Taking the next steps…

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Next Steps Old Wooden Sign

Mark 16:1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint (Jesus who, having died on the cross, was laid in a tomb). 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here…”

That very first Easter Sunday, the day Jesus was raised from the dead – changed everthing. Jesus had taken the sin of all people upon himself and died on a cross, rejected by God the Father so that we would not be. Those who believe in him receive forgiveness and eternal life, which starts now and continues through eternity. That’s why Easter is such a big deal.

But Easter is not simply a historical day when we remember something that happened thousands of years ago. Today is Easter, and today Jesus changes lives. My life. Your life. As I’m writing this blog post, very early in the morning, I’m anticipating God doing some wonderful things before this day is out. It’s that sense of excitement and anticipation that has me up well before the sun. 🙂

I’m hopeful that some of you, present for worship this morning at the church I lead in suburban Dallas, are here at my invitation. This morning we recounted the promises of the resurrection, and the power of our risen Lord Jesus to transform lives. My life. Your life.

I’m hopeful you’re here because, having tried to get your life on track in your own strength, you’re realizing that only our Lord Jesus can restore you, heal you, make you whole. It’s not something you can do on your own – not that you haven’t tried. You need help. Here, in this space, you will find it.

I hope you’ll join me here each day as we read the scriptures, reflect on them, and offer prayers to God through Jesus Christ – prayers for ourselves, prayers for others. It doesn’t sound like much, but engaging this simple discipline each day – will change you. From the inside out. Seriously. And it has nothing to do with whatever I might write in this space. It has everything to do with the fact that we’re reading the Living Word together. Daily. Opening ourselves up to be impacted by God. In the bottom-right corner of your browser you should see a “follow” button. Click on that button and enter your email address to receive this devotion every day. Go on, do it now.

But understand, this is only the beginning.

If you are up for it, reach out to me via text/email (ph# 980-226-8593, email: pastorernie@gmail.com) in the next day or two. I’d welcome the chance to chat with you (phone or in person), hear a bit of your story and share with you a bit of mine. There are some concrete steps you can take now that will get you started on the pathway to transformation and new life. No kidding.

Thanks for being here today. The fact that you’re here is literally an answer to prayer.

Heavenly Father, when you raised your son Jesus from the dead, you conquered sin, death, and the devil – forever. I pray a special blessing this morning on those whom you have touched today. Give them grace to suspend disbelief long enough to take a chance on you, Lord Jesus. They will never be the same. For we ask it in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

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