1. Say Goodbye to Conventional Wisdom – Over and over again in the bible, we see the conventional wisdom of the world smashed by the wisdom of the heavens. 1 Corinthians 1 even says, “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” Let’s take just one example of God’s wisdom, “Do not repay evil for evil.” (Romans 12:17) This is one that is probably most difficult for everyone. The first thing I want to do when someone sins against me is sin back! But we are to be people of peace. Being a person of peace is an act of faith! The wisdom of man will always lead you astray, but the wisdom of God will be a rock in your life.
2. Get Ready to Be Misunderstood – Jesus was misunderstood and lived the original “alternative lifestyle.” His disciples were ostracized and martyred for their faith and people were genuinely confused how living like Jesus was beneficial. People will immediately think you are manipulating them and trying to get something out of them. In reality, an authentic Christ follower serves ’till it hurts, loves when it seems impossible and forgives when it is improbable. This make absolutely no sense to the people of the world, yet there is an intrigue to the life of Jesus that CANNOT be denied. He came to seek and save the lost and we are to carry on His mission until he returns to redeem the earth.
3. Your Critics Will Multiply– Ever been made fun of because of your crazy beliefs? Ever been called an ultra-old fashioned conservative? Ever felt like the world was entirely against your way of thinking? Ever been publicly ridiculed, blogged about or secretly thrown under the bus at work or in the community? Ever read the bible and had people stare in disbelief? Ever tried to do something in love and been refused because they didn’t like your “religion”? Ever take a stand for something that was biblical but unpopular and lose a friend and even your position and prestige? Ever been called a name publicly or privately because of your faith? Welcome to what it means to follow Jesus and may this be your blessing: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!” Matthew 5:10 BOOM!
4. Your Plans Have To Die – We all have desires to “be something” in life. Whether it is to be the best mom possible or to succeed at a career, human ambition is rampant in our culture. But in order to follow Christ, YOUR DREAMS HAVE TO DIE! We must die to ourselves and “put to death the earthly sin nature that lives within us.” (Romans 8:13) This is not easy, popular or catchy. It is flat out counter-cultural & demading. Is God calling you to give a HUGE generous gift? Is God calling you to forgive an act that seems unforgivable? Is God calling you to quit a job? Is God calling you to work with the poor, the widows and orphans? These are not “good deeds” in which we pat ourselves on the back, these are faith challenges in which we are shaped and “crucified with Christ.” (Galatians 2:20) This Easter better not be a religious holiday with bunnies and eggs, it must be a reminder of the high demand to a lifestyle marked with RESURRECTION POWER! Following Christ isn’t a burden, it is the HIGHEST CALLING on EARTH!
Are you ready to TAKE A RISK? It’s time.
This Easter at 217church, will be a season of celebration!
Easter Series Topics:
March 31 – Follow Jesus
April 7 – Do What God Says
April 14 – Ask For Anything
April 21 – Give Big
April 28 – Forgive
P.S.- Know someone looking to attend a contemporary church in Mercer County, NJ for Easter? Take a risk and tweet, Facebook or email this blog post! There will be a HUGE party and Easter Egg hunt for the kids and a great time of worship with other individuals and families in the surrounding Mercer County and Bucks County areas (Hamilton, Lawrenceville, East Windsor, West Windsor, Princeton, Robbinsville, Mercerville, Yardville, Yardley, Newtown, Langhorne and more!). Join us!