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He Is Risen!

Dear Friends,

Easter! The day we focus on celebrating the most important day in human history, when our Savior was raised from the dead after willingly giving his life on the brutal cross. “Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

I’ve been thinking about Philippians 2:10, “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow . . . and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Those who know Him will say, “Jesus Christ is Lord” out of a heart of adoration, worship, and eternal gratitude. Our hearts will be bursting with joy over the prospect of being with Him forever in an unimaginably wonderful place called heaven.

However, those who do not know Him as Savior will acknowledge Him as Lord grudgingly out of a massive sense of defeat, hopelessness, and regret. Their hearts will be overcome with loneliness and terror.

By God’s grace, may you and I recommit ourselves to spend our time, money, and opportunities to live for Christ and influence as many others as possible to come to know Him. We look forward to the day that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess  that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Love in the risen Christ,

Howard Dayton

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I am He

Dear Friends,

When God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush, Moses asked God His name. The Lord responded, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14).

Jesus repeatedly referred to Himself by “I am” to communicate that He was God the Son: “I am the Son of God” (John 10:36). “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:14). “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). “I am the bread of life (John 6:35). “I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). “I am the true vine” (John 15:1). “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

In preparation for Easter, I was reading about the betrayal of Christ. “Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons” (John 18:3-4). Jesus asked them who they wanted, and they replied, Jesus of Nazareth. “I am He,” Jesus said. When Jesus said, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground (John 18:3-5).

Think about this! A Roman battalion of about 600 armed soldiers and officers from the chief priest and Pharisees, came to arrest Jesus. All Christ said was, “I am He.” Then everyone falls to the ground! Put yourself in the sandals of one of those soldiers. You are a trained, professional soldier in one of the most ruthless and successful armies in all history. You are on the alert, ready to capture just one man. He utters three words, and the next thing you know, you and 599 of your closest buddies in the army are all on the ground! What would you think? What would do?

Here is what struck me: In an instant, Jesus could have destroyed all those coming to arrest, beat and crucify Him. But because He loved them, you and me, He was willing to die on the cross so that we could spend eternity with Him. We can rejoice because we are loved by the Creator of the universe.

Warmly in Christ,
Howard Dayton

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Bev Cancer Update & Easter

Dear Friends,

Great news! The doctor was almost giddy in telling us that Bev’s bone scan confirmed that the tumors haven’t grown and the cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of her body. He went on to say that the tumors of this type cancer remain, they are not killed, but as long as they are not growing or spreading, it’s in remission.

So, she keeps taking the medication and has a monthly visit to the oncologist for blood work and a shot to strengthen her bones.

It has been wonderful to see her spirits raised the past three months, knowing that the Lord is answering your prayers and the prayers of so many of His people on her behalf. God is good all the time.

Yesterday, I was reading in Matthew 24 and 25 about the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He knew that He would be facing the cross in just five days. Imagine the stress that must have had on Him. Yet, He was kind to heal two blind men just before riding into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey. And immediately after chasing the dishonest money changers out of the temple, Matthew 25:14 tells us, “And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.”

Jesus Christ is still in our healer. Sometimes our physical bodies need healing. Other times it may be a relationship or our finances that need healing. As we approach the celebration of Easter, the day that God the Father raised God the Son from the grave, I want you to consider a question. Do you know Jesus Christ personally?

Jesus was willing to die on a cross and take upon Himself the penalty for my sins and your sins so that we could come to know Him personally and become part of His family forever. Do you know Jesus Christ personally?

If you want to know Him and aren’t certain whether you have this relationship, I encourage you to receive Jesus Christ right now. Pray a prayer similar to the one I prayed four decades ago:

“God, I need You. I’m sorry for my sin. I invite Jesus to come into my life as my Savior and Lord, and to make me the person you want me to be. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life.”

If you asked Christ into your life, you have made the most important decision anyone could ever make. I urge you to find a church that teaches the Bible, one where you can begin to learn what it means to follow Jesus Christ.

Warmly in Christ,
Howard Dayton

 

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Easter 2013

Dear Friends,

I trust that you enjoyed a wonderful Easter. Celebrating the most important day in human history, when our Savior was raised from the dead after willingly giving his life on the brutal cross “Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

During our church service this morning, I kept thinking about Philippians 2:10, “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow . . . and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Those who know Him will say that Jesus Christ is Lord out of a heart of adoration, worship, and eternal gratitude. Our hearts will be bursting with joy over the prospect of being with Him forever in an unimaginably wonderful place called heaven.

However, those who do not know Him as Savior will acknowledge Him as Continue reading Easter 2013