Two men headed toward Emmaus. They had just walked away from the empty tomb broken-hearted and discouraged. Jesus’ body was no longer there.
A man came along beside them. He asked why they were so somber. He comforted them with scriptures. He walked with them.
The man was Jesus. The men were clueless.
The men on the road to Emmaus had left the grave of Jesus with their faith in Him rocked. As Jesus came unto them they were completely unaware. Their thoughts were on what they believed to be true, not The Truth walking with them.
As believers we sometimes allow our focus to stray from Jesus to the situations that we are encountering. We allow our emotions to dictate what we believe. We dwell on what we think to be true and totally miss out on enjoying the presence of God.
We will face situations that discourage us. Instead of getting caught up in those emotions stay focused on Jesus. He is with you always, caring how you feel, teaching you with His Word, walking by your side.
Recognize His presence and enjoy the walk.
Originally posted April 25, 2013
What goes on in your head? Are the thoughts you dwell upon God-glorifying, church-edifying, and helpful for your walk with Christ? Or are they not?
Our “meditations” matter. David said in Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”
Not only do the words we speak have an effect, but also what we allow ourselves to think upon. Ask the Lord to help you think only on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous and praise worthy.
Scripture taken from: Philippians 4:8
In the midst of revival great things are being done in the name of the Jesus. He is being worshipped. We become more likely to begin diligently working for the Lord. We are growing in Christ.
The downfall of this is that Satan takes notice. He throws distractions our way. He attempts to get us off track. He tries to stop the growth taking place.
The same thing happened to the Israelites as they built the wall around the city of Jerusalem. These people had a mindset to complete the wall. They were making progress. Satan took notice.
He ridiculed the Israelites, trying to get them to quit. He wanted to see this time of building come to a stop.
Instead of giving up the people prayed and reminded themselves that they needed to be aware of the enemy’s ploy.
Christian—if you’re facing struggles PRAY!! Recognize ploys for what they are. Know that the one who came to kill and destroy is behind anything that will get your focus off of growing in the Lord.
Learn from the Israelites. Pray for courage. Work in God’s strength. See your revival to the end.
Scripture taken from: Nehemiah 4:7-9
Probably most people like to wake up with the thought of having a predictable, peaceful day ahead of them.
But over the past couple of days almost everything that I’ve encountered hasn’t gone the way I’ve planned.
The amazing thing is what I felt through this time: God’s presence which translated into peace. I knew that He was with me and that He was going before me. I knew that He was in control, even though the current situation wasn’t looking too good. I could feel His presence.
Just like the children of Israel as they went to cross the Jordan River.
As they stood on the banks of the river, ark in tow, I’m getting the sense that they weren’t stressing over their situation. Even as the priests’ feet dipped in the brim of the water I would say they that they still felt the presence of God around them. And they allowed His presence to be the source of the peace and calmness they were experiencing.
Then their God showed out and made a way for them. Their feelings of peace were warranted. God had been in complete control the entire time.
Certainly they were thankful for the extraordinary event that had just taken place in their life. It was through this experience that their faith in God had been strengthened. This God filled moment provided them with a sense of security and built a bridge for future generations to be reminded of the glory of their God.
Allow Jesus’ presence in the midst of your chaos overcome you. When you do, not even a rushing river will be able to drown out His whispers of peace.
Peter was the front of a new movement. The Holy Spirit had used him to lead three thousand people to Jesus for salvation. The man was making Jesus known to the world and in the process Peter’s name was being spread too.
But Peter was only consumed with continuing to draw closer to God. He was actually heading to the temple to pray when he stopped to do the work of the Lord and to glorify Jesus. He and John met with a beggar outside the temple. Peter told the man “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
His statement, which was basically “I don’t have what you’re after, but I have Jesus, let me share him with you”, should be an example of what our continued mindset should be: I’m content as long as I have Jesus and no matter what’s going on around me -good or bad- I am going to focus on who I am in Christ.
Scripture taken from: Acts 3:1-6
The first Spirit led revival had just broken out amongst the people of Jerusalem. Peter preached Jesus’ resurrection and the need for salvation. Three thousand souls acted upon his words and became followers of Christ. Then they did as the apostles taught, they fellowshipped with one another and together they continued to praise the Lord.
If the revival that you have sought after has come, you may be thinking “what now?” or “how do I keep this going?”. The Lord uses the first church to teach us where to go from here: allow the Word to guide you, grow alongside someone else, and praise Jesus.
Scripture taken from: Acts 2:41-47
Jesus cursed the fig tree because it didn’t produce the fruit he wanted. Never again would it have an opportunity to live and be fruitful.
The grace that was absent for the tree is ever-present for his people. We aren’t given one chance for success and marked for failure if we don’t do as we are supposed to. Jesus offers us multiple opportunities.. He offers us grace. He is always willing to give us a new beginning.
You aren’t dead. You are living in an opportunity for fruitfulness and abundant life.
Scripture taken from: Matthew 21:18-20
Nearly twenty years after the Israelites first began their revival they finally completed the building of the temple. At the completion of it they sang praises, offered sacrifices and dedicated the temple to God.
I doubt the Israelites thought it would take them two decades to see the results they were after. They could have quit completely but they chose to be revived in the midst of their revival.
Revival for ourselves may not follow the timeline we have made. This can be discouraging for us. The process can be tiring. Don’t neglect to pray for strength, a renewed passion and a desire to see it through. If we seek it God will provide in time.
Scripture taken from: Ezra 5 & 6
You want to go back to Egypt? Seriously? The place that our people were held captive for hundreds of years? Our people were beaten and killed. They had zero amount of freedom. And that’s where you want to go back to?……this could have been Jeremiah’s reaction to the Israelites when they approached him with their idea of returning to Egypt.
To the Israelites Egypt seemed like a logical choice. They thought they wouldn’t have to face war in the country. And there was plenty of food. They asked Jeremiah to speak to The Lord about it. Ten days later God gave the people an answer. He told them not to go. He went on to say that if they did go they would die by the sword and famine, the very things they were seeking to avoid.
God had already brought the Israelites out of captivity from Egypt. He didn’t want to see his people bound by the Egyptians again. But ultimately it was their choice.
The Lord brings us out of bondage from sin when He saves us. He doesn’t ever want to see us go back to it. He has delivered us from our former life and has put us on a new path leading to Him. We shouldn’t return, no matter how enticing it may seem. We need to trust Jesus and His guidance and continue moving forward with Him.
Originally posted April 22, 2013