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What Will You Do With Your Crown?
The ironic thing about God's crown is that it is only reserved for those who set their own crown aside in this life. I am learning through my own suffering that my crown is absolutely worthless. I am choosing to set it aside. Little by little it's being dismantled. Everything it represents in my life is becoming reprehensible to me. I find myself not caring about my reputation. Wanting my own way has proven to be exhausting. This crown is too heavy. I'm tired of holding on to it. The crown of my pride is a dirty, rotten, loathsome thing that is better off discarded and forgotten.
What I want instead is to feel what Jesus feels about people. Beyond the dirt, beyond the smell and disgust of our sinfulness, God sees something beautiful. He remembers that divine something which was placed there when He formed us in our mother's womb. It's His DNA. It's the potential to become the incredible Sons and Daughters of God that He envisioned us to be long before we ever knew Him. It's real, it's authentic, it's unmasked godliness. God is calling us to lay down our tarnished crowns and embrace humanity – ours and everyone else’s.
Isn't that what Jesus did? Isn't that what Paul did? Didn't they embrace humanity with all its unsightly flaws and imperfections? And with every word, every touch and every opportunity did they not share the life that God so powerfully placed in them? I want the rest of my years to be devoted to bringing the spark of the almighty to broken and empty people. I want to show them what God is showing me, that He fashioned us with great care, infusing our souls with amazing power and purpose! I want everyone to know that there is something hidden in the heart of every man, women and child that when breathed on by the Spirit of God, one day will receive a crown.
Join us this Sunday as we continue to change our City one heart at a time.
Your Curse Is Gone!
Jesus broke the curse. If we have Him, the curse is broken in us. This is called grace. Grace is refusing to give the punishment that is deserved. When our oldest son Hampton was a child, we would often respond to some act of disobedience that he was guilty of but was sorry for by “giving him grace.” He learned to ask for it occasionally. When he was truly sorry, he asked, “Would you give me grace." He didn’t ask for it very often but when he did, I found it almost impossible to say no. I wanted him to know what grace feels like. I think he does.
It wasn’t that easy for God. A price had to be paid and He was willing to pay it. He wants you to know what grace feels like. Jesus took our sins upon Himself and with them removed the curse that those sins brought to us. What a Savior! The Apostle Paul was humbled by this kind of love! He took our sin, shame and guilt and destroyed them by destroying himself on the cross. That’s our God! That’s why I love Him.
You’re Never Too Lost!
Have you ever thought that you were “too lost"? John Newton was a slave trader in the 1700’s and was known as “The Great Blasphemer”! He lived among fellow sailors most of his life but the magnitude of his vulgarity and blasphemous speech astonished even the most profane sailors. One night on a dark stormy sea, John Newton was found by Jesus. John Newton spent the following years teaching the Bible to children and young people. He wrote hundreds of songs to help bring out the message of scripture. His most famous song tells his story.
Amazing Grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see
This was Paul’s story. It was John Newton’s story and it’s my story. What’s your story? If it isn’t already, it can be your story too. All it takes is a simple “Yes” from you to set in motion the glorious grace of God in your heart.
How Could God Forgive Such A Sin?
We begin a new series this week on the life of the Apostle Paul. He was known and feared by christians as Saul of Tarsus. He was a violent persecutor of christians and was present and consented to the murder of Stephen, the first christian martyr. But God changed him and made him into the most influential apostle. His influence is second only to Christ Himself.
In his habitual sin against innocent believers, Paul thought he was serving God. How can someone be so wrong and think they are so right? The scripture says in Proverbs, “There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death”.
No early christian who knew Saul of Tarsus would have had any hope that he would become a believer in Jesus Christ. If there was hope for Paul, there is hope for us. If God can change Paul’s nature and direction so drastically, think what He can do for us. Paul’s first response to Jesus was to ask, “Who are you?”. Paul spent the rest of his life finding out the answer to that question. When we learn who Paul is, we will also see who our God is! Join us Sunday!
Lunch at The Net
Bubba's catering is bringing the feast! We will eat together immediately following the service and Lynnae and I will update you on the plans for Spring including Student ministry and Home Groups! We are also announcing our fantastic Easter Weekend Event! We have a very special guest joining us for Easter! I can't wait to tell you all about it! So don't let anything keep you away this Sunday!