Monday, April 21, 2014
After The Resurrection
I hope you had a blessed Resurrection Sunday. What a beautiful day to celebrate the most amazing sacrifice anyone ever made for us. Our Redeemer lives!
Last week, Christians blogged, Facebooked, and tweeted Scripture, songs, poems, and thoughts on the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. On Easter morning, we reverently and enthusiastically worshipped, then hurried to family dinners, afternoon egg hunts, and of course—after-dinner naps.
Celebrating Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday is easy. As the sun set on Easter, I wondered where our hearts would be Monday morning in the wake of leftover ham, half-eaten candy baskets, and wrinkled church clothes tossed in the laundry.
Over two thousand years ago, on Easter Monday, Christ returned to work—His father’s work. He forgave Peter and then instructed him to “feed my sheep.” Among Jesus’ other activities was the Great Commission given to the eleven disciples.
We are His disciples now—with the Bible and Holy Spirit to instruct us.
"He makes His ministers a flame of fire. Am I ignitable? God deliver me from the dread asbestos of 'other things.' Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame. But flame is transient, often short lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul-short life? Make me thy fuel, Flame of God." ~Jim Elliot, martyred missionary
Celebrating Christ’s resurrection revitalized me, as I’m sure it did many Christians. Beyond that, it’s a reminder of my rebirth each time I enter into God’s presence. Yet, as I grow deeper in my spiritual journey, I’m cognizant of the necessary steps to stay aflame.
If my flame gets diminished during dark moments, when I feel less enthusiasm or challenged beyond my human abilities, saturation with the Spirit’s oil through Bible study and prayer is the only hope for my flame reigniting or burning brightly beyond Christian celebrations.
As you go to the Lord in prayer or sit down for Bible study this week, consider the condition of your flame and how it impacts those around you.
And while we don’t face serious persecution in this country, those seeking to fulfill the Great Commission worldwide do, as well as those who choose to become Christians in hostile countries. Please join me in prayer for Christians suffering persecution around the world. May their flame burn brightly despite efforts from those who seek to extinguish it.
Though I don’t pray scripted prayers often, this simple one written by Jim Elliot has resonated with me through the years. Perhaps it will with you, too.
"Lord, make me a crisis man. Let me not be a mile-post on a single road, but make me a fork that men must turn one way or another in facing Christ in me."
Laura Hodges Poole is a freelance writer with dozens of articles, devotions, and short stories in publication. She is a 2012 RWA Emily finalist, with her Christian novel manuscript placing second in a nationwide field of Christian and secular entries. Laura is also an Associate Editor with Christian Devotions ministry, as well as a ghostwriter/collaborator. Her passion is encouraging others in their Christian walk through her blog, "A Word of Encouragement." She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ Laura_Poole.
© Laura Hodges Poole
Sunrise image courtesy of photokanok/freedigitalphotos.net