“Watch me, Honey!” IV warmed my heart as he beckoned me to watch him throw the ball in the bathtub just the other day. It brought back such fond memories of our own kids running in the house to get me to come and see whatever they created in the back yard. Their excitement was contagious, enthusiastic and would always propel me to stop what I was doing and go and see!
Even when our kids were in their teens and playing golf, they would look my way when they made a shot on the golf course that they were pleased with. I would often walk to them and give them a “knuckle knock” when it was appropriate. Enthusiasm….is a great thing. It is contagious. It makes people want to “come and see” or “join in!” When our kids get excited about anything, it makes me excited!
It truly makes me examine my “enthusiasm” for the Cross and the Resurrection! Come and see! As cruel as the cross was, horrific and terrifying, it is very, very, very hard for me to let my mind visualize what it was “truly like”–what Jesus being fully man but fully God experienced in death. But my heart leaps…when I think of the “EMPTY TOMB!” I have such mixed emotions at Easter. At the same time I experience horror, pain, sadness but then I experience joy, enthusiasm, hope, and happiness. A wide spectrum of emotions pour out and all at the same time.
Every year….at this time….I experience a renewed sense of urgency to fervently share my faith, my hope….my Lord. I couldn’t help myself yesterday in Publix. I was “overflowing” with excitement over Jesus. I was checking out and I had to ask the clerk and the bagger, “Do you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus?” The clerk said, “NO,” and the bagger nodded “yes!”
The clerk was a young girl…beautiful smile….and very sweet….but she doesn’t have “HOPE!” I instantly prayed for her. My friend, who I didn’t see until she turned around in the line next to me, mouthed to me, “I will pray!” I prayed and will continue to do so. I am going back to Publix this week and look for her. Not sure what I am going to say, but I know that I need to share with her ….My hope…my excitement and my story…of my saving faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit will show up and speak through me…I just need to be obedient and faithful.
The one thing that God continues to show me is that the “harvest is ripe” and the “workers are few.” I so encourage you, if you are a Back 9’er, to allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with an “overflowing” joy of the Good news of the “Cruel Cross” and the “Empty Tomb!” I have decided that for every piece of Easter candy I eat, I have to share my faith… LOL…that is going to be a lot of people.
I encourage you to ask yourself a few questions.
Am I truly grateful for what Jesus has done for me?
Do I truly value and embrace…the cross and the empty tomb?
Am I enthusiastic…do people want what I have?
As I read Scripture…I can honestly say…if Jesus is important in our life…then we will share our faith. I was told a couple of years ago–if Jesus is second in your life….He may as well be last. If He is first, you will openly share your faith. I believe that to be very true. If we are not sharing Jesus…if we have the thought…I am not sure what to say…or what will they think….then we need to ask ourselves…are we pleasing man/ourselves or are we pleasing God?
Matthew 10:33, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”
Let me share one brief picture from Luke’s account of that first Easter. As Jesus enters Jerusalem for what He knows will be coming, the crowd and the disciples are praising God for the miracles they have seen. The Pharisees were indignant about the whole scene. They told Jesus to rebuke His disciples. Jesus says in Luke 19:40, “’I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’”
May we not leave it to the stones to cry out the praises of God, the miracle of salvation. Have we been silent for far too long? Am I/you disowning Jesus…by our silence? Silence is a form of communication. It tells no one of the hope of the cross and the resurrection. Offer hope to someone today. OWN Jesus with your words. Share the only REAL GOOD NEWS! Celebrate Easter by sharing with others what Jesus has given to me/ you….salvation. No one is excluded in Scripture…from making disciples…we are all called to do so!