So im gonna do this blog a little different than normal! I’m going to write about something that touched my life pretty significantly! So significantly that I’ve spent the last 2 weeks really diving into it. Reading the scripture, pulling it apart little by little. So if you don’t know… I go to Truth and Grace in Mattoon Illinois! I’ve been attending services there for the last 5 months! There’s been so many changes in my life, since I started attending services! Little by little I was finding the 🔥 inside myself that I haven’t seen since I was young! I honestly never thought I’d see the day that I’d ever feel that fire again! It’s such a phenomenal feeling, I can’t even explain! <Back story> 17 years ago…. I attended church regularly. For probablythe first 17 years of my life.. I was working at going to Lincoln Christian College to be a Youth minister. I was so in love with my faith… until the world went crashing down and I wasnt…… so to finally feel alive again after so many years, has really made an impact on my heart!
So July 24th we had a sermon on breaking down the gospel in 5 words by Colton. God, Sin, Jesus, Repent & Life
This sermon… it hit! Like a 🪨 to my soul! This sermon opened my eyes to what changes had not only already taken place in me, but then it hit like a freight train what changes needed to come next! Prior to this Sunday, I never really processed what the Gospel meant… I mean sure we all use the term but I never tried to break it down the way it was done. So this blog is just that… breaking the sermon down, in the aspects of how it hit me that Sunday morning and what came with it!
Ya know so many of us, including me at times, think that by attending weekly services on Sundays are ” Doing the Christian thing”… almost like it’s gonna cover us for the whole week. Get your Jesus on Sunday and go on living your best life after. That’s not the way it’s suppose to be, God doesn’t want to just see you on Sundays worshiping him then you forget him till the next week. He wants you every day, all day! He wants to be apart of your happy, your sad, your battles, your praises, and your storms! It’s through his words that we are to rely on him! He doesn’t want us to rely on ourselves to get where we need to, he wants us to shift our focus to him and he will provide.
This isant always an easy task, I get it! It’s super easy to just go on with your day to day and just worship on Sundays but let me tell you this my friends…. once you completely switch over to giving God Complete control… Life becomes sooo much sweeter! He listens at all times… when your driving down the street, when your pushing your child on the swing, when your playing basketball, when your stressing in that doctors appointment… there’s not a single moment of any day that he won’t listen and be there… you just have to give him that option! He is there for the good and the bad. He’s not just there when our world’s falling apart but when our worlds finally falling into place. I can’t express enough how much changes inside and outside of you once you give him full authority of your life.
<16>And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden. <17>but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
During the sermon… it was explained that, The day that Adam/ Eve ate the 🍎… they fully knew what they were doing! “Our sin is rebellion of creature nature against our very creator!” Just like us, They made a choice at that moment to trade favor with God for the pursuit of their own pleasure! They decided they could eat from the tree, reject the creator and be just as powerful as he was and do it alone.. that was there sin! As for the rest of us… were trying to confuse sin with sin effects Jesus didn’t come to save us from our sense of guilt, meaningless, emptiness… those are just the symptoms of our sins! Our God doesn’t treat symptoms, he treats the underlining problem! We also confuse sin with “sins”! Like for instance “I was a miserable sinner before I came to know Christ, but man I do not sin as much now, so I must be better!” It’s not our Sins he comes to save us from but our Sin! We struggle with a sin nature For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
It was during this part of the sermon that I realized how much I was bartering with God! How much I was not really giving my 100, putting it all in. I was picking and choosing what pieces of me God got, and what pieces I didn’t have to settle with. I wanted it all but I was making excuses on why I couldn’t give up certian things. I felt 💯 percent conviction in this moment. My heart hit hard. I had spent the last several weeks digging more into The Word, more into my church, more into my spiritual walk. The conviction had hit little bits here and there over a few weeks but during this sermon …. a Freight train came straight at me… what was I doing? Why was I allowing myself to settle just to be comfortable? Why, was I so scared to plunge straight into what I knew I wanted and needed so very much? What was really holding me back….? Why were these “Sins” I was grasping on to with every fiber in my being so important for me to hold on to?!
Next on the sermon was Jesus! Jesus was the cure for all of us! He was created and sent to save EVERY single one of us! John 3:16 ” For God, so loved the world he gave his one and only son that whoever shall believe in him shall have everlasting life”! He came as a sacrifice, he came and lived life perfectly without flow or fail. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:21. As Colton our Youth Pastor presented this sermon he stated “Jesus gave his life as a ransom for many, he came to live the life we couldn’t to pay the price we should have” God allowed his Son to come and bare the weight of all of our sins, so that we may be able to be rightous enough to live within His kingdom forever. He allowed His Son to be beaten, tortured, ridiculed all because we could not contain our sin! You can’t downplay the price you were bought for. Christ was our full sacrifice! He has called us to put a reliance on our faith, to trust him completely! Jesus came to fully accept our transgressions so that he can stand in front of his father and say I have paid their price!
This was a hard pill to swallow. This made me feel so small, as it should! How can we be so self absorbed at times not realizing how much the Savior did for us! He took what we deserved in tenfold and without complaints bared all at the cross! He without any regret, without any concern felt mercy on our souls and gave us the chance at a true freedom! With that, how are we not spending every single day doing everything we can to rejoice in him. How are we not thankful, greatful, and obedient! This man who never met us, loved us so much, he was beaten and bruised so that we may someday understand His Father’s Everlasting Love! the next part of the sermon became my new favorite Bible verse…. it actually inspired my next tattoo…
1st Peter 2:24 “By His wounds You have been healed” as we all know… I battle a wound for 6 months that left a pretty scar behind, I’ve said from the beginning eventually I’m going to put a tattoo around it once it’s healed and the doctor gives the okay and I think this Bible verse will look perfect right there!
Repentance and life! In this last part of the sermon it’s taught that repentance is not optional, it’s mandatory! Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” you can not serve both God and addictions, both God and jobs, faith is reliance… faith alone! You can not serve both God and man! Repentance is to turn from your sinful ways and follow the master! Now we can take our sins to our father who takes our sins away, who gives us a way out by reconciliation. If you choose to not trade favor with God for the pursuit of your own pleasures, you then can choose to make God the Authority in your life and reconcile with him for everlasting life. First and foremost Christ died on the cross and raised for each of us, that we are in this world but not of it. Forgiveness, redemption, faith, reliance that we receive only thrive and because of the cross.
You wanna know my why’s.. why this sermon hit so very very hard.. Change is a really hard thing for me! On every level, I don’t like change! I WANT CHANGE WITHOUT ANY OF THE WORK! I’m human just like everyone else! I mess up, I fall down, I hold on, I grip on, I love hard, I don’t like patience, I don’t like being uncomfortable… I don’t like new… this… this right here is all the reasons I was holding on to my normal for SO LONG… because the what if’s are scary, and mind blowing! But my friends, that conviction laid on my heart that Sunday morning…. was a whole new feeling! It was Amazing, exhilarating, remarkable, beyond words. It was life changing, I teared, I cried, I felt, I processed…I knew in that very moment it was time for some BIG CHANGES, I knew in that moment God had been putting in some work on me, and I needed to start doing some hard work on my self. It was time to start preparing myself to be worthy of his kingdom!
That morning my life changed in many ways… it was just the beginning… I had no idea what kind of impact that sermon was going to place on my heart! I’m not big at going in front of anyone. I’m terrified of most humans now a days, too be honest! Alters terrify me, I’ve went up once with a nudge from missy but other than that I’ve never really thought about it and without hesitated that morning with a tears in my eyes, I turned around and looked at a friend Wes and we went straight to the alter… what I didn’t know was what was going to come next. I heard another friend voice as she started praying… it was the most amazing moment I’ve ever felt… I was right where I needed to be and it wasn’t until I opened my eyes minutes later that I realized I was surrounded by so many loved ones praying over me! That my friends, was God’s Love! That was a pure moment of, this is all part of his plan.
After church it still sat with me. I needed to dive more in… so every day for 9 days I spent anywhere from 2 to 4 hours diving into that sermon.. taking notes.. diving into the Bible.. reading the verses, examining every inch of it and comparing it to my life…. I had questioned a couple times if I was ready… really ready but I was scared…. until this past Tuesday. My hearts been heavy, I’ve been doing the work, I stopped bartering with God… and as I was diving hard into the word.. my heart said it was time… it was time to take that step and make that recommitment. I was baptized in 2001, I fell away in 2004.. I was very lost for a very long time. On Tuesday morning I messaged our pastor that I recommited my life to Christ and that I wanted to follow him! Within minutes of sending that…. one of my special friends messaged me that it was weighing on her heart to pray with me at the alter and I should meet her at the church. She had no idea I had just messaged our pastor so to both of their surprises the 3 of us say and talked, and prayed and it was such a beautiful moment! There were so many “God Nudges” I was so scared to commit… I was terrified to fail but I had to remember it’s not about being perfect, it’s about trying my best and when I do fall short to repent and come back from it.
12 days later and I have offically finished digging into this sermon. And can start to move on to the next! 💛 until later