Something to think about.
On the Road to Damascus
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Acts 9:1-3
This is the famous story of Saul’s conversion to Christianity. Saul who is later renamed Paul is on his way to persecute those who believe in Jesus. He is headed down a road with a definite destination with a definite purpose full of self-righteousness. He is headed in the wrong direction. He is headed down a path that is in direct opposition to where he wants to be. He is persecuting Christians because he believes they are opposing and denying God. He is doing it in defense of God. He believes that in incarcerating Christians, he is doing Gods will.
Before we became Christians, we were not so different from Paul. Though we do not, in this day in this country incarcerate people for being Christians. We were headed down the wrong road for the wrong reason. Saul regardless of his reasoning is headed in the wrong direction. He is not working on God’s side he is working against God. We, before Christ were on our way to Damascus. We were on the wrong road for the wrong reason to accomplish the wrong goal.
We are not Paul we will not write parts of the New Testament. We will not be quoted around the world. But our conversion to Christianity is just as miraculous as Paul’s. We all have to have an encounter with Jesus for our conversion to be accomplished. Every one of us must have a personal interaction with Christ for a conversation to occur. It is not just an intellectual realization of truth it is a personal connection with the risen savior. We all have to make contact with Jesus. It is no different for any of us. Without, an on the road experience, none of us will meet Jesus.
The conversion of Saul was personal, powerful and intimate. It was not an experience born of mysticism. Your contact, connection with Christ must have a tangible permanent effect on your life. It is not something you can walk away from and remain the same. If you leave as you came, you did not make the connection. When you meet Christ, you will in some way leave changed, made new, born again.
Something to think about.
6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6
“For he is risen” the four most important words ever spoken. The world has been shaken to its core at these four words. An actual change in the history of man occurred on account of these words. A new hope and reality came into existence when they were uttered. A whole new way of living was validated because of these words.
The crucifixion of Jesus was not the single most important event in history. His resurrection was. Jesus was dead, Christ was resurrected. This man died. He was resurrected as King and Savior. His resurrection was by the God of the universe. Have we lost sight of this event?
We are so busy with our lives. With doing for God. We try to flourish and excel in our gifts, jobs, lives, have we lost sight of why we do what we do. Have we turned the resurrection into a commonplace event? Has it become a historical event that we lump together with all others? Has it become something that is not life altering. Something commonplace? Something that we have become so accustomed to we don’t give it the importance it requires?
“He is risen.” Have you ever seen the dead come back to life? I’m not talking about CPR or any rapid resuscitation protocol. I mean someone who has been dead for an extended period of time being brought back to life. No other such event has been recorded or claimed by anyone in History. Do you realize this event was witnessed by hundreds of people? It was reported by his followers. These twelve men went on to change the world. Not based on a conspiracy or on Jesus’s religious philosophy but on His resurrection. His inner circle never recanted their claims. Even when threatened with death. Even as they were killed
The most important aspect of this event is this. Jesus the Christ is alive. He was not resurrected to die again. He was not resurrected to be lost or hidden from humanity. That reality should be paramount in your mind every day through every situation. God or bad. He was the first to be resurrected. His resurrection gives us hope for the future. It validates all of His claims. It solidifies His claims of eternity. It turns an interesting philosophy into an undeniable reality. Every Christian belief hinges on this one event. His resurrection validates all of the claims about Him. From His virgin birth to being the sacrificial lamb for the world. Without the resurrection, we diminished Christ to an interesting person in human history. He becomes as so many others without eternal consequence. He is then an enigma without substance or value.
Christ is everything. There is before His resurrection and after. Before is hopelessness and futility. After is eternity and victory. He is resurrecting every day the lives of those who believe. “He is risen.”
Something to think about.
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. Hebrews 10:39
To which do you belong? Seems like a silly question. If you’ve shrunk back, you probably wouldn’t be reading this. And if you belong to those of faith you would not need this. Why then is it in the bible? Because there are those of us, who are teetering on our faith. Those who are standing at the door of belief, not fully committed to entering. This is for those who are struggling to completely commit to the truth. I would like you to notice there is not a third option. You shrink back you will be destroyed, you believe you will be saved. This is not a profound theological concept, it is straightforward, believe and be saved doubt and die. Not making a choice is a choice that will lead to death. You cannot straddle the fence on this one. God does not allow it.
Posted in Something to think about
Tagged belief, Death, decision, Doubt, Faith, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, new life, salvation, truth
Something to think about.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28: 5-6
“He is risen,” spoken by an angel of God defines the destiny of humanity. This man Jesus died. Not an uncommon occurrence, in fact, is a very common occurrence it will happen to everyone. What is unique is that He was brought back to life. His resurrection and the power of God that resurrected Him sets Him apart from every other person that has ever lived. His life and ministry took on a whole new meaning because He became the first to come into a new life. Do you understand, without the resurrection, Jesus would probably have been lost and forgotten in the pages of history? After his crucifixion, all of His apostles were in hiding in fear for their lives. Without the resurrection, they all would have scattered and disappeared. Without this event, we would have nothing to believe in. But since it did happen it changes everything even our very lives. “He is Risen” are the most important words ever spoken.
Jesus said, “I have come to give you life and life more abundantly.” John 10:10
In a sentence He states the purpose of His life. He came to give us something we could not obtain on our own. He came to give us life.
Before Him my life consisted of monotonous, meaningless repetition. I remember as a young man looking through my living room window and asking God is this it? Is this all there is, working, eating and sleeping?
I was twenty something when I asked that question. Now as I look back I realize God answered my question immediately. Shortly after I ask that question I became a Christian and my life began. You might expect me to say something like everything in life became wonderful. The truth is life, real life is not easy.
Though I became a Christian and became a new creature the only thing I knew was my old nature. My new nature was at war with my old nature and my life has never been the same. My new nature is a life filled with purpose, joy and expectation. The spirit of God in me is working to give me the abundant life Jesus speaks of. My new spirit was and is at war with the “spirit that comes to steal, kill and destroy.” John 10:10 This spiritual war within me played out in poor, disastrous decisions and actions that plagued my life. I have walked through the valley of doubt and fear, of loneliness and abject disappointment. Through it all God has been there to pick me up and carry me when I could not walk.
The new life that Jesus is speaking of comes with a very big caveat. It will not coexist with the spirit of death which lived in me before I was born again. The spirit of God is selfish, unyielding and unrelenting. He demands to be the sole ruler of your life. He will not share His glory and position with anything. In return He will give you a life that is unattainable in any other way.
You can wake up every morning defeated or you can wake up everyday expectant of what the God of creation has for you this day. Every morning is an opportunity to experience the wonder and majesty of God. Every day you get to choose a new experience with him. With the newness of each sunrise you can step into a new facet of God. In the bible it says “your mercies are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:23
God is not the God who lived on the pages of an ancient manuscript He is the great “I am” (Exodus 3:14), the one who is constantly and forever present in this moment, always at this time.
We Christians are always asking God what am I called to do? The answer is the same for each of us it is to offer everyone what Jesus has provided you, an abundant life.
Share your testimony.