-Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Charles Wesley (1739)
This popular Easter song, and particularly this stanza, is one of my absolute favorites. We have been teaching it to our children this month during family devotion times and every time we sing it I am floored by the power of these verses. Wesley takes it directly from 1 Corinthians 15:55, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
We know that because of our sin nature we deserve death (Romans 6:23)! But the death of Jesus on the cross and his subsequent resurrection paid our debt and completely emasculated Satan and his power. In singing this we are sounding the victory march, because our enemy is defeated- “Where o death is now thy sting?!?. . . Where thy victory, o grave?!?” Death has lost its power because the Creator of the universe crushed our enemy who since the garden has sought to destroy us! In my own life these past few years I have witnessed physical death more than I would ever hope to. We have lost loved ones and many of our friends have suffered losses as well. However, we know that death is not the end! “Lives again our glorious King. . . once HE died our souls to save!” He conquered death and promises redemption through His resurrection. Our hope is therefore not in our own efforts, but “in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 6:14).
May your faith in Jesus be invigorated during this Easter season! I really wish churches would sing this hymn throughout the year, because Christ the Lord IS risen today, and every day. So please sing it loudly this week, especially as we celebrate the defeat of our enemy through Christ´s sacrifice on our behalf.
Last week our little Abigail was baptized! It was such a special service, especially as we consider all we have been through as we awaited her birth (see earlier posts). We love her so much, and joyfully answered “WE DO” to the following questions (taken from the PCA’s Book of Church Order, emphasis added):
1. Do you acknowledge your child’s need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
2. Do you claim God’s covenant promises in her behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for her salvation, as you do for your own?
3. Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before her a godly example, that you will pray with and for her, that you will teach her the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God’s appointment, to bring her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
As we answered this third question, we were so thankful for the part that emphasized “humble reliance” on the Lord and His grace..how else could we raise our children, nurture our marriage, or even begin thinking of sharing the Gospel in Spain!? We are thankful for a God who gives such grace in abundance to sustain us, and that He is always faithful and trustworthy even in our weakest human efforts.
Thank youto our church family for helping us to raise our children in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord” and for committing to praying for them and for us. Click here to hear Pastor Mike’s sermon from that day. He spoke so powerfully about how our efforts to save ourselves are all in vain, but the gift of salvation ONLY comes through the cross of Jesus Christ–definitely a sermon worth listening to, and what an appropriate reminder on this special day! (for more info about baptism in the PCA, check out this article from Francis Schaeffer.)
We are so thankful to all of you who are supporting us in prayer and financially! We have reached 30%- praise God for his faithfulness!. Please continue to pray that we reach 100% soon because we’re ready to start this ministry in Spain! If you have not already done so, please consider financially supporting us. We are in need of monthly pledged support and every pledge, large or small, is a HUGE blessing to us. Just to give you an example, if each of you reading this could support us at $30 a month, we would be on our way to pre-field training (and just think where a $50 or $100 monthly pledge would put us!). Every little bit adds up and we need you to be a part of our sending team!
Selling our home
How amazing it is to see the Lord answer specific prayers– as He has in regards to a place for us live this next year. We have had generous offers of free housing both in Virginia and Georgia. However, we still need to sell our home here, and this is one of our biggest prayer requests right now. Fundraising is a full-time job and we would love to be able to give it 100% of our time and energy. Not having a mortgage would make that possible. Please send this link to anyone you know that may be interested in purchasing a home in the Lynchburg, VA area: http://yourlynchburghome.wordpress.com/
Coming up. . .
April 15 - Christ the King (PCA) in Roanoke.
April 22 – Chapin Presbyterian (PCA) in South Carolina.
April 29 – Newberry ARP Church in South Carolina (Sunday School presentation)
May 5 – Yard Sale (details TBA)
May – Possibly a trip to Savannah, GA (still working on those details!)
June 1-30 – We’re spending the entire Month of June (and possibly July) in Athens, GA. Let us know if you want to schedule something in GA.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. May you have a very happy Resurrections Sunday! He is risen indeed!
Dios les bendiga,