Happy and Blessed New Year !
I am so comforted by John 11! When all seems lost...when life is hard...when time seems to have run out...JESUS COMES.
What a wonderful message for a New Year!
John 11 -- The dead will rise again!
OH, WOW! Situations are really cranking up in my Journalist John’s account of Jesus life!
John reminds me so much of a newspaper writer. He captures conversations and situations with a keen, sharp report in his Book of John. As a journalist myself, I am so excited to read John's account!
Soooooo..... Here we go. Be sure to read John Chapter 11!
Remember - in John 10 -- there was our Good Shepherd - The Jews were ready to stone Him.
-- Away He goes to the area where John the Baptist ministered. Many believed Him there!
But, life goes on and problems are everywhere.
Remember Mary & Martha? I LOVE their story. I am so much like Martha. I run around, worrying, planning, and fussing sometimes!!!! In Luke, Chapter 10, Martha was hosting Jesus in her home. Her sister Mary was sitting at Jesus feet listening to every word He had to say.
Needless to say, Martha gets angry at her sister. She needed help. She asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her.
Jesus stops and lovingly talks to Martha.
I have to smile -- I like to think of Jesus putting his hands on my shoulders (like He did Martha!) and saying, “Laurie, Laurie (Martha, Martha) -- you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed …Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be take away from her.” -- Luke 10
Mary sat at the feet of Jesus -- Martha served. Nothing wrong with that, but Martha missed an opportunity to LISTEN!
In John chapter 11, however, it is some time after that Jesus visit. A terrible thing has happened. Mary & Martha’s brother Lazarus has died.
What’s worse, Jesus did not rush to the rescue. Basically, Jesus let Lazarus die. BOY - that was confusing to the sisters!
When Jesus finally gets to the sisters, Martha runs up to pour her heart out to her friend:
Just check out the following conversation. Jesus words are perfect here:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” -- John 11: 25-27
I am so proud -- MARTHA got it right! She believes in Jesus! She does not know it, but Lazarus is about to come back from the dead!
Do you have a situation you think God is running late on? Have you asked and asked and not heard an answer?
Is there something dead in your midst and you have given up all hope? Are you hoping the new year will bring the answer you need?
Every person has questions he or she wishes Jesus would move faster to answer -- make things clearer -- take the pain away -- SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
Jesus may be waiting for a reason.
Are you learning to depend on Jesus in the depth of your despair? Think about it.
Lazarus was dead, smelly and closed off in a tomb.
The girls had cried, grieved and probably given up.
Notice the shortest verse in the Bible:
Jesus wept. -- John 11: 35.
You see, Jesus is so connected to us, he grieves with us. What a beautiful, touching gesture!
THE REST OF THE STORY:
Sometimes, we just don’t know what direction Jesus is moving us to … until we get to our destination and look back!
Things may seem dead and without hope, but Jesus is there beside us. Perhaps He cries when He sees our despair -- BUT He always brings us LIFE -- not death.
I’m glad I’m a Martha who believes.
In spite of my flaws, I see ultimate hope in the RESURRECTION -- THE LIFE : MY JESUS!
This is a new year. This is a new opportunity. If you have not already done so, I pray you have stopped and asked Jesus to come into your life and take over.
That, my friends, is truly the beginning of life.