Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recognizing Jesus

At church today, a brother named Nagy Dani preached an excellent message from Luke 24 about the time when two of Jesus' disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus . This was immediately following Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. They were sad, because they did not understand what had happened. As Jesus walked up to them and began traveling with them, He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad. (Luk 24:17)
Dani said, “Jesus is asking us today, ‘What are you talking about among yourselves?’” The Lord asks us what we are talking and arguing about in the car on the way to church or at home. “What is in your heart – encouragement or tearing others down?” Encourage each other!
Do you have something that will nourish others or something moldy that will make them sick? We would never serve moldy bread. You can feed others or poison them. Are you giving blessings or cursing?
I wondered to myself as he was speaking: How is it the disciples could not recognize Jesus? Did Jesus change His appearance, or did He change their ability to recognize Him? What change – them or Him?
Then I read in the Scripture passage, “But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.” (Luk 24:16). It was their ability to recognize Him that was changed. Later, He enabled them to recognize Him. It says, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.” (Luk 24:31). Even when we don’t recognize Him, He is always with us as believers. He said, “And I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20).
Then Dani asked, “When was the last time someone recognized Jesus in you?” Since Jesus has the ability to enable people to recognize Him or not, pray that people will recognize Jesus in you. Pray this for the people in your family, your spouse, your friends, your brothers and sisters in Christ, and the people you have contact with in the world.
Dani spoke about the movie Fireproof, and how the husband was taught by his father to love his wife unconditionally. His father gave him a Love Dare journal to follow for 40 days, where he would practice a different grace on his wife each day. He did it for 20 days, and was about to give up, because he felt it wasn’t making any difference in his wife. She was still acting the same way toward him.
He also indicated a similar disrespect for his mother as he had for his wife. He recalled how she had treated his father and he held that against her. When his mother was worried about him in his dangerous job as a firefighter, he got upset and told her that it is his job to go into fires and save people. He assured her that he would be ok. He told his father to try and get his mother to stop worrying about him. But then at the cross, the father revealed to him that his mother wrote the Love Dare journal! She was the one who had saved their marriage and did the Love Dare on him! It was through her that he eventually came to know Christ.
When the father opened his son’s mind to recognize this about his mother, it melted him. He recognized Jesus in his mother, and he was a changed man. He saw her differently. He was no longer bitter toward her. His respect for her suddenly grew immensely.
His father helped him see that he could not give his wife what he did not have. He needed Jesus in his own heart before he could love his wife the way he really should.
Then he gave his life to Christ and continued with the Love Dare for the remainder of the 40 days. She recognized Jesus in Him. It saved his marriage. His wife came to know Christ also through his love for her.
This was an excellent message and an excellent illustration from the movie Fireproof how a person can recognize Jesus in you as you feed them with blessings rather than cursing, and walk in love toward them despite how you feel. What a great challenge it is and a reminder of what we should be doing.
If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it. You can find more info about it at the official Fireproof website. And when you watch it, think about what Dani said. What are you talking about among yourselves? Do you have something that will nourish others or something moldy that will make them sick? Are you giving blessings or cursing? When was the last time someone recognized Jesus in you? Why not fireproof your marriage?

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

1 comment:

  1. I also enjoyed this message a lot.
    Praise the Lord!

    ReplyDelete