Do you look for the Lord? This story stirred while singing He Lives on Easter Sunday. I stood on the shore at Topsail where a cross towered above the huge crowd gathered for the sunrise service. The sounds of the sea and multitude reminded me of Jesus standing on the shore of Galilee teaching and preparing His sheep for his departure. When the service ended, we walked down the beach and watched the sun rise over the ocean. Looking back, our footprints reminded me of the poem with only one set seen; Jesus was carrying (you, me, anyone) going through tough times. With the sun rising before us and a full moon lingering in the sky behind us, God’s grandeur gave me goose bumps. How awesome is our God! His love rose up in my heart with every step I took. The Lord was everywhere I looked with seagulls soaring, waves rising, people walking, pelicans fishing, dolphins playing, and a huge hole of water that touches other lands. These things came from our Creator who cares about everything He created. He loves and longs for each of us to commune with Him, to look for Him each day, as He gives opportunities to do His work and share His love with others. Looking for the Lord is wise, but our foolishness and little faith make us miss many opportunities to walk and talk with Him.
The stories I have felt led to write about people rising up reminded me of the song we sang at the sunrise service. The words to Arise My Love echoed in my heart, “The words creation had been longing to hear. The sweet sound of victory, so loud and clear. Arise, My love. Arise, My love. The grave no longer has a hold on you. No more death sting- No more suffering. Arise…Arise…my love.”
Words from Arise My Love rang freedom from the enemy and hope for eternity. The sweet sound of victory vibrated from earth to heaven with love for a Son who did arise. The Easter story is filled with people who did see the Lord. Imagine being there with Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, Joanna, Peter, the ten who were terrified, and Thomas, who doubted until he saw the holes in Jesus’ hands.
Most intriguing is the story of Cleopas and his friend talking about all that had happened while walking home to Emmaus. Jesus appeared on the dusty road and went with them. He asked why they were so sad. They thought He must be a stranger, not knowing the news about Jesus of Nazareth, ‘which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.’ Luke 24:19
They talked and walked together but did not recognize Jesus. They told the story of His life; He told them they were ‘fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ Luke 24:25-26
It was Jesus’ turn to talk, telling them all the scriptures concerning Himself from Moses to the cross. They arrived at home and asked the stranger to stay. Sitting at their kitchen table, the Lord took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened, and they knew him. Then, he vanished out of their sight.
The two men sat in disbelief, wondering how their hearts could not have burned inside while he talked and walked with them all afternoon. Yet, they didn’t beat themselves up and go to bed in misery. They arose the same hour, walked the seven miles back to Jerusalem, found the eleven, and told them the Lord truly had risen. They chose to share the good news. The choices we make, make the difference in blessings or burdens, heartache or happiness, loving or loathing throughout life! Telling the good news of a Lord who loves and longs to share a personal relationship with His children, rings heavenly bells that vibrate joy within the hearts of everyone on earth who hears.
As their story of him breaking bread and their eyes being opened unfolded, Jesus stood in the midst of them. Imagine being among those who saw his hands and heard his words before he ascended to heaven! They were terrified; he eased their fears and asked, “Why are ye troubled and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?”
The Lord knows thoughts arise in our hearts also. There will always be things that cannot be understood or explained. Our walk with the Lord is sweeter when we think on things that are lovely. Being grounded in faith and trusting as we obey is the only way to be happy in Jesus. Words from a popular hit song, ‘don’t worry - be happy’ bear much truth. Happy
Christians bring people into the fold much quicker than those who condemn and complain. Walking in faith and telling the good news is pleasing to the Father.
Jesus told those gathered that day, when He was about to ascend to heaven, the same message meant for you and me. The Bible will be fulfilled. When we are looking for the Lord and believe, our eyes will be opened to understanding. Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. If Jesus said it, we should be looking for him every day while being doers of the Word.
I believe God is calling ordinary people to rise up and do extraordinary things to glorify Him. We read of people in the Bible called by God, touched by Jesus, and blessed because they believed and stood up for the Lord. Taking action instead of sitting on the fence, as Pilate did, is not pleasing to the Lord. He despises lukewarm Christians, worshipping and witnessing when convenient or seeking self glory.
His story of raising up ordinary people to proclaim Him as Lord was broadcast Easter Sunday. How amazing that Tim Tebow preached Easter morning to a crowd of over twenty thousand. His message honored God who gave him gifts to excel in this lifetime and the gift of eternal life in heaven. God got all the glory from this young athlete who proudly bends his knee and bows his head in reverence and thanks to his Creator — with all the world watching. Oh that good news would be shared over and over by the media as is bad news.
Are we sharing the good news or sitting back with folded arms and silent tongues? Every person reading this story has been healed in some way and received blessings untold. Do we tell our good news or whine and complain about our lot in life? Do we dwell on the good or accentuate the bad? A phenomenal Christian quarterback in the spotlight for great plays and faith in God inspires people to do good and believe instead of do bad and doubt.
God raised another ordinary person up as a great golfer who won the coveted Masters title on Easter Sunday. This young man, never having lessons to teach him the skills many work a lifetime to master, stood tall and carried a big message to all the nations when victory came to him. He sported his green jacket and proudly proclaimed glory and honor to Jesus Christ who arose on Easter Sunday. His interview with media prepared to pick him to the bone, brought smiles to believers. He told of his love for Jesus, life, his wife and new son, and being himself without craving fame and glory. Anyone could see Bubba was the real thing. They didn’t trip him up or confuse his childlike faith and innocence. I praised God as he spoke words of life and truth. How refreshing to see Christian people rising up in excellence to exclaim, “I love the Lord; He gets the glory”! Surely, He walks with them and talks with them along their paths each day. They are looking for him and he is there.
Are you looking for the Lord? He is among us every day, giving opportunities to share the good news and be doers of His Word. He is looking for people with passion and drive like Peter possessed, ready to rise up and declare that He is Lord and Savior. Is the Lord looking for you? Answer his call and cast your cares on him. Life is good when we look for the Lord wherever we go, whatever we do.