God Is Not Dead!
It never gets old for me: “Christ is risen indeed!” It is a life motto, a philosophy, a religion; it is a compass and a guide. The fact that Christ is risen gives meaning to life and meaning in death. We are not a people that need to be bounced to and fro by finances, politics, sickness or death. In Christ we have a firm foundation, a strong cornerstone, a place of refuge and power that is greater than our biggest adversary. Alleluia!
In all things we are more than conquerors and yet our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak. Christ is risen and yet we face trials all day long, like sheep going to slaughter. Is it any wonder that we do fall into sin, that we do lose hope, that we stumble and struggle? Satan is actively working against our faith, against truth, against our security and hope in the Lord. He is trying to erode our foundations and destroy our power. As Christ was lifted up on that cross and cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Satan thought he had won, that he had manipulated humanity and destroyed God’s plan, but Christ did not stay dead… and neither do we!
Daily we die and daily we rise again in the promises of our baptism and the power of the resurrection. Daily we trust in God’s provision and assurance that despite the devil’s best efforts, in spite of the appearance that another battle has been lost or victory is being clutched from our hands, God is still the One who overcomes. God is still the One who grants you and me the ultimate victory to be celebrated NOW, even as we wait for the trials and challenges of this world to be eradicated once and for all.
If Christ is risen, then those who know and believe are granted assurance in our present and our future. Having this assurance, being set free from the expectations and norms of this earth, we no longer worry for ourselves but worry for those who are lost. Paul is able to rejoice in his sufferings because he knows they are temporary in Christ. Paul dedicates his life to pursuing salvation for the world, not how comfortable he can be.
This weekend we celebrate the resurrection of Christ by challenging ourselves to take strength in the power of God and reach out to our neighbors who are far from God. This weekend we are celebrating our nine mission partners who represent the sacrifices each believer makes each day so the world can know Christ as Savior. I believe we have reached our commitment to our mission partners through the special offering on Easter weekend and in this we greatly rejoice! The work is far from done and requires all of God’s people to be about our Father’s work every day. Each day we make choices, choices to glorify God or build security for ourselves. If Christ is risen, then we have all the security we need to glorify Him with all that we are.
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
In His service and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss
To hear the Easter Sunday Message please follow this link