Margaret Brackett Contributing Columnist
April 15, 2014
My words are written in honor and memory of Joan O’Dell, beloved friend, a Newberry legendary analyst and spiritual leader. She has passed on to an angelic, revered world, but her words spoken over decades were heard in churches, radio, conventions and assemblies and will be remembered.
This week, the emphasis will focus on Joan’s past spiritual script: The Name of Jesus, special Bible verses and discussions in recognition of God’s greatest gift, His Son, Jesus.
God has given us the name of Jesus as our inheritance. Apply that name to every problem you face and enjoy the benefits and blessings of God. How can we reverence Easter and honor Christ Jesus? Christ the Savior is the key to the Holy Scriptures. With that key the Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds to understanding and believing the greatest story ever told: Born in a manger, the Last Supper, the Trial, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection. Jesus’ death was unlike any other. Jesus was born to die. He died in our place, and his death gave us life! Jesus’ death was not the end but a beginning.
Jesus paid the price so we could be delivered and healed. He was punished in our place. You see, we have all fallen short. Without Jesus, we’re all sinners in need of God. But it is at the cross that we find everything we need.
Will you follow Jesus to the cross? Will you be faithful even when things don’t go the way you want. I encourage you…..draw near. Draw near the cross and find peace that passes all understanding and joy and strength that only the Lord can give.
Because Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, there is hope and new life for all of us today. This week, Resurrection Sunday, Easter, is God’s Day, the brightest of all days, the heart and soul of Christian faith. We can thank God Jesus is the Resurrected Christ!
Where can we find Jesus today? How can we be in personal touch with him? Our Lord is present in Word and sacraments. When the Gospel is proclaimed, we hear the Word. Believing the Word, which in the sacraments, is accomplished by outward signs: water in Baptism; bread and wine in Holy Communion, we are in personal fellowship with Jesus. Let us make room in our hearts for Jesus and share His love, His name, and message with the world.
What a friend we have in Jesus. He is our guide; in sorrow a comfort; in temptation, strength; in loneliness, our friend; in danger, protection, and at our death, a Savior to take us safely to heaven. We can trust an unknown future to a known God.
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life.” This love from God is ultimate love, immeasurable.”
Lord thank you for this walk of faith with Joan O’Dell. Thank you for sending your son to redeem us, and above all that we may find our treasure in the life of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Because He Lives
In this day and age, we need a Savior, an anchor—someone to steady us in the midst of the storm. Today we need to understand this is our time to step forth with the good news that Jesus is alive and that He is the answer to the problems of the world. His Word is the bread of life; it sustains us and keeps us steady and stable in troubled times.
Why carry your load alone, when God will help you?