The Perfect Gift
Have you ever been so excited to give someone you love a special gift that you can barely contain yourself? You are literally one conversation short of blurting it out? Without a doubt, those are the best gifts to give, aren’t they? And isn’t it interesting how it never feels like a burden to spend countless hours and energy thinking about, and looking for, the perfect gift? When you find it, or better yet, create it, you are elated and filled with joy over the entire experience.
In this Easter season, I want you to consider this: If you multiply the feeling I just described by infinity, this is what it was like for our Heavenly Father when He gave us the perfect gift — Jesus Christ! Easter is a time when we remember, honor, and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. In one mighty act, He demonstrated His power as the Son of God to triumph over the ultimate obstacle: Death. Jesus literally broke the chains of death and paid for our sins so that we can have the promise of eternal life. God loves us so much that He made the ultimate sacrifice: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16.
This Easter, unwrap the love of Jesus Christ.
As a father of two children, I have experienced the thrill of giving my children gifts, be it for Christmas or their birthdays. There’s something about the unbridled joy on their faces when they open gifts that makes it all worthwhile. As a parent, there’s sheer delight in giving your kids things you know they’ll love, wrapping them up tightly, and seeing their suspense and excitement as they tear into the packages. Even better is the look of wonder on their faces when they see what’s inside and the fun they have enjoying these gifts. It’s all part of the joy that comes through generosity.
However, what would it be like if people never opened the gifts we give? What if we went shopping, wrapped them up just right, only to have our loved ones stare at them? How agonizing would that be for children and even for us? You see, gifts are made to be unwrapped because only when they’re opened can their true value and benefit be appreciated.
Jesus is the greatest gift ever given.
But you have to choose to unwrap His love. If you’ve never received Him as your Savior and best friend, that’s the first step; but once you become a part of His family, there is even more to be revealed. Every day, there are new mercies showered on you, but to realize their benefit, you must seek Him through worship, prayer, study, and quiet reflection. This is the most powerful way of unwrapping the limitless trove of treasure that comprises your eternal inheritance. As you allow His presence to fill your life, you will find new presents around every corner!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.” —1 Peter 1:3,4
Friend, in this Easter season, we celebrate the fact that He is risen! Our Heavenly Father raised His Son Jesus from His grave so that He would open up all of Heaven to us. The same God who raised Christ from the dead can take any trial or hardship you’ve been through and turn it around. He invites us to be part of that resurrection life today and always. This is the greatest gift of all — that we can rely on Christ as our friend and personal Savior! Though we may worry about the future, the ultimate outcome is assured: Jesus will prevail over any and all challenges!
God loves you and so do I!
New Life, Every Day!
I love Easter! Everything about this time of year feels new and refreshing. Spring brings wildlife, sunshine, and the smell of fresh flowers. And Easter reminds us of how loved we are by Jesus — so much that HE GAVE HIS LIFE to save us. HE IS RISEN, and this is truly a reason to celebrate!
As I’ve watched the seasons change this year, I’ve been reflecting on how we can maintain the spirit of Easter each day by holding onto our joy and celebrating life’s special moments. Right now, optimism is natural since new beginnings are everywhere, but feelings can be fleeting, especially as spring fades. Thankfully, Easter reminds us of Jesus’ TRIUMPH, and though circumstances change, His Spirit in us prevails in all weather. This means that even when skies are gray and clouds eclipse the sun, God is still triumphant in our hearts!
Acts 4:33 says, “With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.”
No matter what we see, we can continue walking in Jesus’ resurrection power, because He defeated sin and death! What an amazing source of hope and confidence for us. Just as His grace was upon His disciples 2,000 years ago, it’s upon each of us now.
I want to encourage YOU, beloved child of God, to go deeper in celebration this year. Embrace the renewal of spring in your heart, and continue to carry it throughout the year. Let the resurrection of Jesus fill you with hope for the future, and rest in knowing that NEW LIFE goes beyond this day. His mercies are new every morning, and celebrating Easter year-round means you can keep His hope ALIVE, even as the seasons shift!
God loves you and so do I,
Back in 2007, the city of Modesto, California appeared on a “Worst places to live in America” list. Talk about a big wake-up call for city leaders. So, what’s a municipality to do? A group of pastors from a local church decided to organize a City-Wide Serve Day and were completely blown away when 1,200 people showed up (instead of the 100 they were expecting). The message sent that day was loud and clear: Citizens are eager to give their time and service to their cities.
From that experience, the nonprofit Love Our Cities was born, with over 100 cities around the country on board, including Irvine, California, the place Hour of Power and SHEPHERD’SGROVE calls home. Spearheaded in early 2021 by SHEPHERD’SGROVE Missions and Outreach Pastor, Curtis Drever, Love Irvine has connected with 25 local church leaders and has made great strides in the community. Their second City-Wide Serve Day, held in September of last year, attracted 800 volunteers who completed 22 projects for the betterment of their community, including:
- Harvesting over 1,000 lbs. of green beans to feed people in Orange County.
- Helping to train Irvine senior citizens on how to use smart phones and other technology.
- Making 100 welcome home bags and blankets for the 2/11 Marine Battalion; Camp Pendleton.
Love Irvine has also participated in other events like Night of Healing, National Night Out, and Irvine Global Village Festival, a multicultural fair. “Love Irvine is a city-wide movement for everyone who loves our city and wants to be part of seeking its peace and prosperity,’’ said Curtis, who is President of Love Irvine. “We want to see all of the communities including faith, business, public, nonprofits, and residents, working together to meet the needs of Irvine, with leadership from the church that unites us all.”
For more information, please go online to loveirvine.org, or call SHEPHERD’SGROVE at 714-971-4001.
When you partner with Hour of Power….
…YOU give the gift of love and support and make a difference in people’s lives. Here are just a few of the lives you have already impacted:
“I wanted to let Bobby know that he has really changed my life and my husband’s life for the better. My husband and I are the same age (52) and we got married for the first time in 2018 . I am a born again Christian and so is my husband. We both don’t have children. We have been watching Bobby since we got married, and we look forward to watching him each week. We just love his messages and how he is so creative with the word and brings fresh ideas and material every week. He is a real blessing to us and I’m sure to many people all over the world. We pray God pours blessings over his family every day.”
—Jennifer, Cambria, California
“Good Morning Bobby, I want to thank you for the Positive Minute! I start my morning out every day with it and prayer to follow.”
“Thank you so much for your email and your blessings. Recently I have back slid in my faith due to circumstances, but since listening to your programme and to your sermons, it has so uplifted me again in my faith and my love for Jesus. I so enjoy the broadcasts from your church. We have TBN here and we listen through that channel, plus our local free to air channel 10 here in Brisbane, Australia at 5am on a Sunday. We are going to start giving a monthly donation to Hour of Power soon. From myself and my wife to you. Thank you for bringing us back with our walk with God.”
—John, Brisbane, Australia
“Thank you! My Grandmother, born in 1900, was instrumental in bringing our family to your grandfather’s Crystal Cathedral. My grandmother and parents were loyal Eagle Partners! I still have original devotion books and a Possibility Thinkers Bible that belonged to my Grandmother. Currently we are in Orange County to be close to family. It is a ‘God Wink’ to see your name!”
—Ruth, Orange County, California
Turning Scars Into Stars
Dorothy da Roza has been talking about God and praising Him from a very young age, turning a near-death experience into a reason to spread her faith. It’s barely noticeable at age 89, but Dorothy suffered an injury during her cesarean birth that left her with a scar on her face. “If that would have gone differently, I wouldn’t be here today, so I thanked God for my life, right from the beginning,” she said. When Dorothy was younger, her scar was more visible and people would ask her about it. “I was happy to tell them I’m alive today because the Lord saved me.”
Born and raised in Southern California, Dorothy said her mother was a “beautiful Christian lady” who raised her and her brother as a single mother back in the 1940s and 50s. “My mother started our relationship with the Lord and we would listen to a radio program called Haven of Rest. We always knew about Jesus growing up,” she said. Dorothy had a 40-year career as a court reporter and remembers a time when she grew apart from the Lord. “I got away from the Lord for a little bit, but He always had that ‘rubber band’ that would stretch out, and it was as if He was saying, ‘You knew me at one time, come back.’ So, in the 1970s I found a church, gave my heart back to the Lord, and I’ve been with him ever since; growing and becoming a disciple of Christ.”
When Dorothy retired in 2000, she started attending services at the Crystal Cathedral and even worked taking calls for the ministry. She has been a long-time Sparrow Partner and recently decided to re-do her living trust to include Hour of Power as one of the charities she wants to support when she is called home to Jesus. “It took me my whole lifetime to know that God is using me to do His work. I try to show His love. I try to live the Creed of the Beloved. If God wants me to show love, even to someone who might be unlikable, I try to do that.”
Dorothy, who is mostly home-bound, said she is so thankful that she can watch Hour of Power in her family room. “Bobby’s sermons are fabulous. He’s a wonderful father and a wonderful shepherd for the people of his flock.”
To learn more about including Hour of Power in your Will or estate plans, please reach out to 714-971-4111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit hourofpower.org/legacy. God bless you!