“The ‘therefore’ in verse 10 is ‘dia touto,’ which is not the Greek word that refers back to the previous point; it is more like, ‘so, here’s what I’m saying…
“Verses 11-13 were probably either the lyrics to an early Church hymn, or a creed the assembly would recite together.
“Do I deny following Jesus just by not telling people that I believe and by doing and discussing worldly things?”
Motivations for Sacrificial Service
The Resurrection of Jesus
“If it happened (and we wholeheartedly believe it did), it is the single most important event in history!”
The Power of God’s Word
“Paul preached to and converted the soldiers around him. John Bunyan preached out a window of his cell each day at the same time; eventually hundreds gathered outside the wall to try to hear. China tried to keep Christianity down – many were killed, but many more joined.”
The Salvation of Souls
“Pastor Scott’s friend Paul, whose beliefs were only in science, etc.” (but how will they come if they haven’t been told?)
The Waiting Reward
Galatians 6:9 (Let us not get tired of doing good)
Dearest Rachel –
I know that I’ve been working through one study book or another for messages from you, but for Resurrection Sunday, it seems more appropriate to look for something that addresses that particular topic. After all, for all the years of sermon notes you kept, I would think I should be able to find a number of notes talking about it.
But they wouldn’t necessarily be from Easter.
Our church has a habit of beginning new and important series on this Sunday, as it’s meant to keep the curious coming back to hear more. So there’s no guarantee that the notes from any given Easter will cover the events that we commemorate today. On the other hand, Jesus’ resurrection is the sine qua non of our faith, so it will be covered – and mentioned – on so many other days.
This one is such an example, dating from February 2019. What makes it particularly significant is that all three of us took notes this day, so whatever each of us might have missed, another of us might be able to fill in the gaps. I rarely took notes back in the day, as I knew you would do so for all of us (and keep your notes for future reference). Now that you’re gone, I’m trying to actually take notes of my own. I know that, like with these letters I send you each day, you’ll never see these notes, but I don’t suppose this newfound resolve – and the notes I take as a result of it – is really for your benefit as much as my own (and whoever might go through these in the future).
In this case, Christ’s resurrection is meant to spur us onward toward service for Him. The question ‘Why?’ although one I might have asked Him in other contexts (especially during these past fifteen months), pertains to why we should continue to serve Him, especially in light of circumstances that might otherwise cause us to give up.
His resurrection serves as a reminder that even the worst thing that can happen in this life – the end of it – isn’t the end at all, since He has conquered death itself. With that behind us, what else can the world do to us, after all? Some day, we’ll meet again, thanks to Him.
And with that being said, we can’t give up on others, because they need to be able to join us in that great hereafter. I’ve struggled with some of them; there’s only so much some people seem willing to listen to. But I know you want to see them again some day; may God grant me wisdom to know what to say, and persistence to be willing to say it.