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Summary: Let’s reason together about living for Christ on this side of Easter.

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WHAT NOW?

INTRO.- ILL.- A group of expectant fathers were in a waiting room, while their wives were in the process of delivering babies. A nurse came in and announced to one man that his wife had just given birth to twins. "That’s quite a coincidence" he responded, "I play for the Minnesota Twins!" A few minutes later another nurse came in and announced to another man that he was the father of triplets. "That’s amazing," he exclaimed, "I work for the 3M company."

At that point, a third man fell out of his chair and laid down on the floor. Somebody asked him if he was feeling ill. "No," he responded, "but I work for the 7-up company."

ILL.- Charles Osgood of CBS Morning News said, "Babies are always more trouble than you thought - and more wonderful."

Babies are definitely more trouble than you thought they would be and hopefully, more wonderful.

ILL.- Someone wrote, "Are You Ready for Children?"

Are you considering having children? To determine whether you are truly prepared for the experience, we suggest you take this set of simple tests:

MESS TEST:

Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and rub on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

TOY TEST:

Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you may substitute roofing tacks or broken bottles.) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold.

Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake a child at night).

GROCERY STORE TEST:

Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

DRESSING TEST:

Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag making sure that all arms stay inside.

FEEDING TEST:

Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

NIGHT TEST:

Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 to 12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8:00 PM begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 PM. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00 PM. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4:00 AM. Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for five years. Look cheerful.

Brothers and sisters, giving birth to children is one thing. Raising them is something else! Giving birth is not an easy task as all mothers can testify, but raising them to adulthood is even more difficult. SO, AFTER THE BABY IS BORN, THEN WHAT? That’s when a ton of work begins.

ILL.- The Academy Awards are a done deal. Denzel Washington got the Oscar and Russell Crowe didn’t. Halle Berry got it and Sissy Spacek didn’t. WHAT NOW? Well, it’s back to work for all of them.

ILL.- The 2002 Men’s NCAA Basketball tournament is over. Maryland won and Indiana didn’t. What now? It’s back to work.

ILL.- Easter 2002. The Southeast Christian Church of Louisville, KY, had 22,415 people in three services for Easter. On Palm Sunday they had 16,728. What now? More than likely their attendance will go back to that 16,000 mark.

Easter 2002, Mattoon Christian Church. We had very good attendances for our various services. What now? We must go back to work. We must go on living. We must go on living for Christ, and hopefully, we will go on living even more passionately.

Most people are very passionate about many things: sports, hobbies, music, politics, etc. And hopefully, we can and will become more passionate about living for Christ!

Many times after Easter is over in our churches there is a letdown, but rightfully, there should be a stepup! We should be more excited about Christ and Christianity. We should be more committed and more passionate. And we should want to work harder. We should want to go forward even more. We should want to press on to greater heights in Christ!

PROP.- Let’s think together, reason together about living for Christ on this side of Easter. Here is what we should do:

1- Trust God

2- Judge not

3- Make disciples

4- Love always

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