Dear Friends and Family,
First of all, HAPPY EASTER! Jesus Christ IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! There is no doubt. Jesus Christ of Nazareth was crucified, buried, and rose from the grave three days later. All four Gospel accounts make it evidently clear that Jesus resurrected and came back to speak with His disciples, that they may believe and be empowered by the Holy Spirit in order that they could preach the Good News to the nations. You and I have been granted FREEDOM; the power to break the chains of sin and to walk in the Light! Praise
God! What a joyous day, filled with celebration, bright colors, laughter, family/friend-bonding, and much more.
Today, MILLIONS of people attended Easter Services! Praise God that so many gathered in my Father’s house today and sang praises to His name. Even more exciting is that hundred of thousands decided to accept Christ, rededicate their lives to Christ, and/or be baptized. Excellent! That is SO GREAT. However….the solemn reality is that many of those people still do not KNOW Jesus Christ as their LORD and SAVIOR.
“WHAT?!?!…Justin, are you judging? How could you possibly know the state of their hearts…why would you say such a terrible thing on Easter of all days…”
Before you click out and return to your Facebook, Twitter, festivities, or homework, hear me out! Please give me a chance. If you read John 15 (do it now if you can), you will see that lives that abide in Christ will bear much fruit! In fact, “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 15:6) Jesus IS alluding to Hell.
I’m going to share with you an excerpt from my personal journal that you may better understand my heart overall on this topic. I wrote this on Friday afternoon as I pondered the holiday of Easter and the salvation of my peers:
“A life that has been granted the Holy Spirit by submission to the Lord, our God will have become a slave to righteousness. Many would object to such blatant terminology, however Romans 6 makes it crystal-clear that we are to be freed from sin, “For sin shall not be your master because you are not under law but under grace.” (6:14) Skip ahead a few verses and verse 19 demonstrates the logic behind offering ourselves up for the purposes of righteousness, which is “leading to holiness!”
I’m writing on the approach of Easter, a day that celebrates life renewed! Many will attend a church-service on Sunday, some may rededicate their lives to God, and still others may choose to “accept Christ into their hearts” for the first time. Unfortunately few will allow God to change the course of their lives, leading them right back to the broad path of destruction.” (Justin Meyer)
EXAMINE YOUR HEARTS. Please….please examine your hearts. It is with grave concern, compassionate love, and a deep desire to see your lives radically transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ that you may live in the Light and walk in freedom that I write to you. God does not care what you wore to church today. Nor does He care whether or not you sat in church and heard an emotionally moving message. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) My God is concerned with the content of your hearts and the way in which you live your life! The old saying, “actions speak louder than words” is appropriate here. ANYONE can say, “Yes, I’m a Christian.” ANYONE can say, “HE IS RISEN” on Easter morning. Few can live obediently.
A trending topic a year or so ago among my social-sphere was love-languages. It is evident that mine is words of affirmation and physical touch (I LOVE HUGS, pats on the back, etc). Throughout my personal relationship with God, I have learned that His love language is OBEDIENCE. I searched BibleGateway.com for “obedience” and found 38 mentions of the word within the Old and New Testaments. The LORD is always calling His Children to obedience. Will you obey? But oh, how unruly we can be! What foolish children; always running back to sin, thinking that this time it will be enough to satisfy! Sometimes even looking to peers to take the place of God! You do realize the individuals you idolize in this world will soon be reduced to dust for they are but flesh and bone. Worship the One that breathes LIFE!
Allow me to humble myself. I am not a pastor. I am not an ordained minister. You have not asked me to counsel you. I understand these things. However, I am your friend and/or family-member and I do believe God has granted me a decent understanding and education of His people, His Word, and His desire for their hearts and lives. And I do believe that if anything will ever satisfy your broken, sad, angry, tired, hearts that it is the love of Jesus Christ.
Are you not tired of fighting against it? Is not His Love the most beautiful, compelling, brilliant, authentic, pure, LOVE that your heart has been desiring? Will you not choose to walk obediently towards His arms. Have you not heard the story of prodigal son; the one who squandered all that had been given him, yet the Father still WELCOMED him home, threw a party in his honor, and relished even more treasure upon him. O how God desires to throw you a party, to rejoice over your radically changed life, to use YOU to change the world!
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Without Him, we’re dead. With Him, we’re ALIVE!!!
Will you choose LIFE?