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Big Jesus wins award for the 'best community entry' in the parade.
We had a unique perspective on Jesus, His fame and renown. If the crowds were silenced even the stones would have cried out to Him. This must be what it was like for Jesus to enter Jerusalem, re-enacted for the benefit of his LGBT people... What does this say for us and for Him?
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Our Home the Milky Way Galaxy.
There are about 125 billion galaxies in the observable universe.
Extracts from Jim’s Preach ‘Sufficient Grace’
An extract from the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians chapter 15
The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
That he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says;
That he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, And later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time; That he then spent time with James, then with all the apostles; And that he finally presented himself alive to me.
It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years persecuting Christians and trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
I came to the LGBT community with a gospel message, which in essence was the same message as the apostle Paul began 10 of his letters, it was this, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
God said to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Sufficient for what? Grace is sufficient to bring us and keep us in the privileged place of God’s favour. No matter what or who we are having to cope with.
Question; is there enough grace to go round?
Grace as we know it is the undeserved, unmerited, favour of God.
God has always treated His children in a privileged and beneficial way, from Abraham’s nephew Lot, who had just a smidges of faith, to King David who seemingly had loads of faith. They were far from perfect yet God’s grace was sufficient for each one of them. Sufficient for what?
To keep them in the favour God, no matter what they did to mess up their lives. Despite the mess ups, Lot remained righteous and David remained a “man after God’s own heart”.
Sufficient means having enough to meet the need. How many sins have been committed since the beginning of time? Is God’s grace sufficient to cover for them all?
Paul wrote in Ro 5:20 “...where sin increased, grace increased all the more”
Our Home is but a dot at the edge of the Milky Way galaxy. One of about 125 billion galaxies that stretch out for approxamately 13 billion light years?
It says in the book of Job 35:5 ‘Look up at the heavens and see; 6 If you sin, how does that affect him? 7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him? How can we presume to give anything to a God who created us and the cosmos?
When we look up to the stars we get a glimpse of something on a vast scale. So if God is immense beyond our imagination then how vast is His grace? I would say easily way more than sufficient.
I remember speaking to a man that had started coming to Liberty it became apparent to Nina and I that the poor guy had internalised homophobia he was prejudiced against himself for being gay.
The man had become Christian years earlier and sadly his church had heaped guilt upon guilt upon him for being gay and he couldn’t shift it. One day he just blurted out me, “You cannot be a Christian and be gay.”
I experienced then what I call a Jesus gem, a gem of an answer that I didn’t think out.
I instantly replied, “Are you saying there is a deficiency in the cross?” Meaning, do you say that Jesus could only obtain freedom for all who believe, just not for you?
The guy was stunned into silence, his colour literally drained as the light dawned. A switch had been flicked, of course there was no deficiency in the cross, there absolutely couldn’t be.
This man had been taught that to be gay was a sin and a sin to far and he carried guilt for years. But he saw that even if it was sin Jesus covered it with the grace that covers all sin.
Of course here at Liberty we know that being LGBT is a natural part of God’s creation and is not sinful in any way. But there are a lot of folks out there who live with a crippling guilt that has been heaped upon them by Christians just for being LGBT.
Others live weighed down with guilt for something they have done, or a personal failing and think they are barred from God’s love and presence. They all need to know the sufficiency in God’s grace.
A preacher named Judson Cornwall once said, “Christians have a problem with sin, but God has no problem with it because He sent the answer to sin, His Son.”
Eph 1:7 “In Christ we have the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” The riches and abundance of grace buries sin under the weight of its immense size and the gift of righteousness allows us to enjoy a relationship with Jesus, right now no matter what we are like.
Some LGBT folks have an inferiority complex as a result of all the negative messages from society and religion. Some of us feel inferior because of things that have happened in our lives, ways we have failed or let ourselves down.
The riches and abundance and the sufficiency of grace is there for us all, our heads may try to tell us we are inferior, but our hearts know there is a superior person living within us. The Spirit of Jesus Christ within us and that means we are all success stories.
We are equals in Jesus Christ having the grace of God to meet every spiritual need to keep us in the right place with God, always in His favour.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians 2:5 “it is by grace we have been saved.” And to the Corinthians, 1Co 15:10 “by the grace of God I am what I am.” Grace acts as a protective covering keeping us God’s favoured child, no matter what. Grace is an indescribable gift from an indefinable God.
Grace is all sufficient, grace is abundant, beyond measure and grace will exceed every expectation.
Grace is what makes us different, grace is the difference that others see, grace is Liberty’s good news, grace is Liberty’s message.
Grace liberates us, we can relax and be free to be ourselves knowing that we are treasured by God just as we are. Grace gives us that on going peace with God that people see.
Grace enables God to do what he wants to do in the life of Liberty because of the riches of His grace, the abundance of His grace and the sufficiency of His grace.
The Spirit of grace is here in our midst right now to give glory to Jesus through whom God has poured out His grace, on us His favoured children.
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