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Googling God

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Googling for God

We are in a fallen world.  Isn’t that a normal response and constant for those of us who are raised in and regularly attend church.   As time passes and we get more and more comfortable in church, the less we see this.  We become more insulated from the fallen world.  We are surrounded by Christians, we hang out with Christians, and we see the world through a tinted glass.  We have to purposely step out of those norms to experience the lost and fallen world. 

Can you relate?  Are we so comfortable in our world, that we fail to see the lost and fallen world all around us?  Who do we interact with regularly?   There is safety and comfort in being surrounded by like minded people.  We are herd people.  Quickly, we find ourselves in the herd and not looking around. 

I would like to tell you about a telephone call I received.  A lady called the church and wanted to be baptized.  I realized she was not an attendee of our church and certainly not a member of a church.  She did not know what baptism is, how its done, or how to get baptized, but she felt compelled to be baptized.  My wife and I arranged to meet her.  I was truly blessed to be part of what God was doing in this lady’s life. 

As we talked about Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, salvation, baptism, God’s love for us, and on and on and on…. our eyes filled with tears.  I could see the cloud of confusion leave the lady.  She understood and believed what was being shared and supported in scripture.  I asked if she had ever confessed her sin, asked for forgiveness and accepted HIS free gift.  She said yes.  Armed with the information from our conversation and a portion of her story, I asked how she knew what needed to happen.  She said she “looked it up” and had prayed two days prior.  “Looked it up”  “Looked it up”…..really?  God pursued her, showed her love, and called her to Him.  Googled God, I hadn’t heard that before.  I thank God, He led her to call Glen Meadows. 

The lost and fallen world is around us.  There are people seeking Him.  Some of those people know no one that can lead them to Him.  How impersonal is a Google search?  What information is out there - good or bad?  We have to be alert and looking for opportunities to share His love.  We have to be His witness and be available to be the personal Google search that points to God.  When someone interacts or sees us, our lives should draw them to “click here for more information/download.”  If they are “searching” your life, will they be drawn to the TRUTH?  Are you Googling the lives around you to share the Truth?  It starts with a simple “search” that can result in a whole new world/Kingdom.     

Act 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 

in Hope

Easter

In the Old Testament, perfect and spotless lambs had to be sacrificed to atone for human sin. In the New Testament, Jesus, the Lamb of God, willingly shed His own blood as a final sacrifice, taking away the sins of the world. In John 19 Jesus had just been brutally beaten and crucified on a cross, fulfilling multiple prophesies from the Old Testament.  His body was mutilated yet not a bone was broken. After His death, He was taken to a tomb where He laid behind a large stone guarded by Roman soldiers.

Typically when we pick up a biography and read it through, the end of the story comes at no surprise with death and burial. But Jesus’ story isn’t finished at death. Being fully God and fully man, He continued with the miracle of resurrecting from the dead three days after His burial. This true historical event is the climax of the gospel message and an essential doctrine in the Christian faith. It has even been proven by non-Christian historians and eyewitnesses that all the events in the New Testament about Jesus’ resurrection are true. The empty tomb is God’s voucher to us that the full debt of our sins and the sins of the world have been paid.

Let’s look together at the Resurrection story and see the impact Christ had on the Mary.

 


 

John 20:11 -16

But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’s body had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“Because they’ve taken away my Lord,” she told them, “and I don’t know where they’ve put him.”

14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus. 15 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?”

Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve carried him away, tell me where you’ve put him, and I will take him away.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

Turning around, she said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”— which means “Teacher.”

Can you imagine? Mary broken, distraught, perhaps even hopeless, is standing outside the tomb crying. Jesus, the one who had changed her life and brought hope to hopelessness is gone, not only dead but now missing.

All of us have experienced the tragedy of loss. We’ve lost family members, friends, even prominent world figures. When experiencing these losses we remember the times we shared with our loved ones, we reflect on the contributions they may have had on our lives (both good and bad) and we mourn their present and future absence on our lives. Here, on earth it is a final, we will no longer see them living, breathing or talking. In addition to all these emotions Mary also had stood by and watched helplessly as Jesus suffered and excruciating death before her very eyes. Most certainly, for Mary, all hope was lost.

Then it happens, the impossible becomes possible, Jesus standing, alive and talking to Mary. At first Mary doesn’t recognize Jesus but then Jesus calls her by name. Just take second today and let this soak in…. Looking at Jesus she did not recognize Him but when she heard Him call her name she knew at that moment it was Jesus! It was Jesus!! IT…WAS…JESUS!!! He’s alive!

  John 10:27 says “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.”  Mary knew the Masters voice and has just gone from the pit of despair to the the pinnacle of life…she’s the first to see our risen Savior, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Mourning has turned to joy!

Can you imagine? Every year we celebrate Easter. How do we remember, reflect and rejoice the Good News of Jesus Christ. Let us pray to have the same sheer joy that must’ve overwhelmed Mary. JESUS IS ALIVE!

Posted by Jim Booth with

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