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I don’t know how you manage your time, but I often get plunged into the tyranny of the urgent unless I specifically plan out my commitments and responsibilities for the week. I would like to encourage you this week in one particular area: evangelism. Jesus Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, calls us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The reason Jesus gives for this is “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” The heart of evangelism is to live and speak the Gospel so that others would give glory to God.

Occasionally, I find myself reading the Bible and learning doctrine out of obligation or responsibility. Paul gives instruction in this matter as he speaks to young Timothy regarding the purpose of knowledge and obedience: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).

During our Good Friday worship time, Adam read from Romans 5. Verses 1-5 summarize the wonderful news of the gospel: justification, peace with God, access by faith into grace and rejoicing in hope of glory. And, more than that, Paul says, we can rejoice in suffering because suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope and we have hope because of God’s love through the Holy Spirit.

Resurrection. It’s a startling word, a thrilling concept, and a spiritual keystone. It’s an essential for Christianity, a target for skeptics, and a theme for mythology and religions alike. This week gives us as a church another chance to focus uniquely on our central belief that Jesus rose from the dead. But within our church and without, reactions to this glorious truth can vary widely. Such has always been the case, as even a quick survey of biblical history will show.