“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Last week, Christians blogged, Facebooked, and tweeted Scripture, songs, poems, and thoughts on the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. On Easter morning, we reverently and enthusiastically worshipped, then hurried to family dinners, afternoon egg hunts, and of course—after-dinner naps.
Celebrating Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday is easy. As the sun set on Easter, I wondered where our hearts would be Monday morning in the wake of leftover ham, half-eaten candy baskets, and wrinkled church clothes tossed in the laundry.
Over two thousand years ago, on Easter Monday, Christ returned to work—His father’s work. He forgave Peter and then instructed him to “feed my sheep.” Among Jesus’ other activities was the Great Commission given to the eleven disciples.
We are His disciples now—with the Bible and Holy Spirit to instruct us.
"He makes His ministers a flame of fire. Am I ignitable? God deliver me from the dread asbestos of 'other things.' Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame. But flame is transient, often short lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul-short life? Make me thy fuel, Flame of God." Jim Elliot (martyred missionary)
Celebrating Christ’s resurrection revitalized me, as I’m sure it did many Christians. Beyond that, it’s a reminder of my rebirth each time I enter into God’s presence. Yet, as I grow deeper in my spiritual journey, I’m cognizant of the necessary steps to stay aflame.
If my flame gets diminished during dark moments, when I feel less enthusiasm or challenged beyond my human abilities, saturation with the Spirit’s oil through Bible study and prayer is the only hope for my flame burning brightly beyond Christian celebrations.
As we go to the Lord in prayer this week for each other’s needs, consider the condition of your flame and how it impacts those around you.
Though I don’t pray scripted prayers often, this simple one written by Jim Elliot has resonated with me through the years. Perhaps it will with you, too.
"Lord, make me a crisis man. Let me not be a mile-post on a single road, but make me a fork that men must turn one way or another in facing Christ in me."
If you have a prayer need, I’ve love to hear from you. Please leave your requests in the comments section below. You may also comment anonymously, if you’d like, or email me confidential requests.
· My request this week is for the Petters family in Anderson, SC, where I live. The mom was killed in a car accident in Anderson over Easter weekend, and the father is in Charleston receiving treatment for leukemia. Their two babies, ages 6 months and 2 years old, are in the care of their grandparents. Please pray for God’s comfort and provision for this family.
· Our song this week is by Christian singer Aaron Shust. Aaron’s newborn son Michael has Down’s Syndrome. Michael will have major heart surgery sometime in the next few weeks, when he has gained enough weight to make the surgery safe, unless his condition dictates it happening sooner. Please keep this little guy and the Shust family in your prayers.
Take a few moments to enjoy “My Savior, My God” before going to the Lord in prayer.
(The winner of the book giveaway last week is TC Avey, who left a comment on “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?” Thanks to everyone who left comments last week to be eligible for the drawing. Stay tuned for future book giveaways.)