Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Mind Opener

"Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45 NIV)

Sometimes we think the Gospel is a reasonable thing, driven by logic.

Like 2 + 2 = 4 it is an equation that leads you, naturally, to a conclusion.

Or like the fact that Lansing is the capital of Michigan, we think it is data we can memorize.

We figure people should be able to hear verses like

The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day
and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached...(Luke 24:46-47a)

and people will line the doors of the church, waiting to get in.

(Wouldn't that be GREAT!!)

But Luke reminds us that hearing does NOT automatically lead to belief. And being aware of the story does NOT automatically lead to faith.

Minds must be opened so (people can) understand.

And only the Mind Opener can bring that about.

Sometimes the realization comes suddenly, violently. (See Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus in Acts 9.)

But other times God comes more as a patient, loving, polite suitor; desiring to be invited in and welcomed into our life (See Revelation 3:20).

Take 30 seconds and ask youself these questions:

1. How would I describe the way God has opened my mind in the past? Violently or gently?

2. Who do I know that doesn't "get it"; they don't understand what God has done or is doing?

3. Am I willing to ask God to send the Spirit to open their minds so they could understand ? Do I care enough about them to take the time to ask God on their behalf?

Spend an additional few seconds and speak to God right now. Use these words below if you want:

God, thank you for opening my mind to the Good News of Who You are.
Please send your Spirit to _____________ today.
Help him/her understand how much You love him/her,
how much (s)he needs to repent
and how great Your forgivenes can be in his/her life.
Thank You for hearing my prayer.

Wouldn't it be great if resurrections will continue in the lives of those for whom our congregation is praying?!

Grace & peace

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