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A New Christian Begining

The four gospels and book of Acts in the New Testament are full of accounts of people encountering God in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth. Whenever Christ met someone their lives were profoundly changed, some experiencing great joy, some anger, dejection and sadness. Since coming to dwell among us the world has reacted to the son of God in much the same way even to present day.

When a person chooses to open their heart and allow Christ to dwell within, many describe a feeling of peace, complete love and hope. Recall Abraham whom God loved so much that he came into his life and told him to uproot and to follow His directions to a land that he had never seen, that God said he would give to him so to begin a nation. Abraham chose to trust this unseen God whose words seemed to come from within his own head and as Paul wrote in Romans: It was counted to him as righteousness.” Here is the point...Did Abraham's life suddenly become easy, without stones to stumble over? Not at all for we know from scripture that he still had hardship, still had doubt, still had wavering of faith, however, he had peace, love and hope when communing with God.

When God's time was right and Jesus had been born as a man, he walked along the Jordan river and his cousin John the Baptist pointed to him and said: “Behold the lamb of God who has come to take away the sin of the world.” The curiosity of Andrew and another of John's followers led them to joyously run to Andrew's brother Shimon (whose name means wavering in faith) and proclaim that they had found the Messiah. The group grew in number and Jesus began to teach them and the crowds that gathered to hear Him. Their path was not easy as Jesus was rejected in his hometown, the group was asked to leave the land of Gergesenes, the Pharisees and chief priests sought to entrap them in a violation of the law and their persecution continued even after Jesus had sent them forth. They still had an inner peace, love and the hope of seeing their friend and teacher again.

The Lord came upon a man blind from birth on whom was heaped disdain and scorn as his neighbors believed his affliction stemmed from some sin that had not been atoned for. He restores the man's sight causing great joy in the man who went about praising God. The chief priests hearing his testimony and that of his parents throw him out of the early excommunication. In his sorrow of rejection he encounters the Lord again and again feels the Lord's presence.

When you invite the Lord to dwell within your heart and guide your life you will experience a peace and love that is rare in this world. Beware though, that you do this at your own risk for the world will still be full of rocks and thorns in your path and no one, not even God promises you a “get out of life free” card. No, this world is our proving ground and when we put on the armor of God with the Lord at our side, we will be provided with the strength to run the race set before us.

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