Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rethink Jesus: Part 6

Sunday was part six of the “Rethink Jesus” series (the final installment). It was an especially good service. Of course, being that it was Easter Sunday, you come to expect that. It might also be because I, and two others, performed a skit. It was really exciting; and the first drama since the Christmas Eve play! Speaking of which, I hope to get the program I need so that I can upload it to You Tube soon (as well as the skit too).

I really enjoyed performing and using my talents for the Lord!! Dave and Joseph (who are two very talented actors - and just wonderful to work with!) played two disciples. I played Mary Magdalene. The scene was more modern day, though. Joseph was sitting on a stump fishing and Dave came in to ask him what was up. Joseph was down because Jesus had “died” and Dave tried to cheer him up to no avail. They then just talked and expressed their sadness as they tried to cope and ponder moving forward in their lives. Then, I came in all happy and chipper (which isn’t much of a stretch from my own self. LOL Larry, the director, said that it was “type casting.” Ha ha!). Anyways, I tried to talk to the guys and they wondered why I was so happy. I told them the good news - that Jesus is alive - and that I couldn’t believe that they hadn’t heard! They doubted and thought I was being blasphemous. So, I told them to go ahead and fish if they wanted to, but I wasn’t going to waste any more of my time. And, as I left, Dave called me “arrogant” and a “loudmouth” (ha ha) and said that the idea that Jesus could be alive was “preposterous.” Joseph got up to leave and told Dave he was going to see the “preposterous.” I just LOVE that part!!

That is where Chad picked up from. He talked about the “preposterous” fact of Jesus being alive. Of course, is it any wonder that it was hard for the disciples to believe? I mean, it’s not every day that someone comes back from the dead (though, they had witnessed it when Jesus raised Lazarus). They knew it was possible; they had witnessed it. Yet, even then, they had doubts!! So, to squelch the doubts, Jesus ate some fish; to show them that he wasn’t a “ghost” or a “spirit” and that it was He. (Luke 24:42-43)

We all need that sometimes don’t we? We want to see Jesus “eat a little fish” so that we can be sure about something. It’s not wrong to need some proof or confirmation sometimes. If Jesus had to eat a little fish for His own disciples to know and believe who was right in front of them, He can and will do that for you.

That brings things to the next point of the sermon where Chad talks about our “Jesus lives” stories. Everyone who has been born again has one; and they are all unique and have the ability to help others get to their own “Jesus lives” experience when we share ours. So, what’s your story? What kind of fish did Jesus have to eat in order for you to experience and believe Him and surrender your heart? Personal testimonies, often times, are the greatest tools in drawing a person to Christ. It’s not endless proving, arguing, debating, and convincing that will win someone over. Been there; done that. Chad is right when he explained that it’s not always about “the Bible says…”. Hammering scripture into a non-believer won’t always win them over; especially if they don’t understand. The thing that most people DO understand, though, is real life experiences - something that they can relate/connect with. It’s about showing them about who Jesus IS; not just “Jesus was” as pertains to how He is described in the Bible. Jesus isn’t supposed to just be stuck in His stories or back in “Bible times.” Jesus is here now - just like He was then. He’s not here walking the Earth in physical form, but He is alive in us. He doesn’t go to the physical temple to teach, but He lives in OUR TEMPLES and works in us and through us. Within our hearts, we carry the presence of God and that is what fuels us to carry out Jesus’ “great commission” to preach the gospel to the world and share our “Jesus lives” stories. We don’t have to be physical eye-witnesses to all that He did when He was on the Earth. We didn’t have to be there at the cross, tomb, or watching the sky as He ascended to heaven. Our witness to who He was, is, and ever will be is what Jesus does for us in our lives every day! The Holy Spirit testifies with us that He is alive and that His word is true because Jesus Christ still works miracles, changes hearts, and transforms lives!! I know, because He changed mine!! He’s with me ALWAYS - just as He PROMISES - and I see Him working in my life, and others lives, every day!!

Chad talked about amazing stories and events that helped shape his “Jesus lives” story. When the audio gets uploaded on the church website, I strongly recommend that you hear it because they are some amazing personal stories!! I doubt that I could retell them as well as he can. They are HIS stories and experiences, after all. Trust me, though, you would REALLY enjoy them!! They are amazing and inspiring!

All I can really tell you is about are my own “Jesus lives” stories as I write these blogs for all to see. I have probably hundreds of stories and examples that I could share about how Jesus lives and that He’s real because of what He’s done for me and others in my life. One of those instances being the recent passing of my great-grandmother. You know, I could place myself in the shoes of those disciples. In fact, I have had a lot of moments where I have been down, depressed, and sad. Then, I remember the “Mary attitude” of “HE’S ALIVE”. Therefore, life isn’t misery and hope isn’t dead! The fact that HE’S ALIVE means that SHE’S ALIVE TOO!! Because He lives, WE LIVE!!!

Now THAT truly is some good news that everyone needs to hear!! It’s good news that I am reminded of in the moments where I feel like I am not strong enough to endure - whether it’s this, or anything else that comes in my life. But, because HE LIVES, I endure! Because He lives, I have stories to tell!! Because He lives, I have life, joy, and the promise of eternity in heaven (and of seeing my Great-Grandmother and other family and friends again! Well, the ones who knew Christ in their earthly lives anyways). All of this sustains me and gives me something to keep living for!! It also helps me to cope with the struggles and rough moments I have. This is why I keep blogging and sharing. Not only does it help others, but it helps myself as well. God uses the very gifts He blessed me with to bless me back!!

I will close for now, but if you are reading this and thinking about your own “Jesus lives” story, please….remember to share it with the world!! Your testament to the fact that “Jesus lives” can and will bless someone - you may never even know the impact you have!! So…….TELL IT!! God bless you all!!

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