Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Be a Witness of the Risen LordIsaiah: 43: 1-10
Vv 1, 2 & 5
“But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.... Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.”
The Bible contains the promises of God encouraging and showing His presence to His people during the most difficult times of their life. The risen Christ first appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who came to see the tomb on the first day of the week after his crucifixion. He spoke to them through the angel, (Mathew 28.5) “do not be afraid, for I know you seek Jesus who was crucified”. After the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples and the followers were disappointed and dismayed. The risen Christ strengthened the disciples and the believers with His presence, promise and peace.
In today’s world, there are so much uncertainties around us such as, wars, violence, persecution, natural disaster, terrorism, economic uncertainty, unemployment, pandemic and other struggles of life. Fear is one of the worst enemies and popular weapons Satan uses against us. Fear, worry, anxiety, and disappointments can overwhelm with thick shadow of darkness to control our thoughts and decisions. There are about 365 times, that the Lord says in The Bible, “don’t be afraid, I will be with you” to encourage the believers in the time of disappointments and dismays, with the presence of the Risen Lord.
The discouraged and disappointed disciples experience the risen Christ after the crucifixion. We can see the risen Christ inviting His disciples Peter and friends on the shore of Galilee in the midst of their disappointment and fear after the crucifixion. He knew their need and prepared a meal for the hungry Peter and friends who went back to their old trade. The risen Christ appeared and invited them to strengthen them spiritually and physically.
We can also see that the Risen Christ becomes a co-traveler of the two disciples who were going back to Emmaus providing his fellowship to reinstate their faith. His fellowship and the breaking of the bread enable to open their eyes and recognize the risen Christ. Do we recognize and experience the presence of the risen Lord though the broken bread during the Holy Communion? He is broken for us to strengthen and reinstate us from the place where we have been displaced. Do we recognize this risen Christ and respond to his calling? Let us examine ourselves.
Fear not, I am with you. The Lord has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, no matter what life may throw at us. We are redeemed by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been bought with a price, we belong to the Father, and His favor is upon all His children. He has promised to cover us with His gentle calm and protect us by His perfect peace, when our hearts rest in Him.
We have an assurance that the promises of God's protection and His help are available for all who trust in His name. The children of Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry land and yet the same waters submerged the enemies of the Lord. The flames that were heated seven times hotter did not singe a single thread on the garments of Daniel's three companions - and yet they consumed those that would throw them into the flames.
The children of Israel faced a physical enemy, and God protected them. We face a spiritual enemy, but His protection and help is equally sure and steadfast for all who are called by His name. Let us trust God at His Word. Let us believe what God has said and rest in the knowledge that it is the God of the universe who says to each one of us: "When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you. When rivers of difficulty swirl around, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up and the fiery flames will not consume you." The Lord who promised to Moses, Joshua and the risen Christ who promised to the disciples that He will be with them to the end of the world, is with us to protect us with His presence and comfort us with His peace in the midst of our fears.
Loving Lord, as I face the storms and flames of life that appear to be so overwhelming, may I remember Your Word of promise and experience the presence of the risen Christ. Help me to recall who you are and what you have promised to all your children. Help me to secure my hope in you. Thank You that you have promised to be with me in all circumstances of life, for you are the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-gracious God who loves me with an everlasting love. Praise your holy name. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“The promise of the risen Lord is not the absence of storm in life, but to experience the presence of the risen Lord in the midst of the storm.”
P. T. Mathew
The Mar Thoma Church of Dallas Farmers Branch.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church