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Rolling Stones

April 15, 2020 Dear Praying Friends, Thank you for joining Rachel and me in prayer each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. Martin Luther said, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.” How true that is! Recently, two amazing stories have been on my mind—both involving rolling stones, human heartache, death, an insurmountable obstacle, and the awesome power of God. These two stories were brought to life in a play we saw this past weekend; it was Sight and Sound’s theatrical production of “JESUS” which was aired freely on TBN for Easter. They did a masterful job of portraying both Jesus’ humanity and the power of God at work in Him. In the story of Lazarus being raised back to life, Martha showed reluctance to listen to the command of Jesus, to roll away the stone. And for good reason. Lazarus had been dead for four days and rolling away the stone would expose everyone to the putrid smell of the decaying corpse of her beloved brother. But it was what Jesus asked them to do. When they removed the stone, Jesus displayed the glory and power of God by raising His friend Lazarus from the dead. In application, the story reveals something we can do and something only God can do. Jesus could have moved the stone and had it land in the Sea of Galilee if He wanted to. It was His intention to involve those present and see if they were willing to trust Him in doing something unconventional and rather outrageous. It is in our acts of obedience to Christ that we pave the way for God to manifest His glory in our situation. God may be calling you to do small acts of kindness or He may be asking you to do something more difficult, like mending a broken relationship. The issue is not what He’s asking you to do, but that you are obedient in whatever He asks of you. The second story happened at the tomb of Joseph, where Jesus was buried. The dialogue between the women, as recorded in Mark sixteen, is intriguing. As they went to anoint the body of Jesus, the big question on their minds was, “Who will roll away the stone?” This story is different from the first about Lazarus because here instead of reluctance to remove a stone, these women were concerned about how to roll away the stone. Some suggest this stone weighed between one and two tons. It was huge. It was an insurmountable problem for these women, but what is very notable is that this did not deter them from continuing on. Maybe they were thinking, “Somehow, someway, God will work this out for us.” This story was about the love of these women for their Lord. Theirs was an act of devotion. I have no idea what the stone may be that needs to be rolled away in your life right now. It may be a financial stone, or a personal stone, or a relational stone, or a medical stone, or it may be quite literally a kidney stone! Let me ask a few questions to challenge your thoughts: Have you prayed about your stone? Are you seeking to move forward in faith depending on the Lord to move it in His time and will? Be encouraged by these women at the tomb. When they got there, the stone was already moved. God had taken care of it, and more staggeringly, Jesus was alive!!  I pray that these two stories will strengthen your heart as you pray for your prodigal. Perhaps you have begun to lose hope, and feel there’s no way that they could possibly be restored to the Lord. Remember the story of Lazarus and continue in the faithful obedience of prayer. Follow the example of the devoted women at Jesus’ tomb and trust God’s timing and His plan. God’s power is unlimited and as you move forward in faithfulness, His glory will be manifested in you. Thanks for praying. Love in Christ, Bryan and Rachel


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