Greetings again my Brethren.  More this month on the diverse attitudes towards the Lord’s visit. Last month we talked about how unexpected the Lord can come to us, in our sin and not in our sin. You know I think the Lord comes to us more in our sin than not in our sin.  Yes, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but that verse talks about BEFORE Christ has come to live with us.  After we are saved we are new creations created because Christ now dwells within us and yes we can miss the mark or sin.  Yes we can  know to do right, but do wrong or sin.  But that is not to be our daily way of living.  Forgiveness for sins after Christ comes into us should not be a common occurrence. I like that so much I will say it again. Forgiveness for sins after Christ comes into us should not be a common occurrence.  If we have a problem with continually sinning in an area in our life we need to back up and revaluate what our salvation is based on. It is church doctrine and traditions of men usually done by saying the sinner’s prayer (which is not in the Bible) or is it based on a true heart-felt acknowledgement of what sin has wrought in our lives, how sin destroys every relationship we enter and how sin destroys everything we touch.  I really believe for people who are dealing with sins of the flesh, moral failures, addictions, and the like MUST come to a place in their lives where they truly HATE what causes them to do or become.  It is much more than God going, ZOOM, ZAP, POP and they are gone. Oh no, sins of the flesh, moral failures, and addictions are often issues of the heart (I know this for sure) and they must be dealt with at the heart level if we do not come to HATE what causes us to sin or what we become then there  will be a hook (a desire or a self-want) in us that causes this continual sin to ever live in us.  Our true hatred of these sins is the beginning point of God being able (until then we desire the sin) to break the power of these sins in our lives. Okay so for this month we will take a look at how the diverse attitudes when Lord comes unrecognized. All throughout the Bible when Jesus walked on the earth, healed the sick, opened the blinded eyes, His message in action and deed was He was the Son of God. Jesus even said,  “when you see Me you have seen the Father.” The people (including the disciples, all 82) never  recognized Jesus the entire time He was on the earth not a clue. In John 20, there is a wonderful example of what I am talking about.  During one of the most glorious events in history “the resurrection” Jesus is unrecognized. We read,                      But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.” (John 20:11-14) Now I know Jesus was put to death and even though Jesus told them He would be raised from the dead, either they did not understand what Jesus said or they just did not believe Him.  At any rate, Jesus did as He said and they (Mary here) missed Him. Now let me stop here.  It sounds like I am really beating up on poor Mary and the other folks in the Bible, but not so.  I can understand why she did not know Jesus. After all, her eyes were probably puffy and tearful (verse one “weeping”) and coming back from the dead? Who can do this? Was He the Son of God or not? Who was this man named Jesus? Oh no, I can understand why Mary did not recognize Jesus. After all they did not have the word of God (the Bible) to read like we do. The disciples and the other folks in the Bible did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them as we do.  We have these two critical tools to teach us who Jesus is today and yet I would bet you $100 if Jesus was in our midst we too would probably miss Him.  I wonder why that would be?  Well, Jesus is not seen with our eyes alone you can ask Mary about that.  Mary knew Him, she washed His feet with her tears.  Mary knew Jesus (and loved Jesus) maybe greater than the other disciples. I think that is why Mary above all of the disciples (all 82) was at the tomb to tend to Jesus. My friend, Jesus is not seen as much as He is felt in a soft touch, a gentle smile, or a stirring in our heart. And our answer  to the question “who was that man Jesus” is what God will use to judge us by.  You see who Jesus is to us individually and how a denomination handles Jesus is the basis of truth in our lives.  Is Jesus the Son of God or is He another prophet. Can Jesus do all of the things He said He can do in the Bible or is He a liar?  Are our sins forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross or not?  Our answer to who Jesus is, is the difference between heaven and hell. Yes, we seen the pictures of Jesus hanging on a cross and we write pictures of it in our mind, but if these images never get to our heart, if they never move us to tears and see the great loss He experienced for us individually,  then we too do not know who Jesus is. He has come to our little portion of this world and we have received Him not.  He has come and we did not  recognize Him.                               

More next month as we continue to look at more diverse attitudes towards the Lord’s visit.  Do you see Him draw near? Please know God is near to them who are near to Him. Do you feel His presence?  Do you see His hand in your life? He is waiting on us to make our first move.  Written by David Stahl