APRIL 7TH, 2020 | PASTOR BOB UHRICH
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
As we experience the impact of the coronavirus, many are encountering loss and uncertainty. In this passage we find Jesus speaking powerful words of compassion, encouragement and hope to His dear friend Martha, who is feeling the loss and uncertainty of the death of her brother, Lazarus.
Jesus makes a promise that we know is certain, “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” Because of the resurrection, we who are in Christ, don’t have to fear death! For the believer, death is just the last step of metamorphosis, as we are translated from this present world into the presence of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. And this same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the grave is at work in us now, who believe!
The Apostle John said that eternal life is knowing Christ, walking with Christ by faith, day by day! The Apostle Paul reminds us, “. . . just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life.” Because of Christ we can have a powerful victorious life as we walk with our Lord and Savior, being a disciple and making disciples of Jesus Christ!
Pray and thank God that we don’t have to fear death, because of the resurrection.
Pray and thank God for having an unshakable hope during times of loss and uncertainty, because of the resurrection.
Pray and thank God for His presence and power to live a victorious life in Christ, because of the resurrection.
DAYS OF PRAYER LEADING UP TO EASTER SUNDAY
APRIL 9TH, 2020 | J.J. Johns
In America we are, unfortunately, too well acquainted with the idea of slavery. It is a hard reality that many masters were quite cruel to their slaves. The Bible tells us that there is no crueler master than sin. The only payment sin gives his slaves is death. Even worse, the Bible tells us that all humanity is enslaved by sin!
In our scripture today, we see that Jesus bought us out of that cruel master's hands by his death on the cross, purchasing our freedom by his innocent blood that was shed. And He gave proof of payment by his resurrection! Because of the resurrection, we now are "freedmen", able to live life for our new master, Jesus, if we trust and believe in his great works of salvation. But the works of grace didn't stop there! By Christ's death, burial, and resurrection God has chosen to adopt his new servants into his family. Due to the resurrection, our identity is no longer a slave to sin, buried beneath the shame of our wrongdoings. Our identity is now a free, loved, adopted child of the Almighty God. We are now viewed by the God of the heavens as righteous because of Christ's cleansing work.
Begin your prayer with praises to God for his life changing work completed in the Gospel. Pray for a clear understanding of your new identity in Christ and for desire to live for the new master instead of sin. Confess your hearts desire to run back to the sin that once ruled you. Seek to embrace you new identity in Christ—guaranteed by His resurrection!
Our identity with Christ means we are no longer slaves of sin
APRIL 8TH, 2020 | REID MORRISON
Now, I am in the stage of my life where I am surrounded by friends and siblings who are starting families and I’m enjoying watching these babies grow and learn how to move their little bodies and develop their minds, as everything is new to them! This is how we are to see ourselves because we are new creations in Christ.
Everything is new! EVERYTHING has changed now that we belong to Christ. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come! We ought to live in wonder of our new life in Christ, in our “Living Hope.”
Because He is alive! If He was not alive, we would not have redemption from our sins. So our faith stands on this fundamental truth. HE. IS. ALIVE.
Our passage to focus our prayers on today is 1 Peter 1:3.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
As you pray today, let your hearts rest in the assurance that we have a living hope in Jesus our Savior. Instead of our sins, God the Father sees his perfect Son. Let your prayers be filled with thanksgiving in light of this Good News.
1 PETER 1:3
WE HAVE A NEW BIRTH BY GOD'S MERCY INTO A LIVING HOPE
we are also resurrected
APRIL 10TH, 2020 | Joe Fox
God has given us new life in Christ! We have been called to share in Christ's death, where the old man is put off. And we have been called to share in His resurrection, where the new man is put on. Jesus is the new man. The true and better Adam, Christ Himself, has freed us from the bondage of sin. Our two greatest enemies, sin and death, were defeated at the cross. God accomplished this for us and displayed for us the depth of His love, that He would go to such great lengths to win us back for Himself. It's God's love that should compel us to live for Him and His glory. It's His love that should motivate us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He who knew no sin became sin for us. Why? That we might become the righteousness of God. God desires us! He wants us for His own! A holy nation, a royal priesthood, a people for His own possession. For what? That we might proclaim His excellencies. That we may proclaim the goodness of Him who brought us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.
So as we spend time in prayer today, I want to encourage you to read through this verse several times. Let's ponder the depths of God's love for us- that He put on flesh and humbled Himself to the point of death, even death on a cross. And His rising on Sunday has given us new life in Him. He's done it so that we might live for His glory as His sons and daughters.
He has purchased us by the shedding of His own blood. We are His. Let's live for Him, ever praising Him for what He has done!
2 Cor. 5:14-15
The love of Christ compels us to live
APRIL 11TH, 2020 | Pastor Sam Calhoun
What is next? What happens when we die? Humanity has been asking this question for centuries. For us as believers, we wonder since Jesus promised to come back a second time, will that happen when I am alive? What about my family and friends who have passed away already? Will they miss out on this great event?
Without the empty tomb we would have no answer. But because of the bodily resurrection of Jesus, our hope is in the living no the dying. Of course, in our physical form, all of us will one day leave this earthly world. The question remains, what happens next?
We find encouragement in God’s word that this Jesus who conquered death and the grave is coming back to earth. He will then reunite us with our friends and family who know Christ as savior. This is the great hope of the gospel. We live forever! Paul, in his writings to the church at Corinth, said if Christ had not risen from the grave, when we die, we perish forever and are separated from God and each other. We would be a people without hope, now, or in the future. But Jesus is alive and we who trust Him are live. And will live forever.
Let’s offer up praise and thanksgiving today because Jesus rose from the dead. Because he walked out of the tomb alive, we too shall live.
1 thes. 4:13-18
The certainty & encouragement of the resurrection
APRIL 12TH, 2020 | Pastor Jimmy Steele
A resurrection prayer: May God equip us for doing his will
CHRIST ROSE FROM THE GRAVE!
APRIL 6TH, 2020 | PASTOR JIMMY STEELE
I don’t know about your household, but the coronavirus has caused the Steele’s to recognize the importance of many things we had previously taken for granted. What about you? What are some things of importance you took for granted before this pandemic began? Hugs, handshakes, table fellowship with neighbors and friends? How about toilet paper? Who would have thought something as common as toilet paper would have become so important to us in 2020?! This pandemic has caused us all to recognize lots of things in our life which we take for granted.
Nothing we take for granted could be of greater value than the foundational truth that Christ rose from the grave. The tomb is empty. Everything regarding the Christian faith rest on this reality. The death of Christ accomplished nothing, if He remained in the grave. Church--we serve a resurrected Savior! He died to die no more.
Christ rose from the grave! Each of you hear that statement with differing ears today. Many of you are out of work. Some sick. A lot are lonely and isolated, worried about the next few weeks. In fact, our government tells us that the next 7 days in terms of the coronavirus will be difficult. But for every day this week you turn on the news, we must do so with this foundational truth on your hearts and minds—Christ rose from the grave. Wherever you find yourself this Monday morning, hear this truth.. Christ rose from the grave. He died to die no more.
And we—church family—share in that resurrection hope. In Mark 16, we are told that following the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome headed to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. Upon arrival they find the stone rolled away. They enter the tomb to encounter an angelic being with a message: (Verse 6)
And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
As you pray today, hear the simple straightforward and yet life-changing words of this angel. “He has risen; he is not here.” Confess to the LORD today all the ways you take the resurrected for granted. Spend time in prayer reflecting upon all the hope and assurance the resurrection provides us.