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Jesus Encounters

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 devotional calender copy.jpgIn Scripture supernatural encounters were usually unexpected, but . . . [to continue reading click icon]

these encounters left the believer with an experience that no one could take away. Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Lord, but when she told the other disciples about this, they did not believe her [Mark 16: 11]. I wonder what the disciples said to Mary? Did they try to convince her that she couldn't have seen Jesus because He was dead? Did Peter and John berate her because He appeared to her and not to them. Possibly, but to no avail, because she had an encounter with the living Jesus and that could not be taken away from her. Eventually, she was proven right and had the honor of being the first in history to see Jesus alive -- risen from the dead.

The Apostle Paul is another who encountered the risen Lord [1 Corinthians 15: 8; Acts 9: 3-8]. This unexpected experience radically changed Paul from being a violent tormentor sent by satan to being a violent tormentor to satan and his demons. Beatings, imprisonments, death threats and death itself could not convince Paul that his encounter was not real. He knew that he had encountered the risen Lord and nothing or no one could take that experience away.

I too had an encounter with the risen Lord about forty years ago. I was in the Air Force and home on leave during Christmas. I did not know the Lord then -- although I was raised in church. I was at a party with friends and was inebriated -- drunk. A friend from high school, who had recently gotten saved, started talking to me about Jesus. She was telling me stuff I knew -- stuff I've heard all my life -- stuff I even confessed when I was nine years old and was baptized. But this time was different. This time her words were sticking; her words were making sense. That night I gave my heart to the Lord -- I instantly sobered up. Returning to Texas, I was a changed man. I no longer did what I used to do, but I did spend time reading the Bible I took back with me. One night as I finished reading the Book of Revelation, I felt a Presence and a Power that settled on me  and I uttered these words, “Wow, I feel  if I laid my hands on someone who is sick they would be healed.” His Presence was unexpected and the words I uttered were totally out of character for me. The whole time I was in church I never heard anything about healing the sick, let alone laying my hands on someone. But this encounter radically changed my life -- salvation changed me, but this encounter had an even greater impact. Through the years I have grieved the Holy Spirit and even quenched Him at times. And there have been times when I was not walking as close with the Lord as I should. However, nothing  can take away the experience I had in February 1975. Here it is forty years later and the Holy Spirit is breathing on the embers of that encounter and the words I spoke; He is saying, “They will be fulfilled!”

Have you had a Jesus encounter lately? Are there some embers that need the breath of the Holy Spirit? Allow Him to blow on the smoldering embers of your encounters so that they can burst once again into flames.   

 

Pastor Rick

 

 

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