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Let's BLESS People by Daniel Williams

lets bless people.jpg

I love the summer! Kids are out of school which means we are all sleeping in (praise God!) and the only regular thing about our routine is the sun coming out and it being HOT. So even though we don’t really have typical seasons in Florida, it feels like a different season. And during this summer season as a church, we have had encouragement from the Lord to focus on Evangelism and Outreach…we want to proclaim Jesus to people and for our church family to be a blessing to our community. Even though we didn’t know the specific details of what that would look like for us as a church at first, it has been encouraging to see God lead us with some pretty cool events. 

This summer as a group we have passed out door hangers in a new neighborhood, participated and helped lead in the very first Love Delray (an event where we had 105 people serve in very practical ways with 4 different organizations in our community), we have seen a church planter and his wife join our church to be discipled and sent out by Redemption Church (Lord willing in 2019), and we passed out hundreds of water bottles and invites at a city booth on the Fourth of July…and the summer isn’t over! But before we move on and continue focus on other big events we have planned to reach people, I wanted to make sure you don’t miss out. 

We can sometimes can focus so much on these “bigger” community events that we forget to be personal. It is so important that each of us makes a simple commitment to personally evangelizing and reaching out to the community God places us in. God wants to use YOU this summer to reach people for Him, and He doesn’t need an event to do so. We will and are continuing to plan out opportunities to evangelize as a church, BUT you don’t have to wait until our next event…and you shouldn’t! My heart for you is to be reaching people for Jesus EVERYWHERE you go, to be inviting people personally to our church gatherings, and to be sharing the gospel on a daily basis wherever and with whomever God would have you. 

So, HOW do we practically do this? 

I want to share a simple tool that I recently came across to make this season of Evangelism and Outreach more personal for you. It is called the BLESS tool. It is a simple acronym for you to practice and try to do every day with people. And although it may be a new acronym for you, these are already familiar things that are biblical that we as a church have been doing. 

BLESS stands for: 

B - BEGIN WITH PRAYER (I will pray for the people in my life and the places that I’m in.)

L - LISTEN (I will listen to and discover the needs of others and the places where God is at work)

E - EAT (I will share meals and spend time with people in my life)

S - SERVE (I will respond to the needs of others and help them in practical & impactful ways)

S - STORY (I will share the story of Jesus and what He is doing in my life with others. 

You can follow the link below to download more on BLESS and simple ways for you to implement it.

This is just another way to have this season of Evangelism & Outreach be personal to you. No tool is perfect, but hopefully it can be a reminder that we do need to keep it simple and not just have “big” events for this season. God wants to use ALL of us to make disciples, and this is a great tool to help with that.  So read through the download document, and let me know what you think. Share the stories with one another as you try some of these things with people. And let’s remember that more than just an event or a season, we want PROCLAIMING JESUS to be a lifestyle.  

Praying you BLESS many people as you proclaim Jesus.

-Pastor Daniel

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EASTER | A Gateway For The Gospel of Jesus by Daniel Williams

Easter is a pretty big deal. And not just for Christians!

Easter is an extremely popular holiday around the world—I recently read an article from CNN called “Easter By The Numbers” which talked about how Easter has become such a big deal specifically in the United States. In 2015, Americans planned to purchase 180 million eggs for dying and decorating and planned to spend approximately $16.4 billion dollars on the holiday. The same article stated that 50.8% of Americans planned to attend an Easter Service over the holiday weekend that same year. It is easy to see that Easter is a big deal not only in our country, but all around the word—and I want to remind you that this a good thing!

Easter provides Christians a unique opportunity.

Some people criticize this national holiday and say it is too commercialized and has become a tradition without substance and meaning. The idea that people relate Easter to the Easter bunny instead of Jesus causes some to write it off completely as a pagan holiday. And while I agree it has become a secular tradition for many, I still consider Easter to be a wonderful and important holiday because the message of JESUS has the power to save!

The tradition of remembering and proclaiming the death and burial of the resurrection of Jesus is a good thing for our nation whether they want to accept it or not. And the gospel of Jesus is not only good for those who have never heard this wonderful message, but for those who have already believed and are following Jesus. The Apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 1:12 “Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.” We should be remembering and proclaiming the gospel in our churches all year long, but God has also granted to us a national holiday to celebrate Jesus being alive! 

If we have a chance to remember and proclaim the gospel of Jesus to people who may attend our churches because it is Easter, this is good news! This holiday gives us an opportunity where more people are open and interested in attending a church service where the focus is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus! What a wonderful opportunity to share how Jesus gives hope, life and joy to everyone who believes and follows Him. This gospel message has the power to save everyone who calls upon Jesus as Savior and Lord, including those who may not understand the full significance of the Easter Holiday! And we have the opportunity to tell them!

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

People need to hear that Jesus is ALIVE!

Because Jesus is alive, we can trust His word. For He proclaimed many times that He would die and rise again (Mark 8:31; 9:30-32; 10:33-34) proving to us that what He says is truthful and all His promises are for sure. Because Jesus is alive, we know that our sins are truly forgiven by the work on the cross, that the Holy Spirit dwells with us and that God has the power to raise us up as well. (Romans 8:11; 1 Cor 15:49)

I like what theologian Leon Morris said about the resurrection of Jesus, “The cross is the victory, the resurrection is the triumph…The resurrection is the public display of the victory, the triumph of the crucified one.” The resurrection was to be the sign that demonstrated Jesus as the one whom He claimed to be and proves to us that He conquered sin and death (Matt 12:39-40; 1 Cor 15:55-56). So because Jesus is alive now we can know that He is God, we can have life in Him and know that He worthy of our praise!

So, let’s celebrate our RISEN Savior!

We don’t need a national holiday to remember that Jesus rose again, but what a wonderful opportunity to celebrate! Remember, that many people around us still have never heard the Gospel preached, so let’s take every opportunity we can to be inviting people to our Easter services and proclaim this wonderful news to everyone we know. Let’s not miss out on the wonderful holiday that we get to remember and profess that Jesus is alive. And because Jesus is alive, He is able to saves us from our sin and makes us spiritually alive! Praise God! We can all find hope, satisfaction and joy as we worship Jesus as our God. This national holiday is an important one to celebrate. So let’s enjoy Easter and remember and proclaim that Jesus is alive!

-Pastor Daniel


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The Simplicity of Loving Our Neighbors by Alesha Sinks

There is a simple command in the Bible that I overlook so often.

"Love your neighbor as yourself."
Mark 12:31

And when I do take the time to notice it, I often get boggged down in the how and why. I over-complicate it. Recently, I saw this verse practically lived out for me in the most ordinary and yet most powerful of ways.

On an ordinary and slightly overwhelming Tuesday morning several weeks ago, I was preparing for the possibility of hurricane Matthew and toting around a baby-almost-turned-toddler who didn't want to sit in the shopping cart one second longer. As I hurried through the parking lot pushing a cart full of giant diaper boxes with one hand and holding my little one with the other, I heard a someone shout at me.


I turned to see a women I had never met before sprinting across the parking lot toward me. She pushed my cart to the car and lifted those giant boxes into the back seat of my car with a smile. I didn't ask her to. She just saw a need and helped.

I was stunned.
I was overwhelmed by her kindness.

I saw so clearly in that moment the power of practical love.

I don't know that woman. I never found out her name. But I watched her load my groceries and smile at my toddler and love me with her actions. I still tear up thinking about it.

It's so easy for me to get caught in the lie that love must be grandious to make a difference. We think that we have to do something difficult or expensive or time-consuming or "original" in order to love our neighbors.

But I believe the love we are commanded to show our neighbors is so much simpler than we think.

It looks like needs spotted and met.
It looks like a willing listening ear.
It looks like opening the door.
It looks like a text to say, "I'm praying."
It looks like five dollar flowers on a doorstep.
It looks like a hug and a smile.
It looks like unloading a strangers groceries.
It looks like noticing and responding to simple needs that God places in our path.

I remember my college years pastor talking about this verse...

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:10

He shared a story about helping someone pick up something they had dropped. It was just a few steps and a few moments of his time, but he said, "I believe this was a good work God had prepared for me."

What weight of glory does this lay on our everyday moments when we realize that God has prepared in advance good works for us!

As the woman I never really met graciously loaded diapers into my car, I realized again the power that one simple act of kindness can have. Often our acts of love and service toward people who very literally cross our paths each day won't turn into opportunities to share why we are doing this. But I believe that whether an opportunity for deeper conversation arises or not, God is glorified when we walk in the good works He has prepared for us.

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Sharing Jesus in a World of Strangers by Laura Williams

If you are a parent, chances are you have heard or even used the term STRANGER DANGER. And whether you are an over-protective type with hand sanitizer in both hands at any given moment, or more "carefree," letting your kiddos explore and climb ant-ridden trees and eat the sand at the beach… Every loving parent has to address to subject of “stranger danger” with their child at some point. 

And for good reason! We want to protect our children against the unknown, from any person who might intend harm. We carefully guard them from what could potentially hurt or frighten them. I believe this is built into us--parent or not, the desire to protect and preserve the safety and innocence of children is innate in us as human beings. God made us this way because HE is this way. 

A popular song right now is "Good, Good Father" which comes from a passage in Matthew chapter 5. Jesus spoke about God as a loving father when He said, "If indeed you, (human parents) who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, HOW MUCH MORE will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" 

There are countless places where God compares our relationship with us to a Father and a dearly loved child. Our instincts as parents are certainly a reflection of OUR Father's heart for us! And God is not only a Father, He is a GOOD Father, desiring and ordaining what is best for His children. 

So here is the irony I see...

Not only does our Father NOT teach us to fear strangers in the world around us, He commands the opposite. He SENDS us to every stranger! He sends us, the children He loves, delights in, sings over. Jesus told his disciples after the days following His resurrection and before He went back to His Father in Heaven, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15)

We are sent to those we do not know because God, our Father, already does know them. He not only knows them, He created them. He loves them. He sent His only Son to die for them because He longs to restore them back to Himself! There are no strangers to God--and His Spirit is living inside of us, and He tells us to proclaim and declare His goodness, His gospel just as Jesus did.

And thank God that He pursued us when we were still strangers!

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8

I find it comforting when I think that the unknown person in line behind me at the store, the barista at my local coffee shop, even my neighbor across the street--all these people may be strangers to me, but they are precious and intimately known by my Father. He has a plan for their lives and has sent me to declare His love to them. I am less afraid when I see the people around me less as "strangers" and more and more as valued and loved and known by name. 

And let me remind you (and remind myself too) that if God is for us, who can be against us?!

Paul wrote in Romans 10:14-15, "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?"

And He has sent us! You. Me. Those who were lost and now are found. 

I hope that as we all continue to grow in our love for Jesus, that this will develop into a love for the lost around us. I pray daily for a heart that sees people as Jesus sees them. As my Father sees them. I want to live in a world of confidence in knowing that there are no strangers to our God, only precious, loved people. 

And don't forget that YOU are precious. YOU are His dearly loved child. And your Father knows and loves YOU too. He is YOUR good, good Father. And He will be with you every step of the way.

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Personal Evangelism (pt2) by Travis Sinks

Last week we covered the need for personal evangelism. There are many people who are unwilling to come to Jesus themselves, and so we must bring Jesus to them in hope that they will accept His Gospel.

We ended with the question "Who do you know of that needs Jesus, but is unwilling to come to Him, but you can bring Jesus to them?"

And now, here are four practical steps you can take in order to be more effective in personal evangelism:

Study the Bible

All of scripture was written for our reproof, correction, training in righteousness, and so that we may be equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17). Jesus also told us that every part of the Bible was written in order to teach us about Him and draw us to Himself so that we might have life (John 5:39). These verses tell us that if we are to be effective not only in our own walk with Jesus, but also in bringing others to Him, then we should be studying His Word and be immersing ourselves in its truth. By actively reading and studying the Bible you will be better equipped to share Jesus with others, because you will be filled with Him yourself.

Pray for yourself

One of the greatest failures we can have is praying for others, while forgetting our own need. We should be going to God with our lack of faith, lack of boldness, and lack of sight to see opportunities all around us. By asking God to help us be sensitive to His Spirit and His guiding in our everyday lives, we will find ourselves in more opportunities to share His Gospel then ever before.

Pray for the lost

By praying for those who don’t know Jesus we are accomplishing three things:

  • We are reminding ourselves of their desperate situation which in turn causes us to care more for them and more actively look for opportunities to share the gospel.
  • We are reminding ourselves that it is only by the grace and power of God that anyone will turn to Him and be saved. We are humbling ourselves before God which is required for anyone who desires to be used by Him.
  • We are combating the spiritual forces of darkness. We must never forget that this is a spiritual battle and that those who don’t know Jesus have been spiritually blinded to Him. This battle can only be won by God’s grace through prayer - so we must begin all personal evangelism through this step of prayer for the lost.

Bring Jesus to them

We don’t get to decide who will receive Jesus’ grace, but we can choose who we will bring Jesus to. As vague as it is, this is surprisingly more freeing than you’d expect at first glance. Rather than having a set description of the words to say, or the situations in which you can evangelize to someone, you get to simply be like Jesus to those around you.

A great way to think about this is the old school “WWJD” or “What Would Jesus Do?”

Another way to look at this is to imagine that you are in Bible times and you’re walking around with Jesus. Who would He talk to? Who would He reach out to? How would He do it?

Here’s some ideas of things you can do to proactively reach out to people with the love of Jesus:

  • Pray for people. Do this right there on the spot. This will feel weird at first, but the more you do it the more you’ll be comfortable with it. So many people are thankful for prayer when they’re going through a rough time in life or they are struggling with something.
  • Share your story. I don’t mean your entire life story (though you can if the situation lends itself). But if you’re living an active life with Jesus, there will be stories to tell. There will be situations that come up in your life that people will ask about. In these moments, you can share what’s going on in light of the fact that you have Jesus in your life. For example: you’re scared of an upcoming medical condition, but you can share how you have hope in Jesus. Or, you’re excited about a new opportunity that’s come up and you’re praying to Jesus for wisdom. Even stories of how Jesus has recently provided for or encouraged you are always great ones to share.
  • Serve others. Whenever there’s a need in your circle of friends and family, do you offer to help? Jesus would. I don’t mean that we help in every situation, as we may not be well equipped to, but are you known as someone who would “give the shirt off their back” for another? Serving people the way Jesus does is one of the best ways to show His love and to open opportunities to share His Gospel with others.

There are so many specific ways we can reach out to others in personal evangelism, but there’s one thing that stays the same: It’s personal. We cannot do personal evangelism as we are called to without getting into the nitty gritty of everyday life with others. This can, and will, be painful at times - but it’s always worth it.

So the questions we should be asking ourselves now are:

  • Am I in God’s Word on a daily basis?
  • Am I praying for God’s Spirit to fill me?
  • Am I praying for those I know who don’t know Jesus?
  • Am I taking opportunities to do as Jesus would do?

Maybe you haven’t been doing these things. But you can today.

“It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing."

So let’s go bring Jesus to everyone we see with today.

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Personal Evangelism (pt1) by Travis Sinks

I’ve written recently about “evangelism through invitation” which you can read at THIS LINK. Its purpose was to remind us that one of the best things we can do is simply invite people to church. Sometimes that’s labeled as the easy way out, or a lazy cop out, but it is actually an effective tool in day-to-day evangelism.

Just as important as inviting people to a Sunday service, however, we need to make sure that we are actively being the hands and feet of Jesus through what is often called “personal evangelism.” Although inviting someone to a Sunday service can be very effective, some people just aren’t willing or ready to come to Jesus, and so we need to bring Jesus to them.

Personal evangelism can be daunting.
Everything rests on what YOU do and say - or so it feels.
But it’s not up to you to save people.

I think believing the lie that it’s all up to us is what keeps most people from sharing the Gospel. So many of us are petrified because we feel like it’s such a weighty subject (as it is) and that we can’t possibly present it well enough to see someone accept it.

And maybe we're right.

But we don’t have to be good enough to offer Jesus to people.

There are many tactics, phrases, and methods with which to approach people about the subject of Jesus and His Gospel, but what is most important is that you simply bring Jesus to that person.

A great example of this is found in Luke 8:40-42, 49-56. Jairus came to Jesus because his daughter was dying. In a moment of panic and desperation, he asked Jesus to come and heal his daughter. Before Jesus gets there, Jarius’s daughter dies. However, with a faith that continued to ask “what if”, Jarius has Jesus still come to his house and Jesus raises his daughter from the dead.

What we can learn from this is that it doesn’t matter how eloquent we are, how tactful we can be, or how much we practice. Ultimately, we need the power of Jesus to come to a person’s heart and life and raise them from spiritual death, and into life through His Gospel.

Just like Jarius’ daughter needed physical healing, people need Jesus to raise them from spiritual death and into life with Him, but so many are unwilling or unable to come to Him. So like Jarius, we must take Him to them.

Next week’s post will cover four practical steps you can take in order to be more effective in personal evangelism. For now, consider:

Who do you know of that needs Jesus, but is unwilling to come to Him, but you can bring Jesus to them?

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Overcoming Evil With Good by Daniel Williams

Evil has become overwhelming….

I don’t like to watch the news anymore because it is everywhere….EVIL. It seems like every week now in the national news there is something to be discouraged about in this broken world. So I tend to want to ignore it all, run away from it all and just turn off the tv, but evil still affects me and my life. We all know that evil and sin doesn’t just express itself in the national news but also in our own communities and personal lives. It causes us pain even when we try to run and ignore it. It seems like we can’t escape evil, and it has become overwhelming. 

And I don’t think that I am alone in struggling with all of this pain in the world. As I talk with people in my community, I get the sense that evil has become overwhelming to all of us, and many are losing hope. We all are dealing with sin, pain, suffering and evil every day whether we want to or not. But there is something we can do about it…turn to Jesus! We don’t have to hide or ignore the pain we are going through. We can turn to the God of comfort and receive His grace, peace, love and hope. 

Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” We can trust that Jesus will make every wrong right and has conquered sin and death on the cross! His grace is available to bring hope to all who receive Him as Lord and Savior. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” -1 John 5:4. Many people are asking what am I to do with all of this evil around me? The answer is have faith in Jesus! To receive His grace and love. Not to ignore evil but overcome it with good.

A verse that has been encouraging me during this season of tragedies throughout the world has been Romans 12:21 which says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

I have been reminded that even during the darkest hours of this world, I can actually do something that will make a difference in my life and in the lives of others. I can put my hope in Jesus and have His Spirit help me bring hope to this world by doing good. The Bible reminds us that we can do something in these evil times…we can LOVE. We can love God and love others.

We are told as followers of Jesus not to run away from darkness but to do good and be His light. Jesus prayed for us to make a difference in the world and told us do good works. He told us as we to do good works before men that they will glorify our Father in Heaven (Matt 5:16). Jesus doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed with evil or just simply to ignore the evil in the world but to face it head on with love. Jesus taught us to love all people, all the time…and this love really does make a difference.

So what good can we practically do today when we are overwhelmed by all of the pain and tragedy around us? I think the answer is to LOVE. Love is the good work we are to do as followers of Jesus (1 Cor 13:1-3). 

So, ask God how you can love others around you right where you are. Who can you be praying for? One of the greatest ways we can impact those we love and those we struggle to love is through prayer. We need to be on our knees interceding for people daily, allowing the love of Jesus to change our hearts and move in our world. Remember to be sharing the Gospel with those around you! More than ever, people are searching for HOPE, and as followers of Jesus, we can share His love by spreading the victory He gives us in a broken world and the love He has for the lost and hurting. And search for opportunities to love people practically by serving them. No matter who you are or where you live, there are people around you in need of someone to show them the love of Jesus by serving them. We have the opportunity to BE the hands and feet of Jesus to people in a very distressing time.

As evil increases throughout the world, our practice of simply loving God and people will shine brighter than ever. Don’t underestimate these simple ways to express love to people. May we be sensitive to listening to Jesus as He guides and directs us. May we love God and one another well and not become overwhelmed because we know the One who OVERCOMES. 

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What Does It Look Like To Serve Our City? by Bryan Henderson

Gospel Communities are the heart of Anchor Church as we share our lives together throughout the week. In this post, Bryan Henderson explores what it looks like to serve our city as a family of missionaries.

As we seek to live as a family of missionaries, it is essential to have clarity about who we are reaching out to. We need gospel vision to see the opportunities God has put before us.

To help us identify this, we have asked each of our Gospel Communities to ask two questions.

1. Who are the people that God has placed before us?
God has already put people in our lives—friends, family, coworkers, that are part of the everyday rhythms of our lives.

How can we be more intentional in these relationships to move people from friends to disciples?

One way is by serving them. As we practically bless our friends, we demonstrate the love of God and live such phenomenal lives that it demands an explanation.

2. What are the needs of our local community?
When God sent Israel into exile in Babylon, he instructed them to seek the welfare of that city, because in its welfare they too would find their own welfare (Jeremiah 29:7).

As we bless the local communities that God has placed us in, we are displaying the same generous, reckless love that God first showed to us. We are praying that people will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (1 Peter 2:12).

Serving in Summer Hill
Last year, the Summer Hill Gospel Community asked shoppers entering IGA to consider buying a few extra items to bless refugees through our partnership with Simple Love. These groceries were then taken to the local asylum seeker centre to provide for the basic necessities of refugees who are unable to work and provide for themselves.

This is just one example from many of a living church that is seeking the welfare of our city!

Pray for Sydney
As we serve our city, we must continue to pray! A gospel awakening can only happen in Sydney by God’s power. Jesus promises to build his church and offers us the privilege of co-labouring with our God to this end!

Lord revive. Lord restore. Lord awaken our hearts and the hearts of people in our city to see the beauty of the gospel!

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Sin Is Great, But Jesus' Grace Is Stronger

In Numbers 32:23, Moses reminds the children of Israel (as they begin preparing to enter the promise land across the Jordan) that sin is not taken lightly. He sternly reminds them that “your sin WILL find you out.”

And it’s true.

So often we think we can hide our sin.
Or that it wasn’t a big deal.
It was so small...
We shouldn’t need to repent over that.
Should we?

Moses reminds them that God’s standard is perfection. Jesus echoes these truths when He tells us that:

"Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.” -Luke 12:1-3

Sin is a big deal.

But the story doesn’t end there.
Our failure is all too obvious.
Our need is extremely great.
But so is God’s grace.

In the end of the next chapter Moses then reminds them of the punishment for sin:

“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.” -Numbers 33:55

Sin does find us out, and there is a punishment for it. Romans 3:23 tells us that the wages (payment) of our sin is death.

Moses has clearly laid out our natural reality:

We sin.
Our sin will find us out.
We will be punished justly for our sin.

But as Billy Graham has put it:

“You’re born. You suffer. You die. Fortunately, there’s a loophole."

This “loophole” is God’s payment for our sin.

Our sin is great. And our punishment HAS to be paid, or else God is unjust. But rather than us paying it ourselves, God Himself (Jesus) offers to pay our debt instead.

So rather than us receiving the “barbs in our eyes” and the “thorns in our sides” as our rightful punishment, Jesus instead has chosen to take the crown of thorns upon His head, and to have His side pierced for our transgressions.

"But he (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5

Every sin requires penalty.
Requires justice.

But now, you and I can celebrate that Jesus’ death has not only brought us a clean slate, but renewed life! Our sin separated us from God and now we can come before Him, not only justified, but to ask for abundant life! The penalty of our sin has been paid for, so now we can come to God for His Spirit and for the strength to break the power of sin over our lives. We can come to Him for hope that every “sin and weight that entangles us” can be overcome by His grace.

So may you not only have a paid bill, a clean slate, and a “free ticket” to heaven, but may you take ahold of this new relationship with God that brings you freedom! May you no longer be a “slave to sin” but a “slave to righteousness”, and may you enjoy the abounding love, grace, and relationship with God that comes with it.

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A Love For God That Is Irresistible To Others by Bryan Henderson

To understand what it might look like for us, children of God by faith, to cultivate an infectious love for Jesus we must break down and simplify this powerful exhortation into everyday terms.

Cultivation carries with it the language of preparation. Some synonyms for this word: till, plough, dig, turn, hoe, farm and work. This word is a verb or an action word and it would seem that the action is being carried out by us towards the object, Jesus.

Though there is certainly a measure of our responsibility to act in a loving way towards Jesus, the action starts far further back and is far more foundational than this.

God, who is rich in mercy, has lavished His love on us through the person and work of Jesus. The best way we can prepare ourselves to have a love for Jesus is to daily dwell and meditate on the love God has bestowed on us in Christ!

The bible tells us, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Love would not even be possible had Jesus not displayed and placed His love on us. Foundational for us to respond in our action towards God with an obedient love is remembering and receiving His gracious love on a constant basis.

As we recall and preach this good news to our hearts, we then willingly choose to surrender more of our lives into His loving care. Others will see our infectious love for God only when we grasp the beauty and severity of His radical love for us.

In light of us being loved and made new in Christ, we boldly and enthusiastically live this in such a way that others see it, yearn for it, receive it, and glorify the Father in heaven. His love for us and our experiencing it should revive our hearts and it naturally flows out of us for others!

Practically speaking, I cannot experience God’s love for me which then flows out towards others if I do not draw near to Him and meditate on His goodness and love towards me. I must daily seize the truths of the gospel, and the best way to do this is to ground myself in the scriptures which are laden with gospel identity truths that rejoice the heart!

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