The Easter Gift of Faith

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Today’s Message

I don’t know why we get into the gift-giving mood at Christmas. I think we ought to be getting into it at Easter, because as soon as Jesus Christ shows up— risen from the dead— He gives two gifts. The first kind is essential to receiving the second kind. The first is the gift of faith in Him. The second is a cluster of gifts: the gift of His presence, the gift of His peace, the gift of His power, and the gift of purpose. This week we will look at the first kind and next week the second…

The first and most important gift the risen Lord can give you is faith that welcomes Him. The reason this faith is possible is because Jesus is not a dead teacher the way any great religious leader or philosopher is. When he rises from the dead He comes to His first followers so that He can draw them (and us) to Himself. He says to Doubting Thomas: “Stop doubting and believe. What He says to Thomas He says to us… We believe Easter faith is just as possible today as it was these first followers of Jesus…

Today’s Scriptures | John 20.19-29

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24  One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

28. “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

29. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”


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