Freedom over Rules

True freedom is something we all hunger for. A student longs to be free of instruction, a teenager longs to be free of their parents, a debtor longs to be free of their debt, and we all long for the freedom to live our lives the best way we know how. Our country was founded on this idea of freedom. We celebrate our independence because we desired freedom from tyranny and the right govern ourselves.

True freedom can only be found in Jesus. This freedom frees from not only the physical but spiritual bonds which enslave us. As our text will conclude today, “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” In John chapter 8, Jesus taught in the temple of Jerusalem that those who He set free were truly free indeed. We can experience this true freedom by faith in Jesus.

Hope Remains

Fear has the same power over the mind and body, but equal and opposite to hope. What are you afraid of? What fears have caused you to be stuck in the mud, what fears have caused you to lose hope? One of the most common fears is simply the fear of the unknown and in these unpredictable times that fear becomes very real for so many of us. It can be difficult to know even what to hope for much less how to sustain hope. So many of grew up with big hopes and dreams until we had to deal with the fears and pains of “real life.”

In the letter to the Romans, Paul wrote that present sufferings did not compare to the hope of glory in Christ Jesus. We too can put our hope in the glory to be revealed in Jesus.

These Are Your Kids

Some of our natural parenting methods might work from time to time, but we often feel like we fall short in parenting. We feel like we are just getting through it and basically surviving. But God desires to shoulder this with us and empower us to be faithful parents. “God, these are your kids!”

In the book of Ephesians, Paul instructed children and parents to completely focus their relationships on the Lord. We can completely focus our parenting relationship on the Lord.

This Is Your Marriage

The instruction to the husband to love his wife and to the wife to respect her husband are simple in number, but they don’t feel simple in practice. But God does not merely give you His Word of instruction, but also the will and power to follow them. In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul taught the church to live out their marriages as a reflection of Christ’s relationship with His church. We can live out our marriage as a reflection of Christ and His church.

Victory is Here

Most of us have been dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic for a few months now, and many of us are weary. Some may feel angry, depressed, or just plain defeated. Some have gotten sick; many are out of work or have had their hours or pay cut. Some have cabin fever. We really need to see that eventually, there will be a victorious end to our struggles, whether in this pandemic, in another area of struggle, or perhaps at the end of our journey.

We know this already – Jesus defeated sin and death, and His victory is ours. In the book of 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul and his disciple Timothy reminded the church there that Jesus allows us to participate in His victory. God allows us to participate in His victory.

Be a Disciple Maker

As we read Jesus’ last instruction on earth to his disciples before he was raised up to Heaven, we see the disciples struggling to determine what their next steps were. After all, the rabbi that they followed for three years, which whom they had done and seen amazing things including His death, burial and resurrection, was about the leave them, or so they thought. After His many appearances after His resurrection, Jesus was about to give His disciples His final words. He is about to give them their mission orders.

We are no different than those disciples. We need to know what God’s desire is for our lives. We need to know what to do next. People, but especially men, respond to a challenge. We need a challenge – we all need to find purpose for our lives.

For us to find that purpose, we need to first respond to the mission orders of Jesus. We need to become disciple makers. In this well-known passage in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus gave mission orders to His disciples to make disciples of all nations. As disciples ourselves, we can learn how to make disciples of all peoples.

Death to Life

In the book of Ephesians, Paul told the church of Ephesus that although they were dead in their sins, they had been made alive through the grace of Jesus Christ. We too are dead, apart from Jesus, but His grace can make us alive.

Retreat to Advance

Do you feel weary? Do you feel exhausted, or is your strength giving out? What do you do when you feel this way? Do you react by spending more time in bed, or overeating or turn to substances? What coping mechanisms do you use? Most of us do not think of retreating, because we think that means we are quitting. What we will see today is that by retreating, we are actually preparing to advance.

In the book of Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah taught the Israelites that strength was not the result of their ability or work, but rather the result of their waiting on the Lord. We can experience this renewed strength by waiting on the Lord.

Worship and Witness is…Reproducible

Do you ever wonder what sort of legacy you are leaving? Do you wonder if people will remember you the way you want to be remembered or some other way? Do you think about what it is that you are really passing on to your kids or your friends or coworkers? In the book of 2 Timothy, Paul tells his disciple Timothy that the grace of Christ can be shared to future generations. Paul teaches that the worship and witness of Jesus Christ is reproducible.

Worship and Witness Is…Foundational

We are all worshipping, but sadly many are worshipping false idols which leave us in lack or with a void. We put our hopes and dreams and affections in things that neither help us nor ground us in anything. Right worship puts the foundation in our lives. Some of us put worship on this day or in this box, we put our witness in this box, but the call to Christ is a completely de-compartmentalized life of worship. The truth is everyone worships something and everyone bears witness to that worship, but God has called us to a specific worship and witness.

In the gospel of John, Jesus revealed Himself to a Samaritan woman as the only foundational way to worship and witness God. We can receive Jesus as the only true foundation for our worship and witness.