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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mockingbird (photo by Doris High)
(photo by Doris High)

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"Christ Is Risen,
He Is Risen Indeed!"

"The Lord is risen indeed" (Luke 24:34). "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact" (Acts 2:32). "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead" (1 Corinthians 15:20).

Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!
Oh, sing hallelujah.
Join the chorus, sing with the redeemed;
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed.

This last weekend all over the world Christians acknowledged and celebrated the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is true, He is risen and He lives forevermore!

Over 40 years ago Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote the song "Because He Lives" that resonated in the hearts of believers at the time and continues to do so. Keith and Kristyn Getty currently bless the church with powerful hymn-like music and have done so for several years now. They are committed to theologically sound music that teaches sound doctrine. This year they have a new Resurrection song that may be to our church age what "Because He Lives" was 40 years ago. It's titled "Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed!" and we will share a video link below our message.

"Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed!"  A constantly true proclamation of faith and truth, pertinent to every generation, young, old and in-between. It was a proclamation of the early church. "Christ is risen indeed!"

Throughout the last two thousand years a people have faithfully contended for this truth and scores of songs have been written declaring and celebrating the fact.  Oh, how we love the resurrection songs!

The faith of the Christian believer has a sound, objective, verifiable historical basis. Paul makes it very personal. "Christ died for our sins." His death was not meaningless nor was it an accidental slip-up in the plan of redemption. Jesus Christ was born to die for our sins.

But early in the history of the church some error had crept in and some of the Corinthians were denying the resurrection. This prompted Paul to write a powerful defense found in the 15th chapter of I Corinthians in which he asserts:

Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have a:

1) Lifeless Messiah  (15:12,13,16)
2) Useless Gospel  (15:14)
3) Truthless witness  (15:15)
4) Worthless faith  (5:17)
5) Hopeless eternity  (15:18,19)

Paul ends this part of his defense of the gospel with the phrase, "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead" (v. 20). John R. W. Stott has observed that "Christianity is in its very essence a resurrection religion. The concept of resurrection lies at its heart. If you remove it, Christianity is destroyed."

We indeed serve a risen Savior! It's not merely a wishful thought or just part of a recited religious creed.  It's historical reality! It's the central truth of our faith. Because He lives, we can also live the abundant life through His abiding light. In confidence and peace we can overcome any obstacle the enemy throws in our path.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, because Jesus was resurrected to life again we have the courage to work through the seemingly insurmountable difficulties that would otherwise plummet our faith.  We walk in the power of our resurrected Savior that makes life worth the living in our present life and increases our hope and expectancy of imperishable life yet to come. We thank You for the joy and anticipation that is ours as we remain faithful to You. It is in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen.

Fill in the positive outcome. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have a:
1) ________ Messiah
2) ________ Gospel
3) ________ witness
4) ________ faith
5) ________ eternity

Yesterday morning we received word that our friends Ken and Nila had a new born baby daughter. We stopped by to greet them, adore  the baby, pray with them and rejoice in this precious new life, an answer to many prayers.

Bethany Lynn Pierce 4/2/13
Ken & Nila Pierce with their third child, Bethany Lynn born this morning and weighing in at 7#.  All are doing well, but we thought Ken looked a little worn out after his big day. Nila looked great!

Bethany Lynn Pierce 4/2/13
"Boooooring" Bethany seems to be expressing herself!  "Here I am already being passed around as though I was the newest kid on the block."

We have been able to visit each of Ken and Nila's children on their birth-date. David Lee here and Seth Matthew here.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed"  Video  Keith and Kristyn Getty (along with Ed Cash) have a new song that celebrates the resurrection of Christ. Great lyrics, accessible melody, and reminders of how the resurrection affects our lives today. Here is a post with the printed lyrics to this song.

"Because He Lives"  Video

I recall attending Gaither concerts in Kansas City and Springfield shortly after I became a Christian. The Bill Gaither Trio was considered a "contemporary" Christian singing group at that time and drew large crowds (The Gaither vocal band still does.) If I recall in Kansas City their concert was at the Municipal Auditorium, the largest indoor venue in the city at that time. A few years earlier I came to faith in Christ in that same auditorium at an evangelistic service. The years have passed and, as might be expected, few would see the Gaithers as "contemporary". The Gaither homecoming series is now seen more for "old-timers" but continues to draw large crowds including the young! In fact we went to a Homecoming Concert at the Giant Center in Hershey this last December.

"The Power of the Cross"
Video  Keith & Kristyn Getty  A reader shared how his church sung this song at their Good Friday service.  We've enjoyed singing it over the past few years as well.

Doris High has a beautiful selection of Mockingbird photos on this blog postBonus question: What was the name of the attorney in "To Kill A Mockingbird"?

Finally today: Spell check needed!
Hummer's meat market sign, Mount Joy, PA 4/2/13

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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