Let Your Gospel Enthusiasm Show: Cultivating a greater appreciation for the power of the resurrected Lord.

February was a great month for The Capital Church!  I want to thank you for your hard work in making last month’s outreach a success.  In particular, I want to thank you for bringing your friends to Friend Day on February 12th.  We had a powerful time of worship led by the Emmanuel Singers, and we talked about how the greatest act of friendship in history was when Jesus died for us on the cross.  God moved in many hearts that day.  One young girl was contemplating suicide, but Jesus intervened in her life and she has hope that was not present in her life before that encounter with the Lord.  Thank God for His Spirit’s work among us.  I pray we will continue to be a place where the hurting can find help and security.  Does that excite you?

Because this is basketball country, I’m sure many of you are following the March Madness games.  I believe there will be 67 games set to determine the NCAA champions.  If you’ve ever been to a college basketball game, or any serious sporting competition, you can’t help but notice the passion and enthusiasm of the fans.  While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with enjoying a good game, there is something we ought to be much more excited about as believers.  We ought to be excited about the work of the Spirit among us.  We ought to be as enthusiastic in praising the God of the universe as those who scream themselves hoarse and work themselves into a frenzy over athletic prowess.

I wonder what it would be like if people would get as excited about Jesus as they do about sports.  It’s okay to be demonstrative when your team is playing a rival.  It’s acceptable to jump with glee when your team makes a game-clinching three pointer with only seconds to go.  It’s normal to paint yourself blue or red (or whatever color) and wear funny hats and be exuberant in support of your team.  But, when it comes to worship, similar levels of emotional demonstration are often frowned upon as excessive and emotionalistic.

Now let me be clear.  I am NOT saying we should go wild in our services like they do in college basketball games.  The truth is, overly demonstrative worship can often distract us from the object of our worship.  The more we focus on what we do during our times of praise, the less authentic it becomes.  What I AM saying is that we should be as enthusiastic about the transforming power of the Gospel as we are about the outcome of a game that has absolutely no eternal value.

In our current sermon series, “Desperate Households,” we are taking a closer look at what the Bible has to say about the family.  My prayer is that we would get as passionate about helping desperate families and about reaching out to those who don’t know Jesus as we are about hoping our team performs well this month.

Life can be challenging; but we have hope that the world does not have.  It is a hope that is worth getting excited about.  It is a hope that is not based on our resources or our abilities.  It is a hope that is based on God’s love for us. It is a hope that transcends even the power of death itself.  That should cause us to want to celebrate.  Could it be that we don’t get too excited about that because we don’t appreciate the reality of it?  My prayer in the time between now and Easter, the annual acknowledgment of what we celebrate every Sunday, is that we will come to a new appreciation of the power of the resurrection and what it means for us.  If we get excited about that, we’ll know God has done a work in our hearts!

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