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Now What?

April 11th, 2015

“Did not our hearts burn within . . while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32 NKJV.

It is possible to know the apparent facts without recognizing the applicable truth.

My thoughts and comments today ask, “Now what?”

Horrific things can happen in life. At times, you may have more questions than answers; questions that are disconcerting and most begin with, “Why?” The more you struggle to make sense of the inexplicable, the less they do. At such times, it seems like every plan you previously made is now in disarray. What you once were sure about feels uncertain. Life doesn’t always go smoothly and tomorrows are rarely what you expect. Bewildered and shaken, you might ask yourself, “Now what?” Maintaining emotional and spiritual equilibrium is essential when life seems uncertain.

Days earlier, churches gathered somberly but gratefully to honor the sacrifice of a sacred life, and then days later gathered in celebration of our Savior’s miraculous resurrection. Before dawn, Gayle and I joined thousands of worshippers for an Easter service on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s Capital. The songs, prayers, and sermon were even more inspiring than the radiant sunrise over the Capitol. But Easter Sunday has passed. “Now what?” Dare we return to life as usual?

With your heart, feel Paul’s spiritual  passion as he penned the words, “That I may know Him in the power of His resurrection.” Philippians 3:10. Since college, that has become my “life verse,” and sincere prayer. I hunger to know God to the extent of my ability and His grace. Be assured, Paul is passionate about a personal, experiential knowledge, well beyond mere intellectual information. Intellectually, Paul knew about Jesus and thought Him troublesome. But on the road to Damascus, Paul discovered the Lord Jesus Christ in a more transforming and personal way than he ever knew was possible. Read Acts 9:1-9/18.

I appreciate the added clarity of the Amplified Bible, “[My determined purpose is that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His person more strongly and clearly], and in that same way, come to know the power outflowing from His Resurrection, [which His Resurrection exerts over believers].” Philippians 3:10 AMP. You can only know Jesus intimately and fully when profoundly experiencing, “the power outflowing from His Resurrection.” Also Read 1 Peter 1:3-9 NIV. His Resurrection truth will impact your life now and eternally.

The very afternoon of Jesus’ resurrection, two discouraged disciples left Jerusalem, returning home to Emmaus. They heard the reports of the empty tomb, but could not reconcile the facts they knew with the truth of His Resurrection. Read Luke 24:13-35. The events of the past days were devastating. The One they had loved and followed had been cruelly crucified and privately buried in a guarded tomb. They must have wondered, “Now what?”, as they wandered back to their old lives and livelihood.

It is possible to know the apparent facts without recognizing the applicable truth. The truth and power of His Resurrection had not yet dawned in their hearts. Life without resurrection life is woefully inadequate. “While they conversed and reasoned, Jesus drew near . . but their eyes were restrained, so they did not know Him.” Vs.15-17. The facts they knew blinded them to the truth around them. When Jesus was revealed to them, they said, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Vs 30-32. Truth abounds in the infallible, eternal Word of God. Read John 8:32-33.

Truth is transformational. “That very hour they returned to Jerusalem saying, ‘The Lord is risen indeed.’” When truth grips your heart, you want to share it with others. Vs. 33-35. Where truth is celebrated, there Jesus appears. “Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and said, ‘Peace to you.’” Vs. 36-49.

Today, my prayer for you is that you know and love the truth that releases life abundant and eternal.

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