“surely I am with you always” Matthew 28:20
I am a preacher who always goes into the pulpit with notes on the message the Lord has given me for the people. Today (Easter Sunday) was no different. I had notes on one of the resurrection appearances in my Bible fresh and ready to use. But something went wrong.
Saturday night as I read over the message I knew it represented the scene in Luke’s Gospel accurately, it had good application for the people, but the sermon did not take hold of me as my sermons always did. Again, on Sunday morning before leaving for the place where I was to preach I read over the notes, read the passage, but I could not get into the scene on the resurrection.
As I was driving to the Chapel, I prayed and searched my heart to know what to preach on. I went to the Chapel and into the auditorium and quietly sat down to meditate. As I thought over the past week and the readings I had done in John’s Gospel a new message formed entirely in my head. I was feeling strangely compelled to shift gears and preach as the Lord led in the moment. Walking to the pulpit I prayed that the Lord would be with me and direct my thoughts.
I opened my Bible took out my notes and then promptly ignored them and spoke on what had come to me over the last 20 minutes or so. I went over some of Jesus’ miracles such as creating food from nothing, telling the weather to change and having it obey him and so on. I told them that Jesus was the Creator God, the one in control of our world and several other amazing things about Jesus. I concluded in John 11 the seventh sign Jesus performed as He raised Lazarus from the dead.
I worked diligently to show that Jesus was unique. There has never been anyone like Him in all of history. As I spoke of Jesus weeping at the presence of death, our common enemy, I urged those in the service who were suffering to come to this compassionate one who weeps with those who weep and believe on Him as the resurrected One who could forgive their sins and comfort as no other could.
As I drove home I realised that the Lord had been with me in delivering that message, that it in fact came from Him. Now, the fact is that I believe all my messages come from the Lord or I would not preach them. It is that simple. I do not believe I am now to go into the pulpit with a half hour’s worth of preparation in the future because of today’s incident.
What I do know from this incident is that when a confusing thing happens in my life the Lord is still with me and He will guide me through what appears to me as a confusing maze of circumstances.
In various other life issues I have faced, such as cancer, losing my first wife, having children with neurological problems and so on, the Lord was still with me. He will direct me when I am not sure what the next step is. Even when I feel lost in life and confused about which way to go, the Lord is with me.
There was a season in my life when as a young man I came to the Lord and confessed my sins. I was totally persuaded that Jesus could take away my sin and restore me to a proper relationship with God. I prayed for several months to the Lord until the Spirit of God confirmed to my heart that I was truly forgiven by God and had been brought into His family.
The precious promise for today is that the Lord Jesus is the travelling companion of all who have come to Him and confessed their sin. It is for all who believe the Easter message that Christ died for our sins and rose again the third day.
Is the Easter message for you? Do you believe in the Resurrected One who died for sinners? If you do not believe in Him, why not do so immediately? Jesus waits for us to come. He will not go where He is not invited. Come and come now. This truth is too good to ignore.