Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Master's Plan

The Master’s Plan


The main body of our text today will come from Matthew 14.

God teaches us that success is more than a one step process.

Success most often belongs to those who will place their lives in God’s hands and endure the process.

God has a plan, He will succeed and we have a chance to participate. The fact is that God does not first have to seek our permission before He upsets our plans.

What we are going through at any given moment is most likely not punishment for our past but positioning for our future.

God said in 2 Samuel 7:8 that He took David when David was basically nothing and made him a King. Note that God did not take David and give him a kingdom, but He took him and made him a king --- there is a difference. (NLT/Paraphrased Bible)

Perhaps we, all of us right now, are just in the middle of our making.

Key Scripture: Mark 14:22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." (NKJV)

When in the scriptures we see continual patterns of action, we can conclude that these patterns exist for a reason, which reason most often is to reveal a deeper truth than the mere action itself.

Such is the case in the scriptures we will read together today. Herein you will see an evident pattern which brings revelation to a deeper spiritual truth affecting every child of God.

You see, the truth is:

Psalms 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerns us …

Philippians 1:6 We can be confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

2 Corinthians 3:18 says that we are being changed into the image of God one step at a time.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (NLT)

With these things in mind lets read a story from the bible. This is the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 men plus women and children: (Go with me to Israel this September and I will show you this very place.)

Matthew 14

15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food."

16 But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."

17 And they said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish."

18 He said, "Bring them here to Me."

19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.

20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.

21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Notice any correlation between our key scripture in Mark 14 and this account of Jesus feeding the 5000 in Matthew 14?

* Mark 14: 22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."

* Matthew 14:19 … He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples …

Here in these two passages we see a pattern developing that is repeated over and over again in scripture.

While you consider these scriptures, let me tell you another story. This is the story of Jesus appearing to two men who were walking on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus toward the evening on the third day after Jesus had been crucified.

Luke 24

13 ¶ Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.

14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.

16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?"

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, "Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?"

19 And He said to them, "What things?" So they said to Him, "The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,

20 "and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.

21 "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.

22 "Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us.

23 "When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.

24 "And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see."

25 Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

26 "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?"

27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther.

29 But they constrained Him, saying, "Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." And He went in to stay with them.

Luke 24

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.

31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"

33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,

34 saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"

35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

By now you can see an evident pattern. It is the precious hand of God which takes, blesses, breaks and gives. All with purpose! He:

Takes us (Calls) (many are called but few are chosen)

Blesses us (Equips) (many only want to live in blessings)

Breaks us (Tempers) (we come to know Him in the breaking)

Gives us (Uses) (Crucified with Christ … Christ lives in me)

The bless’ed breaking of God multiplies our potential and magnifies our dependence on Him. Give yourself to the Master’s plan.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Help & Hope

Help & Hope


Most of the time it seems the message preached at church on Sundays is aimed at helping people with problems, hurting people, people who need some help with life. The reason for this can be clearly seen from the passages in the bible which show Jesus ministering to the people of His day.

People can be broken down into three basic categories:

* The Righteous

* The Unrighteous

* The Wicked

Most of Jesus’ ministry and teachings were aimed at the Unrighteous … those who are wrong but would get right if given the information, the encouragement and the opportunity.

Mark 2: 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"

One day Jesus heard the religious leaders conversing about the type of people He was targeting with His message and ministry. They were complaining about Him spending so much time with what they considered the wrong kind of people. We hear Jesus reply in:

Key Scripture: Mark 2: 17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (NKJV)

Later in Luke 19 when Jesus had gone into the house of Zacchaeus, some murmured and complained that He had decided to sit down and eat with an evident sinner. Jesus responded:

Luke 19: 10 "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Jesus had a heart for the hurting and hoped to help them. His message was a message of Help and Hope.

Help For Today – Hope For Tomorrow!

This morning is no different. Jesus in here in our midst on a quest to seek out and minister to those who have needs, people with problems, hurting people who will let Him touch their pain, heal their hurt and solve their problems. Jesus is here this morning to bring hope to the hopeless, restore confidence to those who have been betrayed and through forgiveness and acceptance show His love to everyone. He is not here to judge, condemn, criticize or reject us.

For those who are presently doing well and have no need of a Savior or Healer, I invite you to worship with us this morning and be thankful to Jesus for His abundant mercy which has come to your life and family. Testify of His goodness and let His Word sink deep into the good and receptive soil of your life. Praise Him for His goodness.

We know not what tomorrow may bring, but we do know that with Jesus we will be prepared for anything.

For those who are going through trials today, encountering hardship and/or burdened down with pain, this morning is especially important for you. This morning is your morning to hear what Jesus is willing and able to do. Take heart, begin to hope, Jesus has the answer and He is willing to help. He is here for you today.

With that thought in mind, turn with me this morning to:

I. Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

A. The First Step in getting help for today and hope for tomorrow:

* Come To Jesus

John 6: 35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

John 6: 37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

> Get Saved Today

> Rededicate Your Life

> Refresh Your Commitment

> Sit At His Feet and Hear His Word

II. Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; …

A. The Second Step is:

* Lordship

> His yoke is easy … Lordship is easy & the burden light

> v.30 - Lordship relieves us of our heavy burdens

B. The Third Step:

* Learn About Him “Learn of Me …”

> His Word; His Will; His Way

III. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.

A. The Next Step is to:

* Cast Your Care On Jesus

Hebrews 4: 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Philippians 4

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Note: The peace of God will preserve us & the God of Peace will protect us.

Romans 16: 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Note: The peace of God will stabilize our hearts & minds in the middle of a crisis and the God of Peace will defeat our enemies and restore all that the enemy has disturbed & devoured.

IV. Close

A. Have You Come To Jesus?

1. Are you saved?

2. Have you repented of your sin since you were saved?

3. Do you need to refresh your relationship with Jesus?

4. Why not make plans to spend some quality time sitting at His feet

B. What About Lordship?

1. Have you given Jesus all the rights to your life?

2. Is He more than Savior?

C. Do You Know Him?

1. Read His Word

2. Seek His Will

3. Walk His Way

D. Have You Given Your Burdens To Jesus?

1. Let’s Pray Right Now

2. Jesus Cares

3. He Will Hear

4. He Will Help

5. What Have You Got To Lose Except What You Don’t Want Anyway … Cast All Your Care On Him!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Power To Change

Power To Change


Key Scriptures: Proverbs 18 KJV

20 ¶ A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

21 ¶ Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

When the children of Israel were delivered from the bondage of slavery in Egypt Moses led them across the desert toward the land which God had promised them. The Believer’s life and spiritual experience runs parallel to the natural journey of God’s Children, Israel.

Believer’s are the children of God, Egypt in that day represents the world and its system in our day and the natural promised land of old is nothing less than all the promises God has given to us, paid for through the sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus.

Although it is not written anywhere, the story contained in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy give conclusion to the fact that:

It is easier to get people out of Egypt than to get Egypt out of people.

People, even God’s people, Believers in Jesus as Messiah often continue to live the ways they learned and follow the habitual patterns of life, thought and process long after they are delivered from the spiritual bondage of slavery to satan and this world’s system.

Some of the things Egypt taught the Children of Israel were hard habits for them to break.

The Apostle Paul enumerates some of these learned behaviors which carried over into Israel’s new day.

1 Corinthians 10 NKJV

1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

3 all ate the same spiritual food,

4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 ¶ Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play."

8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;

9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;

10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

Of all the things which seem to irritate God, one more than the others seems more difficult for people to stop: Murmuring – also known as Complaining – It has been this way for generations.

It just seems easier to give voice to what we have instead of what we want to have. The negative, the lack, the bad appears so much more evident than the positive, the abundant and the good which may not be readily seen, but is in fact God’s will for us.

God intends for His children to be agents of change. To make things happen instead of let things happen; To be in control and not out of control; To be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath.

Regardless of the situation, we are born of God and have overcome.

Complaining about what we have instead of working for what we want is not pleasing to God.

Numbers 11:1 ¶ Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. (NKJV)

Praying the problem instead of praying the promise is not an effective vehicle for change.

The first lesson we learn from God is that He is a future thinker. He considers what He has and what He is facing and then plots a direct and firm course through the problem to achieve what He desires.

Genesis 1 – The First Lesson

Genesis 1 KJV

1 ¶ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

* God saw the void and darkness

> He did not deny it or let it depress Him

* God brooded over it – meditated on it

> He was not too quick to decide or act

* God acted by speaking in faith

> He released the power of His life

Key Scripture: Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

When the children of Israel left Egypt they moved across the wilderness and 50 days after Passover, on the day of Pentecost, received the Ten Commandments from God on Mt Sinai.

Some time later they found themselves at a place called Kadesh Barnea. This particular part of their story is found in Numbers 13 and 14.

After sending 12 spies into the Promised Land and hearing their report, the people started complaining about their situation once again. The cities were too fortified, their enemies too big, their strength too small, their God did not love them, their leaders were inept and without true vision, they were going to die in the wilderness and their bones were going to be bleached white by the sun … and on and on and on … until God got fed up and finally spoke!

You know what He said?

Numbers 14: 21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.

Numbers 14: 28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:

What we believe about God and what we say makes a difference.

* First it makes an eternal difference

* Then it makes an every day difference

The true power of God lies in our faith filled words.

Power to first change us and then things around us.

If you have been speaking negative about yourself, your place with God or the situations you face in life, stop!

We prophesy our future by the words of our mouth.

What are you saying? What are you declaring? What are you believing? What are you producing?

Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What Will You Say?

What Shall We Say?


Key Scripture: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (NKJV)

More than any other bible character, the Apostle Paul identifies with the everyday earthly plight and struggles of the common Christian. Throughout his writings he continues to bear his humanity, frail and fragile as it may be, yet he consistently presents himself clothed in the purpose and power of God.

He paints a picture of the life of a believer: In the world but not of the world.

Being in the world we as believers face the similar difficulties, hardships and disappointments others face who are without Christ. The difference is that we are secure and secured with Christ because we are not of the world but have been born again, born of God.

The doctrine which this Apostle to the Gentiles espouses gives a clear picture of our place both here in this world and in eternity. While we are alive in this world, yet we are citizens of the Kingdom of God and as such are subject only to God’s will, destiny and judgment for us.

We are encouraged to live above the common fray of humanity, loving God more than we do ourselves and loving others as much as we do ourselves.

We are further instructed to not judge others, argue, dispute or debate things which gender strife or hold ourselves out as better than our neighbors. The same God Who saved us is reaching out through us to save others. We help by pointing out the hidden way to Christ and not by pointing out the obvious way to hell.

It is clear that God intends for us to live among those who do not know Him as witnesses of the grace, mercy and forgiveness He shows to all who call upon His Name. It is by our life choices and our testimony that we encourage others to follow us as we follow Christ.

Like in Acts 16 when Paul and Silas were in their midnight hour wrongfully imprisoned for their faith, when they sang praises to God, ‘The prisoners were listening’. Others are watching us today.

Even though all things have been put under the feet of Jesus we do not now see all things under His feet, but we, as believers, do see Jesus. This is what makes the difference.

Hebrews 2 NKJV

8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.

9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

Jesus said in John 16:33 that as long as we are in this world we will face troubles but that we should not be depressed by these troubles since He had already overcome them for us. This is what Hebrews 2:9 means when it says that Jesus tasted death for everyone.

It is conceivable that at some point in our life we will face difficulties, disappointments, tragedy, turmoil … troubles: Spiritual troubles, physical troubles, financial troubles, relationship troubles, troubles on the job, with school work, sickness, setbacks and even temporary defeat.

2 Corinthians 4 KJV

8 ¶ We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Its not what we go through that makes or breaks us but rather how we go through it.

Lets turn in our bibles to the book of Romans, Chapter 8.

Romans 8 NKJV

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

31 ¶ What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are more than conquerors in every situation and over every trouble of life. God has commanded by His Word that all things work together to the true and eternal benefit of those who love Him.

Put your life, faith and trust in God. He knows the way and He will see you through. If God is for you who can be against you?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Cast all your care on the Lord, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New Creation Realities

New Creation Realities


Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)

Crucifixion provides Reconciliation (Romans 5:10)

Faith & Confession secures Salvation (Romans 10:9-13)

Resurrection provides Proof & Power (Philippians 3:10)

The Holy Spirit secures New Creation Realities (Acts 1:8)

Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Power = Dunamis = Ability

Witnesses = Martus = Martyr

2 Corinthians 5 NKJV

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

New Creation Realities

1. We are in Christ

2. All things are new and of God

3. We are Ambassadors/Witnesses

4. We are right with God through Jesus

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Best Sunday Message Ever


I do not want to waste the precious time each of you give to attend Church nor the opportunity Jesus affords me to deliver a relevant message to His Bride. I want this time to be meaningful, not boring.

However, what I have for you this Easter Morning is admittedly a sermon someone else has already preached. It is not original to me and it is possible that some of you have already heard this message. However, it is The Best Easter Sunday Message Ever

I ask for your attention while I repeat what I learned from this Man’s message. By the way, this is not my first time to borrow from one of His sermons.

Let me give you some background on what we are going to hear today.

* It was originally a two part sermon with 5 broad points

> Part One and point one was preached at a Sunday Morning outdoor Easter Sunrise Service some years ago.

> The remaining four points were preached that Sunday evening, in a more intimate setting at a home group prayer meeting. * Not all of the regular attendees could be there to hear it, so this well known traveling Preacher decided to come back the following week where He preached it again for those who had missed it the first time.

Here are the five points: Dont expect me to do as good as the Original Preacher.

Point #1. Go And Tell

> The Preacher told how that:

* Jesus chose a woman to be the first evangelist

* He told her to proclaim the resurrection

* We learn that some people who are looking for Jesus dont always recognize Him, and how that:

* One word from the Master can change everything.

Point #2. Dont Let Fear Rule Your Life

> Here He taught that:

* Even when there are reasons, we should not let fear control us or let problems keep us away from the Body of Christ.

* Jesus knows where we are, even in our secret places, our hurts, fears and disappointments, however …

* We cannot lock God out of our lives

* When we least expect it and may not deserve it, Suddenly Jesus shows up with a plan

* Jesus does not mind proving nor repeating Himself

Point #3. We Are Ambassadors Of Christ

> This point teaches that:

* Its not over, Resurrection is just the beginning

* The Believers duty is now as important as Jesus was

* Every Believer has authority in the Name of Jesus

Point #4. Receive The Holy Spirit

> Here the Preacher taught that:

* This was not just a suggestion, but an imperative

* The Holy Spirit is an evident necessity

* Gods presence is with His people

* Our cry, (should be) Breath on me, Lord Jesus.

* This and this alone can change the unchangeable

Point #5. What We Do Makes A Difference

> Finally that Sunday evening, those there heard how that:

* Jesus transferred real power and authority to His followers.

* Believers hold a key to setting others free

I happen to have an outline of the notes from that sermon right here.

I. Go and Tell That The Resurrection Is A Reality

II. Dont Be Afraid

III. You Have Authority In My Name

IV. I Am With You

V. What You Do Makes An Eternal Difference

In fact, I recently purchased a copy of the transcript of that preachers sermon. I dont mean to bore you, but allow me read it to you in its entirety. I dont think that I can do it justice, so Im going to let Him speak for Himself. The preacher that Sunday, Jesus!

Would you turn in your bibles to that first Easter Sunday sermon.

John 20 (NLT)

1 ¶ Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lords body out of the tomb, and I dont know where they have put him!"

3 Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see.

4 The other disciple outran Peter and got there first.

5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didnt go in.

6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there,

7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus head was folded up and lying to the side.

8 Then the other disciple also went in, and he saw and believed

9 for until then they hadnt realized that the Scriptures said he would rise from the dead.

10 Then they went home.

11 ¶ Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in.

12 She saw two white-robed angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.

13 "Why are you crying?" the angels asked her. "Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I dont know where they have put him."

14 She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didnt recognize him.

15 "Why are you crying?" Jesus asked her. "Who are you looking for?" She thought he was the gardener. "Sir," she said, "if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him."

16 "Mary!" Jesus said. She turned toward him and exclaimed, "Teacher!"

17 "Dont cling to me," Jesus said, "for I havent yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God."

18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, "I have seen the Lord!" Then she gave them his message.

19 ¶ That evening, on the first day of the week, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! "Peace be with you," he said.

20 As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his side. They were filled with joy when they saw their Lord!

21 He spoke to them again and said, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

22 Then he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

23 If you forgive anyones sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are unforgiven."

24 One of the disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came.

25 They told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he replied, "I wont believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side."

26 ¶ Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, "Peace be with you."

27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Dont be faithless any longer. Believe!"

28 "My Lord and my God!" Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who havent seen me and believe anyway."

This Preacher was Jesus, the sermon was His. It was so good, the message so powerful that everyone needed to hear it, but not all of the disciples were present at that first home group prayer meeting.

So, Jesus showed up the following week and proclaimed the resurrection message again to those who had heard it from others, but had not yet believed it for themselves.

You know, He is still showing up each week to confirm His resurrection in the hearts, the homes and the houses of worship all over the world.

He is here today, right here, in this sanctuary, in your home, office, hotel room, in your secret place. You see:

The Crucifixion provides Reconciliation.

Our trust in the cross saves our souls for eternity.

The Resurrection makes New Creation Realities available to every believer.

When we embrace the Holy Spirit we receive the power to live these New Creation Realities as a witness to the whole world.

Wont you hear and believe what Jesus is saying today?

I. Go and Tell That The Resurrection Is A Reality

II. Dont Be Afraid(Don’t isolate yourself or stay away from the Body)

III. You Have Authority In My Name

IV. I Am With You

V. What You Do Makes An Eternal Difference

You can leave here today and tell people that you have just heard the best Easter Sunday sermon in the world.

And don’t forget to tell them that Jesus is Alive!