Sometimes in life we may feel that we are completely depleted and have nothing left to offer this world. We are tired of the aches and pains of life, not sure where to go from here. The ways of the world consume us in trying to be “perfect” and fall into the patterns the world designed for an imperfect world. What if Jesus commanded us to Rise Up?!! Let us take a look at John 11, the story of Lazarus, whom Jesus loved. He had been in the tomb for four days. Let’s start at verse 39.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was laying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. “And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” (John 11:39-44, NKJV)
Yes, Lazarus was literally dead. Yes, Jesus brought Him back to life again. Let us realize this. Before we come to Christ, we are sons and daughters of transgression, we are spiritually dead. By accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are born again into Spiritual life! Jesus is telling you to come forth, to rise up! And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-7, NKJV).
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we take on a new identity. We no longer identify with the world. We are now co-heirs to the kingdom of God. We are His sons and daughters. We are called to be set apart, not to blend in with the rest of the world, that will only weigh us down and once again deplete us. Christ went to the cross so that we could be sanctified and made holy, so that we could have life, and have it more abundantly. Because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16, NKJV) “…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”(John 10:10, NKJV).
What does it mean to be holy and to have life more abundantly? It means that we are to follow God’s commands. Not because we have to, but because we love Him and we want to…we want to serve Him and have His smile and favor. Here is a good place to start if you are not familiar with the 10 commandments already.
· You shall have no other gods before Me.
· You shall not make idols.
· You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
· Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
· Honor your father and your mother.
· You shall not murder.
· You shall not commit adultery.
· You shall not steal.
· You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
· You shall not covet.
You can find the 10 commandments in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.
Not only will the 10 commandments lead you in a life of holiness and abundance, but the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Let me share with you from the Bible and let me encourage you to dig deeper into the word of God so that you will know the heart of the Father…It goes deeper than religion…it’s a relationship, which our Savior longs to have with you!
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2-8, NKJV)
My dear brothers and sisters, I share this with you so that we will be alive, so that we will rise up! God is not a God of the dead, but a God of the living! To live in the fullness of God and His promises for us, we must believe…we must trust…TRUST. Out of this trust will establish joy, and an abundant life in the Lord Jesus Christ, a life where we have never felt more alive!
©2022 Leslie Wittenmyer—All rights reserved