Our vision of leading people closer to Jesus has most certainly been blurred in the past year. The connections that facilitate leading others have been disrupted. Closer goes against the grain in a world where distance is the operative word. But nothing in our unusual circumstances reduces our need to worship God, the creator of the universe. Stuart gives us clear and practical thoughts about what we have missed, and what we stand to gain, as we encounter God through worship. It’s something we all need to consider.
In Mark, 14:3-9 we read of a woman who anointed Jesus with fine, expensive perfume. She faced harsh and disapproving looks from those present as she did this, and was rebuked for her actions. The stern faces and indignant comments did not stop her from anointing her Savior; she was not deterred. And she worshiped Him.
What stands in your way? What might stop you from worshiping? Could it be disapproval through looks and words? Might you fear the condemnation of others for your worship, or the anointing of your Savior with your praise and obedience?
Do not let barriers, real or imagined, stand between you and the one who is the Way and the Light.
As a kid, we’re asked what we want to be when we grow up. We answer, doctor, firefighter, pilot, teacher, etc. People aspire to be important, reliable cogs in life who bring benefit to themselves and others.
The disciple Peter was no different. His time with Jesus led him to want to be a dedicated and reliable servant. In fact, he was sure he could be that person. But Jesus recognized Peter (like all of us) was prone to mistakes and protection of self.
We all must realize our human frailties and depend on Jesus to cover for us when we fail in life.
In Luke 23:39-43, we read about the two criminals that were crucified with Jesus. The first criminal was indignant and hurled insults at Jesus. But the other one was the total opposite. He is concerned about himself, but it’s because he knows he’s lived a life against God’s laws. He’s dying, and he’s not in a good place with God. He says, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” This criminal saw a king and appealed to him for mercy. He didn’t know much. If anyone had nothing more than faith as small as a mustard seed, it was this man. His faith may have been small, but still he cried out to Jesus and it was enough. And it is enough for us as well. No matter what we have done, Jesus give us the same grace and mercy as he gave the criminal that day.
Jesus is alive! Praise God, Christ Jesus has defeated death, and the tomb is empty! Forever He is glorified! He is our resurrected King, and He is lifted high! His followers had trouble realizing and understanding their friend and savior had come back to life. Even today, it may seem impossible, but the reality of Jesus coming back to life is true and the basis of our faith! Hallelujah, Jesus has overcome the grave. Praise God, Jesus is alive!!