Easter is the time of year that we remember Christ’s resurrection from the dead. This year we will celebrate the Resurrection on Sunday, March 27th, 2016. We usually welcome more visitors on Easter than on any other Sunday throughout the year. Since it’s a special day, we offer an extra service at sunrise and we offer a video overflow room during the other morning services.
We always love to share Jesus with people who don’t know Him, and Easter is our largest opportunity to do that. I’d like our church to be unified in seeking to love our community well. Let’s try these three ways to prepare for Easter at Grace Bible Church.
1) Pray & Fast for 40 Days
Starting today, there are 40 days until Resurrection Sunday. This 40 day period is sometimes called “Lent” (for the “lengthening” of days in the spring). Let’s spend these 40 days praying for others to see and follow Jesus. Fasting is a great way to focus our prayers. Fasting is not a form of self-punishment. Fasting is giving something up temporarily to recognize that Jesus is our ultimate joy. Many Christians experience an increased sensitivity to God’s goodness through fasting. If you have never fasted before, I recommend that you start small. Do not give up all food for 40 days. Perhaps you could give up sugar, coffee, or soda. If you are more experienced you might skip one meal per day. The idea is to turn your heart to Jesus in prayer every time you miss whatever it is you are giving up. Many fast from food, but you might give up TV, or Facebook. The point is not to make yourself miserable, the point is to run to Jesus in prayer. Spend the next 40 days praying for our friends and neighbors to follow Jesus.
2) Ask Good Questions
If Christ brings us hope, we will want to share that with others. The best way to share with others is to genuinely understand them. It is always encouraging when people value our perspective. Seek to understand the motivations and heart beliefs of others. Ask the Spirit to tell you when to speak and when to listen. If we love others well, we will care about what they think and how they see the world. Ask good questions and listen well.
3) Invite Others to Church
Invite someone who is not following Jesus to visit church and hear about Him. Our worship services are designed to remind us that Jesus is better than anything else. The Holy Spirit uses the proclamation of Jesus to change people. In Romans 1:16, Paul says, “…the gospel…is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
The Gospel has the power to push competing loves out of our hearts. Our gatherings are designed to remind disciples of the greatness of Jesus, but also to help people consider Jesus for the first time. Invite someone to church this spring.
In 1 Corinthians 15:7, Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
The resurrection of Christ is our guarantee of hope in a world of grief and pain. Our faith is not just a weekend hobby, but it is our reason for getting up every day. Grace changes everything! Let’s spend the next 40 days praying that Jesus will be more evident in our lives as well as in the lives of those around us.