Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work or live in a palace; to literally eat with a silver spoon instead of just referencing it in an expression? How about being the limo driver for the president (you probably know where I'm going with this)? What if I told you that you already do if you follow Jesus? Many of us consider ourselves servants of God, and rightly so, because we do in fact serve God. However, to just say "we work for God" is not the whole story. We are not God's butlers, or drivers, or worship leaders. Jesus makes it clear that we are not even to be called servants. Instead, we are fellow heirs of God's kingdom (John 15:14-15). In other words, we are members of the royal family.
There are a lot of different perceptions about royalty and what they do, so let's be clear that the job of royalty is not to ride the family's prized thorough-bred or practice for the upcoming ball (sorry Disney fans). Rather, being a prince or princess in the kingdom is about continuing the family legacy, and the legacy of God's kingdom is what we are to concern ourselves with at every lifegroup, every church service, and every community event. That legacy is what the Bible calls the "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18) and it is the work that God has ascribed to his children. To show the world what God has done for us and to tell the world that God has also done the same for them is our mission. So, this week as we unload the trailer in the heat, or fight the crazy traffic to get to lifegroup, or finally inviting our neighbor to come, remember that you are not the wait staff. You are royalty.
When was the last time you said "I promise"? You may be thinking about something you said to your kids, or to your spouse, or maybe you said it to yourself as you resolved to get up earlier to exercise. Promises are simply commitments we make in our lives…or at least they are supposed to be. That is, until they are broken. When they are broken, promises become stains in our relationships and fuel for our distrust. Broken promises are betrayal.
This series of Transformation is about Promises. It's not about your promises, because, in one way or another we all have broken ones buried in the backyard of our lives (Rom 3:20). Instead, it is about God's Promises because
God's Promises have the Power to Transform our brokenness into something brand new (2 Cor. 5:17).
Yes, God is the Promise keeper, and it is this very reason that we can completely trust every promise he has made to us (Mark 10:27). The Bible chronicles God's promises and I challenge you to fact check Him. Your pursuit will show a Promise Keeper who created us, who cares for us, who died to save us!
Tomorrow we celebrate the independence of our nation. Tomorrow we celebrate freedom. Within the borders of our country we certainly have our struggles and our needs, yet we are still one of the richest countries in the world. Thanks to our discerning founders we have certain inalienable rights that are affordable to us no matter our social standing. Most of us already know that this freedom came at a great cost. Yet, we have paid that cost and we have paid it all for this idea: freedom.
But what is freedom really? Is it the ability to do whatever you want? Or how about just the ability to believe whatever you want? According to the Bible, freedom isn't either of these. Instead, freedom is simply becoming Christ-like without any hindrances (Gal. 5:1, Heb. 12:1-2, Rom 8:1, Roman 6:15-16). As pastor Anthony showed us in Romans 3 this past week, we are all hindered by our own vices; by sin. We have been locked in a prison by that sin and no matter how hard we struggle, we cannot free ourselves. That is, unless someone takes our place. 2 Cor. Says, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Jesus took on the penalty of sin for us, and in doing so, he set us free. As we continue through this study, I challenge you to open your bibles and ask, "why?"
freedom is simply becoming Christ-like without any hindrances