“It is the love of Christ that motivates us. Since we believe Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life so that those who receive His new life should no longer live for themselves.
Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.”
2 Cor. 5:14-15
“So now we come freely and boldly to the throne of our gracious God
to receive mercy and grace to strengthen us when we need it most.”
“We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone in before us.”
“But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.”
2 Cor. 12:9
Pick any one of these verses. Think about the meaning it has for you as a believer, the promises you can hold fast to and depend on with your very lives, with your very eternal well-being, how they communicate God’s deep love for you, His heart for you, His perspective on how you are to live your lives. How they communicate that it is not your strength that matters, it is not your resolve to live the best life possible and be the best you can possibly be, not about what you have to do if we want God to be pleased with you, no threats of death, only promises of life and strength and hope, promises of life that comes after this one that will be sweeter than anything imagined, more fulfilling, more freeing than anything possible on this earth. We are talking about freedom from sin, freedom from death, freedom from pain, the fear of losing loved ones, of losing your own life, of how other people regard you and so much more! You know God and trust His promises now because He became a man that you could know, watch, follow, understand and so trust. He rose from the dead to prove the depths of His love for you, to give you freedom, to give you eternal life, to give you strength to live for today through His Spirit. He rose from the dead so you could still have someone to follow today. A leader, a lover, a friend, a king.
How often do you find yourself encouraged by Him either through something you read in His Word, something the Spirit brought to your mind, or an uplifting encounter with another believer? How deeply do you value having friends who are believers to walk through the ups and downs of life with together—to not be alone?
We are rich beyond measure. The promises we have of the future bring us deep courage for the trials we face today. The strength we lack in ourselves we find in His Spirit within us.
There is a young lady named Imelda who is one of just a handful of believers among the Tepehuan people of Mexico. She was born with arthritis that eventually forced her to be bedridden by the time she was 12. She lives up in the mountains away from medical aid. Even if she were closer to it, she doesn’t have the means to be able to receive the help she would need in order to gain mobility back. So she lies on her bed. She learned how to read and write both in Spanish and in Tepehuan. She taught her father how to read and write. She loves others and encourages the discouraged. She inspires courage in the hearts of those who love her and watch her. In fact, her faith has been such an astounding example that my sister-in-law named her daughter after her. How can Imelda live with hope in her condition? How is it that she is one who brings hope to those around her? It is because someone took the time to teach her God’s Word. She now has His Spirit living in her. She has portions of Scripture translated into her mother tongue that give her hope and peace regardless of her physical situation. She has a hope beyond this life. She knows the risen Lord! She follows Him! She is 1 of 30 who believe in a nation of 10,000. This Easter, our minds and hearts wonder down the winding, rocky road through the mountains of Mexico to the place where the Tepehuan people live. Secluded, unknown by the world, yet loved and deeply cherished by God.
We just celebrated the resurrection of Christ and reflected on the promises, the hope and the life that we now have and will have because of Him, because of His great love for us. But there are thousands of Tepehuan who still live trapped in fear, in heartache, in drunkenness, in hopelessness, in darkness. No hope for this present life or the life to come. There are millions of others who are like them all across the world who do not know the Gospel and the life and hope that Christ brings.
Will you pray for them? That someone will go tell them so they can celebrate with us and live in freedom and newness of life!