April 15, 2022, 9:00 AM



Embrace the Tears


James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Everyone loves a party! This theme has echoed across our culture for years. For those of us who have lived a bit, we know this is not always the case. James reminds us that there are times to put away frivolity and actually spend a season in weeping and mourning. The great preacher, G. K. Chesterton, English theologian and writer, is often quoted as saying, “Winners of souls must first be weepers for souls.” Our worship in many churches is all celebration and no weeping or lamenting. Is it any wonder that we lack the power of God and the true conviction that brings about miraculous change in our hearts, and in our nation.


Holy Week reflection gives God’s people a chance every year to remember the importance of weeping and lamenting. As we walk through the week we are reminded of the suffering and sacrifice of our Lord as we are also reminded of His great love. It gives us an opportunity to take a beat and check ourselves. Many churches of every denomination take the Lord’s Supper or communion. In the process we are challenged to not take the elements unworthily, to have no unconfessed sin in our lives. As we humble ourselves God takes notice. In due season He will lift us up.


Easter is a time each year when we are lifted to heights of celebration. We experience, once again, the risen Lord and all that entails: Salvation, Rebirth, Sanctification and Glorification. None of these promises are a surety without Jesus’ resurrection. The Resurrection is God’s final declaration that the war has been won by Him. In a time when we long to hear that the Ukrainian war is over we can assure ourselves that the war of sin has been won. Take heart and take a break from your sorrow and fear. Gather with God’s people and celebrate the resurrection. In doing so you honor God and His marvelous plan and we look forward to His triumphant return when our faith will become reality.


I’m including a wonderful Good Friday devotion from Michael Kelley.






April 14, 2022

might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8

You don’t know how dirty your windows are until you clean them. Dirt and grime will pile up little by little, and because it happens slowly, it’s almost imperceptible. But then you clean the glass and look through. You’re amazed at how clearly you can see and can’t imagine how you saw anything through it before it was cleaned!

In a similar way, the cross of Jesus cleans the windows of our heart’s vision. In the competing messages of the world around us, our vision becomes so obscured that we might not even realize how much so until we see through the lens of the cross.

So what specifically does the cross make clear? At least three things:

1. The Cross brings Clarity to the True Problem.

We find ourselves living in an ironic time. Never has the world been so convinced that people are basically good, yet never before have so many wondered what’s wrong with the world. The cross brings clarity to the true problem.

So what IS the true problem?

  • Poverty?
  • Homelessness?
  • Violence?
  • Dishonesty and lack of integrity?

While the answer is yes to all of these things, the true problem is sin. Not just the acts of sin, but the state of sin in which we all live.

We. Are. Broken.

Our world is broken. And we see how severely broken we are at the cross. The cross shows us with stark clarity just how desperate the situation is – so desperate, so evil, so wrong that the perfect Son of God had to suffer and die.

2. The Cross brings Clarity to the Character of God.

As we look around the world, and even to the circumstances of our own lives, we have all sorts of questions about God. Where is He? What is He doing? What is He like? We ask these questions not in a vacuum, but against the backdrop of school shootings, cancer, and global violence. But the cross brings clarity to who God is:

We see that He is a God of justice, for He is unwilling to compromise on the just punishment for sin. We see that God is committed to love, for He is unwilling to allow sinful humanity to bear the price for that sin. The cross is the window through which we see God’s character demonstrated; it is the stake in the ground by which we can say, “This is who God is,” regardless of what other people say or what circumstances befall us.

3. The Cross brings Clarity to the Future.

The cross was not the end. No, my friend, not even close. Jesus died, and Jesus rose and is gloriously alive today. In His life, we have life. It’s the cross and the resurrection that show us exactly where we are headed. Either we are headed to resurrection with Jesus, to reign with Him as forgiven, bought with His blood co-heirs, or we are headed to the ultimate consequence of our insidious rebellion.

Further, the cross and resurrection show us that creation is bending toward the recognized rule and reign of Jesus. There will come a day when every knee will indeed bow and every tongue will confess what the Christian already knows – that Jesus Christ is the resurrected Lord of all.

This is the future. Your future, if you will only believe.

This Easter season, God once again reminds us that He has given us the gift of clarity, not confusion. Though we might still have questions about the days in which we live, of these things there is no doubt.

Written by Michael Kelley, Guest Contributor

To read more of Michael’s writing, check out his daily blog, Forward Progress http://michaelkelley.co/



04-19-2022 at 7:02 AM
Donald Faircloth
I think you did a great job expressing the purpose of the cross. In today's secular world, hardly a mention is made of the true meaning of "Easter"; so, it's refreshing to see it in print.Thanks, DRF
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