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April 30, 2023 Pastor Prep Notes

April 30 Resurrection Power “Even If” God’s Goodness Brings Pain


Scripture to Remember:

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you Romans 8:11


Gospel Story: Acts 3:16-31 Arrested and put into jail for healing a man.


Suffering for Doing Good13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison— 20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.[f] 21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.


Reflection:


Peter gets it. Our experience of resurrection power is not devoid of human pain and suffering.


Peter and John healed a man. It provided Peter with an opportunity to share that it was “faith in Jesus name has healed him before your eyes.” Resurrection power living in Peter he shared it with another. It gave Peter an opportunity to share the Gospel. And more than 5000 others believed. Wow. Please take note that beyond the miracle what irritated the religious leaders most was the fact that “Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead.” That’s what they got arrested for.


So when Peter says, “even if you suffer for doing what is right (healing and sharing the Good News), God will reward you for it. Don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead you must worship Christ as the Lord of your life!” Peter has lived this first hand. What gave him this confidence? RESURRECTION POWER! We get to live our lives “as a response to God from a clean conscience.” “Effective” not because of how we live but “because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Yes, we get to live in Resurrection Power “even if” the wonder working power in our lives stirs up things in others that bring us pain.


Peter maintains this amazing depth of humility, mercy, love and grace as he writes these words in 1 Peter 3. And as one who lived them, practiced them and encourages us to do the same.


My prayer, I want to let Peter lead me closer to Jesus. “Even if” if i am to be accused, blamed, shunned, disregarded or shamed, may it be because i with all my heart, imperfect though it may be, I have sought to live life at home, on the move, at work and in the world with the love and humility of Jesus Christ - who lived, died and rose again- that I might live for Him! …. WITH RESURRECTION POWER. I pray the same for all of us. “After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit….”! Bless you family.

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