Grace Matters

Date Preached: July 5, 2020
From the Series: What Really Matters?
Topics: grace
Scripture: Ephesians 2:4-10
Notes: Download PDF
Speaker: Gary Combs

Summary

Have you noticed how grace-less our culture has become? The so-called “social graces” that used to guide our social interactions, like polite speech, good manners, etiquette, deportment, appropriate dress, have faded into a rude, rough and selfish disregard of others. Add to our declining social graces the political turmoil, the pandemic, the racial unrest, and other problems continuously broadcast to us 24/7 and you have the makings of the graceless and divided country we see today.

How can we change? How can we understand how much “grace matters” to God and how much it matters to how we should live as believers? First, we must understand that in the Bible, grace takes on an even deeper spiritual meaning than just good manners. In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he reminded them how much God’s grace mattered to their salvation. We can understand how much God’s grace matters to our salvation.

Transcript

Below is an automated transcript of this message

Good morning, church. Hey, I’m looking at real people with real faces; it’s so awesome! We welcome you here on this Independence Day weekend. We also welcome those of you that are watching from home. We’re having church, and we’re happy to be here and to gather today.

I’m going to look online and see who’s watching with us. I see Lynette, Angie, Carolyn, Margie, Joy, Beverly, Sharon, Casey, Elizabeth, Crystal, Cat, Gail, Jonathan and Mike. I I can’t look at all of our sites. We’re here to gather, whether we’re online or in person.

We’re concluding their series today, entitled, “What Really Matters?” We’ve spent the last six Sundays asking that question and answering it from God’s Word. What really matters? Today, we’re going to conclude the series. The series theme verse is from Philippians 1:10 (NLT) “For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.” And so, the Apostle Paul wanted to make sure the church at Phillipi understood what really matters and this pastor wants to make sure that we understand that as well. Not everything matters but some things really do matter.

And so, today, we’re concluding with a sermon entitled, “Grace Matters.” In the dictionary, the English Word, “grace,” is defined as “courteous, goodwill, courteous goodwill.” It has these synonyms, “politeness, poise, charm, good manners, considerate, respectful of others.” Does that sound like our culture today? Do we have a graceful culture today? I would say that we live in a very graceless culture today; maybe, more graceless than it’s ever been in all of my years.

Do you remember those things called “social graces” known as good manners? Remember that word, “manners?” People used to have polite speech and good manners. You would say, “Yes, sir” and “No, sir,” “Thank you” and “please.” Those kinds of things are considered good etiquette, good table manners and appropriate dress. All of these used to be considered part of social graces, so that word, “grace,” was used because it’s important. One way I’ve thought about grace is it’s kind of like the “oil between our relational gears.” If you let the oil run out in your automobile, you’ll blow up your motor, right? All that friction from the pistons and so forth. It requires oil so that it continues to work. Society is like that. It needs oil because we rub up against each other. We don’t all agree with each other, but social graces allow us to continue to get along because we have grace for one another.

I’m looking at our culture today, and I see a rude, enraged and rough culture marked by disagreements about the pandemic, racism and disagreements shaming one another, based on your opinion, whether you wear a mask or don’t wear a mask, whether or not you… whatever. Just pick a topic and somebody’s mad at you about it. And so, most of us are terrified to say anything because we don’t know what to say.

Where has the grace gone? Miss Manners is right when she says, “We’re all born rude.” But, we don’t have to stay that way. How can we change and how can we come to an understanding of how much grace matters, not just to our society, but how much it matters to God. Grace matters to God. I’m thinking about this, as I gave you the English definition from the English dictionary .

But there’s an even more spiritual, deeper definition of the word, grace, in the Bible. In the Greek, it’s this word, Charis. If your name is Charis, it means grace. In the Greek, it means “unmerited favor.” It means that God has favored you when you didn’t deserve it, you didn’t merit it, you didn’t earn it. It’s God’s undeserved favor; that’s what really matters. We’re going to talk more about that today.

In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Church of Ephesus, he reminded them how much God’s grace mattered to their salvation. I believe we can understand how much God’s grace matters to us today, to our salvation. How’s this possible? As we look at the text today, I think we’ll see three insights into how much God’s grace really matters. So let’s look at the text.

Our passage today is Ephesians chapter two; we’ll pick it up at verse four. Look at these first two words; they are two great words in the Bible perhaps ; “But God.” I love it when a passage starts off with “But God.” No matter what your situation is today, you can have “but God” come into your life and change that situation. That’s how Paul begins, Ephesians 2:4-10 (ESV) 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” This is God’s word. Amen.

Are you ready for three insights into why God’s grace is what really matters? We will look at three insights into this.

Here’s the first:

1. God’s grace is His motive.

Paul is anticipating our question. Here’s the first question you might have: “Why did God go to so much trouble to save us? Why would He send His one and only Son to save us?” Paul seems to anticipate our question. Why would he do this? We were dead in our sins, distant from God. Why would he go to so much trouble in an effort to save us?

Paul gives us grace as his motive; in fact, he gives us four key words. I want us to look at four words that he says are inside of God’s grace. These four words are his motivations for saving us.

I want you to look, first of all, at the words, “But God.” John Stott, in his commentary, says, “These two monosyllables set against the desperate condition of fallen mankind , the gracious initiative and sovereign action of God.” We were lost. We were distant. We couldn’t save ourselves. “But God.” Why did he do it? Was it because of us? No, it was because of His own grace.

Look at these words in verse four, “being rich in mercy.” That’s the first word, “mercy.” If you have your Bibles, circle those words. This is contained in His motivation. Why did God act on our behalf? First of all, because He’s merciful. He’s a merciful God. He’s rich in mercy. The word, “mercy,” could be translated “tender and compassionate.” He abounds in it.

When I think of the word, “mercy,” I think of it in a feminine way for myself. I think of my mother and I think of my wife and how merciful and compassionate those two women have been in my life and towards their children and towards others. I don’t often think of it in the masculine sense. I don’t often think of it in my own sense. My wife says I’m becoming more tender as I get older. I do cry more easily. I don’t know if that’s old age or what that is. Maybe I’m becoming more like Jesus. Pray for me; I hope that’s happening. I’m praying for you; I hope it’s happening to you. That’s what God’s up to, by the way, by His grace, when He saves us. He wants to make us more like Jesus. As we become more like Jesus, we become more merciful. Aren’t you glad that God is compassionate and tenderhearted? Aren’t you glad He’s merciful? Aren’t you glad that He is slow to anger but He’s quick to forgive? I’m so glad about that.

Let’s look at the word, “grace.” We’ve defined that word earlier; we see the word, “grace,” three times; in verse 5, verse seven and again in verse eight. Those of you that are learning to study the Bible. I would always remind you that when you see a repeated word, that might be your theme for that passage. If you see the word, “grace,” three times, maybe that’s what Paul is talking about. Maybe he’s telling us more about grace here.

And then, in verse four, we see another motivation wrapped up in the word grace, if you will. And that is “great love.” Do you see that in verse four? “But God being rich in mercy because of the great love with which he loved us.” So Paul is still answering the question, “Why’d He do it?” It’s because He’s merciful and it’s because of His great love. For those of you that are Greek students and some of you have been inspired to be Greek students because I love that language so much, I was thinking when I would look this up in the Greek. I was reading in the English translation for “great love.” I know what the word, “great,” is going to be, and I know what the word, “love,” is going to be. I’ve got a decent Greek vocabulary and I thought “great” would be translated, “mega.” Mega is a Greek word, which means “great.” We all know that word; that’s God’s kind of love. It’s sacrificial love. We have the Greek word, “Phileo,” which means brotherly love or conditional love. “Eros” means sensual love but “Agape” is God’s kind of love. That’s the right word but it wasn’t mega; it was this other Greek word I’m looking at. God has a whole lot of love. He has an abundance of love. He’s got enough and more. He’s got a lot of love, a lot of sacrificial love.

And then, we see this fourth word; we have grace, mercy and love. In verse seven, we see the word, “kindness.” “That he might, in the coming ages show the immeasurable riches of grace in kindness.” Are you kind? That’s how God is; He is kind. That’s a pretty strong social grace, isn’t it. The act of kindness. I’m trying to think of the name of these two little chipmunks that were in a cartoon. Somebody throw their names out for me. Chip and Dale. They were the ones that said, No, please. No,no, I insist. After you. Some of the older people here remember Chip and Dale. The younger people have never seen that cartoon. Look them up; Chip and Dale. They were kind, to a fault, to one another.

That is what motivated God to send Jesus, His Son. The Bible says, “For God so loved…” He loves so much. He has a lot of love. He has great love, mercy, kindness and grace. It was because of His character; that’s what motivated Him to save us, to offer salvation to us. It was God and His motive was grace.

This phrase in verse five, “by grace you have been saved,” was repeated in verse eight. It feels a little awkward in the English in verse five. I’m a musician, so I kind of think I’m looking at a great orchestral piece where he introduces a theme that he’s going to bring back bigger later. Not sure here, but that’s kind of how I saw it because in Verse five says, “even when we were dead in trespasses made us alive together with Christ, by grace, you’ve been saved.” And then Paul says, “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” If you ever listen to Mozart, he introduces a theme and then brings it back later. I threw that in for you. So, verse eight repeats “For by grace, you have been saved through faith.” He spends the next three verses nailing it down because grace is the heartbeat of God. It motivated Him to save us. It says, “For by grace you have been saved.” I want to dig into that a little bit more in the next point. But there’s so much richness there. He gives us a hint of it. But then he’s going to tell us more about it. In verse eight, He was motivated to save us by His own grace,mercy,love and kindness.

It says in 2 Timothy 1:8-9 (ESV) “8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” Why did God save us? Because He wanted to. He wanted you. His grace caused Him to have favor for us.

What’s our response to to the Lord’s motivation towards us? First, I would say, if you’ve never received God’s grace, what’s keeping you from doing it? Just picture this: It’s Christmas morning and under the tree is a gift and it has your name on it. But you say, I’m good. I don’t need it. Are you crazy? Really? There’s a gift with your name on it. No, I’m good. Why not open it? Why not open God’s gift right there next to you. If you’re hearing the gospel right now, you’re hearing the good news about Jesus. Why not open it? Why not say, “Yes?” Why not receive Him? This is the first response; God loves you. God favors you. He’s kind. Why not receive it? In receiving Him, His motives become ours .

Do a self evaluation right now; if I were to look at your social media and I do look at a lot of yours because you friended me and I can’t help it. I see it sometimes. Sometimes, I can’t believe they friended because of what I read on their social media. Is it kind words you’re writing? Is it full of love? Is it graceful? Is it merciful, or is it enraged, putting people down and being judgmental? This is not the way God brought salvation to us and this is not the heartbeat of God within us. Whenever we encounter God’s word, it deserves our willingness to repent, which means to have a heart change and a life change so we see God’s motive. That’s the first insight. Grace matters, because it was that which motivated God.

Here’s the second insight:

2. God’s grace is His method.

God’s grace is his method for our salvation. Think about that for a second . That’s a surprise, right? Grace not only motivates God, but it’s the way He saves us. Paul answers the first question, “Why did he do it? Why did he offer salvation because of His grace, love,mercy and compassion? But, how did He do it? By grace. That’s the same answer; by grace. That’s how He did it. The second insight is what has God done and how has He done it? Well, he’s done it by grace.

For Paul to answer this question, he coins three new Greek words. He’s like a theologian/ pastor, writing to the church of Ephesus. He wants to describe something so new that the world’s never seen it before; he has to invent a new vocabulary. Now I love the Greek language but the letters of Paul are the most difficult because he makes up new words. He has to, because we have a new life and a new reality in Jesus and these three Greek words look like more than three in our language. They’re in these verses and it’s the activity of God now; the method of His salvation. I want you to see verse 5, “made us alive together with Christ.” “Made us alive together” is one word in the Greek language. It’s one big, old, long word; “made us alive together.”

And then, Paul says his second made up word. I’ve seen it before because I’ve studied Ephesians. But the Greeks had never seen it before because he put them together to describe this. He says in verse six, “and raised us up with him.” That’s one word, “raised us up with him, and then third, “seated us with him.” So there’s the three, Each one of them takes four English words to translate it. They are all in Greek and begin with the prefix “syn,” which you, if you’re taking notes , you would write “Syn.” You see this in English words like synthesis, synoptic, and synergy. The Greek word “Syn” means together or to do something together. If you say synergy, you mean you’re saying that it works together. Doing that has synergy; it works together. So together, we’ve been made alive with Christ. Together, we’ve been raised in union with Christ. Together, we’ve been made to sit down at the right hand of the Father with Christ. No wonder Paul had to come up with new words. This is mind blowing. This is a mystery that even the prophets of the Old Testament had never seen.

We have this assurance that we would be so united with Christ that what God has done in Him, would now be done in us. So Paul goes through the steps of salvation that God accomplished in Christ by reminding us this that when He was buried, He was in the grave for three days. But God, the Father, raised Him up to life. He died for our sins. He was buried. He was raised. But not only that, 40 days later, He ascended. So, He was raised up. And then, He was seated at the right hand of the Father. So, He was made alive. He was raised up. He was seated. This is the historical progression of salvation in Christ Jesus. We as Christians recognize this. This is what Christ did for us.

What may come as a surprise to you, was that Paul had to invent new language to describe it, is that you are with Christ in all of these. It is you in Him. You have been raised from deadness in sin. You have been set free and raised up to the heavenly place; you’ve been seated in the heavenly, at the right hand of the Father.

You might be thinking I feel like I’m seated in this old theater watching you right now. You would be right, because experientially, that’s where you are. But what Paul’s teaching us is you have a positional reality. You’re here but you, also, are already with Christ. You’ve been raised with Christ. You’ve been made alive with Christ, raised with Christ and seated with Christ. That’s Grace. That’s Grace. Did you realize what you are? Did you realize what you have? Do you understand your new perspective? You don’t have to look at the world like this anymore. You don’t have to be down in the weeds looking at everything 24/7 on the news and being caught up in every social media thing. You don’t have to do that. You’re seated in the heavenlies with Christ.

What really matters ? Paul had to invent a new vocabulary to help us understand it but it’s true. Everything that Christ has, you now have as a believer in Christ. You are united with Christ made alive, raised up and seated with Him.

John Stott writes, “What excites our amazement, however, is that now Paul is not writing about Christ but about us. He is affirming not that God quickened, raised and seated Christ, but that he quickened, raised and seated us with Christ.” That’s amazing. And now, this phrase repeats itself again, as we mentioned before, in verse 8; “by grace, you have been saved.” And then he adds, “through faith,” I say “adds;” He didn’t mention the “through faith” part in verse five. “For by grace;” so grace is instrumental. It’s that which saves. His favor, His great love, mercy and compassion saves us. You have been saved, and then faith becomes the means or the conduit by which you receive it.

Let’s say in my hand, so here it comes and I go, I want it. It’s free. God’s done everything for me. How do I get it? Here comes my faith; I receive it. Now it’s mine. Where did I get my faith? I was born without it. Thank God He gave me that, too.

Here’s what Paul is saying; God did everything necessary for your salvation. And God even gave you the means by which to receive it, which is your faith, which is your trust. He gave you the ability to hear the gospel. He also gave you the ability to understand it and believe it so you can’t brag about any of it. It’s all grace. It’s all a gift. You have been saved.

Here’s another one of those words in the Greek; it’s called a perfect passive participle. We don’t have such a thing in English. It means there’s usually an “ing” on the end, but that’s not happening here. “For by grace you have been saved.” You have been saved. Those four words, “you have been saved,” is one word in the Greek.

Remember when you took math in school? Do you still use it? Now,you have a smartphone. But remember back when you had this thing called a ray? A ray has a line and an arrow. This is the perfect passive participle in the Greek; it’s like a mathematical ray at a point in time. Prior to this point, you were lost without Christ. But at this point in time, you heard the gospel and you said “yes” to Jesus. You have been saved. At that point in time, you were justified, so that sin’s penalty had been removed from you. It also says, “you are being saved” so that you are being sanctified from sin’s power. So sin is losing its power over you. You are justified and sanctified and you are being and you will be saved from sin’s presence. In those four little words, you have been saved in the perfect passive participle in the Greek. You have been, you are being and you will ultimately be.

This is God’s grace. This is why it matters. This is the best thing ever; God’s grace for you. You have been saved and you are being saved. Look what it says right after that, “8 For by grace you have been saved saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,“ What is Paul’s point? It’s the whole thing “for by grace, you’ve been saved.” You didn’t do it. You didn’t earn it. Paul wants to make sure that you understand this so that you’re not confused.

And then, he says that it’s not a result of works. It’s not your own doing. It’s the gift of God and you have nothing to brag about. Paul’s making really sure that we understand you can’t earn it, too. Now, you have been saved, you are being and you will be. It’s one action . So by grace you have been saved. It’s not of yourself. It’s a gift. Have you seen this acronym to define grace? G. R A. C E. God’s Redemption At Christ’s Expense. This is a good way to remember it; God’s Redemption At Christ’s Expense.

Romans 3:23-25 (ESV) “23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” So we’re justified by grace as a gift. God’s Redemption At Christ’s Expense. This is His method; His motive was grace.

Now, if we have this new reality, remember, Where are we right now? If you’re a believer you are raised up with Him and seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That’s where you are. So, when you’re watching the news, when you’re at work, when you’re looking at social media, remember where you are. Remember what we said a few weeks ago, “Remember who you are and Whose you are.” So I’ve added one; “Remember where you are now.” Look at it from a heavenly perspective.

Does this matter? Do you need to even talk about this or think about this or engage in this? Probably not. But here’s what I do know. I need to see every human being and every situation with a new set of eyes. So, when I’m at Walmart and the clerk is taking forever, and I am looking at my watch and I am thinking, I should have gone to that line; that one is moving. I’m still waiting. . You’re thinking about the slow grocery store clerk as an inconvenience. You have labeled her as an inconvenience. Instead of doing that, decide to see her as someone who’s just struggling to keep her job because it’s her first day. Decide to see her as a single mom who just got a call a few moments ago that the babysitter can’t keep the child for the whole shift and somehow she is distracted. Decide to see her from a new perspective. Give her grace. Instead of seeing the guy who cuts you off on the freeway as a villain and offering him some “sign language,” decide to see him as someone who perhaps didn’t see you there when he cut through because he was distracted. Give him grace. Nobody died. Instead of judging a person based on their skin color, their political party, whether they’re wearing a mask or not, just give them grace. Judgment belongs to God; it doesn’t belong to you. We live in the most judgmental society right now, and everyone’s a law unto themselves. Nobody agrees with God’s law. They all have their own version of morality. Boy, are they judgmental, and we, as Christians, should be different. We should be full of grace,love,mercy and compassion. Grace is God’s motive. It’s His method.

Now, let’s look at the third insight that Paul gives us:

3. God’s grace is revealed in us as His masterpiece.

So, we know why God offers salvation. We know how He does it. So what’s His ultimate goal? It’s that He wants us to be His masterpiece. I want you look at verse seven and ten because that’s where we see God’s ultimate goal revealed. Verses seven says, “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” In the Greek, it’s coming eons, “in the coming ages, he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness Toward Us in Christ.” So, one of God’s ultimate goals in saving us is that He could show off for eternity by just pouring more grace on us. What? He’s not finished? No, He’s barely started. Imagine the most beautiful sunrise or sunset, The most beautiful ocean scene or mountain top view. Imagine nature in all of its glory. It’s a pale shadow of the immeasurable riches of grace that God wants to pour out on us throughout the ages. Get a new perspective received in the heavenlies. You’re saved by grace and you’re kept by grace. You have a future that no one can take from you. Why are we so caught up in the little things that don’t matter? Grace matters. Oh, my goodness, one of His goals for you is to pour out more grace on you forever.

But, He has to save you first so that you could be a recipient of it. Otherwise you won’t be able to be part of that. So it has this “might” phrase. I don’t want to miss that. “So that in the coming ages he might show…” that means there’s the possibility that He won’t. But that possibility is only left up to whether or not we say “yes” to the gift. If you say “yes” to the gift, if you say “yes” to Jesus, you get the immeasurable riches of His grace forever. You get that because you’re seated with Him in the heavenlies. Your body just hasn’t caught up yet. But you’re there; spiritually, you’re there.

When we gather like this in church and we’re listening to God’s word, don’t you kind of feel like you’re there? Don’t you just catch a little piece of it in your heart right now? I’m not there yet. I’m already there, but not yet. Do you feel that tension of already there but not yet ? My body just hasn’t caught up. That’s called “jet lag.” Maybe we have “Heaven lag.” We’re not quite there. Not yet, but already we are.

I want you to look at verse 10. Verse seven contained an answer to what God is up to. Verse 10 gives His ultimate goal. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” If you have an NLT translation, it says we are His masterpiece. That’s what God’s up to. He’s making you into His masterpiece; by grace, He’s doing that. He wants you to be a trophy of His grace. He wants to put you on his eternal mantle and say, There he is. He is one of My masterpieces right there. There she is. That’s what God wants to do. He’s always meant to do that from the very beginning.

In the book of Genesis, he said, “Let us make man in our own image, male and female.” Let us be mirrors of Him to a lost world so that we would be like Him. But sin separated us. But now, in Christ we have been made new, recreated, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus.” So we are a new creation; we are now His masterpiece. The Greek word is Poiema; so we get the word, “poem. “ We are His masterpiece, His work of art in Christ Jesus. He wants to make you like Jesus and he doesn’t do copies. He only does originals and he makes you so that you’re destined for good works. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that you can’t earn.

Remember that Paul makes sure that he puts good works “after the horse.” Don’t “get the cart ahead of the horse .” The horse is salvation by grace through faith, God did everything. You can’t brag about it. The only person you can brag on is God. But now that you’re saved, He’s making you a masterpiece that you’re showing forth His good works of compassion, grace, love and mercy. He’s making you a mirror of His majesty; you reflect His glory. If you visit the Louvre in Paris, the National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan in New York, then you’re probably an art lover there to look at the art. As you see other patrons there you’ll hear them, in whispering voices, talking about the art, amazed at the great masters, the artists of the past. And they rarely name the art by the subject or the name of the artwork. They always refer to it by the artist. That’s a Rembrandt. Look, there’s a van Gogh. There’s a DaVinci. Why do they do that? > Because there were so few people like that have that level of mastery. So they refer to the artwork by the name of the artist.

Is that what God wants to do with you? Does He want to make you such a masterpiece that the world would look at you and say, I think I see Jesus. That person is otherworldly. It’s as if they’re not from here, it’s as if they’re seated somewhere else. They are a masterpiece, known by the master’s name. Look at that grace filled person. Look at that masterpiece of God. God’s purpose for humanity is that we would be his “imago dei;” His image bearers, His masterpiece.

Are you ready to say “yes” to God’s plan for your life today? Grace matters; it has a motive It’s His method, and it’s what He’s up to in you. He wants you to be a masterpiece of His grace.

Let’s pray. God, thank you. Thank you for Jesus, because it’s through Jesus that we receive grace. Lord, we thank you for Jesus. I’m praying right now for that person who might be watching at home right now, who might be watching from your phone, computer or TV. It doesn’t matter where you are. You can bow your head, right where you are right now, and receive God’s grace through Jesus, His son. You can do it by expressing your faith through prayer. Prayer is like the hand of faith; it takes the salvation that God offers. Pray with me. Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I believe You died on the cross for my sin, that You were raised from the grave and that You live today. Come and live in me. Forgive me of my sin and save me. Make me the person you want me to be. I want to be a child of God. I want you to be my Lord and Savior. Are you praying that right now? The Lord will save you. That’s why He came. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been. He’ll meet you right where you are. If you’re praying that right now, believing, he will save you. Others are here, either online or in person. You are a believer but this Word has convicted you. You’ve been caught up in the small things. You’ve been angry. You’ve been judgmental. You’ve been impatient. We’re all together in this as we hear God’s Word. Lord, we ask you to forgive us and to make us more like You in Your grace. We pray it all now in Christ’s name and for His sake. Amen.