An Easter message for the mountain mist.
Before we just jump right in, I want to encourage us to take a moment to wait upon the Holy Spirit. There is nothing I can say that would be more important for us to hear, than what the Holy Spirit has to say to us.
Holy Spirit, help us to turn our eyes upon Jesus.
If there is any day in the Christians life, Easter should be ALL ABOUT JESUS.
This week my wife and I spent most of our time for the whole week preparing for everything we had to do on Easter Sunday. We had the house to clean we had the meal to plan, we had Easter eggs to prepare, we had food to shop for and cook. So many things that really had nothing to do with Jesus. The sad thing is that we spent almost no time at all preparing our hearts for Jesus.
This morning I want us to become Eternity minded people.
I want you to look out on the horizon all the way over to the city of Boston. Now imagine $100 dollar bills, stacked on edge side by side all the way from where I’m standing into the heart of the city of Boston. Now I’m going to offer you two choices:
• In the first choice you can reach your hand down and grab as many of those $100 bills as you hand can hold in one hand. And every year for the next 30 – 40 years until you retire, you can keep coming back and grab another hand full and go off and do whatever you want with the money. During that time you probably could grab 10 – 15 feet of $100 dollar bills. But after you reach 65, you can’t come back. You’ve had a good life, you’ve had everything you wanted and needed. I’ve asked nothing of you, I’ve expected nothing from you.
• In the second choice you can do exactly the same thing every year, BUT! You work for me. You show up on time every day, you do what I ask, and you accomplish what we have to. You’ll have had a good life, you’ll have everything you wanted and needed. But at retirement age you get to have all the rest of the money. Who would pick the first choice? Sadly! Almost everybody. Even lots of Christians give up working for God. They lose the will to stick with Him. They never really have an eternity based vision of their life.
It’s time we begin to understand this life on earth is just a fleeting moment on the timeline of Eternity. God has offered us more than we can ever imagine, more than we can ever earn, more than we could ever deserve. But He wants us to work for Him. Not for the retirement plan, but for no other reason than the joy of our salvation.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind can comprehend, the plans I have for those who love me.”
The Scripture tells us that on the third day, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb expecting to anoint Jesus’ body for burial. We all know today that they didn’t find what they were looking for.
They ended up having a personal, face to face encounter with the risen, living, Jesus!
I want us to understand the difference in their thinking between Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.
Before Jesus died on the cross,
Their focus was all about the here and now.
Their hope was in a salvation from their trials and persecution here on earth.
Their king was to be a literal king that would rule over Jerusalem and set the free from Roman rule.
Their love was to the man called Jesus.
Their lives were given to the life of Jesus as a son, as a friend, as a teacher.
There whole world was wrapped up in their own image of an earthly Jesus.
Even with all that the disciples had seen and heard; All the time they spent with Jesus, they were still thinking with earthly minds. When Jesus died on the cross, not only did their son, their friend, their prophet, their priest and their King die, their entire world died on that cross too!
But in the tomb, on Easter morning, the moment Jesus spoke the name “Mary” They knew that Jesus was alive. They instantly understood the true meaning of the life and words of Jesus.
Now their Hope and Salvation was an Eternal Salvation.
Now their King was the King of Heaven and on Earth forever and for always!
Now their Love was for the ever-living Son of God.
Now their lives were given to the Risen Savior who would never leave them or forsake them.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ turned the disciples into Eternity minded followers.
The problem with 21’st century American Christianity,,, is that the focus is back on the Here and Now! The true message and power of the resurrection is all but non-existent. Easter is just another day to overindulge ourselves in embarrassing riches.
We are desperately in need of hearing the Risen Savior call our name!
I’ve looked through all the messages I given on this mountaintop over the years and almost every Easter I ask the exact same thing!
Why did we come here this morning?
Who were we expecting to meet on top of this mountain this morning?
It’s not that I can’t think of anything else I have to say on Easter morning. It’s just that NOTHING EVER CHANGES!
We’ve got to stop plodding through our lives day after day, doing the same old empty Christian actions. We’ve got to stop measuring our faith, based on how regular we attend church, weather we raise our hands when we sing, and how bold our name is monogrammed on our bibles.
We’ve got to start to Read God’s Word, and just start doing and living out what it says!
— Repent from Sin,
— Be Baptized in the Holy Spirit,
—- and Follow Jesus!
My fervent prayer for us this morning is that like Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James,,, that not one of us would leave this mountain top without having that same personal, life changing, face to face encounter with the risen, living, Jesus!
To be completely honest; Over the last few weeks, as I was working on this message the Holy Spirit began to convict me of this one thought;
IF I TRULY DID EXPECT TO MEET JESUS ON TOP OF THIS MOUTAIN THIS MORNING, WOULD I HAVE COME?
Would I dare to meet Him face to face at this very moment?
WOULD I DARE TO STAND BEFORE HIM PREPARED TO PRESENT MY LIFE TO HIM TODAY?
Over this last year; How much of my time has been His time?
How many of my words have been His words?
How much of my life has been His life?
WOULD I BE READY?
What IF the time was now?
Jesus says: “I was the one who was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. I hold the keys to death, hell, and the grave.” He is the one who decides who He lets in, and who He keeps out.
If there is anything we should take away about the Easter story, it is the message of Hope!
There IS a way to Glory.
There IS a way which leads to life!
Jesus says, I am the way, the truth and the life.
We have a choice! Choose LIFE! Choose Jesus!
I’ve never been and never will be an end times profit. Shouting, to the world; The end is near! But this morning I want to encourage each of us to boldly proclaim; The end IS near!
The end of apathy & carelessness with the heart of Jesus,
The end of spiritual laziness & weakness,
The end of helplessness & hopelessness,
The end of all of the excuses we make for all the things that separate us from getting closer to Jesus.
What do you need to put an end to in your life today that is getting between you and Jesus.
While we still have time! Brothers and Sisters in Christ this morning let me proclaim to anyone that has ears to hear the word of the Lord.
Now is the time to repent from all our excuses, and return to your first love!
– Remember from where you have fallen and return to your first works.
– Don’t let the things of this world distract you from falling madly in love with Him again.
– Don’t let the trials of these days darken the joy of your salvation!
This is the day that the Lord has made! We shall rejoice and be glad in it!
I thought I would like to end this morning’s message the way we should start every morning,,,, with Jesus….
The Bible says the if we cease to see his glory, if we become insensitive to his presence, if we refuse to worship Him through our lives,,,,,,, Even these rocks will praise Him.
Now is the time to be baptized in the Holy Spirit!
So many young Christian’s today struggle to call on the name of Jesus. I don’t mean, “say the name of Jesus”, I don’t mean use the name of Jesus. I mean call out to Him, by name; exactly as He calls us by our name.
This is going to be the hard part of this morning.
I want to invite us all just begin to call upon the Name of Jesus….
Let the power in the name of Jesus minister to our hearts….
Remember the many ways that Jesus has touched us personally….
There is power in the name of Jesus to create the heavens and the earth. (Through Him, and for Him all things are created.)
There is power to heal in the name of Jesus (Heal our bodies, Heal our minds.)
There is power to love in the name of Jesus (Love our God, Love ourselves, and Love our fellow man)
There is power to forgive in the name of Jesus (Forgive ourselves, and forgive others.)
There is power to live in the name of Jesus (To live a life that is a reflection of Him.)
How has the Power in the name of Jesus touched you? Testify to Him now.
There is power to save in the name of Jesus (Maybe there is someone here this morning that just isn’t sure where he or she stands this morning. Maybe now is the time to get back on track with Jesus this morning.
Silver and Gold have I none, but what I have I give to you! Rise up, and follow the Lord your God!
If we get that right, salvation takes care of itself.
*** May God Bless ***
John & Simone Chicoine