We had our annual Easter Egg Hunt and Carnival on Saturday with an army of children gathering eggs scattered across all 20 acres. It was like watching an angry happy hoarde of locusts.
Then, we walked through our final Premonition week, walking through characters in the Old Testament who were living prophecies of Jesus Christ, by looking at Psalm 22:
- The Thoughts — This psalm was instrumental in me coming to Christ between my freshman and sophomore years at Stanford University. It gives me chills every time I study it.
- The Prophecies — I referenced a bunch of prophecies from Psalm 22 that Jesus fulfilled at the cross. If you didn't get them all, here they are, in order: Matthew 27:46, 45; Isaiah 66:24; Matthew 27:39, 43, 56; 1 Peter 5:8; John 19:36, 28, 37, 24.
- The Story — Here's the story that I read yesterday. I got it Thursday from a guy in our church. It was powerful:
- "Tim – I have been attending Grace for just under a year now, and I wanted… you [to] know how much it has changed my life. I was raised [in a major denomination]… My [child] didn't like it… and…I didn't…either. So rather than continue doing something I didn't really like or believe in, I came to Grace at the suggestion of [friends]. And what I have found is a home… In the past, I have spent my life trying to be perfect. What I have learned at Grace is that I don't have to be perfect. In fact, I now recognize that I CAN'T be perfect and that is why I need Jesus. I have learned that faith is not about who you "try" to be. It's about who you are… It has been an incredible change for my [child] as well. It is no longer a struggle to "drag" [them] to church…We talk about the lessons and I am so impressed with all the youth ministries. I am participating in Own it 365…Reading the Bible…not out of…obligation…but because I want to …to know Jesus better… I know that I have a long way to go and the journey to God will not always be easy. But for the first time in my life, I at least feel like I'm on the right path and headed the right direction. Thank you…"
- The Salvations — There were a bunch of people, maybe 50 or so, that professed that they received Christ this weekend. AWESOME!!! We ended up having over 2600 in attendance too!
- The Stories — Here:
- "Tim, I just wanted to let you know [about the] sermon… the crucifixion on the beam was incredibly moving. I know many people, including me, had tears in their eyes…"
- "[It] was incredible, seeing all those people pray for their salvation… I’ve been at Grace for 3 years and I now have that relationship with God thru Jesus. Yesterdays message gave me complete peace which I didn’t have and what you said that brought me that peace was, “Feeling guilty for a sin is sacrilegious”. WOW, how many other people have that guilt due to the lack of their relationship with Jesus?"
- "We both participated in church via Grace online this morning. WHAT A BLESSING to us and to so many! HE HAS RISEN!!! PS: And bonus that it was quickly accessible for replay of a line that I wanted to re-hear!"
- "My…son…received Christ… Jesus was the first first fruit… My son will be among the Harvest."
Next weekend, we'll kick-off our new "Got Wisdom?" as we introduce everyone to God's crash course on TRUE wisdom from Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, then walk through a series of case studies of great moments and not-so-great moments of wisdom!
P.S. We launch our new 5:00 p.m. Saturday service in two weeks!