It is the Thursday after Easter, but Jesus is still risen. Jesus is alive. The hope of Easter is not a truth to be lived out on one day of the year, but everyday!
On Easter Sunday I shared that for a resurrection to take place there must first be a death. Without Good Friday there is no Easter Sunday. If we are going to live the new life that Jesus has called us to live we must first die to self. Jesus says, “whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:25 The path to the resurrection goes through the cross.
I fear at the end of our lives, many of us may regret the things we are striving for today. We are not going to wish we had spent more time at work, on the golf course, or watching tv. We are not going to wish we had a bigger house, a nicer car, or took more extravagant vacations. In the end we will not wish we had got more, but we will wish we had given more.
There are so many people in life going through the motions. They are not living a fulfilled life. They live one paycheck to next and one crisis to the next. The exclamation point at the end of their life will be that they lived and died and not much else. Maybe that is where you are today.
If that is the case you need to know that the resurrection is not limited to an event that took place some 2000 years ago. The resurrection is not just something for you when you die and leave this world. The miracle of the resurrection is for us to take hold of today. It is that we might live a new life. That we might do more than just get by, but that we would live for Jesus. I pray this will be the exclamation point at the end of my life – not that I lived and died, but that I lived for Jesus.
Jesus calls us to follow him. Unfortunately, too many of us are chasing after our dreams and desires that we don’t have the time or the energy to follow Jesus. We are doing what we think is best. However, Proverbs 14:12 says: “There is a a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” Our dreams and desires are not going to take us very far. It is not until we can give up our dreams and desires for Jesus’ dreams and desires that we will take hold of the full and abundant life to which Jesus has called us to (see John 10:10). This is what it means to die to self. It is stepping aside to put Jesus in charge.
I am naive enough to believe with the help of the Holy Spirit that trading my life for the mission of Jesus will change the world. Are you naive enough to believe that with me? If so, I want to invite you to join me at Lord of Life on the five Sundays during month of May as we take a deeper look at what it means to follow Jesus. I can say that these are some of the most challenging messages I have ever prepared. It will be a message series to challenge our status quo. It may make us uncomfortable and stretch us. Following Jesus is never easy. The cost is great. We may give up everything, but we will gain everything.