May 2, 2012
Today's Passage: John 20
Hi, I'm Bob Lamkin. Today is the 22nd anniversary of the day my daughter, Elyssa, was born. Happy Birthday, Elyssa! I remember that day well as it was one of the most amazing days of my life. It was a day filled with wonder and amazement as Lisa and I waited for Elyssa's arrival. When I finally held the precious gift God had given us, I was overwhelmed, and I remember shaking almost uncontrollably. Our lives would never be the same. It was a day that changed all the rest of the days that would follow.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher). (John 20:15-16)
The truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is amazing and wonderful. When you encounter the risen Christ and personally claim the truth of the resurrection as your own, the truth will come with the power of God, and it will change everything you thought you knew.
WONDER AND AMAZEMENT -- A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE RISEN LORD
The first Easter, the day that changed every day to follow, came just as Jesus had predicted it would. He had said that He would be raised up in three days (John 2:19-22), but even those closest to Him didn't know what to make of the empty tomb. Hearing the news, John and Peter raced to see the evidence. Peter entered the tomb first and saw the burial linens, but it seems he didn't fully grasp the situation.
A short time later, Mary Magdalene was the first to encounter the resurrected Jesus. She was in such a state of despair and weeping that she didn't even recognize Him until He called her name. That evening, the disciples had gathered and, although they had heard the reports, it wasn't until Jesus appeared in their midst that they understood and accepted the truth. And it was eight days later when Thomas was finally convinced by a personal encounter with Christ. Only John seemed to believe what he was seeing at the tomb (John 20:8).
For a long time, I didn't get it either. I didn't understand. I knew of Jesus and His death and resurrection, but I hadn't yet personally encountered Him. I was like Mary Magdalene, confused about who He was. I was like Peter, unable to make much sense of it all. What I knew of Jesus affected my life very little. I did not fully grasp that He loved me so much that He had given His life for me personally. I did not fully grasp that He desired a personal relationship with me. I knew of Him, but I did not know Him.
When my own personal Easter finally dawned, and He called my name and revealed Himself to me, I finally understood and rejoiced. The gospel traveled the longest eighteen inches in the world -- from my head to my heart. That day, I personally met and recognized Jesus for who He is, my Savior and Lord. For me, that was the amazing and wonderful day that everything changed.
HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!
1. Do you know Him? If so, do you remember the time when you first met Him? What was it like for you?
2. Do you know Him? If so, how is your relationship with Him? Are you close? What do you need to work on to be closer?
3. Do you know Him? If so, are there people in your sphere of influence who need to meet Him? Are you ready to introduce them to Him?
4. Do you know Him? If not, why not cry out to Him now, confess your need for Him, and proclaim your willingness to follow Him? He will answer your prayer.
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
John 18 – Acts 2 (April 30 – May 4)
Read Acts 2:41-47.
• This is the early church. Discuss all the things they were doing together.
• How is this similar to your church today?
• God calls us to be in community together. Parents share with your kids what community looks like in your life.
• Then discuss how community looks for your kids. What friends are they "sharing life with"? And talk about what it looks like to really live in community (e.g., sharing the good and the bad, meeting together regularly, serving the needy together, helping each other when you are in need, etc.).
Activity: Make a list of some of the most important people in your community. Think about something that you can do for them to let them know you are thankful to have them in your life (e.g., bake some cookies and leave on their porch, write them personal thank-you notes, or throw a movie night at your house).
May 2, 2012 09:07:42 AM
Bob, the story of one's personal salvation never gets old. Thanks for sharing it in such a personal way. Is anyone out there in Journey land on the fence? If so, Q#4 is a great invitation to join the best club you will ever belong to. It's free and last for eternity.
May 2, 2012 09:31:57 AM
I loved the way you connected your bio to your devo, Bob! As you marvel at the Lord's resurrection, I am reminded of the way some Watermarkers clap when we're singing about Him overcoming death and rising again--how I LOVE that! I also appreciate how John spells out his purpose statement for his gospel in v. 31--"but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." He NAILS the truth that Christianity is not a pie-in-the-sky myth invented by men, nor is it a collection of sappy warm and fuzzy feelings. It's an evidential faith, a REASONABLE faith, that makes sense, holds together, and explains all the parts of life. And this is on TOP of the reality of a personal relationship with the risen Lord!
May 2, 2012 09:34:39 AM
Grace and peace, Bob! This Chapter in John is filled to the brim with all kinds of possible oberservations, but I agree that the core truth is the impact of the Risen Christ. And that would make the important question: Have you encountered the Living Lord personally, and believed? I answer with resounding joy... YES, YES, thankfully, gratefully YES! Thanks, Bob, for cutting through the other facets of this chapter to bring us to the awesome truth... that when you have encountered the Living Lord for yourself... everything changes. It does, you are right. It did for me, and will for anyone who believes. You know... I can't even imagine what I would do had I been there... in the tomb, at the cross, near the resurrected Christ, but I can live with the same crystalized truth reflecting from my life. All who have trusted Him can do the same. He is the same Christ, just as real and alive today, just as pertinent, just as RISEN FROM THE DEAD as that 1st Easter. John 20 is current GOOD NEWS, not yesterday's OLD news. I agree with you, Bob, Jesus' Resurrection fills me with Wonder and Amazement.
May 2, 2012 09:42:04 AM
Thanks, Bob! Great questions.
May 2, 2012 10:16:11 AM
Bob...What a great word for us today. Your central truth is one of my favorites...I'll be setting that one aside. Thanks, too, for pointing out that John was the one who saw most clearly. You can always tell who has been loved by the truth. Seers are always the ones who have most thoroughly repented and so feel the most loved and increasingly see everyone and everything the same way their Creator/Savior does. It's a blessing that those who see Him (Matt. 5:8) want to share..and I'm so thankful for the seers in my life who do!
May 2, 2012 10:37:52 AM
I'm blessed by the many ways, head and heart, I see you sharing the gospel of our risen Savior. Thanks for your devo this morning Bob.
May 5, 2012 03:47:40 PM
Bob, Great to get to know you and your story. Keep growing and changing yourself as you assist others to grow on their spiritual journey.© 2007-2013 Watermark Resources • www.watermark.org • built by innerecho