Today we gather to remember and celebrate the most important event in human history: the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. It is the singular reason to have hope. It is the one cause that makes the future something we look forward to. It is the only thing that matters. It is the "because" and the "why" and the "what for" behind anything we could ever do that has any importance, meaning, or purpose. (1 Cor 15:3-4).
We gather today, as we do every week, to be reminded of the glory, honor, and power of our God who has so graciously gifted us with redemption, salvation, and sanctification. We were once a people lost, wandering, and ashamed. We were once a people without a God, without a Heavenly Father, and sheep without Shepherd (Mat. 9:36.)
In Christ, we can be more than we were. We can be more kind, show more compassion, and show others what it means to love and to be loved. In Him, we know more than ever the kind of person our God desires for us to be. Without Christ, without His gift of grace and His sacrificial offering, we remain separated from God and lost in our sins. (Heb 10:10).
It is by His blood our debts are paid, and it is by His new life, we have life eternal.
Some said, in the days of the early church, that life of Christ was only a specter. Some thought, He only appeared human. Some believed, the early church had been fooled by none other than God Himself. Others couldn’t imagine that God would defile Himself to take human form and likeness, to fully be human. Still others thought that Christ wouldn’t die, and He certainly would die on the cross, in a public spectacle full of shame.
But that is just what the “Word of God become flesh” means. (John 1:1-3, 14).
But that is just what “His body of flesh” means (Col 1:22).
But that is just what “He emptied himself” of the Divine means (Phil. 2:7).
But that is just what “Christ has been raised from the dead” means (1 Cor 15:12).
Sadly, many people had the wrong idea, and some to this day still do. But, if that is the case, and Christ is not the divine Son of God, if Christ is not human, if Christ did not lay down His life, if Christ was not raised again, then all this is just a waste of time. We have no future to look forward to. We have no hope. We have only sin, only death, only destruction. Paul says in his letter to the church in Corinth that if we are wrong about Jesus, if we are the fools, then how foolish it is to believe. He says, “we are the most to be pitied” if “only for this life we have hope in Christ” and not the next life. (1 Cor. 15:19).
Yes, to many these ideas sound quite strange. “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Cor 1:27-29).
Therefore, we come together today, not to boast in our triumph or in our greatness or in our wisdom or in our righteousness or in our glory, but we come together today to boast in the Lord. He has done all these things out of His great love for us. Let us remember each day and every day, to follow His example: to love.
Monday, April 11, 2022
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Friday, April 1, 2022
Change is hard. One of the things that makes it more difficult is when we just stop doing something. Often, we might even say it's just too hard, I can't stop it. It's part of me.
One thing the Bible teaches us, is yes, stopping the old way of life, dying to the sinful nature, and letting go of sin is absolutely something we need to do, we don't merely stop. We must replace.
Take a look at Paul's words to Titus and to us today. Notice how we should replace one way of life, one way of thinking, one pattern of belief with something better.
So when you recognize there's something in your life you need to stop, that's good. Now, what can you replace it with? What will you do instead? Fill the void in your life with the Spirit of God.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope —the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.