First Monday in Easter

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 19:19 (NIV)

It’s Monday! Did you wake up this morning with the same joy that you had yesterday humming Because He Lives??? I think Easter Monday speaks most clearly to me about walking every day in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Holy Week is a time when I do spend time reflecting on the magnitude of what God did for me, His daughter, one He loves. THAT is enough to make me tear up – which I am doing as I write this! I read the gospels and I think how writing just these devotions brings such sweet memories of how Jesus has touched my life and brought me through so much. Not just brought me through but gave me the sight to see the victory of having Him in the circumstance. I bet that’s how Matthew, Luke, Mark, and John may have felt! And on days when things are tough, as I write, my faith is boosted as I look on the FAITHFULNESS of God. He IS faith!!!

After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. John 19:20 (NIV)

Jesus shows us how He obediently walked the path in the plan that the Father had for Him. Despite the wounds that came along that path, He ended in victory! It didn’t look like it would at points along the way, did it? BUT God brings His children to victory when they follow Jesus’ example in obedience. OH, dear brothers and sisters, our life with God is simple we just don’t always make it easy! Every day – every day we must spend time with Jesus, looking at His hands and side. Look where He put His hands – lovingly ON people, reaching out to people, picking UP people with His healing touch. Look at His side – look where His heart was drawn. His heart was drawn to those who didn’t get much attention from the ‘important’ people. His heart was drawn to children – whether they were literally young age boys and girls or children in their faith like Mary who worshiped Jesus in the way she could – with her tears.

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 his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 19:21-23 (NIV)

Jesus gives us His peace…no matter what comes. Jesus breathes His breath of peace on us. That is personal and intimate. Notice however that Jesus does not force the Holy Spirit on us. He urges us, encourages us to receive the Holy Spirit…but it is a choice. And then Jesus gives us the job mandate: spread the Good News of His forgiveness. Tell the world that Jesus paid the price and no matter what has been in each life – Jesus has covered that. How many people do we meet, speak to that have regrets and guilt from the past and it drags them down and holds them back from the joy of their life in Christ? Yes, these are Believers who deep inside do not believe they can be TOTALLY forgiven OR do not want to forgive others. It is a wall between them and God. And may I not be shy to stop right here and allow the Holy Spirit to examine MY life and RECEIVE forgiveness.

Resurrection Sunday is an opportunity to start new. Maybe even better than New Year’s! Making a new turn to live a new life in Jesus – the best ‘resolution’ and with Jesus as my guide and strength – I can do it!

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

“Because He Lives…” Let’s keep on humming that.

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