Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Mid-Week Message - Not the End of the Story

"The people said, 'You aren't even fifty years old.  How can you say you have seen Abraham?'  Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!'"  John 8:57-58  (NLT) 

How do you measure a year?  Of course we have the calendar which ticks off the days from January through December.  Maybe, because of the business you are in, the year for you is a fiscal year which can begin on a day other than the first of January.  When we are young we measure time from birthday to birthday or Christmas to Christmas, or maybe even both.  We use that which is important to us as we watch the passage of time.  

Last Sunday was Easter.  For Christians that day is of great significance because it is when we celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord.  The tiny baby, celebrated at Christmas, has grown up and fulfilled His reason for leaving Heaven and living among us as a man.  His suffering and ultimate demise brought about the forgiveness of sins for mankind, once and for all.  We read the scriptures and tell the story to our children.  We recount His appearances after He has risen from the dead through the time when He ascended to Heaven.  It is the holiest time of our year.  Then the celebration ends until Christmas when we we begin telling the story of His birth again.  

As I was contemplating today's message, I prayed and asked God what to write about.  Each week my prayer is only that what I write will reach the right eyes and hearts.  If that is only one person or if it is a multitude is up to Him.  Although I attempt to convey what is on my heart at the time, it isn't about me.  Without Him there would be no message to share.  This week, these words were ringing in my mind, "It's not the end of the story."  

Jesus did not exit our lives when He re-entered Heaven.  Nor did His life begin when He descended to earth.  He has always been with the Father.  He remains active in each of our lives at all times, not just at Christmas and Easter.  He advocates for us.  He guides us.  He loves us.  He calls us.  He walks with us.  Do we actively include Him in each of our days?  

During this time of isolation and quarantine, we have had time to consider what our friends and family mean to us.  Grandparents have been unable to visit with their grandchildren.  Friends have had to forego their lunch gatherings.  We haven't been able to get together to celebrate birthdays or even to attend funerals.  We have begun to see how much of life is taken for granted and we haven't liked it.  Hopefully this time has taught us to treasure those around us and to love each other while we have the time to do so.  

No matter what changes we have experienced, the one abiding relationship that can never be shaken is the one we have with our Savior.  Nothing will ever be able to keep Him from us.  There is no disease, disaster or threat greater than His love for you and me.  He is always present and available. Have we allowed Him to be our strength and sustenance during this difficult time?  Our days on this earth are limited.  We have been through a powerful reminder of that.  However, our time with Him is eternal if we have received Him as our Savior.  Of all relationships that shouldn't be taken for granted, our relationship with Jesus should be at the top of the list. 

My hope is that your family is healthy and safe.  If not, then my heart grieves with you.  Either way, my prayer is that each of us has a tight grip upon His hand.  I saw something just this week that said this, "If you are hanging by a thread, make sure it is connected to His robe."  Oh, brothers and sisters, this trial shall pass, but our connection to Him will only grow stronger if we allow Him to be Who He desires to be in our lives.  In great love, God bless.   

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