Doubt and despair have a funny way of sneaking in the backdoor after hours.
[Note: Didn’t expect it, but I’m jumping back in. Preaching on Easter Sunday tomorrow. First time in Spanish, translating myself into English. Wow, I need to be reminded of God’s grace and power again. Pray for me!]
I’ve preached Easter sermons 13 out of the last 15 years. Most of those years, right after celebrating Easter, I would get hit by lies and doubts and want to quit. Sometimes on the way home from service, other times that night when I was wrung out. I am the worst at tying my performance to my happiness. Even Jesus’ followers had their doubts after His resurrection (Thomas, Peter).
If you feel that way on Sunday or Monday, it’s a normal temptation. But it’s also one from the pit of hell and smells like smoke. Be quick to repent and run to the truth of Jesus’ love. If you can’t remember, call until you find someone who will remind you. Call me and I’ll remind you!
You are beloved. NOT based on how well your Easter sermon goes or how smart you are or how many people attended or how many of them think you are awesome or how much (insert name of your worst critic here) thinks you stink.
You are beloved simply because God loves you. Because Jesus died for you and was raised again and by the faith the Father gives you, you receive his life and righteousness! Prepare and preach like a warrior remembering your acceptability is BASED ON WHAT JESUS DID!!!
Revel in this: you GET to be part of the in-breaking of GOD’s Kingdom as you preach and pastor/plant JESUS’ church. It isn’t your church. Or even technically your sermon. The Holy Spirit preaches the gospel as you preach. He is the power!
One other pro tip: Don’t take yourself too seriously. My colleague Tom Wood wrote a great post about an Easter sermon illustration he used one year. I dare you to use it. I want to hear the stories!
As a planter and a coach for church planters with CMM, I have to say I’m proud of all of you who preaching the gospel in church plants on Resurrection Sunday. Its our big day as Christians!