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Pastor's Easter Newsletter

Mar 28, 2007

March 28, 2007

Dear Members and Friends,

Earthquakes command our immediate attention. That’s how
the first Easter morning opened; God shook the world.
(Matthew 28:1-7). Women had visited the tomb of Jesus and
an angel met them with a momentous statement.

“He is not here: for He is risen, as he said… Go quickly,
and tell His disciples….” (Matt.28:6-7)

Suddenly, all the sorrow and grief of an agonizing death on
a cross was transformed into the joy and triumph of an
empty grave. Everlasting HOPE was born in the heart of
every believer that day. No crisis, condition or
circumstance is beyond the attention, change and repair of
a miracle - working God. Christ’s conquest of death
assures us of ultimate victory. What a refreshing message
for each of us! But how does HOPE happen in our daily
living?

HEARING

Hope begins with listening to what God is saying. The
angel relayed the message, then added, “as He said…” By
God’s Word we learn of the Lord and His will for us. We do
three things when we listen carefully. (1) We receive what
God is saying. (2) We record the message (write it down
somewhere for future reference) and (3) We rely upon His
counsel. Christian HOPE begins with hearing and leads us
to:

OPPORTUNITY

The resurrection of Christ was great news for His followers
but the message was for the whole world. The angel was
faithful to communicate, “GO QUICKLY AND TELL HIS
DISCIPLES”; who in turn were “to teach all nations”. (Matt.
28:19)

Jesus spoke of doors as chances for our choices. “I am the
door by me if any man enter in he shall be saved, and shall
go in and out and find pasture”. (John 10:9) What a
wonderful occasion for anyone to begin a brand new life led
by our living Lord Jesus. An incredible opportunity for
salvation but there are also opportunities for serving
Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us in II Cor. 2:12,
“Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s
gospel, a door was opened unto me of the Lord”. With God,
life is one opportunity after another. There is no boredom
in obedience. HOPE with God is hearing, followed by
opportunity that leads us to:

PROVISION

It’s wise to count the cost of any undertaking. (Luke
14:26-33) First, can we meet the Lord’s requirements? If
we are willing to pay God’s price, He will resource our
projects, wisdom, supply, help and timing are never a
problem with God”. But my God shall supply all your need
according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.
(Philippians 4:19) “My Grace is sufficient for thee…” (II
Cor. 12:9) This leads us to a fourth ingredient in HOPE:

EXPECTANCY

We anticipate divine results as we face the demands of
life. Our God is in the resurrection business. “For with
God nothing shall be impossible”. (Luke 1:37) Remember
the story of the lengthy drought in a normally productive
farming community. Clouds came and went without dropping
rain. People were becoming desperate. Finally a preacher
in town called for a mass prayer meeting in the local
arena. The day came with well-over a thousand people in
attendance. The preacher got up to lead the meeting,
looked over the crowd and said, “Not one of you brought an
umbrella”. “Faith without works is dead”. (James 2:20)

How do you spell HOPE? HEARING, OPPORTUNITY, PROVISION,
EXPECTANCY.

Be sure and celebrate with us on Good Friday at 10:30 a.m.
and on EASTER at 10:45 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Family Sunday
School for everyone at 9:30 a.m.

Let’s believe God together and have a joyous Easter.

Rejoicing in His Hope,

Pastor Crawford

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