When the two men on the road to Emmaus had their eyes opened to the risen Christ after His crucifixion they were ecstatically exuberant. They said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32). Imagine how they felt? Wouldn’t you like to have been there with them to experience Jesus raised from the dead? Well, do I have good news for you! We can experience that AND more 2,000+ years “down the road”.
How about the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-39? After Phillip preaches Jesus to him he says, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). After he is baptized by Phillip Luke records that “he goes on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). Wouldn’t you like to have been there to see that!? Wouldn’t you like to experience that kind of joy? Well, do I have good news for you! We can experience that AND more 2,000+ years “down the road”.
The first time we meet Jesus is sooooooo incredibly exciting; however, it does not have to be all downhill after that. We can experience Jesus new every day after we become a Christian. Ephesians 4:23 says, “…be renewed in the spirit of your mind”. That statement by Paul is in the present, ongoing tense = meaning we can be renewed day after day. Every day can actually get better in our relationship with Jesus.
Sometimes we get sloppy in our Christian walk; then, when we repent, it can be like the first time with Jesus. And sometimes we get into a spiritual funk and get flat in our relationship with the Lord. Maybe it’s a sin in which Satan has trapped us. Maybe it’s guilt or depression. Maybe our work or school schedule has bombarded us and we are all discombobulated(been wanting to use that word for some time J). But we keep striving to stay close to God. We feel bad because we can’t seem to fix it and get close to the Lord again like the way it was the first time. Finally, something clicks and something happens and we get back on track in our daily walk with the Lord. It feels so great to be close to Him and we never want to allow anything to soil and distract us from being close to Him ever again. And it’s like the first time – like after our baptism into Christ when we felt so close to God and were so full of joy.
Read Psalm 32. Then listen to For the First Time by The Afters.
How blessed is he whose wrongdoing is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
How blessed is a person whose guilt the Lord does not take into account,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality failed as with the dry heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And I did not hide my guilt;
I said, “I will confess my wrongdoings to the Lord”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Certainly in a flood of great waters, they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place; You keep me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will advise you with My eye upon you.
Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
The sorrows of the wicked are many,
But the one who trusts in the Lord, goodness will surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.