April 10, 2020
Let me again urge you to prayerfully share the Zoom link this week with friends and family. Easter is a time when seekers, traditionalist, etc. may have unusual spiritual longings. This year I am sure this is especially true. As the old song says so simply “People need the Lord. At the end of broken dreams He’s the open door.”
Let me also challenge you for Sunday to create a virtual extended family gathering. It will take planning and forethought but it is a great opportunity to glorify the Lord. Vicki, my sister who lives in Dallas, encouraged me to do one for our extended family. So I am the coordinator and host of an 8pm EST Zoom gathering on Sunday that will involve people from several states and time zones. This is a unique season for novel ideas. I am praying that this may be the catalyst for evangelism for those in all of our families who have been slack in their spiritual lives.
Last night I shared a few thoughts from 1 Corinthians 15 with the session. Here are a few verses from the Apostle Paul:
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (ESV)
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
Where do I place my hope? My hope is in the facts that …
1. Jesus truly died for me. I am a sinner in need of a Savior to forgive my sins.
2. Jesus truly was raised never to die again, for me. And He did it because He alone is Life (John 1:4). He did it as the firstborn of the dead (Co 1:18), to bring his spiritual brothers to the Father (Heb. 2:10-13).
3. God has told us these truths in the scriptures. In Isaiah 53 we see the prophecy pertaining to the death of Jesus. This historic event is not Aesop’s Fables. This is reality, folks. It is both a tragedy and a wonderful glorious victory all at once! A man who was dead got up to live forever! Because God wanted to show us that the man was more than a Man. He was, and He is, God the Son! And He rose to take all of those who trust in Him to be with Him forever. Hallelujah!
Paul ends the chapter with the encouraging words that we should simply “keep on keepin’ on” because we are ultimate winners in Jesus. During this pandemic our foundations are tested. As we see many sick and dying. As we see many fearful and looking for hope somewhere, as we hold on to the God who holds on to us we have meaning, purpose and strength through His Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Our work here on earth is not worthless nor does it go unnoticed by our Lord. So let me close with the Apostle’s words:
1 Corinthians 15:54-58 (ESV)
54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.