People today, constantly on the go, are not easily convinced that they need some quiet time to have a look at themselves and ask hard questions , such as : Am I consistent with my past? Have I changed values? Do I love God and all his people? Do I act on it?
Why did Jesus leave his disciples forty days after his resurrection? Forty is a significant number in the scriptures. Moses went to the mountain to seek the face of God for forty days in prayer and fasting. The people of Israel were in the wilderness for forty years and Elijah fasted for forty days. For forty days after His resurrection Jesus appeared numerous times to His disciples to assure them that He is risen, so that they can carry out their mission. Jesus’ departure and ascension into heaven was both an end and a beginning for His disciples. Jesus promised that He would be with them always to the end of time. We must also believe this statement by Jesus. Jesus promised to give them the power of His Holy Spirit. Their task, as well as ours, is to proclaim the Gospel. We have not been left alone in this task, for the Risen Lord works in and through us by the power of His Holy Spirit. The biggest question this Gospel asks me is do I witness to others the joy of the Gospel and the hope of the Resurrection. Remember He is always with us.
As a young person about 20 years old, I got involved in gambling for large amount of money. For the next twenty-two years I continued to lose large amount of money, and caused my family many hardships and was never there for my wife and children. One time at the race track after another losing night, as I was leaving the track I felt God’s presence telling me that I just lost twenty-two years of my life in addiction to gambling.
When I got home I confessed to my wife what I did to her and my children. She told me that if I did not get help that she would leave me. I realized that I did not want to lose my family. The next day I entered Gamblers Anonymous and have been free of gambling for 36 years. I have truly become a disciple for Jesus by helping, guiding and coaching other members to get well. I am proud to say that I am the founder of Gamblers Anonymous by opening the first meeting in North Carolina. Through the power of God, He is with me and uses me as a message to others just as reflected by the Gospel.
And so, am I consistent with my past? Have I changed values? Do I love God and all his people and act on it as a disciple?