Sharing by Pam Crawford
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21
RISEN INDEED. Now what?
With the Easter remembrance celebrations now in the rear-view mirror, one might ask what now? According to the American calendar we look ahead to Memorial Day. Another opportunity for a day off and a gathering of family and friends. But can we stick with Easter, the resurrection of the Savior, just a bit longer? I truly believe the picture of the empty tomb is relevant to how we live going forward.
The tomb was empty but the One who had been laid in it was very much alive. All throughout Scripture we uncover the mission of Christ; He came to serve [Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45]. I love how Dr. Charles Stanley explains this. In his devotion titled Sent to Serve he writes: “When we look at the life of Christ, we can clearly see that His coming was no accident and His time was not wasted. He lived His life on target. Scripture shows without a doubt that Jesus came to accomplish a goal. Many times in the Gospels, Jesus refers to having been sent by the Father. That word implies focus and intent. Our Savior didn’t stumble upon the earthly scene. His coming was not an accident or a happy coincidence. The idea is not that Jesus just appeared, He was sent into the world for a clear purpose. And what was that purpose. Matthew 20:28 reveals that Jesus came not to conquer, but to serve. His life reveals a clear mission, and everything He does in the Gospels points back to His purpose: to reveal the Father, die for sin, save the lost, and provide abundant life. No matter where He was, who He was with, or what He was doing, the Lord was always mindful of the reason for His coming. What’s more, just as Jesus was sent by the Father, so we are sent by Christ – to carry His message of hope throughout the world.”
As believers in Jesus Christ? How do we carry His message of hope? Personally, I had the answer affirmed to me through the book It’s Not About Me by Max Lucado. He writes: “What would change if we finally found our place – and lived it? For our entire lives we’ve been urged to look out for number one. To find our place in the sun and soak it for all its worth. To make a name for ourselves as if we are the headlines in life’s drama. But what happens when the sweet life we imagined proves to be sour? When our expensive toys break and our work is no longer needed and our bodies grow soft? What’s next when all our efforts to take care of number one leave us feeling unsatisfied and the thrills we were promised turn empty? What would happen if we all took our place and played our parts? If we started living like "Son” reflectors rather than individual stars and suns? If every person’s priority became a divine pursuit, not a performance?” Please refrain from reading on until you let this soak in a moment. What if belief in the Easter message actually became the motivating factor in your life going forward?
When Jesus was giving up His life, beaten and bruised for the transgressions of all mankind; He did two things that stand out to me. One, He instructed John to care for His mother [John 19:26-27]. And two, Jesus interceded for people by asking God to “forgive them because they know not what they are doing" [Luke 23:34 paraphrased]. What an amazing picture of moving beyond one’s own interests to the interests of others.
We have a common bond as sinful people. We all played a role in putting Jesus to death. Because there had to be a sacrifice for the hope of eternal life, God made the way [John 3:16]. Jesus instructed and Jesus prayed, don’t miss that! What I love about the Gospel message is that Jesus saw beyond His own circumstances. He looked ahead to the coming glory that is promised to anyone who places their faith in Him. Jesus lived out the message of forgiveness and service; a central theme of His life, death and resurrection.
“…and forgive us our sin, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.” - Matthew 6:12
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” By faith I choose to move forward in forgiving and serving others however God directs. I don’t have to have all the answers or an abundance of time or ability. Today I am simply stepping away from some of my “busy” to write in order to serve others while my granddaughter is sleeping. When she wakes up we will take a walk out in the sunshine. I cannot do this every day, but when I can it blesses me. Tonight I get to serve at an assisted living home, something I never thought would be inside of me. I cannot do it every day, but when I can it blesses me.
Realizing that this life is really not “all about me” has been life-changing. As God works in my heart, He also provides the time and the means to accomplish His tasks. I love watching Him work. He is so gracious to redeem any bit of lost time in my day. I can’t help but smile at His faithfulness. Now it is true; we cannot answer “yes” to every need out there, that would not be healthy. But, we can say “yes” to be the example of Jesus in the life of another. Ask God to help you discern His plans and purpose for each remaining day that He gifts you to live. You won’t be alone in this, I will be doing the very same thing. As you go forward from the Easter message, find what blesses you and use it to bless others. The world is in need of you.
He is RISEN Indeed! Now what?
In Christ by grace,
What Is Your True Purpose?
Ask Me Why?
©2014 Getting The Word Out. Used by Permission.
©2014 Getting The Word Out. Used by Permission.