SERMON SERIES:

connect to resurrection: engage

05/05/2024

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Happy Eastertide! You may be tried of waiting for resurrection, because it does not come to our lives “on demand.” We live in an on demand world which offers us instant stimulation and gratification. Maybe this is the reason for the command of Jesus to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Our on demand world continues to offer to us stimulation and gratification but it is robbing us of satisfaction and gratitude. The world tells us there is nothing worth waiting for. It does not matter if it is a soft drink or sex, we must satisfy our appetites at quickly as possible. Yet when we lose the spiritual discipline of waiting, we miss the powerful meaning of Isaiah 40 that those wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.(Isaiah 40:31) Satisfaction and gratitude do not generally come “on demand,” but they are grown in the human spirit by realizing that the difficulty of waiting has been worth it! God reminds us constantly that the wait, especially for the power of resurrection, is worth it.  We will not be ashamed at finish line but will be acclaimed, “Well done my good and faithful servant!”. However, we seem to be far from the finish line and the burden of our present moment can be overwhelming. In our series, Connect to Resurrection, the sermon is Engage. We continue in 2 Corinthians 4:7-18. Paul is assuring the Corinthians and every believer that resurrection power is available for our everyday existence. We ask some days, What are we missing? We do not seem to be renewed day by day. We struggle to find this power at work in us as it was in the Apostle Paul. We are tempted to believe that Paul was given a “special grace” that is not available to us. The reason the Holy Spirit inspired these words, was to help engage this power in our lives. We pray that as you experience the difficulty and problems of your life, you will also find the power that resurrected Jesus is fulling your heart with strength and hope.     

2 Corinthians 4:7-18: But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)