What can I say? I like warm weather!
I love living in our coastal plains region. But to be honest, regardless of where I’ve lived in the past, spring has always been a welcomed time. Personally, I would rather perspire profusely than shake and shiver. I don’t like cold weather or cold-blooded reptiles.
Most importantly this season brings us to the time on our Christian calendar when we have set our hearts to reflect upon the holiest days of our Gospel.
For most Americans, Christmas has become a time when we get too stressed to celebrate properly. We have allowed commercialism and the sins of materialism to push us into missing the magnificence of Christ’s miraculous incarnation.
Therefore, no other time of the year compares with this season. It begins with Palm Sunday, culminates on Good Friday, and begins all over again with fresh life on Resurrection Sunday.
Throughout the year the events of Good Friday and Christ’s blessed atonement are proclaimed from many pulpits. The curious thing is that too often we wait until the Easter season to really emphasize Jesus’ Resurrection.
The resurrection power of Christ is the most under-emphasized ingredient in Gospel preaching. This missing ingredient is the reason for so many defeated and powerless lives!
We present an incomplete Gospel when we fail to preach and teach Jesus’ Resurrection as much as His Passion. His resurrection is a historical fact, and it should be addressed every time we present the good news message of Jesus Christ.
One of my personal pet peeves is that of any depiction of Jesus still upon the cross. It annoys me! As Christians, we know “it is finished,” and His Cross is empty. However, we also know an empty tomb is there to prove our Savior lives! And I’m gonna keep on preaching this Gospel until He comes again!
In case you think I’m simply overzealous, let me explain the culture we live in. In Denver, Colorado a woman was in a jewelry store looking for a necklace and said to the clerk, “I’d like a gold cross.” The man behind the counter looked over the stock in the display case and said, “Do you want a plain one or one with a little man on it?” That’s sad because this clerk is representative of so many people within our culture.
What a wonderful door of opportunity this lady had opened for her. She could immediately begin to explain who that “little man” represented and how His Cross-Work paid the price for our sins. And then she could explain how His suffering was once and for all and His Cross is empty and so is His tomb.
The word, EMPTY, is never a noun but always an adjective or a verb. As a verb, it means to remove the contents. As an adjective, it describes the person, place, or thing that has had its contents removed. EMPTY is how we can describe all the talk about our Savior’s bloodshed and remission of our sins if we fail to proclaim an empty tomb. If not for His Resurrection, our faith would be empty, and we would still be in our sins. We would be the most miserable people!
“I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today. I know that He is living whatever men might say.”
We can proclaim a full Gospel consisting of an empty cross and an empty tomb, which results in full salvation! Because our Savior lives, we stand victorious over death, hell, sin, and the grave. Moreover, because He lives, we can have His Holy Spirit power to live as witnesses of this glorious Gospel.
This infusion of His power to witness and serve Him is God’s will for your Christian life. This Holy Spirit baptism “is promised to believers, and we all may have it too. O Lord, send the power just now, And baptize every one.”
First Corinthians 15 reminds us in verse 20, “But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the firstfruits…” Being first means, there are many more to come. All who are in Christ will one day be a part of that great resurrection day when “the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (First Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Our great mission is to add as many as possible to those who will take part in His glorious resurrection. This mission is our mandate, and it’s possible because our Master has empowered us to do this work!
On the last Sunday of this month, we will receive our Resurrection Offering. We’re not doing it on Easter Sunday because we’re expecting many extra guests. It’s not polite to invite people to church, beg them to Christ, and ask for their money all on the same day. However, on the next Sunday, I will consider every heart and pocketbook to be fair game!
We are asking our congregation and community at large for a special Resurrection Offering. This investment is your way of affirming your belief in the power of our resurrected Lord to change lives. If you’d like to participate in this Resurrection Offering, that mission is possible! Simply click here to give through Tithely.
In twenty-first century America, it takes more than good intentions. It takes real money to do real ministry, and your help is greatly appreciated. Our needs are great as we continue doing all we can to reach our region with the merciful message of Jesus Christ. We have much-deferred maintenance and many upgrades to consider to make our campus a hospitable place to attend and an effective place to grow God’s Kingdom.
Christian, remember that we serve our risen Lord best by working alongside each other in this plentiful harvest. He has given us His Spirit to empower our service. And by His grace, we believe that greater things are yet to be done in this Gulf Coast region for the Kingdom of God. The best is yet to come!
Watch the spoken ministry version of this blog post by clicking here.