Devotion for April 17, 2018

Does Easter make a difference in your life during the rest of the year? This question is a very important one to ask, and it should not be dismissed without thought and discussion. Many people who say they are Christian answer this question by not attending Easter worship. On the most important day in the Christian calendar, they were not in church. Some, like us, might not be physically able to be present, but others made a choice not to worship. So we can ask, does Easter make a difference in their lives?

Think about the ramifications of that question! A recent Barna survey revealed that among the people who describe themselves as Christians, 74% stated that the most important purpose in their life is to “love God with all their heart, mind, strength and soul.” Yet on a day when we celebrate the confirmation of the forgiveness of sins and the promise of life eternal with God, many chose to stay home. Does Easter make a difference in your life during the rest of the year?

Think about this. Someone says that he loves books and magazines so he runs for and is elected to the local library board. Then he never goes to the library, he doesn’t have a library card, and on National Library Day he doesn’t join in the festivities. You rightfully would question his love for books and wonder if all of that does make a difference in his life.

Does Easter make a difference in your life? To be Christian is to be an Easter person! It is to live life knowing that the price of our sins has been paid for on the cross by Jesus! It is to live this earthly life knowing that a greater, more wonderful heavenly life has been reserved for us for all eternity. And we did nothing to earn that heavenly life. It was a gift–a gift from God worth more than all the silver, gold, diamonds or money in the whole world.

This is justification, being made right with God, by God’s grace alone. We don’t have to earn our salvation. It is given to us through the gift of faith and by the efforts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. What does he ask of us in return for this gift he gives us, this gift that is worth more than anything else in the world? First, he says to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Second, he says to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Mt. 22:37-39

Does Easter make a difference in your life? Do you love the Lord your God, who saves you and provides for your eternal life? Do you love your neighbor as yourself?

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you are the strength of the weary and a very present help to all those who are in need. We pray that you will visit all those who are ill and fill their souls with joy of forgiveness and the hope of everlasting life. We pray that the sufferings of their day and the cares of this world will not dampen their joy in you as their Lord and Savior. We pray that you will in accordance with your will grant them that healing touch of body, mind and spirit. Give to them peaceful days and restful nights. May they remain steadfast in their faith and trust in you for all their needs of body and soul. I pray especially for (name those who you know who are ill). Bless them and their households and keep them cheerful, hopeful and confident of your mercy. Amen.