I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, Iâ€™m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted Godâ€™s church.
But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on meâ€”and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1 Corinthians 15:3-11 (NLT, my emphasis)
I hope when I have moved from this life that my children and grandchildren and those I have loved, including you guys in this devotion group, will know that I passed along to you the â€œimportant stuffâ€ of what God has shared with me.
My relationship with Jesus is the single most important â€œthingâ€ in my life. What Jesus did for me â€“ coming from being totally God to also be totally man so that He could provide the only atonement that would allow me to live with my LORD forever â€“ is the beginning of the mystery that I live in every day.
It’s a miracle. Why would You care about me, LORD? (Psalm 8:4) I keep messing up and You keep staying with me to pick me up and dust me off and teach me more. Like a perfect parent, You want nothing more than for me to succeed in the plan that You have for me. You give me whatever talents I need. You encourage me.
It’s a depth of love. If I live to be over 900 years like Methuselah, I do not believe I will ever grasp the depth and breadth of God’s love. Every time I turn around, there is something new to learn. Open God’s Word at any page and there is another facet of how God loves us, His children. If I think that God can’t possibly â€œtake me backâ€ and love me, read about Hosea and his wife, Gomer. The gospels will share with me the words of Jesus to His disciples so that I know examples of how to serve.
It’s to be shared. Jesus not only told me to â€œGo!â€ but He showed me how to â€œGo!â€ and what to do as I was going. He said that He was there not to receive glory for Himself but to point everyone to the Father (John 8:28-29). Paul rightly says that Jesus and His atonement through the Cross is seen as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18) because it is about sacrifice and submission. For me it is not about debating or arguing a person into a relationship with Jesus but living my life in a open way that others might want the courage and strength and love and joy that I have found in Jesus Christ.
Jesus was seen by over 500 people as a risen LORD. And from that core group of believers the Word has spread throughout our known world. And yet there are so may who still do not know the truth of who Jesus is. The â€œunvarnished Truthâ€.
This is My Desire by Reuben Morgan, sung by Michael W. SmithÂ