I hope everyone enjoyed a blessed Easter today! We started the day hearing a wonderful message from our Pastor, Brett Rickey. He focused on a reading from Luke 24:13-35 and how Jesus can still surprise us today.
- "Jesus can be present, but hidden sometimes."
I know I have experienced him staying hidden through times of grief and confusion as my pastor explained. Like when our dog got cancer and eventually we had to put him down...and then when miscarrying...and again when wanting to have another child since being blessed with our girlie. I have always, and will always believe that everything I go through is to grow my faith in Him and someday be there for someone that is struggling with a similar grief or confusion. I trust Him and can honestly say that I can now look back years later and better understand that "hidden is not the same as absent!"
- "Jesus will still question us in our dark times."
"He wants to reveal the condition of our hearts toward Him and He wants to know your heart...tell him how you feel!"
"He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel."
This also allows words of faith and hope to come out. Like I said, I can now talk to people about the timing of the loss of our dog, miscarriage and not having a second child with strong faith and belief in trusting His perfect timing always.
"22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning. 23 but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive."
- "Jesus always offers us the truth in time."
"He will always wreck our excuses. He will point us back to His written word."
"25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself."
Have you ever heard a sermon or read a passage in the Bible and felt like it was meant for you? His word speaks to our heart. I am sometimes amazed how much His word applies to something I am going through right then! I am also thankful that we have found a pastor that can relate His word to my real life experiences. His word changes our heart. When I think about what Jesus went through on the cross for me it makes me want to change my ways, to try harder, to trust more in Him.
- "Jesus still waits for an invitation to go deeper into fellowship."
"29 But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went to stay with them."
"32 Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
We have freewill to choose a relationship with Him. He will not force us to believe or follow Him, though it is what He desires, a close relationship with us. While I believed in Jesus growing up, having a deeper relationship with Him since my twenties has given me a freedom I never knew. Trusting in Him and giving Him my worries and fears is a relief, compared to my tendency to control everything.
I worked for 15 years in the corporate world where being politically correct meant not talking about your beliefs for fear of offending someone. During those 15 years I grew closer to Him and the more joy I found in Him the more I wanted to share it with others. I learned that a sincere thank you from one person for helping them learn about a closer relationship with Jesus was worth more to me than being politically correct. Don't worry I don't hit people over the head with the Bible or some other in your face appoach! I do believe that getting to know someone and letting them get to know me, hopefully seeing His light in what I say and do in everyday situations.
Writing about His word and reflecting on how it relates to my life on Sundays is giving me a way I can be closer to Him. What have you found that helps you grow your relationship and walk with Him?In Him,