April 16, 2017

Longing to see Jesus

Normally, I’m not an emotional person. I can get riled, excited, or discouraged, yet for the most part, I’m fairly level. However, I woke this Easter morning with such a longing for Jesus that it was almost unbearable. This deep desire is affecting me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I do not know what the day will bring, but I do know that I hunger to see Jesus.

The verses for today talk about the Christians at Thessalonica and Paul’s appreciation for their faith. He knew they had been chosen by God. The gospel had come to them “not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4–5)

Paul’s passionate care for these believers was expressed in that he gave “thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

He called them people “loved by God” who had become “imitators of us and of the Lord” because they had “received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” They had made known to others the “word of the Lord” and their “faith in God has gone forth everywhere.”

Paul praised God that they had turned to Him “from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:1–10)

For some reason, perhaps just the intensity of this day to celebrate the resurrection, my heart is filled with a passion for the Lord and His people as I think of those “loved by God” and who live for Him, and also for Christ Himself who is the reason for their changed lives and mine.

Jesus, my Lord and Savior for whom I owe my life, You are honored all over the world today. It could be that the intense emotions I feel are part of that global worship. At Christmas, I feel a spirit unlike most other days. Certainly, at Easter that should also be my experience and not a surprise, yet today it is. All I can say is thank You, thank You for sending Your Word to save me, Your power to lift me up, Your Holy Spirit to fill me with great conviction and joy — for You are the living and true God, raised from the dead, who delivered me from the wrath to come. Thank You for all those You have chosen and called. Thank You that I am one of them!

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