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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
The two followers returning to Emmaus at first missed the significance of history’s greatest event because they were too focused on their disappointments and problems. In fact, they didn’t recognize Jesus when he was walking beside them. To compound the problem, they were walking in the wrong direction—away from the fellowship of believers in Jerusalem. We are likely to miss Jesus and withdraw from the strength found in other believers when we become preoccupied with our dashed hopes and frustrated plans. Only when we are looking for Jesus in our midst will we experience the power and help he can bring. (NLT)
Luke 24:13-32 – That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles out of Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. Suddenly, Jesus himself came along and joined them and began walking beside them. But they didn’t know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.
“You seem to be in a deep discussion about something,” he said. “What are you so concerned about?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
“What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did wonderful miracles. He was a mighty teacher, highly regarded by both God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders arrested him and handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had thought he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. That all happened three days ago. Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, Jesus’ body was gone, just as the women had said.”
Then Jesus said to them, “You are such foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?” Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about himself.
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus would have gone on, but they begged him to stay the night with them, since it was getting late. So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took a small loaf of bread, asked God’s blessing on it, broke it, then gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts feel strangely warm as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
Stacy Sanchez (New Mexico) titled her story “TRAINED EYES;” here is a portion of Stacy’s story:
“. . . We can train our eyes to spot God as well. As we recall God’s faithfulness in our lives, we develop eyes of faith – eyes that will see God’s presence, regardless of the circumstances. When those around us have lost sight of God, it is our privilege and responsibility to lovingly reassure them, ‘Yes, my friend, God is still here.’ Then, with words of faith, we can point them toward God – guiding them to see and discover God in the midst of their situation.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will look for opportunities to point others to God’s presence.
Prayer: Faithful God, you have promised never to leave us. Give us opportunities to use our eyes of faith to reassure those around us of your faithful presence in their lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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