Sermons

Summary: God is absolutely crazy about us as any Father would be for His child.

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WHEN I STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT, I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT THERE ARE MANY REASONS GOD CHOOSES TO SAVES ALL OF US: TO BRING GLORY TO HIMSELF, TO APPEASE HIS JUSTICE, AND TO DEMONSTRATE HIS SOVEREIGNTY.

BUT ONE OF THE SWEETEST AND MOST POWERFUL REASONS THAT GOD WORKS TO SAVE US IS SIMPLY BECAUSE HE IS SO FOND OF US AND IS SO DESIROUS OF SPENDING TIME WITH US. SIMPLY PUT: HE LIKES HAVING YOU AROUND. HE THINKS YOU ARE THE BEST THING TO COME DOWN THE PIKE IN QUITE SOME TIME.

AS THE OLD SAYING GOES: IF GOD HAD A REFRIGERATOR, YOUR PICTURE WOULD BE ON IT. IF HE HAD A WALLET, YOUR PHOTO WOULD BE IN IT.

EACH AND EVERY DAY HE SENDS A SUNRISE TO GREET YOU IN THE MORNING AND A SUNSET AT NIGHT TO KISS YOU GOODNIGHT. HE SENDS YOU FLOWERS EVERY SPRING AND A THEN PAINTS YOU A VIVID AND COLORFUL REMINDER OF HIS LOVE TO YOU EVERY FALL.

WHAT A MIGHTY AND LOVING GOD WE SERVE TO KNOW THAT WHENEVER YOU WANT TO TALK, HE’LL LISTEN. WHENEVER YOU ARE HURTING, HE’LL COMFORT, AND WHEN YOU ARE FILLED WITH JOY, HE’LL CELEBRATE ALONG WITH YOU.

EVEN MORE AMAZING TO ME IS WHEN I TRY TO COMPREHEND THAT FACT THAT GOD CAN LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE, AND OF ALL THOSE PLACES HE CAN ABIDE, HE CHOSE MY HEART.

LET’S JUST FACE THE FACT RIGHT NOW: GOD IS CRAZY ABOUT US! NOTHING MORE DOES HE DESIRE THAN TO BE WITH US IN ORDER TO TALK, WALK, AND COMMUNE WITH YOU ON AN INTIMATE BASIS THAT GROWS FROM A DAILY BASIS OF FRIENDSHIP AND FATHERSHIP TO AN ETERNITY OF WORSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP. AGAIN, GOD LOVES US THAT MUCH!

AS ROMANS 5:6-10, TELLS US, GOD POURED OUT HIS LOVE TO US TO NOT ONLY DESCRIBE HIS LOVING CHARACTER, BUT TO PROVE TO US THAT HIS DESIRE WAS TO SAVE US AND TO HAVE A LOVING, PERSONAL INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH US.

ROMANS 5:8, “BUT GOD DEMONSTRATED HIS OWN LOVE TOWARD US IN THAT WHILE WE WRE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US.” THAT IS THE WONDERFUL GIFT OF LOVE THAT HE HAS SHOWERED UPON US THAT NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON WOULD HAVE TO PERISH FOR ALL ETERNITY.

GOD HAS MANIFESTED HIS LOVE TO US THROUGH THE DEATH OF HIS SON JESUS SO THAT WE COULD COME TO HIM, FIND PEACE WITH HIM, AND BECOME HEIRS OF HIS PROMISES.

THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE FATHER’S LOVE AND THE GIFT’S THAY HE GIVES IS THAT THEY ARE GIVEN REGARDLESS IF THEY ARE ACCEPTED BY US OR NOT. THEY ARE GIVEN ON AN UNCONDITIONAL BASIS.

THERE ARE NO PREREQUISITES OR ANY CONDITION ONE MUST BE IN “FIRST” BEFORE THEY CAN RECEIVE THE GIFT. ONE MUST SIMPLY JUST ACCEPT WHAT IS GIVEN. WHAT, THEN, IS THIS GIFT OF LOVE THAT THE FATHER GIVES? IT IS GRACE!

EPHESIANS 2:8, “FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH.” GOD HAS LAVISHED HIS GIFT OF GRACE UPON US AND HAS GIVEN IT TO US IN THREE DISTINCT WAYS: PREVENIENT GRACE, JUSTIFYING GRACE, AND SANCTIFYING GRACE.

FIRST, PREVENIENT GRACE WHICH IS REALIZATION WITHIN ONE’S OWN LIFE THAT REALIZES THAT SALVATION IS A GRACIOUS GIFT OF GOD AND IT MUST NOT BE CONFUSED WITH HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT, WITH THE EXERCISE OF HUMAN WILL, OR WITH THE FAITHFUL PRUSUIT OF A CHRISTIAN SYLE OF LIFE. SALVATION IS THE WORK OF GOD AND OF NO OTHER.

NOT ONLY DOES GOD DO ALL THE WORK, BUT HE ALSO PUTS FORTH THE EFFORT TO BRING US TO HIMSELF. GOD TAKES THE INITIATIVE IN MAKING SINNERS AWARE OF THEIR NEEDS, USING HIS WORD, THE REVELATION IN JESUS CHRIST, THE GOSPEL PROCLAMATION OF THE CHURCH, THE WITNESS OF INDIVIDUALS, AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE EXPERIENCE IN LIFE.

IN ALL OF THESE WAYS THAT GOD REACHES OUT TO US, THE HOLY SPIRIT THEN TAKES ALL OF THESE MEANS AND USES THEM TO AWAKEN OUR HEARTS TO THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL AND TO OUR NEED OF REPENTANCE. ONCE AWAKENED, WE MUST EITHER REJECT THIS CALL OF GOD OR TURN TO GOD IN REPENTANCE AND FAITH.

THIS IS CALLED “PREVENIENT GRACE” BECAUSE GOD HAS BEEN GRACIOUS IN DOING EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO “PREVENT” US FROM BEING SEPARATED FROM HIM NOW AND FOR ALL ETERNITY.

SECONDLY, THERE IS JUSTIFYING GRACE WHICH IS SOMETHING GOD DOES FOR US THROUGH HIS SON JESUS. HERE, IF WE WILL DECLARE OUR SINFULNESS, CONFESS OUR SINS, AND INVITE JESUS INTO OUR LIVES TO BE OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, GOD WILL POUR OUT HIS GRACIOUS GIFT OF PARDON AND WILL FORGIVE ALL OUR SINS.

WITH THAT FORGIVENESS, WE ARE JUSTIFIED IN GOD’S SIGHT AND SET FREE FROM BOTH THE GUILT AND THE PENALTY OF THOSE SINS. IN A SENSE, JUSTIFYING GRACE ALLOWS US TO BE ACCOUNTED AS RIGHTEOUS TO THE POINT WHERE WE CAN SAY THAT IT IS “JUST-IF-I” (JUSTIFIED) HAD NEVER SINNED. IN OTHER WORDS, JUSTIFYING GRACE IS THE MOMENT OF SALVATION FOR THE ONE WHO CALLS UPON THE LORD IN FAITH.

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