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WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2020

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are Colossians 3:1-4, where the Bible says,  

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

WHY CHRIST’S RESURRECTION MATTERS TO YOU!


“When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Wow!  That’s a statement for you. That’s a truth that will transform your life. It will give you peace in the middle of the storms of life, courage in the chaos, and wisdom in the midst of the trials and travails of this world caused by sin and the brokenness of humanity. But, even more, it gives us a hope that endures because it impresses on our hearts and minds the truth that Jesus will have the last say in our lives. The fact that He is our risen, ascended, reigning and returning Savior provides very good news and an enduring hope.

There are two ways to understand the meaning “hope.” One involves wishful thinking. If we say, “I hope it won’t rain on Saturday,” it is something we desire, even yearn for, but we have no assurance whether it will come true or not. On the other hand, when we say we have hope that tomorrow will be Tuesday, we have the assurance that, if there is a tomorrow, it will, in fact, be Tuesday because it has been that way for centuries. When we have hope that is based on confident assurance, it gives our lives meaning and purpose, as well as a reason to move forward regardless of pitfalls or difficulties.  For Christians around the world, Easter morning begins with the responsive greeting, “He is risen!”  “He is risen indeed!” But that exchange is more than a sentiment. It conveys hope and assurance BECAUSE GOD HAS ACTED IN HISTORY AND FULFILLED HIS PROMISES FOR ALL OF US IN THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS. That truth becomes an anchor for our very souls.

I remember a story from several years ago that illustrates the power of hope. It was about a self-made millionaire named Eugene Land, who impacted the lives of 61 students in the sixth-grade class of a school in East Harlem.[1] When he came to speak to them, he wondered what he might say to inspire them. He knew the history of the neighborhood. The odds were that many of these students wouldn’t even finish high school. But he knew that an education was one of the most important things if they were going to “make it” in this world. So he ditched his notes and looked each one in the eyes. Speaking from his heart, he said, “Stay in school and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you.” Wow! He had the means; he had the desire; and he was committed. Many of those students, perhaps for the first time in their lives, now had real hope. One student said, “I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.”

Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school. Why? Because college was no longer just a hope for them in terms of wishful thinking; instead, they had a hope which assured them. Attending college wasn’t just a dream or possibility; it was probable.

Today, you do not have hope simply because a powerful person in this world made you a promise. Even better, the very Savior of the world makes you this promise: “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). So set your mind on His things, the things above. ALL THIS IS NOT IGNORANCE or naïve optimism. IT’S NOT EVEN MERE INTELLIGENCE. Instead, it is a sanctified, Spirit-empowered life of knowledge, discipline, and action BASED UPON THE GRACIOUS PROMISES OF JESUS CHRIST AND THEN LIVED OUT IN THIS WORLD!

Because of Jesus and your Baptism in His name, you are His no matter what is going on in your life. He gives you certainty and purpose. With that eternal perspective, you can face whatever comes today knowing that tomorrow and even forever are secure in His hands.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for the concrete work of Your life, death, and resurrection. May it give the assurance of hope for everlasting life to all who put their trust in You. AMEN.

 

[1] https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1990-03-25-mn-244-story.html

 

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