Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011 … The Resurrection: Motive for Service

Passage of the Day: 1st Corinthians 15: 32 … If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." [a quote from Isaiah 22: 13]

My Journal for Today: This month my devotions and journaling in this place have been dwelling in the meditations and study of 1st Corinthians 15, where I’ve been looking at the impact of Christ’s resurrection upon the hearts and lives of Christians. The Apostle Paul in this chapter has made it very clear that there would have been no way he would have been motivated to risk his life over and over for Christ if it were not for the hope of his own (i.e., Paul’s) resurrection, which had become a reality in the faith Paul had invested in the outcome of Christ’s resurrection.

What Paul went through to spread the Gospel message (please go back and read 2nd Cor. 11: 24 – 29) could only be explained by the motivation he had as a result of his encounter and relationship with Christ as well as Paul’s desire to share what Christ had done for him on the cross and the hope that anyone could have eternally by receiving the good news of the Gospel. Otherwise, reading of Paul’s life-changing testimony and his change from Christian killer to Christian zealot would not make any sense at all, would it?

And, my dear one, I really identify with this because prior to my encounter with God on the road to my job on April 13, 1983, which changed my outlook on life forever, I was also one of those “devil’s advocates,” somewhat like Paul, doing all I could to rip the faith from Christians. I may not have tried to kill them; but I certainly tried to do all I could back then to kill their faith. And now here I sit over a quarter of a century later, an ordained Minister of the Gospel, trying to give witness to how motivated I am everyday – like this morning – to spend quality time with my God and then to be a personal witness in my life to the life changing power of the resurrection.

Go back and read the “Hall of Faith” in Chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews or the many stories of the Old Testament patriarchs of the faith, all of whom were driven by their faith and hope, either in the coming Messiah or the reality of the resurrection of Yeshua, The True Messiah, which became the driving force behind the Disciples who were enacting what was written in Acts 1: 8 and/or Matthew 28: 19 – 20, Christ’s commandments to spread the truth of His resurrection, i.e., the Gospel message.

It has often been said, in defense of the truth of the resurrection and of the Christian Gospel message, these disciples simply would not have died, the way they did as martyrs, for a lie; and that is also true for yours truly. I simply would not make myself a living sacrifice [see Rom. 12: 1], giving all of my life unto Christ, if my mind could not support my heart in the matter of the resurrection. I have looked at the facts; and they are replete to support the truth that Christ died for my sins; and God raised His Son, my Savior and Lord – The Messiah – from the dead to allow me to come to Him and one day be resurrected to live with God for eternity.

I pray that you have come, in faith, as well; but if it takes a hearty examination of the facts, you do it! Because the outcome will be as it was for a long list of brilliant men, who took up the challenge to examine the data, men who then were drawn to The Truth, Who is Jesus. If you, like C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, or Charles Colson, who were skeptics, but who were willing to look at the facts as they were, really look at all the evidence, you too will come, as have I, along with these former atheists, to the realization that Christ died for your sins and was raised from the dead so that YOU and me could accept Him in faith, to be filled with His resurrection power, and be with Him in eternity.

My Prayer Today: I will live for You, my Lord, because You died and were raised … for me! Amen

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