June 11, 2016 • Life for Leaders
“I am the resurrection and the life.”
John 11 highlights two contrasting themes of life and death, where Jesus is seen as the master of both. Ironically, the raising of Lazarus brought a death sentence on Jesus’ life (11:53) and on Lazarus’ life as well (12:10). But right in the midst of these words of death, Jesus offers life. Two thousand years after Jesus said these words, his resurrection life continues to pour into peoples’ lives.
I grew up going to church every week but I was primarily focused on being religious, not on developing a relationship with Christ. After working hard to get people to like me and recognize my accomplishments, I realized that I could never accomplish enough to make myself satisfied. I ended up in a deep depression for two years. I was going through the motions each day—not even wanting to live—but resurrection life erupted in me one day as I prayed in desperation for a change. I heard the voice of Christ calling me to himself and I responded with my whole life. The depression lifted immediately and, in my opinion, miraculously. A new kind of joy filled my heart. I came alive inside. People noticed that something changed. I grew towards being a leader who invited others to experience the resurrection life offered in Jesus. Thirty years after this experience, I’m still inviting others to encounter Jesus for themselves.
Though I have never forgotten this pivotal moment, I can often neglect the reality of resurrection power as it applies to my everyday life. When I face difficulties at work, I often rely on my own ingenuity and influence instead of drawing on God’s power. When we see systemic injustice, we can get discouraged and doubt God’s life-giving power to make a difference. Perhaps broken relationships or financial burdens harden us against hopefulness for fear of being disappointed if God doesn’t act according to our expectations. It’s easy to forget that Jesus is the resurrection and the life when we face hardships and experience setbacks.
As you go through your day, consider the power that resides in you because of Christ in you. Remember your own spiritual journey and thank God for the life he poured into you in the past, as well as for the life he still pours in and through you now. Think about the resurrection life he may want to reveal in a difficult situation you are in. Tell him that you need him and trust him. Thank him for the fact that he hasn’t abandoned you. His promise of resurrection life was not just meant for our future bodily resurrection, but for all the broken things that need his healing touch in our daily lives.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Have you ever experienced or seen God’s power in a tangible way? If so, how did it affect you and others? If not, are you open for his resurrection life to intersect with your life this week?
Is there a particularly difficult situation that you long to see God’s power in?
If God had answered the supplications you made this past week, what would have happened?
Is there someone in particular that you want to pray for to experience the resurrection life of Jesus?
Jesus, help me to remember the resurrection life you poured into me when I first called on your name. As your Spirit guides me, may I never forget that your own power resides in me and flows through me at home, at church, in my work, and in all the relationships you have brought into my life. Make me attentive to where you are leading me today so that I may be faithful to invite your resurrection life to touch others through me. Thank you, Father, for using me to be a witness of the new life that is found in Christ. May I never tire of trusting you until that day when you come again. Amen.