Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

When Feeling Desperate Jesus is Near

Daily Spirit & Word, 489: Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 4. Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

John 20:10-14 (NIV)
10  Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11  but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12  and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13  They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14  At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.

Good morning my friends, we live in a world of deep despair. People are going through stuff every day and many are so troubled they give up any hope of ever being free from these desperate feelings. The reasons for our despair are many; for some it’s the daily struggle to make ends meet and provide for the family. For others it’s unhappiness at work or the fear of loosing one’s livelihood. For others it’s the break-up of significant relationships with loved ones and close friends.  Like Mary Magdalene mentioned above you may have also lost a love one. It might be that there’s nothing in your life right now to cause you to despair, but you are feeling as if something is missing, there’s an inner emptiness and restlessness.

The impression we get from reading John 20:10-14 above is that Mary is in deep despair, standing outside the tomb of Jesus weeping, she is so upset, heartbroken and grieving, that in her despair she fails to see or notice that God is showing her something to encourage her. Even the presence of Angelic Beings from Heaven should have indicated to Mary that God had something to do with the disappearance of Jesus’ body. It’s like that for many people in desperate times; no matter how hard you try to encourage them, because they are hurting, their soul focus is upon the hurt.

Try telling a man with toothache that the daffodils or forget-me-nots look lovely and the sunrise was awesome; he’ll not even want to entertain the idea of beauty until he gets relief from the pain in his teeth.

It’s the exact same for those who are suffering emotional pain and torment, sometimes even though there’s lots to be encouraged by, they cannot see it because something else has their complete attention, they are absorbed in their grief. This is hard for those trying to help them, because we cannot see their pain.

My friends, if Angels couldn’t help Mary, then don’t think you are going to be able to lift someone out of deep depression either. It takes a supernatural effort to life them for the deepest pits of despair. Jesus was standing right behind Mary, but she didn’t realise. Many people who’re going through tough times don’t realise that Jesus is right there with them. He’s loving them, because that’s part of His DIVINE NATURE. God is LOVE. Even when she turned around and saw Jesus, her grief was so intense that she didn’t recognise Him. She was still looking for Jesus dead body and even asked Jesus where the his body was. Oh my friends, when we’re desperate, sometimes even though it’s right in front of our face, we don’t perceive that Jesus is with us, that He’s trying to show us something to encourage us and build us up again.

Mary Magdalene really loved Jesus and that’s why she was grieving, her grief had blinded her to the reality of Jesus being right in front of her nose. For everyone who’s in despair today, Jesus is with you by His Holy Spirit. No matter what the cause of your despair is, know that he’s consistent and faithful to His Holy Promises. “He’ll NEVER leave you or forsake you”, “He’s with you and in you”, Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age”.

Listen afresh to the Divine promises of God in Isaiah 43:1-3.

Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)
1  But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3  For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.

For all of us, no matter what our emotional state at this moment in time, the above passage is medicine for our soul. God want you to know my friends just how much He loves you. His is an everlasting love. We all experience love from people and have been let down when they didn’t love us like we expected, right? Well my friends, God’s NOT like that, He’ll never let you down and when you pass through the troubled waters of grief His Holy Promise is “I WILL BE WITH YOU”.

Mary Magdalene didn’t see it until the Lord Jesus called her name, look at the Isaiah passage above, “I have summoned you by name”. When God called you into a relationship with Jesus, He called you by name, you are His, He chose you, He’s calling your name again this morning and He wants to be with you and heal you and help you.

Points to Ponder

  • Are you in deep despair? Do you believe that God’s love can overcome any pain or hopelessness you are facing? Is there someone you could ask to come and pray with you?
  • Have you noticed any patterns in your life where similar circumstances consistently cause you to feel down or depressed? How can you increase your awareness of the presence of Jesus? I’d suggest some of these things, they work for me every time: Prayer, Praise, Worship, Bible Reading and Study, Fellowship with fellow saints regularly, Fasting, Getting alone with the Lord and talking through my problems with Him.
  • Finally, do you know anyone who is currently in despair? Take some time to pray for them and ask the Lord if He wants you to be His hands and feet to be with them and to show them that Jesus really cares.

Prayers For Day 4 of 40 Days With Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to reaffirm my commitment to You. I choose to put my trust in You today despite what I am facing or how I am feeling. You know every broken place in my life. You are immediately aware of my hurts and you keep track of all my sorrows. (Psalm 56:8). Lord Jesus, because you became a human being just like me, fully human in every way (Hebrews 2:17), I know that You identify with what I’m going through. Open my eyes Lord to recognise You in the midst of my brokenness, I’m trusting and believing today that if I seek You with all my heart, I will find You (Jeremiah 29:13). Now, I thank You that You are looking for me too. With Your tender love, so come and lead me from despair into hope, from anxiety into peace and from brokenness into wholeness. Amen. 

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40 Days With Jesus: Day 4: Jesus Presence for Your Despair.

Life Overcomes Death

Jesus Victory Over Death

Daily Spirit & Word, 488: Life Overcomes Death.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 3: Life Overcomes Death.

Good morning my friends, I’ve just come back into the study after being out in the garden for prayer. As I reflected upon last night’s Street Evangelism and the people we met and had discussions with, I’m filled with excitement, expectation and wonder. We talked before going out about the meaning of being ‘Born Again’. We had a little tract to give to people and though it’s a phrase many Christians use every day, it’s my experience of regular ministry that most don’t know what it actually means or how a person gets born again. All they know is that it’s an imperative, that unless a person IS born again, they cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It was good preparation, because the conversations we had with people enabled us to engage them on a Spiritual level rather than merely focusing upon reason or argument. The best conversation I had last night was with a dedicated / devoted young Muslim man. We got chatting about the real meaning of Easter and Eternal Life and after inquiring, he explained the Muslim’s hope for Heaven. We gently shared that we believe that Jesus is God and that we who believe and trust in His death upon the Cross can gain assurance that we have a place in Heaven from the moment we trust in Him.

When we think about Mary Magdalene’s first encounter with Jesus and the first two disciples; Peter and John, we’re going to see some of humanity’s greatest fears blown out of the water. Sorry, that’s the Submariner in me speaking again 🙂 But one of the greatest fears human beings have is that DEATH is approaching and though we try to avoid it as best we can, there’s really not a lot we can do about it, because history proves that TEN out of TEN people will actually die, for those that know what that means, it’s a 100% success rate for DEATH.

If we’re not snatched away into eternity in our infancy, youth or young adult life, then from the age of about 45-50 we’re on the downward slope heading for certain death. Throughout history, in every generation, people have tried various ways to avoid the inevitable. Some have even tried to ensure that they have a good afterlife, like the ancient Egyptians and south Americans who mummified their corpses and provided material wealth and everything someone might need on the others side of life. No matter how hard we try, even with the best anti-aging treatments available, we eventually are hit with the reality we’re all going to die.

Great News For Believers:

The great news for those who believe in Jesus Christ is that we have a hope of being resurrected too. Jesus Christ overcame DEATH and came back to life after dying. However, many argue against Christianity on that basis, “Christians a just living in delusion and vainly hope for something that’s impossible”. But as you look at the historical evidence within the texts of the Bible and some manuscripts from non-believers at the time, you’ll discover that it’s based upon certain facts. The historicity of the resurrection is beyond question the most attested fact in the history of the human race. John devotes two whole chapters to the fact of the resurrection after the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. So my friends, our faith is not based upon wishful thinking or vain hopes for something that might never happen. It’s a sure and certain HOPE, because it’s already happened once, Jesus did rise and the evidence of those who met the risen Lord Jesus shout out the reality. Not only that, but millions of Christians all over the world will tell you today, “I KNOW Jesus”. We don’t just know about Jesus, we actually know Him from experience of walking, talking and being with Jesus every single day. We can’t see Him today physically, because He’s in Heaven, but we can know Him by Holy Spirit who’s within everyone who’s trusted in Jesus and His death upon the cross to wash us clean from our sins.

The Resurrection Was A Surprise

The Followers of Jesus DIDN’T expect Him to rise from the dead. That’s something we can see very clearly from John 20:2-9.

John 20:2-9 (NIV)
2  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3  So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5  He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6  Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7  as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9  (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Mary was on the way to the tomb not to see Jesus but to perform his funeral rites and anoint his dead body. The Disciples didn’t expect Jesus to be alive either, they didn’t understand. So if the RESURRECTION was a hoax or trick, they’d surely have included the certainty that they expected Jesus to rise from death. That’s what I love about the Bible, it doesn’t hide the fact that those we hold up as pillars of the faith today, didn’t KNOW or UNDERSTAND Jesus message or mission even though they’d been with Him for over three years and witnessed his miracles and teachings. This for me is one of the greatest pointers to the authenticity of the Gospel accounts.

Peter an John didn’t hang around to find Jesus, they simply returned home. It was only Mary Magdalene who lingered and looked, perhaps that’s why she was the first to experience and see the resurrected Lord.

LIFE and DEATH

John’s Gospel is filled with contrasting elements; yesterday we looked at Light and Darkness, today we’re touching upon another greath theme that runs through and is weaved into almost every page of his Gospel account; Life Overcome Death. The Gospel begins with statements about Jesus being the source of LIFE and that He is in fact LIFE.

John 1:1-5
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  He was with God in the beginning.
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

 

Then John goes on to tell us about the New Life that we can all have by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord. In many places you’ll see LIFE juxtaposed with DEATH. John 3:16-21. Tells us how we can know that we’ve passed from DEATH to LIFE. There are many incidents that John records where people in conversation with Jesus are given the revelation of LIFE and it’s fullness in Him John 4, John 6, John 10 and John 14. It’s full of LIFE and DEATH, but more importantly how believing and trusting in Jesus we can have both; fullness of life and eternal life in Him.

The Witness Of The Grave-Clothes.

The second fact of the resurrection’s historicity you’ll notice in John 20:2-9 above, is the presence of the grave-clothes. If Jesus body had been stolen or smuggled away as some suggest, then surely they’d have taken the most valuable things as well. Cloth was not cheap in those days, it was a luxury item and it would have been taken too. But the grave clothes were in place, Jesus body was not unwrapped like Lazarus’ was (John 11:44), but his resurrected body emerged out of the cloths without disturbing them. The head-covering was neatly folded.

 The Tomb of Jesus

The third fact of the authenticity of the resurrection is that the followers of Jesus didn’t venerate his tomb like those of other religions do today. That’s because Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb, he’s alive, He’s not there anymore, His Holy Body is gone and is ALIVE today in Heaven. There’s no body here on earth for us to find or worship or venerate. We serve a living Saviour.

Points to Ponder Day 3 of 40 Days With Jesus:

  • Consider the evidence given for the resurrection of Jesus in John 20:2-9. Which fact or facts do you find most convincing or compelling?
  • Are you living in a way that reflects the reality of the resurrection?
  • How do you feel about the fact that because Jesus has triumphed over death, you can have abundant life now and eternal life as gift from the moment you trusted Jesus?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you that You have provided such convincing proofs of Your resurrection. I’m rejoicing now that You didn’t stay in the tomb, but rose from the dead. I’m inviting You Lord Jesus to make Yourself known to me today. Oh Lord, grant me a spirit of wisdom and revelation that I might have a deeper and more lasting conviction of the historical reality of Your resurrection and how You have shown us that Your Life has Triumphed OVER Death, And that Life Overcomes Death. Amen.

Praying for all my friends who follow Daily Spirit & Word today. It’s been difficult to TAG people on Facebook, because when I try it locks me out and I have to enter a new password, they keep reporting my page has been hacked, but I know it hasn’t as it keeps a rocord of login attempts. So I’ll just have to rely upon people’s LIKES and SHARES  😎

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The Light Overcomes The Darkness

Daily Spirit & Word, 487: The Light Overcomes The Darkness.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 2.

 

Good morning my friends, our first meeting of 40 Days With Jesus was last night and it was amazing. God was showing us through those who came and testified that there are indeed many different ways to come out of the darkness and into His marvellous light. Each of us shared our Spiritual journey and how we came to be where we are today. It was good because most admitted they knew about Jesus, but wanted to go a bit deeper with Him. This little course will enable anyone to do that and we’ll all experience new light in our lives by coming to the Lord on purpose.

Some shared their experiences of recent hardships and in coming to Jesus holding onto the hope that there really is some little chink of light at the end of the dark tunnel. The trials we go through can vary in degree of hardship and duration. They can vary in nature too; some shared last night about relational conflict (how we can forgive), some ill-health, some financial pressures. When we’re going through troubled times it can sometimes seem that there’s no hope at all. Just recently we’ve met a few people who’ve actually contemplated suicide.

 John 20:1 “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.”

When John tells us that Mary went to the tomb of Jesus on that first Sunday morning, there’s much more the the DARKNESS than the fact that it was just before dawn. He’s indicating that evil seemed to have triumphed, that darkness had overcome the light. However, even before Mary reaches the tomb, the LIGHT of the dawn had approached and the stone had already been rolled away from the tomb allowing the light to flood into the inner darkness.

In John 20:1-18, that we read yesterday, I think I read it through about six times, but I’m going to be reading it every day this week, we seen in this portion of God’s Word an indication of a theme that’s woven throughout John’s Gospel: Light & Darkness. Darkness representing the kingdom of evil and Light representing the Kingdom of good.

Many movies have this theme running through them; Star Wars, Superman, Batman, X-Men, etc… Even the good old Westerns with the good and bad. I’ll never forget that Clint Eastwood introduced a third term “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” 🙂

In Star Wars the battle is the forces of good combating the forces of evil, represented by the Dark Side of the Force. So John’s Gospel is interwoven with this theme of LIGHT representing Good and God; and DARKNESS representing Evil and Satan.

Let’s just briefly take a look a how John does this:

In the beginning of his Gospel John introduces us to this theme immediately:

John 1:5 (NIV) “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

John 1:9 (NIV) “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”

We know from the context that the LIGHT is the LORD Jesus. Mary would have been devastated that the LIGHT that delivered her from the darkness of evil oppression and possession was now dead and gone. She’d witnessed his cruel death upon the cross and was grieving so much. Perhaps there was a deep-seated fear that now that Jesus was gone, she’d once again become prey to the darkness of evil and demons, that she’d be plunged into the darkness all over again.

Also in John’s Gospel we see the theme again, John 3:19-21 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

We see here some awesome truths concerning the darkness of evil and the brilliance of the pure light of God. Sin keeps us away from the LIGHT, because we’re afraid when we sin. Remember Adam running and hiding in the Garden of Eden when He first sinned against God. Sin will keep you away from God and plunge you into the deepest darkness.

John 8:12  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

So when Mary arrived at the tomb it must have seemed to her that the DARK SIDE had been victorious; evil deeds, evil forces and evil people had seemingly triumphed over the light of the Lord Jesus. However, nothing could be further from the truth as Mary was about to experience when she finally met the risen Lord Jesus. Her darkness of night was about to explode with the brilliance of the first new day of the RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus.

My friends, in coming to Jesus, we’re also brought from Darkness into His marvellous Light. We’ll experience a new hope within our being and like Mary our griefs and feelings of despair from our trials and tests will turn to the deepest joy. Jesus is with everyone who trust in Him until the end of the age. That’s HIS promise, let’s grab hold of it today and be encouraged by believing and trusting that these trials are momentary and soon we’ll be delivered from the darkness to triumphant light of God’s glory.

My friends, when Mary Magdalene reached the tomb of Jesus, all must have appeared darkness and gloom, but the LIGHT burst forth into her life when she met the risen Saviour. You can experience that same JOY today.

 Points to Ponder:

  • Can you think of moments in your own life when you were delivered from darkness into the light? What were the events leading up to this point? Take some time to thank God for His grace and mercy towards you during those times.
  • Are there any areas in your life where you know that you are still living in the darkness?
  • Are there any places in your life where the light is on but it’s dim? How would your life change if you began to walk fully in the light of Jesus in these areas?

 Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Light of the world and I take hold of the promise that I never have to walk in the darkness when I am following You (John 8:12). Thank you for calling me out of the darkness into Your wonderful Light (1 Peter 2:9). I reject any lie that may try to convince me that my breakthrough is not possible or will not be long-lasting. Freedom from sin and darkness is mine through You Lord Jesus Christ. I know that Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my paths (Psalm 119:105). Lord Jesus, please direct my steps and show me how to walk in the light. Lead me into the freedom you won for me on the Cross and keep me there Lord. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 2 The Light Overcomes The Darkness.

Come back tomorrow for Day 3.

40 Days Home Page: Don’t forget you can watch the Video anytime you like during the week. I’ve watched it a few times now.

 

 

A Surprising Encounter

40 Days With Jesus: Day 1

Daily Spirit & Word, 486: A Surprising Encounter.

40 Days With Jesus:

Week 1: Day 1.

John 20:1-18. A Surprising Encounter

 Good morning my friends, I had quite a frustrating day yesterday, I tried to post first thing in the morning as normal, but discovered to my horror that Virgin Media still wasn’t working. I contacted them, and got the same message but with different times for it to be fixed. Here’s the message, “There is a problem in your area with Television and Internet, we have identified the problem, an engineer is on the way, the problem should be fixed by 1.00am, …” Then after 1.00am came and went “9.00am”, then “4.09pm”, then “2.06am”, then “16.24” WOWzer, funny how they can be so specific about the times, each time, when the Engineer is still on the way 🙂 Made me laugh and a bit annoyed at the same time. However, it’s NOW up and running again after 48 hours without internet or TV, and I still don’t know why or what the problem was. 

Yesterday, I was going to introduce you to 40 Days With Jesus, a new course we’re running in church for those who, after Easter, were interested in getting to know more about the Christian faith and to help those who’ve yet to discover Fellowship Groups to be part of one for a very short time, and also to prepare those who want to be Baptised this year. It might be quite a large group 🙂 I’m hoping!. The 40 Days with Jesus is all about those people in the Bible who encountered the risen (resurrected) Lord Jesus and what impact that had for their lives and for the community of believers in the first century of the Christian faith. (I’m posting the introduction on the Website). The little booklet we’re using is very cheap and readily available for download, with great questions and also a video to watch every week. “40 Days With Jesus, by Dave Smith”. Also available on Kindle.

 Day 1: A Surprising Encounter.

Over the years I’ve had quite a few memorable and surprising encounters with people. I’ve met the Queen (Queen Elizabeth ll), I’ve met the Queen Mother, Rod Stewart (Pop Singer), Rod Stewart’s Girlfriend, Rick Warren, Billy Graham, Freddie Starr (Funny Comedian). In 1988 I met my soon to be wife, that was a meeting that has changed my life and continues to be a real blessing, but probably my most surprising and life transforming encounter I’ve ever had was when I met the Lord Jesus Christ. I didn’t expect Jesus to be real or alive or knowable or that He’s want anything to do with me. I thought people who were religious were born that way, and I most definitely wasn’t one of them (I’m still not). But when my wife wanted to get our little baby girl, Abigail, baptised we started attending a little church in Plymouth, called St Budeaux Parish Church. In those days 1984, it was packed full of people, young families and lots of teenagers, we felt at home quite quickly, but I didn’t want to keep going or to become like the people there, I just wanted the baptism done then I’d be on my way. However, the minister at the time asked us to attend for three months, he visit us at home and then after preparation he’d baptise the baby. We agreed, then over the next few weeks I discovered Jesus was real. I knew from observing the people in the church, they had something that I didn’t have, I could just tell, and though at that time I didn’t want it, I wondered what it was. Each week the message seemed to be about my life, my questions, my fears, my sins, my everything. It was as if the minister could read my mind. Slowly but surely I began to know that Jesus was real, but I didn’t want to become a Christian. The Minister asked me every week on the way out of Church, “Are you a Christian yet?” I said, “No!” every time. Then one week he asked me something different, he said, “Donald, you do know that Jesus wants you to be a Christian, don’t you?” I walked away saying, “Yea, Yea sure he does”… But it was that question and everyting else playing on my mind, “If Jesus wants me, what does He want me for?”… My friends, Jesus speaks in so many amazing and wonderful ways. I was beginning to read about Jesus in the Bible by then and it jumped out at me: God answered a question and it was amazing, embarrassing and surprising all at the same time. I know Jesus was definitely alive, but I wasn’t ready yet to become a Christian. It took a few more weeks of attending church, joining a Bible Study and the Lord Jesus speaking, challenging and opening me up, until I was ready to repent of my sins and receive Him as my Saviour. However, I knew long before I finally submitted that Jesus was most definitely ALIVE.

 Mary Magdalene.

We’ll be taking a look at Mary’s encounter with Jesus this week, but today I want us to consider that Mary, a woman, was the first follower of Jesus to actually meet the risen Lord. This is a surprising encounter in many ways. You’ll notice as you read through John 20:1-18 that the disciples; Peter and John (the closest friends of Jesus whilst he was on earth, the one’s you’d probably expect to see Him first) they ran to the tomb, but they didn’t see the risen Christ. All they saw was an empty tomb and the linen cloths that Jesus dead body had been wrapped in when it was taken down from the cross. No my friends, it was Mary Magdalene who lingered at the tomb, with tears running down her face and kept on asking the question, “What have they done with the body of my Lord?” She was looking for Jesus dead body, but Mary was the first person to discover that He was actually raised from the dead. Mary Magdalene, an prostitute who’d been delivered from seven demons was the first person to encounter the resurrected Jesus. Why?

 Dave Smith doesn’t touch on this in the booklet, but I’ve been thinking about it. Mary had been forgiven and delivered from evil. Remember what Jesus said about a person who knows how much they’ve been forgiven and how grateful they’d be? Luke 7:36-50 Jesus anointed by a sinful woman. Jesus said about her Luke 7:44-47 “Then he turned towards the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45  You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

“Those who recognise how much they’ve been forgiven love lots, but those who have only been forgiven a little, love little”

 Do you see it my friends, Mary Magdalene had been forgiven so much, we have too, but we don’t often realise the seriousness of our sins, that each sin we commit is enough on it’s own to keep us out of heaven forever, but Mary had been a harlot a very obviously sinful person and she had been delivered from seven demons too. My friends, when you realise just how many sins you’ve been forgiven for, you’d be as devoted to the Lord as Mary Magdalene was, you’d be at the tomb lingering, weeping and crying and determined as she was, to find the body of your Lord and do what needed to be done. She got far more than she bargained for that day, Mary’s surprising encounter was with the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. Mary was the first to meet with the risen Lord Jesus.

Points to Ponder:

  1. Are you convinced of the resurrection of Jesus? What difference would it make to your life and to the world at large if it really were true?
  2. What is your response to the idea that the risen Jesus wants to meet with you? In what ways would you like to meet with Jesus over the next 40 Days?
  3. When have you encountered the presence of the Living Lord Jesus before? How did it impact your life?

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I realise that by asking about the implications of the resurrection for my life, I must be prepared to hear the answers. I cannot be the same and I don’t want to be. I long to know You and meet with You. Take me on a journey over the next 40 days. Help me to be brave enough to respond to the things that you are whispering to me. Breathe Your life into any part of me that is currently lifeless or lacking in energy and spirit. Then move me forward by the power of Your Spirit in ways that only You can. I pray this in faith. Amen.

 

God bless and I’ll hopefully be back again tomorrow, God willing and Virgin Media keeps up and running 🙂

I’m praying for you all today that you’ll actually meet the resurrected LORD Jesus Christ in a Surprising Encounter of your own. Amen.

Don.

  John 20:1-18

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
2  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
3  So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.
4  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
5  He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.
6  Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there,
7  as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.
8  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
9  (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
10 Then the disciples went back to their homes,
11  but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb
12  and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13  They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
14  At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.
15  “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16  Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
17  Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ “
18  Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Study Booklet

Study Video For Week 1:

Resources: Scroll down for the Video.

40 Days With Jesus Week 1 Video: A Surprising Encounter.

I would really encourage you to get hold of the little study booklet for this whole course. We’ve got some in Church for anyone who comes along tonight. If there is any left we’ll make them available to the whole church. But you can get them easily here or at Amazon even cheaper. And you can get a Kindle version to read on your devices and phones. The Kindle version on Amazon is just £5.60.

A Surprising Encounter: Day 1 of 40 Days With Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page: With Course Outline and Links to Daily Readings & Weekly Video.