Day 268

This is, without a doubt, my most favorite passage of Scripture in the entire Bible:

“But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”  (John 20:11-18)

Every time I read this passage I get chill bumps.

I can see Mary Magdalene standing there by the tomb crying.  She must have felt so alone, so at a loss and searching for answers.

I know what that feels like.

The Bible says she stooped down while she cried.  The others had come and gone from the tomb.  She has already been there once earlier that morning and now she is trying to piece together what has happened.  Her grief is over taking her so much that as she peeks into the area where the body of Jesus should have been, she doesn’t even seem surprised by the presence of the two men.  And after they question her, she doesn’t even care about them but turns away.

I can just imagine her eyes blinded by tears.  Her heart was broken and the questions must have been buzzing through her mind at a mile a second.  Love brought her to that tomb and it would seem it was mocking her.  She was no stranger to mocking and jeering, but the One who had saved and transformed her from that was now absent and she was weeping for the pain of it.

Then as she stumbles forward she sees a man standing there and she pleads with him.  And I believe that in this moment the love that Jesus showed her is a representation of how He views each and every one of His children when they are crushed in spirit and looking for Him.

Jesus says, “Mary”.  That was it.  He simply let her know Who He was and that He knew her.  That was all it took.

How many times I have bowed myself low to the ground in absolute brokenness and He has come to me in love and said, “Sheri”.  Oh, my friend, there is nothing like His presence in that moment of the crushing weight of your burden.  When love draws you to Him, He will reciprocate each and every time with a personal response.

Did you notice that as Jesus continues to speak to Mary He refers to God as her God?  He wanted to keep the relationship personal and that is the most outstanding thing to me about this whole encounter.

God is there for YOU on a personal level.  He is YOUR Father.  YOU can fellowship with HIM.  Don’t wait for the circumstances to be perfect before you reach out to Him.  Don’t delay in calling on Him.  He wants a relationship with you.

Are you seeking Him today?  Do you think He has abandoned you and left you on your own?

He hasn’t.

Listen.

Can you hear Him calling your name?

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

Day 267

“After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.”  (John 6:1-6)

These few verses are the perfect picture to prove that when God asks you to do something, He already knows how He is going to accomplish it through you.

But look at Philip’s response:

“Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.”  (John 6:7)

Instead of Philip placing trust in Jesus to take care of everything, he immediately starts doing calculations.  He looks out over the crowd and does some math and actually tells Jesus there is basically no way to financially or physically feed everyone.  I am not making fun of Philip because I know I, more than likely, would have done the EXACT same thing.

We all want to try and figure out our lives on our own don’t we?

Philip was in the presence of the Master.

Philip KNEW he was in the presence of the Master.

Philip treated the Master like He was any other man.

And the Master wanted to point that out!

Are you and I just going through the motions of church and service as if they are just what we are supposed to do?  Did you get up and go to Sunday School and Church services yesterday and then again last night?  Did you sit in your little pew thinking about the week ahead and dinner plans after church?  Did you sit in the presence of the Master but your mind was on the dress of that one at church that you think is just “sooooo worldly”.  Or maybe you were aggravated at your spouse sitting at your side because you had previously had words before sitting down like good little Christians and shaking hands with the “brethren”.

Sure, you sang in the choir, posed your face in the appropriate moments in a very righteous way, smiled at the folks you passed as you headed for your seat and quickly found the Scripture as the Preacher named the passage.  Shoot, you may have even gone forward and worked the altar after the Preacher said “Everyone stand with your head bowed and your eyes closed.”

But did you stop and pay attention to the Master?

Not the preacher.  Not the deacon.  Not the greeter.  Did you stop and remember that the WHOLE reason you came to the church building to assemble yourself together with other believers was to focus on the Lord?

Don’t worry, I am stepping on my own toes today, not yours.  I get very annoyed with myself at how quickly I can fall into a rut of doing things by habit and duty.  It’s time to pinch myself and wake up.

The Lord had taught that crowd on the hillside all day long.  He was probably VERY hungry as well.  Yet He never fed Himself, He wanted to take care of the multitude.  He also wanted to take care of the spiritual need of an individual, Philip.

Jesus KNEW exactly what He was going to do then and He knows exactly what He is going to do today.

You and I need to remember that if God has placed us into a situation He knows why He has us there and He knows What He is going to do with and through us there.

We are never left alone to figure things out by ourselves.  We only begin to fret when we fail to recognize the Master and His power.

Do you need to pinch yourself today and wake up?

Do you need to remember that you are not sitting there by yourself?

Do you need to shake off the doubt that has crept up in your heart?

The Master is not just a famous teacher.  He is the King of Kings.  He is All Powerful and He has everything under control, no matter how much you think is out of control.  God knows what He is doing.  Open your eyes and pay attention.

Jesus satisfied the multitude and then some that day.  Wonder what Philip thought of the baskets of food left over after everyone had eaten their fill?

Think on all the times that the Lord has proven Himself in your life through the years and all the blessings He has given you that overflowed your life.  Hasn’t He been good to you?  Don’t serve Him out of routine and duty, serve Him in full awareness of Who it is that you are living your life for!

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

 

Day 266

STUDY TIME!

(On Saturdays and Sundays my blog posts will give you a verse to study. I won’t give you the reference….you have to find it for yourself. I will then ask you some questions)

VERSE:

“That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.”

STUDY:

  • Who is speaking in these verses?
  • What has just taken place?
  • What is the theme of this verse?
  • Are you walking in God’s statutes and keeping His commandments today?

*** HELPFUL TIP ***

If you do not own a concordance or commentary, try downloading the e-sword app to your phone or tablet. This app can be VERY useful when you want to do a word study or find a verse when you are on the go.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 265

STUDY TIME!

(On Saturdays and Sundays my blog posts will give you a verse to study. I won’t give you the reference….you have to find it for yourself. I will then ask you some questions)

VERSE:

“With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.”

STUDY:

  • What does arm of flesh mean?
  • Read II Timothy 4:17
  • What are you relying on today?

*** HELPFUL TIP ***

If you do not own a concordance or commentary, try downloading the e-sword app to your phone or tablet. This app can be VERY useful when you want to do a word study or find a verse when you are on the go.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 264

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14)

This blog has been dedicated this year to the idea of us taking time to dwell in the Lord and His Word.  But today as we “dwell” we are going to look at a time when Jesus came to dwell with us.

The word John uses for dwelt in verse 14 has the idea of pitching a tent.

Pitching and dwelling in a tent is something I know quite a bit about.  This year I have spent my fair share of time pitching a tent with my husband while we travel from church to church.  Sometimes we are at a campground for a couple of weeks.  Sometimes the campground we drive up to is so creepy we wonder if we should have looked further for a better one!  Overall, I am not in my element camping because it is not my favorite thing to use a public toilet and shower.  I don’t like getting up in the middle of the night and walking by flashlight to an old wooden building that is full of bugs and mud while a skunk waddles nearby.  I don’t enjoy flicking caterpillars off of my shoulders and hair every few seconds while making sure they haven’t dropped into my coffee.  It isn’t easy to get dressed for church and run from the tent in the rain to the van.  And sometimes I lay on the blowup mattress and wonder if my back can handle another night.  But I do it because of Brazil.  Brazil is worth everything to me.  I will go through temporary uncomfortableness because there is a place and a people that need to hear about the Lord.

The Lord came and dwelt here among mankind in human form.  We call that incarnation.  His divine presence took on the form of flesh and it was with a purpose.  The tabernacle was a picture of this in the Old Testament.  It was a transportable tent, not very illustrious on the outside, but filled with beauty on the inside where the Holy of Holies was and only the Priest was allowed to see.

John writes of the Lord and His incarnation in such a beautiful way in today’s verse.  He knew Christ on a personal level and describes how he viewed Him….full of grace and truth.

Jesus took time to do a work that could be performed by no other here on earth.  He took this time and suffered the cruelest of hardships and He did it for one reason.

Us.

How precious of a thought to think that the Most High God thought you and I were worth everything.  He loves you and me in a way we cannot fathom.

I want us to end this week thinking and dwelling on the thought of how much Christ loves us and how that ought to motivate us to thank Him with our lives and our service for this up coming weekend.

You are loved.  Period.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 263

“And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?”  (Luke 24:17)

If you have time right now, open your Bible to Luke 24:13.  Read from there to the end of the chapter to get a full look at what happens when Jesus does a little explaining.

I am fascinated with the stories of the resurrection.  I know it isn’t Easter time right now and most folks are looking forward to Fall and Christmas, but I just haven’t been able to get away from the resurrection this year.  It is a moment of perfect, redeeming victory for all of us.

In the verses from 13-31, there is such a beautiful picture painted of what happens when we talk to the Lord and allow Him to answer.  These two disciples have just left Jerusalem and are talking as they walked toward their village.  I can picture them going back and forth wondering if everything that they had believed in concerning Christ was wrong.  They didn’t know Jesus had come up alongside them and when he questions them about what they are talking about, they are more than happy to bounce all their thoughts off of Him.  He listens without interrupting (I LOVE THAT). Jesus listens to us and all our crazy observations and feeling and disappointments when we talk to Him!

Of course, Jesus always instructs in the RIGHT way though.  We should expect that of Him.  Jesus calls these two disciples fools.  This just makes me chuckle.  I wonder if He rubbed his brow and shook His head as He said it?  Did He stop his walking for a second in incredulity at their lack of discernment of the Scripture?  I really wish I could have seen this exact moment.

Just after Jesus calls them fools, He doesn’t berate them but He does something that really stuck out to me.  He went straight to the Word of God for His response to their account of recent days about the crucifixion and His own death.  He starts at Moses and teaches a Bible lesson right then and there on their walk.

Looking at this account, it makes me realize that when I am in doubt about things in my life I can and SHOULD go to the Word for understanding.  I can spend a whole lot of time chatting things over with a buddy or I can turn my attention to the Bible and allow It to truly help me.

Jesus does everything in perfection doesn’t He?  Do you think there would have been a more perfect way to respond to His friends and followers than to point them to the Word?  Then why don’t we follow His instruction as well and go to the Word too?!

You can read all the blogs and books you want, but nothing will ever help you as much as reading the Bible will.  Read with understanding.  Read prayerfully.  Most importantly, READ.

Who is with you on your walk today?  Are you considering the fact that Jesus is listening and waiting to tell you something?  Are you more concerned with ruminating over the events of your lives than you are believing in what the Word has to say about them?

Jesus will listen to you today if you have to talk some things over.  He may call you foolish for your unbelief, but don’t get your feelings hurt because He is about to teach you what you need to know and point you in the way you need to go.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 262

“And they remembered his words,”  (Luke 24:8)

Last year some time I was reading through Luke and when I came to this verse I stopped and wept.  I am a visual person and imagine what is going on while I read.  I could envision the women hurrying to the tomb with their spices and ointments to do one last service for their Master.  They had probably gotten up super early and gathered everything up that they needed before meeting each other to walk together to where Jesus had been buried.  The Bible says they were perplexed when they didn’t find Him there.  They were afraid when the two men appeared and questioned them.  (If that had been me, I probably would have fainted dead away)

Then we come to verse 8 when the women remembered Jesus’ words.  I can see their mouths hanging open and their eyes looking around as they recounted in their minds when Jesus said He would rise up again.  I wonder if their cheeks flushed with embarrassment that they had expected to find His body?

The important thing to view here is that they REMEMBERED Jesus’ words.

I get very caught up in my life’s “going’s-on” don’t you?  Sometimes we live in a whirl wind of routine and schedules doing what is demanded and expected of us as women.  We are all flexible and capable workers in our homes, ministries and business.  We pride ourselves on being problem solvers and duty keepers.  We run our lives with as much efficiency as we can (and the lives of those around us sometimes) We give our all.

But if we are not reminding ourselves of what Jesus said in His Word, we may end up doing something that is not needful.  Remember Mary and Martha?  Mary did what was needed.

What do we need to remember today?  What has Jesus said concerning us, our family and our lives?

I can think of a few verses to meditate on:

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  (Psalms 46:10)

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”  (John 14:18)

“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”  (Luke 12:7)

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”  (James 1:8)

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”  (James 1:19)

“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”  (Romans 16:20)

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 15:58)

There are a lot of things to remember to guide our daily lives and thoughts.  Let’s remember what He said!

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri