April 2nd, 2018

It’s the Monday after Easter and . . . He is still RISEN!! I know it sounds cliché to say “aren’t you glad?” But as Garry and I were talking about before worship yesterday, imagine what the disciples felt like not just on Friday but also on Saturday. Imagine what an amazing day that first Easter was because I don’t believe they were really expecting him to be alive. We go into it knowing He rose but they had no idea. And here we are on Monday just going back to life as usual. No, no, no, may this Monday not be life as usual. May today be a continuation of the celebration and the joy and the peace that comes because HE IS RISEN!!
Just so you know, I am NOT going to talk about our Mission Trip today even though we leave a week from Friday. I do want to talk a little about repentance again today. I don’t feel like I adequately covered this last week and even in yesterday’s sermon I don’t feel like I did a very good job so I’m going to give this one more quick shot with a reminder about next Sunday night. But first let me say that without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin. We have to repent to experience the life-changing plan of the gospel. And I tried to stress this yesterday but somehow I think we missed it and it is this idea that repentance is not just a one-time event but it is a daily requirement. We are called to lay down our lives daily. We are called to make Him Lord daily. We must die to self daily. We must confess our sins daily. We must commune with Him daily. We must work out our salvation daily. We must intentionally commit to study His word daily. We have to set aside time and engage in impactful prayer daily. I know you see the pattern here. Being a disciple is not a one-time commitment. It is ongoing. It is deciding every single day when I wake up that I am going to live my life for Him and not for Me. It is walking against the current, against the natural flow of our culture. It means walking in right relationship with Him because we are spending time with Him and we know His heart because we study His word and we know his desire because we talk with Him all the time and we do His will because we love Him and want to please Him.
Last night Jennifer and I watched this documentary on Minimalism. They had this philosophy of living life as simply as possible. They got rid of the vast majority of their possessions and they made a conscious decision not to collect things and not to buy more than what they absolutely needed. They decided not to buy into the commercialism of this world and instead to live a simpler and happier life. There was one point where the guy said he saw someone and he noticed that they were no longer filled with stress and they were happier than they ever had been and he went to ask him why that was. I could tell my wife (who didn’t know what we were watching) thought this was going to be the point where the guy told him it was because he had Jesus in his heart. I told her, his answer isn’t going to be Jesus. This isn’t a religious film. It’s about living a minimalist lifestyle. But some of the philosophy was similar. I don’t doubt that having less things and getting away from a materialistic way of life can lead to a much happier life but for the greatest joy ever known we need to encounter Jesus. And part of the message that Jesus gives us is that things can’t make us happy so there is some commonality. But living life to please ourselves is always a recipe for disaster. Have you ever noticed that the more you indulge yourself the worse you feel? Try eating too much. It doesn’t make you feel better. Try sleeping too much. That doesn’t work either. Try just laying around all day because that feels good . . . nope, doesn’t make you healthier. Trying dying to self. Daily. See if that works.
This coming Sunday night we as a church will be joining together to ask for repentance for sins we have committed as a body. We will be confessing these sins and asking for God’s forgiveness. But really this will just be where the process starts. We have to keep confessing and true repentance means we turn and walk the other way or we begin to do what we have been neglecting to do. If you are a member at FBCWS I pray you will be here to join us this Sunday, April 8th @ 5:00 PM as we come together to repent. God wants to use us as individuals and as a body but we have to put Him on the throne!!
Last word: Chris and Diane Machen will be here this Sunday during our morning worship. They will be leading the entire service so I hope you will come and prepare your heart for an amazing time of worshiping our Creator!
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?
P.S. Be sure to continue to pray for Stephen and Elizabeth Passmore!!