Lent - Not Mine But His - 3/17/19

LENT; … NOT MINE BUT HIS 03 17 2019

Romans 12: 1

The “Christ” in Action
Our symptoms revealed it. … The diagnosis defined it.
From vain thoughts to unkind words, … from unthinkable acts of cruelty to the
mindless threat of violence, … a cold disregard for humanity, … a casual
indifference to God; … all of these pointed to the condition of a rebellious heart.
The clinical term for it; … sin (and we all suffer from it), … is an involuntary and
fatal condition: … brutal, indiscriminate, and unforgiving. … Those who have
tried to control it only found themselves ultimately consumed by it. … For you see,
… it cannot be tamed … because; … “there is none righteous, no not one”.
It does not play favorites, … because; … “all have sinned and come short of the
glory of God.” … It takes no prisoners; … “for the wages of sin is death …”
Unless we forget, … you and I were guilty of this treason. … All of us played a
part in the evil episodes of our existence, … not as mere victims …
but as co-conspirators of our own demise. … Having been born in sin …
and shaped in iniquity, … we were the unacceptable creation; …
wicked, … lost, … fallen.
On one occasion some member of this is fragile motley crew called humanity cried
out of frustration; … “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this
dying body?” (Romans 7: 24) … Who indeed can deliver us from deception and
depravity? … Who can save us from sin and from self? … Is there one among us
who can pay so great a debt?
Time passed on, and when there was none to be found; … no champion to be
named amongst the human concern, … “   But God proves His own love for us in
that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” … (Romans 5: 8).
“Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God” (Romans 12: 1a)
This is what this “therefore”, … is … “therefore”, … to remind us of … and call
us to, … a time of reflection.
To remember with confidence and gratitude that Jesus has conquered sin and
death. … It is Jesus who has paid … our balance due; … and our debt on high.
Fore where we suffer from sin, … Jesus the Christ suffered for us!
This was the Christ in action.

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Repentance: … The “Cause” of Action
Therefore, … in light of the “Christ” in action, … we are urged as brothers and
sisters in Christ by the cause of action; … something the Apostle calls; …
“the mercies of God” (Romans 12: 1); … these undeserved acts of kindness that
should move us to lay down our sword and shield … and study war no more.
Too move from “idol” worship … to the image of God, … from condemned to
deliverance, … from reflection to repentance, … or “What should we say
then? Should we continue in sin?” (Romans 6: 1) …
“For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all” (Romans 6: 10)
Let me be clear, … our sin is the cause of this action … and yet, what are these
“mercies of God?” … Mercy means compassion; … pity. … It is God looking
upon our fallen nature … and sympathizing with us.
“Sympathize” is a word with both Greek and Latin origins, … meaning to suffer
with. … God chose to suffer with us.
So what then do we make of these mercies? … Clearly there are many …because
wherever we are, … much mercy will be needed.
Mercy; … it is kind treatment towards the undeserving and unrighteous. …
Mercy; … it is God’s complement to our ugliness. …
Mercy; … it is the Samaritan’s deeds to the robbed, the weak and wounded.
At its best, … it is divine intervention making provision for human corruption.
For this reason, … these mercies are best summarized by two words; … “loved”,
and “gave”.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that
everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3: 16)
This is why the Apostle is so compassionate and urgent with his plea; …
“by the mercies of God”, … because in light of what God has done in the person
and work of Jesus Christ, … we must show contrition, repent, and turn from our
sinful ways.
Restoration: … The “Call” to Action
If we are turning from our sinful ways, … then what are we turning to?
Where we reflect on the “Christ” in action … and repent for the “cause” of action,
… we are then restored, in part, … by His “call” to action: … “present your bodies
as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” (Romans 12: 1)

3

This is a call to complete submission. … It is you and I tithing ourselves to God …
because our lives are now His … and we belong to Him.
He has consecrated us in the precious blood of the Lamb; … Jesus the Christ.
How do we present our self? … We present our bodies, … “living” and “holy”.
“Living”; … it speaks of our total being; … active and animated … for the glory of
God. …
When living is experienced in Jesus, … it is the complete expression and
fulfillment of all that life can be! (repeat) … This is the most dynamic and
profound statement I will ever be able to share with you!
It is freedom in every way … that one can be free.
It is the unfailing experience of love … where each day with the Lord Jesus gets
sweeter and sweeter.
It is not the mere confession of faith, … it is the intentional conforming of the
heart, the head and the hand.
It is counter to the culture. … It is you and I living, moving, and having our being
witnessed in the face of prejudice; … witnessed in our restraint, … witnessed in
our love for those who despitefully use us.
This call to action is necessary … because it is important for the world to see …
and you and I to live in view of that fact that we are an Easter people living in a
Good Friday world … but … we are also to present our bodies, … holy.
“Holy”: …This describes the type of life that is presented to God and before the
world. … Holiness is something that God is … and makes possible for us to be.
It cannot be manufactured or faked. … For you and I, … it most accurately speaks
of our newness of nature in Christ Jesus. … It is living a life that is set apart from
all that God calls wicked. … Those who are outside this covenant of grace will
mock and make fun of us … because what the world calls deprivation … God calls
enrichment.
With that said, … during this Lenten season, … a period practice that predates the
Roman Catholic Church … and is observed by the vast majority of Christian
denominations globally, … I share with this message, … that the Holy Spirit is
asking that we sacrifice something far more valuable than materials, … meals …
or media.
The sacrifice that God requires is not superficial. …
It is a call that is further in and deeper down within the soul of the believer. …
It is a call to sacrifice our self, … not in death … but in our life.

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Recovering from my own death bed of sin, … stricken with my love of what the
world labels as important, … I came to realize that Jesus did not die to make bad
people good. … He was resurrected to make the dead, … live!
We are called to live in this world but not be a part of this world.
I appeal to you during this Lenten season, … to sacrifice anger, …conflict, …
gossip and backstabbing; … idolatry, …infidelity, … prejudice … and pride.
Give up that one obstacle that has hindered your walk with Jesus Christ …
and I promise … you will be glad you did.
T’was grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
~Stanzas from Amazing Grace
AMEN