Monday, April 20, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Remembering and celebrating Easter

Celebrating the Hope, Love and Joy of Easter

A devotional by Malinda Fugate

Key Scripture:
Hebrews 12:1b-3, 1 Peter 1:3-4a, 1 John 3:16 (NIV)

Easter isn’t over.

Yes, the date on this year’s calendar passed. Our celebrations sorely missed the community of church in person. The candy has been discounted and pretty much all that remains on the shelves are brightly colored marshmallow peeps, pushed to the corner to make way for fun in the sun merchandise. But, despite the lack of publicity, Easter remains.

This is because Easter is ever-present. The resurrection happened once, centuries ago, but the earth-astounding miracle was so great that it reverberates through the centuries. The effects ripple through each generation as that single act from the cross to the vacated tomb was for every soul that steps foot on planet Earth.

Perhaps it is fitting that the date on which we celebrate the holiday shifts each year, because it is impossible to tie down an occasion so holy, so impactful, so worthy of awe and wonder.

Because of Easter, we have joy.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1b-3

The cross was difficult. Death was painful. The ordeal was so traumatic that Jesus prayed that, “the cup would pass from Him” if God the Father was willing, yet ultimately He prayed that God’s will be done. Hebrews tells us that the coming joy was the reason he endured the torture of the cross, and we know that the love of God is so immense that He would do whatever it took to reunite us, His beloved yet sinful children, with Him eternally. That is the best news imaginable, the kind that inspires the greatest joy! And since there is nothing that can undo the miracle of Christ’s resurrection, our joy is lasting, withstanding any circumstance this earthly life tries to throw at us.

Because of Easter, we have hope.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-4a

We know how the story ends. Once we accept salvation from Jesus Christ, we are securely with Him through eternity. Viewing our circumstances through this big-picture perspective reminds us that our troubles today are temporary.

Our God is the giver of good gifts, and if He would give us His Son, there’s nothing He would withhold if it were for our benefit (Romans 8:32). He is a God who keeps His promises, and He promised to work out all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. That’s us. We can believe that and trust it at all times.

Because of Easter, we have love.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” – 1 John 3:16

The love of our Heavenly Father is too much to measure. He demonstrated that through Christ, offering saving power and a legacy of love for us to live out. Each day, we can abide, rest in, soak up, and swim in the thick of His love. We experience love between ourselves and God, and it overflows from our hearts onto the people around us. There is no greater gift than God’s love, and it takes a lifetime to uncover the treasures wrapped up in it. He constantly reveals everlasting love and new mercies each day!

So Happy Easter, dear friend. 

Jesus Christ is risen and our hearts will never cease the celebration!

Author Bio:
Malinda Fugate writes from the heart.

Though she serves full time as the Children’s Education Director at a church in Southern California, she is also a crafter of words published in books, including The Other Three Sixteens (May 2020 release with Ambassador International), Bible Time for Active Kids, which is an activities-based devotional that is available for purchase on Amazon, and The Pen and the Sword: Connecting With the Word of God, which is an interactive creative writing journal.

Malinda earned a communications degree with a theatre emphasis from Azusa Pacific University, then worked behind the scenes at the Los Angeles Salem radio stations, including The Fish and KKLA.

Her writing includes children's faith resources, commercial copywriting, and various faith-based stage and screenplays. Malinda lives by the beach with her pup, Yoshi.

When she's not writing or working at church, she might be creating art, reading, or exploring the many adventures to be found in the Los Angeles area.

Connect with Malinda:

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