The events of the past week have been troubling. Last Sunday’s message was recorded shortly before the violence in DC played out. I shared thoughts and a prayer on YouTube Thursday, and we came together in prayer Thursday night. Since that time, I have learned more, and it is cause for concern. Processing many thoughts and emotions, bring them to God in prayer, and thinking about you each step of the way, I am committed to stand with you in faith.
The same Jesus Christ who called out King Herod as a fox, told Peter to put the sword away. We need the justice and peace of God. It is superior to what we tend to give, in both quality and power. Nothing is beyond the reach of our God, who is alive, aware, able, and active. In all these things, God allows us opportunities to share the love we receive from Him.
Jesus called out King Herod as a fox. – Luke 13:32
Jesus told Peter to put away the sword. – John 18:11
Jesus did not submit to Herod’s will. Jesus followed the plan of Father God, laying down His life as a sacrifice for the sins of us all. Jesus said that He would accomplish His purpose on the third day in the resurrection.
Jesus did not set up a group of followers through the violent overthrow of their government.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’” – Matthew 11:28-30
No one in all of history is like Jesus. From the quality of his life, to what he did, what he said, the miracles he performed, and the fact that he is the only one to have predicted his own death, burial, and resurrection. No one is just like Jesus.
“he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36
Jesus was compassionate for people who were confused, needing spiritual guidance. – Matthew 9:36
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. – Luke 19:10
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” – Romans 3:23-25
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” – Romans 10:9-10
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Acts 2:21
“Repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38-39
What happens when we do that?
- Spiritual cleansing.
“the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7
- Freed from the penalty for our sins.
“God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” – Romans 5:8-11
- Brought close to God.
“Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.” – Ephesians 2:13
- New spiritual life. “You must be born again.” – John 3:7
“God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” – Ephesians 2:4-5
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” – Ezekiel 36:26
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21
How do I live?
- Live out a daily relationship with God informed by the “Good News”.
- Pray for people who do not yet know Jesus.
- Share the Good News
Please consider this the best possible time to engage deeply with our 21 days of prayer and fasting. Each day there is a fresh prayer topic, post, and video, from the selected reading. Each piece is short, simple, and meaningful. Please be sure to catch the Sunday messages of December 27th, January 3rd, and 10th as they are connected and relevant to our current events.