Learning From God And Realizing It Later

Read Luke chapter 24. This is the story of Cleopas and his friend who were on the road to Emmaus.

The two men were talking about the recent death and "possible resurrection" of Jesus when Jesus himself came up and walked along with them. But they didn't recognize him. They told him that some from their group had gone to his tomb and it was opened, but they hadn’t seen the Lord.

Jesus explained the scriptures to the men, but they were still kept from recognizing him. When they approached the village, they urged Jesus to stay with them because of the late hour. He went with the men, broke the bread, and disappeared as soon as they recognized him.

How must they have felt, knowing they had Jesus with them the whole time and only knew it was him just before he left? Of course, I’d be elated that I was given the opportunity to visit with him. Wouldn’t you love for Jesus to explain the scriptures to you?

They had just arrived in Emmaus, but they jumped up and went straight back to Jerusalem. Apparently, the late hour didn’t bother them so much then. They were sped along by the new energy inside them from the encounter. The Lord had risen indeed, and they had actually seen him. They had good news, and they wanted to, no they had to share it.

Once back with the other disciples, the men explained what happened. While they were speaking, Jesus appeared there with them.

Can you imagine Jesus popping up at your next Sunday School party and joining in the conversation you’re having about him?

But we have to remember that God is with us right now, wherever we go. And he can explain the scriptures to us. There have been times when I’ve read a portion of scripture and I became awestruck as the words became more understandable. They took on deeper meaning. God reminded me of other scriptures I already knew that related to what I was reading.

God meets us where we are and strengthens us as we seek to understand him better.

So keep seeking him.

To Hear Him Like Mary

In Luke 10:38-42, Martha opened her home to Jesus. Her sister, Mary, sat at his feet, listening to what he said - instead of helping Martha prepare a meal. When Martha complained, Jesus simply answered her with, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Mary knew where to go to hear words of life spoken by God. Many times, our busyness keeps us away from him. Even when we get in our “servant mode”, we can still miss God.

In order to hear from God, we may have to re-arrange a few priorities. Maybe miss a couple of meals. Jesus was able to supply their meal without Martha’s help, but she couldn’t see the possibilities. All she knew was that it takes more than one woman to feed a room full of men.

Setting aside the plans and preparations may be our first step to hearing from God. When he’s ready to speak, we have to be willing to stop and listen.

Thanks, Mary, for setting a good example for us as we continue seeking God.

Written In Stone

I'm sure you've heard someone say, "These are suggestions. They're not written in stone."

We all know something that was written in stone. God crafted the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) without editing and rewriting. He carved them in stone with His finger, according to Exodus 31:18.

But do we treat them as if they were suggestions?

Sure, it's easy to keep most of them. "Today, I think I'll keep the commandment about not murdering."

However, we find a few of them a little harder to keep all the time. What if your parents haven't acted in honorable ways? Is it okay to not honor your mother and father if they've been dishonorable?

This reminds me of the time God wrote not in stone, but in sand. He asked if any of the onlookers was without sin.

Yes, we should obey God. We should honor our parents because God said to. We are not without sin. We shouldn't expect our parents to be. Honoring them in obedience to God is one way to honor God.

When we go to God with the plea, "Give me a sign", we should expect Him to remind us of the sign He carved out of the mountain. If we take His commandments seriously, He is able to lead us back to Himself. But seeking Him will always be unfruitful if we are unwilling to follow His leading.

We should read the signs already laid out for us, and continue seeking Him.

Seeing God's Message

When we pray, we sometimes ask God to show us an answer. Often without realizing it, we have our expectations set on a certain range within which He should move. We draw a box in the sand and ask God to write the answer in it. In an effort to help us see Him, He lets a wave wash the box away.

I love reading about Peter in the Bible. He wasn't very different from us. He loved God and wanted to obey, but human limitations colored his expectations.

In Acts 10:9-23, we read about Peter's vision. God gave clues to what was about to happen with Cornelius. Peter didn't have all the information yet, but he was warned not to call impure what God has made clean.

When we have clues from God, whether in a vision or from scriptures, we have to do the work of applying God's message to what He sends our way. I say "do the work" because it isn't always easy to do. God asked Peter to do something that was unusual, but had to be done because of Peter's calling.

Do you have a unique calling that requires something unusual? Has God given you clues to help you with your calling - and you feel like you don't have all the information yet?

Be patient. Do the work of applying God's message to what He sends your way. When you see God's message, know that there's a responsibility associated with your calling. And you are able to do what He's asked.

To be successful, you must keep seeking God.