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March 2015 Archives

Printable Issue 3016  Today is Monday, March 2nd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3016

"As Jesus stood in the Temple, he was watching the rich tossing their gifts into the collection box. Then a widow came by and dropped in tow small copper coins.

"'Really,' He remarked, 'this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them combined. For they have given a little of what they didn't need, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.'"

~ Luke 21:1-3 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "The widow gave all she had, in stark contrast to the way most of us handle our money. When we consider giving a certain percentage of our income a great accomplishment, we resemble 'the rest of them' who gave only a little of what they didn't need. Here, Jesus is admiring sacrificial giving. As believers, we should increase our giving--whether of money, time, or talents---to a point beyond that which is convenient or safe."

***


Printable Issue 3017  Today is Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3017

Something taken from today's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence":


"I love you for who you are, not for what you do. Many voices vie for control of your mind, especially when you sit in silence. You must learn to discern what is My voice and what is not. Ask My Spirit to give you this discernment. Many of My children run around in circles, trying to obey the various voices directing their lives. This results in fragments, frustrating patterns of living. Do not fall into this trap. Walk closely with Me each moment, listening for My directions and enjoying My Companionship. Refuse to let other voices tie you up in knots. My sheep know My voice and follow Me wherever I lead."

~ Taken from Ephesians 4:1 -6; John 10:4

By Sarah Young

**

Printable Issue 3018  Today is Wednesday, March 4th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3018

Some 'short thoughts' taken from "The Irish Get Up and Go Diary - 2015":


"He who can give thanks for little will always find he has enough."

*

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself,

it's thinking of yourself less."

*

"A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."

~ Mark Twain

*

"Good community spirit is essential to our individual well being."

*

"Self-respect is often mistaken for arrogance when in reality it is the opposite. When we can recognize all our good qualities as well as our faults with neutrality, we can start to appreciate ourselves as we would a dear friend and experience the comfortable inner glow of respect."

~ Osho

*

"It's hard to accept the truth when lies were exactly what we wanted to hear."

*

"When something bad happens to you, you have three choices:

~ let it define you;

~ let it destroy you,

~ let it strengthen you."

***

Printable Issue 3019  Today is Thursday, March 5th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3019

Here is the 'whole' chapter of Psalm 70 (five verses!). It's an 'urgent prayer for help'. Might be for us as an individual, a family, a community, or maybe collectively for some of the woes of our world.


"Rescue me, O God! Lord, hurry to my aid! They are after my life, and delight in hurting me. Confuse them! Shame them! Stop them! Don't let them keep on mocking me! But fill the followers of God with joy. Let those who love your salvation exclaim, 'What a wonderful God he is!' But I am in deep trouble. Rush to my aid, for only you can help and save me. O Lord, don't delay."

~ Psalm 70

*

Bible Commentary:  "When others disappoint us, we feel empty, as though a vital part of ourselves has been stolen. When others break the trust we have placed in them, they break us and leave us like cracked cisterns. At those dry, empty moments, we must join the psalmist in begging God to rush to our aid. He alone can fill the empty, dry cisterns of our lives with his joy. With the psalmist we cry out, 'O Lord, don't delay'.

"This short psalm was David's plea for God to rush to his aid. Yet even in this moment of panic, praise was not forgotten. Praise is important because it helps us remember who God is. Often our prayers are filled with requests for ourselves and others, and we forget to thank God for what he has done and to worship him for who he is. Don't take God for granted and treat him as a vending machine. Even in the midst of his fear, David praised God.'

******


Printable Issue 3020  Today is Friday, March 6th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3020

Today is World Day of Prayer; lots of different ways to celebrate the day. Some churches have something special; others have community events. Our community is hosting a couple of hours of individual prayer times this morning and a couple more later this afternoon. It's being held as an ecumenical event at a Lutheran Church.

I decided to go this morning. A table in the entry gave lots of printed papers from which participants could select information to take with them into the sanctuary. A basket in the sanctuary held slips of paper for us to consider praying. I took two:

~ Pray for American soldiers around the world;

~ Pray for family members to return to their faith/church.

Pretty good ones for any of us!

The purple sheet which I picked up had eight Bible verses on prayer. I'll share two of them:

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge---that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

~ Ephesians 3:14 - 19

*

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."

~ Romans 12:12

*

How can World Day of Prayer be significant to you today?


Printable Issue 3021  Today is Monday, March 9th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3021

Today I want to salute two 'out-of-the-ordinary' role models.


The first one is Dawn. She is served by our local sheltered workshop for people with mental disabilities. Dawn is someone who is nearly always at church; part of our Sunday School class. And just recently went on our Mission & Outreach Committee with another dozen volunteers.

If someone in our class isn't feeling well, chances are pretty good she will get out of her chair; walk over to where he/she are sitting and pray for them to get well. If we are looking for someone to close our Sunday School class with prayer, Dawn is the first one to jump in!


The second one is Gladys, who also is a member of our church and who is turning 103 tomorrow. While she can not hear nor see as well as her younger days, she is 'out and about' most days when the weather is nice.

Because she takes the city bus service to Hardee's most days, she decided to 'treat' anyone coming in to the fast food business on Friday. She had purchase 40 large chocolate chip cookies to give to any customer until they were gone. I understand that she did the same thing at a burger & ice cream business for later in the day:  purchasing 40 ice cream cones to give away in a similar manner. The reason:  'so many people had helped her celebrate so many birthdays, it was her turn to return the favor'.


So the next time someone asks you to pray aloud for someone, don't think 'I can't!' Remember Dawn with probably less ability than most of us....she can! So maybe we can follow her example and PRAY!

And if you turn 103 some day, remember Gladys.......maybe it will be your turn to TREAT OTHERS!

Printable Issue 3022  Today is Tuesday, March 10th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3022

"Rest in My radiant presence.

The world around you seems to spin faster and faster, till everything is a blur. Yet there is a cushion of calm at the center of your life, where you live in union with Me. Return to this soothing Center as often as you can, for this is where you are energized: filled with My Love, Joy, and Peace.

"The world is a needy place; do not go there for sustenance. Instead, come to Me. Learn to depend on Me alone, and your weakness will become saturated with My Power. When you find your completeness in Me, you can help other people without using them to meet your own needs. Live in the Light of My Presence, and our light will shine brightly into the lives of others."

~ Taken from Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence"

Using Galatians 5:22; I John 4:12

***

Printable Issue 3023  Today is Wednesday, March 11th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3023

"When I look up into the night skies and see the work of your fingers---the moon and the stars you have made---I cannot understand how you can bother with mere puny man, to pay any attention to him!

"And yet you have made him only a little lower than the angels, and placed a crown of glory and honor upon his head."

~ Psalm 8:3 - 5 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "When we look at the marvels of creation, we wonder how God could be concerned for people who constantly disappoint him. Yet God created us only a little lower than himself. The next time you question your worth as a person or feel down about yourself, remember that God considers you to be highly valuable. We have great worth because we bear the stamp of the Creator. Because God has already declared how valuable we are to him, we can be set free from feelings of worthlessness."

***


Printable Issue 3024  Today is Thursday, March 12th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3024

It's Easter season; a time to celebrate. But in the 'Christian's world', every day is a day to celebrate!

Something penned by Max Lucado:

WHO CAN ACCUSE YOU?

"Romans 8:33 & 34 asks, 'Who can accuse the people God has chosen? Who can say God's people are guilty?'

"The answer is no one, because Christ Jesus died, He was raised from the dead, and now is on God's right side, appealing to God for us. The accusations of Satan sputter and fall like a deflated balloon.

"Then, why, pray tell, do we, as Christians, still feel guilt? God uses appropriate doses of guilt to awaken us to sin. His guilt brings enough regret to change us. Satan's guilt, on the other hand, brings enough regret to enslave us. Don't let him lock his shackles on you.

"Remember, you life is hidden with Christ in God. Whenever God looks at you, he sees Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God covering you. So, whom do you trust.........your Advocate or your Accuser?"

***

Printable Issue 3025  Today is Friday, March 13th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3025
"Hallelujah! O servants of Jehovah; praise his name. Blessed is his name forever and forever. Praise him from sunrise to sunset! For he is high above the nations; his glory is far greater than the heavens.
 
"Who can be compared with God enthroned on high? Far below him are the heavens and the earth; he stoops to look, and he lifts the poor from the dirt, and the hungry from the garbage dump, and sets them mont princes! He gives children to the childless wife, so that she becomes a happy mother!

"Hallelujah! Praise the Lord."

~ Psalm 113

***


Printable Issue 3026  Today is Tuesday, March 17th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3026

(Sorry for no Karen's Korner yesterday; spent an extended time away last weekend. A 'Korner' will be coming on Saturday to make the 'set of five' for the week!)

Three generations of the Weld family (granddaughter Molly, daughter Jamie, and I) 'DID' Imperial, Nebraska for more than 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday. Imperial is a small town (2,200) in southwest Nebraska and the home of the Burpo family of "Heave is for Real" fame.

In our more than 45 years of marriage, Jim, a newspaper and magazine reader, probably didn't read more than a dozen or two books. "Heaven is for Real' was one of them. Less than a year ago, he decided he wanted to go to Imperial to 'meet and talk' with the Burpos, and attend one of their worship services. It didn't happen.

So the three of us took 'a victory lap'! In the next couple of "korners', I will share a couple of the 'sights and sounds of our 'four day, three night' trip.

*

One of the interesting things which Pastor Todd Burpo (dad) shared with the three of us, was the casting of Colton, as a four-year-old in the "Heaven is for Real" movie. "Colton" was a five-year-old - Connor, from Ohio. It was a "God Thing" how the little boy was chosen.

"Connor and his grandmother were on a shopping venture near their home," said Todd, "when a stranger came up to them and said, 'God has told me to tell you that your young man will be cast in a movie in the near future which will be seen by people from around the world."

The stunned grandmother had the project of going home to tell Connor's mom and dad what the person had told her in the mall. Connor hadn't done any acting; no recorded commercials.

Not long after, and knowing what the stranger had shared, the family read of 'casting calls' for 'Colton' in the upcoming movie 'Heaven is for Real'. Why not send in the required information? Which they did, but heard nothing back.

The part of Colton was still being filled, but had been narrowed down to two six-year-old boys. Connor was five. Production people strongly lean to six-year-olds as regulations allow them to work six hours per day; five-year-olds only three.

The casting director was 'digging through' an office of a co-worker and happened to spot Connor's information, called the Ohio family. "The guy told the family to come out to California to meet with directors," said Todd, "telling them that it would be an experience for the whole family. But that he was pretty sure they would not be using their young man."

Todd said the six-year-olds bombed; Connor nailed it, 'being himself'.

"When we met Connor, both Sonja and I looked at each other and said, 'That's Colton!'" said Todd. "And when Colton met him for the first time, he said, 'Hey, that's me when I was a little kid!'"

It's a God-thing!

Printable Issue 3027  Today is Wednesday, March 18th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3027

A couple of highlights from Todd Burpo's sermon on Sunday in Imperial, Nebraska. He pastors Crossroads Wesleyan Church there; they had maybe 80 worshippers on Sunday morning.

As we move through the Lenten season toward Easter, he challenged us to consider 'fasting' beginning tomorrow (Thursday) until Palm Sunday:  a 10-day fast. There were 'five' possible ways on his list:

* from stuff, most often a favorite food, but it could be something else which God shows us;

* from people or relationships, maybe there is some person who is taking a good portion of our time - might be time to 'step away' from someone for a short period. Not all relationships are healthy nor productive;

* from places, some place we frequent can be taking an extra amount of our time;

* from our goals or agenda, as 'self-made people', maybe it's time to allow God to 'run the show';

* from something that is a favorite - a television program; facebook; some other technology which possesses us.

We need to ask God what could be on our 'to do' list for the upcoming few days. It may be time to say 'yes to God; and no to ourselves'. Sometimes it is that we 'add' something on. Our daughter, Jamie, was toying with the idea of buying a box of thank you notes and mailing a 'handwritten note' every day to someone who wouldn't be on her 'normal' thank you list. Not an email thank you, or one on facebook. One requiring a stamp!

And we are not alone in our decisions and desires. One of the Bible verses Burpo used:

"Jesus looked at them intently, then said,

'Without God, it is utterly impossible. But with God everything is possible.'"

~ Mark 10:27 LAB

*

If you decide to take up Todd's challenge, let me know. And I will email him/them/their church to let them know that his message reached much farther than a handful of people in western Nebraska on Sunday morning.



Printable Issue 3028  Today is Thursday, March 19th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3028

I am including a handful of short thoughts by the Burpo family from our travels last weekend to Imperial, Nebraska (My last installment!):


We asked town people about the Burpo family and found lots of good comments. One business person said that near Christmas time 'anonymous' $$ arrive at two dozen needy homes. "But we know it is from the Burpos!," he said.

*

How does Colten get along in high school? He is a sophomore this year. Dad said, "They call him 'heaven boy'. Better than me when I was in school. They called me 'belch guy' (Burp - O)!"

*

Colten's photo was in their weekly paper last week. He is part of their school's Show Choir and they had gotten good ratings at a recent contest. Colten was named Outstanding Male Vocalist.

*

I asked Colten if his dad was planning to stay at their current church (Crossroads Wesleyan) with attendance of 60 - 100 on Sunday mornings. Their family has been there for 18 years. Very active congregation. "Don't know why we'd be any place else," said Colten's response.

Dad (Todd) said, "If God can use us (this church, this town, in the middle of western Nebraska), why would we be any place else? We have to run to keep up with what He has in mind for us." He said God has given them a bigger platform than most mega-churches.

*

When invited, they do "Heaven is for Real" events which includes a 9-piece band (not all from their church, some are professional musicians), lots of praise and worship, some comments from Todd and the Burpo family. There next one is in Brazil; Colten said he liked their trip to Singapore the best.

*

Christian missionaries are not allowed/invited to China. They are invited because they are 'authors'.

*

Before we left, Todd gave us two of their books. One was for Molly, our nine-year-old granddaughter; it was a junior version of "Heaven is for Real" and includes some pictures from the movie. Inside the front cover, he wrote, "To Molly:  thanks for visiting our church. Plan to see you in heaven some day.' Todd.

Featured in one of the photos of her book is a picture of Colten at a book signing four years ago (he would have been 11), inside the front cover is the typed words "Heaven is for Real" and under it in 11-year-old cursive, Colten had written, "...you are really going to like it!"

As we were ready to walk out the door, Todd (knowing why we had come to Imperial) asked to pray with us, asking God's blessings on our journey home and for comfort and growth as our family adjusts to the loss of a husband, dad, and grandpa.

***


Printable Issue 3029  Today is Friday, March 20th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3029

Accepted in Heaven

"God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."

~ Hebrews 11:16 NKJV

"After the long journey of life, we are going to look up and see heaven. We're going to hear voices lifted in songs of praise. We're going to see the glory of God radiating from within, and we're going to long for home. But, we will be forbidden to enter. Heaven is closed to us because we are too dirty in our sin to enter it.

"However, because Jesus found us in our hopeless, helpless state and offered us His hand at the Cross, we can be welcomed into heaven. If we accept his offer and put our hand of faith in His, He will walk with us hand in hand, not only through the remainder of our journey, but through the gates of heaven that will be opened wide for us. We will be as welcomed and accepted in heaven as He is, solely because of our relationship and identification with Him. Praise God! Jesus is the One, and the only One, Who makes heaven available to the sinner, not only through the cross, but also through His resurrection."

~ Anne Graham Lotz

***

Printable Issue 3030  Today is Saturday, March 21st, 2015; Karen's Korner #3030

A Karen's Korner on Saturday to make up for the one missed on Monday!

I thought I was done of the Burpo family but I forgot one thing that I wanted to share.

Todd was telling that a cable television company would like to do a 22 program series on the Burpo family based on the "Heaven is for Real" book. I asked him if it would be a 'reality show'. He said, "Absolutely not! We are trying to have as much of a normal family as possible and we don't need a film crew following us around town and around our home."

It would be like the movie where actors play the Burpos. Todd asked that people might pray for them as the possibility develops. "I warned the producers that we are not a 'politically correct' family." Because of some of their beliefs.

One of the show lines which Todd talked about was men who come to him, broken because their 'significant others' have, or are planning, to abort their child, "and the guys have no input," he said.

Topics like that; he didn't know if it will be done or not. So pray.

*

The book which the Burpo family gave to me was titled "Heaven Changes Everything", written by wife Sonja and him. It is a devotional style and I haven't read it yet.

The last entry in the book is a 'spontaneous prayer by Colten at the end of an interview with Trinity Broadcast Network in 2011 (when he was 11).' With the question is this prayer for you?

"Dear Father God,

I just hope all those people out there who haven't found You yet, or need to be reinforced by Your Word; Lord, just please help them so that they may be able to come closer to You, so that one day they may receive the gift that You have given them. And, Lord, I wish that, even though we have a lot of people out there who might not believe this, I just hope you bless them so that they will figure out that You are real, you are God.

In Jesus' name.

Amen."

***

Printable Issue 3031  Today is Monday, March 23rd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3031

Every day's writings by Sarah Young in "JESUS CALLING;  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" are good. This particular one is from yesterday's entry:


"Rejoice and be thankful! As you walk with Me through this day, practice trusting and thanking Me all along the way. Trust is the channel through which My Peace flows into you. Thankfulness lifts you up above your circumstances.

"I do My greatest works through people with grateful, trusting hearts. Rather than planning and evaluating, practice trusting and thanking Me continually. This is a paradigm shift that will revolutionize your life."


~ Taken from Philippians 4:4; Psalm 95:1-21; Psalm 9:10

****

Printable Issue 3032  Today is Tuesday, March 24th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3032

"'Father, forgive these people,' Jesus said. 'for they don't know what they are doing.'

"And the soldiers gambled for his clothing, throwing dice for each piece. The crowd watched. And the Jewish leaders laughed and scoffed. 'He was so good at helping others,' they said, 'let's see him save himself if he is really God's Chosen One, the Messiah.'

"The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink -- of sour wine. And they called to him, 'If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!'

"A signboard was nailed to the cross above him with these words:  'This is the King of the Jews.'"

~ Luke 23:34 - 28 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Jesus asked God to forgive the people who were putting him to death---Jewish leaders, Roman politicians and soldiers, bystanders--and God answered that prayer by opening up the way of salvation even to Jesus' murderers. The Roman officer and soldiers who witnessed the crucifixion said, 'Surely this was God's Son'. Soon many priests were converted to the Christian faith. Since we are all sinners, we all played a part in putting Jesus to death. The Good News is that God is gracious. He will forgive us and give us new life through his Son.

"The signboard was meant to be ironic. A king, stripped and executed in public view, had obviously lost his Kingdom forever. But Jesus, who turns the world's wisdom upside down, was just coming into his Kingdom. His death and resurrection would strike the deathblow to Satan's rule and would establish his eternal authority over the earth. Few people reading the sign that bleak afternoon understood its real meaning, but the sign was absolutely true. All was not lost. Jesus was King of the Jews---and the Gentiles, and the whole universe!"

***


Printable Issue 3033  Today is Wednesday, March 25th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3033

A bit ago my sister Jill sent me a list of '40 Things to Give Up During Lent", written by Pastor Phil Ressler from the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Old Bridge, New Jersey, 2014.

Here are 10 of them:

* Feelings of Unworthiness - You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your Creator. (Psalm 139:14)

* Retirement - As long as you are still breathing, you are here for a reason. You have a purpose to influence others for Christ. Our work is not always tied to a paycheck.

* Guilt - I am loved by Jesus and He has forgiven my sins. Today is a new day and the past is behind.

* Entitlement - The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe anything. I live in humility and grace.

* The Pursuit of Happiness - God wants something greater and more lasting than happiness. It is called joy.

* Destructive Speech - Encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

* Resistance to Change - Change is certain. It is not if we will change, but how we will change.

* Small View of God - Don't tell God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your God is.

* Ungratefulness - You have been blessed in a way greater than you realize.

* My Life - Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)

***

Printable Issue 3034  Today is Thursday, March 26th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3034

Christ in You

"Proliferating throughout the Scripture is an enticing and inviting preposition--the preposition 'in'. Jesus lives in his children. From Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, 'Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

"God in us! Have we sounded the depth of this promise? With God in you, you have a million resources you didn't have before. Can't stop worrying? Christ can. And he live within you. Can't forget the past? Forgive the jerk? Or forsake your bad habits? Christ can! And he lives in you.

"Oh to be so full of him that we could say with the apostle Paul, 'It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me!'"

~ Max Lucado

***

Printable Issue 3035  Today is Friday, March 27th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3035

Theme of Psalm 121 "we can depend upon God for help. Pilgrims must travel through lonely country to their destination; they are protected, not by anything created, but by the Creator of everything".


"Shall I look to the mountain gods for help? No! My help is from Jehovah who made the mountains! And the heavens too! He will never let me stumble, slip, or fall. For he is always watching, never sleeping.

"Jehovah himself is caring for you! He is your defender. He protects you day and night. He keeps you from all evil, and preserves your life. He keeps his eye upon you as you come and go, and always guards you."

~ Psalm 121 LAB

***

Printable Issue 3036  Today is Monday, March 30th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3036

Yesterday, Palm Sunday, kicked off Holy Week, as we march toward Easter Sunday.

Father Jonathan, a contributor on Fox News, used this illustration to help everyone better understand what Jesus' crucifixion means for all of us. "Let's imagine that all of the banks, the credit unions, and credit card companies were to get together to tell us that all of our debts would be forgiven," he said. "Then we will start a new relationship with a clean slate."

He challenged, "Do you think the word wouldn't spread quickly? And that we wouldn't be happy with the news?

"Jesus and His death on the cross gives us even better news. If we accept His gift, He trades our sin debts for His life........which lasts forever. What a gift."

He continued, "I have a friend who said to me, 'The church's roof would cave in if I came to church'. On the contrary, I told him. When you come to church...when we all come to church.....the church's roof is held up by His Grace. We come to church to receive the gift of God's grace. Not because of anything we have done to deserve it."

Dear Father God, thank You for what You have done for all of us. Your Son paid a debt He didn't owe, to save people who may not accept Your gift of a clean slate. Thank You for Your gift of grace and all of the other gifts which You lavish upon us. We don't deserve any of them. You are such a loving and caring Heavenly Father. We can't help but worship You. In Your Son's Name. Amen.


Printable Issue 3037  Today is Tuesday, March 31st, 2015; Karen's Korner #3037

On Sunday, our Sunday School class looked at Luke, chapter 24 - the last chapter of the book. It tells about Jesus' resurrection from the dead. While we move forward toward Jesus' crucifixion, we sometimes move quickly passed His resurrection. Our class will finish the chapter at our next class.


I am sharing a portion of what we read and studied on Sunday:


"Then the men asked, 'Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive? He isn't here! He has come back to life again! Don't you remember what he told you back in Galilee---that the Messiah must be betrayed into the power of evil men and be crucified and that he would rise again the third day!'"


~ Luke 24:5 -7 LAB


*


Bible Commentary: "Why is the resurrection so important?


1) Because Christ was raised from the dead, we know that the Kingdom of Heaven has broken into earth's history. Our world is now headed for redemption, not disaster. God's mighty power is at work destroying sin, creating new lives, and preparing us for Jesus' Second Coming.


2) Because of the resurrection, we know that death has been conquered, and we too will be raised from the dead to live forever with Christ.


3) The resurrection gives authority to the church's witness in the world. Look at the early evangelistic sermons in the book of Acts:  the apostles most important message was proclamation that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead.


4) The resurrection gives meaning to the church's regular feast, the Lord's Supper. Like the disciples on the Emmaus Road, we break bread with our risen Lord, who comes in power to save us.


5) The resurrection helps us find meaning even in the midst of great tragedy. No matter what happens to us as we walk with the Lord, the resurrection gives us hope for the future.


6) The resurrection assures us that Christ is alive and ruling his Kingdom. He is not legend; He is alive and well.


7) God's power that brought Jesus back from the dead is available to us so that we can live for Him in an evil world."


***