Friday, April 22, 2011

Celebrating Our Risen Lord!

“I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever!” (Revelation 1:18)

       Whenever the Easter holiday draws near, I often reflect on this passage of scripture more than any other that speaks of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and His miraculous resurrection. Certainly there are other wonderful, riveting passages such as in the gospels that chronicle his death, burial, and resurrection, and in the Old Testament prophecies.
       These poignant words of Christ in Revelation 1:18, however, give me special comfort, because He emphatically declares that He is the Living One. He is alive today and forevermore through His spirit living inside of me, in other believers, and in the world at large. He is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, and He is coming back a second time to take all who know and love him to the promised heavenly home.
       Because of Jesus’ shed blood and death on the cross, my sins are forgiven. And because He rose from the dead, I have everlasting life. I love the fact He is alive, working in my life, working in the lives of other believers, and working powerfully in the world.
       After a busy week, with much on my mind, I pray that I will be able to focus on my Lord and Savior, on what He’s done for me, on how much He loves me, and on the promises I have in Him because He is alive. Amen!

Prayer: Lord, may I set aside all of my worries to focus only on you, to focus on the blood you shed for the forgiveness of my sins, to focus on your sacrificial death, and your resurrection that ensures my life eternal. In Your Name I pray, amen.

** This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays here. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

God’s Unexpected Surprises!

“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another” (John 1:16)

       “You listen to Joyce Meyer?” my coworker asked me after opening my glove compartment to hand me my sunglasses, which was filled with Michael Jackson and gospel CDs and cassettes. We were headed to the Baltimore Inner Harbor to attend a continuing medical education seminar.
       “My sister listens to Joyce Meyer all the time,” she continued. “Yeah I really like her,” I replied. “Do you listen to Charles Stanley?” I asked. “Yeah I listen to him,” she said. “I love Charles Stanley.”
       Now, I was curious.
       “If she was familiar with Joyce Meyer and listened to Charles Stanley, she must be a Christian,” I thought.
       “I didn’t know you were a Christian Gwen*,” I said. “Oh yeah, I’ve been saved for years.”
       “Really?” I replied.
       Gwen had always been so private about her faith, but not in this moment. She told me how she met the Lord, and how He changed her life. We spent most of the drive to Baltimore talking about how God has worked in each of our lives. It was incredible. “What a blessing,” I thought. God was definitely with us, and He answered my prayers in ways I didn’t expect.
       After we arrived at the hotel where we were staying, we decided to walk along the harbor with our cameras in tow to take in the sites and snap some pictures. (See more photos of the harbor here.) It was sunny, windy, and hot.
       After our hour-long walk and photo session, we freshened up and attended the seminar. While the seminar wasn’t as successful as we’d hoped, I still felt God’s presence.
       The next morning, I ate a delicious buffet breakfast that included hot tea, eggs, grits, bacon, and a bagel with butter and strawberry jam. Yum!
       On the drive back home, Gwen and I continued to talk about the Lord. God’s presence and blessing were still with us. It almost felt euphoric, like I was on a spiritual high.
       When I got home and turned on my computer to check my email and do some work, I received an email from another coworker about how she had received Christ, met with her Pastor to talk about what was going on in her heart, and how excited she was to begin a bible study for the first time. She said she knew I was a Christian, so she felt comfortable sharing her experience with me. I was shocked. “This must be the week God wants me to know who my Christian coworkers are,” I thought.
       Just a few weeks ago, the Lord gave me the opportunity to pray with a coworker who I knew was a Christian about an extremely difficult project we were working on. And when we prayed, God’s presence enveloped us.
       Work has not been pleasant lately, but God surely has brightened things up when I least expected it?  He has a way of doing that, doesn’t he?
May we praise His holy name!

Prayer: Thank you Lord for your mesmerizing presence, the blessing of your people, and your strengthening power. In Jesus’ name, amen.

** This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays here.
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