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morning. And welcome to good news in the morning. Happy Easter – He has risen –
He has risen indeed. My name is Brent
Russett. I am the Senior Pastor at Sunnyside Wesleyan Church. It is my pleasure
to look at some of life’s challenges, and then bring you some good news in the
program is sponsored by Good News Christian Ministries, Box 184 Rideau Ferry,
ON K0G1W0. Or you can find us on the web at Goodnewsinthemorning.ca I would
encourage you to check out our website. You will find a number of things there
to build into your spiritual life.
is such a great time to Worship. We are going to start outwith
Music – He is
Exalted – By Eden’s Bridge – from their album Celtic Worship – Track 8 ---
love to read and I dabble in writing. Sometimes I find it easy to write, and
other times I find it challenging. But here is what I have come to understand.
day all of us write the story of our lives. Some of us are better writers than
others. But the choices we make, the things we do, the people we meet, dictate
the story lines. Often there are a number of sub plots going on. What is
happening with our extended family, what is happening at our work, what is
happening amongst our friends? Then there is our main story line, what is
happening in and around us?
may not thought about your life like this before, but you are an author, the
author of your life. However, unlike an author of fiction, you don’t have
complete control over the story. You can influence and direct it by the
choices you make. But others are also writing into your story.
boss writes into your story. That person who ran a red light and caused a
fender bender, writes into your story. Your mom and dad write into your story,
sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse.
is another story being written. It is the story of God. History is His Story.But there is a lot more going on than has
been written in the annals of history. He has been writing his story into the
fabric of the universe from the beginning of time. His story is a big story …Big
enough to encompass everyone.
has much more control over his story than we have over ours. But not complete
control. He has given you the ability to make choices in your story. Those are
real choices. What he really wants to do though is have his story and your
story intersect in a meaningful way.
don’t know about you, but the story of my life has stuff in it that you wish
weren’t elements of the story. There are some choices I made in the past that I
would like to have over again. Then there were some things that other people
did to me that has skewed the story somewhat.
pastor I spend a lot of time listening to people’s stories. Here is what I have
discovered. People’s lives are messy. You live with fear, and hope, with
difficulties and with challenges. What do you do with those parts of your story?
Do you just go on, ignore them, work with them?
have found that it is at those very points in the story that God comes and
invites us to write our story into his. They become crucial moments in the
story where--- how we respond to the invitation of God, can pivot a whole
in many of those places in our lives, how we would like God to intersect with
our lives is an answered prayer. God get me out of this place. God fix this
problem. We would like him to drop in, do a miracle, so that we could get on
with life the way it was.
sometimes he does that. But he doesn’t just want our stories to bump into each
other, he wants them to intersect, and he wants Our story to be a smaller
consistent part of his big story.
only place where your story can truly intersect with God’s story is in the
story of Easter weekend. To truly be involved in the big God story, our stories
have to come through the story of Easter.
a few days back we celebrated Good Friday. You remember what happened on Good
Friday. Jesus was crucified, killed that day. He was hung on a cross between
death shook his disciples up. After all they had followed him for the last
three years. When Jesus was being abandoned by the crowds, he asked his
disciples if they were going to leave him too. Peter spoke up and answered for
all the other disciples. Where else would we go? Only you have the words of
had not only come to follow him, but they had come to believe in him. All their
hopes and dreams were wrapped up in Christ. Those dreams came to a screeching
halt with his death. That isn’t the way it was suppose to end. That isn’t the
way that it was suppose to happen.
we come to the story of Easter Sunday. I am looking at the story from John, Chapter
was Sunday, the first day of the week. Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, and
found that it was empty. This was unexpected. When you go to someone’s grave
you expect to find the person who was buried still in the grave.
Mary come roaring back to the disciples, and Peter and John took off to the
tomb. They get there and they find out that what they had been told. I like
John 20:8Finally the other disciple, who had reached
the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
believed what. He believed that the body was gone. The next verse basically
says that they still didn’t understand that Jesus had to rise from the dead.
unexpected is one thing, but now that Peter and John had seen it they were left
scratching their head. It has now moved from the unexpected to the unexplained.
What do you do with the whole idea that a body was missing.
John 20:10Then the disciples went back to their homes,
you hit the unexpected and then it moves into the unexplained, you need to
regroup, so they went home.
Mary hung around the grave, and she runs into two angels. But she is crying so
hard she doesn’t care that she has seen angels. She has one thing in mind.
Where is the body of Jesus. She has come to anoint him with oil, and I’m going
to anoint him. I don’t care if you’re an angel or a king. I’m going to anoint
is peering into the grave, and she hears this voice behind her.
15"Woman," he said, "why are you
crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she
said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him,
and I will get him."
16Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned towards him and cried
out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
she just freaks. This is too good to be true. She talks with Jesus and then he
sends her off. So after she leaves Jesus she goes back to the disciples
John 20:18Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the
news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said
these things to her.
what was the disciples take on this. Well, Thomas gets labelled as the one with
no faith because he doesn’t believe it when the rest of the disciple tell him
that they have seen Jesus, but the rest didn’t believe when Mary told them that
she had seen Jesus.
all dead is dead. They had seen him die. They knew that no one escapes
crucifixion. They knew that after he was dead that a spear was driven in his
side just to make sure. Dead is dead.
it has gone from unexpected to the unexplainable to unbelievable. It just
doesn’t make sense.
19 On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples
were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
had to show them his hands and sides before they would believe him. But when he
showed them undeniable proof that he was risen from the dead, when he showed
him his nail pierced hands and spear pierced side, they believed and then they
went from being unbelievable to undeniable. Christ had indeed risen from the
dead. These disciples believed it so much that each of them died because of
Music – Matt Redman – Album “The Heart of
Worship” – I am yours (Track 7 – 4:08)
hear people writing the stories of their lives, often times their story mirrors
that of Easter. Elements of all our stories are not what we wish they were.
it is often in these troublesome that we feel the story needs to move in a
different direction. It might be a sense of meaninglessness and spinning our
wheels. It might be a sense of insecurity or fear. It might be a sense that
there is something bigger than ourselves. It may be our lives spinning out of
something happens to bring us to a place where we know the story that we are
writing by our lives has to move in a different direction than it is heading
know the great thing about God. He is already at work. He isn’t just at work in
the lives of super saints. He is not just at work in the lives of Christians.
He is at work in people’s lives who don’t even think he exists. He is at work
in people who take no thought of him. Some of you know it and some of you don’t
but God is actively involved in your life. He has been trying to write in a way
to get your story to intersect with His.
you want to see the finger prints of God in your life, start looking for the
unexpected.----- Someone who you thought most unlikely starts talking about
God. Things start to happen that in and of themselves could be ruled as
coincidence but they start to accumulate. You go to a movie, and it is like God
is talking to you. The unexpected happens, the equivalent of hearing stories
ofthe empty tomb happens. God’s trying
to get your attention.
things start to move from the unexpected to unexplained. These things just
don’t seem to have a good explanation to them. After all, if you haven’t given
God much thought, and all of a sudden he is trying to get your attention, it is
pretty easy to write him off. If you start with the premise that God is either
nonexistent or a far off and doesn’t come near, then when he does come near, it
just seems unexplainable.
even in middle of this mystery comes reports of God’s desire to bring you close
and bring you into relationship with himself. Maybe you even start to grasp a
hold of the good news that we find in Jesus Christ. He is the bridge between us
and God. He made a way that we can know God.
problem is, if you really grasp the gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s unbelievable.
That the God of the universe, knows me by name, and more than that loves me,
and more than that wants a relationship with me, and more than that has cleared
out all the obstacles between Him and me by the work of His Son Jesus and all
that I have to do is receive the free gift of life that is offered in Christ.
That is mind blowing. That is unbelievable.
have moved from the unexpected, to the unexplained, to the unbelievable.
is where people need to make a decision. Are they going to keep on moving
towards God, or are they going to disperse and just leave it there.
had a family, he could have been with his wife rather than hanging around the
disciples. John and Andrew had a fishing business with their father. They could
have immersed themselves in there fathers business.
they hung out, to see what would happen. There are some of you who have been
confronted with the unbelievably, and you are thinking you might just move on.
all if you let your story intersect with God’s then you won’t have the same
literary freedom. You will be writing your story, but it will need to be
consistent with another story.
if you think God is a difficult co - author you should try sin. It is brutal to
write your story line with it as a co author.
number of you, you are right at that unbelievable stage. The other option is to
stay there and actively wait for God to break through. And there will be a time
when God breaks through. It may even be after you take that leap of faith. But
there will be a time when God walks into the room of your heart and it is
question is will you put yourself in a place to encounter God. Will you invite
him into your life and invite him to write your story with you.
want to do that you have to pray a simple prayer like,
come into my life. Forgive me of my sins. I give my life to you. I want to follow
are a number of you who have had your story intersect with God’s through the
Easter story. You have understood that you were afar off from God. There were
things in your life that didn’t allow you to come close. But God came close to
you. On the cross that first Easter, Jesus did what he had to do, so that you
could have peace with God. You have invited Jesus to come into your life and
you have chosen to follow him. He has done exactly that.
I want you to know that God wants
your story to become more profound. And it is the same process
- A community spurring you
- Some new truth about God
Unexplained - Is this really God
- I don’t understand
everything I see.
Unbelievable- Now you know you are to live in
- Does God really want to
take me deeper?
- Does God really want an
- Does God really want me
to abandon myself to Him?
Undeniable- You take a step of faith and watch what God
Lord Jesus, I want to thank you for how you have allowed
our stories to intersect with the Easter story. Lord, for whatever stage we find
ourselves in, the undeniable, the unbelievable, Lord, I pray that you would allow
your Spirit to so be drawing us to yourself. Thank you Lord, for what you are all
Thank you, Listeners for your words of encouragement,
and for keeping us in your prayers.Keeping this program on the air continues to be a work of faith. If you
can help with that, please make out a cheque payable to Good News Christian
Ministries, Box 184 , Rideau Ferry , On. K0G1W0. Or you can give online by going to goodnewsinthemorning.ca
the founding pastor of this ministry is writing a monthly devotional. Alan is
well known for his spiritual insight and ability to communicate the truth of
God. If you would like to receive this devotional, go to our website at
Goodnewsinthemorning.ca and sign up to start receiving it right to you e-mail
inbox. We know that God will bless you through this ministry. (Goodnewsinthemorning.ca)
May you knowJesus Christ personally and profoundly.May the Holy Spirit reside deep within your heart .And may the heavenly Father surround you with
His constant and abiding and accompanying love
Cross – Rekindle- Giver of Life –
(Track 11 --- 5:03)
- Rev. Brent Russett
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