Celebrating the Savior


Pastor Top is bi-vocational pastor of Little Oak Baptist Church somewhere in a rural area.
Pastor Top knew Easter was coming and the folks at Little Oak were enthused about celebrating the Resurrection of the Savior. Top knew the folks at Little Oak would enjoy sunrise service, breakfast, and other festivities on Easter Sunday. He would preach a sermon on the resurrection yet he was struggling with something fresh to say about the resurrection.
In talking with other pastors Top became aware that most pastors struggled with what to preach on Easter, Christmas, and Mother’s day. He knew the Lord would show him what to say and how to say it. He was more concerned about the hearts of people. He wanted to communicate the intensity of a risen savior. He also wanted them to know that the risen savior lived in each heart that accepted Jesus. Jesus came to transform lives.
Life transformation comes from the inside out. The savior gets in our heart and creates the desire for each believer to become more like Jesus each day. The hymn More About Jesus says it well with ideas found of more loving, filled with grace, and holy. The Jesus we sing about Easter Sunday is able and powerful enough to come reshape our lives.
Top’s desire was to communicate the power of the Gospel of Jesus to transform lives. The Jesus who rose from the grave is powerful enough to change lives and rescue the perishing. I think we live in an age where we minimize God’s power and make him small. In Old Testament world many gods were considered weak or powerless if the walls of a city were broken down, or there was a drought, or pick your favorite crisis to discredit your God. Our me centered way of thinking makes us feel God should be at our beck and call. When life doesn’t go our way we make our God small and less powerful. Most of us won’t say that out loud but in our heart we question why God doesn’t see things our way and answer our way. In a sense we each have a bit of Thomas in our hearts. We want to serve and believe in a powerful God yet we find ourselves doubting when we feel powerless.
Top was listening to the Lord and was getting an idea of what the Lord wanted him to say at the sunrise service. The power of the resurrection would be the theme of the first service. The Lord would give him the message in due time for the second service.
Top was also concerned that the folks of Little Oak take seriously the need to invite people to come and celebrate the savior on Easter. The resurrection was a great celebration for believers. It was also a great time for the unchurched to hear about the savior. Little Oaks members needed to invite as many as they could to be a part of church on Easter Sunday. The county where Little Oak was had 20,000 people and 14,000 were not in church on any given Sunday. Top was confident that many people were waiting on someone to invite them to come to church and hear the gospel. His role as pastor was to get folks to invite unchurched on Easter Sunday. Ultimately the best idea would be for the folks of Little Oak to develop a lifestyle of inviting people to church and sharing their faith. That would be living out the great commission.
Jesus told us in Matthew 28: 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of[e] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember,[f] I am with you always,[g] to the end of the age.” It seems that believers today treat this passage as the great suggestion not the great commandment. Believers are ready to talk about the decay of society and ills of the world. Yet there is little talk given to the answer to decay and decline. Jesus is the answer to the problems and challenges of our society and world. Believers must obey Jesus and go through life sharing the Good News about Jesus.
Tops number one challenge as the shepherd of Little Oak was to pray, teach, and remind his flock that they are to make disciples each day.

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