“Don’t Let Your Reward be an Unnamed Monument!”

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Jul 302017

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE:  “Don’t Let Your Reward be an Unnamed Monument!”

By: Ron Woodrum


One of the most unusual monuments in the United States is “The Boot Monument”.  It is a Revolutionary War Memorial located in the Saratoga National Historical Park, New York.  It commemorates the bravery of one of the soldiers of the Continental Army.  He led the Army in a major victory over the British in the Battle of Saratoga.  He did so with a badly wounded foot and leg that had occurred at the Battle of Quebec.  The wound effectively ended his career as a soldier, and won for him the rank of Major General.  John Watts de Peyster erected the monument in 1887.  It is only a Monument of a Soldier’s Boot with the words “In memory of the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot…7th October 1777, winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General”.  But there is no name to recognize the person to which this monument is dedicated.  It is an unnamed monument.  Not to a man.  Not to a person.  But to a wounded foot.  A sad tragic memorial.  The memorial is to a Continental Soldier everyone knows about.  It is a memorial, though unnamed, to General Benedict Arnold.  Arnold had been quite an accomplished soldier.  But he suffered, what he considered, slights and insults by the Continental Congress years after Saratoga.  He opposed treaties that brought French military assistance to the Americans.  He began secret negotiations with the British that resulted in his defection to the British Army in 1780.  When fighting for the British against his former compatriots in Virginia he captured an American general as a prisoner of war.  Arnold asked him what would happen to him if they ever catch me?  The general replied, “They will cut off the leg that was wounded at Quebec/Saratoga, when you were fighting so gloriously for the cause of liberty,  and bury it with honors of war, and hang the rest of your body on a gibbet!”  That is what happened in a sense!  The Boot Monument honors the general’s bravery and sacrifice for liberty.  But leaving off his name makes the Monument a “damnatio memoriae”-  “a damning memorial”.  His name has since become synonymous with “traitor” and “betrayal” in the highest degree!  No one would ever name their son Benedict!  We won’t even name our dogs that!

There is a Biblical “damnatio memoriae” to another traitor.  His name is Judas Iscariot.  Judas was named after a great Jewish hero-Judas Macabeaus.  He was a great leader that led the Jews to independence from the Greek Tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes.  He was the one for the celebration of Hannukah is in honor of.   To be named after him was like being named George after George Washington.  Bill Crowder, in his book Windows on Easter,  says the Judas story is “a dark symphony, played in a minor key”.  How true!  Judas was given great privileges as a disciple of Christ.  He was given the leadership position of treasurer!  He preached;  performed miracles; cast out demons; healed the sick;  He was capable of great pretention.  He was not a genuine convert.  But you would never know it.  He concealed his unregenerate heart!  He experienced a great possession.  Judas is the only human, beside the Antichrist, that the Bible says “Satan entered into him”.  Judas then experienced great punishment for his betrayal of Christ.  It cost him his life, and his soul.  He committed suicide by “hanging himself”…and the Bible says “he went to his own place”…the implication being that he got what he deserved and went to hell!  Judas was the perfect traitor.  George Eliot wrote, “A perfect traitor should have a face on which vice can write no marks, lips which lie with a dimpled smile, eyes of such agate-lite brightness and depth that no imfamy can dull them.  Cheeks that can rise from murder and not look haggard”.  Judas was exactly that!  Judas was overwhelmed with guilt after betraying Jesus.  He tried to undo his act by returning the money.  But when they refused to accept it-he threw it down with the confession-“I have betrayed innocent blood”.  He then went out and hung himself!  Fyodor Dostevesky’s Brother’s Karamozov speaks to the reason for such a tragic end.  He writes, “The Inquisitor gives a terrifying account of what happens to a human soul when it doubts its purpose;  for the secret of a man’s being is not only to live…but to live for something definite!  Without a firm notion of what he is living for a man will not accept life and will rather destroy himself than remain on earth!”  That describes Judas Iscariot quite accurately.  Someone has written, “Still as of Old; By himself is priced; For thirty pieces of Silver; Judas sold himself, not the Christ!”  Tradition said that the ghost of Judas haunted the area where he hung himself and the vicinity of the potter’s field bought with the money he returned.  I don’t know how true that is but I do believe that the ghost of Judas Iscariot still haunts the halls of our Churches even yet today!

Leslie B. Flynn has written, “The story of Judas is oft repeated.  A person can be numbered with the people of God, serve on Church boards, be active on committees, take communion, go out to covetous practices and raw business deals, and at last to a lost eternity.  Even after associating with Christ and His followers we can harbor a devil in our hearts.  Though no one today is asked to deliver Christ bodily into enemy’s hands, nevertheless many people betray Him in many subtle ways!”  Herbert Lockyer, in his book All The Apostles of the Bible, has written the following poem:


“It may not be for silver; it may not be for gold

But yet by tens of thousands, The Prince of Life is sold;

Sold for godless friendship, sold for selfish aim;

Sold for fleeting trifle, sold for an empty name;

Sold in the name of science, sold in the seat of power;

Sold at the shrine of fortune, sold at the pleasures bower

Sold for your awful bargain, none but God can see;

Ponder my soul the question, shall He be sold by thee?

Sold! Oh God what a moment!

Stilled is the conscience’s voice

Sold! The weeping Angel, records the fateful choice.

Sold! But the price accepted-to a living coal it shall turn;

With pangs of late repentance deep, in the soul of the traitor to burn!”


When Jesus first mentioned that one of his disciples would betray him they all began to ask “Is it I?”  Not a bad question for us to ask each day.  None of us are beyond that possibility.  But may his grace prove able to save us to the uttermost and keep us from falling away.  God help us not to become a “nameless memorial!”


 Posted by at 1:20 pm

“Walking with the Son-Eclipsing Walking On The Moon”

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Jul 232017

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE:  “Walking with the Son-Eclipsing Walking On The Moon”

By: Ron Woodrum


     All of us remember our introduction to Buzz Lightyear.  He was the side-kick hero to Woody, in Toy Story, one of the two leading characters in all three of the Toy Story movies.  Regarding the design of Lightyear, his creator John Lasseter, is on record as saying that he wanted to create an actiion figure of the line of G.I. Joe for Toy Story and decided upon a spaceman figure.  He picked the design based on the Apollo astronauts, in particular their clear helmuts, skullcaps, communication devices and white suits.   He added the purple and lime green borders because they were his wife’s two favorite colors.  What you may not know is that his name was chosen based on the creator’s inspiration with astronaut Buzz Aldrin-the second man to walk on the moon.  Aldrin acknowledged the tribkute when he pulled a Buzz Lightyear doll out during a speech at NASA, to rapturous cheers.  A clip of this can be found on the Toy Story 10th Anniversary DVD.  Aldrin did not receive any endorsement fees or remuneration for the use of his first name.  So we are familiar with the antics of Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, and can still hear the voice of Tim Allen animating those antics.  But he was based on a true American hero who was known for being the second man to walk on the moon, and partnered with the first man, Neil Armstrong, in our nation’s history making MoonWalk.  As we celebrate this July their moonwalk 47 years ago we should acknowledge that Buzz Aldrin was not just an American hero who walked on the Moon, but an American Christian witness who walked on the moon, but also walked with Jesus Christ and made every attempt to make his faith known, and to make history by doing something significant in the name of Jesus, just before he and Neil Armstrong embarked on their 21 hour and 37 minute lunar walk, and returning to their Lunar Module Eagle and redocking with their commandship Columbia.

     Guideposts Magazine (October 1970) and his book Return to Earth, by Aldrin, tells how that just before he and Neil Armstrong descended to land the Lunar Module Eagle to the moon’s surface that both of them, as planned by NASA, and their Church in Houston, the Webster Presbyterian Church, and Pastor Dean Woodruff, for them to have communion on the Lunar Module, at the same time their Church was having it on earth.  Aldrin and Armstrong would read John 15:5 aboard the Eagle.  They would eat their bread from their plastic container.  They would pour their wine into the Chalice given to Aldrin by his Church, and in the limited gravity of the moon, drink it at the same time the congregation back home was sharing it on July 20, 1970.  The Houston Chronicle chronicled the story, though it was not publically radioed for all to hear, due to the lawsuit that Athiest Madalyn Murray O’Hair brought against the Apollo 8 crew for reading the Genesis story of creation as they circled the moon at Christmas 1969.  Aldrin said, “by celebrating the Lord’s Supper at the same time with our Church back home enabled the Church, not in part, but as a whole, to celebrate that as man reached out to the universe, that God was revealing Himself there too”.  Of course, according to Paul, in I Corinthians 11, the Lord’s Supper show’s the Lord’s death and points His coming again soon!  In his own words Buzz Aldrin says, “I poured the wine into the chalice our Church had given me, in the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.  It was interesting to think that the first liquid ever to be poured on the moon, and the first food ever to be eaten there, were the communion elements!  And so, just before I partook of the elements, I read the words which I had chosen to indicate our trust that as man probes into space, we are in fact acting in Christ!  I sensed especially strongly my unity with our Church back home, and with the Church everywhere.  I read:  I am the vine, you are the branches, whoever abides in me will bear much fruit, for without me you can do nothing!”  Webster Presbyterian Church on NASA Parkway, near Houston still commemorates this Celebration annually, and keeps the Chalice from the Moon as a testimony to the event.  Buzz Aldrin would testify as well…”This has been far more than three men on a mission to the moon…in reflecting on all the events I am reminded of the Scripture in Psalms that says, ‘when I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the Moon and the Stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visiteth him’ “

Another Apollo Astronaut, who walked on the moon in the Apollo 16 mission was Charles Duke.  He too was a dedicated Christian.  He shared his experience this way.  “In 1972 aboard Apollo 16, I saw with my own eyes what is written in Scripture.  In Isaiah 40:22 it says, ‘It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.’  And in Job 26:7 it is written, ‘He hangeth the earth upon nothing ‘.  Who told Isaiah the earth is a circle?  And how did Job know the earth was hung upon nothing?  This is the Lord I love and serve.   This is the Lord who has transformed my life.  I used to say I could live ten thousand years and never have an experience as thrilling as walking on the moon.  But the excitement and satisfaction of that walk doesn’t begin to compare with my walk with Jesus, a walk that lasts forever.  I thought Apollo 16 would be my crowning glory, but the crown that Jesus gives will not tarnish or fade away.  His crown will last throughout all eternity.  Not everyone has the opportunity to walk on the moon, but everybody has opportunity to walk with the Son.  It costs billions of dollars to send someone to the moon, but walking with Jesus is free, the Gift of God.  You don’t need to go to the moon to find God.  I didn’t find God in space-I found Him in the front seat of my car on Highway 46 in New Braunfels, Texas when I opened my heart to Jesus.  And my life has never been the same.  Now I can look up at the moon and declare ‘the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.’ ”  Maybe a Christian movie can embrace a new hero Charles the Duke Moonwaker.  He and Buzz make great examples of lives walked on earth and in the heavens that bring glory to the Son!  They would both point to the rising of the Son of Righteousness, (see Malachi 4:2)  who is coming for us soon to take us on a space trip that will highlight eternity.  We will all make the world forget about Buzz Lightyear and his Toy Story!


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 Posted by at 1:18 pm

“Feeling Insufficient for the day?”

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Jul 162017

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Feeling Insufficient for the day?”

By: Ron Woodrum


     One of my favorite quotes of Abraham Lincoln is when he said, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.  My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day”.  If you try to locate the source for that quote you will be hard pressed to locate the speech in which our President admitted that confession.  But in checking deeper I was able to discover that it was something the President had said to close confidinants more that once.  Noah Brooks, scribe for the Sacramento Union, writing in Harper’s Weekly for July 1865, three months after his death, said he had heard the President  say that, though he did not specify the occasion or the date.  Knowing the overwhelming circumstances and decisions that our Commander in Chief faced daily during the  trying days that divided our country,  We can rest assured that our great leader likely told many that heaven’s guidance was the only thing that gave him direction in our nation’s darkest hour.  Our troubled days challenge us with the same insufficient wisdom.  How do you and I minister to our culture and community in these turbulent last days.  All my years of experience in ministry does not provide me sufficient answers for this challenge.  Pastor freinds seem void of such wisdom as well.  Denominational leaders all always coming up with programs to try but they too seem to fall exasperatingly short.  We need our Lord’s direction and drive and that can only be found one place-on our knees crying out to Him for that very thing that we are void of.  That is why I am so encouraged by the current emphasis on prayer that Brother Bill has been pointing us to.  At times I feel like John Wesley…on one occasion he said, “When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as before;  at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me!”  We could all identify with Wesley’s growth in understanding the evolution of his own wisdom.  We too know how age has a way of clearing up any misperceptions about how well pat-answers work on real life issues.  We are bankrupt of answers to satisfy and reach our generation.  We need a blueprint and a Word from God.  All other activity is the equivalent of a gerbil on his treadmill!

The only way we will minister to our generation is to be able to confront the evil that has it in its grip, and demonstrate how God have provided a way to overcome it.  E.H. Chapin (1814-1880) said, “A man can no more be a Christian without facing evil and conquering it, than he can be a soldier going into battle, facing the cannon’s mouth, and encountering the enemy in the field.” Pastor Joe Wright, of the Central Christian Church of Wichita, Kansas tried to do just that when invited to give the invocation for the Kansas State Legislature.  This is what he prayed, “Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and seek your direction and guidance.  We know that your Word says, ‘woe to those who call evil good’, but that is exactly what we have done.  We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.  We confess that: We have ridiculed the Absolute Truth of your Word, and called it pluralism; worshipped other gods, and called it multi-culturalism; endorsed perversion and called it alternate lifestyle; expoited the poor and called it lottery; rewarded laziness and called it welfare; killed our unborn and called it choice; shot abortionists and called it justified; neglected to discipline our children and called it self-esteem; abused political power and called it savvy…we have ridiculed time-honored values of our fore-fathers and called it enlightenment…Search us, O God and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin; Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas,a nd who have been ordained by you to govern this great state.  Grant them wisdom to rule…in the center of your will.  In the Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen!”  He was never invited back!  Door closed!  Back to the drawing board.  That didn’t work.  Back to our knees…bombarding heaven for answers and direction.  How do we speak to our generation?  How do we reach them?  What strategy will work?

Perhaps we could learn a lesson from Elisha.  When Elijah was on the verge of being raptured to heaven Elisha prayed for the gift of two things-One Elijah’s mantle for ministry.  It was that very mantle, rolled up, and used to strike the waters keeping them from moving forward, and making them to part and clear the way for moving forward.  The second thing was to pray for a double-portion of Elijah’s power.  God answered that prayer for Elisha and his challenging day.  When all was said and done Elisha found himself in possession of both, and we read the narrative of him picking up where Elijah left of-not missing a beat.  We need to seek two things too:  First the mantle our Jesus left to us after being translated to heaven.  We have a staggering commission to carry His good news to a generation “rushing helter-skelton to destruction with its fingers in its ears!”  Then we need the double-portion of His Holy Spirit’s Power to impact them for Him.  That and that alone is the only “sufficient ministry for our day”.  How does it become a reality?  It has something to do with “our knees!”.  Been driven there lately?

 Posted by at 12:47 pm

“Faithfulness or Fickleness?”

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Jul 092017

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Faithfulness or Fickleness?” 

By:  Ron Woodrum


Now here was a bothersome headline awhile back in USA Today-“Old Faithful Gets Fickle”.  Really?  The paper was reporting that the famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park was changing-and not for the better!  As long as most tourists could remember that 140 foot tower of steam had erupted approximately every 66 minutes faithfully for years.  But something was not right.  The eruption predicted or scheduled for 12:11 pm didn’t occur until 12:18 pm.  One predicted for 2:46 pm jumped the gun at 2:38 pm.  So tourists counting on “Old Faithful’s faithfulness” might go for a hot dog, saying to themselves “I’ve got ten minutes” and end up missing the entire thing!  The problem?  They believe that underground shifts caused by minor earthquakes, and vandalism by visitors who have thrown everything from chicken bones to underwear in the geyser hole, has caused the changes.    Yellowstone Geologists are saying that there’s a good chance that five years from now, five days, or five hundred years from now, Old Faithful could become totally unpredictable or maybe not even erupt with any regularity at all!  What if “Old Faithful” becomes “Old Fickle”?  What do you do when Old Faithful suddenly isn’t?    We have all experienced the bewilderment when someone or something that has been our “Old Faithful” suddenly becomes “Unfaithful”.  Perhaps a job you depended on disappeared; or your company folded; or your mate became unfaithful and left; your parents marriage disappeared; or a relationship you counted on was pulled out from under you.  Maybe your Church let you down; or some spiritual leader disappointed you.  Maybe your body, one that had be faithfully healthy, has suddenly become anything but dependable. Whatever it is, it hurts when “Old Faithful becomes Old Fickle!”.  It leaves us bewildered and unsure of ourselves and our future.  Jeremiah knew all about such experiences.  He wrote in Lamentations 3:19-22 “I remember my afflictions and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall, I well remember them and my soul is cast down within me.  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.  I say to myself, ‘the Lord is my portion therefore I will wait for Him’ ”

      Jeremiah’s environment was wasted.  Jerusalem, the anchor of Jewish identity, was completely destroyed.  That is what he has been lamenting in Lamentations.  His feelings were all over the place!  Afflictiion, bitterness, a downcast soul.  He was supposed to be God’s man-God’s rock in a shifting situation.  He could not even stablize himself. Then he reminds himself there is hope.  When everything around is shifting sand God can be trusted to be faithul…To be stable…To be trustworthy…To be your unmoveable Rock!  That realization caused Thomas Chisolm to write the hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness in 1925.  Chisolm was born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky.  At the age of 27 he accepted Christ as his Saviour.  At the age of 36 he surrendered to the Gospel ministry.  After a year, due to failing health, he had to give up the ministry.  He spent the rest of his days selling insurance and living a fairly modest life.  He wrote later in life, “My income has not been large at any time in my life due to impaired health, which has followed me all the days of my life.  But the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God has provided my care for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”  So he wrote,


“Great is Thy Faithfulnes, Oh God my Father

There is no shadow of turning with thee

Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not

As thou hast been, thou forever will be!


Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Morning by Morning new mercies I see

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

Great Is Thy Faithfulness-Lord unto me!” 


This is the time to explore the awesome depths of those Bible words you’ve sung so many times.  “Great is Thy Faithfulness”…even to His unfaithful Children.  Your Lord will never abandon you-never divorce you-never desert you-never lay you off-never be too busy for you-never once disappoint you.The most Powerful Person in the universe is totally committed to loving you unconditionally.  Old Faithfuls aren’t always-EXCEPT FOR ONE-HE ALWAYS WILL BE RIGHT ON TIME-EVERYTIME-ALL THE TIME!  HE IS ABLE TO MAKE FAITHFUL SERVANTS OUT OF UNFAITHFUL CLAY AS WELL!


 Posted by at 1:47 pm

“A Reach That Exceeds Your Grasp”

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Jul 022017

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “A Reach That Exceeds Your Grasp”

By: Ron Woodrum


     Despite anything that secularism can undermine; or that materialism can inhibit; or that humanism can defy-there is still a rampant interest in the question is there life after life?  Does life, in whatever form, exist after life, as we know it?  There has been various attempts to answer this question indeed!  One attempted answer proved to be quite a novel approach.  Shirley Maclaine wrote a book titled Out On A  Limb. In her autobiographical book she affirmed her belief in life after life, because she believed that she was currently living out another life that was following previous ones.  In a previous life she believed she was beheaded under Henry XV.  Others in Hollywood picked up on her theme.  Glen Ford believed he had been a Christian Martyr in a previous life and had been fed to the lions in the Coliseum.  Lorretta Lynn believed that she had been a Cherokee Princess in a previous life.  Sylvester Stone believed that he had been beheaded during the French Revolution.  Though he now embraces a more evangelical view of the afterlife, since professing to be born again, and embracing a more Biblical faith.  But for these their hidden past experiences were proof enough for them of life after death, at least in some form.

Dr. Kenneth Ring, Professor at the University of Connecticut, has been studying near death experiences for years.  After studying these experiences of millions of Americans, and listening to them describe common features of experiencing light and love, he was convinced that there had to be something to this life experiences after death.  After all- 8 million Americans can’t all be wrong, can they?  Then too there was Dr. Duncan MacDougall, who was so convinced of life after death that he did scientific experiments on dying subjects to determine that the soul has weight when it leaves the body.  He studied several terminally ill patients as they died, on beds fitted with sensitive beam scales, to determine that each time the dead bodies weighed precisely 3/4 ounces less.  He calculated that the soul weighed precisely 21 grams.  While he was convinced, certainly the scientific world was not convinced then, nor now!.  But if you have encountered death up close and personal then you know that there is something significant and holy that exits at death that leaves a completely empty lifeless shell of what used to be a living soul.  Irregardless of the exact weight, there is no doubt that the deceased is absent from the body, and the living are “bereaved” in every way!

In John chapter 11 we have the record of how death came in and devastated a leading family of Bethany.  Jesus was a dear friend of this family.  This chapter shows us how much we need the Lord of Life present if we are ever going to understand the truth of life after death.  Of course you know the story.  Jesus’ good friend Lazarus became ill.  He grew worse.  They sent an urgent word for Jesus to come before it was too late.  By the time Jesus got there Lazarus was dead.  He had been dead now for four days.  The Jews believed that the spirit hovered around the body for three days, but on the fourth, after decomposition set in, the spirit left with a finality of never returning.  That dead-line had passed.  Lazarus was irreversibly dead!  Nothing could be done.  Death was final.  Into that scene came the Lord of Life!  Note what happened.  Martha went out to meet him with the words, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!”  With all the weeping, and the heartbreak.  We are told, from the Greek New Testament that “Jesus burst into tears”.  He mingled his tears with Martha and Mary’s tears.  Martha was devastated.  Is there life after death?  She looks to Jesus.  Notice that first of all she expresses a Word of Agitation.  She cries out, “Lord, If you had been here my brother would not have died!”  She spoke out of frustration and disappointment.  We have felt that haven’t we?  Why doesn’t the Divine Arm move with more velocity?  It seems at times He could have prevented alot of heartaches, sickness, and bereavement, if He had just heard our cries and responded to our needs!  So she spoke with a word of aggravation.  We can rest assured it is ok to express that kind of hurt of our loving Lord.  He is big enough to handle it.

But notice something else.  She did not stop with aggravation.  She next spoke a Word of Aspiration.  She said, “Even now, I know that what you ask of God, he will do it for you!”  HER REACH EXCEEDED HER GRASP!  Let me say it again, “HER REACH EXCEEDED HER GRASP!”  She had a sense of faith she could not even articulate.  She would not even dared to believe, that after 4 days, after decomposition has set in, after the spirit has deserted the dead body, and arrived in Abraham’s bosom, that she would ever see Lazarus alive.  YET SHE REACHES OUT FOR SOMETHING.  SOMETHING SHE KNOWS NOT WHAT.  HER REACH EXCEEDS WHAT SHE CAN GRASP.  But Jesus’ presence and power has a way of creating a faith deep within us that trusts Him to do something impossible; something we have no power to grasp in our own power, but faith in Him gives us a reach that goes beyond our grasp.

Then notice that He gives her a Word of Affirmatioin that leads to her Word of Affirmation.  He tells her “your brother will rise again!”  She responds, “Yes he will”.  We all have exchanged those affirmations at the funeral home.  We have been bewildered as we look down on the frozen features of our dead loved ones.  Eyes that will never open again.  Eyes that will never sparkle again.  Lips that will never speak again.  Hands that will never reach out for us again.  And our hearts well up with affirmation and we tell each other-“You will see him again”.  “You will see her again”.  And we respond, “Yes…we will!”  It’s at that time that Jesus promises more than a resurrection.  He assures us-You have Me.  I do more than give life.  I AM LIFE.   i do more than give Resurrection.  I AM THE RESURRECTION!  His presence and power enables us to  REACH FOR WE KNOW NOT WHAT-BUT WE TRUST HIM.  FAITH IN HIM ENABLES OUR REACH TO EXCEED OUR GRASP.  HE THEN BECOMES OUR ANSWER TO THE QUESTION IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH.  BUT MORE THAN THAT JOHN WOULD REMIND US THAT BECAUSE OF JESUS-THERE IS LIFE BEFORE DEATH.  That is what John has been saying all along.  With Jesus our reach exceeds our grasp even before death.  We reach for a deeper life.  We reach for an abundant life.  We reach for a life filled with Life, with Light, with Liberty, with Love.  Because of His presence and power we grasp a genuine life that comes from Him, and allow us to “live as He lived, in the World”.  Today’s message gives us staying power for the last days when many are abondoning the faith in alarming numbers.  If you hold on to these three spiritual anchors you will be assured of staying power!

 Posted by at 1:45 pm