Our living hope

Christ is risen!  This profound proclamation is the reason for our worship this weekend.  The significance of the resurrection cannot be overstated as Paul explained it best: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17 ESV).  Simply put, if Jesus has not received new life, we cannot receive it either.  But praise be to God that the tomb is empty, our debt is paid, and together we can boldly proclaim this Easter, “He is risen indeed!”

Peter tells us, “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” (1 Peter 1:3 ESV).  Easter is all about hope.  In our culture, hope casually comes and goes.  A new opportunity may pop up, but then it may fade away.  A new relationship may form, but then it may fizzle.  A new investment may thrive, but then it may sink.  We have all gotten our hopes up only to be let down shortly thereafter.  However, Jesus Christ offers us a better hope.  Jesus IS our living hope, and walking in faith with Him will lead you to life, even life to the full (cf John 10:10). 

This week I encourage you to celebrate that hope.  If you have Jesus, you truly do have everything.  Paul put it best, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 ESV).  Every day we face battles in our lives, but Easter reminds us that the greatest battle has already been won.  Take time this week to celebrate our Savior.  Don’t let the celebration begin on Sunday, but rather let that be the crescendo to a week filled with worship.  Spend extra time privately praying, singing, and reading God’s Word.  Journal, reflect, and give thanks for what Christ has done in your life.  Easter reminds us that He is alive, so be sure to spend time communicating with Him today.

Secondly, I encourage you to share that hope.  Easter weekend presents a unique opportunity to invite visitors.  Certainly, you can always invite a friend to church, but Easter is a special moment where people will be more receptive to that invitation than usual.  I encourage you to call, text, email, and even post on social media.  A personal invitation has always been, and always will be, the number one-way people find their way inside a church building.  Make it your goal to have a guest sitting right beside you.  Pray over names, invite, and see what God may do through simple intentionality.

I hope you plan to start your weekend off right by worshipping with us at 6pm on Good Friday.  We will have a beautiful reflective service featuring our choir and orchestra.  It will be a meaningful time of worship as we remember the high price that was paid for us at Calvary.  I will lead us in a brief word, and we will conclude our service by observing the Lord’s Supper.  Don’t miss this opportunity to remember the cross and prepare your heart for our 9am and 10:30am celebration services Sunday morning.  It’s going to be an amazing weekend at ABC!  I encourage you to pray, invite, and come expectant to hear from the Lord as we lift up the name of Jesus together. 

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Message : Palm Sunday 2022 – Luke 19:28-40

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