Monday, August 19, 2013

Jesus is grace!

His name is one you hear in many different places.  It is often spewed through profanity.  It is used to cut and cause pain, but turn the other direction and watch what the name does.  The name of Jesus brings peace and strength.  It is at this name that salvation comes, demons tremble, and people like you and me begin to get a little mushy because we have seen God overcome some big things. 

Jesus is more than a name derived from a conversation.  The name of Jesus is comforting and makes us strong.  We can talk theology of the deity of Christ and the second person of the trinity.  We could build a case for the power of transferred sin from us to Jesus through His shed blood, death on the cross and the promise of eternity with God because Jesus is no longer in the grave.  Those are incredible truths.

But I desire for this truth to inspire us and the people around us to have more conversations about JESUS?  What you think about, you talk about.  Who you love, you share with others.  What or who you lean on becomes part of who you are on a daily basis.  Fill in the blank … JESUS IS __________.

Remember that it is Jesus who is the head of the church and the reason for the church.  Our church motto or purpose to demonstrate the love God to our community, and remember again that the love of God was first demonstrated to us through the gift of His son.  That is the fact.  You’ve heard it before.

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

This past weekend we began a new series called “Jesus is _______.” And through this series I am asking people to fill in the blank.  Who is Jesus to you?

Prayer partner.  The love of my life.  Great.  My Healer (thank you Billy).  The beginning and the end.  Everything.  All I need.  Enough.  Truly my life saver.  My lifeline.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  My rock and my salvation.  Me is my help, my hope, my teacher, my friend and the lover of my soul.  Love…true love.  Unparalleled and unprecedented.  My best friend.  Everlasting God.  sweet unconditional love.  Awesome.  My all in all.  Lord.  My savior.  The dad who has patience with you.  Mine.  Only way.  Salvation.  Only way.  Lord, savior and king.  King of kings.  My shining light.  With me forever.

That is what many people put on Facebook as I asked them to fill in the blank.  I want to remind you that we are all human.  I am a pastor, but I am a man like you guys.  It is easy to get into a rut where we stereotype people or judge.  We look down on people a lot.  Admit it.  Human nature does that often, like daily in our own lives. 

We categorize sin.  Murder is high on the list, but telling a lie is very low.  Cheating on your mate is bad, but using a cuss word isn’t that big of a deal.  I’m sorry if I am going to bust your bubble.  A sin is a sin is a sin is a sin.  There are the same across the board.  One is no worse than the other, and any sin will keep you away from Jesus.  But Jesus came to earth to deal with that sin.  He deals with our judging.  He levels the playing field and our minds. 

With Jesus on our minds, in our hearts and rolling off our lips often and with sincerity life will change.  Making Jesus famous is a big deal.  Our lives point people to something or to someone.  Yet we are not talking about a system of beliefs.  We are not taking about theology.  We are talking about a person.  This person who wants you and me.  He pursues us because that is who the Father is.  He gave us His son. 

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,

Jesus is God.  Jesus is greater than anything any anyone else.  His name is the highest of high leading to salvation where nothing else can do salvation and hope.  That is what teaches us and leads us to examine what Grace. 

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Did you read that right?  It’s not of you!  We are saved by what Jesus did for us.  We are accepted because that is what God does.  We have worth because of him and nothing can change the worth that He placed in our lives. 

It is a gift.  God’s grace is a gift to us that we didn’t and can’t earn.  Not by our works.  Christianity has nothing to do with us paying him back.  We can’t pay God back.

God comes to us in the person of Jesus and gives us grace.  All because of who He is.  Worth is not gained.  It is given by His imagine.  God hunts for and seeks us.  God loves you.  Your worth is true in God. 

Praise God for the facts of His grace, and thank God that His gift is Jesus who is grace!

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