At the last minute . . . well almost the last minute, on Friday night I changed the direction of my sermon. I was always going to use the acrostic for pride, but I wasn't going to focus on children. That inspiration came on Friday night. I thought in my blog for this week, I would show you what I was going to use. I don't know that it's better or worse, but it would have taken us on a different path to end up at a similar place.
God is personal – God wants to be involved in your life. God wants to walk with and help w/ your burdens. God is personally invested in our lives. We are so important to God, and God wants to be in our lives (all of it, not just the pretty part, or the worshipful part, but the ugly parts, the parts we can’t deal w/ on our own) God wants all of us.
God’s grace leads us to repentance, which isn’t just being sorry for what we’ve done. Repentance is a complete change in the direction of our lives. We cannot do it by ourselves. God moves us and works in us to change our lives.
God created us to be interdependent. This is a strange concept for our culture. We are taught to be independent, to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. We are taught to stand on our own, but God didn’t create us to be alone. When the LORD God decided the make the Isshah, God said, It is not good for the adam to be alone. I will make for him a word that is often translated here as helper, but in other places, it can mean rescuer. We are made to be there for each other. We’re supposed to help each other.
God never gives up on us. I posted on facebook about this sermon series. I got quite a reaction, mostly from friends I’ve only recently reconnected with, and I was surprised by their comments. This sermon series is called the 7 deadly sins: how to overcome sin in your life. I had several comments that a life without sin is impossible – that we cannot get rid of our sin. I understand where that comes from because on our own, we can’t. We can’t stop our sinning by ourselves. We can’t white knuckle ourselves into perfection. But with God all things are possible, and God is determined to get to us, to make us into the people God intended for us to be. In this case, it’s God’s faith, its God’s work that is important. God works in us, changing us, perfecting us, because God believes that we’re worth it. God has faith in us.
God is everlasting. There’s nowhere you can go to escape God. There is nowhere where God’s grace is not. God’s grace came before, God’s grace is here, and God’s grace will be.
You can see that I used most of the material included here, but in different places. The point of my sermon was that God overcomes pride. We don’t do it. As soon as we realize that we are not the ones who overcome, a life without sin seems possible. The constant theme running through this series will be the idea expressed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh. . . (NRSV)
We are not the ones who overcome sin in our lives, but it is God who has overcome, once and for all in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God.