“Our hearts were made for you, O God, and they are restless until they find their rest in You.” – St. Augustine.
Can you think of a day that changed your life? Most of us probably can. Maybe the day that changed your life was a great day, or maybe it was not so great. One of my favorite “life-changing” days was the day when I married my beautiful wife, Angela. We spent a lot of time preparing for that day. It was a great day, filled with happiness, joy, tears, laughter and celebration. But, it wasn’t that one day or that one event that changed my life. Rather, getting married changed everything from that day forward.
This weekend, we remember the most important life changing day in history. The day that Jesus died on the cross and the day He rose from the dead. We will reflect on the painful, horrific death He experienced on our behalf. And we will reflect on the resurrection because Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is alive. The Resurrection is all about assurance, confidence, and boldness. It’s about where we are in life, where we are headed, and where we are going to end up—in the presence of the living God instead of eternally separated from Him.
Many of us will invite family and friends to join us. Easter is the day when people desire to go to church. It is also one of the best opportunities for people who are far from the heart of God to have a life changing experience by hearing and accepting the gospel message. In fact, Easter should only be the beginning. It could be the day that changes every part of their lives for the rest of their lives. James 5:20 says, “…that person who brings him back to God will have saved a wandering soul from death, bringing about the forgiveness of his many sins.” (TLB)
The day that Angela and I were married was incredible. Every year on our anniversary we take time to look back and remember that wonderful day, but our marriage is much more than a wedding day and a series of anniversaries. We spend the other three hundred and sixty-four days a year loving one another and fulfilling the promises that we made on that day. With each anniversary that passes I love her more. Not because of the anniversary, but because that day marks another year that I have spent learning about her and loving her. When we love each other well, anniversaries are celebrations of that love.
The same can be said of the unchurched people we invite to Northstar on Easter. An invitation could have a major impact on their lives. They may have a need right now for which only Jesus is exactly what they need. Maybe they have been searching for answers. It could be the start of a relationship with the risen Savior, one that grows day by day, year by year. We believe God is doing something powerful now in the days leading up to Easter. And, this weekend could be one that changes everything for you and the people you invite.
As we approach Easter, let’s make a deliberate effort to lift our focus away from our own concerns and to allow the Holy Spirit to show us what moves the heart of God. Who is a person around you that is on your mind or that you are concerned for? Talk to God about them. Is God stirring your heart for the people around you? Let’s trust God for their salvation and for our church to make ‘God-connections’ as we share the Easter message this weekend. Because people can only experience real life change if we invite them. Easter changes everything and my prayer is that it changes everything for thousands of people at all our campuses.
Let’s pray and believe together that God will reveal Himself to us in a fresh way as we head into Easter. And, that He would allow us moments with others that would be like the spark that begins a fire of Salvation in the lives of people all over the Panama City and the Pensacola areas.
- Pick one or two people to invite to Easter services.
- Pray that the results of the Easter services will continue to be evident in the days, weeks, and months to come.
- Perform acts of kindness with several people.
- Pray that lives will be touched in a special way this Easter.