Summary: Experience Grace and find the freedom to start fresh.
Dakota Community Church
September 18, 2005
I want to welcome you to Dakota Community Church this morning but more than that I want to welcome you to experience grace and a fresh start.
There are many possible reasons for needing grace and a fresh start.
- Battling Illness
- Marital Stress
- Divorce or separation
- Job difficulty
- Death in the family
- Kid issues
I specifically want to call three groups of people to experience grace and start fresh today:
1. Those who are fainting.
Matthew 11: 28-30
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly."
- People faint when they are trying to earn it.
Imagine a wick that is placed in oil, and then lit. If the oil runs out, the wick burns. As long as there is oil, the wick doesn’t burn. As long as we are living in dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit, we don’t burn out. The question to ask: what’s burning?
- People faint when they are being manipulated.
Matthew 23: 4
They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
- People faint when they get dehydrated.
1Kings 19: 3-4
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors."
What fixed him of this problem? God in the silence!
John 7: 37-39
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
If you are tired, thirsty and ready to faint, come and experience the grace that is in Jesus.
If you are exhausted from dancing to another person’s drum or if you have been manipulated by religion, come and experience grace and start fresh.
If you stopped drinking in his presence, come and experience grace and start fresh.
2. Those who are hurting.
I know there are some here today who have not had anything to do with the church for some time because of a deep wound they have received. Some may even have allowed it to fester and separate them from God altogether.
The Lord is longing for you to return to Him and to the Body.
1Corinthians 12: 18-21
God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don’t need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don’t need you!"
If Jesus wants you to be a part of the Body, what has been done to you that justifies denying Him?
Matthew 18: 32-33
"Then the master called the servant in. ’You wicked servant,’ he said, ’I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’
Sometimes we are hurting because of what others have said about us. Even if it is true!
A small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial -- a grandmotherly, elderly woman.
He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"
She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."