Every time someone flies back into U.S the Border and Customs officials checks fingerprints, retina and other identification to make sure you are who you claim to be. The Lord said to Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you”.(Jer 1:5) What a thought. God knew us even before we were born. We don’t need to show our identity with God. He knows us, even before our parents thought about us, difficult to comprehend yet true. One of Satan’s job is to make us feel insignificant, unimportant or worthless. He wants us to get stuck in his web of lies and deceit. Remember, God created your inmost being and knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and nothing that is known by God and has the breath of God is worthless!
“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139:15)
James says in his epistle ” Is anyone of you is in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil”. Simple, direct instructions of living as a believer, nothing complicated no difficult theology. Prayer and Praise should not just remain as part of a believers’ vocabulary but it should be part of our daily existence. God cares more about our response to our life today, in this moment, right at our point of trouble or joy, than about what we intend to do next year or next week. In fact the decisions we make next year is in a deep way influenced by the degree we submit to the Holy Spirit’s leadings in the now. How is the Spirit leading you this day?
Psalm 145: 21 “My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name forever and ever”
I love the story of the two disciples walking towards Emmaus, away from Jerusalem. They ironically say to Jesus, who was walking alongside them whom they didn’t recognize-“we had hoped he would be the one to redeem Israel”. Crucifixion had scotched their hope altogether. In those days no one was looking for a crucified Messiah, it was an oxymoron like Florida Maple Syrup or disgustingly delicious. Yet, for humanity death and resurrection of Jesus offers the greatest hope, the promise that our disappointments can be a launching pad for a deeper revelation of his purpose, that the agonies of this life is revealing to us a greater thirst that the philosophies of this world cannot satisfy and can be satisfied only in Him. Folks, let us recognize that as Christ followers we are assured of the power of his resurrection working in us. Power to protect and preserve the widows and orphans, power to speak and spread the Gospel into situations and circumstances that are deplorable, power to mend relationships, stop addictions and forgive our brothers and sisters who has offended us and seek forgiveness to those whom we offended. Yesterday, the Teen Challenge men shared what this power can do to broken lives. Their testimonies edified and encouraged us beyond words.It is worthwhile to remember that this power can be dispensed only through a contrite and willing heart. More than any other days, this week let us find time to humble ourselves, pray and seek his face with a repentant heart. Remember what Paul told the Corinthians
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”. With resurrection on our side nothing in this world can bring a believer down!
What a blessing to see the Holy Spirit move in our church. Christ has risen! And just like the Apostles we are witness to this as we look at His power manifest among His people. What triggers this is a desire to know him, learn from his word and enough brokenness to be nurtured by His Spirit. One thing David desired most in his life, “to gaze on the beauty of the Lord”(Psalm 27:4) What a place to be! In olden times people would often bury their treasures in the ground. This was a safe place, especially during times of war and government upheavals. In Matthew 13:44 Jesus gives us a picture of a hired worker who found a hidden treasure like this. When he found it, he hid it back again and then in his joy emptied all his saving and bought this parcel of land. The bible says in his joy not grudgingly. There was joy in his action. Are we that desperate for Jesus? Do we understand the value of the treasure we have in Jesus? True believers understand that following Jesus requires an uncompromising desire to make him number one in their lives. Is he our first Love, above any other loves?