If there is a phrase that is common to our cultural language it's "so what?" What does it mean for me today? How will this help me navigate the daily grind? The common misconception is that the gospel is good for a future state, when we die, that's when the resurrection will be important. In our text this week, however, Paul argues for something completely different. The resurrection matters today just as much as it matters for tomorrow. I hope we'll see you Sunday as we consider how the resurrection changes everything - including how it matters to how we live today!
Today is the day! It's Easter! I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's my favorite day of the year. It's better than Christmas, the start of NASCAR and college football and the release of a new Star Wars movie combined! It's better than the day you leave for vacation! It's because Easter is all about hope and how hope changes everything.
But it's easy to forget about Easter. It's even easier to forget about the meaning of Easter. That is something that the Bible doesn't want us to do. This week, we'll start a new series in 1 Corinthians 15 by remembering and reflecting on what the gospel is all about as taught by the Apostle Paul.
This week, we pause from our normal activities to reflect and remember the sacrifice of Christ. It is my hope you will join us on Friday night at 6:30 PM as we sing, pray and hear from God's Word as to what the meaning of this day is all about.
Recently, there was a new report about a man who was poaching (illegally hunting) rhinos in Africa. The story explains that while he was doing this, he was trampled by elephants and eaten by lions. All that remained was his skull and some clothing fragments. While I'm all for hunting, I'm for doing it legally and responsibly. Part of me said when I read the article that this man got what he deserved.
There is a big part of us that longs to see justice served. And when it doesn't we tend to cry out that it isn't fair. This week, we will see that no one is able to escape God's justice - even if it looks like they might for a season. And because of that, we need to trust God all the more.
I'll never forget when we were in the process to bring George home. We asked people to pray. Pray for us, pray for George, pray for his caregivers, pray for the legal process, pray for the finances - you name it, we prayed for it. And, it must have worked, right? I mean George is here and part of our family. So, Julie and I have the faith that moves mountains ... of paperwork, because that's what adoption feels like!
Not really. Julie will tell you that early in the process, she went to look at his picture on the waiting child website and it wasn't there. In that moment, doubt crept into both of our hearts and minds. Was there a problem? Is he OK? Did someone else ask before us? Does he have another family? It turns out that they took him off of the waiting child website ... because we were in process to adopt him!
Prayer is a funny thing. We pray with hope, but deep down, we often doubt. But so did the early church when King Herod had Peter arrested. What can we learn from this? We see that God works in the prayers of ordinary doubters like you and me.
The Bible says that we will know who the disciples of Jesus are by their fruits (Matthew 7:16). But what fruits? What characteristics would cause someone to look at you and say, "Yes, that is a person of Christ!" This Sunday, we will look at a passage that records the very first time people were called "Christians". Why? That's what we will find out.