WEEK 2: MARCH 6-12
God Has Come for His People
Luke 7:11-17 captures another Resurrection story for our focus this week. When Jesus raises people from the dead, sometimes we can miss some of the nuance from the story. It makes sense, though, what else is there to talk about? Jesus just told a dead person to not be dead anymore. However, look closer in this text; the response from the people after watching this resurrection is to acknowledge that surely “God has come for His people.” Yes, God has come for us and I am sure we all have unique experiences of that truth. As you are encouraged by this week’s devotionals, be thinking about Luke 7 and how this story challenges you!
The Dead Man Sat Up and Began to Talk
By Marc Flach
Read Luke 7:11-17.
I have been that dead man, maybe not physically but certainly in spirit. I have believed since early on that the world was a creation of God but I reasoned that religion was a creation of man. I am a scientist by training and I required proof as to any “faith”.
I cruised through the first 40 years of my life with almost universal success and of course I took all the credit. I had an amazing wife who was loving and supportive in every way, two amazing children who were never a challenge and a successful career making more money than I ever dreamed. By all worldly standards I was on top of the world, yet I was a miserable wreck.
I was occasionally happy, but lacked joy and did not understand the difference. I began reading everything I could on self-improvement, secrets to happiness and even studied the Dali Lama for answers to the secrets of life and happiness. I also, at the same time, resorted to prayer to that God I knew created all things to give me a faith, any faith, just give me something to fill this emptiness. This went on for over three years and I found no answers on my own.
Then one lazy afternoon when there were no sports to be found on the tube, I channel surfed until something made me stop on a show hosted by an astrophysicist from Canada by the name of Dr. Hugh Ross. A science show-right? I watched and this guy convinced me that, indeed, the universe and all in it were created by God. I was hooked and in future episodes and through books he authored I was introduced to Jesus Christ.
That was more than 20 years and many studies and books and conferences and classes and small groups and prayers ago. I know now that I have been blessed beyond measure and that God patiently coaxed me along the way and He answered that three-year prayer for faith.
The emptiness is filled to overflowing and I have joy that I could not dream possible. My joy comes from the Holy Spirit. I feel it in prison through Kairos, as men in white who admit to doing some of the most horrific things are transformed by the Holy Spirit as they break down and they accept God’s love and forgiveness. I have seen it in the face and heard it in the squeal of a 7-year-old non-verbal boy, confined to a wheelchair being speedily pushed up a ramp Helping Hands just built for him. I feel it in the company of Christian brothers and sisters as we serve and worship together.
I was that dead man and Jesus gave me life and joy. KUMC is my spiritual family that offers so many different ways to worship and serve and experience the love of God. God has blessed me with life experiences that are hard to imagine and I can’t wait for what is yet to come. Thanks be to God.
Consider a season of doubt that you have walked through:
How might God be whispering to you even now?
How has God brought purpose through mission in your life?