It’s 6:45 AM on the morning after Easter. The church services have been attended, chocolate bunnies have been eaten, eggs have been hunted, & my newsfeed is filled with pastel pictures galore.
Although this beautiful day has come to an end, I know that Easter isn’t over for the Christian.
On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection power of Jesus, the saving glory of his grace, his healing hand, & the promises of God.
We invite friends to church.
We post our favorite worship music song lyrics.
We raise our hands and worship our eternal king.
We hashtag #Heisrisen. #Heisalive.
We share meals together.
But do we share the gospel?
Do all of those pastel-pictured people I mentioned above know the true meaning of Easter? Do they really understand? Are they free? Will they spend eternity with Jesus?
Do we, as Christians, live out the other 364 days of the year living in the same focused, celebratory mindset? Do we care about the salvation of other people? Do we share the gospel, or let our reputation get in the way of that?
I would like to say that I spend each day waking up praising God, reading my bible, & sharing the gospel with 5 people before I start my day.
The reality is, I don’t do that. I don’t live in light of Easter like I should.
There are days that I wake up praising God & get right into His word, but there are also many days where I get up and immediately check FB or Instagram, making sure I didn’t miss anything that could have been posted while I was asleep.
There are days when I openly talk about my faith and share the gospel, & others where I act like it doesn’t even play a role in my life, when I fear the opinions of other people.
There are days when it’s easy for me to ask myself the hard questions, and others where it’s just easier to ignore than get to the root of my sin.
There are days when I spend time praying for friends & family who don’t have a relationship with Jesus, & other days where I don’t pray at all, either out of bitterness, apathy, or laziness.
It’s hard to pray for someone who has deeply hurt you.
It’s hard to want salvation for people who I don’t get along with.
It’s hard to serve others & expect nothing in return.
I so easily get caught up in the meaningless, temporary, fleeting pleasures of this world that I forget why I am on this earth.
In Acts 20:24, the apostle Paul makes the declaration that his life is worth nothing to him unless he uses it for finishing the work assigned to him by the Lord Jesus Christ-the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
I have been a Christian for almost 10 years, & I must confess that I so often forget the resurrection power of the gospel. I am quick to complain rather than running to Jesus. I sometimes take His grace for granted, & others fail to simply receive it for what it is-a gift. At times I become insensitive towards the good news, & assume that the people around me know and understand the Jesus I love so dearly. Jesus performs miracles in my life on a daily basis, something I could never earn or do for myself, & I so easily question his goodness.
This is the gospel: By nature, we are all inclined to sin; we are all imperfect, we are all tainted by the corruption of this world; we all fall short of the glory of God. Because God is perfectly just in character, there must be consequences for our sin. Our sin hurts not only ourselves, but also our relationships, most importantly with God himself. No matter how hard we try, we will never be perfect. We will never please everyone we know. We will never be a perfect. Are hearts are wired to wonder away from God, yet they are also wired with a deep longing to be satisfied. This can be a bad combination when we reject a relationship with God & look to success, alcohol, drugs, food, family, careers, ministry, relationships, material things, and our reputation to fill that void in our hearts.
We always crave more attention and affection.
We become distraught when the thing we so often run to doesn’t deliver.
We make idols in our hearts.
We satisfy ourselves with the wrong things.
We are lost. We are hopeless. We are like sheep, without a shepherd.
“But God, being RICH IN MERCY, out of the great love with which he loved us, when we were DEAD IN OUR TRESPASSES, made us ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST-it is by GRACE that you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5, emphasis added)
It is only because of the cross, the sacrifice for our sins that we may live in freedom and have a relationship with God.
Money can’t save us.
Drugs can’t save us.
Food can’t save us.
Our parents can’t save us.
Our children can’t save us.
Success can’t save us.
Exercise can’t save us.
Social media can’t save us.
Eating “clean” can’t save us.
Only Jesus……Only Jesus.
You don’t have to clean yourself up.
You don’t have to follow any certain rules or rituals.
Repent of your sins, confess that Jesus is Lord, believe in the power of the cross, & spend your life knowing him & making him known.
Cherish Him in your heart.
Plead His blood.
Share the hope you have.
Treasure his commands.
Follow Him in obedience out of love, not of obligation.
If we could save ourselves, than Jesus died for absolutely nothing.
More & more each day I am convinced that the gospel is “worthy of giving my life to”, as one of my close friends would say. Jesus is worthy of all of my time, attention, & praise. How selfish of me would it be to keep this news, everlasting life, freedom from bondage, & a deep satisfaction to myself?
At church this passed Sunday, I was reminded of how many people I know who don’t know Jesus. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched some people receive salvation for the first time in their lives.
Young & old alike, running to the foot of the cross to be washed clean.
There is nothing better, no greater joy.
God constantly pursues. He doesn’t give up. He lavishes his grace upon us. He loves us as we are. He freely pays the price for our debt. He forgives us quickly & is slow to anger. He invites us to have a relationship with him. He desires to know us. He longs to spend time with us. He gives everything & expects nothing in return. He makes a way for us to escape the pain & destruction that is abounding in this world. He fights for us. He protects us. He pours out everything for our sake. This is the good news of Easter.