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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, April 23, 2017
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Today’s scripture reading:
Power is available to us to bring our spiritually dead selves back to life, the same power that brought Jesus back to life.
The angel who announced the good news of the Resurrection to the women gave them four messages: (1) Don’t be afraid. The reality of the Resurrection brings joy, not fear. When you are afraid, remember the empty tomb. (2) He isn’t here. Jesus is not dead and is not to be looked for among the dead. He is alive, with his people. (3) Come, see. The women could check the evidence themselves. The tomb was empty then, and it is empty today. The Resurrection is a historical fact. (4) Go quickly and tell. They were to spread the joy of the Resurrection. We, too, are to spread the great news about Jesus’ resurrection. (NLT)
Matthew 28:1-10 – Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. His face shone line lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember, I have told you.” The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them, “Greetings!” he said. And they ran to him, held his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”
Nzabonimpa Alexis (Kigali, Rwanda) titled his story “NO SITUATION IS PERMANENT;” here is a portion of Nzabonimpa’s story:
“In 2006, a man I worked with tried to have me killed for refusing to be his follower. . . . I fled to Uganda, far from my family and friends.
“Life in exile was hard. I spent nights without food, thinking about my family, who had no income for living or school expenses. During hopeless moments, I thought that God was no longer concerned with my prayers. Then I read Psalm 125:1-2: ‘Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.’
“The next day, a man coming from Colorado to visit Uganda decided to stay with me for a few days. After recognizing the challenges I faced, he prayed with me and told me, ‘In three days God can change everything.’ This reminder of Jesus’ miraculous resurrection comforted me. A few months later, my situation changed when I was admitted to Uganda Christian University for theological studies. Today I am a pastor and a district leader in my denomination. God has the power to help us overcome challenging situations.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When I trust in the Lord, I cannot be shaken.
Prayer: Loving Father, your power is beyond ours. Help us to trust your promises and look to you for help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/