Sermon Preview: Had I Known

September 13, 2018
By Jonathan Lawson, Pastor of Discipleship

It’s okay to not be okay. These words are both reassuring and challenging to us. In one sense, we all long to know that it’s okay if we aren’t okay, while at the same time being extremely uneasy with the idea of making ourselves so vulnerable.

We live in a culture that tells us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, to overcome, persevere, and above all don’t be a burden to anyone else. The truth is that often times church culture can be no different. Just as often we find that church culture tells us that now that we have given our lives to Christ we shouldn’t expect to have any more challenges our difficulties. Fear and shame can keep us from being honest with ourselves and others about the struggles that we are experiencing, so we try to sweep up the messes in our lives. But no matter how much we sweep, there’s always that last little line of dust. If we’re going to get that bit, we’ve got to break out the vacuum. It takes a power greater than ourselves to really clean us, and that power is Christ.

The key to breaking free from what holds us back is Confession–truth speaking. When we confess our struggles and our shortcomings–when we take off the masks and get real–we can begin to walk in the holiness that God intends for us. Christ loves us and accepts us just as we are; we don’t have to clean ourselves up to come to Jesus. And Christ loves us too much to leave us as we are. Jesus took on our guilt, our shame, and our fear. He nailed those to the cross and took them to the grave. When He rose again He left them there with death and rose in victory. That is a victory that Christ gives to all who live in Him.

What does it look like to live in Christ? Jesus used the word “abide.” But in order to abide, we first have to slow down a bit–no, actually a lot–and unplug from our hurried attempts to do for ourselves. This coming Sunday, we’re going to talk about the importance of slowing down, abiding, and not being in such a hurry. I hope you’ll join us.