Saturday, September 12, 2015

Recognizing Jesus

By Lisa Helene Bacalski

The Lord GOD opened my ear;
I did not refuse,
did not turn away.
-Isaiah 50:5

Gracious is the LORD and just;
yes, our God is merciful.
--Psalm 116:5

Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
--James 2:18b

And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” --Mark 8:29a

Open my eyes, Lord, help me to see your face.
Open my ears, Lord, help me to hear your voice.
Open my heart, Lord, help me to love like you.
        (Open My Eyes, Lord by Jesse Manibusan)

God calls to us constantly, begging us to walk closer to Him, to recognize Him in those around us, to find Him through our service to others. Easily said when things are going well, and we like the people around us. The disciples liked hanging out with Jesus the miraculous healer, the captivating storyteller, the multiplier of loaves and fishes, the maker of water into wine. Then Jesus changed his tune and following Him became harder. When He started explaining the rough road ahead, Peter argued with Him.

How often do we argue with the opportunity to meet Jesus in unexpected, difficult places or rude, demanding people? We have any number of justifications - time, resources, energy - but all our excuses are “thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” (Mark 8:33b)

It is so easy to say no, but so much more rewarding to say yes whenever we can, however a situation best demands. Jesus said yes to the Cross and redeemed each of us. Each day, we can say yes and lift our own cross as we walk ever closer to Him.

And the first shall be last
and our eyes are opened
and we’ll hear like never before.
And we’ll speak in new ways,
and we’ll see God’s face
in places we’ve never known.
(continued from above, Open My Eyes, Lord by Jesse Manibusan)

Do something kind for the most annoying or least deserving person you know. Then do it again, and again.

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