Karen Pulley: Is God Nowhere or Now Here?

Karen Pulley: Is God Nowhere or Now Here?

A Word to Women: God is Nowhere, or God is Now Here: Lessons for Today from Luke 24

Devotional by Karen Pulley

Karen PulleyKaren Pulley is the wife of Lloyd Pulley, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, NJ. Karen is a favorite speaker at many Calvary Chapel women’s events. For more wisdom for women, visit her YouTube channel Looking to Jesus with Karen Pulley.

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” And they remembered His words. Luke 24:1-8

If you could summarize the Old Testament with just one word, it would be: Remember! Don’t forget what the Lord your God has done.

Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. Luke 24:9-11

How much is kept from us due to our unbelief!

But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened. Luke 24:12

Peter had just done the unthinkable a day or so earlier: He had denied the Lord. I’m sure his heart was broken and that he, more than any of them, was hoping that Jesus was alive!

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” Luke 24:13-19a

Perhaps you can fill in the blank with “things” that have happened, causing you to be bewildered or saddened. Maybe it is that which is happening as a result of the outcome of the recent election. Maybe it is talk of voter fraud. It could be any number of things!

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.” Luke 24:19b-21

Remember, Jesus did tell them these things were going to happen. I guess they forgot! What were we hoping in? A man? A political party? All the things that we hope in (apart from Christ) will eventually let us down. We have to truly put our hope in God, or we will be sorely disappointed.

“Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.” Luke 24:22-23

Now you would think that would make them excited!

“And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” Luke 24:24-26

Are we slow of heart today? Are we not hearing what God is trying to tell us? It is believed that is how the Titanic sank: not by hitting an iceberg but rather by missing the warning of the iceberg. They were so distracted and filled with other trivial messages that they missed the most important one of all, that they were entering iceberg territory! Does that sound familiar?

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24:27

Then Jesus gave them a Bible study, explaining what was written of Him throughout the entire Old Testament! Wow, that would be great to hear!

Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. Luke 24:28-31

Oh, how I love this! Sitting down with Jesus and having communion will always open our eyes! As a sidenote, I love the progression: He took the bread, blessed the bread, broke the bread, and then passed around the bread. Brokenness is a good thing, but He only breaks us after He blesses us. Unbroken things are of no use. Beautiful flowers and delicious pieces of fruit were seeds that had been broken but then came forth, alive.

And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

I love that! If your heart is cold or if the fire is going out, sit with Jesus! Let Him talk to you and teach you. Walk with Jesus and your small fire will begin to burn brightly. An unattended fire will soon become a pile of ashes. Fire always arrests people’s attention and burns away the dross. Fire is also a healing agent as well as a purifier. What an encouraging and applicable lesson for us! Let us place our hope in Jesus alone! Everything in this world will disappoint and let us down. Never forget that Jesus told us beforehand what was going to happen, so we need not be shocked, discouraged, or taken off guard. Finally, if your heart is cold, walk with Jesus. He will surely stoke the fire.

So, how do you see it? God is nowhere or God is now here!


All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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