He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. — Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
Flogged… Bits of glass and rocks shredded the flesh of His back…. Crucified… Nailed to the rough wood of the cross and left hanging there to experience the excruciating pain of death by suffocation…
Why did Jesus willingly die such a violent death? The Bible says He went to the cross for one reason: to become the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. Each of us has sinned; each of us is guilty before God; each of us deserves to die. God is holy and just, and sin must be punished.
But Christ became our substitute; He died in our place. He was without sin, but all our sins were placed on Him, and He willingly took the punishment and death we deserve.
The Bible says,
Christ died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God. —1 Peter 3:18 (AMP).
Christ died for you! Why did He do this? He did it because He loves you, and He wants you to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Have you responded to His love?
We invite our Pizza Ranch Serves family to join us in worship, prayer, and fasting in the locations you find yourself in on April 19. We will be taking the day to pray for those who enter our restaurants, for employees and staff, for vendors, and for our neighbors. Consider fasting from something in your day. And, pray for us—as we boldly pray for you. We invite you to make April 19 a day of worship, glorifying God in all you do.
As we approach this Easter Sunday how can we honor God?
Jesus reminds us “He loves when we spend quite time with Him in solitude and prayer.”! “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
What comes to your mind when you think of solitude? Dread? Maybe you think of a prisoner in solitary confinement. Or maybe you think of the last time you were the only one home and you got to enjoy the quiet. Most of us have extreme opinions of solitude: either it makes us uncomfortable and we never engage in it or we have a tendency to become too isolated. Mary Doria Russell “how can you hear you soul if everyone is talking?”
Solitude is more a state of mind and heart than an actual physical place. Think back to one of your most hectic days. How did you get through it? Were you able to close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath, and connect with God? All of us, because of our busy lives, have moments when we need to refocus and reconnect with our Father. The discipline of solitude trains us to do that. Whether we are in a crowd or on a desert island, we can enjoy solitude. It is truly an inner posture of the heart.
As Christians, we are never truly alone because we always have access to communion with God. It sounds great to be able to have this kind of connection with God, but many of us aren’t sure how to get it. The secret lies in our understanding of our identity in Christ. When we base our identity in who we are in Christ, we know our personal value comes from, who God says we are and Christ’s work on our behalf. That relieves a lot of pressure. In the peace that comes from that assurance, we can relax and draw close to Him. There, in our solitude, the Lord is able to refocus our hearts, bringing us the freedom and joy that the abundant life in Jesus promises.
Challenge yourself today to find a place of solitude each day for 5 minutes! A suggestion is to make a meeting reminder for everyday to have solitude and you will be honoring God!
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we are grateful to celebrate His resurrection and the hope that we have forever in Him! Praise to God for creating a way for us to be with Him in heaven and the amazing assurance that we have because of His love for us!
Last week Pizza Ranches in Minot and Grand Forks, ND partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network to host two Community Impact nights. Special guests, Miss North Dakota 2016 Macy Christianson and other title holders from the state, were present to help guests and bus tables. Together they raised over $2,000 to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network of North Dakota.
Similarly, Butte, MT also hosted a Community Impact night on Monday, April 10 partnering with the Children’s Miracle Network of Montana. Special guest Miss Montana 2016 Lauren Scofield and friends were present to help clear tables and interact with guests.
A big shout out to these Pizza Ranch restaurants and the Children’s Miracle Network for their great teamwork!
As Easter weekend approaches, consider ways that you can be a blessing to others as Jesus was a blessing to all of us. Is there a friend that you need to ask forgiveness of? Is there a coworker going through a hard time that could use an uplifting e-mail? Do you have a family member who needs to be loved on this weekend and invited over for Easter dinner?