Matthew 28:9 ” Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him.”

The women had just left the empty tomb when they were confronted by the risen Jesus.  They did not flee but rather fell prostrate at His feet.  There will be a time in all our lives when we too will come face to face with Jesus…and the decision becomes ours…do we turn our back and run…or do we worship at His feet.

Colossians 1:6 ” All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”

The Good News of Jesus is for everyone.  It needs to be scattered lavishly and with abandon across the face of the earth.  It needs to flow freely and without hindrance from the four walls of every Church… out to the hurting and lost world.  So why doesn’t it?  Why are we hoarding this treasure,  just allowing it to circle around and around the confines of  our Church rather than setting it free?  Jesus Christ did not tell us to keep the Gospel Message to ourselves…storing it away deep inside, letting no one else hear it.  No, quite the opposite, for in Mark 16:15  Jesus says, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”  The Good News of Jesus is too wonderful…too powerful…too prolific to just squander away.

I Corinthians 10:12 ” So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.”

Here Paul was warning about idolatry and falling into temptation.  Probably the most conceited thought a Christian can have is, “That couldn’t ever happen to me!”   It’s when you think your “beyond” being tempted…that it’ll sneak up behind and bite you.  I’m sorry, but no one is immune to temptation and smugly thinking you are above it is only setting yourself up to fail.  We all need to be on guard and wary…for our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)

Philippians 3:10-11 ” I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

These scriptures beg the question…”What are You asking of me Lord?”  Foremost, Jesus is asking for commitment.  Not just lip service, or Sunday only acknowledgement… No, He’s asking for sold-out, unwavering determination to follow Him no matter  the cost.  Jesus is also asking for  conviction.  That’s a gut belief that He died on the Cross and rose again for me so that I may have eternal life.  Then too, Jesus is asking for conformity.  He wants me to become more like Him.  Finally, Jesus is asking that I give up control.  Now this is probably the most frightening but the most freeing request of His…For to go deeper with Jesus means releasing command of myself and trusting Him more.

Philippians 3:8-9 ” What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

You may think you live a blameless and upright life, but it will never measure up before God.  It’s not until you recognize that you can’t save yourself.  No amount of right living and good deed doing will save your soul from hell.  That’s because the only way to God is through Jesus…the only way to salvation is by believing that Jesus died for your sins…the only way to heaven is by uniting yourself with Jesus by faith.  And this saving faith will never disappoint  as you learn to trust in Him.

I Corinthians 9:22 “…I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”

Here the Apostle Paul was showing that he sought to find common ground with whoever he met…whether Jew, Christian, slave, master, weak, or strong in the faith…in order  to preach the Gospel to all.  Unfortunately as a people, we generally  look for petty differences and disagreements than seek out things that we share.  But if we would take the time to think about it, we have much more in common with each other than we can disagree about.  Finding common ground with one another can also be easier if we ask ourselves this question first…In the eternal scheme of things, does this matter?  Sure, there’s some non-negotiables…but really, the vast majority of stuff we fight about makes no difference at all.

Hebrews 11:6 ” And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

When we’ve been betrayed by someone we love and trust…it takes a long time to let down our guard and trust again.  We want to trust, but we draw back in apprehension that we’ll just get hurt again.  It’s kind of like two porcupines dancing…desiring the companionship but afraid of the quills!  But when we put our faith in Jesus…when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us.  And in that coming near God, by prayer and cherished fellowship with Him, we are assured that God will never leave us or forsake us…for we learn He loves us with a never-ending love.