Sermons

Summary: No matter our failures or shortfalls, Christ offers us restoration and wholesness to complete God’s will for our lives.

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WHEN WE WERE ALL KIDS IN GRADE SCHOOL, I AM SURE THAT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN OUR TEACHERS ASKED US TO SHARE WHAT WE WANTED TO BE WHEN WE GREW UP.

AS ALL CHILDREN WOULD ANSWER, WE MUST HAVE SAID THINGS LIKE "A FIREFIGHTER," "POLICE OFFICER," "DOCTOR," "ASTRONAUT," OR A "PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE."

I CANNOT IMAGINE FOR ONE MOMENT THAT THERE EVER WAS A CHILD WHO SAID, "WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE AN INCOMPLETE, UNFULFILLED, INCOMPETENT, A DISCONTENTED NOBODY WHO WILL NEVER REACH MY TRUEST POTENTIAL."

SOME PEOPLE DO FIND THEIR PURPOSE AND FULFILL GOD’S WILL FOR THEIR LIFE AND THERE ARE THOSE WHO DON’T. IN BOTH CASES THE END RESULT CAN BE ATTRIBUTED NOT TO ABILITY OR DESIRE, BUT BY HOW ONE ENCOUNTERED AND HANDLED THE DETOURS ALONG THE ROAD TO THEIR GREATEST POTENTIAL.

WE MAKE THE CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO GO THROUGH LIFE IN OTHER WAYS THAT END UP RUINING OUR GOD-GIVEN POTENTIAL AND OUR GOD-GIVEN DESTINIES. SOMETIMES IT IS BECAUSE WE GET CAUGHT UP IN DETOURS THAT AREN’T OF OUR OWN MAKING. BUT, EITHER WAY, IT IS IN HOW WE RESPOND TO THOSE DETOURS THAT WILL USUALLY DETERMINE WHERE WE END UP NEXT.

THIS IS WHY SOME LIVES ARE FILLED WITH SO MANY "IF ONLY" STATEMENTS. "IF ONLY I HADN’T PASSED ON THAT RUMOR," "IF ONLY I HAD TAKEN THAT JOB TRANSFER WHEN THE PLANT SHUT DOWN," "IF ONLY I WOULD HAVE LISTENED TO YOUR ADVICE," OR "IF ONLY I HAD SOUGHT HELP INSTEAD OF TURNING TO ALCOHOL."

WE DON’T HAVE TO LEAVE A TRAIL OF "IF ONLY" STATEMENTS BEHIND US AS WE PROGRESS THROUGH THIS JOURNEY CALLED ’LIFE.’ WE DO NOT HAVE TO SUCCUMB TO THE LIES THAT WE MUST YIELD TO A LIFE OF REGRET THAT OFFERS NO HOPE OR HEALING SIMPLY BECAUSE WE GAVE IN TO OUR SINFULNESS.

BECAUSE OF THE OUTRAGEOUS LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE LIBERTY OF HIS FORGIVENESS, WE CAN FULLY REALIZE THAT CHRIST WILL ALSO OFFER US THE HOPE OF WHOLENESS TO RESTORE US BACK ONTO THE RIGHT TRACK OF PURSUING OUR TRUEST POTENTIAL WHICH IS GOD’S WILL FOR OUR LIVES.

PSALM 34:18, "THE LORD IS CLOSE TO THE BROKENHEARTED AND SAVES THOSE WHO ARE CRUSHED IN SPIRIT." ISAIAH 53:3-4, "HE WAS DESPISED AND REJECTED BY MEN, A MAN OF SORROWS, AND FAMILIAR WITH SUFFERING…SURELY HE TOOK UP OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED OUR SORROWS, YET WE CONSIDERED HIM STRICKEN BY GOD, SMITTEN BY HIM, AND AFFLICTED."

THE GOOD NEWS FOR US TODAY IS THAT JESUS CHRIST WHO OFFERS US HIS RESTORING WHOLENESS HAS NOT ONLY SHARED IN OUR SUFFERING, BUT BECAME FULLY AWARE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO SUFFER GREATLY WHEN HE WENT TO THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS.

JESUS CHRIST HAS FULLY PROVEN TO US THAT HE WANTS US TO BE HEALED AND MADE WHOLE. HE HAS PROVEN THAT HE IS ALWAYS CLOSE ENOUGH TO CARE. HE HAS PROVEN THAT HE IS WILLING TO SHARE HIS ETERNAL POWER TO BRING US THROUGH THE HEALING PROCESS.

ONE OF THE POWERFUL MESSAGES IN THE GOSPELS IS THE STORY OF JESUS CHRIST OFFERING HEALING AND WHOLENESS TO THOSE NEEDING MERCY, FORGIVENESS, AND RESTORATION. JESUS SPENT A GOOD DEAL OF HIS TIME WITH SUCH PEOPLE.

IT IS WHY THE PHARISEES WERE ALWAYS SO ANGERED WITH JESUS. THE PHARISEES WERE MORE INTERESTED IN SEEING THAT SINNERS WERE CRUSHED FOR THEIR SINS. THEY HAD LITTLE PLACE FOR ANYONE WHO ACCEPTED AND TRANSFORMED THE SINNER TO THE SAME STANDING OF "THE RIGHTEOUS."


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