.edu.

 

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The Garden of Gethsemane

Mar 16 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

by Dr. Mary Logan

What happened in the Garden of Gethsemane? Why did Jesus Christ suffer such agony and pain?

The Garden of Gethsemane is located on the Mount of Olives. Since this mountain range was about a half mile from the city of Jerusalem, Jesus often spent the night there when He was in Jerusalem.

The night before His crucifixion, though, Jesus experienced great agony and pain. He had entered the garden with all the disciples except Judas. (Judas had already begun the betrayal of Jesus.) Jesus knew He would be arrested and crucified soon, and He wanted His disciples to remember how dependent He was on His heavenly Father.

 Jesus said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there” (Matthew 26:36). “And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed” (v. 37).

That night Jesus cried out, just like a child, in brokenness and dependency. “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (v. 39).

A few years ago, on Friday, February 26, during all my struggles of being a single mom after my husband left me, I read these words of Jesus; and I prayed that same prayer. Instead of God’s answering the way I thought He would, He gave me the grace to follow the path He would choose for me.

One day the pain of rejection was so strong, I began reading Scripture verses about Jesus being rejected. Isaiah (53:3) said, “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. . . . He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

Matthew (8:34) wrote, “The whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they begged Him to depart from their region.” This was just after Jesus had healed two demon-possessed men.

One day Jesus was talking to the disciples about the coming of the Kingdom.

Luke (17:25) records Jesus’ words: “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.”

Christ knew He had come to earth to die for every person’s sins. So, the “cup” He asked God to remove from Him was not death itself. Instead, it was the separation from His Father. His fleshly nature wanted to escape this separation. However, His godly nature chose to do as the Father willed.

Jesus had a purpose for which He was willing to die. “He suffered betrayal, denial by His friends, humiliation, beatings, spitting, torture, crucifixion, and ultimately death” (McCarthy 1992, 109).

Philip Yancey (1999, 39) said, “When Jesus prayed to the one who could save him from death, he did not get that salvation; he got instead the salvation of the world.”

Are you thankful Jesus chose to do the will of the Father? Have you accepted His gift of salvation? Are you willing to choose the Father’s will for your life?

Mary Logan, Ed.D., is a Course Development Specialist and Professor of Business and Education at Global University. While touring Israel, Dr. Logan presented this devotion in the Garden of Gethsemane on Saturday, March 10, 2012.

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The God of the Temple

Mar 12 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

by Steve McMichael

A recent devotional reading allowed me to revisit the dedication of Solomon’s temple. Those chapters in 1 Kings (as well as 2 Chronicles) recount a monumental event in the history of the Old Testament, but this time my heart took me in a different direction.

The temple’s dedication represented a convergence of significance and success for Solomon. As David’s son, Solomon completed his father’s charge. This day marked the completion of the project that required 183,600 workers and over 50 billion dollars. The nation had united, worked, and succeeded in constructing the most magnificent edifice in Israel’s history. And above all, God honored the effort with His visible presence and confirmed His covenant.

Each of these factors is exhilarating for a leader. In moments like this, one’s heart is revealed through words. Solomon’s words offer a challenge to leaders today. With all of Israel watching, with his father’s charge and dream fulfilled, with herds of animals sacrificed and the labors of so many shining as the backdrop, Solomon prayed:

 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built.” (1 Kings 8:27)

For all that had been accomplished and all the success this day represented, in his heart, Solomon’s God was still bigger than Solomon’s temple.

While this perspective is theologically sound, it is difficult to remember in times of pressure and even more difficult to hold on to in times of success. Whether we are teaching a class, building a church, launching a ministry, or simply carrying out today’s duties, God must remain far bigger than our tasks. Here is a wonderful tool for balance.

 Sacred and motivational speakers alike challenge us as leaders to dream big. I believe God leads us to bold initiatives. Big dreams stir congregations, create momentum, and honor God. But big dreams require a bigger God. As long as our perspective sees our projects and service as smaller than the God we serve, we are in a great position to succeed and see His glory.

 As I have advanced in ministry, my dreams have grown. This visit to Solomon’s temple reminded me to guard my thinking and keep God, His desires, and His power bigger than the dreams I have in ministry.

 I pray that you are encouraged this week. Partake of motivational quotes, books and sermons. But in all the vision casting and dream building, keep the God of your temple bigger than the temple itself.

Rev. Steve McMichael is a Global University Alumnus from the Berean School of the Bible and the Undergraduate School of Bible and Theology. McMichael currently serves as an International Pastor.

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Sea and Spirit

Mar 05 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

 by Carolyn Hittenberger

In all of nature God has set boundaries, structured limits to prevent the chaos that would result if each part of creation were left to find its own place, to decide at whim where and what would be its domain. Why then does man resent the guidelines so wisely and clearly marked for him in God’s Word? Of all God’s creation is man alone to live according to his own plan?

Jeremiah 5:22 (KJV) Will ye not tremble at my Presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it.

 Unceasingly the sea strikes at its sandy boundaries and is drawn back again by an irresistible force. Sometimes it seems nearly calm, lapping gently in the shore’s embrace. Almost content it remains in its place, yet never completely at peace. Sometimes it roars and rushes to force its way beyond its borders. Occasionally it leaps, foaming and churning, standing upright, hungrily tasting that which seems so enticing, only to spit it back to the earth broken and wasted.

How like the sea is man’s spirit, resenting God-ordained limits, resisting His control. Attracted by what is not meant for our consumption we churn and rush into situations where we do not belong, only to taste bitterness and leave brokenness in our path before we are drawn back.

 God, quiet my spirit. When I go beyond my rightful place I find no satisfaction. Thank You for drawing me back to the plan You’ve marked for me. Help me to understand that you lovingly limit me. You embrace me with protective boundaries. Give me wisdom to know that only as I remain in Your will and live by Your guidelines will my heart be at peace.

Carolyn Hittenberger is Assistant for the Caribbean Regional Office at Global University and also works with University Communications. For more information about Global University, visit http://think.globaluniversity.edu.

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