Stranger or Lord?

The setting – Three days had passed. Jesus had just been crucified. Two men were on the road to a village called Emmaus. The story unfolds in Luke 24:13-35

On the road to Emmaus, the men were grieved. They were reasoning and conversing when Jesus drew near to them. Jesus draws near in suffering and sadness and searching, but in this grief they couldn’t recognize him. Jesus was a stranger to them. We often are clouded by our own feelings. As a result, we cannot see the reality and truth.

The stranger asked “What are you discussing?” They explained, are you the only one who doesn’t know these things that have happened; the tragedy, the grief? He answers “What things?” Jesus presents the questions so they can talk it out and search it out and be responsible for what they believe. Where is our perspective? Are we focused on the feeling and clouded by a feeling? It might be the very thing keeping us from seeing Jesus.

They explained all the events that had transpired over the past 3 days. They explained that Jesus was a prophet and that they had hoped that he would be the One but he was betrayed captured and crucified, and now they are saying there is an empty tomb but Where is Jesus? Suffering and sacrifice was not in their plan of how it was all suppoesed to happen.
The stanger said, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Don’t you see the Messaiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” The stranger began to show them everything in scripture.
Jesus was standing in flesh and blood and yet they didn’t even know and recognize him as he was walking and talking with them. This is a clear indication that you can know a lot about Jesus and think you know him but if you don’t acknowledge the cross and our need and own brokenness we won’t be able to see Jesus.
Our foolishness comes out when we trust our own ways and not His. “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

The men pressed the stranger to stay and have dinner with them. They felt a pressing need for him. And so the stranger stayed. He sat at the table. “Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them.” The two men immediately recognized him! Its Jesus! They were able to then place correctly the feelings that they had.
That great need they felt drew Jesus in and when he broke bread as a symbol of his body being broken for us they saw Jesus!
We recognize Jesus at the cross. There is no other way to see him. His body was broken for us because of our sinfulness. We must be crucified with him. Our old self must be put to death so that Jesus can live in us and through us.

Where are you on the raod? What mile are you on?

Are you in deep grief? Are you asking questions?  Are you confused? Do you see the empty tomb but you don’t see Jesus? Do you feel the need for Jesus? Have you broken bread with Jesus? Have you been to the foot of the cross? Have you been crucified with Christ? Is you heart burning as you search and seek?

My Soul Cries Out, “At Last I’m Whole!”

My soul cries out
lack of self,
redeem myself.
It cries again,
heal this pain
just love to gain.
And still again
full of wonder
as strong as thunder.
And once again
take my heart
a brand new start.
Release my soul
that I may fly.
Let not thy wonder
pass me by.
Much to gain
and naught to lose.
My self desires
I bid goodbye.
My soul sings out
a brand new story;
full of love, full of joy.
It sings again
with not a word
yet still is heard.
And still again
I can feel.
I know He’s real.
At last I’m whole
just ask my soul.

Original poem by Johanna Russell

God’s Dwelling Place

1 Kings 9:3 I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

Describe the kind of home you would like to be for Him:

Pure / Clean
Full of love
Sweet fragrance
Giving / full of gifts to give
Clutter free – get rid of distractions
colorful / personality showing Jesus
Always welcoming / hospitable / open door / House of service
Bright / Shining His light
thoughtful / organized….everything in its proper place
Stress free / anxiety free 

Lord, I pray today that you would wash this house, deep clean my soul. Fill me with love and sprinkle Your sweet fragrance so that all would sense your Spirit. Lord, I give all that I have. Let this house be your house of gifts, providing blessings to all those around me. De-clutter this dwelling so that there is less of me and more room for you. Color the walls of this house. Let the personality and gifts that you have given me sparkle for you. Let me be an open door to your Spirit, welcoming Jesus, treating all those around with heart of service. May this house shine with the brightest light of Your Son, so that in whatever darkness may come, this Light will never be extinguished. Father God, renew my mind and organize my thoughts. Put them all in their proper place. May I always put you at the front. I will serve you always in this house. I know that you will supply my needs. There is no need for stress or anxiety when you rule in this house. Thank you for being owner of this house. Praise the Lord now and forever!
In Jesus name,
AMEN

Kiss the wave

“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me into the Rock of Ages.” Charles Spurgreon

I ran across the incredible quote and it struck me so profoundly. Life is a series of waves; some are small and mellow, others are giant and can seem like we just might drown. The good news is Jesus is riding those waves with us and each crash of the wave pushes us deeper into the Rock.

We can’t avoid the waves and if we look at what each wave is doing to us and in us why would we want to avoid it? I want to be closer to the Rock! I don’t want to be drifting far out in the middle of the ocean aimlessly.
To get closer to the Rock, I have to get ready for some waves! They may be uncomfortable and seem frightening, or they could be exciting and exhilarating.
Thank you Jesus for riding the waves with me and bringing me closer to the Rock of Ages.

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The Crave. The Experience. The Joy.

I have often thought, why do some people who by outward appearance follow Jesus, not have a strong desire for him–by outward appearance I mean, church goers, religious exercisers of the sorts. I grew up in church. I was a religious exerciser. I had plenty of head knowledge of the things of God, and I am very thankful for that because I believe that was the seed being planted, but this alone is not enough. Like in the parable of the sower, the seed can be planted but if it does not take root it will fall away, it will be choked by the thorns of this world. A seed craves water and sunlight to thrive and grow and not be choked by the weeds. You could give the plant gatorade but it will not grow. You could give a seed many things but there is only one way it will grow.

The crave is in every man. This yearning inside that just won’t stop is in everyone. We crave the only source that will satisfy, and that is Jesus. One way and one truth is not a far fetched thing. Our whole universe is operated around a system of a one way organization; just like plants will not grow properly but through one way. It seems more far fetched that we could all be satisfied by different ways and systems.  We all crave one way through Jesus, but some choose another way, and then another way, and another. The crave is never satisfied and we end up a restless soul. St. Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until it rests in you.”

The experience is Jesus. We could know a lot about him, even respect him, even call ourselves followers of his teaching, but have we experienced him? Knowing about him and respecting him, and even following his teachings in and of themselves won’t satisfy. We have to experience him. We do what he says because we love him not because we think thats the moral thing to do. Our desire for him will grow as we experience the person of Jesus. The devil in hell knows more things about God than most people but this does not mean he desires him or loves him. How do we get to experience Jesus? We first experience him when we see ourselves for who we really are, wretched soul, empty, dying, deprived of the One who fulfills. We continue experiencing him when our chief goal is to give all glory to God, and when we continue to ask as the apostle Paul said, “What do I have that I did not receive?” God reveals himself when we let him have his way, and we put to death our own way. There is only one way.

The gift is Joy. We have to fight our carnal desires every day, and with the grace of God enabling us  to fight the good fight, we will know what it means to have fullness of Joy. Jesus warned, “the thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and and have it to the full.”John 10:10 What does the enemy want to do? He wants to kill the craving for Jesus, steal the experience, of Jesus and destroy the joy of Jesus. Don’t let him have his way! Fight! Fight! Fight! Put on the armor of God and seek only Him. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. AMEN!” Philippians 4:19,20