That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
This month we have observed both Good Friday and Easter/Resurrection Sunday as a church. What a blessing it was to be able to worship with brothers and sisters of the faith for these two important historical events of the church calendar. Most Christians, and even people who do not believe in Jesus, desire a “type” of resurrection power in their life to overcome the obstacles and challenges they face. Everyone that I know wants to be both happy and successful. The understanding that those who know and follow Jesus have is that there can be no resurrection until there has first been a death. Jesus died once for all time to pay the sin debt and judgment that all humanity deserves; this has been accomplished and needs never to be redone. However, for us to receive the benefits of what Christ has done, we must die to our self-rule and accept the forgiveness of sin that only He can provide. We do not need to physically die like Jesus to have resurrection power, we just need to die to being the lord and ruler of our life. When we put our faith in Jesus and trust in what He did on the cross of Calvary 2,ooo years ago for us, we get resurrection power and eternal life along with the promise of a resurrected body like His one day. We need to be mindful of what all this entails: we die to self to live for God; we die to our agenda to get onto His; we deny ourselves to say “yes” to God’s will. This is not some miserable and pitiful existence, this is the abundant life that Jesus offers in John 10:10. It is the life of power, peace, joy and love that puts God first, and the needs of others second. (Matthew 22:37-40) To really live for Christ as described in the verse above will almost certainly involve some suffering on our part as we walk/live with God in fellowship. This is not referring to the consequences we bring on ourselves for poor decisions, but rather facing opposition for staying faithful to our Lord and doing what is right. On our end of this relationship, we benefit to the degree we commit to God. The more we trust and obey Him, the more resurrection power we obtain. The more we put our faith into action, the more we see God work in our lives. The power is available to us just like God’s grace and love is for us, but we need to activate it by responding to Him. We grow in our relationship with God to the degree we receive from Him and respond to Him. It is a faith relationship to be sure, but I can attest to it being the most “real” relationship I have had in life. People can fool and betray you, but God is always faithful to His Word and His devotion to you. If you have not discovered this for yourself yet, I strongly admonish you to give yourself to the Lord fully by accepting all that Christ has done for you on the cross. Let His love and presence fill you and then let Him live through you: it is most assuredly the way to the abundant life. Blessings!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek