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Monday, April 1, 2013

He is Risen and He Lives in Me!

"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’" John 20: 19-23 (NIV © 2011).

After Jesus’ resurrection, rather than joy, the disciples feared for their lives. They had witnessed the fate of their Lord, Jesus. They knew the consequences of following him.

The day after Easter, we experience joy! Why? Because we know the rest of the story. That doesn’t mean we know that the disciples had an easy life because God was on their side. As the Spirit of the Lord filled them, their walk overflowed with joy because they walked with God through whatever circumstances came their way.

As Christians, we are not promised a life of wealth and ease. We are promised the light of heaven, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the power of Jesus Christ to make a difference in the world, regardless of how little we have in money, talent, or power. We have the wealth of love and forgiveness to share, the talents God deems worthy of use (not the world’s critical scrutiny), and the power of the living God through the name of his precious son, our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus, the Christ. Who says we don’t have enough? Is everything sufficient to bring us joy? Let us pray:

"Father God, now we see a glimpse of the plan you have for us - the part we play. We may not see the path clearly, or know well rehearsed words, or have money to help the needy all around us, but we have more than all of that. We have the power of the Holy Spirit to fill us, unaware of the outcome or the way or the time. We do not need to know your plan, we just need to be willing to follow, not lead. Forgive us when we have refused the chalice of service, or have taken it up only to give it back. On this beautiful day as we remember the resurrection of our Lord, we offer you our willing hearts to become the voice, the hands, the heart, the love, and the money we have to share, to be a blessing to someone on your behalf. In the name of, and by the power of the resurrected, living Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp

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