How did God speak to you this Easter?
During the best time of the year, what did Jesus remind you about? What did He encourage you to do? How did He make your day? What sacrifice did He challenge you with? What mission did He send you on? What difference did He do in your life this Easter Season? Or did you miss it? Did you miss Him?
There was a historical man named Jesus.
He was born like no else was born. He lived like no one else lived. He taught like no one else taught. He served like no one else served. He loved like no one else loved. His heart went out to those who were overlooked, left out, marginalized, despised, forgotten and excluded.
On Friday, His great courage got Him arrested. His great love led Him to the cross. His great passion for sinners carried Him through the suffering. His great sacrifice allowed Him to die. On Friday, it was such a horrible ending to such a wonderful life that it was marked by darkness, earthquake, the dead walking and the veil ripping.
On Saturday, there was great silence as Jesus lay dead in the grave. There was great mourning as the Great Leader seemed to no longer be leading. There was great sorrow as the Great Lover seemed to no longer be loving. There was great shock as the Messiah seemed to be a fraud.
On Sunday, the stone was rolled away. On Sunday, the grave clothes were neatly folded. On Sunday, the tomb was empty. On Sunday, the bloody, ripped up back, the wounds from the crown of thorns, the wounds from the beatings, the wounds from the nails, the wounds from the spear were fully healed. The dead was no longer dead, death lost its sting, the grave lost its corpse. On Sunday, darkness was derailed, the devil was dethroned and hell was defeated. On Sunday, faith was vindicated, the prophets validated, the disciples animated. On Sunday, sin lost, shamed died, hope soared and love won. We got something to live for. We got something to die for. We got something to hope in.
Easter is therefore, the greatest victory, over the darkest enemy, by the noblest hero, for the loftiest cause, that is the central proclamation in the history of the world. If there is anything in this broken, dark world worth celebrating it is that Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead. He is risen, He is risen indeed!
How is your life different because of this Easter? Or did you miss it?
Humbled, changed and inspired,
Dear Southtown family,
Easter season is one of the best seasons of the year where people far from God are open to an invitation to church. We also know “the face to face invite” is the most effective way to invite someone. Have you invited anyone to come with you yet?
Steve Dyess shared that at the last Christmas Musical, he was so encouraged by the clear Gospel presentation that Jude and I shared between the beautiful songs. He thought, what if there were more people who are far from God present.
This Easter season, we are going to call the Easter series, Bumping Into Jesus.Any time anyone bumps into Jesus, Jesus offers them a life changing enhancement. On Easter, we will see how Jesus offers resurrection power to everyone, if they accept it.
How many of your family and friends need Jesus’ resurrection power in their lives? Maybe some of your family and friends needs resurrection power for their marriages, rebelling children, finances, a job situation, etc. Easter will be a fantastic time for them to receive Jesus’ power specifically for them and what ever that are going through.
We will also be showing a 30 minute artistic film on Good Friday that will help us think through God The Father’s love for us. Another great opportunity to invite others.
Who of your relatives, neighbors, and co-workers do you want to see come to Christ this Easter? People are more likely to be open to your invitation at Easter than at any other time of year. Don't miss this once-a-year opportunity to invite them to church this Easter!
Here's how God can use you this Easter:
1. Ask God to show you who to invite.
2. Treat those people to a coffee or smoothie or snack of their choice and invite them.
3. Bring a different friend to Good Friday service and Easter service! Attached is the Easter email invite. You can share the Easter series from Southtown's Facebook page. You can give them a postcard with the gift of seeds that is attached to it to someone face to face.
4. Please set an example and fill out the brief "Spiritual Survey" card that we take every year at Easter during the service - so visitors will see you do it and feel comfortable doing it too.
5. Pray that dozens will commit their lives to Christ this Easter.
6. Greet everyone around you. There will be a lot of first-time visitors. Please help them with anything they might need.
This Easter we are planning our greatest service ever. I am SO excited about it I can hardly sleep! The music we've planned is incredible! Thanks for your prayers. I am so grateful to be your pastor. Let's each Reach One More ... for Jesus!
Praying for a Jonah chapter 3 season,
Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them." Luke 23:34
Stephen prayed, "Father do not hold this sin against them." Acts 7:60
Paul prayed, "My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israelites is that they may be saved." Rom 10:1
Paul trained Timothy, if you want to turn around the church, pray evangelistic prayers. "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people." 1 Tim 2:1-5
Look at why Paul says praying is good. Praying is good because it "pleases God our Savior." God is the only Savior. He wants to do His saving work; that all people come to the knowledge that there is only one mediator between God and humans - Jesus Christ. The purpose of praying and the way to turn a church around is to pray life-rescuing prayers for the lost.
Is this part of your regular prayer life? Do you have the Biblical insight and maturity to know that Jesus has called us on His mission to seek and save those who are far from God?
Do you have deep passion like Jesus, Stephen, Paul and Timothy to pray evangelistic prayers for the lost people in your life?
Do you have sick feelings in your gut because certain people in your life, if they died today, would be spending eternity without God?
Do you pray Luke 10:2, as Jesus taught, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, to send out workers into the harvest. Then, Go! I (Jesus) am sending you out like lambs among wolves."
What daily mission is Jesus asking you to do with those far from God in your life? How will God use you this Easter season? Who is God asking you to invite to Easter series?
Let's pray. Let's go. Let's serve. Let's ask spiritual questions. Let's love. Let's let Jesus adopt people into His family through us. Let's worship.
Saying "Yes" to Jesus' mission together,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.