Welcome to 2023! How we are going to move forward into the new year? Our fresh start in 2023 should be the start of an impactful year reflecting in who Christ is and that His strength in us can turn obstacles into targets.
It is not about how much we have been forgiven but about how much we REALIZE we have been forgiven. Our human nature tends to get in the way of God’s grace. We are reminded by both that when we trust God’s will for our lives, we will be reminded of God’s grace and filled with gratitude for what he has done.
Messes come in a lot of different ways. Sometimes they come through a strain in a relationship, a misunderstanding with a family member, a mistake at work or perhaps a financial mistake at home. We all have regrets, failures, temptations, struggles with certain sins and past pain and failures that can trip us up in life. But your story is not done being written by God. Life can be a mess sometimes but through faith in God – God changes our story to a, “Beautiful Mess”.
Endurance is closely tied to the ability to overcome. We all have a part to play in God’s plan but answering our call requires us to overcome the challenges placed before us. The life of Job is held up as an example of endurance through hard times by holding to the truths we know about God and holding on to the promises of God given to us through his Word. In the end, we are reminded that staying within and trusting the word of God is what helps is to endure in our faith.
Glorification has a lot to do with hope. Hope can mean different things to different people but, ultimately, hope allows us to endure and keeps us from giving up (even in the face of despair). He reminds us that death, ultimately, is part of the process of Glorification (where we spend eternity in God’s glory) and hope provides us the security to hold on to God’s promises (because God cannot lie).
Today we learn about having a servant’s heart through the sharing of two powerful testimonies. First Dwayne shared how faith is not enough and that, when we serve, is not about what we are but who God is. Alex then followed this up by teaching us that, when you have a servant’s heart you will…
Jesus is active in heaven and on earth using the Bible as a guide to the evidence of his work. We are reminded that our job is to be witnesses to Jesus through the use of mercy and compassion in a broken world as we let God work through us.
Sanctification is about being set apart; not because of how great we are but because of how great God is. It is a process that takes time by letting what happened on the inside through justification be expressed by what’s happening on the outside (highlighting the difference between who we were before Christ and who we are now)
Justification is a free gift by God’s mercy and grace through faith (and the death of his son) which, without any action from us, makes it “just as if you’ve never sinned”.
The book of Colossians is full of concepts of thankfulness. In today’s sermon, Tony reminds us that true, overwhelming gratitude comes from God’s grace and if we are not overflowing with it, we need to reexamine our relationship with God and remember what we have been saved from. We are reminded that, as Christians, we can always overflow with gratitude (regardless of what we do or do not have); we just need to reflect on where our heart is and keep our focus on God.