As I write this post we are four days beyond Easter 2013. Some people in our neighborhood are peering over their lawns, wondering when they should fertilize. Others are pondering how much damage winter winds have done to their homes. Yes, it’s starting to look like spring, and there are a lot of household jobs begging for attention. But did you notice? It’s ONLY four days AFTER our celebration of Easter! And along with my neighbors, I’m thinking about yard work, painting, and a host of other jobs. What about you?

What was it like at your church this past Sunday? Carol and I delighted in the fact that last Sunday was the first Easter in fourteen years that we worshiped and celebrated with our children and grandchildren. That made the day special! But it was also special because along with hundreds of other worshipers, we stood as a congregation and exclaimed, “He is RISEN! He is RISEN INDEED!” In fact, we shouted the good news several times. A lot of us actually believed what we proclaimed in word and song. In the end the music was majestic! The sermon was challenging. But after about 90 minutes the service was over.

Jesus—the risen, living, triumphant Jesus—anticipated that we would be “fickle” people, returning to fishing (John 21:3)……and yard work. He knew that we would have short attention spans. That is why he constantly taught his followers before and after the resurrection to consider what life would be like when they realized that Jesus really was the Messiah. On several occasions Jesus presented his followers with what I would like to refer to as “kingdom commandments.” These commandments reveal the will and ways of Jesus as expressed to His disciples—not just the Twelve, but people like you and me. You could say that these “kingdom commandments” are found throughout Scripture. But I’m thinking of what we sometimes refer to as the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) and the “Sermon on the Plain” (Luke 6:20-49). Over the next several weeks I want to look at the King’s commands as expressed specifically in Luke 6. So stay tuned.

OK, let’s come full circle. Why am I telling you about things in the neighborhood? I doubt if you care about my front lawn or the condition of the siding. And yet that’s where a lot of us find ourselves just four days after Easter. What a pity! What a shame! I’m not trying to put you on a guilt trip, but I find it utterly amazing that we can say, “He is RISEN INDEED” on Sunday, and then be captured by lawn care later in the week. Did you recite those same words at your Easter worship? Do you believe what you were saying? If so, you can’t simply live your life in maintenance mode any longer. You see, if Jesus is the victorious, risen King, you and I must live our lives for Him. 

The “Sermon on the Plain” will give us some insight into what living for King Jesus looks like. But the Apostle Paul said it best in 2 Corinthians 5:15 when he wrote, “And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised (HCSB).” Yes, He is risen! So plan on living your life for the King in all that you do.

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