Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I am taking a break from the blog while traveling for both mission work and a family vacation through the rest of July. Our church family recently began to wrestle with the reality of sin and the power of the Gospel in a way that jarred many of our hearts. I want to share my first raw thoughts as I sought to settle my heart in Christ the next morning after this part of our journey began.
This is our Gettysburg address. It is time to acknowledge the reality of our condition with unified hearts & voices. It is time for the captives to come free from sin. It is time for us to shake our complacency about sin & holiness & purity. It is time to recognize we live on a spiritual battlefield with a real enemy who with full knowledge of what our Creator offers, promises much out of pure hate for our Creator, knowing if we turn away from God’s truth to his deceitful offers that we will be further wounded & enslaved by darkness.
We must decide whether we believe the gospel or not.
- Do we believe the wages of sin is death?
- Do we believe that all have fallen short of the glory of God. And all have gone astray from our rightful shepherd?
- Do we believe Christ died for us while we were still sinners?
- Do we believe that by His grace through genuine faith in Him that he really actually saves us from sin.
- Do we believe Him as our sanctifying Lord who calls us to embrace His Yoke, His work in us, His family of fellow believers and His mission to so live & share his message that others on this battlefield might be saved as well?
- We must reject & resist Satan’s lies.
- We must come to His cross in genuine repentance & confession
- We must cast ourselves on the mercy of Christ without condition reservation or any sliver of a thoughts that we might save ourselves. He alone can save us.
- We must abide in Christ
- We must be filled with His spirit with genuine yielding
- We must put on the full armor of God
- We must prepare for battle and follow Jesus lead without feet firmly planted in His truth & our heart fully committed to Him.
What is Your Response?
- Will we be a genuinely humble spiritual family?
- Willing to take gospel seriously, holiness seriously, transformation seriously.
- Will we be a church that embraces grace & truth? Acknowledging sin but trusts Jesus for cleansing, healing & transformation?
- Will we say to any, whether among us or in the community, that they sin can be forgiven and cleansed is they will embrace a deepening relationship with Jesus?
- Will we forgive with a willingness for spiritual restoration?
If you are part of our spiritual family, I ask you to reflect on where we are, what God calls us to and whether you will stand with us as we press on with great commitment of help people discover a deepening relationship with Jesus, his Family and His Mission. It remains a great privilege to serve with you as one of your pastors.
Gal 6:1-5 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5 For each one will bear his own load.