CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Now that Jesus Has Risen 5/1/2023

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by Precarious Yates

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

NIV 7-3:2 Ephesians

The resurrection—what an amazing truth!

Light pierced the darkness! God conquered our enemy death. Death was defeated, beloved, when Jesus Christ, our Savior, rose from the dead. But this, my friends, is the door—the door to a whole new life in God!

This new life is unlike anything we experienced before. I know that when I said, “Yes!” to the Lord, He opened my eyes to see the world as if I had never seen it before. The sky looked bluer, the grass greener, and the people around me—I could suddenly see the fingerprint of God on them, how each one is made in His image and how we are called according to His purpose.

Everything changed!

Let’s look together at these incomparable riches of Jesus’ grace.

The Greek word for Grace, Charis, is a gift or favor given to us by the Lord. This verse talks about the riches of Jesus’ grace. First of all, it’s incomparable. This is incomparable favor he has poured upon us. Next, it is multifaceted and plural. The Greek for riches of grace is plural—multiple gifts!

Let’s look at some of these multiple gifts offered to us as a result of Jesus’ resurrection.

First there is grace as favor—beloved, you have been given LIMITLESS favor. Grace as indwelling capacities empowering us to live for God instead of for our own desires. God said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Before, we were incapable of doing this. But God says, “You shall…!” And you will, because Jesus made a way! He prayed for us on the night before He died, asking the Father, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

NIV 26:17 John

We will be empowered to love God the way that God loves God!

Wait! His love is everlasting!

How will we ever begin to love in such a way?

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

NIV 14-13:1 Ephesians

Jesus did not leave us as orphans! He came to us in the promised Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts and works through us to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. Every place that you place your feet you take the Gospel of peace with you! Our feet are fitted with the shoes of the gospel of peace. Peace isn’t something you seek out there somewhere, peace is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our Peace, and He lives within us!

Salvation, the grace to love, peace that we carry with us and bring everywhere we go. But there is more! Yes, much more!

There is grace to love and peace to shake up every advance toward strife and injustice. How do we bring this love and peace into our lives in ways that radically change the situation?

Jesus said in John 14:12 that we would do the same works that He did, “yes, and even greater works than these because I go to the Father.” Jesus radically changed the situation when He stepped into town, when He walked into the room. Lame could walk, blind could see, deaf could hear, the dead were raised back to life again! And Jesus said we would do greater works than these! How? By the Holy Spirit!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.””

CSB 8:1 Acts

“When the Advocate [Paraclete] comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.”

NIV 26:15 John

The Holy Spirit working through us tells the people around us what Jesus is like!

And so what are these gifts of the Holy Spirit? You can find these in 1 Corinthians 12 and in Romans 12.

There are gifts of supernatural communication that reverses the confusion at the Tower of Babel:

•Speaking in tongues

•Interpretation of tongues

During the day of Pentecost, when the 120 were gathered in the upper room, the Holy Spirit fell upon people as with tongues of fire. People from all over the world heard the gospel in their own language! We live in a nation filled with people of all different cultural backgrounds, and some don’t speak the language. God can, by His Holy Spirit, give us the gift of tongues so we can share the good news with others! God can move through you to speak a language you have never spoken before! And He will do it for the glory of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord!

There are gifts of insight by the same Spirit:

•Words of wisdom – speaking exactly what someone needs to hear when they are in a state of confusion

•Words of knowledge – speaking about issues or events that no one else would know about

•Words of prophecy – speaking out God’s love and truth in the face of injustice, and giving words of edification, exhortation, and comfort (see 1 Cor 14 for more insights on the gift of prophecy)

•Discerning of spirits – insights into the spiritual realm and the spiritual dynamics behind the behaviors and activities on display

And there are gifts of the miraculous:

•Gifts of faith – believing God for the impossible—provision in the natural and in the supernatural

•Gifts of healing – the healing of bodies, minds, hearts, souls, and even relationships: bringing reconciliation

•Gifts of miracles – the calming of storms, the regrowth of limbs, bringing peace to an area or to a people group torn by strife or prolonged victimization.

We can bring all of this! This is bringing the Kingdom of Heaven! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and behold God is bring it “on earth as it is in Heaven” through His people!

The Lord is Risen! And when ascended on high, He gave gifts to His people.

So let us pray and ask Holy Spirit to manifest these gifts in us and through us, the gifts to each as He chooses to give! Pray for each other, pray for your families! Pray for your community! And God Himself will move through you by the Holy Spirit. This is how we will be the hands and feet of Jesus! This is how we will be the body of Christ! We have such good news to share, and in so many ways. The Lord is Risen! We have forgiveness of wrongdoing and sin, we have eternal life, we have grace to love God, and we have power through the Holy Spirit to bring the healing of Christ to a fallen, broken world!

God has more to give than we have the capacity to receive! Our cups will be overflowing—go pour the overflow out on those who are in need! Freely you have received, freely give! Amen!

God bless you!

Precarious Yates

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.


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