Pause

What does it mean to be Easter people, to live on this side of the resurrection? One thing, for sure. We are now God’s hands and feet in the world – we are the ones entrusted with carrying out God’s mission.

That sounds both exciting and terrifying doesn’t it? After all, Jesus left us big shoes to fill and the needs around us are overwhelming.

But the good news is that throughout history, God has empowered and used imperfect people just like us to bring the good news to others.

As we hear the stories of some of those people this week, may we be empowered to be Easter people as well.

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Listen

My little children, I’m writing these things to you so that you don’t sin. But if you do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is God’s way of dealing with our sins, not only ours but the sins of the whole world. This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments. The one who claims, “I know him,” while not keeping his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in this person. But the love of God is truly perfected in whoever keeps his word. This is how we know we are in him. The one who claims to remain in him ought to live in the same way as he lived.

1 John 2:1-6

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Think

Do you have a friend or a mentor who cares about you enough to be straight with you – to tell you the truth even when it’s hard to hear? I picture the author of I John as this kind of mentor. Did you notice that we are called “my little children”? We are deeply loved and cared for.

Yet, in no uncertain terms we are told that we must strive to obey God’s word and walk as Jesus walked among us. If we say we believe in God, and do not do these things, we deceive ourselves. End of story. These statements sound harsh – but they are not written to make us feel guilty. Rather, they are meant to encourage us to become all that we are meant to be in Christ. Both the expectations and the stakes are high, but the author’s motivation is love. May we respond in kind.

Tracy Hartman

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Pray

God, thank you for loving me and for calling me to follow you wholeheartedly. I acknowledge that I cannot do that alone. Please help me to obey your word, love as you love, and walk as you walk. Amen.

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Go

He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Go and be Easter people.

Tracy Hartman

Tracy Hartman serves on the faculty of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond in Richmond VA where she teaches preaching and directs the seminary’s internship program. She also enjoys preaching and teaching throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Tracy and her husband Jay are the parents of two grown children. Tracy enjoys traveling and all kinds of fiber arts.

Wondrous Love: Be Thou My Vision

Mark Hayes - markhayes.com

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