Would you pray with me?

Father, in every season, you’ve given us great cause to sing the chorus of hallelujahs. You have every right to be worshipped.

And to be loved and to be obeyed regardless of what’s happening in our world. Regardless of what’s happening in our day-to-day lives. You have overcome all these things in all creation. As Paul says, waits, groans, longs to be renewed. Because of your son Jesus, and so we too also, Lord. Even as we’re in frail bodies, even as we’re in a broken world, you’ve given us, Lord, the promise and the deposit of your Spirit to long and hope for that which is perfect and that which is better.

Lord, in all things, you’ve given us a joy a peace, a promise of eternal life that keeps us praising and worshipping in and through everything, Lord. So let us not rob you of the thanks you deserve. Let us not be so selfish to see momentary problems as greater than the eternal weight of glory, Lord. And we thank you for such a promise and such an inheritance waiting for us.

Lord, bless our tithe and offering.

Lord, as always, teach us to be sacrificial. Teach us to be generous. Teach us to trust you. Teach us to hope and expect you to do great and mighty things through your own name. And Lord, let us learn eagerly from your word this evening. And we pray it in Christ’s name. Amen.

Good evening. We’re going to be in Romans chapter 15, verse 14.

Romans chapter 15, verse 14.

It’s one of those verses you just kind of see and it pinballs around in your heart. And you think, boy, that’s a good verse. And I think there’s something there the Lord wants me to see more of or teach more of from that verse.

And so, yeah, I just saw it this past week and I was kind of hung up on it, so I thought I would preach it this week. Romans chapter 15, verse 14.

Paul says here towards the end of his letter to the Romans,

he says, Because I myself am satisfied, about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.

In 1954, at the age of 80, for his birthday, Winston Churchill was presented with a painting. Of himself.

And in recent years, The Crown, if you happen to see that show that kind of walks through those years of Winston Churchill’s life, I believe it was The Crown, or it was a show in that time period about Winston Churchill. You know this, but true story, Parliament presented him with a beautiful painting of himself. I think it cost a thousand guineas. For them to have this done, which I think works out to maybe around 30 grand, something like that by today’s standards. So it was a very costly painting, but as it was presented to him,

he saw it and greatly disliked this painting of him. And in the few months after, he and his wife secretly had it burned, had it destroyed. They hated this painting. They didn’t like at all how it presented Winston. So there are oil sketches of it, and so artists have been able to take the oil sketches he used beforehand, the artists used, and recreate it. Recreate it. And that gets us a little bit to, I think, of what we see in this verse. When Paul says to these Roman Christians, I see you. And I’m satisfied with what I see. I see a picture there. I see the content of your Christian discipleship. And I’m satisfied about that. I’m satisfied about that. Nobody wants to see a portrait of themselves and think, ugh, that’s hideous. That shows off my worst features. Shows off things that I didn’t want to see there. I wish weren’t there. Paul, Paul says, Paul says, I’m sure of what I see. I’m sure of it. And I think it drives deep into our Christian lives, and it dares us, it challenges us, it commands us to wonder the same thing about the content of our Christian life. If there was a frame, and there was a painting of you in there, what would Paul say? What would the Lord Jesus, what would Jesus say?

Verse 14, he says, I myself, I myself. That’s a strong emphatic. Paul’s saying, it’s my opinion. I’m satisfied. It can mean convinced. Some translations use the word convinced. Some translations use, or you could translate it, sure. It’s similar to how Paul said to Timothy, Timothy, in 2 Timothy 1.5, I’m reminded of your sincere faith. And he says, that was the faith of your grandma.

So if an apostle of Jesus writes a letter to me or to my community of Christians, and he approves of the quality of our discipleship, I mean, I think that’s to be taken as the highest commendation you could possibly get, other than Jesus himself giving it. But then we believe apostles were used, through which Jesus spoke, so it kind of is like Jesus is saying, good job, Roman Christians.

And I think it’s extremely fascinating because the fact is, Paul did not plant the church in Rome. He didn’t do it. One writer says this, contrary to the claims of many people, especially those seeking to strengthen the papacy, that being the Catholic Church, it’s denied that, or it’s affirmed that Paul or Peter did, but he says neither Paul or Peter did. The best evidence for this is the book of Romans, which clearly, written to an existing church that Paul didn’t plant, and the letter contains no reference to the apostle Peter. In all likelihood, the visitors from Rome, who heard Peter preach on the day of Pentecost, planted the church in Rome. And the two apostles, only later, had any association with the congregation there.

You say, well, why is that so interesting? Why is that so interesting? That such a healthy state of a church in Rome? Isn’t that a good thing? Why is it fascinating that Paul wasn’t there? Well, it’s fascinating because Paul planted a lot of churches. You think about the large number of letters he’s written to all these churches he’s reached in his missionary journey. And it’s so important because Paul, you would think, I would think, who’s the rock star church planter? Paul. You read the book of 1 Corinthians and you go, whoa, they did some really messed up stuff in Corinth, and he’s writing them letters. There’s a, there’s a, there’s a severe letter we don’t even have that’s since been lost. And then he says to the church in Galatia things about them giving up the faith so quickly. And so Paul has to reprimand them on a number of issues.

So it’s not true great churches hang on rock star church planters or rock star pastors, even though God certainly uses great men to do great things in modern, you know, or modern times. Or in church history.

It’s encouraging because it means anybody who has the word and the spirit can get this kind of commendation. No rock star church present. No rock star church leader present. No apostle Paul present. You have Christian workers in Rome. You have church leaders in Rome. And if you go to chapter, 16 and you look there at the end, he lists a bunch of folks who that’s the only time they’re mentioned. Besides maybe Priscilla and Aquila. These are names that don’t get brought up over and over again. They’re just being faithful, quiet Christians doing what they need to do in Rome.

So they’ve indirectly benefited from Paul. They’ve indirectly benefited from Paul or maybe they benefited from him in the past, but he’s not there now.

Be encouraged by that. That you 2,000 years later, you can be a Christian that Paul could say, I’m satisfied about that one. I’m satisfied about that Christian life. I’m satisfied about that church because you and I are still 2,000 years later benefiting from the indirect ministry of the apostle Paul. And the apostles of Jesus.

And I want to say to you, we shouldn’t really only say that would be something special to me if Paul said I’m satisfied about you or that would be neat. I want to say to you it’s something we should deeply desire and in fact, we must strive to be. If we’re truly followers of Jesus, we must strive to be those kinds of Christians about whom a great Christian worker could say, I’m satisfied about the things I hear about you. Because in the beginning of the letter, Paul doesn’t say, I was just with you. I spent six months with you. Wow, I was impressed. He says, the news about you is in all the known world. So it’s not even like Paul has direct access. He’s hearing the same stories the whole known world’s hearing about them. That’s how, how effective, how substantive their church life was.

Paul says this in Philippians chapter two, verse 12.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence, but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God, who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. So I think Paul says there and in a number of places, it’s incumbent on us to do this. It’s a charge that each of us has received at our conversion. It’s the life you signed up for when you place faith in Jesus to give your best to Christ for the rest of life. That’s what you did. That’s what you agreed to. That’s what you meant. And unless you want to be found floundering on that initial commitment or false in your commitment or false in your love or false in repentance or false in your conversion, you have to daily, we have to daily seek that. So these Christians in Rome to whom Paul addresses as ones with whom he is satisfied are those who, to borrow the synonym’s phrase from Philippians, they worked it out. They worked it out. That’s what they did. And you say, well, hold on a second. You just said the Spirit and the Word make possible faithful, fully formed Christians. True, but the Spirit and the Word aren’t any good at failing. They’re not good at failing. They’re not good at failing. If the Spirit and the Word are at work in you, you will be at work for the kingdom. You can’t have that one and not have that other one. The Spirit and the Word at work in you means you will be growing. You will be obedient. You will consider all kingdom affairs. So Paul says, work it out. Or to the Roman Christians, praise God, you’ve worked it out. You’ve worked it out. And that phrase, work it out, that’s not so weird or random, even for our 21st century context. It’s not a rare abstract phrase for living in a, really a body-obsessed culture in which we live. Someone may say, I get up an extra two hours before I go to work because I go to the gym to work out. Or I’m just not one of those people. Who likes to work out, right? You know, why is it that working out is something a lot of us struggle to do? Well, because it has an element of resistance to it, doesn’t it? Working out does not feel good. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. I’ve started in the last couple, you know, months, you know, with a rhythm of sit-ups and push-ups. It’s as simple as it can be, but that’s as far as I can go. And be happy about it. I realize I need to take care of myself. I’m, you know, in my mid-30s now, about, and, all right, I need to do something. I’m too weak. And let me tell you, doing, not even real push-ups, it’s taken me a while to get to real push-ups. But girl-style push-ups, you know, where you do it on your knees and you go up. I try to do 20, you know, 20 of those and 20 sit-ups. A few times a week. And you would have thought someone beat my ribs with an iron pole the first night when I was asleep. Because when I woke up the next morning, I felt it all over the place. And I had to push through that pain. And it took me a couple months to get where I can do real push-ups. I can do them with difficulty, but I can do them. That’s the problem with working out. It ain’t no fun. It costs you some level of comfort, some level of convenience. And so, friends, it’s true in the Christian life. You have to be, if you’re a follower of Jesus, we all have to be willing to put up with some pain. You’ve got to be willing to put up with some inconvenience, some loss of time, some loss of preference, if you want to be one who satisfies the Lord. And so it brings us back to Paul’s starting remark, do we long to be those with whom the Lord could say, that one I’m satisfied with. That one I have confidence their faith is real. That one I’m sure about the content of their Christian character. So do away with any notion of sovereignty where, you know, God, Jesus loves me, and so it’s going to all work out in the end. And we’ll all make it to heaven. And it’s really just a big kind of lazy excuse not to give yourself fully to the cause of Christ.

You work it out, is what the text says, not God will work it all out and you just are a passive agent. Not at all.

But then last on that word, I want to say this, do you and I tend to more fulfill the obligations of the Christian life as what I must do, driven by guilt, rote service, almost mechanically, what I must do, or as a soldier who has really a great just sort of just love, respect for a general. Or maybe a husband or wife and you have a great deep love for your spouse and that’s why you serve them and, you know, do little things for them or the big things for them. Or as a parent who has a tender affection for their children. Because you know you could do all of those things mechanically. There’s such a thing as a bare minimum as a parent, bare minimum, you know, as a spouse, bare minimum as a soldier. But if you combine all three of those things, the most loving parent, the most loving spouse, and the most, you know, giving, selfless, hardworking soldier, all those things combined shouldn’t compare to the affection that we have for Christ.

Otherwise, you know, we’re going to be like the servant who thinks poorly of his master, thinks poorly of what his master has given him, we bury it in the ground, we assume the worst of him, and it really just shows up because we really didn’t love our master.

Whatever reasons we would have or people have for claiming they’re Christians, throw them out as junk, except for this one reason, friends. Here’s your one reason for why you and I need to live in that uncomfortable space so that we’re serving and growing for Christ. It’s because we love him. Because he first loved us. That’s it. If you’re looking for some other motivation as to why you would deny yourself, serve God, grow, resist sin, give of your precious temporal resources, whatever that may look like, hard times, tough times, world disapproval, you’re looking for some reason why to do it other than you fall on your knees humbly, grateful, feeling an overwhelming sense of the divine love of God for a sinner like you, you will give up. You will give up.

Paul says in Romans 5, God shows his love for us. God shows his love for us and that while we were still sinners,

Christ died for us. Full stop. That’s it. Full stop. That’s what will drive us to a lifetime of living in an uncomfortable space, walking the narrow road, sticking it out, believing Christian doctrine, living by faith, seeking only the approval of the Lord, it’s the love that God has for sinners proven by His spilled blood, the spilled blood of His Son Jesus. That’s it.

Don’t go looking for anything else. Just stay there.

Is everything that you are, everything that you have, everything that you do, oriented around that reality? My life, my life belongs to a crucified but risen Savior.

That’s a life that satisfies the Father.

The cross of Christ, the Gospel of God is the only thing that will govern our life choices, our decisions, the filter through which we deal with pain and suffering as whether or not it’s worth it.

So what do you and I do when the Christian life is stale? And let’s be honest, the Christian life gets stale sometimes, doesn’t it? Like none of us keep that, you know, tan burning the way we want, the way we should. The path of least resistance looks really attractive, calling your name. Well, the answer is the same. We have to focus back upon the cross of Christ and it brings into focus what’s temporal and what’s eternal, what’s valuable, what’s deception, what’s beautiful, what’s fading and passing. So I want to use the word calibration here. I think it’s the best word to use here. We got Darcy a telescope for Christmas and the telescope’s super cool, because it has a huge cheat on it, is you don’t have to know anything about, you know, astrology to use the thing or astronomy. You have a slot where you put your cell phone in and then there’s a virtual universe on the phone and it names every single star. So wherever you move, you know, the cross hairs in that phone, that’s where the telescope’s looking. It’s great. Except, you have to calibrate it first. You have to calibrate it first. And so to do this, you have to look through this other lens at like a top of a tree like 200 yards away and then you have to make sure the phone is calibrated to the same point. Then you’re ready to go. Then you’re ready to go. But, what if? And we have. Travel with it and it gets bumped and it gets knocked.

There’s not like a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand stars. There’s a lot of them. And if you’re not calibrated, you’re going to spend a lot of time, wasting a lot of time, looking at a lot of stuff that you didn’t mean to.

Friends, it’s the cross that calibrates us to come back to a place where I’m living my life for and through that. Let’s calibrate the mind and the heart according to Jesus. According to Jesus.

So then he gives these three things, these three categories. And so I just want to look at each one here. First he says, I’m satisfied about you my brothers that you yourselves are full of goodness, full of goodness. But that word is so generalistic, it’s almost unhelpful at first look. Kind of like the word love, right? Today people say love is love. You know, you love what you love. You love who you love, right? And so it means nothing because it means everything. Kind of the same thing. What is what is goodness if we can’t get a, you know, a more biblical definition of this word here? What does this word mean then in the biblical sense? What does that word really mean? That word is more talking about the quality of moral excellence. The quality of moral excellence. Remember what Jesus said. No one is good except God. Which is really Jesus’ way of saying I’m good. Because Jesus is God. So we look to Jesus and we see moral excellence. And he’s not talking about when he says you’re full of, so it’s not talking about quantity. It’s talking about when he says this full, he’s talking about degree and quality. Which again, that’s a huge compliment. You’re going to say my degree, my quality of moral excellence is similar to Jesus’s? That’s what he’s saying. He’s saying the fabric of your soul, the essence of who you are, not moral deeds outwardly, right? Because you can do a lot of good moral deeds. Non-Christians can do good moral deeds. That’s not the issue. The issue is the heart. The issue is the heart. Is there a fountain within and only clean, sweet water comes from that fountain? That’s what Paul is complimenting, is the inward fountain, the essence, the fabric of their morality as God is. So he’s really saying you don’t just have the ability to force yourself to do good things outwardly. You long for and desire to do good things because it’s who you are inwardly. You say, well, how is that possible? How is that possible? And we look to Galatians 5 for that, where Paul says the fruits of the Spirit are, one of those is what? Goodness. And that means the same thing. We’re talking about moral excellence. So it’s only the Spirit of Christ then that can produce the morality of Christ in our hearts and souls. And it’s only the Spirit that’s going to sanctify us, not just so we’re a little good, like when we came to conversion and all of a sudden, you know, we’re a little different than we were before and we still got a long way to go as babies. We’re talking about a goodness that’s getting gooder. It’s bad grammar, but that’s what we’re talking about. It’s a goodness that’s gooder and gooder and gooder and gooder. That’s where you and I need to take this goodness that Paul’s talking about, this moral excellence.

Paul can say,

you’re full of the morality of Christ. You’re full of the morality of Christ. You’ve probably heard this before. You’ve probably heard the phrase, I’m sure you have moral compass, like moral compass. Someone might say, don’t hire that guy. He does not have a moral compass. You know, or man, I really enjoy hanging out with that guy, getting some insights, counsel from him. He has just such a great, what? Moral compass. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says, don’t be deceived. Bad company ruins what? Good morals.

So Paul’s writing to these, you know, fledgling Corinthian Christians in error. And he’s saying, you know why you had a good moral compass while I was there, but now you have a bad one? It’s because you’re letting the wrong things influence your essence and fabric again. He’s saying, knock off this business of your moral compass being tuned by the world, by false teachers, looking like, desiring the things they’re telling you you ought to look like and desire. So Paul’s saying to the Roman Christians, you have a great moral compass. The degree of your morality is being calibrated by, centered on Jesus. And I think that you would agree that now, more than any time in the last, goodness, I don’t know, centuries or millennia or two millennia, do we live in a time in which we need to have a really good moral compass because we do live in a day and age that celebrates a really bad moral compass, right? It’s like north is south and south is north. And next week, north will be west, west, north, and something else. Like we live in a time, as the scriptures say, we not only love evil, we’re inventors of evil. So friends, your soul, your essence, your fabric, what is your moral compass? Are you looking for that compass to be centered on true north, the Lord Jesus, the Lord Jesus, the Lord Jesus? We need to be a moral church. We need to look like Jesus in our holiness, in our righteousness. That’s a church that God can use, you know? That’s a church that God can use, a church that is like his son,

a church that is a city on a hill. So, I want to say, discern your own heart. And we’ve talked about this in recent weeks. Be meticulous in your care and attention to your own heart. What’s in there? Have a little humility to say, ooh, that’s some bad fabric. We need to cut that one out. Replace that anger with some humility or that greed with some selflessness. I got some bad fiber in that thing and we need to recalibrate it. We need to recalibrate my moral compass.

Expel what’s bad and then guard the gate. Guard the gate. Guard the gate. Guard the gate to your heart. Be careful what you put in there, whether it’s books or people around you or what you’re watching. Guard the gate of your heart. It’s that important. And I want to say, men, guard the gate of your heart. Guard the gate of your wife’s heart. Guard the gate, certainly, of your children’s hearts. Your children’s hearts as they’re being formed, taking on a world view. These are formative years. I just finished a book entitled, Hooked. And it’s a book that is by these Christian scientists. And long story short, the book is about this. There are studies showing people who get married traditionally and that’s the context for a sexual relationship. Those people are far more healthy in their brain and have far more enjoyment in that for the rest of their life. People who go from partner to partner to partner for a long time, chemically speaking, create these creases in their brain. And they’re really setting themselves up for a lot of mental confusion, emotional hurt, because they’re training their brain to do something God didn’t intend their brain to do. So they talk about these creases and it’s not irreversible. They talk about your brain can be reformed and it takes work. But the point is this, and I think it’s such a great point they make towards the end. The reason why this is such a problem in our society is because mom and dad aren’t the ones getting a hold of their children and shaping their opinions of what the point of sex and marriage is. And it was funny because Jessica was reading the same thing from a different source at the exact same time. And the point that both were making is this. Whoever talks about it first is the authority. Whoever talks about it first gets to be the authority. So if you as a Christian parent, and again I know every family is different on when that’s appropriate and ages and all that stuff. But if you stay completely silent on that and they’re learning about what the whole point of that is from the world, well goodness, who do you think is going to shape their compass on how to engage in it? And I think that’s probably just as bad in the church as it is outside the church today. So I say all that to talk about the great preciousness, moms and dads, of our children’s moral compass in our hands in these few years we have as they are young.

Second thing he says here is you’re filled with all knowledge. I’m satisfied with you, about you because you’re filled with all knowledge. Now that one is amount. That’s a bunch of. And I was thinking about that someone said they’re bringing a vat of macaroni and cheese to the potluck and I was thinking that’s it right there, a vat of knowledge. How much can you get in there? Paul’s saying I’m satisfied, I’m sure I’m confident about you Roman Christians because you’ve got a giant vat of knowledge in your heads. Not knowledge about, you know, King Philip’s war, which I’m sure that’s great, or knowledge about biological processes, which are great, or whatever interests, all things are great. Specifically, what’s Paul talking about? He’s talking about knowledge of everlasting truth. That’s what he’s talking about. He’s talking about good doctrine.

Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2.15 be an approved workman who’s not ashamed. So the heart, the heart has to be accessed through the head. You don’t want to access the heart through the heart and play emotional games. If you want to really stir up the heart to love and to have good morals, fill the mind with truth from the head to the heart. And that informs morals and worldview and wisdom and understanding and right thinking about past, present, and future. Fill your mind up with the truth of God’s words. You’re not easily deceived so that you can defend truth, so that you can offend lies.

Charles Spurgeon has said this, and maybe I’ve quoted it in years past, I’m not sure, but for every ten men who are willing to die for the Bible, you only find one man willing to read it. You know? So it’s easy to affiliate as a Christian, right? Like, yeah, word of God, you know, America. Like, what does that even mean to you? Right? Open the thing up and read it. Be full of it. Know it. Here again, men, you need a daily routine of filling your head up with truth. With truth. I think the word routine here is really helpful. What’s your routine for getting in God’s Word? What’s your routine for studying the Scriptures? What’s your routine from learning from other godly men? What’s your routine from maybe reading a book about things that pertain to godliness?

Routine. Just thinking about the summertime is always a great time for great little studies to start. It’s a great time to pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read that you know is going to be an encouragement to your faith. Challenge yourself this summer. Challenge yourself. Love your own head. Love your own heart. And that’s also true, I think, a little bit, not a little bit, a lot of it, for us to challenge and take care of our lives. And that’s also true talking about wives and children as men of God as we talk about family worship. You know, I want to know that my wife is in the Word. I want to, I don’t treat her like one of my children, obviously. But I want to ask her periodically, like, you been reading the Word lately? What’s that been looking like for you? You in the Word lately? You know, and that looks different. And I think, you know, especially young children and all that, I think my wife has come to really love audio Bible. So that’s a way for her to engage it. She does that. From time to time, listening to the Bible, you know, in a free moment or something like that. The point is, the point is, books, and certainly the Word of God, is free to you at all times in our time and country in multiple venues. That’s on you if you’re not doing it, right? That’s back on you and your desire.

Last thing, he says, instruct one another. Instruct one another. I’m satisfied with you because you got a good heart. You got a good heart. You got a good head. But also, you can instruct one another. Now here’s the interesting thing, is this instruct one another does not mean teach. Like let’s get together and I’ll teach you something or me standing up here teaching. And in fact, I think it’s the New American Standard that really is the one that really gets the word right. It means to admonish or warn or rebuke. It’s much more corrective what that Greek word is trying to say. So what Paul is saying is this, okay? What Paul is saying is this. In a healthy church, Christians should have such full heads of truth, such full hearts of good, they’re able to call out morals and false doctrine among themselves

that are not in accord with Christ. And in this way, the church stays calibrated towards the cross of Christ. Does that make sense? So we’re a bunch of people and we got our heads on straight according to Jesus. We got our hearts calibrated right according to Jesus. We should, it’s kind of like a built-in protection mechanism, if you would. It’s like a defense system built in. We can admonish one another and go, whoa, hold on. That’s not so good. Or whoa, you did that. Or whoa, let me ask you about how you are struggling with that. Or what’s going on with that emotion or that intention of your heart? You see? As we do it together, we preserve the gospel. We preserve that fire. We could hear Paul say, with such church, with such Christians, I’m satisfied about you. Now, that’s not a license to pick on. Like, great, he said that. I got a list and I’m taking it to them and boy, are they going to get it. I didn’t know that verse was in there. It’s not what that means, right? It’s not what that means. It’s not a license to beat people up. It’s a license to love your fellow man and help them walk in the Lord.

Matthew Henry has said, how gladly would ministers leave off their admonishing work if people were able and willing to admonish one another. But that which is everybody’s work is nobody’s work. You know. Nobody wants to do that. Nobody wants to engage in that. But again, it comes back to this central thought in this verse is, this is the kind of church, these are the kinds of people that Christ would call us to be. We love not just the faith in general. We love it because it’s become individually mine, but then we love it because it’s become ours. So a head and a heart in line with Jesus is not happy living in an environment that doesn’t look like Jesus. And so we get to love Jesus by loving one another and teaching truths and in showing what Christ-centered morality looks like.

So, just in finishing, on all that,

make gains for Jesus. Make gains in your own life for Jesus. Don’t stop trying to make gains for the kingdom of God in your own heart and mind. You are not a finished product. You are not a finished product. And as we said, I think this past Wednesday, even the good things you think you know, you need to be reminded of those things over and over again, right? So let’s say, let’s work to be uncomfortable together, repent together, grow together, learn together, admonishing one another, making these gains, keeping our eyes on Jesus together so that we could hear the Lord say, I am sure of your faith. Let’s pray.

Father, Your Word is light.

And nowhere do we see such light but in the life of Your Son, Jesus, who is the Living Word.

Lord, we say by grace and grace alone, would we even pray and say out loud, Lord, forgive me where I’m slow in my faith, where I’m slow in my head, where I’m slow because I want to love the church and seeking truth, guarding truth.

Lord, forgive us when we wander here or there and we get caught up in this or that.

So Father, we’re just praying for hearts and minds that can slow down and just see the beauty and the glory of the cross of Christ

that can forsake all just to have and know Christ Jesus, to walk with Him, to talk with Him, to be made new in Him, to live for eternal things, a new heaven, a new earth, perfect bodies, perfect joy,

truth in all things, truth in all people, love in all things, perfect morality in all things. Lord, let us dream. Let us dream about that coming place and start living like we’re already there. Start living like we’re already there by faith. That’s what you’re calling us to.

That’s why we love you.

We pray it in Christ’s name. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Preacher: Chad Cronin

Passage: Romans 15:14