Two words of encouragement for my friends who are leading the church:
Lead your church to practice hospitality and preach the glorious resurrected Christ!
Remember, the Greek word for hospitality is a combination of phileo and xeno. Phileois the love we have for a friend and xenorefers to a stranger. Philoxenoi then, is to love a stranger as if they are a friend.
Think of some of the things you do when people visit your home. First thing you do, is expect them to visit (Are you expecting visitors?), and you wait for them to arrive. You tidy up before they get to your home, especially the bathrooms (thatâ€™s important). You greet them at the door and welcome them. You orient them to your home and may even give them the grand tour. You give them your full attention. You ask them if you can get them anything and you are ready to serve them. You engage them in friendly conversation. They may be a little uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings, so you do what you can to make them feel at ease. If they have children, you might move some things around and make your home safe and enjoyable for their kids. When they leave, you let them know that you enjoyed having them over and that you look forward to getting together again soon. If you donâ€™t have their contact information, you get it so you can shoot them a text and meet them for lunch or just to let them know you hope that they are having a good day and youâ€™re praying for the concern they shared with you when they visited. Thatâ€™s what I would do for a friend.
Consider some verses from our Scripture and ask, â€œWhat can our congregation do to make our guests feel valued and welcomed?â€ (Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:1â€“2; 1 Peter 4:8â€“10)
Second, preach the resurrection my friends! As the day drew near for Christ to die for our sins, He set his mind on the resurrection. Why? Because the resurrection is vital to our justification and sanctification.
Romans 4:24â€“25 tells us that God will credit righteousness to those who believe in him who resurrected our Lord for â€œHe was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.â€ He was raised for our justification. If Christ was not raised from the dead, then he is not the savior. Jesus was declared the son of God by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4), and 1 Corinthians 15:17 tells us that without the resurrection, we would still be in our sins. A dead savior, is no savior at all.
The resurrection is vital to our justification and it is vital for our sanctification. One of the greatest and celebrated acts of faith in the scripture is Abrahamâ€™s willingness to sacrifice the son of promise, Isaac. Hebrews 11:17â€“19 tells what enabled Abraham to obey such a difficult and seemingly counterintuitive command from God. Abraham believed that God had the power to resurrect Isaac and restore all things. A heart and mind that is stayed on the resurrection can take up its cross and obey the call of God.
My friends, call the people of God to focus on the resurrection for their sanctification!
This is going to be a great month! Iâ€™m looking forward to the many stories of salvation and redemption that our God will accomplish through the blood of the Lamb and the resurrecting power of his Holy Spirit.