Jesus is Just Another April Fools without a Resurrection

There has only been one religious leader in history that was predicted to die, predicted to rise again and then did so. Jesus Christ.

All of the others remain in their graves; Mohammed, Buddha, Gandhi, Confucius, Zoroaster, Zeus, Apollo, on and on I could go. All are dead…just bones. Lifeless and worthless.

But Jesus overcame death and lives today.

It’s funny how the world today hates Jesus and his followers. Just as He predicted they would by the way in John 15:18 when He told his disciples, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”.

Boy do they! The spike in angst and hate towards those of us that believe in the name of Jesus is once again something that sets Jesus apart from the rest. When was the last time you heard someone rant and rave about Buddha or Gandhi or even Mohammed and his crazy followers? It just doesn’t happen. The world seems to embrace all of those but runs from even mentioning the name Jesus. A great example is the recent Disney movie “A Wrinkle In Time” staring Oprah (who in the past has claimed to be a Christian) when throughout the movie they characters referenced powerful quotes from past philosophical and religious leaders. Not one quote from Jesus, the one with the biggest following in the history of mankind. Go figure.

Why does the world embrace and celebrate the others but have gag reflex when it comes to Jesus? Because they are lifeless and dead. They aren’t a threat and because in their mind there is no accountability for their deeds, good or bad. They can live howsoever they choose.

Jesus didn’t say He was “one of the ways to get to God”. He didn’t say “I can help you get to God”. No Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” in John 14:6.

Now you know why He is hated.

They key to all of this however, is the resurrection. Without it He too is still dead and His words just become neat little phrases to share and live by. Him rising from the dead however changes everything. For everyone.

Lee Strobel, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a graduate of Yale Law School, wrote “The Case for Christ” among some other investigative writings about Jesus. Lee had formerly been an atheist and was compelled by his wife’s conversion to evangelical Christianity to refute the key Christian claims about Jesus.

What he learned changed his life forever. He too now believes.

I could spend hours breaking down facts about the resurrection…including historical witness and testimonies to the fact and scientific research that emboldens the idea. But in the end, it must be accepted by faith. Paul says in Ephesians 5:28, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

And that step is one that every person on the planet will one day face. What did you do with Jesus? Think about standing before God one day and being asked that. You might should have the right answer…

For the most part the world chooses to hate Him. Others hold Him at a distance as a “good man….part of our history”, and still others do choose to believe with many risking their lives to do so.

Without the resurrection Jesus would be just another April Fools. With it, those who don’t believe are foolish for not. It is a game changer.

Believe in Him today and let Him change your life from the inside out. He will.

Then you too will know the power of the resurrection.

And that’s no April Fools.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

(c) 2018

No Bones About It

 

 

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The Legacy of My Dad

Every life that is lived is followed by a legacy that remains. It can’t be voided and it can’t be erased. It’s there forever for all to see.

In his 71 years, CJ Speers left a legacy few even realized and most won’t be able to repeat. He was born in Dallas to my grandparents, Jack and Kathrine Speers. He was the oldest of four, sisters Sudie and Janet, and brother Troy. After graduating from Grand Prairie High School, he was the first in the family to graduate from college after attending Letourneau University where he eventually ran into a beautiful young woman named Fern. They fell in love over some King’s Pizza and soon got married and she later became my mom. The groundwork of his legacy was laid…and as Paul Harvey, one of his favorites used to say, soon you will “know the rest of the story”.

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My dad probably never spent one second thinking about the word “legacy”. I know he didn’t sit down and right out annual goals or even consciously think about how he could improve on his legacy each and every day. He just wasn’t that kind of person.

Rather, he simply went out there each day and treated people with kindness, gentleness, and love with a caring, servants’ heart. He did what came naturally and tried to be like Christ to everyone he came across.

If I took the time to write out all of the amazing things my dad did for people and what he meant to them, I’d probably be writing until my own memorial service was being planned. He was just that kind of man and touched so many lives, the way Jesus said to…one at a time.

I can’t tell you how many times he left at the drop of a hat to go help someone fix something, move something, or install something. He was the handyman of all handymen. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t repair, build or do. He managed and led an engineering department, fixed cars at night and at one point nearly single handedly built a church building from the ground up. He was a true servant. Most don’t even know he played the organ for multiple churches, ran the sound system at another, mowed the grounds and did anything and everything he could to repair things and keep the buildings in order. He visited many in the hospital and didn’t hesitate to stop and pray with mom and about anyone that needed it. This was all on top of being a husband and a father giving my sister and I one of the greatest childhoods anyone has ever had.

He was dad to me. He was daddy to my sister. He was “poppy” to my kids and “poppy” to hers. He was just CJ to many and he was “Honey” to just one. But there is no doubt he will forever be a hero to us all.

There are so many things I will forever cherish about my father. The times watching the Cowboys on Sundays after church. The dozens of times he took me across Houston to watch the Astros play and driving home late listening to Milo Hamilton call the game when we left early. He wasn’t the sports fanatic I am but he did it because he loved me. The times we ate lunch together at Wyatt’s Cafeteria, Harvey’s BBQ, or Pizza Inn. The times we worked on cars together at night after work. The times we drove to work together in the summer of 1989 listening to Paul Harvey and getting me hooked forever on talk radio.

He introduced me to conservative politics and sports. He was my biggest cheerleader along with mom and countless times helped me in business when times were tough. And of course he was also just a phone call away when it came to something I needed to figure out or do around house. Lately we talked nearly every day and now I wish I could have just one more. In many ways he was still my security blanket even as I had my own family and myself closing in on 50 years old.

These last few years dad got weaker and weaker but his faith never wavered. He knew what mattered most and we talked about it a few times as it became reality that his life here would be coming to an end. He gave me incredible advice on loving my wife and charged me to take care of both my mom and my grandma. I was honored and I will. His last words to me were “Love you Brady” as I walked out of his hospital room not knowing the next morning he would be in Glory. Oh how blessed I was.

The biggest legacy my dad left us all was making sure my sister and I knew Jesus. He made it possible and was the biggest example of God’s love a kid could ever have. He wasn’t a Jesus freak either. He was just CJ…real, honest and genuine.

In his last words to my kids, he told them, as he struggled to stay awake and breathe….”the most important thing is your relationship to Jesus”.

When it is all said and done, none of the things the world tells us creates a legacy are true. In 100 years, everyone reading this will be dead and gone and none of this worldly pain, suffering, drama or violence will even matter. We will all soon find ourselves facing our own mortality and being asked this one most important question; What did you do with Jesus?

See everyone reading this has a relationship with Jesus. Everyone. You are either his adversary or you are his ally. You either believe in him or you don’t. The Bible says in Philippians 2:10-11 that every knee will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord. That means me. That means you and it has nothing to do with whether you believe or not.

Dad wanted everyone to know God. He knew that knowing and living for Jesus was the best legacy a man could ever give his family.

You might think just going to church here and there or just saying you believe in Jesus makes you a Christian and gives you assurance of being in heaven when you die. But it doesn’t and I want you to hear this loud and clear. The Bible says that you must do three simple things to be saved.

  1. You must recognize that you aren’t perfect and that you have sinned.
  2. You must recognize that you need a savior to make you holy so you can enter into heaven and
  3. Finally, you must pray with words from your mouth…to God …that you believe Jesus died for your sins, rose from the dead and ask him into your heart.

Romans 10:9 makes it clear… “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

It’s not just about believing this in your head. It is about knowing it in your heart.

It would sound something like this: “Jesus, I know that I have screwed up and I have sinned and I need you to save me. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead for me. Please come into my life and save me. I believe in you. Amen.”

It’s that simple. So do it. Now. Do it…for yourself, your family and for my dad.

If there was anything my dad would ask of each of you it would be to make sure you too can one day enter into heaven so he can see you again.

Now that’s a legacy we all can celebrate.

(Dad, it’s all I can do to stop the tears. I miss you. I always will. But thank you so much for making sure I knew Jesus. Tell Papa and the others I said hi. I will see you soon!)