Inspiration & Encouragement – April 2020 | Easter
Matthew 28:6 “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
A Merry Heart
The real reason I am tired!
For a couple years I’ve been blaming it on lack of sleep or too much pressure from my job, but now I’ve found out the real reason that I am always tired. I’m overworked. The population of this country is 237 million. 104 million are retired. That leaves 133 million to do the work. There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work. Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work. 2.8 million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work. 14,800,000 people work for State and City Governments. That leaves 1.4 million to do the work. At any given time, there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work. Given that there are 1,211,998 people in prisons, that leaves just two people to do the work, you and me. And you’re sitting at your computer reading jokes!
The New Minister
The new minister stood at the church door greeting the members as they left the Sunday morning service. Most of the people were very generous telling the new minister how much they liked his message, except for one man who said, “The was a very dull and boring sermon, pastor.”
A few minutes later, the same man again appeared in line and said, “I don’t think you did much preparation for your message.”
Once again, the man appeared, this time muttering, “You really blew it. You didn’t have a thing to say, pastor.”
Finally, the minister could stand it no longer. He went to one of the deacons and inquired about the man.
“Oh, don’t let that guy bother you,” said the deacon. “He’s a little slow. All he does is go around repeating whatever he hears other people saying.”
“We have often asserted, and we affirm it yet again, that no fact in history is better attested than the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It must not be denied, by any who are willing to pay the slightest respect to the testimony of their fellow-men, that Jesus, who died upon the cross, and was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, did literally rise again from the dead..” – Charles Spurgeon
Once more the resurrection of Christ is operating at this present time with a quickening power on all who hear the word aright. The sun is, to the vegetable world, a great source of growth. In this month of April, he goes forth with life in his beams and we see the result.
The buds are bursting, the trees are putting on their summer dress, the flowers are smiling and even the seeds which we buried in the earth are beginning to feel the vivifying warmth. They see not the Lord of day but they feel his smile. Over what an enormous territory is the returning sun continually operating! How potent are his forces when he crosses the line and lengthens the day!
Such is the risen Christ. In the grave he was like the sun in his winter solstice but he crossed the line in his resurrection. He has brought us all the hopes of spring and is bringing us the joys of summer. He is quickening many at this hour and will yet quicken myriads. This is the power with which the missionary goes forth to sow; this is the power in which the preacher at home continues to scatter the seed. The risen Christ is the great producer of harvests. By the power of his resurrection men are raised from their death in sin to eternal life.
More than Conquerors
Back in 1830 George Wilson was convicted of robbing the U.S. Mail and was sentenced to be hanged. President Andrew Jackson issued a pardon for Wilson, but he refused to accept it. The matter went to Chief Justice Marshall of the Supreme Court, who concluded that Wilson would have to be executed. “A pardon is a slip of paper,” wrote Marshall, “the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged. “For some, the pardon comes too late. For others, the pardon is not accepted.
When Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day, he made eternal life possible for those who would believe and accept his pardon. Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” God offers salvation as a free gift to all, but it must be accepted. If we accept the gift it becomes ours, but if not it still belongs to the one who offered it. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is important that we exercise faith in Jesus as he is our eternal hope. John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” There is no middle ground if you have not received his gift of eternal life do it today.