Regards, Peter
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> From: Anne Roberts <robertsppa@bigpond.com> > Date: 8 April 2020 at 8:39:39 am ACST > To: “chairman@balhannah.org” <chairman@balhannah.org> > Subject: Re: HOPE IS HERE! > > Peter thanks for the Easter message you have sent. Apart from giving me direction for Easter you have given me a name for a garden I have been bringing to life for residents in the MSU at Estia at Strathalbyn. All I need now is Hope in something I can place in that garden for them. If you know anyone who does art work suitable for outside I’d love to know. God bless you and your family , many thanks, Anne Roberts > > Sent from my iPhone > >> On 8 Apr 2020, at 8:23 am, Smith, Peter (DHS) <Peter.Smith22@sa.gov.au> wrote: >> >> HOPE IS HERE (click on video link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX5VNgzhgQ8 >> >> >> >> Hello Church Family, I pray that you are all keeping well – Physically, Mentally and Spiritually. Easter is going to be rather strange this year with: >> no Church gatherings >> no Family get togethers >> no going away >> no visiting other church communities >> >> Despite all the unknown, the isolation and the fear, we as believers still have HOPE that we can cling to, HOPE that comes from the Easter message >> Hope of Forgiveness >> Hope of God’s Love >> Hope of Eternal Life >> Hope of Eternal Reward >> >> 1 Corinthians 15:1-23 New Life Version (NLV) >> >> Jesus Christ Was Raised from the Dead >> >> 15 Christian brothers and sisters, I want to tell the Good News to you again. It is the same as I preached to you before. You received it and your faith has been made strong by it. 2 This is what I preached to you. You are saved from the punishment of sin by the Good News if you keep hold of it, unless your faith was worth nothing. 3 First of all, I taught you what I had received. It was this: Christ died for our sins as the Holy Writings said He would. 4 Christ was buried. He was raised from the dead three days later as the Holy Writings said He would. 5 Christ was seen by Peter. After that, the twelve followers saw Him. 6 After that, more than 500 of His followers saw Him at one time. Most of them are still here, but some have died. 7 After that, James saw Christ. Then all the missionaries saw Him. 8 Last of all, Christ showed Himself to me as if I had been born too late. 9 For I am the least important of all the missionaries. I should not be called a missionary because I made it so hard for God’s church. 10 I am different now. It is all because of what God did for me by His loving-favour. His loving-favour was not wasted. I worked harder than all the other missionaries. But it was not I who worked. It was God’s loving-favour working through me. 11 It makes no difference how you heard the Good News. It could have been through the other missionaries or through me. The important thing is this: We preached the Good News to you and you believed it. >> >> We Will Be Raised from the Dead Also >> >> 12 We preached to you that Christ has been raised from the dead. But some of you say that people are not raised from the dead. Why do you say this? 13 If the dead are not raised, then Christ was not raised from the dead. 14 If Christ was not raised from the dead, then what we preach to you is worth nothing. Your faith in Christ is worth nothing. 15 That makes us all liars because we said that God raised Christ from the dead. But God did not raise Christ from the dead if the dead do not come to life again. 16 If the dead are not raised, then not even Christ was raised from the dead. 17 If Christ was not raised from the dead, your faith is worth nothing and you are still living in your sins. 18 Then the Christians who have already died are lost in sin. 19 If we have hope in Christ in this life only, we are more sad than anyone else. 20 But it is true! Christ has been raised from the dead! He was the first One to be raised from the dead and all those who are in graves will follow. 21 Death came because of a man, Adam. Being raised from the dead also came because of a Man, Christ. 22 All men will die as Adam died. But all those who belong to Christ will be raised to new life. 23 This is the way it is: Christ was raised from the dead first. Then all those who belong to Christ will be raised from the dead when He comes again. >> >> If Jesus didn’t come back to life we would be hopeless? But because He lives, because we serve a RISEN Saviour, There is HOPE. There is an old chorus that we used to sing: ‘Because He lives I can face tomorrow, Because he lives all fear is gone, Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living just because He lives’. We may not be able to physically worship together this weekend but it is so important to remember and to celebrate what Easter is all about. It is about HOPE. Let me share four hopeful things that Easter brings to us. >> HOPE of forgiveness >> >> Death came into the world through sin and the result of sinning is death. The truth is that we are all guilty because we have all sinned. Who can dispute Romans 3:23 that says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. That is pretty bad news. But there is Good News! Jesus came to earth to pay the price for sin. Listen to what John the Baptist said when he saw Jesus. “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 >> >> Those who were Spirit filled in Jesus’ day knew even before it happened that Jesus had come to be the sacrificial Lamb that takes our sins away. Now we have hope of forgiveness. Peter said it best when he was sharing the Good News with a Roman soldier. He said, “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43 >> >> John said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 >> >> Jesus brought us hope of forgiveness. All we need to do is believe. Believe, come to Jesus and confess your sin to Him. The hope; the expectation; the promise; is that we will be forgiven. Believe it! >> >> >> >> HOPE of being loved >> >> “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 >> >> Because of Easter we have hope of forgiveness and the hope of being loved. Jesus said that because God loved us He gave Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins. What love! Imagine a Father who would give His son to die for people who hated Him and were in rebellion with Him. Imagine a Son who was so loving He was willing to do it – to die for a wicked and sinful people. Imagine a love so great that it would provide us a way to be forgiven and a way to return that love. Because of Easter we have the hope and expectation of being forgiven and the hope of entering into a loving relationship with God. >> >> Jesus is ALIVE! Jesus LIVES! And because HE lives we too will live. >> >> >> >> Hope of eternal life >> >> “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 >> >> Paul continued, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 >> >> We have the hope of eternal life through our Saviour Jesus Christ. He provided forgiveness for us. He declared His love for us. He provided eternal life for us through His meritorious death on the cross. >> >> >> >> HOPE of Eternal Reward >> >> “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42 >> >> “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” Matthew 16:27 >> >> “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 >> >> It is absolutely crucial that we have faith in God. We must believe He exists but we also must believe He rewards us for our earnest search of Him. WHY? Because we might think that believing is all we need to do. Some believe we don’t even have to repent – just believe. The result is that there is no change; no motivation to seek God. That isn’t what the Bible teaches. We need to believe He is a rewarder of the earnest seeker. We need to “seek FIRST the Kingdom” and expect God will bless us and provide for us. >> >> The Word of God says, >> >> “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 >> >> “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 >> >> “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” 1 Peter 5:4 >> >> Take note of these scriptures as they will help you to endure difficult times. They will encourage you when you are down. They will help you remember there is an eternal reward waiting ahead for you. >> >> There is a resurrection for us and we will reign with Christ. We will be His priestly representatives in a heavenly Kingdom that has no sorrow or tears and its glory is beyond our comprehension. >> >> Do you have hope? Easter is about hope. Hope of forgiveness and love and eternal life and eternal reward. >> >> PRAYER: Jesus, I need you in my life. Please forgive me for my sin. Thank you for dying for me and paying the price for me. Thank you for loving me. I believe your offer of eternal life and eternal reward. I expect it. My hope is in You. Give me the grace to live the rest of my life for You. Amen >> >> >> >> There is nothing like singing to lift your spirits – here’s my low calorie Easter selection that you may wish to use (Lyrics included) >> >> >> >> In Christ Alone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91VuGOADc_w >> >> I Stand Amazed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elmHMMpevo8 >> >> Great Are You lord https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZqV6i98SkA >> >> Lord I Need You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rR_Rdb1CTE >> >> The Old rugged cross https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCPMSropr1M >> >> Cornerstone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvLxZEU02uI >> >> Amazing Grace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrwkCOUOliI >> >> The Power Of The Cross https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS7fc7VTJZs >> >> Worthy Is The Lamb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMsihDoX3uM >> >> Crown Him (Majesty) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIYLXJ1Qxa8 >> >> O Praise The name https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqBpifDpNKc >> >> Hosanna Praise Is Rising https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAaQ5EEXidc >> >> At The Cross https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00Nci1ATvPg >> >> My Jesus My Saviour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqSQvoinDE4 >> >> Through It All https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCX7ldINNmg >> >> >> >> Blessings >> >> Peter Smith