Pastoral Notes for Sunday, April 8, 2018

As we walk through the Easter season of the church calendar, we’re going to practice resurrection together. That is, for next six weeks or so, we’ve carved out time in worship for public testimony, sharing stories of how Christ is at work in the Cornerstone community.

We’re calling these public testimonies “resurrection stories,” believing that the resurrection Spirit dwells within us (Ephesians 1:19-21; Romans 8:11) and is continuously giving us resurrection power (Philippians 3:9).

It is our earnest hope that the Lord will use these stories to encourage us in the faith and to challenge us to walk in the living hope of the resurrection (1 Peter 1:3). Indeed, as you listen to these testimonies, we pray you’ll experience something of a mini resurrection yourself—that your heart and life will be renewed by the work of God in our midst. Even more, we hope this practice will cause you to look at your own life and ask the question, “What difference is the resurrection life of Jesus making in my life personally?”

If appropriate, go ahead and ask yourself that question now as you prepare for worship. Think back over the last few weeks, months, or even the last year. Where do you see God showing up? If nothing surfaces right away, try getting more specific.

·      Any new godly desire that’s rising up in you?

·      Any sin that’s becoming more loathsome to you?

·      Any loss or trial in life that’s bearing fruit in you?

·      Any new godly affection toward someone that you’re feeling?

·      Any new act of obedience that’s taking shape?

·      Any new insight into the truth that’s strengthening your walk God?

Later this afternoon or next week, return to these questions and ponder them. As you do, consider grabbing a pen and a journal and write out answers to these questions. That way you can reference these encouragements at a later time when your awareness of resurrection power is hard to find.

On that note, if you find it difficult to locate any resurrection stories in your life, don’t despair. God often works under the soil of our lives long before any demonstrable growth can be seen. And then pray for a fresh resurrection work of God in your life, knowing that’s just the kind of prayer God loves to answer.

Easter Sunday 2018 is past, but the resurrection power of Jesus Christ is just getting started. May God be pleased to increase the witness of his resurrection power through the transformation of our lives!