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 xenoPhileois 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 (that’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 don’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 you’re pray­ing for the con­cern they shared with you when they vis­it­ed. That’s what I would do for a friend.

Con­sid­er some vers­es from our Scrip­ture and ask, “What can our con­gre­ga­tion do to make our guests feel val­ued and welcomed?” (Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:1–2; 1 Peter 4:8–10)

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 4:24–25 tells us that God will cred­it right­eous­ness to those who believe in him who res­ur­rect­ed our Lord for “He was deliv­ered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” 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 Abraham’s will­ing­ness to sac­ri­fice the son of promise, Isaac. Hebrews 11:17–19 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! I’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.
Bro. Bil­ly