Pastor Dan Borgelt
Kirkmont Presbyterian Church
Sermon AUDIO TAPE (32 minutes)
Listen along as you read TRANSCRIPT below:
TRANSCRIBER NOTE: After superb Polka-type Worship song by choir, pastor Dan said, “Good job guys… that was a wonderful song, it made me want to just get up and start dancing (laughter)… but I don’t think that would be a good idea today [he just got a walking cast for a broken foot].
“Ya know, the last decade or so, the social media Facebook has sort of swept across our country and occupied a lot of people’s time, and connected many people to people they might normally been connected to, and for the first many, many years of Facebook’s existence I resisted it, I fought against it; I just thought as a pastor and having a wife and a few children that the last thing I needed was another hobby that was going to take up a bunch of my time… and stuff like that, and besides I was just kind of always the type of person I thought, “Do people really care what my new haircut looks like… or what I ate for breakfast this morning, you know and that type of thing… but eventually when we told this church back home in Minnesota that we were moving here, they convinced me that I needed to get a Facebook account so that we could stay in touch with each other a little bit easier long distance.
So I finally gave in to Facebook and it’s helped me do just that; but it’s also helped me to reconnect with a bunch of friends back in college and a bunch of friends all the way back to high school where I grew up in Toledo, Ohio. And I couldn’t help think as I was perusing through some of these people’s lives back from my high school days…WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE IF I STILL LIVED IN TOLEDO? … and i was still with these people, hanging out with them on a daily basis and they were still my friends… HOW WOULD I BE DIFFERENT? … ya know, have you ever wondered that about people.
If you haven’t wondered it about friends, I bet you’ve wondered it about the idea of your SPOUSE… ya know, don’t raise your hand and admit this (laughter), but probably all of you have thought to yourself, HOW WOULD MY LIFE BE DIFFERENT IF HADN’T MARRIED THE PERSON THAT I’M MARRIED TO… if I’d married that college sweetheart, or the high school sweetheart, or whatever it might be, HOW WOULD MY LIFE BE DIFFERENT?
And of course we might go a step further and ask the question: HOW WOULD MY LIFE BE DIFFERENT IF I WASN’T IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST?
Some of you know that very well.You’ve lived life withOUT Jesus and you’ve lived life WITH Him and you could answer that question. But others of you have had Christ in your life, maybe since you can ever remember, and you’ve thought that at times.. How WOULD my life be different…
And MAYBE there’s even some of you who are here this morning who are on the other side of things and you’re wondering, “IF I DO THIS JESUS THING… hmm… HOW WILL MY LIFE BE DIFFERENT?
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How would my life be different if I do this Jesus thing.
See… we’re continuing here on our Sermon series on the 7 ESSENTIALS OF THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH and this second essential that we’re discussing together this morning is an INVITATION… it’s an invitation for us to enter into the most important relationship that we will ever have… or NOT have for that matter…
…. and that is A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.
I want to invite you to consider reading it with me… you don’t necessarily have to believe it to read it with us, but I want you to join me in reading with what it shares.
Ya know, before we read it, some of you may know that we have an Inquirer’s Class going on right now… and it’s been a real positive class. And we have maybe 15 adults or something like that, with a smattering of kids who are coming to that and learning about Kirkmont, learning about God and those types of things, and I told them this past week that THIS SECOND ESSENTIAL that we’re going to discuss together this morning IS LIKE AN ESSENTIAL WITHIN THE ESSENTIALS… that if somehow if seven is too many to remember and you can only remember one then this is the one we want you to remember.
THE ESSENTIAL WITHIN THE ESSENTIALS
So… in your bulletin insert you’ll see this colored piece of paper. On one side you’ll see 6 of the essentials, but if you turn to the other side you’ll see our essential for today… with a place to write some notes. So would you turn to that back side and join me in ESSENTIAL #2.. will you read with me,
Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day He arose bodily from the dead, He ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
Well as we go through this essential we pull up our outline to give you an idea of what we’re going to be doing this morning… we’re going to be taking a look at TWO THINGS this essential says about “Who Jesus Is” and two things that this essential says about “What Jesus Did”:
WHO HE IS.… (2 things)
WHAT HE DID (2 things)
Well first, about WHO JESUS IS – this essential claims that Jesus is something it calls, “THE LIVING WORD”. In John, chapter 1, verses 1 through 5 we get the Biblical support for this essential here, calling Jesus, “The Living Word”, the Scripture says this,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
See, what this expression of Jesus being the “Living Word” means is that the character of God is seen in the person of Jesus. But instead of just writing down how God would respond to different situations, instead of God just writing down for us HOW HE WOULD ACT in certain circumstances, HE SHOWS US through the person of Jesus. That’s what it means when we call Jesus “The Living Word”.
So God didn’t take time to write down say, “OH BY THE WAY… if I ever encountered a leper, this is how I would act”, HE SHOWED US IN THE PERSON OF JESUS.
He didn’t take the time to write down, “OH BY THE WAY…if I ever saw people selling things in the Temple Courts, trying to make money off of religion, this is how I would act”… HE SHOWED THEM THROUGH”THE LIVING WORD”–THE PERSON OF JESUS.
He didn’t say, “If I was ever on a boat with some of my best friends and storms came and they threatened our existence… this is how I would act”… HE SHOWED THEM THROUGH THE LIVING WORD–JESUS CHRIST.
He didn’t write down, “OH BY THE WAY… if someone drug a woman to me and said she’d been caught in adultery and there she was, publically being humiliated… this is how I would probably handle it” …HE SHOWED US THE CHARACTER THROUGH THE LIVING WORD–THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST.
Instead of giving us this WRITTEN CONCEPT of who the character of God is, WE HAVE A LIVING WORD BEFORE US in the person of Jesus as to HOW GOD WOULD HANDLE AND ACT IN ALL THESE CIRCUMSTANCES.
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Now this is important… let me ask you,
HOW MANY OF YOU HAD A PARENT THAT WAS STRICTER THAN THE OTHER PARENT?
How many of you had a parent that was stricter than the other parent… how many of you? … come on, our kids are like, “Am I aloud to participate?” (LAUGHTER) … yeah, go ahead, just call em out…go ahead (laughter).. go ahead, that’s right.. yeah, I think MOST of us probably had one parent that was a little bit stricter, or a little more lenient than the other parent.
That was true in my household… my mom was able to stay-at-home with me and my two older sisters, most of our childhood while my father went off to work… and my mom was the more lenient of the two. But OFTEN times if you messed around and got in trouble when you were at home with mom… some of you just tell me, WHAT DID SHE SAY? … “WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GET’S HOME”… that’s right, exactly; which is just a horrible parenting strategy by the way… if you’re doing that, STOP DOING THAT… but anyways, another subject… (laughter).
So we would do that and that was kind of the way they functioned and acted; and the reason I mention that is because I think when it comes to God and Jesus, often times people in the church, we think that way as well. We kinda get this impression that Jesus is like MY MOTHER… he’s like the softer and gentler of the two. And that’s great that He did the whole ‘turn the other cheek’ thing; and ‘the forgiveness’ thing; and ya know ‘the mercy and compassion’ thing… BUT ALL ALONG WE’RE SITTING THERE THINKING WHAT JESUS IS REALLY SAYING TO US IS, “JUST WAIT TILL YOU GET TO HEAVEN AND SEE THE FATHER”… RIGHT? (laughter).
It changes our whole perspective about having a RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. But The Living Word tells us, THAT’S NOT TRUE… THERE ARE NO SURPRISES WHEN WE GET TO HEAVEN ABOUT WHO WE’RE GOING TO MEET THERE, BECAUSE WE’VE SEEN HIM IN THE FLESH… to have a relationship with Jesus….
This ESSENTIAL, it invites us into a relationship with Jesus, that we might not have any surprises someday when we meet GOD THE FATHER in heaven, because He is indeed THE LIVING WORD.
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It also tells us that Jesus is not only the Living Word, but then it goes on to say that Jesus is THE TRUE GOD and THE TRUE MAN… the_True_ God and the_True_Man… or in other words, someone might say, “FULLY GOD and FULLY MAN”.
The theological term for this for those of you who appreciate itis, THE HYPOSTATIC UNION OF JESUS... that’s this idea of these two substances of Jesus coming together: WHO HE IS as a human being… the substance of HUMAN and the substance of DIVINE coming together in this wonderful union making ONE.
The ESSENTIAL that we just read claims that THIS HAPPENS… that the Hypostatic Union of Jesus, fully God, fully man thing happens by Jesus being born of the HOLY SPIRIT and of THE VIRGIN MARY. So, the Holy Spirit sort of functions like His Father; Mary sort of functions like his Mother… and He was One Divine Parent and a human parent as well, and the two come together.
BUT… it DOES NOT CLAIM that He is HALF of each. A lot of people think, well if He had a Divine Parent and a human parent then Jesus sort of came out as sort of HALF HUMAN and HALF DIVINE and together they make a whole person. BUT THAT IS NOT TRUE… that’s not what the Essential claims and as we’re going to read in a moment, it’s not the Biblical conclusion either. It’s that he is FULLY God and FULLY man in one person.
LET ME ASK YOU… as you hear this idea put before you; and for some of you it’s certainly not the first time; but either way, as you hear this idea,
WHICH NATURE OF JESUS’S IS EASIER FOR YOU TO EMBRACE? ..His humanity or His Divinity? (pause)
I would suspect that most of the friends who are here today who might consider themselves to be UNCHURCHED, or our friends who are unchurched in the world, now they probably tend to question the DEITY of Jesus. They can embrace the idea that there was a man named Jesus who lived 2000 years ago,who was from Nazareth, who people claimed did a lot neat things, and was eventually put to death by our Roman soldiers… they can embrace that. But, they are questioning, WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT ? Fine, there was a human named Jesus who lived, but what about the DEITY, is that actually real?
In Colossians chapter one, verses 15-19… I realize not everybody believes what the Scripture has to say… but I want to be at least clear what the Scripture DOES say about who Jesus is… it says this about Him,
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; heis the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that ineverything he might have the supremacy. and then finally… For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
In Hebrews, chapter 1, verse 3, the Scripture tells us this…again, we’re discussing the DEITY of Christ,
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
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Now while I think our unchurched friends have a problem embracing the DEITY OF JESUS, I would suggest that because it’s SO HARD for any of us to really embrace BOTH of them at the same time, that most of us who’ve been in the church for five, ten years or longer have a hard time embracing THE HUMANITY OF JESUS. We embrace the Deity of Jesus… we have no problem with Him turning water to wine, but if we look at passages where Jesus was HUNGRY or THIRSTY or SWEAT BLOOD, or consider the idea that his mother needed to care for him, that he had to grow up physically and spiritually and emotionally and socially, mentally… we have a hard time embracing that Jesus.
But the Scripture says that is also true of Him… in Romans 5 verse 15 the Scripture says this,
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man (he’s talking about Adam back in Genesis), how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
In 1st Timothy chapter 2, verse 5, again speaking of JESUS’ HUMANITY the Scripture says,
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, the Scripture says.
When you put what the Scripture says about Jesus being FULLY DIVINE and FULLY HUMAN probably the one verse that brings them together the best is found in Hebrews chapter 4 verse 15… and the Scripture tells us this,
For we do not have a high priest (so we have this reference to His DEITY), who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses (a reference to his HUMANITY), but we have one who has been tempted in every way (another reference to his humanity), just as we are—yet he did not sin (a clear reference to His Deity).
And you see the two natures come together there… and when you think about that, we have the beautiful opportunity–this essential is inviting us into a relationship with someone who not only has been tempted in every way that we have been tempted, but withstood the temptation and was without sin.
You have the opportunity to be in a relationship with someone who’s PERFECT, but who understands that you’re NOT perfect. And this is the opportunity that we have in being in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
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So not only is He THE LIVING WORD, and He is THE TRUE GOD and TRUE MAN, but it tells us a couple of things about WHAT JESUS DID.
The first thing it tells us is that Jesus Christ died on the Cross as a sacrifice for our sins. In Romans, chapter 5, verse 6-8 the Scripture says this… Jesus Christ died on the Cross as a sacrifice for our sins.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And then in 1st Corinthians 15:3 the Scripture tells us this,
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance (that’s why I called this the “Essential within the Essential”, it’s of first importance): that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1st Peter, chapter 22:24
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
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Ya know, about 17 years ago I led my first Bible Study. I was a senior in high school and just three months before I had just ATTENDED my first Bible Study… that’s not good advice by the way (laughter). And at the first Bible Study that I attended I embarrassed myself by asking, “Well, why aren’t the Books of the Bible just in alphabetical order?” (laughter).. ya know. And if you’re wondering the same thing, I can still relate with you, I’m still kind of think that would make it easier at times.
But then, a few months later I went to something in our high school called THE FELLOWSHIP FOR CHRISTIAN ATHLETES, it was getting started up at our school. And I showed up there and the leader from “Fellowship for Christian Athletes” said, “Well, I’m not allowed to lead your Bible Study… it has to be student led; so you’re going to vote amongst yourselves here…” and there was about 25 students or so, “who’s going to be the ‘captain'”.. you know, sports terminology… “and the captain will be the Bible Study leader.”
This is the only time I got to be the captain of… the captain of… of a… of ANYTHING (laughter).
But anyways… so they voted, and he says, “Dan Borgelt, you’re the captain; and you need to lead a Bible Study next week.” … I said, “OK?…”. So that week I went and I read a book by Max Lucado, and he dealt with this Passage that just moved me in such a way… I was SO excited about this passage and the point that he was making, and I went to the Bible Study and I was just so enthusiastic about how well it was going to go…
… AND IT WAS A TOTAL FLOP… just, just SO embarrassing… ya know the kind where you’re just sort of sweating and your body temperature is rising … for the whole hour… and my girlfriend at the time, she bailed me out with some of her comments… and it was awkward… and conversations didn’t go well… and we finally ended the Bible Study and I walked back to my locker and I put my stuff away and I just sat there and CRIED… because it had gone so bad.
By the way, Pat, our director of Christian Education might be asking you to teach a Sunday School class soon (laughter) and we want to encourage you to step out on faith and take the opportunity (LAUGHTER)… so,I’m sure you’ll do fine… yep, that’s right.
John 18 is the passage I came across… and it says this in John 18 verses 3 through 11… our family just read this the other day, and this is the passage I shared… Jesus is being arrested at the end of His life here,and it says,
So Judas (this is the one who betrayed Jesus) went to the garden,taking with him a group of Roman soldiers, and some Temple guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees; they were armed and carried lanterns and torches. Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to him (so he ran as fast as He could) (chuckles), so he stepped forward and asked them,“Who is it you are looking for?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered.
“I am he,” he said.
Judas, the traitor, was standing there with them (listen to this friends). When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they moved back and fell to the ground. Again Jesus asked them, “Who is it you are looking for?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
“I have already told you that I am he,” Jesus said. “If, then, you are looking for me, let these others go.” (He said this so that what he had said might come true: “Father, I have not lost even one of those you gave me.”)
Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the High Priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear. The name of the slave was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back in its place! Do you think that I will not drink the cup of suffering which my Father has given me?”
You see the reason why this passage, when I was a senior in high school, captured my heart is for the first time I realized that JESUS WAS NOT A VICTIM ON THE CROSS… that it wasn’t just by happenstance that God sent this guy named Jesus and He happened to die, and OH BY THE WAY, that was God’s Master Plan and that’s how He saved me from my sin.
But Jesus INTENTIONALLY and WILLINGLY and KNOWINGLY was there for the purpose of dying on the cross for my sins… He didn’t run when He knew they were coming. And it reminds us, John reminds us that Jesus was in control the whole time. At the mere spoken words of “I AM HE” these soldiers fall to the ground.
And Peter, apparently, didn’t quite catch on that Jesus was in control after that… still felt the need to draw his sword and defend Jesus; and finally Jesus has to say, LOOK BUDDY… I AM HERE FOR THIS REASON… I’m going to drink the cup of wrath that My Father has given me and it’s the wrath that you and I have built up and concurred over the years with all of our sin.
THERE IT IS.. ON JESUS… THAT’S WHAT HE CAME TO DO.
And if Jesus came to die as a sacrifice for your sins, and He actually is God as we spoke of earlier… HOW SUCCESSFUL DO YOU THINK HE WAS? I mean if He was God… and He set out to forgive you of your sins, how successful do you think He was.
Because I’m convinced that each of us in this room have something that we’ve done`that we’re not quite sure if The Cross is covering it. We have to realize that’s ultimately an insult to the work of Jesus because He came with the very thing that you have on your mind ON HIS MIND—that’s why He came.
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And then FINALLY, what did Jesus do? … “He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins”… and this Essential also tells us that “On the third day He arose BODILY from the dead”. 1st Corinthians 15, verses 3 through 8 tell us this… this is a verse read the first part of earlier…
I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures (BUT IT DOESN’T STOP THERE); that he was BURIED and that he was RAISED to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles. Then he appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have died. Then he appeared to James, and afterward to all the apostles.
Last of all he appeared also to me—even though I am like someone whose birth was abnormal.
And then Hebrews 1, verse 3… AGAIN, JESUS ROSE BODILY FROM THE DEAD… we read this first part earlier
He (the Son) reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word. After achieving forgiveness for the sins of all human beings, he sat down in heaven at the right side of God, the Supreme Power in heaven.
See friends, this is the necessary ending to Jesus’ death on the Cross for our sins.. is Jesus’ resurrection. I mean, WHAT HOPE WOULD IT BRING US if we were gathered here saying “Jesus died on a Cross for our sins” but there was no resurrection… if He was still someone in the grave.
Well the Scripture tells us in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death”... that what causes death is ultimately sin and we’ve already said that JESUS was WITHOUT sin, so the grave had no POSSIBILITY of holding Him.
The absence of sin then will always be LIFE… do you see the power of having a relationship with Jesus Christ is not only having our sins forgiven, but then because of that KNOWING that the grave has NO power over us because in the absence of our sin there is always LIFE !!!
And that is the HOPE that we have in the relationship with Christ… it’s a hope that has become REAL FOR ME in my life and thinking MORE in the last couple of months.
[Pastor Dan steps away from pulpit entering a more personal pose – “buckle your seatbelt”].
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Some of you know that we just arrived at Kirkmont in the last few months and so for several months before that we of course were praying and in the discernment process about where God would have us be, and one of the things that we were praying about was WOULD GOD ALLOW US TO SERVE HIM CLOSER TO HOME. I grew up in Toledo, Ohio; my mom and a sister are there and another sister down in Mason, Ohio.
And since we’ve been here we’d had a LOT of affirmation that this is where we’re supposed to be. I feel like I’m developing a great relationship with you all and you guys are a blessing and a joy to be the pastor of… we really like the community as well and it’s been a real blessing to us as well.
But it’s not been without any hiccups at all… umm.. since we’ve been here my sister down in Mason, her divorce has gone through, and she has children about our kids age; and then our ADOPTION process that we began a couple years ago, and we’ve spent like 12 or 13 thousand dollars on and waited for 2 years HAS ENDED. The agency has closed their work in Ethiopia… and so we’re back to square one there… and I’ve got whatever’s going on with my foot [his foot is in walking cast].
But the two biggest ones though is that a few weeks ago, and this is an affirmation that we’re where we’re supposed to be geographically.
A few weeks ago we got word that my brother-in-law up in Toledo Has a massive tumor and it’s a very fast growing form of cancer and he’s going to be in a major battle for probably the next 8 months to a year they’re saying. So he’s already received several weeks of chemo treatment in the hospital… he’s come home for a little bit, back to the hospital… back and forth.
And THEN… one of the positives in all that was that my mom was also in Toledo, she was able to help my sister out and care for her, and then a week my calls and she’s crying and she said, “You’re Not going to believe this but I have cancer also”… and so she’s now undergone surgery for her colon cancer and is going to be receiving the chemotherapy and those types of things and… all that was affirmation that we’re where we were supposed to be geographically. I’m so thankful that we’re here and not in Minnesota.
Ummm… as I connect this to the next point that we’re making…it’s a TRYING TIME… more so honestly for them obviously than for us… but their perspective on it is completely different because see these are two people who played a VERY big role in our family when it comes to faith.
My mom, as some of you know, is the one who sat me down and shared Jesus Christ with me… and I have full confidence in her salvation and that this last point we’re making applies to her.
And my brother-in-law as well… he’s the one who led our family to the idea of going to a local church and taking or faith and connecting it to a body of Believers. So these are two people I have great confidence in, when it comes to this idea that their sins have been forgiven by Christ and they have the hope and the promise of eternal life… and it CHANGES everything doesn’t it? It’s gotta change everything.
But John 11 comes to mind as we close our time together… as I was thinking about that and this last point about the essential thing that Jesus rose again… here’s what he says in John 11:25-27… Jesus had died
Jesus said to her (now this is His friend Lazarus whose died, Jesus is now talking to Mary and Martha,Lazarus’s sisters), “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and those who live and believe in me will never die.
It was hearing those words and knowing that they hold true for my family members is an incredible blessing and source of peace in the midst of this. And then He asks this question; and I think it’s the most important question we’ll ever be asked in our lives… and He simply says to her,
Do you believe this?”
That’s a wonderful question for me to be able to pass on to you… DO YOU BELIEVE THIS? … that when we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we FOLLOW His Pattern from LIFE unto DEATH until ETERNAL LIFE… DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?
That’s the power of what the Scripture says of having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Father God I thank you for each and every person here, and I thank you for the fact that you’ve shown your grace and mercy not only in my life but in lives of many of my family members and I do take a point of personal privilege and lift of my mom and brother-in-law and all involved up there in Toledo and pray for complete healing.
And I pray for those who are gathered here this morning that they would know and be reminded of the powerful reality of having a relationship of Jesus Christ… the Living Word, Fully God, Fully Human, One who can sympathize with our weaknesses; One who has died on the Cross for our sins that we might experience mercy and grace like never before and then to have our life infused with the hope of the resurrection and eternal life.
Jesus I pray that you would work in the hearts of each person who’s here this morning who may not already have a relationship with You…that you would continue to draw them onto yourself; and I thank you for the privilege of being a part of that.
And we ask these things in Christ’s name. Amen.
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