What You Can Learn About Easter From Michael Jordan

John Hill

"Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’?  Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see thatthe fields are white for harvest."  John 4:35

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…"  Romans 1:16a

Well it's official: the Lakers are a bad team and have no chance to win an NBA championship this year.  I know that information is not exactly a shocking surprise for you if you have paid even modest attention to professional basketball this season.

As Easter approaches, I am reminded of another basketball related story from when Michael Jordan, who many believe was the greatest player ever, was in the midst of leading a Chicago Bulls team to six championships in as many attempts.  Someone asked Michael what keeps him motivated to play so hard and be so great night after night during each long season and whether or not he was ever tempted to coast or take a night off.

His ‘Airness’ answered that his motivation was to remember that each night he played no matter, what the city or the situation, would be the first time for someone in the crowd to see him play.  And knowing that motivated Jordan to play his hardest each and every time he took the floor.  In other words, Michael Jordan never let up in any game he played in order to give the best possible performance for those in the crowd who were seeing him for the first time.

As Easter approaches, you may be wondering why Sunrise does so many things to get people to come.  From invite cards, to candy bars, to yard signs, to act of kindness cards, to messages, to special services and more, are all rolled out each and every Easter in an effort to let the surrounding communities know what we are doing.  I would submit to you that the reason we do this is because we know that Easter is the most common time of the year for people who are not used to going to church, to come to church.  In addition, we will see more people experience their 1st time at church on Easter than on any other Sunday throughout the year.

Jesus once challenged His disciples to ‘look up’ and recognize the opportunity to God’s work while ministering just outside a town.  At the time He said this, Jesus knew that most of the town was on their way out to where He and the disciples were having the discussion.  In other words, it was time to reap a spiritual harvest for God and Jesus wanted His disciples to be at their best and most alert.

We have the same opportunity this Easter.  Thousands of people will come onto the Sunrise Campus on Easter week and it is up to us to be at our best because many will be coming to Sunrise, and even to church, for the first time in their lives.  They deserve to see us at our most compassionate, our most kind, and our most helpful to help them begin a relationship with God.  After all, it may even be the last chance they will give a church the opportunity to share Christ with them.

We have the greatest message in the world and should not be ashamed of it because as Paul states in Romans 1:16, “it is the power of God for salvation.”

So, who is on your list of 10 to pray for?  Pray for them.  Who are your neighbors and friends who have never been to church or never heard the gospel?  Give them an invite card or perform an act of kindness.  Give them a chocolate bar and do both at the same time!  Have you marked your calendar for our All-Church Plant Give-Away Outreach on Saturday April 12th at 9:00 a.m.?  Come and help us give out 5,000 plants in the neighborhoods around the church.

Whatever you do, please recognize that you have the greatest opportunity of the year in the next 2-3 weeks to help someone with the most important decision in life.  Don’t take the night off, rather play hard for those people who’ve never seen Jesus in action.

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