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Pastor Joel and Julia A’bell are incredible leaders in our nation. Um, that Pastor Joel has served on the National Executive of the ACC. Um, and is currently involved with convoy of hope which is ministering to communities doing outreaches, helping people, they’re being hands and feet on the ground and it’s absolutely incredible but that as I’ve said before is his credentials but the thing that’s going to become clear if you’ve never crossed them before is that there is such a heart for the house and a heart for people that flows out of their bells and that’s going to become readily apparent as you hear the word. So, why don’t you take a seat for a moment? We’re going to watch the screen and we’re going to see what convoy of hope does and then we’re going to welcome up Pastor Joel LaBelle. Than 400 people are missing in our state’s far north.

Raging on overnight. Causing chaos. The virus coming up. There was three feet of water. People they need food and water.

It’s devastating. Never early. Never late. He going to stand by what he claimed. I heard your heart I see your pain in the brain it maybe midnight I live in I lived enough life to say help is on More than four.

Good morning everybody. Great to be here with you in church this morning. Big welcome to you. Thanks boys. Good job.

It’s nice to be here. Um so, Convoy of Hope, we basically do a whole lot of things in the community. It’s helping churches to connect with their community. A whole lot of disaster response and global programming things that we do and community engagement. It’s been great.

One of the things we did with King’s College was called Space Camp and it’s where we took kids through a STEM project and helped them to see the greatness of God in science and space and technology and it was really cool. So, thanks for partnering with us on that and that was a few months ago. We had a whole lot of fun there but we do all kinds of things that’s really cool. So we’re going to talk today. We’re in the series of Ash, what’s it called? Weapons of Warfare, Ash last week, brilliant.

It’s so good to follow on after you. It’s great to be here. Trish, thank you. I know Ben’s up at Pimpama or somewhere pimping out at Logan. Um all these names on the Gold Coast.

Like when I I didn’t know, I didn’t know how to say Wahrongary when I first came to, we’ve only been here for a few years and so I just called it Wazza Gazza. Cuz I thought it was Warren Gary. So I’m like Wazza Gazza. Was a Gazza? Was Warrengary? But no. No.

Yeah. I’m one of those dirty southerners. Um thanks for having me. It’s great to be here. I do live here on the coast.

It’s really cool. Yeah. It’s good. What’s wrong Jess? Thank you. Thanks for having me.

At Reedy Creek. It’s really cool. Okay so we’re going to talk. This is part seven in this series. And I want to talk about the righteousness of God.

As your superpower. Right? In in this this armour. There’s warfare. That that we can I want to I want to talk about it from perhaps a different perspective for us that my good friend Shane Willard says words don’t matter as much as you imagine those words to work. So when you hear the word righteousness I’m not sure what comes up in your mind.

What what what’s your what’s your thoughts about that? What’s your imagination? What do you think about righteousness? Righteousness is often used as an exclusion clause. I’m I’m part of and you’re excluded. If if you’re not righteous you’re not in. It’s like an in-club word. We have a lot of in club words in church don’t we? Yeah.

You really gotta understand some of the lingo is. We have our own language. Even in English, it’s still our own language. You ever talk to someone who’s new to church, new to faith, and they’re like, what the heck are you guys talking about? Like, lifting hands up like, someone got a question. Okay.

Um so we want to talk about the righteousness of God but I don’t want to talk about it from a morality side. Cuz often that’s what we do think about righteousness. From morality. I want to talk about it from hospitality. Right.

Not from morality but from hospitality. Just a new angle today. Um this is wrestle with this thought. So that we can just have a different imagination of this word righteousness. Hospitality is an invitation of inclusion.

Where invite you in. You’re you’re included. It seems easier to call people out for the immorality than it is to call people in for a meal. Yeah. And righteousness should never do that.

It should never call people out for immorality. Doesn’t call people out for the mistakes. That’s not what righteousness is about. It’s actually more about inviting you in for a meal, for inclusion. That’s what God does with us, doesn’t he? He invites us in.

Though we were sinners, yet Christ died for the unGodly. He invites us in. We’re included in his story which is so beautiful. Okay, Psalm chapter 37 verse four. Anyone use the Bible app? YouVersion app.

Young people, you have a phone? Of course you do. Um the YouVersion, I’ve got all my notes up on here. So, if you go to the YouVersion Bible app and you go over to the right-hand corner in the bottom there, it’s got menu and then, if you go to menu and go down to events, you’ll see that what pops up is King’s Church Reedy Creek. That’s me. So, my notes are up there for you, okay? I got a whole bunch of verses in there and there’s some spaces you can write your own private notes.

So, if you want to follow along with me, we’ll put some of the some of the verses on the screens. Otherwise, follow along in the Bible app and you can take your own notes which will be great. Psalm 37 verse says, take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. How good is God? If you love him, he’ll give you whatever you want. Is that what that says? Love God, he’ll give you whatever you want.

That’s pretty special. What kind of car do you want? What kind of job do you want? Where do you want to live? You want a house, a unit, you want to live on the beach? If you love God, he’ll give you whatever you want. Have you ever noticed as the years go by, if you are someone who follow Jesus and you walk in his ways. As you get further and further in that journey, you wake up some days and you think Where did this desire come from to want to be nicer? To be a better human. We’re we’re driving yesterday and there was a kookaburra on the road and so I pulled up just in time and then reversed back and Jules got out to get the kookaburra and try and get it off the road before someone ran it over.

Years ago, I don’t know if I would have stopped. Is that a bad confession in church? Like I just don’t know if I would have stopped. Like I wouldn’t have run over it on purpose. But I I clearly would’ve you know the clearance of the car would’ve was in the middle. So I would’ve I wouldn’t have killed it.

I would have gone over. But I don’t know if it would have stopped or I might have gone round it. Do you know wake up some days and you know you got these desires. You know where did it come from? Just to want to be a nicer human. We we’re where is that? Maybe what happens is the more we hang out with God because when you hang out with God you can’t stay the same.

And the more we hang out with and spend time with him. Maybe the desires we start to see in our life are desires that he gave us. Maybe what it really means is when you hang out with God, he gives you those desires that you never had before and you want to be a better human. You want to make the world a better place. So, what’s God’s heart? What’s the desires of his heart? And how’s he wanting to make the world a better place and what does how does that relate to us? Hebrews chapter twelve verse one and two.

It’s in your app there. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great of witnesses. Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance The race marked out for us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus.

The pioneer and perfecter of faith. That just means what he started. He’s committed to finishing. Yeah. What he starts in your life.

He wants to hold your hand and he wants to finish that good work in your life. It says for the joy set before him he endured the cross. Scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For for the joy. The joy.

The joy set before Jesus. Why would Jesus stay on the cross? The worst way to die back then. It’s it’s so bad that they don’t do it these days. Crucifixion. Horrible.

And Jesus stayed there. He’s God so he could’ve just coughed or sneezed or done a hiccup and just like wiped everybody out. From the cross. But he didn’t. He didn’t flick out the nails and come down.

He stayed. Why did he stay? Why would Jesus stay on the cross? Why would he let us kill him? What kind of joy in the midst of all that shame? What kind of joy did Jesus have? What could he see in the future? What could he see by staying on the cross? For the joy that was in front of him, He endured. He stayed on that cross. What motivated him? We’ll come back to that verse near the end. What motivates us? What motivates you? What motivates what gets you up in the morning? What gets you out of bed? Is it just the alarm or is there anything else? Okay, true confessions.

Anybody here hit the snooze button more than once in the morning? How many people wake up before the alarm goes off? It’s about 50/ 50. So, what motivates you? What what motivates you to want to be a better person? What motivates you to be a nice one on earth? What what is it that motivate that to to embrace people? Let’s look at this together. Two Corinthians chapter five verse twenty-one. Say God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. It’s a big verse.

It’s loaded. Look at that in the new new international version. Let’s keep that up for a moment. Cuz I don’t like that version. Um God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us.

How does Jesus become sin? And another bigger question is how do we become righteous? Yes. Jesus is God. So if Jesus becomes sin we’re all in trouble. So, what does that really mean? What was it saying? It gets lost in translation because it’s written in Greek and it’s translated into English and sometimes we lose the words. Like that word had in Greek is Ganosco and it means to know.

And it it’s not just knowledge like, oh I know your name is Joel. Well, what’s my wife’s Well, Sean said it’s Julius. Okay. So, you know Joel and Julia but how old are we? Where do we live? Do we have kids? How long we’ve been married? You need to hang out with us a lot more to know more about us than just our names. That word Ganosco, that knowledge is a knowledge by intimate experience.

So, the more you hang out with me, the more the more you know about me which is why when somebody gossips about me, if you’re a close friend of mine, you will know no, that doesn’t sound like Joel Cuz I know him. I Ganosco him. Does that make sense? So, in the Bible, in the old English version, the old King James, it used to say, an Adam knew Eve and they conceived the child and you’re like, whoa, what kind of knowledge is that? Cuz that’s what it meant. It’s the same type of thing. In Hebrew, it’s Yada.

Yada, Ganosco, Hebrew, and Greek. It means there’s knowledge by intimate experience. Let’s read it again. God made Jesus who had no intimate knowledge by her experience of sin. Jesus had no intimate knowledge or experience of sin.

So, he becomes like one of us. He becomes human. Why? So that he can sympathize with us. He he was tempted in all points as we are yet without sin. So, he doesn’t become sin but he comes empathetic because he enters our world and becomes like us and so, God made Jesus who had no intimate knowledge or experience of sin to be, he doesn’t be.

So, let’s go to the next the next translation. It’s in your app there. The NLT says, God made Christ who never sinned to be the offering for our sin. Much better translation. Be the offering.

We know that Jesus on the cross, Easter, when he dies on the cross, it was he was the offering for all of our sins, right? So, God took made Jesus who never had any intimate knowledge or experience of sin to be the offering of our mistakes, our sins, why? So that we could be made right with God through Christ or that we could experience the righteousness of God that maid is the same word as Ganosco. Let’s go one more version. It’s in it’s in your app. Look at this. One more version.

Christ was without sin but for our sake God made him share Ganosco have intimate knowledge by experience of our sins. God made him share it our sin in order that in union with Jesus we might share the righteousness of God. That we might have some intimate knowledge of experience. When we hang out with God we start to learn about his righteousness and what it means to be righteous. And just as he learnt our sinfulness by hanging out with us.

We learn about God’s righteousness by hanging out with him. Yeah. Yeah. So what is this righteousness? Well, what is righteous? Is righteousness the way I dress? So, if I, you know I big dilemma this morning. I’m standing in my wardrobe trying to figure out what to wear at King’s Church.

I’m thinking, okay, we’ve got an 830 service, a 1030 service. Whoo. I gotta make sure am I, is it okay to wear pants that don’t go right down to my feet? Like what is it? What does it mean to be righteous? Is it okay that I don’t have socks on? I’ve been rebuked before for not wearing socks. In church. Never outside of church.

Just in church. It’s funny that conversations we have inside church. It doesn’t seem to matter some things outside church. But in church big deal. No socks.

Wow. But I’m righteous. Well, I’m not sure, Joel. You don’t have socks on. Is that what it means to be righteous? Is it the fact that I’m on stage? Is that what it means to be righteous? I know it’s my position, my title.

Maybe it’s where I sit. You sit on the front row, you’re righteous. Is that what it means to be righteous? Let’s have a look one more verse. Um Romans chapter three verse twenty-five. It says here, it’s in your app.

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate. Someone say, demonstrate. So, we’re talking about righteousness. Now, the Bible’s saying, we’re going to we need to demonstrate that righteousness because in his forbearance, he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement. Huge sentence right there. Let’s go to the next version, the next translation. It might be a little bit easier. God publicly displayed Jesus at his death on the cross as the mercy seat accessible by through faith.

That the mercy seat. Do you remember the ark? Noah’s ark? No. Different ark. The ark of the covenant that Moses built. Remember the ark of the covenant? It was a box.

Had stuff in it. Anyone remember what it had in it? 10 commandments. I heard someone say, did it have anything else in there? Some breads, the manna. Well done. Aaron’s staff, right? So, there was inside the box, inside the ark and there was a lid on top and if you were to open it, you wouldn’t open it, would you? Anyone seen Raiders of the Lost Dark? You don’t lift that lid.

At all. Harrison Ford taught us that. But if you did lift it, we wouldn’t because we read the end of the book. But if you did, inside is the law, and often they imagine the law to mean judgement. The law brings judgement.

You break the law, you are punished by the law. The law is in the box. What’s on top? The lid. What’s that called? The mercy seat. Mercy triumphs over judgement.

Mercy’s always higher than judgement. Which means when we see people that don’t agree with us or don’t live like us or don’t act like us or don’t look like us we’re slow to judge because mercy for Jesus followers is always a higher priority than judgement. So when Covid breaks out we’re not quick to blame the government or the health department or the who. Why? Because mercy is higher than judgement. And we don’t want to judge because we don’t want to be judged ourselves.

Mercy over judgement. Why is this important? Because God’s way with people is always kind. He’s not angry as something. As some thought. He he he’s loving.

He’s gracious. He’s incredible. God is gracious towards us. We demonstrate. So how do you demonstrate this kindness? How do you demonstrate? How do you demonstrate righteousness? Maybe if we knew what righteousness meant in Hebrew.

That might help. So in Hebrew, the the word righteousness is sadaka, sadak. T Z I D A Q. Sidak. That’s how you pronounce it.

Sidak. And that is the Hebrew word for righteous or righteousness. Sidak. When Israel came out of Egypt, they their language was hieroglyphic characters because they were in Egypt, hieroglyph. So, every letter of the Hebrew alphabet is a little picture that tells a story.

So, get this, the word righteous or sadak in Hebrew is and the three little pictures that make up that word Sadi is a picture of a of a fish hook with bait on it which gives you the story of being lured in. You you you drawn in by desire. And Dalit is a picture of a doorway that you walk into. And Coff is a picture of the back of the head. So righteousness is when you have a deep desire to open the door and make a way for those who are humbled in your presence.

Those who are vulnerable. Those who are poor and marginalised. Righteousness from God’s perspective means a desire to open the door and make a way for people who are poor and marginalised. And disenfranchised. That’s what it means to be righteous.

So, when you delight yourself in the lord, he gives you the desires of your heart and what desire does God want to put inside your heart? That your deep desire would be to open the door and make a way for people. That’s what it means to be righteous. That’s what righteousness is all about. Righteousness is my deepest desire to open the door and make a way for those who are poor and vulnerable. Righteousness is not just what you are.

I’m the righteousness of Christ. It’s not just what you are. It’s also what you do. You can’t separate those two. You you cannot claim to be righteous without doing righteousness.

That’s why you can, that’s why Jesus said, not everyone who says, Lord, Lord, is going to be welcomed into my kingdom but God, I cast out devils and I prophesied and spoke in tongues and I performed all these miracles. He’s like, I never knew you because to have faith in Jesus and to follow Jesus to believe in him is to do what he does and it’s to demonstrate righteousness and his righteousness is a desire to open the door and make a way for people who are vulnerable and poor and neglected. One John chapter four verse nineteen. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.

For whoever does not love their brother and sister whom they have seen cannot love God whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command. Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. And just in case we thought that wasn’t strong enough. James chapter two verse seventeen says so you see faith by itself isn’t enough.

Unless it produces good deeds, Sedaca, it is dead and useless. So, we demonstrate this righteousness by the way we have a desire, a growing desire to open the door and make a way for people. That’s what it means to be righteous. It’s not about title, not about position, not about pump, not about how you dress and where you sit and all those things can be important but it’s more important how we act towards people who are neglected, those who are excluded. Jesus did this all the time.

He was always doing You think about the way if you read through the scriptures, how the way the religious leaders in the temple was set up to always exclude people. And you can only get in if you were clean or if you had enough money or if you were on the right side of the tracks or if you were in the right class level with a nine classes in the Roman Empire that where when when Jesus arrived with Israel. He had to be the right type of person to get accepted. And Jesus broke all of that and said anyone is welcome. You’re all welcome.

Are you thirsty? Come on in. Are you hungry for God? Come on in. Jesus broke all those rules that we have. So, back to the where we started. Hebrews chapter twelve verse two.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith for the joy set before him. He endured the cross. What was that joy? God’s joy, his deepest joy was to open the door and make a way for all of us who were estranged and vulnerable. We are poor, blind, naked, and ashamed and God is in Christ reconciling the whole world to himself. Bringing everybody back.

That’s what God is doing. He’s doing it for every age group, every ethnicity, every gender. He’s doing it right across the board. He’s always bringing people back in. Jesus did this all the time.

He’s always doing this. This one time Jesus is teaching the crowd and the the the religious leaders, the the Pharisees and religious leaders of the temple. They brought this woman who’d been caught in the act of adultery and they they bring her and they throw her down in front of Jesus between Jesus and the crowd. and they say to him, the law says that such a woman is to be stoned to death but what do you say? And that phrase should remind you of something if you read through the Bible a little bit because Jesus in his first sermon called the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, Jesus would say things like, you’ve heard that the law said, but say. You’ve heard that it was said, an eye for an eye, a truth for truth, but I say, you’ve heard that it was said, love your, love your friend and hate your enemy but I say, you’ve heard that it was said but I say, say, here’s the the religious leaders trying to get back at Jesus.

So, they say, this woman’s been caught in the act of adultery. The law says, what do you say? So, Jesus doesn’t say anything. He bends down. He starts drawing in the dust. And they’re wanting an answer from him.

They’re trying to get an answer. And eventually he stands up and he says, okay because Jesus didn’t come to do away with the law. He came to reinterpret it. So, he says, whoever has never thrown, whoever’s never sinned can throw the first stone. And he waits, starts drawing in the dust again.

And the Bible says that starting from the oldest to the youngest, they dropped their rocks and they walked away. Until there were no accusers left. No one left with a rock. No witnesses. So Jesus takes this woman by the hand, which speaks of ten and kindness and grace and says to her, dear woman, where are your accusers? And there’s only Jesus, the woman, and the crowd, all of the witnesses are now gone.

Where are your accusers? She says, none Lord. And Jesus says, well, neither do I condemn you. What’s important here? In the law, it actually does say that if anyone commits adultery, they are to be stoned to death. The man and the woman, where’s the man? In this story, where’s the man? There’s only a woman. In fact, the man could very well have been there with a rock in his hand because they didn’t care about the woman.

They were there only to try and trap Jesus. They were framing him to try and get him to do something where he would break the law. But he’s not breaking the law. He’s reinterpreting the law. He’s trying to show us what it means to be right to demonstrate righteousness which is to open the door and make a way for people.

People getting bullied at school. What do we do? Do we join in, pick up a rock? No. We we open a door and make a way for people. We defend people. We help those people who are marginalised, who are neglected.

And why do we do that? Because that’s what Jesus does all the time. So the Lord does say, stone a woman and a man who had committed adultery. But you know it also says, you cannot stone a person to death unless you have two or more witnesses. Come back to the story. How many witnesses are there? Well, there was lots with rocks, wasn’t there? How many now? None.

So, Jesus doesn’t break the law. He reinterprets it, removes all of the accusers, no witnesses left, just Jesus and the woman. This is other time Jesus is on his way. He’s talking with the crowd and he’s on his way to it it just with with people and that they come up in this synagogue ruler called Jiirus comes up to Jesus and says, please, Jesus, will you heal my daughter? She’s dying and Jesus like, sure. I’ll go with you and so he’s going with with Jiirus and all these people that are crowding around and they’re heading along to go to Jairus’ home.

A story happens here. We’ll come back to this. They’re they’re heading towards Jiirus’s home to heal Jiirus’s daughter. And as they’re going on their way, one of the attendants comes up to Jairus and says, don’t bother the teacher anymore. The little girl is dead.

It it it there’s no use. Well, why does that matter? Well, because in rabbinical law, Jesus is a rabbi and if he comes in contact with a dead person, he is now unclean and if he’s unclean, it’s going to take seven days before he come becomes clean through ceremony. Which means he can’t go to temple. He can’t go to synagogue. He can’t do a whole lot of things.

If he’s unclean. Does that matter? Because the person who came up to Jiirus and said, don’t bother the teacher anymore. The little girl is dead. It’s now an unclean situation. You can imagine the crowd thinking, you don’t know what’s just happened and this person would have been like, I’m confused.

What? Like, don’t you, you don’t need to come anymore. She’s unclean. You will be unclean. You can’t be here anymore. And there’s this little story that happens right in the middle.

Where Jesus is on his way and a woman who has been bleeding for so many years and is actually unclean every day which means she can’t go to church. She’s not allowed in the temple. She’s not welcome. Everywhere she goes, she has to everybody. I’m unclean.

I’m unclean. Don’t touch me or you will be unclean. We don’t understand this in Australia but this is a horrible culture that women and children lived in. And since she comes up to Jesus and she thinks if I can just touch the bottom of his what he’s wearing I’ll be healed. And Jesus says who touched me? Who touched me? And the disciples say everyone’s touching you.

Everyone’s pressing in. There’s a whole crowd here. We’re all on our way to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter. No no touched me. Someone, I felt power go out.

Someone touched me. And I used to always read this story with a tone in Jesus. Like who touched me? I can’t believe it. Who touched me? I want to know who it is. And I’m thinking to myself why would Jesus try and get this woman to confess? Why would he embarrass her like that? Why put shame on it? This doesn’t sound like Jesus.

And I don’t know whether that was the tone. All these years later I don’t think it was the tone. Because when the woman finally comes forward and tells the whole story. What’s wrong with her she’s unclean and she just thought if I could just touch, if I could just touch you, I’ll be healed and Jesus says, your faith has healed you, Go your way in peace. Why was that important? Because when that woman touched Jesus, guess who is now unclean? Jesus is unclean.

Why is it important that Jesus is unclean? He’s probably yelling out. Who touched me? Who touched me? Because he wants the entire crowd to understand, I am now unclean. Why is it important? Because he knows that the the attendant from Jairus’ house is his way to say, don’t bother the teacher. It’s now an unclean situation. and the whole crowd’s like, it doesn’t matter.

He’s already unclean. Can you see what he’s doing? Yeah. He is on his way to help someone at the same time putting value and dignity on this woman who’s been suffering. Righteousness. How do you how do you demonstrate righteousness? By this desire to open the door and make a way for people.

Cricket that seemed to come and join me please. Why don’t we stand together for a moment? You’ll read it all through the Bible. All these stories about God’s interest in loving you. In welcoming you. In in in trying to include you.

It’s what Jesus wants to do. He’s not mad at you. God God’s not he’s not angry at you. In fact everywhere in the scriptures you see the word righteousness you usually see it next to something to do with helping the widow or the orphan or the alien. The the the refugee, the migrant, or those who are poor or bullied.

Those who are neglected. Those who are marginalized. Those who are homeless and needing help. Those that are struggling in our community. Righteousness is always together with giving arms to the poor.

It’s giving help to those who need it most. That’s what it means. Righteousness. Is it any wonder that for us to be righteous, we must do righteousness. And what does that mean? Means we have a desire.

To open the door. And make a way for people. Young people. Can I say to you? You’re not too young to demonstrate righteousness. At school.

There are situations that happen at school. I know this when I was at school. And there’d be situations that you would have found yourselves in where it’s been horrible. You feel like the victim of a situation. But you also get to other kids be a victim.

What does it mean to demonstrate righteousness? It says desire in your heart to open the door and make a way for kids who are feeling neglected, disconnected. We get to be like Jesus in our community Doesn’t that make you just want to be with him? Be with God. Say yes to him. Love him. That’s what it means to be a Christian.

It’s not a churchy. It’s someone that says yes to Jesus. We keep saying yes to Jesus. I became a Christian in 19eighty-three. Well, that’s great.

Are you still saying yes today? Are you still saying yes, Joel? Repentance just means to turn back. You you walk in the wrong way and repentance means I just change my mind. I come to my senses and I turn back to God. This is story, Jesus telling a story about people, about all of us. He says, this is one son.

A father had two sons and one of them wanted everything and then he went off and he went off into a long, devious, deceitful, disobedient walk and and and the the more he lived, the further he got away from God. He just kept getting further and further away from God and the further he got away from God, the more shame and guilt was on him. That’s what happens with us. It’s so hard to turn back to God when you feel like you’re just walking further and further Maybe you’re here today and you’re like, I want to say yes but I feel like I’ve just walked so far away from God and I got so far to go to get back and Jesus telling this story. He said, the man, come to his senses.

He realized what he’s doing wrong. And as he turned back to head home, it was then that he realized the father was waiting and here’s the experience that most of us will tell you in this room. Doesn’t matter how far you felt like you walked away from God. When you think you’re going to have to turn around and walk all that way back, the moment you come to your senses and turn, you realize God right here. He doesn’t make you walk all that way back.

He’s right here. welcoming you, Loving you. It’s just a matter of saying yes. Young people, will you say yes? As old mates, will we say yes? Say yes to Jesus. Just say yes to him.

So God again today. We say yes. We say yes to you. Lord Jesus, we come to our senses. We say yes.

Lord, would you grow within us a desire righteousness, a desire to open the door, and make a way for people. May it bring pleasure to you. May the way we live bring pleasure to you. May we live a life that looks just like yours. Let it be so.

Over to you, Benny. Show your appreciation Pastor John. When you become a Christian God imputes his righteousness to you. So, there’s no amount of performing to become a Christian and some Christians live with shame. They feel like I’m not good enough.

You know, I’m not good enough to be a Christian and that sort of thing but that’s not how it works. Like, he makes you righteous first. That’s why the Bible says is therefore, now, no condemnation for those under Christ Jesus and I was just getting a sense there. There’s some people there. You’re not seeing yourself the way God sees you.

Uh because he seizure was clothed with that robe of righteousness and there is the enemy talks to you and talks to you about things that you did in the past and that sort of thing. God wants you to know that you’re his child and in him you’re clothed with righteousness and it’s a terrible thing to walk through life with shame and unworthiness. And so maybe you’re here and that’s how you’ve been. Like you think I’m not going to some of you have been thinking man I’m not even good enough to be in here. You know and that sort of thing.

I want to pray for you that you don’t see yourself as what the enemy is saying to you. That you would see yourself as God sees you as his child. So just close your eyes for a moment. Ah and if you’re here and you’re saying that’s me. I’ve been struggling with condemnation.

You know feeling not good enough, not doing enough, not being enough, not enough, enough. If that is you, we want to pray for you that you will no longer live under that cloud but that you would hear God’s voice, your heavenly father, saying, here is my beloved son or daughter and whom I’m well pleased. So, if that’s you, you’ve been struggling with that. Just slip up your hand right now and say that’s me. I’ve been struggling with that feeling of unworthiness, that feeling of condemnation.

If that is you lift up your hand right now. No one’s looking and I’m going to pray for you right now. Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for every person with their hand raised and I pray may they hear your voice from heaven, lord. Your heavenly father saying, here is my beloved son, here’s my beloved daughter, and whom I am well pleased. I thank you that we are right in your eyes, lord, through your son, Jesus Christ, not by our own works that we might boast and I thank you for that, father, and I praise you for it.

Help them to feel your grace and your face shining upon them wherever they go lord God. I thank you for that and I praise you for it lord in Jesus name. Everyone said, let’s give the lord a hand of praise. He’s awesome.

Guest Ps Joel A'bell

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