This week I am taking a break from our series on James because this is a special day. It is the last week for Matt, Nat, Leah, Annie and Isaac before they head over to PNG to serve with MAF.
Now because this is a big commitment and a sign of living wholeheartedly for Christ, I wanted to send them off with a message that contains a number of things I want them (and us) to remember.
In OT times they celebrated a number of festivals and ceremonies each year to remember certain things that God had done for them. I think for us as Christians today we need to be reminded of certain things too. Today I want to share three main ideas and a number of verses. Today it is more about letting Scripture speak. So I will read my point, read the Scripture and make a brief comment.
1. Remember who you are in Christ
a. I am a child of God
Galatians 3:26 – All of you are God’s children because of your faith in Christ Jesus.
When I accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we become members of God’s eternal family. We are God’s children and members of His eternal household. When we step out in faith to take on new things, the devil often tries to make us forget who we are and who is our Father. So it is vital we remember this very important foundation.
b. I share in God’s divine nature
2 Peter 1:4 – And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
When we were born into this world we were affected by sin. We were all made in God’s image, but the fall of man effected this. But the good news is Jesus death restored what the fall did. Now as Christians the image is fully restored. We have Jesus is our hearts and the Holy Spirit lives within us. We are partakers in God’s Divine nature. We are one with Him through Christ and He is one with us.
c. I am a new creation
2 Corinthians 5:17 – This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
This is the NLT. The NIV says we are a new creation. New. Completely new. The old is gone and the new has come. The devil wants to make us doubt who we are. He wants to remind us of our old lives. But God says who we are – we are a new creation.
d. I am more than a conqueror
Romans 8:37 – No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Again, this is the NLT. The NIV uses the term “more than conquerors”. When I looked up the Greek word used for this I found it was hoop-er-nik-ah’-o. This means to vanquish beyond, to gain a decisive victory: – not that conquering, more than conquer. You are more than a conqueror. If you are in Christ, you have overwhelming victory. Jesus defeated sin, Jesus defeated death, Jesus defeated all the powers and principalities of this world… and you are on His team. You are more than a conqueror.
2. Remember what you have in Christ
a. I have eternal life
1 John 5:11-12 – And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.
Right throughout the NT it tells us that if we trust in Jesus for our salvation, we have eternal life. Not a vain hope at the end of our lives. A present reality. Eternal life begins at the moment we accept Christ. Our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life. Our eternal passports are stamped “Citizens of God’s Kingdom”. Whoever has the Son has life. He has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son.
b. I have abundant life
John 10:10 – The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
The Bible says that the thief comes to do damage and tear down. Jesus says His purpose is to come and give a rich and satisfying life. Another version says abundant life or life more abundant. The Greek word for abundant is per-is-sos. This means exceeding abundantly above, more abundantly, or beyond measure. The life we have in Christ is a life of love, peace, blessing, abundance, hope, and security. I wouldn’t trade these things for all the money in the world. These are things that can only be given by God.
c. I have divine provision
Philippians 4:19 – And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
One of my favourite sayings is “God owns all the cattle on all the hills”. If He needs you to do something, then He will supply your needs out of His riches. Matthew 6:33 echoes this when it says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added to you”. It doesn’t say some a few things will be added. It doesn’t say some things. It says all things. We have divine provision to fulfil His Kingdom purposes in this world.
d. I always have Jesus with me
Hebrews 13:5b – For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
God promises to be with us always. That means He is not leaving. He is not going anywhere. No matter what we face in this life, He is always right beside us. The same God who was with David when he fought Goliath is with you. The same God who was with Daniel in the Lion’s Den is with you. The same God who was Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego in the fiery furnace is with you. And He promises to never leave you or fail you.
3. Remember what you can do in Christ
a. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.
We can do all things through Christ. I remember years ago I got asked to be best man and MC at a wedding. I have never spoken publicly before and I really panicked. For four months I was petrified. As I was a new Christian I looked into the Bible for help. I found this verse and I wrote it on a piece of paper. Every time I got up to speak at the wedding reception I put my hand in my pocket and recited “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. I believed it and I survived. It was life changing and I actually thought maybe one day I could be a preacher. I gained strength from God’s Word and from Jesus who is the one who backs up that statement.
b. I can fulfill God’s plan for my life
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
As I have shared with you a number of times. God has a plan for all of our lives. Our part is to recognise it and just walk it out. Not only does God have a plan but He has gifted you to carry it out. 1 Peter 4:10 reminds us that, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another”. As Christians, we need to remember that we are not here with no purpose. Our purpose is to love God, love on another and fulfil God’s plan for our lives.
c. I can walk in love
1 John 4:19 – We love each other because He loved us first.
What a great verse – we love because He first loved us. God is a loving God who love us. Because we are made in His image, we are capable of extending His love to others. Now we all have people in our lives that are hard to love at times and it can be a challenge. But if we relaxed and ask God to allow His love to flow through us it becomes easier. One thing that helps me is Galatians 2:20. It says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.
d. I can do what is good
Micah 6:8 – He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Have you ever wondered God requires of you? This verse tells us. 1. Act justly or fairly 2. Love mercy or show mercy to others 3. Walk humbly with God. These three things set us on the right path to doing what is good in God’s eyes. Because God is with us, because we have been born into God’s eternal family and we have the Holy Spirit, we can do what is good.
Today as we finish this message I want us all to remember these three things.
- Remember who you are in Christ
- Remember what you have in Christ
- Remember what you can do in Christ