“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb…”In her grief, Mary is at the tomb. She is there early, in darkness. The resurrection light dawns on her before many others. Jesus speaks powerfully into her life, because she is there, at the tomb, on the first day, early, in the darkness. Where are you these days in your life? Do you seek the Lord in the high places, in the exuberant celebrations, in the noise? Sometime we find him by the tomb places. He is risen! Resurrect us Lord!
“Jesus said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find a catch.'” There have been times in my ministry in which I have felt like nothing good was coming from my efforts. Sometimes, I’ve felt a nudge from the Lord to “throw the net” somewhere different, finding fruit elsewhere. Are there places you feel ineffective in ministry these days? How do you decide when to let go and when to be persistent? – Guide us, Holy Spirit, when to stay the course and when to move on?
“for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” We live in a day in which we value many shades of grey and living color; it seems so limiting to have just two ways. There is a fundamental orientation of our heart however; we lean toward God or our own will and ways. Which way is your heart oriented these days? Holy Spirit, Spirit of truth and mercy, search us, reveal the truth of our way, and lead us in the way of the righteous, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Love is foundational to the keeping of God’s commandments in the Old Testament and in Jesus’ summarizing the law and purposes of God in the New Testament. Why is love the best? How does it bind all the other virtues together? There is much talk of love in the culture all around us, how is this love we are called to here similar or different than how the term is used elsewhere? Help us to love, Lord Jesus!
“Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” God calls us to exercise self-control over our feelings. As Christians we are not controlled by our feelings, but by the Spirit who teaches us all truth. How do we discern the difference between our feelings and the movements of the Holy Spirit? Can our feelings of peace or unrest be the barometer of our decisions and actions? – Give us wisdom, courage, and an honest, open heart to discern your ways Lord, that we may think, act, and feel as followers of Jesus.
“Son of Man, can these bones live?” There are times for all Christian leaders when vision looks more like dry bones than vibrant life. What in your life and ministry looks like dry bones? What would you need from God to convince you that new life is possible? – Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these, that they may live.”