“I serve a risen Savior; He’s in the world today, I know that He is with me, whatever man may say. I see His hand of mercy, I hear His Voice of cheer. And just the time I need Him, he’s always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives TODAY! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!”
I want to introduce you to the greatest example of a Christian that I have ever known: My grandma, Lela Switter! She wasn’t famous, she didn’t have a lot of money, she came from humble means; she wasn’t a scholar, never wrote a book, and she never held a degree from an educational institution. In fact, she never went past a junior high school education. She came from a family of eight children and was seventh in line. She didn’t grow up in a fancy house or in a large town. She came from Wadsworth, Ohio: a small country suburb to Akron. Her mother and her father had less of a formal education than she did. But no one could hold a candle to the light that shone inside of her! She didn’t just say she knew Jesus; she lived Jesus!
She was kind and loving to everyone she met. I never heard her speak a harsh word to anyone. She was the first to help out anyone in need. In fact, one of my earliest memories of her was watching her serve Meals on Wheels!
She showed me an amazing example of what a true Christian wife should be; she loved my grandfather and respected him. She loved to put a smile on his face, and he loved her cooking, and she always topped it off with “Jell-O” at the end of every meal. That was his favorite! None of the rest of us ate it, but she still made it and served it to him after every meal.
She was a good listener. She always had time for you, no matter how busy her schedule was. She was also a hard worker! I remember her taking me and my sisters proudly to her place of employment, a high school cafeteria, where she helped prepare lunches for the high school students and helped serve them and clean up after them every single day. Nothing was beneath her. She did everything with a smile on her face, joy in her heart, and it shined out of every ounce of her being.
She taught vacation Bible school every summer at her church, and always brought the best dishes to each and every potluck. She faithfully taught the two and three year-olds in Sunday school all the years that she was alive here on earth! She heard me get angry at my sisters, and she calmly instructed me “that would not make Jesus happy,” and I needed to tell them I was sorry. She always cared about making relationships right between my loved ones. Yes, she knew it was hard, but she would say, “we can do anything through God’s strength!”
I remember the day like it was yesterday, I was a teenager, and was sitting in the back of a small church chapel. My sisters were all up front, standing beside my mom. She was getting married for the second time, and I just couldn’t accept it. My grandma sat down beside me, not saying a word and just grabbed my hands. She sat there with me for quite a while, and we both stared straight ahead. I looked at her and she could see the tears in my eyes. I was torn. I knew my dad had been unfaithful to my mom. I knew my mom wasn’t really doing anything wrong, but still my heart was breaking! My grandma seem to understand all that I was feeling.
I don’t remember if the words actually came out of my mouth, or if she just could read them inside, but she put her other hand over mine and quietly said, “Lisa Kay, if you don’t walk up there and stand beside your mom, you will regret it for the rest of your life.” I do remember my words coming out, “But Grammie, I don’t think I can make it down the aisle by myself.” She said, very confidently, “You’re not walking alone. Jesus is with you every step of the way.” I walked down that aisle, and to this day I still don’t know how I made it.
My Grammie taught be truth by the way she lived her life. She had forgiven time after time after time, and now she was asking me to step out in that same trust, and in that same forgiveness. She was showing me like she had done countless times before: to live Jesus, not just talk about him. That day, the next day after that, and every day since, I have been so overwhelmingly thankful that my grandma helped me do the right thing.
My Grammie walked and talked Jesus! She told me that others will know Jesus when they see him living in you and through you! She didn’t just tell me to do it, she showed me how to do it through the life that she lived.
She taught me the song that I quoted in the opening. She loved to sing! She had such a sweet, sweet voice. She told me that in another life she was sure that she was a famous singer! “You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart!” She taught me to memorize the words to that song with her voice, but she taught me the truth of that song through her life!
I miss my grandma every single day. I sleep with her picture framed next to my bed. I put my feet on the floor every morning and I say, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it,” because my Grammie taught me to do that! But my joy is in knowing that I will see my Grammie again someday in heaven-because Jesus lived inside of her heart and He lives inside of my heart too!
I serve a risen Savior! He walks with me, and he talks with me every single time I need a friend, and every time I need encouragement. He walks with me, and he talks with me every time I feel so low that I don’t think I can pick my head back up-whether along life’s narrow way, when life is hard and restrictive or along life’s wide path, when life is beautiful! His salvation is my gift each and every day. And you ask me how I know he lives? Because he lives in my heart!
This is the week before Easter. This week we celebrate the last week of Jesus’ life here on Earth. It is a week of reflection, a week of thankfulness, and a week of rejoicing, as we celebrate Jesus’ victory over death!
I serve a risen Savior! He’s not in a grave, the stone has been rolled away from the tomb! He lives!
“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!” – Luke 24:5-6
Don’t leave Jesus on the cross, He lives in the world and in YOU today!
I challenge you to not leave Him on the cross! I challenge you to not leave Him in the grave! I challenge you to not allow him to just be a belief. He is your living Savior! We serve a risen Savior; He is in the world today! Amen!
Speak Truth Love