"For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." — 2 Cor. 4:15

May 5 2019

When you think of Jesus’ disciples and followers in the aftermath of his death and burial, you may think primarily of their sorrow, grief, and disappointment. But they were also afraid. Our passage for this Sunday (John 20:19-23) begins like this:

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews…” (John 20:19)

They had heard the violent rage of the crowds who had shouted, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him! Crucify him!” and knew that powerful people had stirred up this hatred. In fear, they had all scattered when Jesus was arrested and in fear, Peter had even denied him three times. Jesus had promised them, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours (John 15:20).”

But seeing their risen Lord will change everything. Soon, the same Peter who was afraid to be identified by a servant girl as a disciple of Jesus will look Annas and Caiaphas in the eye and make the bold declaration, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:11-12).”

God wants to encourage us, Grace, to have the same fearlessness and boldness to follow Jesus with confidence and courage. It’s another reason He’s given us the Helper.

O church, arise, and put your armor on;
Hear the call of Christ our captain.
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given.
With shield of faith and belt of truth,
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies.
An army bold, whose battle cry is love,
Reaching out to those in darkness.

(O Church, Arise; Keith and Kristyn Getty)

Randall Gruendyke will be preaching this Sunday and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you read the passage ahead of time and pray for each as they prepare? And pray for all who will be at Grace for each of these services.

See you Sunday. Come hungry!

Song Link of the Week

O Church, Arise

(written by Keith and Kristyn Getty, sung by Tim Hughes)

Categories: Sermon Prep (LM)