34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ John 13:34-35 (ESV)
My friends, Happy Easter to each and every one of you! Today is the day when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was resurrected from the death after being arrested, tortured, and crucified on the cruel cross. But while today is the day when we realize that He is Risen, and that Jesus has conquered death for Himself and for us that believe in Him, today I want to remember one of the greatest truths Jesus delivered to us. This is what I believe the Easter Message is this year: Love one another, just as Jesus has loved us.
Love can be a hard thing for some of us. Oh sure, it’s easy to love those that are close to you; your parents, your spouse, your children, and so forth. But love can be a very hard thing when the focus of that love is someone that has done something to harm you.
Love like that can be very hard. How do you love someone that was directly responsible for you losing your job? How do you love someone that caused grave harm to your child? How do you love someone that claims to be a Christian, but all they do is cause grief and heartache for your wife? Those are just three examples. How do you love someone that wrote a threatening letter describing all of the things that they would do to your family? And how do you love someone that hurts you so deeply that all you want to do is withdraw from society and not have anything to do with anyone?
Quite simply, my friends, it is impossible to love — if left to our own will to do so. What makes it possible to love when faced with those circumstances is to turn to Jesus, turn to God, and ask Him to help you love those that have caused you harm. Look at Holy Week, the week where our Easter Message was composed from. Look at all that happened to Jesus during this week:
- He was betrayed by Judas.
- He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.
- He was beaten.
- He was tortured.
- He was accused of things He didn’t do.
- He was found innocent, yet He was sentenced to crucifixion anyway.
- He was crucified.
- He was given sour wine.
- He was spit on.
- He was stabbed.
- He had a crown of thorns put on his head.
- He had nails hammered in his hands and feet.
- He died despite being innocent.
Despite all of that, and even more that I haven’t listed, despite all of that, what was it that Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Jesus would have us show that kind of love, but I think He knows that it is only possible to do when we have the Holy Spirit within us. Then, and only then, can we love those that harm us. That, my brothers and sisters, is what the Easter Message this year is for me. Now, please pray with me our prayer requests and praises.
Prayer Requests & Praises
- Lori has a prayer request: I’d selfishly like to ask a prayer for myself tonight and over the weekend. I need to find job that can support me and fulfill me. I have an application in at a company that is about 10 minutes from my house. My girls, Thelma Louise, are about my whole life right now; this job would allow me time to come home to them during the day and at least let me let them out for a bit.I completed an application on-line and got a very positive response from their home office in NJ within 30 minutes & did an over the phone interview. God willing the local HR Manager will see me as good of a fit and call me in for a personal interview.Thank you in advance for your prayers.
- Jodi has an update on her brother Ken: My brother Ken is moving to a rehab facility this afternoon! Hooray! Probably will be there about 3 weeks. Please continue prayers. Thank you!
- Jodi also has another prayer request: My friend Amanda was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Please keep her & her family in prayer. Thank you!
- Please continue praying for Kelly’s Godfather. Here’s her original prayer request, I’ll post an update when we learn more: Please pray for my GodFather – Uncle Alan. Went to the doctor about a week ago and he will be having a quadruple bypass next Wednesday. Thank you.
- Please pray for my Dad, Joe, he has cataract surgery on Tuesday the 18th. Thanks!
- Please pray for those that are afraid to ask for prayers, pray that God would hear the prayers from their hearts.
- Please also pray for those that don’t know God, please pray that they would find out what life with Jesus in their lives really is all about.
Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.