I just checked the calendar and it’s still April. Not yet even two weeks since we celebrated the greatest miracle ever pulled off; the Resurrection. I’ve heard of no one doing anything remotely similar since, much less for the reason He did it. And yet, the Easter decorations are gone and it seems we’ve moved right on to Mother’s Day or the next “holiday” of choice. Is that how we’re supposed to do it; make a nod to Jesus through a one-day acknowledgment of His complete and total sacrifice on our behalf and then, check the box and just move on? I really don’t think so.
Last week, we offered part 1 of our thoughts on How We Can Live Out the Message of Jesus’ Resurrection Every Day. We know that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is an amazing gift and the very foundation of our faith. So much so, in fact, that it’s worthy of our learning to celebrate it every day for the rest of our lives. If you’d like to catch up and read or review Part 1 before reading on here, Click Here.
As we understand more and more, that we will never outlive the grace and mercy brought about and made available to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we also learn that we can and must live it out each day for the rest of our lives in this world.
As our friends at gotquestions.org point out, “the Resurrection of Jesus is important for a number of reasons. First, the Resurrection witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the Resurrection is to believe in God. If God (truly) exists and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death; only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself and only He can remove the sting of death and gain victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15: 54-55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.”
The Truth of The Resurrection is a Message to be Shared Regularly
While, typically, many of us only speak about Jesus’ resurrection around Easter, we really should be watching for opportunities to at least “drip it in” if not engage in full-on conversations with others about it every day. We might use these messages as an introduction to who Jesus is in our lives and/or how we gain strength through His eternal love, presence and care. Each of us have anecdotes and examples we can share.
I have been taught that there are at least 4 ways we can begin to build these messages into our vocabularies and conversations. As you read them, be thinking about some other disciplines you can begin to put into practice.
- Learn to be grateful for each and every day.
Each day that we awaken and our eyes flutter open, we should give thanks and seek God’s wisdom and guidance as to what He has in store for us and how we can best represent Him. In this way, not only can we keep the hope of His resurrection alive, but we approach each day with a fresh, live-giving attitude. We can learn to maximize each day we are given when we begin to see each new day as a gift. Psalm 107 opens with, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever.”
Start practicing the exercise of beginning, ending or even stating throughout your day each thing that you are thankful for. Fellow blogger Kirstyn Mayden says, “Maintaining a grateful heart for the gift of life each day will uplift our spirits, renew our minds, and change our perspective.” Christian author Brené Brown is known for sharing that, “gratitude turns everything we have into enough,” and “a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.” The resurrection of our Lord is a miracle worthy of our praise and thanksgiving and such good news to share with all who will listen.
- Share your story.
Sharing a story of what God has done in and with your life can inspire hope within others. Every believer has a powerful story of how God has used pain or has kept, strengthened and encouraged us. No one can argue against your story and what you’ve experienced because it’s yours! Sharing it is a great way to encourage others and keep the hope of Jesus’ resurrection alive and growing each and every day. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5 says, “3…the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
We don’t want to keep our testimony silent because someone else is depending on the good news of Christ to keep moving forward.
- Use your God-given Spiritual Gifts for a purpose.
As you’ve likely heard; God has a plan and purpose for your life. And because He loves us, God has given each of us unique gifts to use to fulfill our God-given purposes. One way to keep the hope of His resurrection alive is by using your God-given gifts to bless others. (1 Peter 4:10-11). Many people will benefit from the unique gifts that you are willing to give and share. If you aren’t sure what your spiritual gifts are, I invite you to take one of the many Spiritual Gifts Tests that are available online and strongly consider the results as you pray for wisdom and understanding on how you can apply them to inspire hope and purpose for yourself and others.
- Get to know God’s Word.
It’s an applicable truth that our vocabularies are largely formed through the words we read (and then use) on a regular basis. It stands to reason then, doesn’t it, that if we want to get better at regularly sharing the Resurrection message, we need to keep the story fresh in our hearts and minds. The best way to be reminded of it is by regularly reviewing it. Each of the four Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) provide perspective from their retelling of this amazing story. The entire Bible has been called “God’s love letter to Humanity (His creation)” and is ultimately a story about Jesus and what His death and resurrection mean for us. Once again, Kristyn Mayden shares that, “Scripture can also provide us with assurance and help to renew our minds with peace, comfort and strength. Within our own strength and human frailty, we allow anxious thoughts to consume us, but God’s Word can help us to overcome anxiety and hopelessness and to see each of our days through.” Get into the habit of regularly reading your Bible. If need be, start with a good devotional and work your way into reading more than the verse(s) provided to gain additional context, wisdom and application.
Psalm 119 says that God’s word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto my path.
This week, our North Coast Church Daily Dose series continues the question of “Now what? I think it’s a good question that is essentially asking each of us; “How will your approach to life be altered as a result of Jesus Resurrection?” I again invite you, if you haven’t already, to join me in checking out each day’s video lesson/devotional through this link.
At first, sharing the hope of Jesus with others through the Resurrection Story can feel a little bit like speaking in a foreign language. It takes practice and there may even be some new words and phrases that need to be learned. But, as mentioned, each of us has a story about how Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection has become meaningful for us in our faith journey. Each of us continue to grow in our faith, understanding, comfort and courage in sharing the Good News of the Gospel each time we try. And we can be assured that the Holy Spirit is at work in and through us as we make the intentional effort.
I closed with this last week but, as I continue to practice regularly encouraging you, I think it bears repeating; Learning to keep the message of Jesus’ Resurrection alive throughout all the days of our lives will, quite literally change the way that we live. As the ways in which we live change, the lives of others will be positively affected, as well. Jesus’ Resurrection paves the way. Let’s be reminded and remind one another of it every day.
He’s risen…and because He is, now we can be too.
Right here with you,