Prepare for Easter
Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave claiming His victory over sin and death. Christians all over the world gather on this weekend to remember this hope: that God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ, wrapped Himself in flesh, came to earth in the form of a child and lived a perfect life no man could live. He was hung on a cross, bore the weight of our sin and died the death that we deserved. He was laid in a tomb and resurrected on the third day. Through faith in Jesus, we can walk in a relationship with Jesus and hold fast to an eternal life with Him.
Our desire is to remember the victory and freedom we have in Jesus and to live in response to that hope. As Easter weekend approaches, we want to take time to corporately prepare through fasting, prayer, giving and gathering.
PREPARE FOR EASTER BY FASTING
WHAT IS FASTING?
Fasting is abstaining from something that is, in itself, a good thing in order to show our greater need for God and His work in our lives.
WHY DO WE FAST TO PREPARE FOR EASTER?
Easter is the greatest holiday in the lives of Christians. Easter celebrates the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross. We do not want to enter into this time lightly, and fasting helps prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ work on our behalf. We fast to remind us of our great need for God and to ask Him to continue to work in our lives and the lives of those around us. John Piper says that “fasting is a way of saying with our stomach and our whole body how much we need and want and trust Jesus.” Fasting expresses that our hunger for God is greater than our hunger for the things of this world. It is an expression of our desire for more of God’s presence in our lives. When we fast, we recognize our inability to move forward without the work of God in our ministry (Acts 13:1-3). Fasting is a sign of our longing for Christ’s return to gather His people to Himself.
HOW DO WE FAST?
Fasting should be an aspect of our personal relationship with God and helps us reflect on the goodness of God. Even though our desire is to want to tell others about our fast, it is not meant to to be a show (Matthew 6:16-18). Pick something to give up in order to spend more time focusing on your relationship with God and praying to Him. In fasting, we choose to give up something we love for our Creator, whom we love more.
HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR EASTER BY FASTING?
Choose something in your life you enjoy that you could give up this week, March 7th - March 13th, to focus on the goodness of God and your relationship with Him.
“When we feast, we gladly taste the emblem of our heavenly food: the Bread of Life, Jesus himself. And when we fast, we say, “I love the reality more than I love the emblem.” Both feasting and fasting are worship for the Christian. Both magnify Christ. Of course, both have their peculiar dangers. The danger of feasting is that we fall in love with the gift, and the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and boast in our willpower, our discipline.” - John Piper
PREPARE FOR EASTER THROUGH PRAYER
WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayer is connecting with God through listening, speaking to, and being with God. We can come to God with prayers of gratitude, praise, request and confession.
WHY DO WE PRAY TO PREPARE FOR EASTER?
We pray because God desires to be in relationship with us. Prayer is a response to God's call to draw near to Him (Psalm 145:18). Jesus prayed to connect and be with God (Luke 6:12). We want to model our prayer lives after Jesus', knowing that this is the means to spiritual strength (Ephesians 3:16-21).
HOW DO WE PRAY?
Prayer is talking with God. We give thanks to Him for who He is and praise Him for His greatness. We share with Him honestly about our feelings and thoughts. We ask for forgiveness for sin. We ask Him to provide and to guide our lives. When we pray, God reveals Himself to us (Matthew 6:9-13).
HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR EASTER THROUGH PRAYER?
There are three ways you can be a part this week, March 14th - March 20th.
- Pray to God using the daily prompts below:
Sunday: Pray for a deep desire to know God
Monday: Pray for our Adult, Student and KiDS ministry here at The Fellowship
Tuesday: Pray for our staff and elders
Wednesday: Pray for our church community
Thursday: For for our local, state and national governments
Friday: Pray for those who don’t know Jesus to come to know Him.
Saturday: Pray for those in need
- Join us on Wednesday, March 17th, on our Round Rock and Hutto Campuses for a Prayer Gathering at 6:30PM.
- Let us rejoice and celebrate answered prayers with you. Let us know how God is moving in your life below:
PREPARE FOR EASTER BY giving
WHAT IS GIVING?
Generous giving is a biblical practice by Christians to meet the needs of others.
WHY DO WE PREPARE FOR EASTER IN THIS WAY?
As Christians, we're called to give generously. The commands given to the Israelite people to tithe are typically exemplified by tithes of things, grain, livestock, etc. Sacrificing these items was a sign of trust in God's provision for us. "If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings" (Isaiah 58: 10-12). The Old Testament takes particular note of the needs of a few groups: the widow, the orphan, the immigrant, the poor, and even those in jail (Deuteronomy 10:18-19). Each person's value comes from being made in the image of God. This value calls us to give to all those in need. We ourselves are aliens (1 Peter 2:11, Ephesians 2:19, Hebrews 11:13) and were orphans (John 14:18, Ephesians 1:5, Galatians 4:5, Romans 8:15 and 8:23), and only Jesus' redeeming work has brought us from spiritual beggars to co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). We are now free to be a part of God's redeeming work.
HOW DO WE GIVE?
God calls us to give generously of our time, our talents, and our finances. When we give generously, we are living out our mission of reaching people for Christ and helping others grow to be like Him. Giving means recognizing the needs around us and helping to meet those needs.
HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR EASTER THROUGH GIVING?
After the winter storm, we recognize a need to serve our community in this way by being a part of restocking our local food pantries. You can be a part of preparing for Easter by collecting and donating canned goods and non-perishables at The Fellowship Church. We will be collecting donations March 21st - March 27th in our offices or you can drop off donations in our foyers on March 28th.
PREPARE FOR EASTER BY Gathering
WHAT IS A GATHERING?
A gathering of believers happens when Christians meet with each other to enjoy fellowship through corporate teaching, prayer, singing, encouragement, and communion. In short, a gathering of believers happens anytime two or more Christians come together to seek and praise the Lord (Matthew 18:20).
WHY DO WE GATHER TO PREPARE FOR EASTER?
We gather together because God has set us apart from the world to be in relationship with Him and to share our experience with others (1 Peter 2:9). As God's people, we are dedicated to worshipping Him, serving each other, and loving our neighbors. The most loving thing we can do for someone is to point them to Jesus, and gathering together encourages and equips us to do that.
HOW DO WE GATHER?
The best way to come together is to gather in person. When we do this, there is a warmth that leads to a deeper connection and greater desire to serve one another. We live in a time where we can accomplish this through a variety of ways. We have the ability to call fellow believers on the phone to pray with them and encourage each other. We can use zoom to study God’s word together and hold each other accountable. Whether it's with one other friend or a room full of believers, we should seek to spur one another toward good works (Hebrews 10:24-25).
HOW CAN YOU BE A PART OF PREPARING FOR EASTER BY GATHERING?
You can be a part of preparing for Easter by inviting neighbors, family and friends to our Easter weekend gatherings! Pick up a kit in our foyers and invite neighbors throughout the week, or join a canvassing group on Wednesday, March 31st.