Favorite Teachers – Day 2

“. . . everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40b
 
Who was your favorite teacher? What do you remember about that person? If not a teacher per se, think of someone who taught you life’s most important lessons. I’ve listened to a number of people describe their most influential instructor over the years, and most share similar traits.
 
Favorite teachers are often those who pushed us to work hard. They challenged, corrected, and stretched us. Instructors’ standards of excellence resulted in what many of us would admit, that because of that special teacher, we accomplished “more than I thought possible”. They expressed confidence in our ability that called out a deeper commitment and stronger response than we could have mustered on our own. Learning went beyond the textbook to discovering more about ourselves and life. We will never forget them – those who believed in us.
 
As the following days lead to Good Friday and Easter, my thoughts focus on a favorite Teacher available to each of us. Sure, He instructed his twelve disciples with the textbook of Old Testament scripture, but we see Him doing much more. As you spend time with these familiar events from the Gospels, watch Jesus’ interaction with His followers. He challenges their assumptions about their Heavenly Father and the Kingdom of God He is establishing. He expresses confidence that as they trust, their future will hold “abundantly more” than could be imagined. He corrects their reliance on human strength, to stretch their belief in God’s power.
 
For their part, the disciples committed their daily lives to following this Teacher. They lived with His schedules, accommodations, meal plans, and travel arrangements. Their choice to remain with Jesus expressed the decision of the rabbinical students of the day, “to desire to be what the Rabbi is”.
 
Jesus’ offer is extended to us as well. Will you respond to His invitation? He calls. Will we seek forgiveness and be free? Like a favorite teacher, He challenges and corrects. To seek Him is to approach One who knows us completely, yet still believes in us. He is confident that as we trust, He will answer with abundantly more than we thought possible.
 
Like most favorite teachers, He has a schedule for the day posted for every student. Will you submit your list of plans and accept His schedule? It is a daily choice, but, once made, it will pull from you a deeper commitment and stronger response than you imagined. There is hard work and great fulfillment in His schedule. Who will set the order of your days this year as Easter draws near?
 
-Pastor Todd Witmer

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Meaning of Easter – Day 1

Read John 20:10-18
 
Note in this scripture that Mary had lost her Lord and was weeping over the loss! Mary was looking in the wrong place – she was looking in the EMPTY TOMB! I have on my bookshelf a book by the title “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.” The author states that many times today people are looking for love in things, in others, in titles, in any number of places. We should be looking to our Lord Jesus for true love. He loves unconditionally – He loves us with no strings attached.
 
Mary turned from the empty tomb and saw Jesus – recognizing Him when He called her name! I wonder if we recognize His voice when He speaks to us today? Do we even want to hear what He is saying if we recognize His voice?
 
He speaks to us in a multitude of ways. He is trying to get our attention through the Easter event.
 
Easter is more than a date on a calendar. It is more than an event in the cycle of a season – budding trees, green grass and singing birds. Easter is more than an occasion for wearing a new hat or dress, a new tie or suit. Easter is more than a day for family gatherings, for meeting friends or finding colored eggs and candy rabbits. Easter is more than merely going to church, though the Church can help us find the sacred meaning of this Eternal Day.
 
Easter is God’s Day!
 
Easter is the day that marks the Resurrection of His Son from the grave! Easter is the assurance that what we call “death” is not the end of living! Easter is the promise of immortality. It is a glimpse of God’s plan for our eternal fellowship with Him!
 
You cannot find one pessimistic note in all of the New Testament after the Resurrection! Why, you may ask? BECAUSE HE LIVES. And because He lives, you and I can face anything – literally ANYTHING!
 
This Easter may we be intentional in our listening for His voice, and answering a “Yes Lord!”
 
-Pastor Bob Coddington

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