Laura Holland “I Am the Resurrection and the Life”

Sometimes a trip to the grocery store is just a trip to the grocery store. But sometimes it is so much more…

 

About two months had passed since my father’s funeral. I should have been at the point where I wasn’t constantly on the verge of tears. But I wasn’t.

I should have managed a smile every now and then. But I couldn’t.

And to top it all off, a well-meaning woman with whom I was barely acquainted stopped me in the grocery store parking lot and offered her condolences on the death of my UNCLE! I had to shakily correct her and tell her it was my father we had buried, not my uncle. Her heartfelt condolence abruptly changed into a murmured apology and a lightning-speed dash to her car.

I had been praying to God for those two months that He would send me some measure of comfort, some assurance to bolster my faith and cement what I had always known to be true about life after death but was now seeming somewhat weak.

I had continued into the grocery store, eager to beat the 5:00 crowd and get home to put my version of dinner (Stouffer’s) on the table. I froze in my tracks and took a startled breath as I saw a man in the produce aisle who, from behind, looked just like my father. And yes, I was “sore afraid.” (Weren’t there supposed to be angels who came at this point to tell me, “Fear not”?)

As my fear slowly subsided, I found myself walking toward the man, the word “Daddy?” About to leave my lips. Then the man put Brussels sprouts in in his buggy and I was jolted back to reality.. Daddy would never have bought Brussels sprouts!

Still, I couldn’t help but follow the man through the store. I knew the man could not be my father, but he seemed so …fatherly. The resemblance was uncanny, or maybe my desire to see my father walking and talking and shopping made the likeness more real than it was. I didn’t. Care. I wanted to be on this man’s heels a while longer. He turned around, spoke to someone, laughed with the person, and then I knew. I cannot explain it. A feeling came over me that said, “This isn’t the end. What you’ve known all along you still know. There is still life. There is still laughter. There will always be life and laughter.”

Of course the stranger wasn’t my daddy. Ad he wasn’t just a vision. But my daddy was happy. My daddy was all right. I would see my daddy again and we would laugh together like we had so many times before. I am no theologian, but I have enough knowledge to know that right now, my daddy doesn’t have a body like he had, or like the man in the grocery store had on that day. But that makes him no less alive. That makes him no less happy. He is haappyier, having the conversations with jesus that I long to have someday. And if I could beg Daddy to come back, I know. What he would say. He would kindly but emphatically say, “No, I don’t want to.  And you wouldn’t want me to if you knew what I know. But I’ll be here when you get here, and you will love it as much as I do.”

And because Jesus, and jesus only, is now and forever the Resurrection and the Life, Daddy’s new, perfect “never-going-to-have-heart-problems-again” body will someday be joined with his soul that is very much alive right now. And maybe-just maybe-he’ll like Brussels sprouts then!

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

We have come through this season of lent with a range of emotions, but we have emerged exhilarated and victorious because of your love for us – a love which manifested itself in the sacrifice of your Son, our Savior. We know there are no truer, more defining, more comforting words than “I am the resurrection and the Life.” Thank you that through Easter you have done for us what we could never have done for ourselves. Thank you that the words of Jesus are true, and that we can look forward to that day when we are reunited with our loved ones and most importantly will fellowship with Christ through eternity.  Amen.

Advertisements

Carol Inman. “I am the Resurrection and the Life”

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who lives and believes in me shall live even if he dies.and every one who believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? “ John 11: 25-26

Good Lord willing, I’m moving to a new home, sizing down, getting rid of excess things that burden me, I am, swapping my old life style for a new life style more joyous and more care free. It will be a new start. It will be kind of a Resurrected life, if you follow me. A reminder of the resurrection I received when I made Jesus my Lord and Savior and came to know what it is to have life in Jesus.

Just like when I received Jesus, there’s no going back to the old, I plan to stay in my little cluster home,( the good Lord willing and my health holds out .)until the Lord calls me home and I experience the final resurrection and eternal life that started way back when. When He calls me home,I will go upscale for sure, and move once more into a mansion that Jesus has prepared for me.

When I answered today’s question in my life, “Do you believe this?”, and accepted Jesus. I laid hold of this magnificent promise that Jesus gives us today..,I was just 10 years old and I was baptized,died to my old 10 year old self, buried with Jesus ,and raised up with Him to newness of life..And what a life it has been. All the old burdensome things were laid aside and I was the same me living a new life in a new way.

But there is so much more to this earthly life in Jesus. I pray to know the power of the resurrection in it’s fullest, to enable me to live in a way pleasing to God and brings glory to Him. That’s my desire,no matter where my physical residence might be. How about you?

Judy Prater “Jesus Paid it All”

When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Mark 16:19

Because of the resurrection and ascension of our Lord, we no longer are required to take spotless animals to be slain for our sins. Jesus was our spotless, sinless sacrifice.

Many years ago we had a white fluffy pooch. We took her to the groomers in the winter for baths. Honey bear came home white as snow…we thought..until it snowed and in comparison, she wasn’t white at all.

We can do everything right and good and we still are not sinless. No do-it-yourself sin washing, we aren’t capable. Only the blood of Jesus covers our sins and makes us white as snow, and brothers and sisters, that’s WHITE.

An old hymn written in 1868, Jesus Paid it ALL, is in an old yellowed, frayed, shape-note hymnal. Years ago I starred the third verse in that old hymnal:

“For nothing good have I whereby Thy grace to claim,

I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of ‘Calvary’s Lamb’.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe,

Sin has left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.”

Father, we thank you for God’s redemptive work. Keep us close to you. Amen.

Reverend Eddie Herring “Living a Resurrected Life”

 Living a Resurrected Life,  John  11:25-26

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” If we believe in Jesus, we live. Even though we will die one day, we live. Then Jesus asked, “Do you believe this?” Because if we believe Jesus’ words, it changes our life.

We live today and in the future. We have a bounce in our step and a gleam in our eye. Yes, we may get knocked down by the circumstances of life. But when we do, we can get up. Nothing can defeat us. Nothing can separate us from God’s great love.

If we believe this, we need to live a resurrected life. We need to trust God and focus on God, when things happen to us. Don’t fall apart. Take Jesus by the hand and stand on God’s promises. Joseph trusted God. Job trusted God. God was there for them. God is with us as well.

Live a resurrected life for all the world to see. Point the way to Jesus.
Prayer: Jesus, live in me today so that I will be able to radiate Jesus’ love and grace to the world. Amen

Anna Grantham “I Am the Resurrection and the Life”

“Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just case, the triumph of truth.” –Menachem Begin

Even though this quote makes no direct mention to God, it does mention some of the ways that He allows us to see Him. Sometimes I miss seeing God’s love, but other times it is so blatantly obvious that God is at work that I don’t understand how someone could miss it. Menachem Begin spoke of peace, truth, and love, which are just a few of the characteristics we should see in God daily.

In John 4:16, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He mentioned yet another characteristic God allows us to see each day: life. Being able to see God in everyday life is one of my favorite things about being a Christian because not everyone sees and feels God in the same way. I know God is there when I hear music I love, feel the sunshine on my face, and when I see people’s happiness. But the most important, peace-bringing part about being a Christian is that God is always with me; He is my truth and life, and I will dwell with him forever.

Deb Adcock  “I am the Resurrection and the Life”

“I Am The Resurrection and The Life”

John 11:25  Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they may die like everyone else, will live again.”

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.”

During my first year at Reinhardt College, I worked 80 plus hours a week, and was studying in a pre-med degree curriculum. Because it was a private Christian college, I had the opportunity to observe new people in my life who walked great examples of faith filled lives, I would often question, “Who is this Jesus that these people in my life speak of so lovingly and reverently? Who is this Jesus, that no matter their circumstances, they seem to trust and use as a life guide ever steady faithful to the course, even when they couldn’t “see” Him?”

Being the scientist and realist that I am and having had adults in my young life who proved so untrustworthy, there were many difficult questions rumbling around in my head and my heart, but yet a tugging at my heart that I simply could not ignore. I was a self-sufficient, hardworking, and very responsible young lady who helped others. Why did I need an “unseen” Jesus? I had read the Bible growing up; however, I read it more as a literature book, analyzing characters and stor y/plot lines and literary elements. But during this period of time in college, I began to read the Bible seeking answers to real and often difficult questions that life had handed me down through the years, and to attend church and Bible studies regularly to learn more about these things. John 14:6 and John 11:25 were verses I heard and read often, but I had difficulty with personally relating to them.

I remember begging God to “show” me what this was all about, but you have to be careful what you ask for sometimes! I had begun attending church regularly for the first time in my life, and sacrificing one day of income for Sunday church worship and related activities. I was beyond dirt poor and missing four days a month of income could’ve been disastrous to my living needs and educational goals at that time, but due to my faithfulness and God’s “eye” for my other needs at this time, I never missed the money once! What a mighty God we serve!

As the Holy Spirit interceded on my behalf through my prayers, Scripture reading, worship experiences, and other God-wing-touches, the Scripture began to come to life. I continued to pray diligently to fully trust and invite Christ into my heart. Reading Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given unto me,….God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Reading this humbled my “tough” spirit, and I realized that in Christ Jesus I could have that measure of faith and that my own self-sufficiency was nothing compared to what Christ Jesus could give me if I learned to depend on Him and that awesome resurrecting power and Holy Spirit Christ gave after His crucifixion on the cross. A short time later, I accepted Christ into my heart at an old-fashioned altar.

That was in 1986. I still vividly remember the day and testimony I have from accepting Christ. Life has its ups and downs for all of us, but never, since that day, have I ever doubted my salvation, God as my Heavenly Father, Christ as my Savior, the power of the Holy Spirit, or the power of resurrection in multiple ways each provides for our lives. My God is strong enough to handle all we bring to Him, even our questions, and to provide means by which to guide our lives, to show others Christ’s love, and to serve Him with multiple opportunities. Believing in the resurrecting power of Christ gives great meaning to Christ’s words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

The Bible is no longer just a literature book, but the living word of God that is an active part in touching and changing hearts and lives, and Christ and God are no longer just “imaginary characters” someone made up, but instead are personal entities who love all of us sacrificially beyond what words can describe. The Resurrection story started with Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross, and God raising Him from the dead after three days, but the rest of the resurrection story lived in a life through Christ Jesus has the ability to continue in our hearts and lives in life-changing ways every day!

Gracious God, thank you for your resurrecting power through Jesus Christ. Thank you, because of His dying on the cross and being resurrected and the power of the Holy Spirit given, we may find “the way, the truth, and the life” in a world that can often be confusing. Thank you for your amazing grace in forgiving us and loving us. Thank you for the power of the Trinity, the Scripture, prayer times, and worship experiences. May we always seek to follow you with sincere hearts and to embrace the many opportunities you provide to witness and to serve you here on Earth. Thank you, also, for providing Heaven as our home when we have finished our journey.

Stella Arnold “I am the Light of the World”

 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

I sleep with a nightlight every night. I’ve done it all my life. I’m 9 years old.  I sleep with a nightlight because it helps me feel safe and it helps me see in the dark.  It helps me know where I am. My nightlight helps me not fall on any toys when my room is messy.  When my nightlight is not on at night, I feel scared and I can’t see anything at all. I do not like that.

Nightlights are kind of like Jesus. Jesus said “I am the light of the world.” What he meant was that if you worship him and believe in him, he will help you. He will guide you.  He will make you feel safe, he will help you know where you are, and he will help you know the way. Just like my nightlight.
Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for being the light of our world. Thank you for guiding me and making me feel safe.  Please help more people worship and believe in you. And, help us be light to others. Amen.

Kyle Smith. “I Am the Light of the World”

When I was asked to contribute to this devotional booklet and saw the scripture references, I knew immediately that I wanted to write about “the light.” You and I can think of many contrasts, but light and dark are quite obvious. Close your eyes. Now open them. There it is!

There are many references to light found in our sacred scriptures prior to our reading these words of Jesus as he taught in the temple. In the very beginning we learn that “the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep. Then God said let there be light; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1-3) God must have thought light was pretty important!  Later we learn “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9:2b).

What do you do when you enter a dark room? Try to find the light? Or do you carry a light with you? Would you choose to fumble around, not certain of where you are going as you wander in the dark searching for the light? Had you rather carry a light with you into that dark place?

Earlier, John tells us that the “Word (Jesus) was light for all the people and that darkness cannot extinguish that light.” (John 1:4-5). On this day, Good Friday, darkness tried to extinguish that light, but it could not. That light (Jesus) shines today in these dark times and beckons us to follow.  We can catch that light and reflect it to others. 

I cannot help but recall that song I learned in Sunday School many years ago. I bet you know, too. “This Little Light of Mine, I’m going to let it shine.” Make today and every day one when you let your little light shine so others can find the way.

 Oh gracious Father, thank you for providing the light for us to follow. May we share that light so others will follow. Amen.

Virginia Todd “I Am the Light of the World”

From my childhood bedroom window, I could see the beam of Fire Island Lighthouse. The lighthouse itself was seven miles away across Great South Bay and not visible, but the steady rhythm of that beam of light was a comfort.  It was reassuring to know that it was always there.



There are many occasions and verses in the Bible where we are drawn to a physical light.  Think about Jesus’ baptism, or when He appeared after his crucifixion.



In John 8:12, however, we are focusing on a spiritual light.  “I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  I want that kind of life, don’t you?



But what does it mean to follow Christ?  It’s a huge question, with many answers that are both simple and complex.  In the Gospels, we read about His teachings.  Adhering to all of the lessons He taught is a way to follow Christ.  There are so many “laws” to follow to reach the kingdom of heaven.  Would we fall short of doing it all?  Probably!


However, He did make it simple for us with just two main headings:  Love God and love your neighbor.  If we try our best to do both of them, we will not walk in darkness, but enjoy the light of life.



And like the beam from the lighthouse, this light will be steady and never fail.

Jennifer Rewis “I Am the Light of the World”

Are you afraid of the dark?

Considering that question, we might recall a time, in our childhood, when we wereafraid. Did you sleep with a nightlight? I wasn’t allowed to leave a light on, so before getting into bed I had a ritual that made me less afraid. First, I searched the closet, then under the bed. Finally, I’d jump into bed and pull the covers up to my eyes. I was sure that whatever evil lurked in the dark wouldn’t recognize me with my face covered.

Darkness is a scary thing, even to adults, but it’s often a different kind of darkness – a darkness of the heart or mind; a hopelessness or loneliness that darkens our days. A soul that cries out for light. Yearning for a light to illuminate the dark corners of our hearts.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5

This message from the apostle John was preceded by a promise long before.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2



Our hope and our joy is found in God the Father, the Creator. The God of eternity. He has always been, is now, and will always be. We are not alone. In all our circumstances, we can rejoice in Emmanuel, God with us, God who loves us beyond what we can even imagine. He is the light that illuminates our steps, casts out our fears, brightens our hours, and awaits us in all our tomorrows.

Dear Lord, thank you for illuminating the dark places in our lives. In thy name we pray, Amen.