The thrill of serving through faith

Published 10:07 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017

By Larry Stover
Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

We live in a “thrill seeking” society.  Youth and young adults are especially looking for that “wow” factor that allows them to live on the “edge” for a brief moment in time.

Our Christian faith has many thrills to it as well.  They may seem tame to what we observe on television, but they are exciting just the same.

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The individuals who first experienced the risen Christ were excited to share the good news with the other followers of Jesus.

Mary Magdalene was the first to discover the empty tomb. In her fear she informed the disciples of the situation.  They all ran back to the tomb with Peter and John leaving in bewilderment. Mary stood outside the tomb crying. When Jesus revealed himself to her, she was overjoyed with excitement.  She exclaimed to the others, “I have seen the Lord!”

Peter and John should have hung around with Mary. It was not until later in the day that Jesus appeared to the disciples.  They were huddled behind closed doors for fear of the Jewish leaders.  When Jesus appeared, they were “overjoyed.”

We all remember the story of “doubting Thomas.”  He was not with the disciples the evening of the resurrection.  Even though the others had seen Jesus, he would not believe unless he could see the nail marks in his hands and put his hand in his side where he was pierced by a sword.  It was a full week before Thomas experienced the resurrected Lord. When seeing Jesus he responded, “My Lord and my God!”

Those two disciples travelling on the road to Emmaus were joined by Jesus who revealed so much scripture about himself as they walked along. When Jesus revealed himself to them they shared with each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us?” They hurried off to Jerusalem with the news, “It is true! The Lord has risen.”

In every situation, the followers of Jesus Christ experienced the “thrill of Easter” in their own way.

You and I can also experience the thrill of serving a risen savior. Our nation and our world are in serious trouble.  Valley Grande and Selma have mind boggling needs of their own. We need the thrill of Easter now more than ever.

If your relationship with Jesus Christ is not what you want it to be, I want to challenge you to fall in love with the Christ of the Bible all over again.  Do you remember the day you accepted Jesus Christ into your life; sins and disobedience were forgiven; guilt was gone; the weight of the world was lifted off of your shoulders. That does not need to be a one-time event, our savior wants that to be a daily experience as you journey through life together.

Fall in love with your church all over again. There is the joy of worship and celebrating the difference Jesus has made in your life.  There is fellowship there that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

The thrill of Easter is life changing. When you experience Jesus Christ all over again it will make your life “Simply Beautiful.”