Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter's Over. Now What?

Guest Blog by Pastor Josh Stockel / my super cool husband
(Initially posted on www.logoscommunity.com)

Easter is exciting isn’t it? I mean think about all the craziness around Easter. Americans buy more candy on this holiday than any other. Churches are giving away free cars and BBQ’s are blazing in almost every backyard and park, not to mention, the Easter Bunny has visited every home to deliver plastic eggs and marshmallow Peeps. It’s an amazing time we all celebrate and my family is no exception.
Now the truth of Easter is that we are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sin and death could not keep him in the grave. Jesus laid down His life on the cross on Friday and was raised to life on Sunday! This is truly why we celebrate and I’m working hard to understand that myself and teach it to my kids.
So now it’s Monday….

Easter Sunday has come and gone…. Now what?

As a believer, we spend a lot of time studying, praying, reading, and preparing for this huge Easter weekend. If you are a part of Christian ministry, you spend months preparing for this event but when it ends, what are we suppose to do then?
Church, this was the same question that the first disciples had to figure out as well.  In Acts 1, Jesus ascends into heaven and two angels appear to address the disciples as they stare up into the sky.
Acts 1:10-11 “And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’”
Jesus rose from death to life, he revealed himself to his disciples, and then he ascended. He went back to be with the Father who, as scripture says, “made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places.” Jesus was no longer walking among them and they had to begin a new chapter.
The Holy Spirit Filled Them
Before anything really began, the disciples were given the gift of the Holy Spirit who would lead them into all knowledge, truth, and good works. They were empowered to make disciples, lay hands on the sick, and preach the gospel boldly.  We, too, have been given the Holy Spirit and its time for US to look to Him for empowerment to make disciples, lay hands on the sick, and proclaim the gospel boldly. We, too, are part of the bride of Christ, the Royal Priesthood, the ministry of reconciliation through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Spirit! Its time to trust in the Lord and watch amazing Kingdom things happen!
They Proclaimed the Gospel & Walked in Good Works
In Matthew 28, Jesus gives his disciples their mission: to make disciples, baptize, and teach. And this is exactly what they began to do. Peter has his repentance sermon on the mount, the disciples heal in the streets, and the church EXPLODES!! Thousands are coming to salvation!! What an amazing time! You see men and women sharing the gospel and souls being saved and then these new followers of Jesus begin to live life in community. Does this sound familiar??
Church, this is our same call. Easter has come and gone and now it is time to look around and begin to share the gospel. Its time to walk in humility and live lives of holiness, not perfection. Its time to love and care for those around us who are lost and hurting.  This was Jesus’ desire for His followers as He ascended into heaven, that they would continue the work He not only began but completed on the cross:  the salvation of sinners across boundaries, cultures, races, and socio-economic groups. He desires us to make disciples, be unified, and be prepared for His second coming. Lets get to work and see what happens.


Lets pray the biggest prayers of our life.


Lets finally speak to those neighbors across the street.


Lets finally share with our coworkers that we follow Jesus, even if that casts us out of the inner work circle.


Lets trust the Spirit’s leading and make much of Jesus and see Him build His kingdom.


Who knows what might happen… It’s Monday.

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