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Friday, April 11, 2014

Preparing My Heart for Resurrection Sunday

Today is the end of week two in Why Easter Matters, the Good Morning Girls Bible study that I have been doing in order to prepare my heart for Resurrection Sunday. Each week of this four week study focuses on a different aspect and asks the question why it matters.

Bible Study for Easter

Week 1 was Why the Last Supper Matters. We focused on the events of the Last Supper throughout the week. So much happened during this time which leaves us with so many examples of how we should be living this life as disciples of Jesus. Humble, self-sacrificing love was the example Jesus set and has called me to live as His disciple. Philippians 2:3-4 comes to mind: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." This is not always easy. It's tempting to expect others to treat you the same as you seek to serve and love them. But that's not how it's supposed to be. I need to take the other person out of the equation (so to speak) and remember that I am called to do everything as unto the Lord and not unto man. Ephesians 6:7-8 says "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free." Lord, help me live like You did.

This week we focused on Why the Crucifixion Matters. Jesus suffered a punishment that was meant for us - sinners separated from God. The servant's heart that Jesus continually displayed carried our transgressions and iniquities all the way to the cross. Jesus' love for us caused Him to die in our place so that peace and healing with God could be ours. Jesus knew we could not fulfill the requirements of the Law in our own sinful flesh, so He came and willingly let God lay on Him the sins of the world. The crucifixion matters because there had to be a perfect and sinless sacrifice once and for all. There is nothing I can do in my own flesh that will be able to stand before God. It is only the righteousness of Jesus living in me that matters to God. This week I am again reminded to stop trying to do things in my own strength, and surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit living in me. 

We were neither righteous or good when God sent His Son Jesus to die for us. We were condemned as sinners destined to die apart from God. The magnitude of God's love for us is seen in that while we were in that guilty state, God sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins! How do I treat those who have wronged me? Am I quick to condemn them and end the friendship or do I try to find a way to reconcile? When I think about how God sent Jesus for me so long ago, and when I think about the state of my life at which time I found forgiveness of all my heart is convicted that I don't always so freely give my forgiveness to others. I need to remember how God did not hesitate to forgive me and to provide the means necessary - namely Jesus - to completely restore our relationship. The crucifixion matters because it demonstrates to me how forgiveness and restoration should be a part of my relationships in this life.

Next week we will be focusing on Why the Resurrection Matters. Finally, in week four, we will be focusing on Why My Response Matters. This Good Morning Girls Bible Study has been so wonderful as I seek to prepare my heart for Resurrection Sunday! I've learned things I've never seen before, and other things I've known have just been more magnified in my heart.

What are you doing to prepare your heart to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord? I would love to hear, so please feel free to share in the comments below!

Walking in His Grace,

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