Are Christians delusionally optimistic or toxically positive in the face of suffering? Is religion just a sad excuse for a crutch in the face of our crushing circumstances? I would say: absolutely not! Christianity avoids both delusional optimism and toxic positivity, and our text this morning shows us how.
There’s something in us that longs for deep family connection and unity, and when we find it, it becomes precious to us. Family is home. Who is your family? Who feels like home for you?
Healthy, Christ-centered preaching is an essential part of every Sunday worship service, and you have an active role in that. Preaching isn’t just a boring, irrelevant lecture. God calls us to something far better.
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!
No sin is small enough to let persist in your life…You cannot be stripped of your salvation, but you must be stripped of everything else.