Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…The writers of the New Testament see the resurrection as a central truth of Christian faith. Is the resurrection seen by modern Christians as the center of our faith? Why or why not? Is there a new birth or a living hope without the resurrection of Jesus Christ? How important is resurrection to the faith? May your church Lord, give testimony to the risen Christ!
“Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Jesus does not scold Thomas. Instead he gives him the evidence he needs and gently invites him to believe. In response, Thomas speaks one of the greatest affirmations in Jesus ever recorded. How do we as leaders deal with those who doubt our plans and strategies for ministry and for change? What might Jesus’ dealing with Thomas teach us? It is easy to grow discouraged with those who don’t agree with me Lord. Teach me, by Your Spirit, to respond with patience and grace.
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb…”In her grief, Mary is at the tomb. She is there early, in darkness. The resurrection light dawns on her before many others. Jesus speaks powerfully into her life, because she is there, at the tomb, on the first day, early, in the darkness. Where are you these days in your life? Do you seek the Lord in the high places, in the exuberant celebrations, in the noise? Sometime we find him by the tomb places. He is risen! Resurrect us Lord!
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” There is a down-to-earth, real and practical relevance to our need for a Savior. It’s not just a theological, intellectual ideal. Jesus’ saving work through cross and resurrection mean we can receive mercy and find grace to help us in everyday living and leading. Where do you need mercy and grace today? Lord Jesus, thank you for mercy and grace; help me to find them each day in You.
“If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation…and your faith have been in vain.” Just how important is the resurrection of Jesus Christ to Christian faith? In some places “resurrection” has been envisioned as a myth, a story of new beginnings, a story of the disciples with a renewed memory of Jesus and his ideals and mission. Is this enough? What is the purpose of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-28)? What does this mean for our lives, the church, and our faith and the witness of our proclamation? Your Kingdom come, your will be done, Lord Jesus. Amen.
“In His great mercy he has given us…” 1 Peter begins with good news as we begin a new year. Many look back at the year past and look ahead to the opportunities ahead. As Christians, this exercise always finds meaning, not in our own efforts, intentions, and desires, but in the great mercy God has given, in the new birth we have in Christ, and the living hope with have through his resurrection. What is your prayer as you begin a new year? – Your mercy O God, your birthing O Christ, your hope O Spirit. Amen.
“They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” The preaching of the early church brought on resistance and persecution, largely because of the claim that Jesus was alive. What made this a foundational truth for Jesus’ followers? Do we proclaim in Jesus the resurrection of the dead today, or are people more disturbed by other things we are talking about? O Holy Spirit, let our proclamation be faithful to true Christian testimony first and foremost.
“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” Paul seems convinced in this chapter that something is seriously missing from the Christian faith without the resurrection. What difference does it make whether Jesus rose from the dead? Why does it matter to the church and to Christian leadership? Almighty God, let lingering doubts and unbelief be set to rest as we put our whole faith in the risen Christ. Amen.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”The writers of the New Testament see the resurrection as a central truth of Christian faith. Is the resurrection seen by modern Christians as the center of our faith? Why or why not? Is there a new birth or a living hope without the resurrection of Jesus Christ? How important is resurrection to the faith? May your church give testimony to the risen Christ!
“Son of Man, can these bones live?” There are times for all Christian leaders when
vision looks more like dry bones than vibrant life. What in your life and ministry looks like dry bones? What would you need from God to convince you that new life is possible? Is the power of the resurrection enough? – “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these, that they may live.”