Apples of Gold

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Fear and Great Joy

‘Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?’ Luke 24:32

I was reading this morning in Matthew Chapter 28 and was struck by these words : ‘fear and great joy.’ What a strange combination? That was what the women had felt having been met by an angel, told their Lord had risen from the dead, and were now on their way to tell His disciples.

I remember well the first time that I was called upon to pray in public. My knees were knocking together, there was a knot in my stomach, my brain was in overdrive and my tongue in slow motion! It was a great honour and privilege to be found in the Master’s service and to be calling upon Him in public, yet great fear accompanied my joy.

How often have I heard, ‘I would love to do more for the Lord, but….!’ Opportunities for service lie all around us. We dream of being bold in His service, able to go to our neighbours, friends and relatives and speak freely and lovingly about our Beloved Saviour Redeemer. What stops us? Fear and not a little pride!

Fear of man, fear of our own inabilities and perhaps even a fear of letting The side down. I wonder how many of our reasons come under the heading of ‘Excuses?’ We are not alone though. Moses, that great leader, wanted God to send someone else instead of him. When we sit down and reason things out, it is folly for us to argue against God. It is folly for us to say to the One who formed our lips that we cannot speak!

It is our duty to present ourselves as living sacrifices, seeking God’s Will alone and willing to do whatever He bids us do. It is with ‘fear and great joy’ that I commit my way to Him each morning. Remember my friend we are on a spiritual adventure with Jesus leading the way. Listen to His words today. ‘Follow Me.’

The reason I chose the above text is because there are times when I can feel the disciples disappointment, and never more so than when I join with them on the road to Emmaus.

I remember well the great dreams and desires that I had when first I believed. What was I not going to do for Him? Today, over twenty years on, I cringe when I think of how little I have done in His Name.

The disciples had great plans and great hopes as they followed the Master. The cross however shattered all their dreams. Their lives lay in ruins. The One they had given everything up for, was dead! What now?

I love the way the Lord binds up their broken hearts. They seemed exhausted by the time they reached Emmaus, yet when light arose and they realised that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead their weariness turned to energy and they headed back to tell the others.

There is never a time when the Lord is not walking by our side. We may not realise this as we experience difficult times. How often though does a portion of Scripture come into our minds when we are sorely pressed? How often do silent requests rise from our troubled souls? My friend our duty is to follow Him. We must be confident that He is with us each step of the way. We may feel as discouraged as the disciples on this road felt, yet they were in the company of the King.

I pray that your heart and mine will burn within us today. That we would be aware of the Master’s company as we walk life’s highway. Even if we feel as though our hearts are in our boots, we never know the moment when light will arise and the blind are given their sight. All things are in the Hands of Him with whom we have to do. He is risen. Jesus is not dead, He is alive and we have a story to tell.