IN JESUS' NAME
MAY 14, 2023
If you could change your name to anything, what would you change it to?
When we try to follow Jesus, grace always meets us when we fall off the wagon. No matter how far we fall, God is there to take us back the moment we turn to Him. We don't have to give a long acceptance speech to receive His grace. We don't even need to get our act together first -he scoops us into His arms when we're still covered in mud from head to toe and calls us beautifully His. If we find ourselves becoming more concerned with proving we have all the right knowledge about Jesus than living out the message of Jesus, we need to get back to where we started when we first heard about grace. In what ways have you been trying to prove your commitment to God instead of trusting His approval of you?
In the message, we talked about how we sometimes let our life experience define our understanding of God. But that isn't the way it was intended to be, and the reality is that 'Regardless of what you have come to believe about God based on your life experience, the truth is that when God thinks of you, love swells in his heart and a smile comes to his face. When God thinks of us, he feels a deep, persistent longing - not simply for our wholeness, but for our friendship. He is far from being emotionally uninvolved with his creation. God's bias toward us is strong, persistent and positive. The Christian God chooses to be known as love, and that love pervades every aspect of God's relationship with us. We were created from love for love, and deep down, something with us longs to return to the Garden; deep down we know that this is where we belong.' What would change if you believed what God said about you?
The challenge given to us this week was to read John 13-17 and spend time looking into and beginning to practice spiritual disciplines. We can be encouraged to know that spending time with God is not wasted time. It's actually the best use of time to spend time with the One who created time in the first place. He knew we would need to eat, sleep, work, and brush our teeth, yet He still asked us to pray He urged us to spend time with Him because He knew it would actually change everything. So what's your plan to be distracted by Jesus this week?
Any other thoughts or questions from the message?
*REMINDER! There is no Ascent next Sunday. We'll be back for our finale with the African Worship Community leading us in worship on May 28th!