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Author: Pastor Joyce Roth

Joyce Roth has been on a journey for more of God for most of her life. She believes that following God should be exciting. Not necessarily easy, but stimulating & inspiring! Her passion is first, to understand & walk in “all the fullness of God” and then to pass that understanding on to anyone who will listen. She grew up in rural southern Alberta & has worked alongside her husband in the ministry for the last 25 years. Together they pastor the Victory Church in Red Deer, AB.
HAVE YOU SEEN JESUS?

HAVE YOU SEEN JESUS?

I was challenged and inspired as I read these musings from my brother-in-law, Jim Roth. He has agreed to let me share them with you. I’m sure you will be equally as challenged and encouraged as you read these thoughts based on Jesus appearance to a couple of His disciples on the road to Emmaus from Luke 24.

 

Did you ever wonder why the disciples were “kept from recognizing Him” when He came along side?

  • Maybe they weren’t ready.
  • Maybe they needed to understand first the veracity of the OT prophecies.
  • Maybe they wouldn’t have really listened if they recognized Jesus right away.
  • Maybe their emotional state at seeing Him needed to be grounded in the Word
  • Maybe they might have missed the deeper meanings of the resurrection when they faced a skeptical church audience later.

 

Jesus met them where they were. Disappointment, consternation, confusion, maybe even unbelief. Jesus gave them space to express that all. He listened carefully as they told Him the events of the past few days.

  • Maybe He knew they also needed to restate their earlier well founded hope and their amazement at the earlier reports of His resurrection.

 

Then as Jesus began to teach and instruct them as to what the Scriptures said about Him, their hearts were warmed. How often we too are warmed by our latest understanding of a new scriptural truth. Or when we read his Word in private devotions.

 

But they were not yet content with that experience. Somehow the Holy Spirit prompted them to seek more. They begged Him to stay with them even though they didn’t yet know who they were with.

  • Maybe their faith was sufficient to believe God is indeed “the rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.”

Even though Jesus acted like he had a different agenda they convinced him to stay and when they did and He served the bread, they saw Him…their eyes were opened and their joy complete. They became motivated witnesses at that point.

  • Maybe we need to see HIM before we will be effective messengers.
  • Maybe if we asked with passion He would be revealed in all His glory to us today.
  • Maybe He would gladly modify his agenda to meet our real need.

 

Where are we in that story? Obviously on this side of the death and resurrection of Christ!  But…

  • disappointed with our situation/circumstances and dashed hopes?
  • disappointed because our experience has not lined up with our expectation?
  • discouraged by the incompleteness of our own experience or failures?

 

When will we be satisfied?

  •  When our hearts are warmed by a fresh revelation of scripture?
  •  or the promise of more fellowship…?
  • or when our minds are renewed and the eyes of our heart are opened?

When we see Jesus we can’t help but be more inspired messengers and we will know we have a message!

All Is Not Lost!

All Is Not Lost!

Alll is Not LostALL IS NOT LOST!

It’s easy to lose hope, be discouraged and frustrated because of circumstances in our lives. Life doesn’t always happen the way we expect and things can seem to build up until the “light at the end of the tunnel” is pretty dim. You need to know that this is not a new concept and you’re certainly not the only one feeling that way. It’s an oft used tactic of Satan. Check out this verse from Psalm 129:2  

   “From the time I was young, people have attacked me,  but they have never overpowered me…”    

Satan & his cohorts work hard to wear down and ultimately wipe out those who believe in God. But they have never prevailed.  And that’s not going to change anytime soon. It may look like it and it may even feel like it, but the fact is the power and plan of God has not changed and will not change.

 

Be encouraged today! Get your focus back on God; His love for you, His power to help, His plan to take you where you need to be. Do you trust Him to meet your needs, to look after you? Often when we’ve been struggling for a while we lose sight of His care and His plan. When He doesn’t do what we thought He should have done. When He doesn’t seem to respond to our cries for help, it’s hard to continue to trust Him wholeheartedly. We start trying to make things happen ourselves.

 

Don’t go there, change the way you think and act. Return to Him! He’s on your side. He never left your side! The enemy is not going to win! Jesus is your Cornerstone! Like it says in Isaiah 28:16

I am going to lay a rock in Zion,  a rock that has been tested,  a precious cornerstone,  a solid foundation. Whoever believes in him will not worry.

Jesus is a rock, a cornerstone, a solid foundation. This incredible stability and strength is for you! He can easily bear the whole weight of what’s going on in your life and hold it all together. You can trust Him with everything, with anything, with all things!!

 

One of my favorite songs is Lauren Daigle’s  “Trust In You”. It speaks to the heart of this issue, that even when things aren’t going the way you think they should and your prayers aren’t being answered as soon as you’d like, you can trust God. Why? Because He is everything you need and He understands what you’re going through! This song is encouraging and faith building. It will help you to get your focus back on God. On who He is and what He’s done, is doing and will continue to do for you. And, best of all, it will cause you to be able to encourage those around you who may be struggling!

 

Life is tough at times but our God is tougher! He will not let you be taken out of the game! In fact, He says, I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

 

Will you trust Him today?

A Reason to Celebrate

A Reason to Celebrate

The Best is Yet to Come

Christmas, a time of celebration! Jesus, the Son of God, came to this earth to save us from our sins. It was all part of God’s plan from the beginning of time!

This child, born in a manger, in a barn in Bethlehem, would someday give His life so we could have life! An incredible concept that challenges me every day. Through belief in His death and resurrection, I can walk in newness of life! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; the new has come.”

And that’s not all, when Jesus died He restored our ability to have an intimate relationship with the  Father, God. This desire is built into each one of us but can only be attained through faith in the work of Jesus. It’s wonderful to be in relationship with our Father. He created us, knows us personally and cares and loves us like no-one on earth.

So we have freedom from the past, including all sin and shame, and a renewed connection with our Father. Yes, we really do have reasons to celebrate!

But again, that’s not all, the best is yet to come. You see just before Jesus returned to heaven, He promised to come back, get us and take us to be with Him. (John 14:3). Yes, we have hope for today, but we also have a great hope for the future. Today, life isn’t always easy. Bad things happen to good people. It’s in times like these that knowing there is something more, gives us hope.

You see, Jesus is going to return. But this time it will not be as a baby in a manger. He’s coming as the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords! He’ll be riding a white horse. His eyes will be like flames of fire. He’s coming as a conquering King, to make things right and to take what’s His! What a day that will be! The Bible says there will be no more crying or pain. No sorrow or grief. We’ll have new bodies, no more sickness or death.  Great reasons to celebrate. Wonderful hope for the future.

But I think the best part of heaven is going to be the reality of God’s presence. The radiance of His glory that we cannot comprehend while here on this earth. Yes, we experience His presence here and can know He is with us always. But our earthly minds cannot comprehend the wholeness and perfection of who God is. That’s why our new bodies are going to be so wonderful. Our capacity for understanding will be increased so we can truly see and know God in all His glory, in all His holiness!

As followers of Jesus we have many reasons to celebrate today.

I challenge you to keep all this in mind as you celebrate the birth of your Savior and let’s take every opportunity to share the hope we have with those who need to hear it!

*If you don’t feel you have any reason to celebrate this season. Just pray. Talk to God and tell Him how you feel. Tell Him you want to celebrate Him this Christmas. He’ll hear your prayer and meet you right where you are! Then come join us at Victory Church of Red Deer on Sunday morning or find a church near you. Let me know so I can pray for you and help in any way I can.