Encounters that start or reset a personal relationship with Jesus
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.” Now I have told you.”
— Matthew 28:5-10 (NIV)
So, the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
I want to begin a series on how to have encounters of the most amazing kind. We want to start with the first and most important encounter of all, the encounter that helps you start and experience a personal relationship with Jesus in a way that makes your heart come alive.
Jesus didn’t just come to make bad people good; he came to make dead come alive!
Jesus died and rose so that the way He came alive on the outside we might all come alive on the inside!
"Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprise at my saying,” "You must be born again.” — John 3:6-7 (NIV)
“In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I’m alive and you’re about to come alive.!” — John 14:19 (MSG)
You were born to have encounters with God in which He loves you to life.
It is through encountering God and experiencing a personal relationship with Jesus that our joy, our purpose and hope and even our marriages and families can come alive.
We will never be truly completely fulfilled until experience a real personal relationship with Jesus.
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” — C.S. Lewis
Many people miss this life because they settle for religion instead of a relationship. It is only an encounter with Jesus that will take us from religion to relationship.
How the disciples had an Easter encounter with Jesus that changed their lives and show us how we can too.
The Marys’ stepped out and followed a prompting to go to the tomb even though they didn’t know how they could move the stone. When we take one little step towards God, He will take a thousand steps towards us. If we don’t go to where God is leading us, we won’t have what God is giving us.
They encountered God and came alive because they didn’t settle for an event but they went for a relationship. They took something powerful and they made it personal. Don’t just meet Jesus at church take Him home with you.
“Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” — Matthew 28:10
Easter is not just about an empty tomb but a present Savior who wants to give us a life time of miracle moments.
We miss the full joy of having Jesus because we let internal distraction and external distraction rob us from fresh ways that we can experience Him.
“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you-but when you live separated from me you are powerless.” —John 15:5 (TPT)
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”
— Revelations 2:4-5a (NIV)
After a time of trauma, they let Jesus reset their faith and restore their heart. Many let God help them get out of the storm but they don’t let God help them get the storm out of them.
Three ways Jesus wants to help us experience Him to reset our faith, restore our hearts, and restart our relationship with Him:
1. He wants to speak a personal whisper to our heart. Position yourself to let His word love you to life. His words peel the layers of hurts and pain from our souls.
Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” — Matthew 28:9-10 (NIV)
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken-they are full of Spirit and life.” — John 6:63 (NIV)
2. Be honest with your doubts and investigate the evidence and truth about Jesus for yourself.
One of the disciples ran and told Thomas, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” — John 20:25 (NIV)
“A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Through the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and My God.” — John 20:26-28 (NIV)
3. Give God your hurts and regrets and let Jesus rewrite your story.
Peter isn’t stopped by his doubts from experiencing the joy and victory of Christ but by his hurts and emotions. “Early in the morning. Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No," they answered. He said, “throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some…
When they landed, the saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it and some bread.”
— John 21:4-6a, 9 (NIV)
Jesus doesn’t change what the story has been, but when we give Him our stories, He rewrites the way all of our stories end.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” — 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can (still) do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
— Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)