Missing Something?

Monday, April 6, 2015
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today"1 (Lyrics)

In preparation for a sermon during my pastorate, a particularly good idea surfaced. I thought to myself, "What a powerful message the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart!" The Scripture passage was something we all needed to hear. After I had delivered the sermon, I had a lot of positive feedback. However, I was disappointed to see that several of our congregants were absent. Unfortunately, they missed the blessing that morning.

As I recalled this scene, the following passage came to mind:

John 20:24-25 – But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." (NASB)

I perceived that if Thomas had been present, perhaps he might not have doubted. Look at the experience that Thomas missed out on:

John 20:19b-23a – Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven." (NASB)

Upon reading this passage, I realized several things that Thomas forfeited by not being there:

  • The person of Jesus
  • The presence of Jesus
  • The fellowship with Jesus
  • The fellowship with his brethren
  • The peace of Jesus
  • The prayer or benediction of Jesus
  • The revelation of Jesus
  • The power of Jesus
  • The power of His resurrection
  • The glory of the Lord
  • The joy of the Lord
  • The purpose of Jesus
  • The commission of Jesus
  • The breath of Jesus
  • The promise of the Holy Spirit
  • The forgiveness of Jesus
  • The worship of Jesus

As the sequence of events closed eight days later, Jesus appeared and satisfied Thomas's conditions. Thomas responded, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28 NASB). Thomas's experience reminds us about what we may be deprived of when we lose our focus on the Lord and neglect meeting with fellow Christians. His example merits the question: Missing something?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we give You all the honour and glory. You know our strengths and our weaknesses. Keep us ever so humble, and sustain us in Your gracious arms. Guide us so that we never miss Your blessings nor lose sight of Who You are and what You have done. Help us to make each day profitable to Your glory. In the name of Your Son Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lou Ciccanti <breadoflife@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Well done Lou!

    Thanks for the good thoughts Lou.

    Great and encouraging devotional and fitting for Easter.

    Thank you for this thought and perspective. It is so true!

    Just wanted to say how blessed I was by the devotional.

    Thank you, Lou. Great insights in your Devotionals. You and Lori write great insightful Devotionals. Blessings.

    After I had read your piece I received from Sermon for kids and it was along the same idea as yours and gave 10 reasons why we should not miss church and referred to Thomas.

    I pray you had a blessed Easter weekend. Although I am in my 7’s I never stop being surprised by what God continues to to teach us either through His word or by His people — through these devotionals. Thank you for your perspective in todays devotional.

    Lou, Very profound. I believe, unfortunately, that most people would respond as Thomas did, in not being there to actually perceive the presence of Jesus. There’s a lot of doubting Thomas’s in most of us. But, this had to be done so that He was able to state, “You believe because you saw Me. Blessed are those who believe, yet have not seen Me.” God Bless.

    Lou – What a glorious study of meeting the Lord with all of His fullness and glory! Thanks for taking us down the path of the glory we miss when not in fellowship with other believers. However, for some of us who cannot get to the house of God because of our physical handicaps, we worship in another meaningful way by our fellowship with other believers in what I call the “electric” church. Thank you for writing such a powerful message.

    I loved this message, you took me directly to the scripture I had chosen to read for my quiet time today. So much that happened those eight days after the first appearance of Christ is really the gospel in the nutshell. Had Christ not appeared to those we knew He loved and trusted we would always wonder, “Did He Really defeat the works of Satan, and reappear to those He served as master.
    As sad as it seems, folks today are just too busy doing everything else to allow their lives to be touched by the holy spirit.

    Thank you for your message. I wondered if it meant me as I don’t go to church any more, but I listen to a service which comes over the radio each Sunday morning. [I don’t trust my driving anymore unless there is a ”co-pilot with me”]
    Here is the prayer at the end of your message. And how I so often will change the words to mean ME.
    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I give You all the honor and glory. You know my strengths and my weaknesses. Keep me ever so humble, and sustain me in Your gracious arms. Guide me so that I never miss Your blessings nor lose sight of Who You are and what You have done. Help me to make each day profitable to Your glory. In the name of Your Son Jesus, I pray. Amen.

    Thanks Lou. I believe that (with your blessing), I will use this in my young adult teaching.

    Very good. A great way to see it.

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