Summary: Three Blessings for the devoted Christian

“Easter Sunrise Service – 2010”

“Blessings of the Early Riser”

1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"

3So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.”

John 20:1-8

Easter Sunday is the happiest day of the year! Kids are hunting around the house for their Easter Baskets that are filled with candy eggs, chocolate bunnies, and yellow, marshmallow chicks. Talk about a sugar high! Later we will have Easter egg hunts; some churches will have Easter programs, and free pancake breakfasts. Most of the world hasn’t a clue to what the celebration is all about – and part of our job is to educate them. But they are celebrating. The celebration is expressed in a lot of happy ways – but the important thing is that on the glorious occasion of our Savior’s resurrection – He is praised. He is the Lord of lords! He is the King of kings. He is our Creator.

Your presence here tells me a little bit about you. It tells me that you love Jesus. It tells me you are probably a spiritual leader. It tells me you have a deeper commitment, maybe a deeper love than most. And I want to share three blessings with you that the Bible promises for those like yourself.

First of all, I want to remind you that there IS a reward for the seeker. We love to sing Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness – and all these things (all that your heart desires) will be added unto you. Hebrews 11:6 says,

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

We can’t please God without faith. We must have the faith to believe that He exists, but also that He will reward those who earnestly seek Him. I don’t know if Mary was seeking Jesus that first Easter sunrise. She went to the tomb believing He was dead. She was going to express her love – perhaps in weeping for her beloved Savior. But she was rewarded for her love. And I want you to know that you will be reward for your love. There is a reward for the seeker. The Word of God says,

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD” Jeremiah 29:11-13

You presence here indicates a love for the Lord and a desire to worship Him. I want to tell you that as you seek for the Lord with ALL your heart – He will be found by you. Most Christians are missing out on so many blessings because they are not whole heartedly seeking. It’s half hearted at best. It’s just enough religion to get them to heaven. You are not like that, are you? Continue to seek God with all your heart – it will be rewarded.

I want to know that there is a reward for the Overcomer. That first Easter, Mary overcame her fear and her desire for sleep. She was rewarded later on as being the first person to see the resurrected Christ. The Bible says,

“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7

“He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.” Rev 2:11

“To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” Rev. 2:11

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