Do you realize that Jesus considered you precious? He considered it a joy to redeem you. That’s the love we are rooted in. It’s not our own fickle, fleeting, weak love. It is our Lord’s eternal, unshakable, true love. Jesus is worth the pain. He’s worth the awkward, sheepish shame that so often comes with repentance. He’s worth imprisonment. He’s worth celibacy and ridicule. He’s worth the cost of obedience.
We’re a gnarly, messy bunch of branches. We didn’t earn the life Jesus fills us with, and we’ve still got a long way to go before we’re completely pruned. But God in His infinite love and power and mercy chose to graft us to Jesus so that we might abide in Him. And this invitation is open to all.
This sermon was preached for RUF at CNU’s Virtual Large Group on April 1, 2020. RUF’s Large Group is a weekly worship service that has now shifted to live-streaming on YouTube thanks to COVID-19. Our passage comes from Jonah 2:1-10. 1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish,
I had the wonderful opportunity to fill the pulpit at By Grace Community Church (PCA) in Newport News, Virginia. It was such a blessing to preach at the church that has poured so much into me over the last six years, and I wouldn’t have chosen any other congregation to preach my first sermon to!
If I’m honest with myself, I’m not okay with being not okay. Don’t get me wrong. In one sense, this is holy…But there’s another way that not being okay with being not okay is evil and wrong. Instead of hating my sin, I tend to hate myself for sinning at all. I expect myself to be perfect—sinless—right now. Whenever I feel I’ve sinned, I’m thrown into despair. That’s wrong. Here’s why.