Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Egg-stra Special Easter Part One: Plus Easter Decorating Ideas

All Things Become New in Our Heart
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17

We used to sing a song in my youth group that said, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” And it’s so true! This is the first thing that changes in us when we express our belief in Jesus and ask Him to be Lord of our life – our heart beats truly for the first time. We suddenly have this overriding desire to please God in every way.
When I married Kelly I loved him with all my heart. But now I know him better. We’ve shared new experiences and faced adversity together, and my love for him is even deeper. That’s the way it is with Christ. From the moment we give Him our heart, we begin a new relationship. We know Him through the pages of the Bible. We build memories as we share each day. And He holds our hand in the heartache and trials.

The more we love Him, the more we try to find out what makes Him happy. I know my husband loves it when I greet him at the door with a hug and a smile. He appreciates it when I run him a hot bath if he’s worked in the rain all day. He loves it when I show interest in and help him with his work. So why would I not do these things? Jesus came to show us the heart of God, and through Him, we get a better idea of how to show Him our love.

One thing He especially appreciates is when we love His other children. Isn’t that a key to winning the heart of any caring parent? To our Father, this is essential for every Christian.

            How do we do that?
·         We care about the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of others
·         We make people priority over things
·         We are honest with others, showing grace in conflict
·         We nurture relationships

It’s true that past experiences can make us hesitant to open our hearts if we’ve been hurt. But Easter is all about fresh starts and new beginnings. We don’t have to love God or others in our own power. God promised, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezek. 11:19 and 36:26).

That’s the way God loves us, the way Jesus showed us His love, and the way He wants us to love Him back – with undivided attention, a new spirit, and a soft heart. And when we love Him, we can’t help but care about His other children.

Easter Decorating Idea: There are bunnies and chicks everywhere, flowers in pastel, and lots of candy, but not always signs of Jesus at Easter. I encourage you to make your home bright, inviting, and full of hope with flowers, lambs, tasteful images of the empty cross and tomb, and written expressions of what Easter means to you personally. Let the world know it’s not just spring and chocolate that makes your heart sing. And don’t forget to dress up the outside. Yard flags, flowers, a lighted cross, or even a replica of the empty tomb boldly proclaims the love of your heart.

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