May you enjoy today worshiping the Lord, our risen Savior, and spending time with family and friends.
While this text was not the base for the sermon this morning, this is the passage from the service that really stood out to me. I thought I would share here, that you may also be encouraged.
Scripture quotes taken from John 17:9-13, 20-21
“I am praying for them.”
“All mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.”
“And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You.”
“Holy Father, keep them in Your name, which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one. While I was with them, I kept them in Your name, which You have given Me.”
“I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost.”
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”
“The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.”
I hope this brings you encouragement this week. We are treasured, kept, protected, and glorified by Jesus, that we may give testimony to His grace to a lost world through unity with other believers.
Are you shocked by the love that is offered by Jesus and His disciples? His grace transcends the barriers between those who are visibly sinful and His perfection. He longs for fellowship with those who know they are unworthy.
Luke 15:1-2 “Now the tax collectors and dinners were all drawing near to hear Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Perhaps if you find yourself shocked by His love for the unlovely, you must repent of a Pharisaical attitude. Jesus loves a truly repentant former Pharisee too.
As followers of Christ, it is imperative that our pride and our focus be in the blood of Jesus, that pays for our sin.
As humans, it is so tempting to focus on our own earthly accomplishments, or eve to glory in the religious practices we do, the number of prayers we pray in a day, or in our theological knowledge. While many of these are good and honoring to God, pride in the doing of them, or thinking we have everything figured out (i.e. spiritual arrogance) is sin.
Our good works here on earth may honor the Lord, when done in the right spirit, but they do nothing to save us or justify us before Almighty God.
We should, instead of directing our attention and the attentions of others on ourselves, “glory in the gory” – focus on the death of Christ on the cross. His gruesome death, with the weight of our sin on His shoulders, and His glorious resurrection, are the only reason we are viewed by God as righteous and worthy to be present with Him, worshipping for all of eternity.
“What was the last thing you read, heard, or saw that inspired you?”
As we prepare for the Easter season at the Christian school where I teach, I’ve seen a lot of artwork in the halls depicting the cross. This inspires me because it’s a reminder that God turned something terrible into a beautiful reminder of His grace. We can now look at a cross and think of the salvation found only in Jesus Christ, rather than thinking about the method the Roman Empire used to execute common criminals.
It’s also inspiring, as we approach Resurrection Sunday on the calendar, to think about how Jesus was raised from the dead, and how we have also been raised from the death of sin, if we are in Christ. As flowers bloom and the trees and grass grow green after a dormant winter period, we can be reminded how we have a fresh start because our sins are no longer what defines us. – We can be alive and free in Christ!!!