Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen! Hallelujah!

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.

He has risen! He is not here. Mark 16: 4-6

I hope you will join us today at NRN for our Celebration Worship at 10:30 this morning.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Devotions for Lent - Saturday of Passion Week - The Day Between

The Day Between

by Ruth Bell Graham

(Saturday between Good Friday and Easter)

That was the Day Between the Night Before—
The blood

still wet

upon the hill;

His body



and still;

the great stone sealed

with Roman seal

and guarded well.

Many a Judean home

had now


a lesser tomb

within whose walls

men lay,

whose Life

had died

That Day.

Looking back

we cannot share

their blackdespair.'

For us

He is the risen Christ,

as He had said:

for them,

that Shabbat,

all life died—

for He

was dead.
* * *
That was the Day Between the Night Before—
* * *
This is my Day Between,

my Night Before …


in this interim

—let me be still

let me adore,

let me remember


Friday, April 6, 2012

Devotions for Lent: Friday of Passion Week

On the way to the Cross:

Plan to join us this evening at 7:00pm for our Good Friday Worship at NRN

Consider this:

WHO will you invite to meet you at church this Sunday?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Devotions for Lent - Thursday of Passion Week

The foolishness of the Cross

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are,so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Plan to join us for our Good Friday Worship at 7:00pm tomorrow night at NRN

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Devotions for Lent - Wednesday of Holy Week

Thought for the Day: "We must come before God in silence, as evildoers, in order to obtain grace for the offenses that we have committed. We come clothed in shame, confessing that we are lost, that God might save us through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In short, we say that it is completely beyond our powers to acquit ourselves in the eyes of God. But he comes to our aid; he does not scrutinize us or enter into account with us. When we have offended him, there is no satisfaction for sin other than the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. The only way we can be cleansed is to wash ourselves in his blood."
-- John Calvin, "Freedom from the Bondage of the Law"

Prayer: Let your mighty hand and outstretched arm, O LORD, be our defense;
Your mercy and loving-kindness in Jesus Christ, your dear Son, our salvation;
Your true and holy word our instruction;
Your grace and Holy Spirit our comfort and consolation,
Until the end and in the end. -- John Knox, Scottish reformer (1510 - 1572)

Something to Think About:
Did you make a commitment to do (or refrain from) a particular activity during Lent? How have you done so far? Whether or not you've kept up with your commitment, what have you learned from the experience?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Devotions for Lent April 3 - Tuesday of Holy Week

Scripture: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and“ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. Matthew 4:1-11 (ESV):

Here, we learn about three specific ways that Satan sought to tempt Jesus, each one more significant, by challenging his desire for food, urging him to display power sensationally, and encouraging him to use political power to establish God’s kingdom. In this third instance, he was tempting Jesus to bypass the cross. The devil was more than willing to give us all back to Jesus, if only Jesus would worship him instead of God. Skip the suffering, save the people, deny God, do it the easy way. For each response, Jesus relied on scripture, the ‘sword of the Spirit’ (Eph 6:17), to resist.

These temptations occurred following Jesus’ baptism. Right after Jesus was anointed for ministry, the Spirit led him into the wilderness for 40 days and nights of fasting “to be tempted by the devil.” Jesus’ time in the desert reminds us of Moses fasting for the same period on Mount Sinai (Ex 34:28). After Moses’ 40 days and nights, God gave him the Ten Commandments for the Israelites. Thus, here we see that Jesus is the new Moses come to fulfill the law that Moses was given.

Prayer: Gracious God, we praise you that you know what it is like to be tempted in every way, as we are. Thank you for showing us how to resist temptation and thank you for enduring the cross and for fulfilling the law, for our sakes, on our behalf. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Let Jesus Come into Your Heart - Monday of Holy Week

After a powerful campmeeting sermon on repentance, L. H. Baker, the evangelist, called seekers forward for prayer. A refined woman of high social standing responded to the invitation, but struggled to break through spiritually. She had come forward to give, but not to receive.

The great hymn writer, Mrs. C. H. Morris, quietly joined her at the altar, put her arm around the seeking woman's shoulder, and said, "Just now, your doubting give over."

Hearing this, the campmeeting musician, H. L. Gilmour, chimed in, "Just now, reject Him
no more!" Evangelist, L. H. Baker, added, "Just now, throw open the door!"

Mrs. Morris followed up with, "Let Jesus come into your heart."The woman found spiritual victory, and a new hymn was birthed that night: "Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart."

If you are tired of the load of your sin,
Let Jesus come into your heart;
If you desire a new life to begin,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

Just now, your doubtings give o’er;
Just now, reject Him no more;
Just now, throw open the door;
LetJesus come into your heart.

If it’s for purity now that you sigh,
Let Jesus come into your heart;
Fountains for cleansing are flowing nearby,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

If there’s a tempest your voice cannot still,
Let Jesus come into your heart;
If there’s a void this world never can fill,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

If you would join the glad songs of the blest,
Let Jesus come into your heart;
If you would enter the mansions of rest,
Let Jesus come into your heart

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Devotions for Lent - April 1 2012 - Palm Sunday

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
Today is Palm Sunday, when we commemorate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The excitement of the scene is tempered by the fact that very soon, the same crowds that hailed Jesus as King would be calling for his death.

Today's Scripture Reading: The Triumphal Entry, Luke 19:28-44

"After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' say, 'The Lord needs it.'" Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" They replied, "The Lord needs it." They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

The Triumphal Entry is described in all four of the Gospels. The above account is from the book of Luke; the links below will take you to the story as it's described in the other three Gospels:
Matthew 21:1-11
Mark 11:1-11
John 12:12-19

Something to Think About:

Read the Triumphal Entry story in all four Gospels. How is each account distinct from the others?

Today marks the beginning of Passion Week. How will this week be different for you?

Consider these opportunities at NRN:

Wednesday Night 6:30 - Corporate Prayer

Friday April 6 - Good Friday Worship at 7:00pm

Sunday April 8 - Resurrection Sunday!!! Worship at 10:30am