By Michael Hernandez
OXNARD—“Sometimes God does His best work in the dark at the 11th hour—just in the neck of time. When you are disappointed don’t lose hope,” said New Life Pastor Steve Abraham in his Easter message. “I promise you that God has not abandoned you. It’s Not Over…”
Pastor Abraham shared three points during the New Life livestream message taken from John 20:1-18 which was livestreamed three separate times with the first livestream watched by 947.
“Mary Magdalene was surprised by the empty tomb. Peter and John ran to the tomb and discovered Jesus was not there. They were surprised. They didn’t understand that Jesus Christ had to rise from the dead. They went back home. Why did they not wait?
“Don’t walk away when you lose hope. What do you do when you tithe faithfully and it seems like windows have closed to you? What do you do when your raise your kids (in the Lord) and they seem to depart? Don’t head home and lose hope.”
“Have you noticed that two people can experience the same thing and come to different conclusions? What has devasted you recently? What are you sorrowful about? Draining finances? The death of a loved one?
“God cares for you. God come to you in the middle of a struggle—in the middle of a mess. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.’ (Jeremiah 29:13).
“If you’ve lost hope, keep seeking Jesus in your finances or in a medical report. Sometimes Jesus sneaks up on situations and people unexpectedly. He just shows up. God will show up and we might not recognize Him. Sometimes He sends people like sandpaper in our life trying to build character in our life. We don’t recognize what Jesus is doing. Keep seeking Him.”
“Peter and John walked away from the tomb, but Mary Magdalene kept seeking the Lord. Jesus calls Mary by name (John 20:16). We have 7.8 billon people in this world, but God cares about me. He knows my name. God knows your name. He sees your struggle, pain, and sorrow.
“Mary was seeking Jesus the entire time. Jesus was always with her. He never left her side. He never leaves you, nor forsakes you. He never abandons you.
“God will use the trials and your deep sorrow so you might surrender to God. Sometimes we won’t surrender to Him in times of blessing and prosperity. Sometimes He has to use the adversity.
“It’s Not Over…He is still raising up marriages…dead bodies. He is Risen…’I have the keys of Hades and of Death,’ (Rev. 1:18). God holds the keys today. He has the keys to discouragement. He nailed sorrow and sadness to the Cross 2,000 years ago. He nailed addiction to the Cross 2,000 years ago.
“Is Easter over with the death of Jesus on Good Friday. No Easter is not over on Saturday. Praise God for Easter Sunday—He rose from the dead.”
Saying Yes to Jesus:
“God sent Jesus Christ to die in our place. On this April 12, 2020, God is trying to get your attention. He wants you to surrender your life to Him. Maybe you abandoned your walk with Jesus Christ. He has not abandoned you.
“If you never begun a relationship or have walked away from Him, would you pray with me: ‘I thank you that 2,000 years ago, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to die in my place. Today, I surrender my will, my way, my plan. I surrender my life and I ask You, Jesus, to come into my heart and be the Lord and Savior of my life.”
(Editor’s Note: New Life viewers who prayed this prayer are invited to participate in a zoom conference on Wednesday, April 15th. For more information contact the church at: https://www.newlifeoxnard.com/connect.)
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online
news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].