Monday, August 6, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: An Encounter With the Savior


LIFE LESSONS: An Encounter With the Savior
by Stefanie Libertore

“Tomorrow, you’ll fly on the airplane to Florida with Daddy,” I explained to my then 2-year-old daughter Isabella. “Mommy will stay home with Luke and you won’t see me for a few days. But then you’ll come home with Daddy and we’ll all be together again.”

I can still remember her tiny face and the intensity with which she was listening and looking at me. For weeks I had been preparing my daughter for her first flight to her grandparent’s house. Isabella stared at me intently with her big blue eyes, head cocked to one side, as I spoke.
 
Thinking about that one-sided conversation brought me to Jesus’ words to his disciples in John 14:28, “I am going away, and I will come back to you.” Clearly, the disciples could not comprehend what Jesus was saying. How can finite man wrap his mind around the cross, much less the resurrection?

As I read the account in John 14—15, I sense the intensity of Jesus’ words. He spent three years with these men. His time was short. He needed to know that they were listening. Yet the questions from His disciples proved their short-sightedness:

     Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:5 NIV).
     Phillip added, “Show us the Father and it is enough for us.” (John 14:8)

Those words must have stung. I can see Jesus searching deeply into Phillip's eyes, his soul. “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?” It wasn’t accusing, but questioning.

Oh, the drama that took place between the Last Supper and Acts 8! We know that Philip, while in Samaria, proclaimed Christ and performed miraculous signs. Soon after, the Spirit prompted him to engage the Ethiopian who was reading from the Prophet Isaiah. (Acts 8)

How thrilling that moment must have been for Philip. For his eyes were once veiled, but now he understood Who the Lamb of God was! (Isaiah 53:7) Gone were his questions. Gone were his uncertainties. Now, with full revelation, Philip confidently proclaimed, “I know Him! That Lamb of God is no longer a mystery — His name is Jesus! It’s Jesus!”

What took Philip from being not-so-sure to a place of absolute certainty was an encounter with the Savior. The resurrection of Jesus was the event of all events that forever settled the matter in his heart. Jesus is the Son of God! Now Philip had a story to tell; one that burned deep within his soul...a story he could not help but share.

What’s your story? Who has God placed in your path? With whom is He asking you, prompting you, to share His love? The absolute certainty of His existence? The glory of the Savior?

Our paths routinely cross with people, like the Ethiopian eunuch, who have a veiled understanding of scriptures, a mistaken identity of Jesus. We meet them every day at the office, the grocery store, and in our schools. We greet them across the backyard fence, at little league baseball games, at soccer practice.

My story, your story – our personal encounters with Jesus – can offer hope, can change lives forever. Feeling frustrated, even a bit gossipy about how others are living their lives...without Christ and without hope?

Share confidently. Love boldly. Living Water will well up within and you will become a refreshing fountain of life to those who are desparately thirsty.



"Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him...(John 7:37-39NLT)"
Are you hungry for new life? Thirsty for living water? Spend some time with Jesus. He is waiting for you to come, to seek, to discover that He is the Real Deal! I pray you will encounter Him and drink from His cup today, an everlasting fountain of living water flowing through your very own heart from Him. ~Cindy


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It's so great to have Stef back with us today! Oh, how I enjoyed her beautiful words...
Stefanie Libertore has been joyfully married to Tony since 2003. They are blessed with two wacky, fun children, Isabella and Luke. Stefanie serves as Client Services Director at PregnancySupport Centerin Canton, OH. She is currently working on her first book for women, a Biblical journey of forgiveness, healing and restoration from one’s sexual past.

4 comments:

  1. Stef....I was so blessed when I met my "Soul Sisters," what a blessing that God brought you into my life. I love the way God Shines through Your Words. They always touch my soul, always so beautifully spoken. Love you. SallyAnne Trissel

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  2. Your recollections remind me of my own Philip-like journey with Christ and the ongoing need to be bold in sharing my faith with people encountered every day. Thank you, Stefanie.

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    1. Christine...it really does take one to know one! It helps to go back and remember who was bold with me in sharing and living out the Gospel. Then that can give me courage to step out and do that sometiems-scary thing! Go boldly!

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  3. I am enjoying your words here as much as the Celebration of Beauty conference, thank you for the passion you bring to God's Word.

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