Seeking Early

Location: Camden, Maine, United States

Monday, April 17, 2006

Well, It's Over!

Another very busy season of planning special services, extra practices for the choir, more details for the various social events, is all over. Another "Passion Week" has come and gone. Now what?

I find it amazing how that people who do not normally come to church want to come on "Easter", I prefer Resurrection Sunday. It doesn't seem practical. Here are people who could care less about Jesus, yet want to come to the "celebrate" , I prefer worship, the very event that causes most unbelievers to stumble -- the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, don't get me wrong, I am glad they come, for that day at least. It is another opportunity to present the Gospel and the truth of the Resurrection. So we praise the Lord.

But now that it is all over, what is there?

Peter sums it up probably more perfectly than anyone else. 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Will you consider Peter for just a moment. Of all the disciples, excluding Judas, Peter must have been the greatest disappointment during the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. He boasted to Jesus how that he was ready to die with Him, he would never leave Him, he would not falter one step. Yet he failed so very miserably.

I think one of the saddest moments in all the events leading up to the crucifixion was the night brave Peter denied the Lord. There he is sitting around the campfire, when a young girl questions him to which he angrily curses and denies the Lord. Three times he denied him. And as the cock began to crow, Luke tells us that precisely at that moment, Peter's eyes and the Lord's eyes met.

Brave Peter, “I will never deny you.” Yet when he does, the dear One whom he had promised, heard every word. How sadness must have gripped the heart of the Savior, and shame must have gripped Peter’s.

The Scriptures then say he went out into the night and wept bitterly!

Now let’s fast track forward to the day Peter is sitting down and writing this first letter that bears his name. It doesn’t take more than a few sentences until he begins to speak about resurrection. He says by God’s Mercy we are born again to a lively hope. Did anyone experience mercy so great as Peter did? He denied the Lord. It is one thing to sin a sin and receive the mercy of God for forgiveness, but He denied the Lord! Yet our God’s rich mercy baths him in forgiveness and hope.

And the power of that mercy and hope is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. Do you see it in our verse? “. . . according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

After his denial of the Lord, we see him running off into the night weeping bitterly, but the next time we see him, he is running into the tomb that is empty of the body of the Lord! Wow! What did Peter’s heart do? It is a wonder he didn’t drop over with a heart attack!

But can’t you imagine the rush of the mercy of God that he felt, yes felt, at that very moment when he realized the Lord is alive!

Listen, it is by the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus Christ that Peter was transformed from the denier to the great preacher of Pentecost! And as he writes his First Epistle, he sets the record straight at the beginning how that the resurrection power of Christ can transform ones life from denial to belief, from sinner to saint, from frightened follower to fearless leader! Resurrection Power can do that!!

What is happening in your life my friend that the Power of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot overcome? Our resurrected Lord is available to you today for all that comes your way. Put your trust in Him! Run quickly to tomb, look inside, He is not there for He is risen just as He said. And if He can come out of a tomb alive -- what can he NOT do for you?

Do have a wonderful day serving our Wonderful Lord, by Grace Alone!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Lead in a Rock"

I awoke to these words of Job for the last two mornings and have felt compelled to write of the certainty of the Resurrection.

We find ourselves at that time of year again when everyone focuses upon "Easter" - chocolate bunnies, colored eggs, and pretty new dresses and bonnets, well at least when I was a kid that was the day all the ladies wore new hats to church. And of course we could hear Bing Crosby on the radio crooning away, "In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it. . . ." Well enough of that.

I'd rather focus upon Resurrection. The Disciples had no problem from religious authorities as long as when speaking of Jesus, they did not mention resurrection. But when they spoke of the victorious Lord who came out of the grave, well, that is when all the furry of unbelief was raised upon the Lord's followers.

It is Resurrection that people object to today. In fact anything biblically supernatural is rebuffed. Man will accept the wildest idea from the uncertain, but to accept resurrection from the Scriptures is thought foolish. Sad.

Job's words were great words of assurance and testimony. It is as though he stops abruptly in his argument and makes a profound statement of faith, for his own reassurance. But the reassurance also belongs to the many generations of believers who follow.

JOB 19:23-27
23 "Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! 24 That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever! 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

His words are written in a book that never will vanish away. And his confidence is absolute though written with a prophetic eye some thousands of years into the future. Profound indeed the thought that death is not the end of all, but rather the beginning! Upon the believers death he shall see his Redeemer!

But what catches my attention is his last sentence, “How my heart years within me.” At this Resurrection holiday, my God grant to us a yearning heart to one day be with our Lord and to see Him face to face! That is the certainty of Job’s testimony, it came out of his very heart!

What catches your heart today my friend? May it be this: I know that my Redeemer lives, and one day should death claim this mortal body, I too shall rise to meet my Redeemer, and ever be with my Lord. With that kind of hope, what can today bring that could possibly derail our faith? Nothing!

Have a wonderful day serving our Wonderful Lord, by Grace Alone!