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From the Pulpit: What scars do you still bear?

April 7, 2013
By THE REV. BILL STOUT - Weirton Heights Memorial Baptist Church , Weirton Daily Times

After Jesus was raised from the dead, we are told in the Scriptures that He appeared to His disciples and to many other witnesses. But we read in the 20th Chapter of John's Gospel that Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. Thomas told them that unless he would see Jesus with his own eyes and could see the nail prints in His hands and place his hand in Jesus' side, he just would not believe.

Thankfully, Jesus granted his request. And when Thomas saw Him and could notice the nail prints in Jesus' hands and put his hand in Jesus' side, Thomas worshiped and declared, "My Lord and my God."

We who bear the name of Jesus and call ourselves his followers are often somewhat critical of Thomas. Yet all too often we want proof before we believe something to be true.

But here's the thing. Jesus was risen from the dead. Yet He still bore the scars from His terrible crucifixion. We will never have to endure what Jesus did, but still we sometimes bear the scars of some of our deepest hurts and pains, our disappointments and our sorrows.

What scars are you still bearing? Is it the death of someone you dearly loved? A broken marriage? Has a member of your family made a bad decision that has impacted you? Is it the loss of a job or a financial hardship? Maybe you've had to put your career plans on hold or you must provide care and assistance to a sick or aging parent or loved one. Or perhaps you've just been praying and agonizing over trying to discover God's will for your life and your future.

Whatever your particular situation might be, knowing that Christ is risen and that His Holy Spirit lives in you can provide strength and courage to take the next steps on your journey. The apostle Paul says it so well in Colossians 1:27: "...Christ in you, the hope of glory."

It is God's plan to save His Son, Jesus Christ, live in the hearts of all who believe in Him. Do you know Christ? He is not hidden - if you will come to Him.

("From the Pulpit" is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)

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