This past Sunday millions gathered to worship a Risen Savior. Crowds of people filled church seats to hear a sermon about the empty tomb. Believers abroad lifted their voices to sing songs with words echoing the truth that Jesus overcame the grave. Followers of Jesus reveled in the truth that Jesus lives.
Why does Jesus resurrection matter?
Jesus resurrection matters because it confirmed His identity. Jesus was not murdered because He was nice guy or gave to the poor. He was slaughtered because He claimed to be God. He claimed to be divine. The religious leaders off the day were infuriated by this claim and plotted His execution. The resurrection of Jesus was a confirmation that He indeed was and is God.
Jesus resurrection matters because it means our sins are really forgiven. In the biblical book of Romans it states that Jesus was “delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification”. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, we would still be dead in our trespasses, awaiting the judgment of God. It is only through the miraculous resurrection of Christ that we can live pardoned and forgiven of our sins.
This is glorious news because the forgiveness of our sins leads to reconciliation with a Holy God.
Jesus resurrection matters because it means that we will experience eternal life. Death has no sting for all those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus. I recently attended a memorial service for a friend that passed away. He was a devout Christian and believer in the Gospel. The service did not have the taste of death but rather was filled with the aroma of life. Many of those who loved him talked about how they were confident that he was with God experiencing heaven. They wore smiles of their faces and each person’s voice resonated with hope. It is only because of the resurrection that we will receive life forever.
The implications of the resurrection will endure through out eternity. The resurrection matters…
For some reason in our culture, people decide to make their annual visit to church around Easter time, to pay homage to the religious gods. This creates a unique opportunity to invite someone to Restoration Road to hear the Gospel of Jesus!
You will be surprised at how God uses theses visits to awaken people to the truth of His existence. Who is part of your life that needs “The Invite”?
Don’t be afraid to hear someone say “no” to coming to church. That is fine, our responsibility is not to make a person come to church but invite them to “Come and See”.
Realize that some people will say “yes”. You will be surprised at how many people actually want to be invited to a church where they already know somebody.
It is okay if the person doesn’t like church. Once gain, it is not our jobs to entertain people but rather call people to a situation where they can hear, experience, and be around the realities of the Gospel.
Some will absolutely love it. There will be cases when a person finds a church home and come backs for more!
God sovereignly puts people in our lives so that we can be lights and Gospel magnets. Let this Easter season be a time where you give that person or those people “The Invite”. Watch what God does…
How are you using these snowstorms for your benefit? How is God using these blizzard conditions and so far the third snowiest winter in Boston’s History for your good? All things, including the weather can be used to make our hearts, responses, and outlooks more pure. God even uses snow to sanctify us.
A few weeks back I was taken back by my attitude towards the weather, my family, and my driveway. I realized that my response was actually quite sinful, as I was getting agitated at my family easily because I was stir crazy, and I could have easily adopted a constant murmur about the snowfall. It was time to grow in maturity and love using the snowy conditions as the backdrop.
It is important that we intentionally align our behavior with the reality of the Gospel. The Gospel is not less powerful when we get a foot of snow. The truth is we have a great opportunity to love our family when we are all stuck in the house. Sometimes we cling to our schedules so we don’t have to be relational. When it snows our scheduled are thrown out the windows and we get to focus on knowing our family and/or friends.
Who needs help shoveling their driveway? Who needs a call because they are feeling down? What Christ exalting book can I dive into? Who can I pray for? What can I do with my family to let them know I love them? These are all questions we can ask ourselves. These are all things we can do instead of complaining and wasting these days in frustration.
Today is a grace filled day. Today is a day we all are loved by God. Today is a day that God is worthy to be praised. Today is the day that we have to privilege to worship him. Today is a day when we get to love and serve others. Today is a gift from God. The snow can’t affect that.
Restoration Road, if you have lived in New England for a bit you quickly realize that snow, blizzards, and tough road conditions are part of our lifestyle during the winter season. When it comes to how the snow affects our services on Sundays it is important that we have good communication system in place.
If there is a snowstorm on Saturday night or Sunday morning you can find out if there is a cancellation through ‘The City’, our Website, and our Facebook Page. If Sunday service is canceled it will be communicated by 8:00 am on Sunday morning.
If we are still having service we will make sure the coffee is ready and the heat is jacked up. Nazareth Academy provides plowing for the parking lot and clears the walkways. If we do have service we would ask you to PLEASE use your best judgment when deciding if it is safe for you to travel to church. Your safety and your family safety is the most important.
As I sit down to type these words I am truly amazed at what God has done over the past year. Restoration Road has grown in the Gospel and love for each other. God has poured out his grace on us and shown us that he is building this church , for His glory, and our joy. We have seen lives changed, people baptized, and many mature in their understanding of just how powerful and intimate the Gospel is. It was beautiful.
Last week after service, I found myself in awe of how everyone loved each other. Smiles, laughing, hugs, and cheerful conversation filled the room. One of the members of the church who is battling cancer was flooded with care, as person after person, came up to him and said “I will praying for you and I am with you”. I could see his eyes and countenance light up as he realized he was genuinely loved and cared for by the people of Restoration Road. It was beautiful.
That same week I watched a girl come to tears as she was given a gift from the church to help her family out on Christmas. She could not control her tears. She laid her head down on the back table while sobbing. She felt so much gratitude towards a church that loved her and a God who loved her that she was overcome with emotion. It was beautiful.
Last night I received a text from a good friend and member of Restoration Road. He said he had prayed that morning that the Gospel would impact him deeply and it did. Here are his words“ I feel like I really felt today’s message in my soul dude. This morning I prayed to really hear the Gospel today. I don’t mean intellectually, I mean wholeheartedly, and I’m telling you I did”. It was beautiful.
There are so many more stories to tell of God’s beautiful grace to Restoration Road. Each of them filled with Gospel driven responses. We cried, we cheered, we sang, we laughed, we hoped, we believed, and we loved. It was beautiful.