By Series - Easter

Easter

Friday

April 14, 2017

Our Ascension Power

Read

Luke 24:50-53, “When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.  And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”

Think

We all know it’s often difficult to say goodbye. As the disciples watched Jesus ascend into heaven, you’d think they felt down, a little fearful, and uncertain about being Jesus’ witnesses to the world. However, their response was quite different. The Bible says they worshiped and were filled with great joy. You see, the implications of His physical absence were far greater! They finally understood what the scriptures had foretold. The culmination of this event proved their sins were forgiven, God was in control, and that He would return.

As Christ followers, we are emboldened by God’s supernatural resurrection and ascension power! How amazing is that? Jesus overcame the grave to free us from sin and death, and He returned to the Father to prepare a place for us. His ascension shows us His promises are true and allows His Spirit living in us to guide, protect, counsel, and convict our hearts. So, the next time you feel overcome with fear, doubt, insecurity, or temptation, remember that the Prince of Peace is working all things for your good. Hallelujah! We are fighting from the victory of the risen Lord!

Pray

The Bible notes that Psalm 100 is for giving grateful praise, so let’s do just that!
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs… Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise… For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Act

Let’s Paint The Town Red this Easter at Fellowship Church! Join us for one of our many experience times across all campuses and online. Learn More

 

Thursday

April 13, 2017

Peace Be With You

Read

Luke 24:46-49, “ He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,  and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’”

Think

After His death, Jesus’ followers and friends were overcome with disappointment and grief. Fearful of an uncertain future, they hid trying to figure out what had gone so terribly wrong. You see, Jesus’ death looked like the most epic failure of all time. So, imagine their surprise when the risen Lord appeared behind locked doors and said, “Peace be with you”! Although a common greeting, these words now meant much more as He stood beside them in His glorified resurrected body.

After His resurrection and prior to His ascension, Jesus accomplished three important tasks. First, He restored the disciple’s severed faith and reestablished their hope of eternal life. Second, the disciples received a history lesson of sorts. Luke tells us their “hearts burned” as He opened their eyes to spiritual truth. And finally, with their faith and spiritual clarity intact, Jesus gave the disciples final instructions to carry the good news of the gospel of to the world. As Christ followers, these same instructions are ours. Are you regularly seeking insight from the wisdom of God’s word? Are you exhibiting understanding and patience with others? Are you shining Christ’s light in the darkness and sharing the good news with those far from Christ? Remember, this is not only an act of obedience, it’s a matter of life and death!

Pray

Ask God for opportunities to invite others to join you this Easter at FC! And pray for great weather as we kickoff the holiday weekend with Good Friday in the Park.

Act

Read more about Jesus’s appearance to the disciples in Luke 24:30-49.

 

Wednesday

April 12, 2017

Looking Beyond the Tomb

Read

Luke 24:5-8, “In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words.”

Think

The grave could not hold Him. The tomb remains empty. Our Savior has victoriously defeated death once and for all. We serve the risen Lord. We know this.  We believe it in our hearts. Why then, do we allow our current struggles, past mistakes, inadequacies, and insecurities to mask what we know is true? Because, in these moments we just can’t we seem to look beyond the tomb to the supernatural resurrection power that’s available to us 24/7!

As the women approached Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning, what do you think shocked them most? Was it the missing body, the appearance of the two men whose clothes “gleamed like lightening”, or their unusual question, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?’ These women had been present at the crucifixion, they saw Jesus draw His last breath, they witnessed His burial, and they arrived that morning carrying spices to remove the stench of death from His lifeless body. Only when reminded of what the Savior had said did they remember His words. This is such a teachable moment for us all! It proves that we mustn’t be so clouded by emotion that we forget the Word of God. We are forever free of sin and death, and every day we must live in the light of the risen Lord and cling to His promises. Remember, “Jesus came so that we would have life, and have it to the full!”

Pray

Thank God for fulfilling every promise and delivering you from sin and death. And pray for specific ways God could show His power to those around you.

Act

Put today’s verses in context by reading Luke 24:1-12.

 

Tuesday

April 11, 2017

Most Holy Place

Read

Luke 23:44-46, “ It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.”

Think

Can you imagine seeing a battered and beaten Jesus on His way to die the most dishonorable death? And can you imagine watching as nails were driven into His hands and feet? And can you imagine the feeling of uncertainty and fear as you heard Jesus cry out before drawing His last breath under a darkened sky? In this same remarkable moment the curtain at the temple was torn in two unveiling what separated the Holy of Holies and the Most Holy Place. This area was so sacred, that only the high priest was allowed to enter once a year to sacrifice for the atonement of sin. Most notably, though, the curtain ripped from top to bottom, which was only possible by the hand of God.

As we approach Easter, we tend to have a heightened sense of gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice. But we often fail to remember that not only is this a time to celebrate our hope of heaven, it’s a time to recognize that we have an all-access pass to the Most Holy Place—the throne room of God. Every time we pray, every second we seek God, we are standing before His throne. So, as we move through Holy Week, let us not only be mindful of God’s gift of unmerited grace, but also to pause and simply bask in the presence of our God who loves unconditionally and calls us His own.

Pray

Pray for every chair to be filled this Easter weekend and for countless lives to be forever changed.

Act

Read the full account of Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial in Luke 23:26-56.

 

Monday

April 10, 2017

For the Love of Us

Read

Luke 23:13-14, 20-21, “Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, 'You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him’... Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. But they kept shouting, 'Crucify him! Crucify him!'”

Think

It is difficult to really understand the totality of God's love for us. We sing, “Jesus Loves Me”, we recite John 3:16, we thank Him for His immeasurable grace and still the depth of it seems to evade us. These outward expressions are wonderful, but they only skim the surface of His incredible love.

Take a moment to imagine how it would feel if someone you know personally, perhaps a family member or a close friend was willing to take your place for a crime they didn’t commit. Picture that person enduring your consequences. Although accused, they never try to shift the blame back on you. Knowing the severity of the punishment they are about to face, they follow through. And then after it is all said and done they still open their arms to embrace you and say, “I love you”.  Such a selfless act is unfathomable, yet Jesus did it for us. He did no wrong. He lived a perfect life. He didn’t have to do it!  And yet His love for us came first. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. Let’s keep this in mind as we grow closer to Easter and pray for those far from God to attend church this weekend.

Pray

Pray for the opportunity to share with others how God has blessed you in ways you don’t deserve.

Act

Put today’s scripture in context by reading Luke 23:1-25.

 

Friday

April 7, 2017

Is There Another Way?

Read

Luke 22:42,   “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Think

When was the last time you felt so distraught that you starting sweating blood? We cannot even begin to comprehend just how overwrought with sorrow Jesus was knowing what He was about endure. No other human has ever felt such an intense desire to be spared from God’s will, nor has anyone shown as much humble obedience and faith in the Father’s will. Like us, Jesus naturally wanted to avoid pain and suffering and proved that it’s okay to ask God for deliverance. Then He modeled the perfect godly response by saying, “Let Your will be done”. The purpose of prayer is to seek God’s will and align our will with His.

God never promised us a trouble-free existence, but He did promise us His presence to guide us and help us weather every storm. Jesus said to follow Him no matter the cost. This means He’s not asking us to do what He’s unwilling to do or has never done Himself. That’s why we look to Jesus as the “author and perfecter of our faith”. Obedience to God’s will—no matter how difficult it is in the moment—will result in growth, blessing, and added strength. And we know that “in all things He works for our good” and His glory!

Pray

Pray for yourself and those around you to be open to God’s will.

Act

Be inspired by Jesus’ passion by reading the full account of His last night in the Garden of Gethsemane.

 

Thursday

April 6, 2017

Take This Cup

Read

Luke 22:19-20, “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’”

Think

In life we’ve all had to make certain sacrifices. It may be to maintain a budget, doing what’s right instead of what’s gratifying in the moment, or giving up an extracurricular activity that coincides with church. No matter how big or small, it will never be greater than the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. So, we must never forget to be grateful to God in both the good times and in the bad. Just think, our very worst day is a walk in the park compared to Jesus’ last.

The Last Supper marked the end of the old covenant act of sacrificing a lamb without spot or blemish as atonement for sin. It also marked the beginning of the new and everlasting covenant. Jesus was soon to become the sacrificial lamb by shedding His blood for the forgiveness of all sin past, present, and future. He gave His life to reconcile those who believe in Him to a perfect and holy God. Therefore, must never let our appreciation for God’s greatest gift grow dull. Every day we should wake up and thank God for His promise of a Christ-filled eternity, regardless of what the day might hold. Because, really, where would we be without Him? And more importantly, where would be going if weren’t for Christ’s work on the cross? So, today sing to the Lord a new song of remembrance, gratitude, and joy.

Pray

Thank God for the incredible act of love demonstrated on the cross.

Act

Read the full passage surrounding today’s scripture found in Luke 22:14-23.

 

Wednesday

April 5, 2017

Fair Weather Faith

Read

Luke 19:37-38, “When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’  ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’”

Think

As Jesus approached Jerusalem on a donkey, certainly a humble entry for the King of Kings, the people shouted with joy, saying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Unknowingly, in just a few days time, they would be just as passionately crying out for Him to be crucified. The problem? The majority praised Him for His supernatural abilities, yet they did not know Him as their personal Lord and Savior. Their sudden shift in loyalty is mind-blowing, right? Wrong! How often do we leave church feeling blessed by God’s presence, encouraged by other believers, and convicted from the weekly message? Then Monday hits and we feel the pressure to launch into our daily grind, fulfill obligations, and weather unforeseen complications. What happened to our awareness of God’s presence? How did our attitude of praise evaporate so quickly? By midweek we’ve forgotten the message we heard on Sunday, and more importantly we’ve failed to include God in every aspect of our lives.

We are wired for worship and purposed for praise. Jesus deserves our adoration! In fact, praising God makes every aspect of our lives complete, essential, and worthwhile. It reminds us of His greatness, power, and presence. Feelings may be fickle and fleeting, but understanding the joy of Christ in us is eternal. Remember, let everything you do, say, touch, and feel be an act of worship to the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings! He alone is worthy of our praise.

Pray

Pray for all the teams preparing to create a great Easter opportunity to praise Jesus.

Act

Read the full passage of today’s scripture found in Luke 19:28-41.

Tuesday

April 4, 2017

Lukewarm Faith

Read

Revelation 3:15-16, 19, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”

Think

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sat confined in the Birmingham city jail and wrote the following: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright objection.” Dr. King took a page from Jesus’ words to the ancient church in Laodicea as he addressed his letter to fellow clergymen. In the midst of great civil unrest, he did not admonish the racial segregationists or the hate-filled Klansmen. No, his extreme disappointment was with those who could stand and make a difference, but out of comfort and self-sufficiency did nothing.

Likewise, Jesus rebuked the wealthy, self-sufficient, complacent, and spiritual arrogance of the Laodiceans. Due to their lukewarm approach to their faith and non-productivity within the kingdom of God, Jesus threatened to “spit them out of His mouth” with distaste if they failed to repent. Therefore, within the crazy climate of today’s culture and our microwave mentality, we must be mindful to not invert our posture of surrender and pervert our necessity for Jesus Christ.

Pray

Take some time before the Lord to meditate on just how reliant you are upon His power and provision. And pray a high-risk prayer availing yourself for God to work through your reignited passion for His fashion.

Act

Take your spiritual temperature by answering the following questions:
• How many people are you praying for on a regular basis?
• On average, how many people are you inviting to church each month?
• How committed are you to serving within house?
• How great is your willingness to step out of your comfort zone for Christ?

Monday

April 3, 2017

Fuel the Fire

Read

Revelation 2:4-5, "You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”

Think

Spend any amount of time reading the book of Revelation, and you will undoubtedly walk away with questions. Many of the aspects of this amazing book are confusing and confounding. While reading it we must remember that it was written at a specific time by a specific person to a specific audience for a specific reason. The Lord Jesus Christ had a very clear message to the seven churches of the province of Asia. In today’s verse, we see the crux of His message to the church at Ephesus: “Return to Romance!”

That church, which had been known for its passion, had lost some of its fire. The Ephesian Christians had fallen into a monotonous routine. They had forgotten their first love – Jesus Christ. Although written in ancient times, this message is just as applicable today as it was then. Do you find yourself just going through the motions in your walk with God? Take Jesus’ words to heart, and return to “the things you did at first”. In other words, do what you did when you first fell in love with Christ, and rediscover the passion you once had and His call in your life!

Pray

Thank God for His clear direction and bold challenge to your life. If you’ve lost some of your fire for God pray for Him to help rekindle the flame!

Act

One of the best ways to keep your spiritual fire burning is to commit to spending time with God daily. Even when you don’t feel like it do it anyway! Ask Him what He wants to show you through His Word and pray for Him to break down the walls of monotony, and rebuild a bonfire of passion.

Friday

April 10, 2015

Share the Gift

Read

And with that He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’” John 20:22-23

Think

When Jesus breathed onto His disciples, He gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was a gift they didn’t fully understand at the time, but it was a gift that empowered them to help change the world.

When we step over the line of faith, we are given that same gift. The Holy Spirit infiltrates our lungs and our lives, and fuels us with everything we need to reach the world with the message of Jesus. It’s a gift that brings with it peace, comfort, challenge, and hope. But this gift is not one that we can keep to ourselves. Our job is to now share that gift with those around us.

Are you sharing the gift God has given you with the world around you?

Pray

Thank God for the gift of His Holy Spirit in your life. Pray for the confidence to share that gift with the world around you.

Act

Listen to the gift of the Holy Spirit. When God speaks to you through prayer, reading the Bible, conversations with trusted friends, or a number of other ways, listen to Him. Don’t ignore the gift that God has given you!

Thursday

April 9, 2015

Life and breath

Read

And with that He breathed on them and said, ”Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22

Think

The disciples had the breath knocked out of them. Yet, in their seemingly darkest hour, Jesus resurrected to bring them new life, new potential, new hope. When He breathed on them, He empowered them. Now, every breath they took had meaning and power.

Jesus does the same for us. When we step over the line of faith and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He breathes the Holy Spirit into our lives. That is what gives us power and potential to make a difference for Him. Remember, Jesus didn’t come to add breath to your life, but to add life to your breath!

Pray

Thank God for His breath in your life. Pray that you make the most of the potential He has given you as you live each day for Him.

Act

Your breath has life! Use your words today to empower someone else. Give them encouragement as you see them facing a difficult situation.

Wednesday

April 8, 2015

The breath of life

Read

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

Think

In the Garden of Eden, the first Adam blew it. He messed up. Rather than accepting the breath of life from God and going with God’s plan and purpose, he decided to do his own thing. Sadly, we’re still seeing the results of that decision today. But the first Adam wasn’t the end of the story.

The last Adam, Jesus Christ, breathed in the breath of God and lived it out perfectly on earth. Then, on the cross, Jesus exhaled the breath of death so that we can inhale the breath of life. What the first Adam failed to do, Jesus did perfectly; thus, we now have an opportunity to experience the breath that changes everything – the breath of God – every day!

Pray

Thank God for not leaving us on our own and for sending Jesus Christ as the perfect, ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

Act

Post this line to your social media, or write it on a card to help remind yourself: Jesus Christ exhaled the breath of death so we can inhale the breath of life!

Tuesday

April 7, 2015

Don’t blow it off.

Read

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6

Think

In the Garden of Eden, Adam received the breath of God. It was a breath that took him from being a sand sculpture to a living, breathing man. It was a breath that was full of potential. Sadly, though, Adam decided to do his own thing and blow off God’s plans. Since then, the breath man has breathed on his own has been wasted.

God wants us all to breathe the breath He has in store for us. He has so much in store for us, if we will just submit to His plan and fall into His purpose. When we become Christ followers, that breath of God is available to us. Have you inhaled the breath of God? Or are you blowing off God’s plans and trying to do your own thing?

Pray

Thank God for His perfect plan and purpose for your life. Pray that you make the most of every breath He gives you!

Act

Take a deep breath. Consider the miracle that breathing is. Then ask yourself, “Am I making the most of each breath I get to take?”

Monday

April 6, 2015

The Breath of God

Read

“Then the Lord God formed a man  from the dust of the ground  and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,  and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

Think

Breathing is all about life; life is all about breathing. Living things breathe. We all know that. Without inhaling oxygen, life ceases to exist. But God doesn’t just want us to exist. He isn’t just interested in our survival. When God breathed life into Adam, He was breathing in potential, purpose, and power.

God has those on tap for each of us today as well. He gives our lives meaning, but that meaning doesn’t truly start until we inhale the breath of God. It isn’t just about surviving; it’s about truly living!. Have you received the breath of life from God?

Pray

Thank God for breathing life into your life and giving you potential, purpose, and power. Pray that you make the most of that potential today.

Act

Read the account of the creation of man and woman in Genesis 2. How does that differ from when God created everything else?