God is excited about the opportunity to deepen your relationship with Him and He knows if you choose to deny yourself and trust in Jesus that you will bring many people out of darkness and into the wonderful life of their eternal life in Jesus Christ.
The Lord put on my heart to share what Jesus sees in you and how similar it is to his friend, Lazarus, in John 11 and 12.
Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, and spent much time with them. After Lazarus got sick, his sisters sent word to Jesus so they he could come and heal him. Lazarus never asked Jesus to intercede himself – other people that loved him did. After getting the message, Jesus delayed in going for two days before telling His disciples He was going to visit Lazarus. When the disciples asked Him why He had waited, He told them: “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Before they arrived, Martha heard He was coming and left to meet Him. She said to Him, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus told her that her brother would rise again and she agreed, but that at the resurrection on the last day. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She responded by saying “Yes, I believe that You are the Christ.” Martha left and went and told Mary and Mary came and fell at His feet and said the same thing. “If You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Then “Jesus wept”. The shortest verse in the bible. He wept – not because of Lazarus – but because of their lack of understanding and faith.
When Jesus arrived at the grave He told them to “Take away the stone.” But Martha said, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” In other words, he or she has been lost (in addiction, prison or in sin) too long (four days, one week, one month or too many years). You are wasting your time. And Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” After the stone was removed, Jesus prayed to the Father that the people standing there would benefit and could believe that He had been sent by the Father.
Jesus said, “Lazarus come out!” And he came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” In other words, believers would help him forget about his past because it had been forgiven and had no bearing on the new man or woman that now stood before Jesus and their Father. For Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it.
Now the testimony of Jesus and the Father’s love were in Lazarus. Later in Bethany, “a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of Him but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in Him.” (John 12:9-11)
The next day, Jesus triumphantly made His way to Jerusalem, “Now the crowd that was with Him when He called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that He had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet Him. So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after Him!” (John 12:17-19)
These are amazing days that no one would have ever imagined. Confusion, turmoil and frustration in every country around the globe and it is our time as believers to decide where our faith is anchored. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for everything that could separate us from an eternal relationship with our Father. Even when this journey of life on earth is over and even after the end of this world as we know it, we are given an eternal hope that those that don’t believe will never have. That inability to be at peace is what drives people to be angry, frustrated and not caring about themselves or anyone else in the world. That is why when the world doesn’t know what to do, we can shine brightly because we have the only thing of permanent value that exists in the world and that is summed up in this statement. We don’t know what the future holds – but we know who holds the future. Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection brought an end to the religious idea that we could get to God by our own efforts. If we even believed that He existed at all. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, He poured out the Holy Spirit and He lives in everyone that believes in Jesus Christ. They “scattered” and you can be sure that Satan was convinced he had put an end to Jesus and His followers, but just the opposite happened and is going on today. Only the truth of the gospel can set people free from the reality of this fallen world in which most people will choose themselves over the true and living God.
“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church and they were scattered. Those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went. The Lord’s hand was with them and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.” (Acts 8:1,4 & 11:19)“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s Word is not chained.” (2 Timothy 2:8-9)