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2024-07-07 A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE NEW CREATION

Title: Embracing God's New Creation: A Journey to Eternity

Have you ever wondered what heaven will be like? Maybe you've imagined it as a place where all your dreams come true, where you can eat anything you want, or be as fit as you desire. But what if heaven, or more accurately, the new creation, is not about what we want, but about what God wants for us?

In our recent sermon, we explored the concept of the new creation as described in Revelation 21. This isn't just a theological idea; it's a promise of a future where God makes everything new, a place where He will dwell with us forever. Let's dive into what this means for you and how it can transform your life today.

The New Creation: A Place of New Beginnings

The Bible tells us in Revelation 21:1, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more." This new creation is not just a refurbished version of our current world; it's a completely renewed and restored place, free from the effects of sin and death.

Imagine a world where there is no more pain, no more grief, and no more death. Revelation 21:4 promises, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." This is the life that awaits those who have placed their trust in Jesus.

Why Should You Care?

You might be wondering, "What's in it for me?" The answer is profound: God wants to live with you. Revelation 21:3 says, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God." This isn't just about a future promise; it's about a relationship that starts now and lasts for eternity.

God's desire to dwell with us is not new. From the Garden of Eden to the Tabernacle in the wilderness, to Jesus walking among us, and now through the Holy Spirit living in us, God's plan has always been to be with His people. The new creation is the culmination of this divine desire.

What Should You Do?

So, what does this mean for you today? Here are some concrete steps you can take to align your life with God's eternal plan:

  1. Trust in Jesus: If you haven't already, place your trust in Jesus. He lived a perfect life, died for your sins, and rose again to give you eternal life. This is the first step to experiencing the new creation.

  2. Live with Eternity in Mind: Start living your life with the new creation in mind. This means prioritizing your relationship with God, loving others, and seeking to do His will in all areas of your life.

  3. Share the Hope: Tell others about the hope of the new creation. Many people are living without hope, and you have the opportunity to share the good news of what God has prepared for those who love Him.

Conclusion

The point is clear: God wants to live with you forever in a new creation that is free from sin, pain, and death. What will you do this week to draw closer to Him? Will you trust in Jesus, live with eternity in mind, and share this hope with others?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of a new creation where You will dwell with us forever. Help us to trust in Jesus, live with eternity in mind, and share this hope with those around us. May we always seek to align our desires with Your perfect plan. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Posted by David Hopkins with
in Faith

2024-06-30 SURRENDER

Title: Total Surrender: What It Really Means to Follow Jesus

Have you ever wondered what it truly means to follow Jesus? You might think it’s about attending church on Sundays or being a good person. But what if I told you it’s about something much deeper—something that requires your whole heart and life? This past week, our youth experienced a powerful message about total surrender to Christ, and it’s a message that resonates with all of us.

Witnessing Transformation

One of the most beautiful things I’ve witnessed is seeing teenagers fall more in love with Jesus. At our recent youth camp, we saw decisions made that will have eternal implications. It wasn’t just about having fun or getting away; it was about lives being changed by God. I shared with our students that God used a youth camp to get ahold of me when I was 13, even though I had heard the gospel countless times before. This experience reaffirmed my belief in the power of youth ministry and the importance of total surrender to Christ.

What Is Total Surrender?

You might be asking, "What does total surrender look like?" Our camp pastor, Jason Cook, laid it out clearly: an idol is anything that haunts you when it’s absent from you. It’s anything that draws your attention away from Christ. We were challenged to lay down these idols and surrender everything to God. This isn’t just about giving up Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights; it’s about giving up 100% of who we are.

The Gospel: Not an Underdog Story

We often think of the gospel as an underdog story, but it’s not. Imagine you’re a cashier who steals from your store every day. Instead of being fired, the owner makes you president of the company. This is a weak yet clear illustration of the gospel. We are all sinners, yet God offers us grace and makes us new creations through Christ. This requires a heart change, a total surrender, not just a partial one.

Living Out Total Surrender

Paul’s words in Galatians 2:15-21 remind us that we are justified by faith in Christ, not by works of the law. He says, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." This means that our lives should reflect Christ in everything we do. It’s not about being a better person; it’s about being a new creation.

Practical Steps to Total Surrender

  1. Identify Your Idols: What are the things that take your focus away from Christ? Is it your job, your relationships, or your hobbies? Identify these idols and commit to laying them down.
  2. Daily Surrender: Take up your cross daily and follow Jesus. This means making conscious decisions every day to live for Him.
  3. Seek Accountability: Share your journey with someone you trust. Accountability can help you stay committed to your path of total surrender.
  4. Engage in Community: Surround yourself with fellow believers who can encourage and support you in your walk with Christ.

Conclusion

The gospel requires a response. It’s not enough to be neutral. You have to decide whether you will fully surrender to Christ or not. Paul’s words challenge us to live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. So, what will you do this week to give your whole heart to Jesus? Will you identify your idols and lay them down? Will you commit to daily surrender and seek accountability?

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to understand what it means to totally surrender our lives to You. Reveal the idols in our hearts and give us the strength to lay them down. May we live each day by faith, allowing Christ to live in us and through us. Guide us in our journey of total surrender, and let our lives be a testament to Your love and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Posted by Clint Jackson with

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