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And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:28-29
and we know.
and we have this awareness and revelation.
we know that God is good and that He is faithful and that He is our Heavenly Father.
we know that He is the same today as yesterday and will be tomorrow.
we know that He has done all that needs to be done to make us His children and that it is by grace and grace alone that we are saved.
we know that God is at work in our lives and His intentions are good.
He is at work in our lives turning what was meant for evil around for good and for His glory.
He is at work for the good.
but i am aware that sometimes OUR perception of good is very different from GOD’S perception of good.
God is at work in our lives to conform us to the likeness of His Son, Jesus.
He is at work in us forming godly character, at work creating a family resemblance.
sometimes character formation isnt a happy task.
but God isnt at work for the happiness of us. He is at work for the good.
like a Father.
because of that reality, that WE KNOWNESS, i choose to trust God and His handiwork in my life.
i can trust that He is at work for good and for His glory
there is a reward
there is a triumph
and in the process His heart cry is that we come to Him.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. Galatians 5:16-17
Matthew 16:24 [ Take Up the Cross and Follow Him ] Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
when i became a christian i didnt know this verse – i didnt know any of the bible. but somewhere deep in my mind i thought that if i gave my life to God that it would mean for the rest of my life i would have to be boring, good, nice and wear gray. and listen to amy grant. but yet, because i had jsut discovered that God was real and that i had to respond to that and that he was awesome and had died to save me and give me life here on earth and for all eternity and that he loved me and had a plan for me… i was willing to wear gray and be boring. forever. the exchange was worth it. imagine my delight and surprize to discover that being a child of God ment more adventure and blessing and satisfaction than i could ever imagine!
yet. there is that passage. in black and white. take up your cross and DENY yourself.
it doesnt conjure up images of delight and dancing.
it brings to mind death and suffering and sacrifice and hardship.
but it doesnt mean wearing gray and living a boring life. it doesnt mean that we need to take a sledge hammer to our tv, melt our cds, burn our clothes apart from the really fugly ones, have only 1 pair of shoes, eat stale bread and sardines, no social life, no friends, no fun….
it does mean we need to be discerning and choose to live according to the ways of God – ways to bless us and keep us safe and ways that lead us into the adventures of God and His love.
sometimes we need to turn the tv off and keep a clean heart.
sometimes we need to reign in our materialism and be generous.
sometimes we need to make choices about relationships that distract and lead us astray.
but the reward is so good.
when we choose the flesh we reap death. when we choose obedience we reap spiritual rewards.
its about perspective. we need to shake loose that idea that the stuff we’re denying is good and good for us. its not. really, its not. we need to get in our heart that the reality is that God’s ways are sooo good and living for Him and living close is sooooo the way to live. the world doesnt offer even a fraction of what God offers.
“In a day when believers seem to be trying to please both the world and the Lord (which is an impossible thing), when people are far more concerned about offending their friends than offending God, there is only one answer… Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him!” — Keith Green, No Compromise album, 1978.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
I am fully forgiven and free from all shame and condemnation (Romans 8:1-2, Ephesians 1:7-8, 1 John 1:9).
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
i so love that. i am free from shame. forgiven. set free. released. cleansed. made whole and innocent and not guilty and new.
You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. Colossians 1:21-22
How far has the LORD taken our sins from us? Farther than the distance from east to west! Psalm 103:12
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18
Jesus totally sets me free from sin and the guilt that goes with it.
He removes my sin from me. a saying i’ve heard often says He throws it into the sea and posts a sign saying no fishing.
Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! Micah 7:19
i am free. free from guilt and shame and condemnation.
my sin is GONE. removed. taken away. not mine anymore. its been exchanged on the cross and i now have the righteousness of Christ.
i can live clean and whole and pure.
though the consequences of my sin may be outworked, because of the way life is, our sin has impact, that sin does not belong to me if i confess it and receive forgiveness. it is no longer on my record. isnt that GOOD NEWS.
so we no longer need to live burdened by our sin.
we need to live holy and responding lives to God (because of His great love poured out on the cross to us when we were enemies of God and not even aware of our need or thinking about Him)
we can with total confidence draw near to God because of this righteousness and freedom from sin. we are his beloved children. holy and acceptable.
So Paul warned them,"Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also." But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. Acts 27: 9-11
How many times do we discount the voice of God and listen to the voice of “an expert”?
How many times do we allow ourselves to be influenced by others instead of the One who holds the universe in His hands?
Lets be people who listen to God’s voice and guidance?
Even though it may run contrary to the expert opinion or the buzz of the crowd HE IS THE ONE WHO KNOWS
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Psalm 118:8
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Commit your way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." Acts 15:10-11
we are saved by grace. pure simple wonderful amazing grace.
and we respond to that grace and salvation by how we live our lives.
i can never earn my salvation.
i can never pay it back.
anything i do for Jesus, do to know Jesus, do to live for Jesus, is a response to His love for me first.
bible study and personal worship – times of discipline – are fuelled by devotion
attending and being involved in church – are fuelled by devotion
sometimes those things don’t feel very inspiring or overflowing from a place of love and connection, but they’re so important
but not if you’re adding a burden to yourself to work out being a good Christian
you are rescued and redeemed, not because of anything we have done, we had done or we can do or could do
but because of the love and grace and power of God
God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son. And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. Colossians 1:19-22
God because of the imputed righteousness of Christ to me and his wrath absorbing death on the cross and his resurrection now sees me as perfect and spotless and holy, not because i am but because HE IS ~ Matt Chandler
The good news – the gospel – is that you and I have fallen short, we have worshiped things that are not God, we have belittled and mocked God with either our hearts, mouths or minds and God’s response to that has been to make a way for us to be reconciled to God in the person and work of Jesus Christ – so that the two-fold movement that occurs is that we get Christ’s righteousness and He takes upon Himself our rebellion and sinfulness so that when God then looks at us He sees Christ and deems us as perfect and spotless and blameless ~ Matt Chandler
The commands of God are given, not to rob me of joy, but to lead me into the fullness of joy ~ Matt Chandler
“God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so. He loves you when you don’t feel lovely. He loves you when no one else loves you. While we may theologically and intellectually understand the transaction, motivated by love, that took place at Calvary, the reality must reach our hearts in order to complete its course. We are loved. Let the words linger in our ears. We are loved.” ~ Max Lucado
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
"Yes, Lord," he answered.
The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."
"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here-has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptised, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. Acts 9:1-19
This is one of my favourite passages in the bible. not just because of Saul’s salvation but because of Ananias’s courage and obedience despite what circumstance told him.
sometimes it takes one act of extraordinary courage to be the tipping point to bring change ~ Andy Stanley
Ananias is a man of courage and faith. He was at home and had a vision from God. His response, – YES LORD.
in essence, here am i, send me.
how often have we prayed those famous words from isaiah 6 – but then when God calls us and sends us we hesitate or get spiritual amnesia (who me?) and doubt that we’ve really heard God.
Ananias heard God and heard God send him to the most feared destructive man in their world. I would dare to say that Saul was their enemy, their joseph kony, their osama bin lama… Saul spent his time hunting down christians and having them tortured and killed.
i bet Ananias wondered if he was QUALIFIED to do this mission.
i bet he thought he wasn’t spiritual enough.
had he ever prayed for anyone to receive their sight before?
had he ever prayed for someone to be healed before?
did he wear out his carpet pacing?
or did he just go?
did he know that this one act of courage would be the tipping point for changing the world, that saul would go from persecutor to passionate preacher and church builder?
did he know that his one act of courage would change christianity as they knew it?
there was something in Ananias that rose up and enabled him to fight the fear and doubt and to cause him to go. Jesus. the Holy Spirit.
Ananias put his trust in God and his trust in the Holy Spirit in him and through Him.
Ananias put his trust in the power of God that when he prayed that God would work, that God would do something supernaturally remarkable.
Ananias put his trust in God, expecting Him to as He said He would.
in our lives we can have that same confidence.
If God says GO and DO – we can GO and DO in confidence of God’s power and might to perform mighty acts through us and in us.
Where God leads, He has gone before us.
Lets be people of courage who step out and follow God and see extraordinary things happen for His glory.
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road-the desert road-that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." Acts 8:26-29
i love Philip’s availability to God.
He was a man led by the Holy Spirit, and invited interruptions. The interruptions led to this Ethiopian leader becoming a believer, and who knows the follow on through affect of this one man that Philip talked to.
Be open to those divine appointments, those moments where the Holy Spirit leads you to talk to someone – be it a stranger as in Philips case, or a friend or a work mate. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, because where the Holy Spirit leads, He is moving!
i always count it such a privilege that God would choose to work in me and through me – as a witness to His reality – a demonstration of His love and grace.
A distinct memory i have is when the Spirit nudged me to talk to a guy outside our local library. I had just dropped some books in the return slot when a shadow passed behind me. i turned around and was about to go to my car when God said, talk to that guy. That guy was about 6foot6, Polynesian, with low riders and sunglasses on. so off i went. “excuse me” i said, looking up up up up up! at the end of the conversation i prayed for the guy and he took his glasses off. his eyes were misted over. i’m glad i said yes to the interruption, yes to the Holy Spirit.
those interruptions are opportunity for God to work in you and through you to communicate to another person. Philip explained the gospel contained in the passage of Isaiah. you might be nudged to encourage someone, tell them your story, give hope, speak life. God may give you insight and revelation into their life and destiny.
lets be bold and lets step out!
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. acts 3:1-10
Peter and John are normal Christians.
They are ordinary men. Peter and john were fishermen. Yet the extraordinary was going on in their life. They had encountered God. They had been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. They were living for a different reason now.
And they had something to give away – they were do havers.
They said to the man – the man who had NEVER walked, who spent his life begging and depending upon the pity of others – silver and gold we don’t have, but what we DO HAVE we give you.
What did they have?
What is that extraordinary thing that God has given YOU and how can it be released in your life to impact others? That extraordinary thing that God has given you to be released to impact others is… wait for it – GOD!
What Peter and John had was the knowledge that God was real and that He had the power to heal that man. They had faith that if they did what Jesus said – lay hands on the sick they would be healed. They believed that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and that by His wounds we are healed. They believed what Isaiah 53 said about who God is and what God can do.
They believed But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
They believed Acts 1:8 that they had received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them in Jerusalem.
Luke 24:29 puts it as “clothed with power from on high.”
Power is for a purpose – and The Word says – we got the power!
They believed John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
You know, Jesus said – I only do what I see the father do –I tell you the truth, he said, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. (John 5:19-20)
How do WE know what the Father does and wants to do and is doing? We look at what Jesus did and the revelation of the right here and now by the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus is our model, we follow Him, we do what we do, we copy Him. Paul said that – imitate me as I imitate Christ. Lets copy Jesus! And Jesus challenged us – that we would DO even greater things that these because the Holy Spirit lives within us! Now that is a challenge and a half that smacks me around – GREATER THINGS!
They believed Jesus when he called them in matthew 10:1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
You know, just to point out the obvious – THOSE passages weren’t written yet – they were being lived! The things that are written in the NT are things they learned by revelation from the Holy Spirit and things they did and lived. This is from experience, from real life! They believed what Jesus told them and taught them and modelled to them and promised them. Jesus taught them about normal Christian life.
They believed and they did.
And the man they spoke to immediately felt strength in his legs and ankles and jumped up and could walk and jump and dance and skip. Which in itself is a feat because most people that have an accident and are paralysed have months and months of rehab to get just stand… he went from nothing to fully totally remarkably healed in a finger click. Only God can do that! Only the reality of God can do that. Only the power of God can do that!
Only the power of God can heal a broken heart, can set someone free, can change someone’s life in an instant. Only God can bring real joy and real hope and real peace.
Just because its 2000 years later doesn’t mean the plan has changed or that the power has run out! In fact – we should be seeing so much more because its all multiplied. In the start it was just Jesus – then he died and rose again and went back to heaven and then the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and all of a sudden ordinary people were filled with the extraordinary power of God – not just one Jesus – but now His followers, with the same mission as Jesus!
The plan has always been to know God and make Him known – He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Mark 16:15-18
That’s our call. That’s our normality. That’s our reality.
The cool part is if you read on:
19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
What happened on the steps by the temple gate is normal Christian life.
Peter and john were DO HAVERS. They had something within them ready. They knew the Holy Spirit was the one with the power – but that He uses our bodies and our mouths and our prayers and our doing and our obedience and our hands and feet.
Peter and John did their part. They reached out and declared the power of God. And God did His part, He came and fulfilled His promises of power and healing and deliverance. He is the power in all our doing. He is the do have. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. We believed that God would works with us and confirm His Word and our faith in Him with signs like healing and supernatural encounter.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
His power that is at work within us… its at work within us to work THROUGH us. Immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.
Peter and John took God at His word. Jesus had told them that they were called to do this. That this was how they were to live their lives. As witnesses and living demonstrations of the reality and power of God. They had faith not in their own ability but in the supernatural enabling of God through them.
Those promises Jesus made to peter and john are promises valid to us too. They are His Word. It’s not about any power we have – remember, we’re jars of clay.
Do you know that you’re a do haver?
Do you know that God has called you and more importantly empowered you?
So how does this work in our real life?
1: Know you’re called. If you’re breathing you’re called.
2: Know the promises in The Word. Promises are truth you can rely on. Know who God is and how big and powerful He is. Stir your faith in those things. If your mind is fritzing out about praying for someone to be healed or about talking to someone about God then deal to that lie, just saying, ya hear me.
3: Take the opportunities around you. Do you work with people? Go to uni with people? Go to school with people? Ride the bus with people? Shop with people? Peter and John were going to the temple like they did everyday. Everyday you are with people. Be intentionally aware of the reality of God wanting to bust out of you to touch others….
4: Something interesting to consider, over in acts 4 verse 13 it reads ”When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
What made these ordinary men different was that they had been with Jesus.
I am unschooled and ordinary and I have been with Jesus.
The challenge for all of us is to live intentional and to redefine living and living for God, to redefine normal Christian life. We want to live the adventure. We hear about people doing great things – and doesn’t your heart burn to do them too? Mine does! Sometimes I think the only big difference between people having the adventure that I read about and my life is the DOING part… just saying…
God’s plan is to reach the people around us – our family and our friends – by using Christians. He loves to demonstrate His reality and power – His Word says so. Lets man up and have faith and do it! This world wont change until we rise up and really be who God has filled us and made us and empowered us to be! We’re stretching towards the greatness of God!
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2: 1-4
i love the Holy Spirit and His work in me and to me and through me and for me. i love how God chooses and uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things for His fame and glory. i live to know Him and make Him known. i feel very blest to live in an age where the Holy Spirit was given to the believers, all believers, not just holy prophets or leaders, but common ordinary every day believers.
one of my most favourite verses in the bible is 2 Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
the all surpassing power of God IS GOD – IS the Holy Spirit who lives within us!
Ephesians 3:20 puts it this way: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…
the Holy Spirit lives in me. wow. that’s huge. audacious. awesome!
He lives in me as a guarantee of the promises of God for eternity and He’s in me to empower me to serve God and shine for Him. He is the potter and i am the clay and He is in me shaping me and transforming me and making me who God dreams me to be. He’s in me to enable me to walk with God and know God.
again another most favourite passage:
But as it is written:
“ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-11
i love the BUT GOD HAS REVEALED THEM TO US THROUGH HIS SPIRIT.
The Holy Spirit reveals to us who God is – His ways, His heart, His love, His guidance, His comfort…
But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. John 15:13-15
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
some of us are naturally wired to connect and talk with strangers and friends about what God is doing in our lives. but others of us are not so comfortable stepping out and sharing. regardless of who we are and how we work and are wired we are called to be witnesses and to share the gospel, with our lives and actions and with words. the awesome thing is that it is GOD THAT SAVES and the HOLY SPIRIT THAT DRAWS AND REVEALS but we are the SEED PLANTERS. we are called to share and witness and be ambassadors for Christ. and God has lots and lots and LOTS of promises that can give us confidence that as we step out His power ENCOMPASES US and STEPS OUT with us to ACCOMPLISH great things. when you step out His power is available and He empowers us. when we step out He can give us the right words to say. These promises are for stepping out. they come into effect when we step out. you get my point.
so be confident. be secure. be encouraged. be inspired.
God’s is ready and willing to empower you to tell the Good News of His love and grace.
Jesus Christ is alive. Jesus is actually alive! Jesus died for sin and rose and that Jesus Christ can take away sin. People don’t need to go to hell. They can go to Heaven. They don’t need to be disconnected from God. They can be connected to God. They don’t need to live lives of sin. They can live lives of transforming grace. People don’t need to do anything to merit the love of God. “God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
The good news is that Jesus is alive and that he is seated on his thrown in Heaven. He’s ruling and reigning over all creation. That means that every nation and every city and every neighbourhood and every block and every suburban and rural area and every cul-de-sac and every coffee shop and every house is under the lordship of Jesus,
And there are people there that he loves.
There are people there that he’s willing to forgive.
There are people there that he’s willing to save.
There are people there that he’s willing to befriend.
There are people there that he’s willing to change.
There are people there that he’s willing to be with forever in the New Jerusalem, the great city that he’s created for us. So I urge you today: if you don’t know Jesus, give him your sin, receive his salvation, and get connected to Jesus.We implore you to be connected to Jesus’ mission.
“We nominate ourselves to love and serve the people here on behalf of the God who loves us so well.” Mark Driscoll Mars Hill