The Gospels are far too silent about Saturday, the day after the execution.So, imagine this.You are a follower of that revolutionary they call Jesus of Nazareth.Openly, you professed that you believed His message and even saw Him as the Messiah.
You huddle in disbelief and fear that the next voice you hear will be one of the Roman soldiers seeking others who believed His teachings.With your own eyes you saw them take that lifeless body and give it to Joseph of Arimathea for burial.What now?Where do you go from here?Was Jesus really the One or should you seek another?
Beloved, what will YOU do with Jesus today?If our Heavenly Father said, "I am going to give you my Son," how would you treat him?
GospeLines Prayer:Precious Jesus, you have allowed me to live on this side of Calvary and now I know that Sunday, resurrection day is coming.Why, then, do I live as though it never happened?Why do I hide in fear that the next voice I hear will be that of someone who needs to hear the Good News from me?O, my Redeemer and my Lord, this Easter, let the message of the cross ring unashamedly true from my lips, that others may know what I know.
I heard a very thought-provoking statement from one of my Sunday school colleagues recently.When her Mother didn’t have an answer to some quandary, she “put it on the shelf for the Lord.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but there are times when I didn’t have an answer and I just kept on living life, driving my own bus.And, there are times when I knew to “let go and let God,” but still I continued to drive my own bus.Of course, I also realize that I have a hard time waiting for answers, so what do I do?I DRIVE MY OWN BUS!
As I reexamine my life, I need to put [small and large things] on the shelf for the Lord.I didn’t do very well in driving my own bus.Sometimes, even on a clear day, I’d veer off the road; other times, I couldn’t see ahead because of the dense fog; other times, I was on some road, traveling at a high rate of speed, endangering myself and I’d continue on.(Thank God for praying folks looking down on me… )
Patience is one of those virtues where I need more development.Perhaps that’s why He makes me wait for an answer… to strengthen my resolve and reliance on Him.And, in His time, we know that the answer may be a yes, no or maybe…
Perhaps as I put things on the shelf for the Lord, I need to remember the words of the Psalmist:
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
(Psalm 46:10 - NIV)
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I haven’t been as successful as I might have been because I was too busy driving my own bus.You’ve put some obstacles in my way to get my attention and I’m learning to wait on You.
There will probably be other times in life when I won’t have the answer, but I now know the course of action to take…
I only need to “put it on the shelf for the Lord.”
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, March 26, 2008
“Inject Your Circumstances with New Life”
At age 16 Gail Keller had a heart attack while doing jumping jacks.By the time she was 19 she had undergone her first triple-bypass surgery.Doctors warned that due to her inherited heart disorder she would never see her 21st birthday.
However, she remained healthy until age 33, long enough to complete her master’s degree and start a career as a rehabilitation counselor.When her condition worsened she moved in with her parents because of chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pains.It became so bad that she was unable to do anything for herself.
Gail was ruled out as a candidate for a heart transplant.Her prognosis was bleak until the discovery of FGF-1, a protein injected directly into the heart which causes new vessels to sprout, creating a network of capillaries and small arteries.She celebrated her 40th birthday last August!
Nothing is as exciting as an opportunity to start over.Especially when it appears that EVERYTHING is hopeless, then out of the darkness a beam of light points the way.King David learned that Jehovah comes when we most need Him:“In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.” (Psalm 86:7)
Even when you are feeling worthless, abandoned, useless in the sight of God, that is the time when He is able to inject your circumstances with new life!
At a one year reunion of FGF-1 patients, they all said the same thing.“We are all so excited that our lives have been saved.”Today Gail Keller lives on her own.“I used to be very depressed,” she says.“But these days I keep finding things that make me smile.”
Jesus does not promise life without pain, but He does assure us that His presence will be everlasting.He will not take you down an untraveled path.He has been there before.
(This devotional partially inspired by:Reader’s Digest, February 2008)
≈ Devotional for Thursday, March 27, 2008
“Do We Trust God?”
Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.” (John 14:1 - NIV)
Do we trust God?We say we trust Him with Spiritual things; but, do we also trust Him with physical things?
Only once in the Bible does God encourage us to test Him.“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10 - NIV)
Do we trust God?Do we believe God will do what He says?
He said, “Bring the tithe… and see if I will not throw open the floodgates…”
He said, “…with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:51 and Peter 2:24 – KJV)
He said, “In this world you will have trouble.But take heart!I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 - NIV)
Do we trust God?Either He is a liar and none of these things are true; or, He is the great I AM, He loves us, He cannot lie, and everything He said is true.
Do we trust God?Or, do we allow circumstances to destroy our trust in the Lord.Don’t say, “You go first.Restore me and then I’ll trust You.”Remember, Scripture says, "No one who trusts God like this - heart and soul - will ever regret it."(Romans 10:11 – The Message)
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1st Corinthians 9:24 - NIV)Let’s run in trust of our Lord and Savior.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 - NIV)
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
Emily was a fourth grader in Seattle when she sent a message to the world.“This letter is part of our science project to study and learn about people in distant lands,” she wrote.“Please send the date and location of the bottle with your address.I will send you my picture and tell you when and where the bottle was placed in the ocean.Your friend, Emily Huang.”
Twenty-one years later, Merle Brandell found her letter along the Bering Sea in a tiny Alaskan fishing village, Nelson Lagoon.How the plastic bottle traveled 1,735 miles remains a mystery.Because of Pacific Ocean currents it would have headed south, then westward with the Equatorial Current.Over 21 years, that bottle could have made numerous trips circling the Pacific, traveling more than 200,000 miles before reaching its destination.
We have a message to share that carries a huge promise.How far must we go to deliver that word?One of the stanza’s in a hymn written in the 1800’s talks about our mission and its importance to the world.
“We’ve a message to give to the nations, That the Lord who reigns up above Has sent us His Son to save us, And show us that God is love, And show us that God is love.”
Our message is timeless.How long shall we preach it?God said to Isaiah, “Go and tell this people.”Then Isaiah asked, “For how long O Lord?”And he answered, “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged.” Isaiah 6:11.
Just before the Resurrection, Jesus commissioned His followers to be obedient to the task.We have come to know those words as the Great Commission.Why is it great?
1.It is great because it is authoritative; it comes from the throne of God.
2.It is great because it is all-inclusive.ALL disciples are charged to evangelize ALL the nations.
3.It is great because it is empowering.We are to speak in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
4.It is great because He promises to be with us “always, to the very end of the age.”
No matter how the currents of change influence society, God’s Word is unchanged; the tides of indifference may ebb and flow, but Jesus is with us always.
When we are tempted to quit because the journey seems unending, or we become discouraged because our message never gets through, remember that our role is to remain faithful to the mission.We have a message of promise for the whole world.God will provide the right audience at just the right time.He is in control.