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March 2024 Newsletter

How can you believe the miraculous?

by Pastor Mike Novotny

Did you know that the apostle Paul once almost converted a crowd of intellectuals from Athens? 


When Paul showed up and preached under the shadow of the Parthenon, curious ears, eager for the latest and greatest ideas, perked up. The crowd’s interest peaked when this follower of Jesus referenced their local monuments (the altar to an unknown god, Acts 17:23) and their favorite philosophers (Epimenides and Aratus, Acts 17:28). And even when Paul turned to hard-to-hear topics, God’s judgment and the need for repentance, the men of Athens listened. It appeared as if the entire crowd was on the verge of conversion.

But then Paul preached something the crowd wasn’t ready to hear . . . the resurrection . . . and any hope of an Athenian megachurch went up in smoke. “When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered” (Acts 17:32).

The Athenians just couldn’t wrap their minds around a man rising from the dead. Do you blame them for being offended? 

Human reason is based on experience, and my experience has been entirely resurrection-free. Lots of funeral sermons, no Lazarus stories. Every time I’ve been face-to-face with death, the dead stayed dead.

So why do you and I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead? Why trust in something we have never actually seen?

Simple—Because God is God! God can violate the scientific principles that he himself created. God, being supernatural, doesn’t have to play by nature’s rules. And the empty tomb of Jesus is the stirring proof.

We Christians don’t claim that miracles are a normal part of daily life. By their very definition, they are violations of the created order. But if God exists, then they are easily possible, because nothing is impossible (or even all that difficult) for God.

And we couldn’t be more grateful. Our supernatural God can take on human flesh (Christmas), die for our sins (Good Friday), and conquer death so that we can live forever (Easter). Let your sense of reason be offended by every part of the previous sentence. And let your soul rejoice in all of it too.

Because Jesus didn’t stay dead, you don’t have to fear death. Because Jesus promised life after your final breath, you don’t have to hold your breath as you go through life. Because Jesus guaranteed you eternal life, you can know that resurrection is in your future too.

Let 21st-century intellectuals scoff at the supernatural. I prefer to worship the God of the miraculous, the Savior who did the impossible when he took away our sins and left the tomb empty.

“Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37 ESV).

Thank you for helping to speak God’s truth into life’s “hard topics”

There are many people who are suffering from a wide variety of tough issues in life. And at Time of Grace, we want to bring the light of Jesus into those tough situations—even situations that are really hard to talk about. God has guidance and love for all those times. And support from friends like you makes it possible for us to reach into the lives of people like “Nicole.” 

Nicole says: 

“Thank you for your sermons on the hard topics like trauma, divorce, abuse, addiction, broken homes, and affairs. No one talks about it, and tons of people are suffering from having fatherless children, PTSD from chronic abuse, homes destroyed from addictions and affairs. . . . I’m an addict in 8 years of recovery trying to heal myself and my family. Thank you for your help. Please don’t stop. Keep ’em coming.”

You help bring Jesus into people’s difficulties through your support of Time of Grace. You bring God’s love and promises to people like Nicole, and we are so thankful for the impact that you make possible!

Get unfiltered truth for your real-world problems

What if the truth you most needed to hear offended you? 

What if it could heal your relationships, set you free from past mistakes, bring you peace in a chaotic culture and strength in the face of challenges, but it made you uncomfortable . . . would you accept it?

In Pastor Mike Novotny’s new book, Jesus #nofilter, you’ll discover why even the hardest truths about Jesus are always worth embracing.

At a time when our culture wants to bend truth to fit its agenda, this book shows you how to find unfailing love, freedom from guilt, strength for tough times, and much more in the unfiltered truth of God’s Word. 

Request your copy today when you give, and thanks for your support!

Click here to get Jesus #nofilter

Unbreakable is a refreshing two-day event for Christian women to gather together, build friendships, and learn how to find respite from life’s daily struggles by leaning on the God of amazing grace. Learn to navigate stress and anxiety, life’s messiness, unexpected change, thriving despite struggles, and more. Includes a devotion by special guest Pastor Jeremy Mattek. 

April 26-27, 2024
The Ingleside Hotel
Pewaukee, WI 

Invite your sisters in Christ. Space is limited; register today!

Click here for more information and to register

Coming up on Time of Grace

When we look at all the ways we could do better (health, faith, habits, etc.), too many of us make the mistake of adding extra to our lives to try to improve. But all addition and no subtraction leads to our exhaustion. Coming up in April, watch the series Burned Out? on Time of Grace and be reminded to find your rest in Jesus, to be honest about your limitations, and to set realistic and sustainable goals for yourself.

The first episode of Burned Out? is available to watch on April 7 with new episodes released each Sunday in April.

Click here to watch Time of Grace

When God offended me

by Pastor Mike Novotny

Years ago I was intellectually offended by the gospel. The simple good news of forgiveness felt so unreasonable that I struggled to believe it.

The problem? My own sin. After trying and failing to quit a certain sin a thousand times in a row, I was convinced that I couldn’t be a Christian. Certainly no child of God would struggle like this. Certainly I would do more, be better, and change faster if I actually loved God.

Thank God that our forgiveness isn’t based on our feelings! He forgives us in Jesus and speaks with divine authority over our hearts’ objections.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

Hello from Pastor Mike

Last fall I slept in a vineyard. An incredibly generous and hospitable couple from California invited some Time of Grace staff to break bread at their table and spend the night amidst their grapes.

When I woke up, I strolled among the parallel rows, thinking about how grapes grow and pondering how we grow too.

Jesus is the Vine. You and I are the branches. “This is to my Father’s glory,” our Vine taught, “that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8). This is God’s goal for your life—to produce love, joy, peace, and self-control in you as you believe the gospel and obey God’s Word.

Like those tender grapes I slept amongst, your spiritual growth isn’t guaranteed, given the pressures of our culture and the pushback of your nature. That’s why I am so grateful for your partnership with Time of Grace. Your financial gifts and prayers empower us to connect more people to the life-giving and living Vine, our Lord Jesus, whose love saves us and changes us.

Like the young man who just told me that reading the book The Basics converted him to Christianity. Or like my incarcerated friend who is memorizing Scripture for the first time as he awaits his freedom and celebrates the spiritual freedom he has found in Jesus. These branches, and many more, are bearing fruit to the glory of God!

Thank you for helping make these stories and so many others possible.

Pastor Mike