Amen to That!
The last several weeks have been pretty hectic. I have found myself offering up some prayers for things that I need help with, or people that I have run across who need real prayer and encouragement. Last week, I offered up several prayers for business people I know and one person, in particular, who has been out of work for more than 4 years and doesn’t have any prospects in the pipeline.
There are also people in my life who are either agnostics or atheists and I regularly pray for them as well. I can’t think of anything sadder that going through life with the belief system that there is no God. I remember several times that Janet and I have even attended church with friends of ours, (if you can really call it church) where the name of Christ is never mentioned. I just don’t get it…
And when I think of people who don’t believe in the Savior, or His Father, or the Holy Spirit, I just can’t reconcile it in my brain. Certainly, at least in this country, everyone has the opportunity to learn about Christ and has the chance to ask Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of their life. But so many people think it is just a hoax – or a joke. Even the recent television series on the Bible, that received rave reviews from most critics, is thought to be a good story, but not the truth!
And the Bible itself? Don’t even get me started on this one. People think it is a good fictional read at best, but nothing more. And to those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, the Bible represents the full set of instructions and commandments from God with which to pattern our lives after His Son, Jesus Christ. It also gives us great illustrations about how to conduct ourselves and the parables of Jesus teach us great lessons about the type of behavior that Jesus expects from His followers.
And yet – people don’t seem to get the enormity of it all. We are speaking about eternal life and the opportunity to live an earthly life patterned after Jesus. Furthermore, we each have the chance to turn over our problems to Jesus and ask Him to represent us to the Father. Christ considers that one of the responsibilities that He has – to make sure that the flock that has been entrusted to His care is not lost.
When we pray to Jesus, we usually end our prayers, or petitions, with the word, “Amen.” Like wise, when somebody says something that we really agree with, we also tend to use the word “Amen” as a sign of our affirmation. But what does that word really mean? As Christians, we are taught that it is the proper way to end our words to God. But when we understand the definition of Amen, it makes more sense to us. Because “Amen” really means “Truly” or “Verily”, or to put it another way, “Let it be so.” It’s a way for us to punctuate our thoughts and pleas to the Father and the other members of the Godhead.
It is a way for us to also acknowledge the supremacy of God and as a sign of respect. In fact, it is a very important part of our conversations with God. When I was a young boy I was taught that the closing of our prayers should contain a pause, right before the word, “Amen” to give the prayer time to get to heaven… Did you ever notice how some people run right on through the end of the prayer as their voice trails off and the final word becomes lost, as opposed to being the final sign of respect in a conversation with God?
Did you know that the last word in the entire Bible is “Amen?” Well, it is… And that’s tonight’s verse. From Revelation 22:21, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” Isn’t that just a perfect ending? That the grace of Jesus should be with His people – truly, let it be so…
My encouragement this evening is that Jesus wants you to depend on Him for all eternity. Furthermore, Jesus wants you to be His ambassador and to do everything in your power to lead others into a saving relationship with Him. My prayer is that you realize the importance of the relationship you have with Christ and the assignment that He has charged all of His followers with – to share the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout the entire world. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace… Amen…