Bible Verse: “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.’” Matthew 28:8-10

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:1-20

The women here are the two Marys (Mary Magdalene and the other Mary was most likely Jesus’s aunt). They had just encountered an angel who told them that Jesus had risen from the dead, and they were to go into town and tell the disciples the good news.

Have you ever been so excited about something but afraid to really embrace it because it might not be true? Afraid if you put yourself out there you might get hurt again? You see, these women had a relationship with their Lord – believing Him, loving Him and then witnessing firsthand His death on the cross. Just three days prior, they had their hearts broken. Dare they put their hearts out there again? The answer was a resounding Yes! You see, when you experience a relationship like they had, there is no substitute.

Have you heard the expression, fake it till you make it? There are some things we can fake in life, but a relationship is not one of them. On the other hand, we can fake religion all day long and for our entire lives if we want; it’s called posing. But you cannot fake a relationship.

“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:22–23 NIV) Please note, these are people who knew Jesus and were even participating in good religious events. Jesus doesn’t say, I used to know you, but things have changed and therefore, you have lost your salvation. He says, “I never knew you!” The worst part, these evildoers (posers) are destined for hell.

These women had something special, and we can too! Do not be afraid to put yourself out there in a relationship with the Lord. Don’t settle for religion when you can have a relationship. Jesus is saying, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20 NKJV).

Prayer: Lord, I’m tired of faking it; I don’t want to be a poser any longer. Help me to lose all preconceived ideas about religion. I want a relationship with You; show me what that looks like. When I get to the end of my life, may you say to me, “I know him; he is one of Mine. Come in, you are welcome here.” In Jesus’ name, amen.

— Gary Hohweiler, author of Fear Not!

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