Sunday, I waited in line to go into the 9:00 AM church service in Perdido Key, FL.
Not only me, but hundreds of others were gathered, greeting each other with kind words and hugs; taking pictures of the families dressed in their finest. All came to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. And, what a celebration it was!
The worship music was phenomenal and the message was enough to make anyone recognize the hope of who God is. Needless to say, the service was well worth coming to. My heart leapt with joy as it was filled with the Holy Spirit.
In leaving the sanctuary, I was fully aware that some I hadn’t seen in a while only made it to worship because…well…it was Easter. I wasn’t frustrated, though, because I was overjoyed at the idea that someone could hear a message that would revolutionize their life for eternity. They came to church out of tradition but were met with hope and the love of God and His people.
But I can’t help but wonder…Now what?
What’s next for those who heard the message of the stone being rolled away? What’s next for those who stood in line to hear about Jesus? Even more so, what had been next for the disciples when they realized Jesus had risen just like He said He would?
What do we (I) do NOW? What is the response that follows such an intense event?
The truth is some will hear the message and go on with business as usual. They will forget the message, and experience little heart change.
Others will do something about it in their own life. Still, others will stand up and say, “I can’t keep Jesus to myself, I have to tell SOMEONE!”
I’ve learned that many Christians find it easy to stop at the resurrection. It’s easier to end on the high note of the Gospel. Yet, they gloss over the final instructions of Jesus.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
In other words, GO TELL everyone you know about what you’ve seen here today. Teach them what you’ve learned and trust that Jesus will be with you. Yet, many of us never do so. Many are just scared or think they are not good enough. Or they are afraid to be seen as a “Bible Thumper” or a “Holier than thou Christian.”
Most Christians have chosen to be like the church of Laodicea: lukewarm, compromising, indifferent.
Yet this was not the response of the disciples when they heard the news and saw Jesus in His resurrected state. Their response was excitement. They were on a mission to do something! And guess what…they didn’t have to be perfect to do it. Peter, the one who betrayed Jesus three times, took sharing the Gospel seriously and was on a mission to tell as many people as he could.
Does this mean we need to stand in the streets and preach to thousands? No, but in the same sense, it means we need to be intentional about sharing Jesus to those in our sphere of influence. We must remember to encourage and uplift others. What better way than to give them the opportunity to live life to the fullest and for eternity?
Choose a Response that Will Set Others Free
What if we rethought Easter and saw it as a yearly reigniting to tell the world about our Saviour? This week, our church members blanketed the community with baskets filled with home-baked cookies to network with those people and organizations who had helped it celebrate it’s 30 years in the making. Because of that simple contact, they’ll remember that our church IS the heart of their community; there to celebrate in joy and help in their time of need. No one had to thump their Bible. It was just a gesture of kindness. The truth is I have found that it’s not a burden, it’s an honor to share my faith in Jesus Christ. I’m not required to be exactly like someone else. I have my own niche, and that is this blog. I may not be able to speak to people personally, but I am able to write my thoughts and knowledge. If you are a teacher, pray for your students. If you a mother, share God’s message with your children and family. If you are a baker, serve your customers and make extra for those in need. If you’ve had a trial, share your testimony of how God restored you. Seek every opportunity to bless others and pray for them. After all, you never know who will be in heaven because you truly lived out the Great Commission!