Fall baptisms happened this weekend at Granger Community Church as we closed out the GAMEPLAN series with 165 people taking their next step and going under the water. It was an incredible time of celebrating the work that God continues to do in His people. A big thanks for all the hours of volunteer time that are represented in a weekend like this. The impact of your serve may never be known to us, but without a doubt it is reflected in our effort to bring the “up there, down here”. May your kingdom come, right here, right now!
Here is the sermon excerpt that I promised to post. …this life of following Jesus is a discovery of God’s holy standard, striving towards making it our own and coming to the realization that we cannot do it by our own efforts. “Taking up our cross daily” is a constant reminder of the nature of Jesus atonement. Our belief is that the sacrifice of Jesus is the basis of our repentance and the motivation to be more like Him. As we become more like Him we have a “change in mind” which causes a “change in behavior” and this results in a life of grace and service. But the daily “taking up of our cross”, this struggle against the challenges and temptations of personal sins can seem overwhelming at times and so, it is good for us to remember the gospel.
Feeling proud? Remember the gospel: Jesus substituted Himself for you personally and died painfully in your place.
Feeling discouraged? Remember the gospel: Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law by permanently removing the cause of God’s wrath (expiation) and making you favorable to Him (propitiation).
Feeling self-righteous? Remember the gospel: only Jesus could redeem you by paying the judicial penalty of your sin and liberating you from its penalty
.Feeling afflicted? Remember the gospel: Jesus cancelled your “certificate of debt” and took away the force of your accuser.
Feeling hopeless? Remember the gospel: Jesus reconciled a divine relationship between you and God which resulted in eternal life for your soul. Are you still feeling hopeless? Remember the gospel and the words of CS Lewis:
“You must ask for God’s help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.” – C.S. Lewis