Summary: We have to experience God’s grace to understand it.

Title: Grace Is Greater

Place: BLCC

Date: 1/7/18

Text: Hebrews 12.15

CT: We have to experience God’s grace to understand it.

[Screen 1]

FAS: I am a firm believer in following Jesus. I could preach about following Jesus every week and be correct in what I need to do. Truth is known, I do preach about following Jesus every week to some degree.

The thing is that when Jesus invites us to follow Him, he also invites us to deny ourselves and take up a cross. [Screen 2] Luke 9.23. Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Most of us don’t like that idea too much. What does Jesus mean by saying to take up our cross? We want to follow Jesus, sure, but this denying ourselves and taking up our cross sounds just a little bit out there. We want to accept Jesus’ invitation but we like our comfortable lifestyle that means we follow Jesus as long as we can forget about carrying our cross.

I mean we want to be, as close to Jesus so we can get the benefits from Him, but not so close that it requires us to give up something we want. When Jesus offers his gracious invitation to people in need, that is all of us, it actually makes them uncomfortable. So much so that many often-left Jesus in large crowds to go home.

John 6.66, From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

I mean what if this morning I picked out something to get on that you are really struggling with. I know I do this occasionally. I do step on your toes, after I have already stepped on mine all week. I do this because I love you all and don’t want anyone to go down hill.

Let’s say I go home after a really tough preaching session. I really came down on some sin in a big way. Someone handed me a scripture as they left. I was busy and didn’t have time to read it, but I thanked the man for giving it to me. But when I got home I cleaned out my pockets so Kathy would not get all over me for leaving stuff in there for her to deal with. [Screen 3]

There was the scripture: Hebrews 12.15, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

LS: After reading that I did some real searching of my heart. I still want to challenge everyone I preach to, but I always have it in the back of my mind, the Holy Spirit reminding me to see that no one misses the grace of God.

The word “misses’ could be translated to mean “fails to receive” or ‘fails to obtain” or “fails to experience.” My goal and prayer for this sermon series is that you receive, obtain and experience the grace of God in all your life.

[Screen 4]

Happy New Year. First time I have really got to speak to you this year. I have big hopes for our church this year. I want to reach as many people with the love of Christ as possible. Counting on you to make it happen.

At the beginning of each New Year there is usually an article of new words that have been brought out during the past year. It is kind of cool to see new words that are being used by people.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not using the words to impress you. Using words that people aren’t familiar with can seem somewhat puerile (childishly foolish) and maybe even a bit jejune (immature, uninformed).

Well I looked up some new words for us from last year. [Screen 5]

Ping, Face palm, and Froyo.

Ping- Instead of listing all the ways for someone else to get in touch with you, keep it simple and tell them to ping you. While ping used to be computer-specific, it now means to get in touch digitally, regardless of the platform.

Face palm-If you’ve thoroughly embarrassed yourself, or if you’re feeling that way about someone else’s behavior, go ahead and face palm. This word can also be used as a noun: “Bridget’s presentation this morning was a total face palm.”

Froyo- Ice cream’s vaguely garbage cousin finally got its due in 2017. While frozen yogurt has long been part of our vocabulary, froyo just got its own dictionary entry, meaning, more-or-less, “That gallon-sized cup of dessert I’m pretending is healthy, despite all the brownie pieces I just put on it.”

These are new words with new meanings. They are interesting and capture our attention for this reason. They are new and yet they define something familiar. [Screen 6]

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