April 9, 2023
Dr. Paul Cannings
We come to our Resurrection celebration with Covid not as big of an issue as before, but so much more is taking place in our world. Weather disasters are consistently before us, mass shootings, police departments are stretched, and our criminal justice system backed up for years while those who are salt and light to the world struggle with making the only organism (organism because it is the body of Christ), the church viable or more viable once again. These incidents can bewilder many people, and some believers love for God to grow cold (Matthew 24:12).
When Christ came to earth, God did not speak to prophets or priests or visit the temple in 400 years. What He experienced was “those who were His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11) Their rejection of Him began at His birth (Matthew 2:3-6), even when He was brought to the temple by Anna, who loudly worshiped Him, they could have cared less (Luke 2:36-38). Christ powerfully performed miraculous miracles from city to city, even bringing people back to life. His teaching and life never violated God’s Word, yet He was rejected. Despite Roman oppression, religious leaders, a corrupt temple (Matthew 21:12-13), His poverty (Matthew 8:20), and a brutal death before Him, Christ was intentional about making a powerful and long-lasting difference in the world because He was committed to being about “His Father’s business.”
God does not promise us a bed of roses in this life (1 Peter 4:12). He says as the time for His return draws near, things will get worse. He promises that if we focus on being intentional in our commitment to Him, the Spirit of God dominates our lives, changing us from the inside out (Romans 5:3-5; Philippians 2:12-13: Galatians 5:16-26). It is this transformation that allows us to live even more powerfully against the forces of evil, satan (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 John 4:4). His resurrection is our power for transformation because once we accept Christ in our hearts, the Spirit of God is poured into us (Titus 3:4-8) providing us the ability to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh (Romans 8:9-17). This allows God to regain what was lost in the Garden of Eden when He made man (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Because of this work, we can now intentionally face the world’s evils and make a difference like He did, no matter the obstacles. The only way this can occur is through the church (Ephesians 3:8-13; 4:11-16). We must be just as intentional as Christ was no matter the challenges we experience because ”He, who is in us is greater.”’ (1 John 4:4). Let us intentionally save what remains.