The Easter Exclamation Point!
“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”- John 20:30-31
Whew, I am worn out and WONDER(ed) out! As I write to you less than 48 hours after our Easter Sunday celebration, there is much reason to rejoice in all that the Lord has delivered over the last two weeks:
We enjoyed the precious Palm Sunday presentation from our kids with a packed house of praise
We experienced two deeply meaningful Good Friday gatherings, with several people commenting that this was their first time attending such a service.
We gathered for two Easter Sunday services with over 230 in attendance.
We welcomed seven brothers and sisters who opened their hearts to the Gospel and gave their lives to Jesus as personal Savior!
It doesn’t get much better than that! Or does it? As much as this past weekend left us with an Easter Exclamation Point, it is really meant to produce life beyond a moment in time, a specific event, or fixed location. The miracles of Jesus, the moment of Easter, and the message of Resurrection is meant to lead us into an Resurrection Entry pathway! As we look back on what the Lord has done the reality is that what He has bestowed abundantly is to be built upon increasingly. Consider for a moment, all that takes place in the lives of Jesus’ followers after He rises from the grave: They see Him ascend to glory; they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; they “GO” throughout all the world as witnesses emboldened in faith and anointed in power; they see thousands saved, cities transformed, and the Church multiplied. I am guessing that they are glad the story continued after that first Easter Sunday!
Just recently I was richly reminded of how precious looking back at the Lord’s faithfulness is. Over the last month I was wrestling through a specific area of burden. As I was contending with an unhealthy weight of doubt, the Holy Spirit began stirring up my remembrance of different points where He spoke life, sent power, opened doors, delivered revelation, and transformed lives. From the time He used me to minister, to a time He answered a prayer, to a time a supernatural “coincidence” took place, it was the previous chapters off my journey that gave me strength for the current season and hope for the path beyond today. David declares in Psalm 9:1, “I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonderful deeds.”
If we continue in this spirit of looking back at all God has done to better enable us to walk forward into all God has in store, we can also point to this Easter as being a significant marker for our church family. Because this month marks the anniversary of our being at the Townsgate Property for one year, I would like to announce some highlights that are worth celebrating, which are yielding great fruit, and which are being used by the Lord for the days ahead:
Our Spanish Church is growing as they have moved into a larger room on Sunday mornings
Our Youth Group is seeing great results from its move from Wednesday to Sunday nights
Our new Women’s ministry, Thrive, have had two highly attended and engaging gatherings
Our “Livestream” of our Sunday services is allowing others to connect and celebrate with us (Just two Sundays ago we had thirteen different homes joining us live)
Our missions heartbeat is being built up under the leadership of our new Missions Director, Jessica Hinckson
Our favor in the community continues as we were able to host the Newbury Park High School Boys’ Basketball Banquet (In March)
As excited as I am to report on these things, I am even more expectant for what the Lord’s plan is for each area of ministry and the overall life of the church in the coming season. May all that we have shared be multiplied one hundred times over when it comes to influence, open doors of opportunity, growth in attendance, and a mighty harvest of new life popping up in every direction! In the same way we have built our lives on the Resurrection of Jesus, let us believe for His power to be alive, active, and abundant in us the same way it was in the Early Church as described in Acts 6:7, “So the Word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” May this report become an “AMEN” to all that we have already seen and all that we are standing in faith for!