April 2019 Ministry Update (Easter, New Beginnings)

Bob Roane

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying for our ministry! You are a vital part of all we do and I thank God for your partnership. You make it possible for me to take Christ’s hope to many in word and deed.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength….Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power….For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (1 Timothy 1:12; Ephesians 6:10; Philippians 1:21)

Jesus’ bodily resurrection is a true historical event, but it’s not just that. Because resurrection happened once, it will happen again. Here’s what happened already—Christ rose from the dead.1 Here’s what’s going to happen—His followers are going to rise from the dead.2 And Jesus will destroy sin, Satan, death, and hell. And evil will be eternally eliminated.3 And Christ’s followers will be raised imperishable, free and immune from decay, and we shall be wondrously transformed. Our resurrected bodies will, in some ways, be like Christ’s resurrected body.4

Because of the Lord’s historic past event and His promised future event, our present reality is changed now, every day, in between His first and second comings. Christ says in John 10:10—I came that my followers may have and enjoy life, and have it abundantly, in the fullest possible way, till it overflows, they will have everything they need, a better life than they ever dreamed of, a rich and satisfying life. Jesus promises fullness of joy and strength for mind, body, and soul. He takes away our futility, emptiness, and dissatisfaction. Christ gives us abundant life now, resurrection power now, life with meaning now and forever.

1 Corinthians 15 is “the Resurrection Chapter” and it closes like this: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”5 Christ says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”6 Paul says, “I can do all things which Jesus has called me to do through Him who strengthens and empowers me to fulfill His purpose. I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Christ who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.”7

The Gaither’s song affirms, “Because Jesus lives, I can face tomorrow; Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know Christ holds the future, my life is worth the living just because He lives.”

Christ can and does take away our selfishness, our addictions, our laziness, our lying. Jesus helps us break bad habits and put on new Christ-like habits, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Lord helps us to stop coveting and start being contented in Him and with Him. He helps us stop fighting with one another and start loving one another. Jesus helps us make better choices that lead to better consequences. He helps us make a fresh start every day as we return to Him.

Christ says: “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”8 The Lord says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”9

God’s good news at Easter and all year long is that we don’t just get to believe in Jesus’ resurrection; we get to live it. Like Lazarus, we can walk out of the tomb of our old ways and walk in newness of life in Christ. We get to make fresh starts and re-starts in following Jesus. We get to live like people who have been raised from the dead, glorifying God and enjoying Him now and forever.

With great thanksgiving, giving all glory to God alone, Bob

From the blog

Blogs posted since our March 2019 update

Many of these thoughts adapted and expanded from Dr. Mary S. Hulst.

Notes (various translations used): 1 1 Cor 15:1-8.    2 1 Cor 15:12-49.     3 Rev 20:7-15.    4 1 John 3:2.     5 1 Cor 15:58.     6 John 15:5.    7 Phil 4:13 AMP.     8 Isaiah 44:22.     9 Matt 11:28-30.