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The Most Amazing Plan Ever Revealed

I’ve been doing a little Bible journaling lately and wanted to share with you one of my Bible journaling entries.

The Most Amazing Plan Ever Revealed

Read Luke 24:13-35.

I can’t imagine what everyone was thinking after the death of Jesus. Even though Jesus foretold of His death and resurrection many times His followers were thinking ‘why did Jesus have to die?’, ‘what now?’ The Jews very much wanted Israel to be redeemed and restored, now that Jesus died, where was the hope?

I love how Jesus reveals His plan in the most unlikely ways. The day Jesus’ tomb was found empty, two men were walking hanging their heads in defeat, wallowing in their despair of Jesus’ death.

As they were discussing the events of Jesus’ death, Jesus himself drew near to them but the men did not recognize him (Luke 24:15-16).  Jesus even asked them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” (Luke 24:17).

These men, prior to Jesus’ death must have spent time with Jesus. According to this verse He is someone they should have recognized, obviously because they were talking about him.

One of the men named Cleopas basically says, “Didn’t you hear?” “Don’t you know the things that have happened?” (Luke 24:18).  Jesus responds to him, “What things?”  Cleopas responds, “You know about Jesus? We were hoping he was our redeemer and would restore Israel.  And now these women said the tomb is empty where he was buried, they saw angels and he’s alive” (paraphrased Luke 24: 19-26)

Isn’t it ironic how Jesus Himself asked the men what were they were talking about even though He already knew? Jesus knew the men were doubting and discouraged and was trying to expose their hearts to the greater plan which had already unfolded.

How patient is Jesus with us? He appeared to these men, walked alongside them and listened to their every word. He could have jumped in front of them to get their attention and said ‘Hi! It’s me! Jesus! The one you’re looking for!’ But that’s not His way. He patiently waited for their response to draw out what was in their hearts and then responded.

Jesus basically said to the men, ‘I’m right here in front of you! You’re a little behind! I sent the women to check out the tomb and an angel to tell you I have risen!’ What other proof do you need?’  He then asks a most profound question.

Wasn’t it necessary that Christ should suffer to enter into his glory?

The men just like everyone were confused probably thinking, ‘huh?’  They saw Jesus suffer and die a brutal death on the cross 3 days earlier and now his body is no where to be found.  The men still did not yet believe Jesus had risen and now they had a stranger telling them wasn’t it necessary Jesus suffered.

Why do you think the men were kept from recognizing him?

Cleopas and his companion, before walking with Jesus were hanging their heads with discouragement focusing on the emptiness of the tomb. Even though they had so much evidence right in front of them they still couldn’t see the victory.  Jesus was challenging the two men, do you only see an empty tomb, that offers no hope? Or do you see the new message of hope, that I have conquered death and have risen?

How many times as believers do we do the same thing? We put our hope in ourselves and the things we see instead of putting our hope and trust in Jesus?

After Jesus had walked with these men almost the entire day, they asked Jesus to stay with them.  The next scene blows my mind.  In verse 30-31, Jesus sat at the table with them, blessed and broke the bread and then the men recognized Jesus.

This scene is very similar to the Last Supper Jesus shared with His disciples. As far as we know from the Scriptures, the disciples were the only ones at the Last Supper and the Apostles were the only other men instructed about the Last Supper.  I love how Jesus chose a common meal, something we do in our everyday lives to reveal Himself!

Can you imagine not only being a witness to Jesus’ resurrection, but also partaking in the Last Supper with Him after He rose from the dead?

Once the eyes of their hearts were opened, then they recognized Jesus.

It makes me wonder in my walk of life, how many times have I walked with Jesus and didn’t even recognize He was right in front of me?

Cleopas and his friend were missing the point until Jesus came along and opened their eyes to see the tomb for what it really was. The empty tomb no longer meant Jesus was dead, but indeed “He had risen!” This changed everything! Jesus didn’t leave Cleopas and his friend until they heard the good news, the new message of the gospel, God’s bigger plan.

This new plan offered an exit plan for their defeat, no longer seeking hope in what they saw or in their circumstances, but one that offered a new hope in what Jesus did for them. This new plan offered a way to leave their brokenness at the cross, leave their unforgiveness in the grave and rise up new with Jesus and walk with Him everyday in victory!

Can you even imagine being a firsthand witness to the most amazing plan ever?  The Resurrection of Jesus!

Even though we didn’t see with our own eyes the resurrections of Jesus, we have first hand accounts of what He did for us in the Bible and why he did it–because He loves us.

Do you believe Jesus died for you?

What is the most amazing plan ever revealed to you?

God’s plans are always greater. Cleopas and his friend thought there was no hope for Israel, oh how wrong they were. You may be going through hard times right now, thinking there is no hope. It may seem God didn’t answer your prayers.  Please know God answers our prayers in bigger ways than we could ever imagine.  If God can resurrect Jesus from the grave after 3 days he can resurrect our circumstances.  You are loved!

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Wise Men Seek Him

 

Have you ever been behind the scenes to a concert or TV/movie set?  Going behind the scenes really gives a different perspective of what actually goes into producing a live performance or show.  You get so much more in-depth information and details about the performance going behind the scenes.

Prophecies in the Bible do the same thing–they give us a behind the scene glimpse of what is to come.  The Christmas story is the fulfillment of many prophecies foretelling the birth of our Savior.  In Micah, we learn Jesus would be born in the town of Bethlehem.  In Isaiah, we learn Jesus would be born a king of the line of David and that a child would be born of a virgin.  One of my favorite prophecies of the Christmas story is in Psalms when we learn Kings would bring him gifts and fall down before him.

Psalm 72:10-11  “The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him;  the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts.  All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him.”

Over 2,000 years ago there was a lot going on behind the scenes of The Christmas Story.  Baby Jesus had already been born in Bethlehem and the Magi had already set out on their journey following the star that had come from the east (Matthew 2:1-2).

The Magi were a group of wise men probably from the area of Persia, who were some of the most intelligent men that existed during their time.  They studied astrology, maps, and stars things most of us wouldn’t pay attention to.

Have you ever wondered how did the Magi a group of Gentile men, end up in Jerusalem in search of the king of the Jews?

Matthew 2:1-1  “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him”

According to the prophecy in Psalms, the kings were to come out of Tarshish, a land very far from Jerusalem.  They merely had one single star from the east as their beacon to guide them to the location of Jesus.

It makes me wonder, how did the Magi end up in Jerusalem?  Did they have copies of Old Testament Manuscripts and closely followed the prophecies that a star shall come out of Jacob and a scepter shall rise out of Israel (Num. 24:17)?  Or did they have a revelation from God Himself?

It amazes me the far distance these non-Jewish men traveled, to worship the newborn King of the Jews and how they recognized the star as the announcement of Jesus’s birth.

The Magi’s question, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?”  caused the priests and Jewish scholars to provide the answer they were looking for.  They referred to the prophecy in Micah, that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem.

Matthew 2:9-10 “….After they went on their way, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star they were overjoyed.”

This star from the east was quite the miracle, now leading them to the actual house where Jesus lived!  Contrary to what modern day nativity scenes display, the Magi did not visit baby Jesus in the manger the night he was born.  Because of the distance of their travels, they did not arrive until months later.

Matthew 2:11 “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”

In Matthew we see the prophecy in Psalms being fulfilled–kings will present him gifts, bow down to him and all nations will serve him.   Can you even imagine traveling for months, carrying the weight of these treasures, not really knowing where you’re going and depending on a star for directions?  
The Magi went far lengths to not just offer these gifts to Jesus, but to open them in His presence.  These gifts were worthy of a king depicting the picture of what one day will be given to the Messiah.  The Magi give us a wonderful example of what distance are we willing to go to worship and give God gifts the way He has given us.  
Even the wisest men were seeking Jesus the new king.Click To Tweet

Have you opened God’s abundant gift this Christmas?

What is you’re favorite part of The Christmas Story?

Even wise men need Jesus.  I hope you enjoyed behind the scenes of The Christmas Story!  May you open the abundant gift God has given you this Christmas, the gift of Jesus!  Have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

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Would you like to know more about the Christmas story and what it means to you?  Message me below, “I want more information,”  or message me privately.  Merry Christmas!

 Barbieri, L. A., Jr. (1985). Matthew. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 22). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

A Biblical Trek Through the Great Land of Alaska

 

Moving to this great state only a couple of years ago, I can’t help to take in all of it’s greatness, it’s beauty, and magnificence. As a newcomer to this state, my fresh eyes see things that capture my attention and can’t help to notice as I venture through this great land, all the biblical references.

Alaska itself lives up to it’s name meaning, ‘the great land.‘ I can’t help to think how this great land relates to Moses and the Israelite’s wandering in the desert for 40 years, for God to lead them to ‘the promised land.’

As the looming physical darkness of our winter season approaches, there has also been a presence of spiritual darkness lurking in our great land. Every day there seems to be news of another shooting and murder. It seems that evil has taken up camp and resided here.

No matter how dark the darkness, it can never extinguish the light of Jesus. In fact, the darker it gets, the brighter his light shines. Evil can never change what God has already done. Our God is bigger and cannot be defeated.

It is true that evil is present in our state. But truth is, evil can never take away God’s presence. He is very much here with us every moment of every day. He has left us reminders in this state how one day we too will be taken to the promised land.

God’s goodness is here, present, alive within us and in this great state. Let’s imagine for a moment we are the Israelites wandering around Alaska instead of the desert.

A Biblical Trek Through the Great Land of Alaska-

It all started in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth. I think God had fun when he created Alaska. He put so much thought and detail into creating this amazing land. There are over 3 million lakes, over half of the world’s active glaciers and has 17 of 20 highest peaks in the U.S. Alaska has over 43 of the 53 active volcanoes in the U.S. It is home to the Northern Lights, and viewing of some of the most amazing constellations and stars. Alaska has over 35 species of mosquitoes, home to some of the most amazing wildlife and has some of the most stellar fishing for halibut and salmon.

This winter, look up and you will see the star lit on top of the 4,000 foot Mount Gordon. For 55 years the tradition of lighting the star every winter season, illuminates the night during our long season of darkness. I can’t help to think about the three wise men following the star to Bethlehem in hopes to see baby Jesus.

Head south towards the Kenai Peninsula and you will enter into the town of Hope. It is a town nestled amongst the mountains and at the mouth of the Turnagain arm. What a treasure to discover Hope among the mountains and deep waters.

Travel even further south and we come upon the Resurrection Bay in Seward. What a wonderful reminder of God’s plan for us. That we are not defeated by our circumstances but resurrected in Christ because of what he did for us.

Let’s travel north to the town of Bethel. Bethel means ‘house of God.’ In biblical times, this is where people went to seek counsel. It is where Jacob had his dream of a ladder to heaven and angels ascending from heaven.

It was God’s message to Jacob that, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” (Genesis 29:15 NKJV). Jacob then wakes up and says “surely the LORD is in this place and I did not know it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than that house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” (Genesis 29:16-17 NKJV).

Lastly, there is an anchor in Anchorage. Chances are if you are reading this post, you are a woman in the word; a woman who prays. Prayer is what is what will anchor us through this darkness and bring the darkness to light. Together we can shine the light of Jesus brighter than any light, by staying devoted in prayer and allowing God’s light to shine through us.

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” Hebrews 6:19 NLT

Despite the present spiritual realms of darkness, stay focused on God’s presence, in His greatness and goodness. Don’t let the enemy fool you in putting your hope in what you see. God is at work in a bigger way than we can ever imagine.

There is an eternal hope in Alaska one that can never be extinguished by any darkness. This winter season, don’t focus on the darkness, but on how bright the stars shine, God’s purpose, intent and creation.

Am I missing anything? What other wonders in this great land of Alaska has God has showed you?

Did you enjoy this blogpost? Please share with others! Want more encouraging messages sent right to your inbox? Subscribe to my blog and receive a weekly Monday Message or like my Author Facebook page to catch the latest posts.  Have a blessed week!

I would love to hear from you! Leave your comments below!

This post was first published on www.akchristianwomensministry.com.


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