I often am reminded of how undeserving I am of God’s love, presence, and deliverance. This is a very true statement, and it also leads sometimes to great fear of my incapability to draw near to God. As I try to obey the Lord’s commandments, on my own it would be impossible for me to gain salvation- a fact that is gut-wrenching and sometimes overwhelming.

I was recently reading Matthew 19:16-26, which is a favorite passage of mine. This is the story of the rich young ruler. This rich man who is seeking eternal life, is told by Jesus that not only must he keep all of the commandments, but if he wants to be perfect, he must also sell his possessions and give to the poor- a large hit to a man who has “everything”.

The rich young ruler leaves sorrowfully, as he had such a great amount of possessions. The key to this story is what happens next. Jesus explains how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, which the disciples are astonished by. During this time, the rich were looked upon as being favored by God. So, the disciples are thinking, “If the rich can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven, who can?” Jesus answers with a beautiful, praiseworthy statement in verse 26. 

“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The truth is we are incapable of deserving to be with our Heavenly Father for eternity. However, God didn’t leave us there. He sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sin. He lived a life that we could never live, and shed His perfect blood on the cross for our sins. Because of Jesus, when God looks at us, He sees Christ. Because of our Savior King we have eternal life with our Heavenly Father where we will worship Him, which is what we were created for.

 

Blessings in Christ,

Caleb Holt

 

May 24 Service Information:

Finishing the Work of Discipleship (John 17:6-19)

I. Jesus discipled His men by MANIFESTING THE FATHER’S NAME TO THEM.
II. Jesus discipled His men by GIVING THE FATHER’S WORD TO THEM.
III. Jesus discipled His men by ASKING FOR THE FATHER’S PROTECTION FOR THEM.

When I was visiting my brother in Arizona a few years ago we drove past a building that was started years ago, but was never completed.  All that was standing in the Arizona sun was a skeleton of rusting iron.  I am sure it was a topic of conversation among those who drove by this unfinished project.  I can just hear people saying, “Why in the world don’t they finish what they started?”

In John 17 we find the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in all of Scripture.  It’s an amazing prayer because it gives us a glimpse into the heart of Jesus as He faces the cross.  The commitment that Jesus expresses in this prayer is to finish the work that the Father had given to Him.

This work included the work of salvation.  Jesus knew that He was about to face the most difficult days of His life.  Yet He was committed to die on the cross for the sins of the world.
This work also included the work of discipleship.  In this prayer Jesus prays for His disciples that they would be protected from the evil one.  Jesus would continue to accomplish His work through them.

This work also included the work of evangelism.  In this prayer Jesus prays for us.  He looks forward into the future as he prays for those who will believe in Him through the inspired word of His disciples.

Jesus is committed to finish what He started, and for that we can be thankful.
Join us as we examine this prayer of Jesus for the next three Sundays.

 

In His Grace,
Pastor Peter Franz

 

Sermon Series
May 17 – Finishing the Work of Salvation (John 17:1-5)
May 24 – Finishing the Work of Discipleship
May 31 – Finishing the Work of Evangelism

Finishing the Work of Salvation
John 17:1-5

I. Jesus finished the work ACCORDING TO THE TIME OF THE FATHER.
II. Jesus finished the work FOR THE GLORY OF THE FATHER.