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Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe" (John 20:25).

He is known as Doubting Thomas, but it seems to me that Hoping Thomas is a more accurate name for this loyal and inquiring apostle of Christ.  It was Thomas who would have returned to Bethany with Jesus into near-certain death in order to be with Him; Thomas who, during the Last Supper, inquired where Jesus was speaking of going and how he could know the way, and Thomas who was eager to believe that the disciples’ report was true.  They claimed to have seen Christ resurrected and, could it be, this Christ was now standing before him? Perhaps the infamous “Unless I see, I will not believe” was less an expression of doubt and more an expression of hoping against hope.  The invitation was given to see for himself, but before he could reach out his hand he fell to the floor and answered, “My Lord and my God!” 

Revelation comes at His invitation and confirmation is given to those who purpose to see Jesus standing before them at every juncture.  He stands in the midst of our fears, confusions, disappointments and less-than-magnificent moments.  Yet, when doubt assails hope prevails in those who are as ready as Thomas to believe.  Like Thomas, the other disciples needed to see Christ’s hands and side and were glad to believe, but Thomas alone fell down and proclaimed the presence of the Lord. 

Look!  He stands before you now!  Don’t be incredulous, but purpose to see Him.  Fall down and proclaim the presence of the Lord your God even here. 

Author: Carolyn Roehrig

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

“But when he came out, he could not speak to them...” (Luke 1:22).

Long ago a certain priest, Zacharias, was chosen by lot to burn incense when he went into the temple.  He entered the temple, burned incense at the altar, got alone with God in prayer, and was dumbfounded.  His prayer was heard. 

It is good to get alone with God, but when God gets us alone with Himself it is on His initiative, not ours.  It is good to voice before Him the words we find that fit the soul, but God’s Word leaves us speechless.  It is good to know that God hears our prayers, but be ready to hear God.  Often what God says is more than we can make sense of.  To the divine, “I have spoken; it is so”, there is nothing more to say except, perhaps, “How?”

Inner commotions congregate gregariously at the altar until we are silenced by God’s Word.  Has He left you dumbstruck?  He is getting you absolutely alone with Himself.  Linger long.  You will emerge as Zacharias emerged, saturated and peaced. 

Author: Carolyn Roehrig

Friday, January 14, 2011

"If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38).

Christ was soon to be crucified when he spoke these words.  Are you thirsty for eternal life? Jesus is addressing you, standing and crying out, saying, “Come to Me and drink.”  It is not a drink that profits the flesh, but the spirit, not offered at a feast, but at the cross, not poured from a pitcher, but from His side.  It is the blood of forgiveness and the water of life. 

Crucified, glorified,
The mercy of God flowed from His side. 
Poured forth, from earthen source,
Rivers of living waters course
Out of hearts who believe, out of souls who receive,
Rapid, lively, sweet, free. 
From the river of Eden, dawn of creation,
To the fountain of Christ, promised salvation,
Euphrates and Gihon!
Hiddekel and Pishon!
Praise and elation!  These currents are strong!
Praise and elation!  These names like a song!
Rapid, Lively Running Water, Bursting Forth Sweet on Heaven’s shore,
Fertile Stream, Flowing Freely for ever and ever and ever more!

Author: Carolyn Roehrig

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart" (Ecclesiastes 5:20).

Due occasionally is an assessment of our days, but resist the fascination of it.  The fascination is there, and it pulls hard the attachment we have to time and to what occupies.  Set not your heart upon itself.  Intrinsic to a heavy heart is a heart too oft communed with by its self-same soul.  Also, put not time in your heart.  God hasn’t.  While He has made everything beautiful in its time, eternity He has put in our hearts. Time is just the beautiful wrap around it.    

A joyful heart knows that eternity has been put in it, knows its occupation, and knows its heritage.  The task through all our myriad tasks is to rejoice and to do good in our lives.  It is our God-given task.  He means for us to be occupied with it, no excuses.  “I can’t rejoice until this or enjoy because of that” are excuses we give when we forget our heritage.

Our heritage is what God reserves for us.  It is, in part, the power to enjoy what God gives, to accept our appointed lot, and to rejoice in our labor.  It is the gift that fits the task.  Both God-given, God Himself is the correspondent defending our heritage and occupation.  When tried, we may here direct our appeal and receive the verdict of the triune God, “Joy and heart shall ne’er depart!” 

Wonderful proclamation!  It is of God!  Rejoice!   

Author: Carolyn Roehrig