Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. (Matthew 6:6, The Message)
Lord, I have shut the door, Speak now the word Which in the din and throng Could not be heard; Hushed now my inner heart, Whisper Thy will, While I have come apart, While all is still.
Lord, I have shut the door, Here do I bow; Speak, for my soul intent Turns to Thee now. Rebuke Thou what is vain, Counsel my soul, Thy holy will reveal, My will control.
In this blest quietness Clamorings cease; Here in Thy presence dwells Infinite peace; Yonder, the strife and cry, Yonder, the sin: Lord, I have shut the door, Thou art within!
Lord, I have shut the door, Strengthen my heart; Yonder awaits the task— I share a part. Only through grace bestowed May I be true; Here, while alone with Thee, My strength renew.
Is Easter a chance to go to church and show off your latest wardrobe? A chance for your worship team to show off its talents? A time for your pastor to use his greatest oratorical skills to impress the crowd? Maybe even the opportunity to fill the offering baskets to overflowing!
Most of us would say a hearty NO to the paragraph above. This is a day for us to think about what Jesus did for us. Good Friday is past, and this morning the tomb is empty. The work is finished, and Evil has received its death blow. Hallelujah!
Most Christians will agree with the latter paragraph in general terms. The thoughts may stir us and we may resolve to allow the risen Savior to be our King. But unfortunately, by the end of the week, too many of us will have forgotten all about it. Life will go on as normal.
Is that why Jesus died? And why He rose from the tomb? So that you and I can have an emotional high once a year? I wonder how often our Savior weeps at the callousness of those who claim to be His bride?
I think part of the problem is that we misunderstand why Jesus came in the first place. Did Jesus ever state that His main reason for coming to earth was so that I can escape hell fire? Isn’t that somewhat of a selfish reason for me to serve Him? Just because of what I get out of it?
I think this concept is one of the keys to the fact that so many of us do such a poor job of serving Christ in our everyday life. It is great that He loved us and died for us. But Jesus said that He came to establish the Kingdom of Heaven. He is our King as well as our Savior. So I like to think of Easter as coronation day. Jesus rose to receive His crown. His kingdom has come, not for our benefit, but for His! We love Him and serve Him for who He is, not just for what we get out of it.
Its true that we still live in the shadowlands, as CS Lewis would have said. This is our apprenticeship. Someday, the clouds will roll back like a scroll and He will return to us. Then His Kingdom will take on a new reality. But in the meantime we need to show the world that the Kingdom is real, right now, and that we are serving a new King. The resurrection is the key to this new life of fellowship with our King and His servants.
We need to realize this every morning and through every day of our life. I am a servant of the King. On Easter we rejoice that our King rose, and that this is His day. But every day is a day to rejoice that He has saved us and made us worthy to serve Him.
I’m all alone here this morning. My wife and our daughters and granddaughters went for breakfast together. So I was doing some thinking, and I’ll try to share some of those thoughts.
I’ve noticed that even some Christians tend to lose sight of the meaning of Good Friday. Like Christmas, they just brush it aside as being pagan in origin. Now, I suppose that Easter was first put in place on a pagan holiday to help pagans forget what they used to celebrate on that day. That doesn’t really bother me. What bothers me is the debates and the arguments about the day.
The origin of the day isn’t the only reason some people won’t commemorate Good Friday. For instance, I have a friend who is all into the idea that Jesus was crucified on a Thursday, instead of a Friday. In fact, I know of at least one entire book that was written to “prove” that. And I know of at least one church that won’t have Good Friday services today because of this “fact”.
So what? Can’t we for once lay aside the theological arguments and simply think about what the day should mean to us?
Today is the day that our governments have set aside to commemorate the death of Christ. I think that if we actually stop to think about that, and what it cost Jesus, and the pain He went through for ME, it will help. Satan loves to divert our thoughts into theology instead of reality. He loves to have us over react and brush aside what Jesus did for us.
I remember vividly the time that it dawned on me that Jesus died for my sins. I knew that from childhood, of course. But I mean the time that it hit me with all its reality.
Did you ever stop to think that every sin you have ever committed added to the burden He carried that day?
I haven’t checked that thought for theological correctness. All I know is that when this finally sank in, I had to say “thank you” to Jesus. And, “I’m sorry…”
Too often we don’t stop to think of what Jesus did for ME, in personal terms.
Why not put aside some time this weekend to think of what Jesus’ death and resurrection means for you? A bit of introspection is good for the soul.
My mind was drawn to this song recently and it helps to meet my need this morning. I thought perhaps it would do the same for you. Our experience in the garden walking and talking with Jesus is important, but in the end we hear his call to go out again, and share Him with the troubled souls around us. But I’m so blest that He will walk with me today.
Verse #1 I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses, And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses.
Chorus And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.
Verse #2 He speaks, and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, And the melody that He gave to me, Within my heart is ringing.
Verse #3 I’d stay in the garden with Him, Tho’ the night around me be falling, But He bids me go, thro’ the voice of woe, His voice to me is calling.