Easter – Resurrection Power

There are some experiences in our life that mark us for the rest of our lives. These experiences can be full of pain and anguish but can guide us to our understanding of our redemptive God. If you look at your scars they tell a story of a broken world: A physical illness, a story of abuse, a divorce, a fatherless child, an orphan, a life of poverty, a death of a close friend. If you look closely at your life, these experiences are calling out to you to see the great power of the resurrection of Jesus to set you FREE!  The moment dawn broke on that day – YOU WERE FREE!
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“…Death no longer has any power over Him,” Romans 6:9

4 Ways To Break Free This EASTER

  • Resurrection Power – Do you believe? This is the question. Belief that Jesus that has forgiven you gives you access to the resurrection power, and it is no JOKE! We see Jesus raise someone from the dead in Luke 8. But are you living like you are dead or alive? What have you given the enemy power over in your life. God wants to give you Resurrection power in EVERY area in your life. To overcome sin, addiction, failure, you now have access!
  • Invitational Lifestyle – Are you taking anyone with you? Literally, who are you bringing along with you to be your rock? Who prays for you, believes with you, cares for you? Better yet, who are you praying for, believing in and caring for? Individualism is overrated. The world says be great, Jesus says to make Him Great and then make others great. (Matthew 22:37-39)
  • Strong Theology – It’s not just that you believe the easy parts of the bible, but the framework that supports that belief matters. What we believe about God will determine what we do for him. Jesus isn’t a genie in a bottle granting wishes, but is more like a shepherd guiding us along the pathway of life. Here are 4 key ideas regarding who we believe Jesus is from 217church.
  1. Jesus is Savior – The bottom line is we are forgiven Acts 2:38, and our guilt is gone. Romans 8:1 This happened as a result of the blood that was shed on the cross for our sins.
  2. Jesus is Sanctifier – This means we have separation from Sin 1 Peter 1:15-16, and separation to God, Revelation 1:6
  3. Jesus is Healer – His healing power points everyone to him. John 9 Physical, spiritual, emotional, it’s all covered!
  4. Jesus is our Coming King – This means Jesus is coming back to Earth his appointed day to rescue us! Acts 1:11 Are you ready for His imminent return?

(You can read more in depth about these four ideas here)

  • Killer InstinctIf you are going to Break Free you have to put to death your fleshly desire. Romans 8:13 . Put to death your pride, greed, and desire for more control. You need to realize you are in a battle with your own sin nature and the world. James 1:12-18 But this is where is gets good! Remember DEATH HAS NO POWER OVER YOU

We would love to see you at our Good Friday and Easter Services this year at Sharon School in Robbinsville!

easter weekend

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here 

If the Easter Story is True…

This Sunday, more people will probably worship Jesus corporately on one day than EVER have in HUMAN HISTORY.  The church is on the move and you can be a part of it.  If it’s true that Jesus rose from the dead, and if Jesus really is God, there are some SERIOUS ramifications for our day and the rest of our lives.  This day is going to be INCREDIBLE and here are 4 reminders for you.  I believe you MUST do these things this Easter:

“There is NO power greater than LOVE.”

Easter cross Bible

“And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”  Luke 24:5-6

See that tomb, yep, it’s EMPTY!  Ain’t nobody there.  He isn’t there.  You can look again, but he isn’t there and Jesus hasn’t been for close to 2,000 years.  Death has no sting!  You have been forgiven and his blood WAS GOOD ENOUGH to redeem us. You can have eternal life through the power of Jesus.  Think about that for a while and let it sink in.  SO, if this is TRUE, what now?

It’s Easter – Do This:  

#1 Reflect on Where You’ve Been – What sins are you carrying or have you carried in the past.  They have no ownership and absolutely NO POWER over you!  Do you believe it?  If you do, you will live differently.  Once you start to make a list of the sins you have committed and the INCREDIBLE grace that has been given, you start to release the guilt, leave the legalism and depend on God’s love.

1 John 4:4 “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”   That’s #ResurrectionPower

#2 Worship Big Time – Don’t hold back on the expression this Sunday.  Don’t come to a worship service and give a half baked expression of your love for God!  Mumbling casually in some religious obligatory way won’t cut it.  C’mon church! Raise your hands, scream out and celebrate, and dig deep into his Word.  Pray like you’ve never prayed before and sing like it’s your last worship song on earth.  Be found as one who W
ORSHIPS.

Psalm 30:11 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing…” That’s #ResurrectionPower

#3 Claim Victory – This is the Sunday to stomp on the head of the enemy.  Go ahead and give that visual a moment to sink in…  STOMP – ON – HIS – HEAD.  CRUSH HIM LIKE THE BELLY SLITHERING INVERTEBRATE THAT HE IS!  God has given you the victory.  Depression – defeated, guilt – gone, pain – healed, debt – paid, sin – forgiven.

1 Corinthians 15:55  “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?  That’s #Resurrection power

Let’s do this

Josh

Easter FB 2016


Easter is upon us Sunday March 27th!  I can’t believe this will be the 7th Easter we have celebrated together at 217church!  217church is a multi-campus church with 3 services in 2 locations this Easter:

9 & 10 AM at the Hamilton AMC24 Theater

11 AM at the Robbinsville Sharon Elementary School

If it is your 1st time, we have a special gift waiting for you!

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Live Resurrection POWER this Easter

This Sunday, more people will probably worship Jesus corporately on one day than EVER have in HUMAN HISTORY.  The church is on the move and you can be a part of it.  If it’s true that Jesus rose from the dead, and if Jesus really is God, there are some SERIOUS ramifications for our day and the rest of our lives.  This day is going to be INCREDIBLE and here are 4 reminders for you.  I believe you MUST do these things this Easter:

“There is NO power greater than LOVE.”

Easter FB 2016

“And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”  Luke 24:5-6

See that tomb, yep, it’s EMPTY!  Ain’t nobody there.  He isn’t there.  You can look again, but he isn’t there and Jesus hasn’t been for close to 2,000 years.  Death has no sting!  You have been forgiven and his blood WAS GOOD ENOUGH to redeem us. You can have eternal life through the power of Jesus.  Think about that for a while and let it sink in.  SO, if this is TRUE, what now?

It’s Easter – Do This:  

#1 Reflect on Where You’ve Been – What sins are you carrying or have you carried in the past.  They have no ownership and absolutely NO POWER over you!  Do you believe it?  If you do, you will live differently.  Once you start to make a list of the sins you have committed and the INCREDIBLE grace that has been given, you start to release the guilt, leave the legalism and depend on God’s love.

1 John 4:4 “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”   That’s #ResurrectionPower

#2 Worship Big Time – Don’t hold back on the expression this Sunday.  Don’t come to a worship service and give a half baked expression of your love for God!  Mumbling casually in some religious obligatory way won’t cut it.  C’mon church! Raise your hands, scream out and celebrate, and dig deep into his Word.  Pray like you’ve never prayed before and sing like it’s your last worship song on earth.  Be found as one who W
ORSHIPS.

Psalm 30:11 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing…” That’s #ResurrectionPower

#3 Claim Victory – This is the Sunday to stomp on the head of the enemy.  Go ahead and give that visual a moment to sink in…  STOMP – ON – HIS – HEAD.  CRUSH HIM LIKE THE BELLY SLITHERING INVERTEBRATE THAT HE IS!  God has given you the victory.  Depression – defeated, guilt – gone, pain – healed, debt – paid, sin – forgiven.

1 Corinthians 15:55  “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?  That’s #Resurrection power

Let’s do this

Josh


Easter is upon us Sunday March 27th!  I can’t believe this will be the 7th Easter we have celebrated together at 217church!  217church is a multi-campus church with 3 services in 2 locations this Easter:

9 & 10 AM at the Hamilton AMC24 Theater

11 AM at the Robbinsville Sharon Elementary School

If it is your 1st time, we have a special gift waiting for you!

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

 

Easter 2016 – Special Invite

Easter is upon us Sunday March 27th!  I can’t believe this will be the 7th Easter we have celebrated together at 217church!  217church is a multi-campus church with 3 services in 2 locations this Easter:

9 & 10 AM at the Hamilton AMC24 Theater

11 AM at the Robbinsville Sharon Elementary School

If it is your 1st time, we have a special gift waiting for you!

(Please note: If you are viewing video on a Mobile Device you must scroll to bottom and enable “DESKTOP MODE”)

We would love to see you this Sunday and celebrate the resurrection with you.  Our text this week will be Luke 24.  Jesus is risen from the dead!  In Luke’s account of the resurrection, we see the amazing truth of the resurrection and the reaction of several different people.  Peter realizes he is forgiven and everything Jesus said was absolutely true.  Because of the love of Christ and resurrection power, we are to leave sin, embrace life, and embody love.

 

Want To SAMPLE 217church before you come?  You can:

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch a recent message here:  “What God says about you…”

We just celebrated our sixth anniversary as a church! For Nehemiah and the people, the wall is complete!  In just fifty-two short days the people complete the wall and Nehemiah realizes the incredible power of a God given vision.  Although the attacks will still come, we must remember we are chosen, crafted and privileged as God’s sons and daughters.

 

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis, a series our church just completed:  READ THIS

Hope to see you soon!

Josh

 

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

When You Need A New Beginning

I LOVE NEW BEGINNINGS.  Easter was an incredible celebration of hope and joy all across our globe.  Never before during Holy week have I been so aware and moved by the kingdom of God across the WHOLE EARTH.  I had the privilege of celebrating Palm Sunday just a week earlier on the continent of Africa in a small church with a Kenyan pastor, with a Danish preacher that met in a Hotel.  A church without a building.  Sound familiar?  I wish you could have seen the children dancing to “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  I wish you could have seen the absolute joy on the faces. I wish you could have heard the message of the hope of Jesus in a small church in a rural countryside with people who have great hope.  I wish you could have witnessed the worship in their beautiful native tongue with drums and exuberant, unrefined, authentic and raw expression. It changed me, forever.

Jesus was RESURRECTED so you could have a new beginning…

Ray Hug

Post baptism celebration from Easter weekend

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:6

Then fast forward a week later to being home with my church family at 217church in New Jersey.  The people whom God has chosen for us to walk alongside and experience the joy of the church with every week.  Friday we celebrated the death of Jesus in a public elementary school.  We cried, mourned, shared communion and sang together remembering the pain of the cross, The self sacrifice of Jesus, and the ultimate purchase of love.  Saturday we baptized 6 more into His church and His Kingdom, and then Sunday 650 people strong worshiped and declared a RESURRECTED SAVIOR, sins forgiven.  Jesus’ act of obedience to go to the cross created the ultimate #rippleeffect!  We all need a new beginning, Here is what to do when you need a New Beginning.

Four Things To Do When You Need A New Beginning –

1. Acknowledge the Past – So many times we can think that just because we aren’t where we want to be, Jesus wasn’t right there with us helping us through.  Just because you don’t see and recognize Jesus, it doesn’t mean he wasn’t there.  He has been pursuing you for your whole life.  You past is your narrative of how he brought you to where you are now.  A new beginning happens when you acknowledge that Jesus has ALWAYS HELD you close.  Even though you avoided and walked away, Jesus never stopped pursuing.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;”  Isaiah 53:6

Question. :  What is one thing to thank God for in your past?

2. Consider His Price – You have been purchased.  What Jesus did for you on the cross was nothing short of a miracle.  He endured, suffered and died for you.  If you have never come into a relationship with Jesus,  Your new beginning is now, if you feel as if your spiritual walk is stale, the cross gives us hope that his mercies are “new every morning.”  Many times we wander away from God because we have forgotten to focus on the price paid for us.  Unfortunately we focus on ourselves.  You have been paid for.  But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;”  Isaiah 53:5

Question:  What is your deepest pain that Jesus has forgiven?

3. Believe in His Providence – Hope!  You must hope.  Anything less than hope is you believing a lie about yourself.  Providence involves your future and no matter what you have been believing, you are a child of God.  The will of the Lord WILL be done through you and as hard as it may be to see, we must believe in faith.  We may not see the future, but he has it covered.  the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”  Isaiah 53:10

Question:  What are you believing God for in your future?

4.  Depend on His Protection – This may be the most difficult part of it all.  You can’t just hope, you have to put the hope into action.  Practical steps of following Jesus on a day to day basis.  You have to depend on Jesus for your healing, daily.  The enemy will try to convince you of your guilt, you may even start to depend on your own pride, pleasure, power, or even your possessions for comfort, emotional strength and security.  THOSE things are a lie.  It is only the resurrection power that can heal your wounds.  Not a person, place, or thing.  David committed adultery, Jonah ran, and the Israelites made idols for their security.  All we need is Jesus.  This verse is all you need for your new beginning…

“…and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

 

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One simple act of obedience can cause a #rippleeffect

Josh

 

This Sunday at 217church

April 12 – Go Sacrifice The rich young ruler

April 19Go Plant – The parable of the seeds

April 26 – Go Do Good – The good Samaritan

 

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.

 

Paid In Full

A guest blog by Doug Oines, Director of Ministry – 217church

In the first 17 years Gail and I were married, we lived in 6 homes. My job moved us around the country about once every three years. During those years we received many bills – the best one ever was the one we got on May 2, 2012. It was our mortgage statement. The amount owed was $0.00 and there were three wonderful words: “Paid In Full.” What a day of celebration that was!

However, the biggest debt I ever owed was one I could never pay. I took the life that God gave me to live for Him and lived it for my own purposes. Romans 3:10-12 says it best – “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

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I cannot defend myself before the charge that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It is way beyond my ability to pay, because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), eternal separation from the God who’s the source of all that’s good.

But then came Good Friday. The day that the sinless Jesus “carried our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). There’s a reason Jesus cried out from His cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Why would God the Father turn His back on His only Son? So He would never have to turn His back on you on me. Because the payment for my sin is being cut off from God. Jesus took all of that when “He freed us from our sins by His blood” (Revelation 1:5).

When Jesus said from His cross, “It is finished,” He used a word that literally means “paid in full.” The day I finally put all my trust in Jesus as the One who paid for my sin, God did what only He could do – He stamped my bill PAID IN FULL. The bill was paid on Good Friday. God cancels what we owe the day we take for ourselves what His Son died to do.

Too often we take for granted the scope of the full sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. If we do these 3 things, we’ll gain a better understanding of that awesome sacrifice and develop a closer relationship with Christ:

  1. Listen – God calls us through his Word, we need to take the time to listen! He wants our whole and undivided attention – the same thing we want when we speak. Develop a daily habit of reading your bible and spending time in prayer with God. It is difficult, but turn off the electronics and really learn to listen. God has some pretty amazing things He wants to share with us!
  1. Fellowship – We need to spend time with other believers. In Acts 2:42 we read that “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” A great way to do this is to join a small group. In our 217groups we:
    • Serve together to show God’s love to our community,
    • Learn to apply biblical truths to your life
    • Invite others to join you and your group in the journey
    • Care and pray for one another
    • Eat and fellowship with one another.

What could be more fun than that?

  1. Disciple – Discipleship is the process where believers help one another become better followers of Christ. We each have two roles in discipleship:
    1. to be a discipling mentor
    2. to have a discipling mentor.

If we spend time developing personal, Christ-centered, relationships we will grow in our own understanding. My experience is that when I am mentoring someone, I gain as much personal growth as the person being mentored. Find two people and enter into a discipling relationship with them!

May the Lord bless each of us this year with a better understanding of: PAID IN FULL.

Happy Easter!

Doug Oines

 

This Sunday:

Bring your family and friends and celebrate Easter with us – we start a new series: The Ripple Effect – One Simple Act.

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00. Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.

Easter 2014 – My 10 Favorite Moments

Easter 2014 is behind us 217church and I had a blast!  But there were some incredible moments that made it all worth it to me.  650 people worshiped with us and combined with the 800 people we served yesterday, we came in contact with over 1400 people in a 24 hour period!  That is AWESOME!  I talked to so many people who were personally invited and as a result, they heard the resurrection story of Jesus in a fresh way, some for the first time from the bible!

We are a restored family sent on mission.  We experienced this vision Easter 2014.

Jay-Steve-Prayer-easter-2014-e1398032745344-300x300

Jay and Steve praying 25 minute before the 1st service in Hamilton

I always take time on Monday and reflect on the weekend.  Here were some of my favorite moments I wanted to share with you…

My 10 Favorite Moments This Easter –

#10 My Time in the Car with Jesus Early in the Morning – Before a message was preached, anyone was greeted or a guitar hit a chord, I loved my time with Jesus at sunrise.  It was a 2 hour period of peacefulness, worship and Jesus filled me with his Joy (Nehemiah 8:10) Yes I screamed my lungs out!

#9 Praying with the team for the impact of Easter – Every Sunday 30-40 minutes before services, we pray at each campus for the day.  I can never get enough of watching people pray for Jesus to heal and transform lives.

#8 Meeting a family from one of our egg hunts who came to services – I love interacting with our 1st time guests and people who are new to the church.  They heard of the egg hunt through the internet, then were invited to come at the event.  Well, they came!  Invitations work!  (And by the way they have really NEVER been a part of any church, just looking for something for their kids)

#7 Sprinting from my car to the theater for the final service – Man, the Sunday Easter slow drivers were out in force today!  I made it back to the theater with about 30 seconds to spare, I literally sprinted from the car as the Easter video was ending :).  It was exhilarating!

#6 Feeling the electricity in the rooms during worship – Getting a lot of people together to worship is a unique and empowering experience.  I loved seeing our largest crowd ever sing and proclaim our RISEN, VICTORIOUS, JESUS!

#5 Asking someone who was new to the church to serve – Yep, that happened.  He happened to be early, ran into me, I said hi and then just asked if he wanted to help us welcome people.  He said yes, and I said “welcome to the team.”

#4 Seeing people receive communion together – I love watching people encounter God.  I saw families together, people spontaneously praying for each other and the presence of God was felt.

#3 Watching my family walk into the theater to worship together – There is nothing quite like seeing my beautiful wife and 3 kids walking together.  my 5 year old didn’t want to let go of me!

#2 Gathering around the table and watching my kids open gifts from grandparents – Since our parents live so far away, they send gifts for Easter.  I love that my kids know that the grandparents love them and are thinking about them.

#1 Watching my kids play outside with the neighborhood kids – For whatever reason, God has placed us in a neighborhood with a ton of kids.  I love that my kids are building friendships and learning to love their friends.  My family is my greatest Joy!

Thanks for being an incredible church family.  What about you?  I would love to know your favorite moments…

Josh

 

Join us at 217church Next Sunday as we continue our Live Differently Series…

April 27 – Spiritual Health

May 4 – Financial Health

May 11- Family Health

May 18 – Physical Health

This Easter Sunday April 20th join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.

 

 

 

Easter is Tomorrow – But Today Was AWESOME

Tomorrow marks the largest celebration of the year for most churches, EASTER!  We look forward to this day all year because it is when we get to celebrate HUGE our resurrected savior.  But the reality is, Monday is just as important as Sunday, and as Friday and as, well you get it, Today!  That is why I am so pumped today.  TODAY we served over 800 people in the Bromley Neighborhood in Hamilton and at the Grace Rogers School in East Windsor.  For those of you who were there, you know it was absolutely incredible seeing all of us connect with the people we love so much and were called to plant 217church for.

Today was AWESOME because it was our largest serving event we have ever pulled off.

Namiah

Even our own 217kids were getting into the act of serving by face-painting at our free Egg hunt events.

Today just felt right!  This is what we are about, who we are as 217churchSERVING RELENTLESSLY and rebuilding lives one person at a time.  It was exciting on so many levels because we saw the fruit of 4+ years serving the Bromley neighborhood and the relationships that have been built as well as the possibilities that are before us in East Windsor.  But How do we make the most of this Easter?

Here Are 5 Ways To Make The Most of Your Easter –

#1 Serve Someone – You’d be surprised how easy this is.  My friend Matt’s wife did an egg hunt in for all the neighborhood kids.  You could still probably pull that off!  Maybe no one will see your act of service, but nevertheless, Just do it because JESUS IS ALIVE!

#2 Leave a HUGE TIP – If you go out to eat on Easter Sunday and call yourself a Christ Follower, TIP LIKE JESUS HAS JUST BEEN RESURRECTED!  Tip like Jesus owns your money.  Tip because most likely, that person serving you tomorrow, had to sacrifice time with family.  How about a 100% tip.  Make them smile when you leave. JESUS IS ALIVE!

#3 Make Things Right With JESUS – You’ve been attending church for years for once a month.  You know stuff about Jesus.  Truth is, most of us are educated far beyond our level of obedience.  But today, it’s time to make things right.  YOU NEED FORGIVENESS.  Guilt, gone.  Shame, done. Pain, healed.  Discontentment, smothered by the peace of Jesus.  JESUS IS ALIVE! 

#4 Focus on Monday – One of the biggest mistakes we make is blowing by Easter and changing NOTHING, ZERO, ZILCH in our behaviors.  Don’t just get caught up in the emotionalism and the crowd worshiping Jesus.  Have a plan for your Monday transformation.  Start a new habit, write a letter, forgive your family, release the grudge.  JESUS IS ALIVE!

#5 Tell Your Loved Ones How You Feel – Don’t let this Easter pass by without reaching out and grabbing the hand of that Dad, mom, husband, wife, daughter, son, or friend, and tell them how much you LOVE THEM.  This may be a HUGE act of courage, but JESUS IS ALIVE!  It’s worth it.

Easter Celebration WILL BE INCREDIBLE tomorrow.  For my out of town family and friends who read this, I love and miss you all, BUT I know I will see you again SOON!  Here is an excerpt of My preaching text tomorrow.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. ”  Matthew 28:1

In Just 12 short hours, we start setting up the theater…This is going to be fun.

Josh

 

Join us at 217church for our Easter celebration and for our new series Live Differently…

April 20 – Easter – A Life Transformed

April 27 – Spiritual Health

May 4 – Financial Health

May 11- Family Health

May 18 – Physical Health

This Easter Sunday April 20th join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.

 

 

 

Good Friday – I Just Can’t Comprehend it

I have tried to understand what Jesus did those days leading up to the cross, but what he actually accomplished to me is unfathomable.  I will admit it, I just can’t comprehend it.  Perhaps the most perplexing thing Jesus did during those 48 hours: He took ALL the blame for every sin, every wrong, every injustice, every abuse, every divorce, every betrayal, every lie, EVERYTHING.  Taking the blame for something you didn’t do isn’t just abnormal, it smacks you in the face.  Most of us would cry for JUSTICE and FAIRNESS.  But in this case, Jesus has you covered, literally.

The truth and reality of Good Friday should leave us in awe of a Savior whose love is incomprehensible.  

Join us at 217church for our Good Friday service 7 PM at Sharon School in Robbinsville, NJ

Good Friday 2016

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

Don’t get me wrong, I think we should try and comprehend, and we should aspire to know Jesus in his suffering and ascend to the greatest joy we could ever have in this life.  In this pursuit of God, what we will find is a deeper revelation of the love of God and the truth that nothing can separate us from it.  Being “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20), and yet living, this is my desire and purpose.  But today, I am crushed under the weight of His love, and yet I am miraculously healed.

4 Reasons I Can’t Comprehend Good Friday –

#1 Pain – Excruciating agony of forty lashes minus one on the back with a whip laced with bones and razor sharp objects.  The cross carried up a hill.  The spikes driven mercilessly through His hands and feet.  The crown of thorns crushed into his skull.   The unbearable pain of blows not recorded.  One final spear in his side.  I CAN’T COMPREHEND.

#2 Isolation – ALL, EVERY LAST ONE of HIS Disciples abandoned Him in during that night.  They had seen him do miracles, heal the blind, and make the lame to walk.  Jesus turned water into wine!  He walked on the water and calmed the raging storm. Heck, they couldn’t even stay awake in the garden the night he was taken.  They ALL left him, ALL denied him, ALL denounced Him, Betrayed Him.   I CAN’T COMPREHEND.

#3 Intimidation – Many of us would say Jesus could not be intimidated.  But one man can only take so much jeering.  The excruciating, emotional abandonment he must have felt from His Father in heaven and from the Roman guards and soldiers.  He became subject to the human system of hierarchy.  He became the lowest of the low on that day.  They spit on Him, mocked Him, they even hung a sign over him that said, “Here is the King of the Jews.”  I CAN’T COMPREHEND.

#4 Selflessness – We have all had our moments of selflessness, but never have I had a moment that looks even close to what Jesus did.  In all of this, the entirety of His-self was nailed to that cross.  Not because He did ANYTHING wrong, but because he was righting the wrongs.  I can’t comprehend after all this how Jesus exclaims, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do?” Then with one final breath, he exclaimed, “It is FINISHED!”  I JUST CAN’T COMPREHEND.

I’m perplexed but have a purpose. I’m ruined yet restored.

May you rest in the fullness of the forgiveness of Jesus and may you be healed according to His Word.

Josh

You are invited to our Easter Celebration and our new series

Caution Tape – “Staying out of the MESS”

Caution_Tape_New_Full_Easter

March 27 – Easter – Resurrection Power  9 & 10 AM Hamilton AMC 24 and 11 AM Sharon School in Robbinsville

April 3 – Pride
April 10 – Sloth
April 17 – Greed
April 24 – Lust

This #Easter Join us at 217church in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:00 & 10:00am or Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  217church is a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Easter Sunday   Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday at 11 am.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

 

 

 

What To Do When You Are STRESSED

The other night I was thinking about a couple of situations my family is facing and I couldn’t sleep.  What keeps you up at night?  Have you been there?  As we enter into Holy Week, there is a common thread running through our western culture.  People are STRESSED OUT all the time.  Whether it’s finances, marriage, family, job, or moving, all of these cause mental, emotional and can even affect our physical health.  The sad thing is, even our children are stressed out!

You will get stressed!  But what should you do?

stress

My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” Matthew 26:28

I lead a church and daily hear of and spend time with people who are at a crossroads in their lives.  Death, marriage, birth, moving, bankruptcy, moral failure, I have seen it all.  We can learn much from Jesus’ moments before he suffers crucifixion, one of the greatest physical and emotional stresses known.  Jesus understands your stress. 

4 Things To Do When You Are Stressed –

#1 Separate Yourself – When stress hits it is often because I don’t see a pathway forward.  As Jesus was preparing to die, he knew he needed to get away.  Sometimes we are forced into solitude and other times we need to have the foresight and discipline to take a sabbatical and get away, FAST.  Jesus needed to feel the support and the love of His Father to have the strength to go forward.

#2 Pray – Maybe this one is common sense, but I am not talking about a casual prayer, I am talking about a desperate prayer.  One that calls out to God for deliverance and a miracle.  Call out to God, even if you don’t feel close to Him, even if you feel like He won’t listen.  If Jesus prayed and sweat drops of blood out of stress, well, maybe that is what it takes.

#3 Rely on Your Friends – When Jesus went to that Garden, He went with his friends, not alone.  He specifically asked them to watch.  Now, they failed him, but they needed to be present with him.  Have you ever thought what you are going through may be to help others gain courage?  The disciples learned a valuable lesson on that night.  I’m sure they never forgot those moments with Jesus.

#4 Follow Through – If you need courage, you need not to look further than Jesus on the cross.  Take the step, have the tough conversation, ask forgiveness, pay down the debt, believe God for your healing.  He is there with you.  Do it!

Jesus ultimately came to bring peace to all of this chaos.  Let this scripture resonate with you today…

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

Josh

Join us at 217church for our Easter celebration and for our new series Live Differently…

April 20 – Easter – A Life Transformed

April 27 – Spiritual Health

May 4 – Family Health

May 11- Financial Health

May 18 – Physical Health

This Easter Sunday April 20th join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.