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June 18, 2022 8:00 am
All right, thank you for being here were glad to hear whatever campus that you are. We got a really exciting weekend. If I do actually miss a really exciting part of our services last week that I know you don't want to miss it was church survey. We didn't know everybody marks or calendars for that.
But seriously, and so helpful to us will hear what's going on what you're thinking about in just where you're at in life as well. So these are actually in your seatbacks. All of our campuses because of you doing a chance to go about that is like the ones on the pastor will ever tell you that you can be working on something other than the sermon during the sermon. Okay so that's the only God. Actually, maybe afterwards but you think about, I would love for you to fill out. I'll get that information to us before you leave the service this weekend so that we can be better informed as we make decisions for where were headed as a church were as a ministry what God has for us before were to be in the book of Ephesians this weekend book of Ephesians answered, you go ahead and turn there and if you are new you just happen to have jumped into a really awesome week that we have every single year at Mercy Hill.
I am this is kids week kids we we are so excited about what God is getting ready to do in the lives of hundreds and hundreds of kids across all of our campuses were excited. Even our fourth and fifth grade at our student center I in the evenings this week so a lot for us to be praying for as a church. And hey, if you're here there's still time for you to register. There's still time for. If you have kids that haven't signed up yet. Maybe you haven't signed up yet to serve. There's plenty of opportunities for you to still jump in to sign up to serve before you leave today. You can jump in with that less as we think about this series.
This is the last week of our series, the heart of Jesus. So we jump into Ephesians 2 we been talking about throughout the series. I hope is been a blessing to you, but as we been talking about what is God's heart for us.
How does IT actually feel about us and we talk a lot about maybe what God is done.
We talk a lot about different things about God, but I think what I loved about this series is driven us to really think about God's heart for us no end in cancer interviews the other day of when Gwen got his bomb what comes out what naturally poured out this morning to talk about a little bit today because as we shut down the series in Ephesians 2 we look ahead towards the future word and actually see how God's heart shapes how we view eternity. So as we think about eternity. God's heart actually shapes how we actually think about that now.
We don't like to talk about death right was, not something we want to bring up. I think about this the other day I filled out all this information on how do all these health checks everything to get life insurance and I'm not can ask you to raise your hand of who has life insurance or not, because I felt like a at this point I have a price tag on my head at this point right as soon as you sign that last line is I will the price I go my head. I'm not sure if I want very expensive life insurance because I'm not sure I want my death to be worth more than my life.
I don't know if you don't actually felt that right, but is something that we don't want to talk about. We want to talk about death, we put it off when we don't want to deal with it. But as we think about this I think is something that we really need to to ponder.
We really need to lean into. But what happens is we we get confused about it.
We wonder like well what is really like. What is eternity really like you know what is it you mean it wouldn't look like for me to even get there. How do I get there and so what happens is we kind of treated like a stack of bills out of any of y'all have like some expenses come in, or maybe just overtime you had all these bills are to come into your house and what happens is is why they inevitably they find their selves weathers on a desk or cabinet or something and they begin to stack up right and it's like man you maybe feel like I don't have the money to pay for these bills. Yeah, I'm not really sure what other all even for I know you're sure they're all accurate. Want to do is I'm in a cinema in this corner and I don't have to think about it today right and so we end up distracting ourselves from that those bills and they just sit in the corner they collect us.
I'm not can ask you to raise your hand on who's done that either because I know it's probably most all of us at different points in our life but us, how we treat attorneys sometimes and we turn to start distracting ourselves from what we really need to actually be focusing on. We really need actually be considering it, and this is true of of whether you go to church or not. As we think about eternity. We are all can fall into this destruction, trap, from our culture and our culture actually sees this as we think about is been 15 years since the iPhone came out you think about the distraction of technology the distraction of our phones.
The distraction of social media where it literally feeds you more and more things for you to focus on for you to look at these distractions and advertisements that are all constantly saying hey by this. This will fulfill your desires only to leave you broken and wanting more again and looking for more and more and more we see news outlets that they play on this distraction. So, as does one group of people we we end up putting this this thing in the corner we think about Mammon instruct myself. I'm not in think about eternity were not in a deal with eternity.
One day maybe right there's another group of us I think that are inherent we think that well you know where to do were to really attack that pile of bills so were to go after were to go through every single one and where to start paying them off)*write the checks for and start using using everything we can get these bills paid off and go Dave Ramsey style with it. But in the end of the day, what happens about two weeks later. What happens, another bill comes in the mail or I think another bill doesn't know you like man. Barbara started a member of start and you been working and working and working to pay this thing off only to get to realize I couldn't.
I couldn't paid off.
They keep coming, and I think you you look at every religion in the world.
Every religion says hey you work you work you work you try you try you try you pay out this bill. You pay off that bill. And maybe, just maybe, when you get to the end that stock will be clear. Maybe she can be sure that you live your life in uncertainty, wondering and anxiety wondering did I do enough to ever do enough while encouraging that the Bible actually offers us a different path. The Bible says that hey we can stare into eternity and instead of having distract ourselves from the fear.
We next have hope instead of having confusion, we can actually have certainty I think is actually possible and it changes everything for as it changes how we live in is actually made possible by viewing God's grace Wednesday this week in our big idea for the week it is that God's grace is greater then we think and last longer than we can imagine is greater than we think and last longer than we can imagine. And we need to see this because I think it changes everything and how we live changes everything we know how to fall into distraction. We know how to live in uncertainty God's grace to us, changes everything in terms of how we live. So as we look into the Bible return. Ephesians chapter 2 the words are to be in the screen encourage also plot your scripture your copy searcher and read through that with me as well. I will be in verse one will start there. Let's read it together and you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air of the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind that you probably think about you. Hey, you were just talking about God's great grace.
I thought this was going to be this uplifting. This positive sermon work order. We land right it is a pretty poor start, but you think about this year. The doctor's office you for a checkup and the doctor finds disease and he says I hate.
I will let you know about this disease, you can't really be upset for the doctor for telling you from about the diseases like we gotta figure out where things are at. I is a really poor doctor to be able to say hey you're finding that there is this disease over here but sure you're okay. Like just keep moving like that would be a terrible doctor, so we'll start with where were at to see where God will take us alright so let's look at what's gone wrong with us. Paul says what you were was that word you were what did you were dead you were dead. The strong language right and so want to clarify what I believe that Paul is talking about here is like maybe that hits you and you thought me a call saying I'm dead like me number even I'm walking talking really do make a whole lot of sense you know as soon as we think about that is not just what Paul is talking about in terms of our physical life here so assume out.
Let's think about what it means.
What is it me to actually have life. Was it mean to have life. Well, when we can walk you through zoom out the big picture Scripture the big picture Scripture is that God made us to enjoy this world as the pinnacle of his creation. He made us. He said this is very good to breathe life into us for the purpose of us enjoying him and him enjoying us that we would trust him that we would praise him in all that we do.
In fact, in John 17 Jesus defines life as this knowing God and Jesus whom he has sent.
He says this is life knowing God being in relationship with God and Jesus, whom he has sent.
That's what life is so were talking about. You were dead were talking about. You don't have that life right. That is what we were designed for this how we were created to live but a problem called sin entered the world when we chose our way over God's design. We said hey guy we don't trust you were to do it our way were to make our decisions were to be in charge were not to listen to what you say because we think that we know better, and since then, as Paul writes, you look right there in verse three he says we were by nature children of wrath by nature. This is like our very nature that is broken who we are at our core, that is dead you think about this work naturally rebellious to the creator's design is easy to see him and you see it all over the world. A really Catastrophic ways. You can also see it really clearly. When you look a child and a pitcher tantrum right is like knowing how to teach them how to do that. It came really naturally and it comes really naturally in our house pretty pretty often put it comes naturally to us right. We want to teach that the file Paul says were dead because of our sin. We have no relationship with God were fully separated from him and we deserve it. We deserve to be separated from him forever because he is a holy God. We are far from see this is very big difference between what the Bible says and what the world says the world tells you to be better right.
The world tells you get the self-help book you know you got you a maybe a bookcase full of self-help books right as I would like to get the self-help book there some good in all of us and we just got a will it out of us. If I just work hard enough about his read enough about is you all of these things. I checked all that. Check with that. I'll be good enough and I'll have it all fixed. I think what Paul seems like there's actually no good in us all.
That may sound strong but we gotta think about what we're comparing to. When we say were good is like.
Are we comparing to our neighbor here like hey, if it MI good if I mow my yard, three times a week and they mow their guard once a month like is that is that what it means to be good if I give a little bit more than somebody else.
Is that what it means to be good to see the problem is there's not a sliding scale of good were comparing it to perfection.
Like when we're poop comparing it to the law of God like you think about it like having lied. Okay.
Sinless Ptolemy, as I will, that Iggy goes quick right we we get really knocked out of good real fast. You think about this. Even the best of us fall short of perfection.
I don't know what your favorite drink is I really love Coke zero. We have a lot of zero in our house a lot cozier around the office here a lot of caffeine but no calories is great you have as much as you want right. So think about this if you had if you have a Coke zero is offered you Coke zero and I said hey Coke zero is incredible.
Also drink your love it. Now I hate there's there's like one or two drops of rat poison in there, but it is only one or two drops so like you should be fine. Like the Coke zero is great you want to drink that is it's awesome like no one in their right mind would be like just man, I think you make a really good point. I think it is awesome. I think I will drink this Coke zero with two drops of rat poison and it is like no you're not to do that. Why because the drop room and the whole thing in this house and works the drop room.
The whole thing we gotta realize that we gotta realize that we are not you self-help people that are just like one book away from being good. The Bible says that we are not just hurt people in need of healing that we are dead people in need of resurrection is a very different category right unless you're on the walking dead corpses can't walk around right, it doesn't happen. You can't crawl out of the grave, you're dead and I'm dead so I think as we we see this I know it's tough to consider. But we gotta be able to see this because our deadness is actually the backdrop to God's great grace to us.
God's great grace is seen in the backdrop of our fallenness of our brokenness were to read in Ephesians chapter 2 verse four through seven were to see what happens here in this next section of Scripture.
If you're really with me. Verse four but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. I don't know if you say amen often, but if you ever say miniatures as a place as a miniature trade.
There, but God but God. These are couple of my favorite words in all of Scripture, but signifies that there's a change in the situation something happened and right and is shifting the entire narrative of the story. Everything's changing you thing about this on the route a few movies free okay but their old movie social thought is not my fault but you think about this with movies in either these plot twists and movies that just they just change the whole movie.
When you think about it so sobbed on theirs are the newest one. I'm not a tell you about that one, because that would that would be not be be very good and I haven't seen it, but the old shotgun. Nobody saw the fact that the goose was gonna pass away right that he was in Adina's accident.
No one saw it coming. If you miss that. Sorry. In Star Wars this is now. If you really miss this one is about in Star Wars you get the twist plot was right that Darth Vader is in fact Luke Skywalker's father right crazy saw coming right give this up the Wizard of Oz. There's not a wizard crazy. It's crazy. He's not. He's not a wizard at the end of the movie are light well okay I don't want anything about as any Hallmark movie that didn't end with a couple living happily ever after. It would be an amazing thought to us.
No one would ever see a comment right you think about that.
This is a major plot twist. This is a a like life changing world changing forever changing plot twists right here Paul writes by God. All of the dead no ability to live, but God. It should have been this way it should of been destruction should've been damnation should've been headed to eternity in hell. But God know there's been so many but God moments and lives all over this church you maybe you were walking through, but God moment, and maybe only to realize it, but your sit in one right now. You didn't even realize it that because your life is falling apart. You showed up to a church on this weekend you sat in that seat and you're here you have a but God moment. I gotta tell you, hey, you're here and I can rewrite your story.
You didn't realize it but he wants to change your life but God would have a moment of the end of the service for you to respond because those but God moment you get opportunity for gotta change everything.
But why does God change the situation.
Why does he change the situation. Why does he step in like this, you know, and we we look at that we look at this next section right here after he says but God.
He says what God being what rich in what mercy, being rich in mercy, God, being rich in mercy is interesting if you take notes on these things. The Latin word is translated is actually the same word that use Nexus 34 were God talks about his steadfast love for us pastor Andrew Preece on that. A few weeks ago. The same word as he thinks about his steadfast love, his lovingkindness is mercy is written.
He's rich in mercy. One pastor said God has to be stirred up to wrath, but his default is love and this is been the thrust of the whole series was godlike. What is heart like how does he feel about us. Listen, God is not surprised by your sin he is rich in mercy is not scared off by your problems. He is rich in mercy, and you may say I'm not see in his mercy in my life right now that may be where you're at.
Mr. hey don't feel that I'm fighting sin, and I feel like I'm losing I'm in a season of suffering. I'm in a season of loss. I don't feel his mercy out implant praying for something to happen and it hasn't happened yet and I don't feel his mercy yesterday in Orland and in the book.
Similarly, he wrote this phone is such an encouragement. The evidence of Christ's mercy towards you is not your life, the evidence of his mercy towards you is his life is not the circumstance here and right now is not how you feel about something, is the fact that God, being rich in mercy did something to change everything in Jesus and his life in his perfection he laid out on the cross, that we may have life in him mercy. We deserve to be there, but we were and he did it for us. He did it for so how did he do it how to do it looks like the surgery says even when we were dead even when we rededicate these clarify we bring nothing to the table.
We didn't start live and we were start get a little bit better even when we were dead. What he made us alive together with Christ. He made us alive together with Christ, we see the sure somewhere in it. Today, death to life is a church that everybody wears as their baptizer mercy Hill Vecsey about his next weekend is about the mercy of their will.
They wear this sure is from this passage. They were dead in our life. Why with Christ with Christ, is how it happens.
Christ's resurrection is our resurrection to is our hope to and then he clarifies this is really helpful for those of us that maybe struggle with his hey we got a pay off the bills thing came he says this by grace you have been saved by grace you have been saved.
He says grace, not works in this the truth of the gospel is that in God's great love for us. Jesus came and he did everything necessary to save us.
He lived the perfect life that we could not live. He died the death that we deserve and through his death and through his resurrection by trusting in him we receive the gift of grace this gift of the gospel which is Jesus himself into our lives.
It's grace is key to understand because every religion in the world says opposite every literate religion in the world says hey you know Manny, you gotta keep working hard. You gotta really just make sure you're doing what you need to do.
You gotta start paying all those bills are paid and down and Jesus is saying no no I paid it, understand it was never about you paying off the bill. It's always about you receiving his grace.
There is the old hymn says nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling we bring nothing to the table. We can't pay one bill off Jesus Pedro look at his leg what he says. And as he continues as it says he's raised us up with him. He's seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, look at Jesus has secured our salvation God here he needs writing and Paul is talking in the past tense is like saying hey it's already happened you're already seated with him you're already raised with him. When you're in Christ, your salvation is settled. God is secured our eternal life by uniting us with Christ. That's how that's how he did it.
There is no other way.
There's no other way around to to eternity with the Lord. There's no other way to forgiveness except through Christ is in being united to him that we have life, and last weakness, because we think about this. My son love that the sermon last week he came home talking about the tomatoes and auto jotted as either hearing all y'all saw that the tomatoes being stable to divine the concept of abiding in him and Wesley think about abiding were thinking about an active, ongoing, abiding in Christ through his word through prayer with his spirit and in community were talking about is active, abiding in him this week work on turning the diamond a little bit differently were actually talking about our declared status in Christ.
Grapes were talking about the fact that you have been brought into him like you are with him you are in him to think about this like a marriage. You know you so Mike is married one person has $10,000 in debt and the other person has $100,000 in cash while you don't step in a marriage after you get married as I will you still have your $10,000 and that I still have $100,000 in cash is like no that's not how it works. I remember you not remember when you always make bad symptoms make bad decisions about many things you especially as your younger hopefully we get better that were older but I remember my wife was pregnant with our son at the time and you know we were to start now. We didn't have like a ton of money and things like that was still on but but as we think about that. In that moment you know you think that the reaction is you're going like save up right you got your and to save up got a baby, well, we made a mistake. I don't know maybe is modest that we went we went to the beach and of some friends at Monarch. They were very kind and they were really we would visit archery shop down there.
There will hey man, that's a nice boat right there and this is really nice and like you're probably not to be able to for that after you have kids, so like you probably need to go ahead in and get that and Mayor probably didn't have a meeting with my wife about that and just ended up showing up with visit with this blow that cost $1500 that we really didn't have the time and and and I was like man you know not the best decision.
So what work is you do in that moment she can just they will hey like yes $1500 is yours is yours nose like what what's mine is yours and what I'm I'm really stupid about, that's yours to you know is like it's it's all yours right you know is all ours and so we you pay for it and we moved on, but you think about that. It's it we were in Christ right when were in Christ was ours is his was his is ours okay so that means what we bring nothing to the table except arson right he brings everything to the table is holiness, his righteousness is payment for our sins, he covers every bit of it. He says no, you're in me you are in me and asked what we gotta get there's a pastor Joe years ago ago that he would ask his question when he would do counseling with people and he would get to a certain point, he would ask the question he would say you are you a Christian are you Christian and they would say sometimes.
I hope that I am is like the person they they in fact they forgot what their status was in Christ. They may have in fact been a Christian, but in that moment they've been so overwhelmed by what was going on the life that they forgot what their status was in Jesus, our status is settled.
Our status is settled and believing that actually changes how we look at eternity and this will begin to think about as we get closer to the end. The sermon is God's grace forever. God's grace forever is where we can move towards towards hope and actually excitement instead of uncertainty instead of just wondering and confusion about eternity. We can actually have excitement we can have hope we can look forward to what's coming. If I told you is about told you that the stock market prices. And yet if I told you what they would be for specific stocks in January 2024. What would you do you will go by the stocks right right you will go by the stocks or if they're going down you go sell the stocks right, you would change what you do based on what you know you think about that if you knew the job that she would get after college, he may change where you go to college if you went to college so you think about the future dictating how we live today. Ephesians 27 says this so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.
So for all of eternity. It will be like this immeasurable riches, immeasurable grains of sand stars in the sky things that you can't get to the depths to you can't understand the fullness of because there's always more.
There immeasurable riches of what grace and kindness, grace and kindness know this is actually the same word that Jesus uses in Matthew chapter 11 verse 30 where he says my yoke is easy, my yoke is easy, he invites you in. He invites you in to be able to love you to care for you to be in relationship with you for all of eternity in Christ Jesus, grace and kindness we think about this what God is bringing us to our purpose is to receive God's kindness through being united to Jesus and praise him for forever as we think about eternity. Our purpose is to receive God's kindness through being united to Jesus and experience his client's kindness and praise him for forever.
Praise him for forever will continue to be growing in understanding and growing in our experiences of him for all of eternity and what he has done for us in praising him over and over and over again is actually interesting because I think as we think about Ephesians 21 through three are following this actually sets the stage for us to be able to understand the depths of God's grace to us for all eternity you highlights is grace you think about this and in eternity. If you're in Christ no one will be able to come to you and say you can't be there. No one can level any accusation against you whenever you're passed on earth was is covered by the blood of Christ, you are in Christ we face-to-face with the one who gave his life to to bring you in that you may know him right to wipe away every tear from every I make all things new. Whatever breaks your heart here is gone. Whenever worries keep you up at night will worry you know more poverty, racism, oppression lies hate only a distant memory. There is a nation we think about Juneteenth this week and remember the last slaves in America to hear about their freedom.
We celebrate that there are snow slaves here in America but we also look forward to a day where every tribe and tongue and nation will gather around the throne, praising him forever. Those are days that we long for.
Why, because of God's grace to us forever because of what he's done this verse can be hard to fathom because we often don't think about forever. We get caught up in the days in the weeks and they go by so quick and we get distracted we get worried and weak we get caught up in everything is going on in Paul's like if I can just give you a glimpse, it will change everything.
Most of us are to live about 50 or 90 years old 50 to 90 years old. Average age is 72 1/2 life expectancy. As we look ahead we see that we have 50 to 90 years and we have literally eternity ahead of us. Eternity ahead of us of his grace in kindness will we allow it to change how we live today live today in light of God's grace forever.
The SAARC application today live today in light of God's grace forever. Christian ought say this believer I'll say this one looks crazy to the world is the most logical way that we can possibly live in light of God's grace for all eternity. Okay you think about a missionary goes overseas and leaves her family here maybe never see them again because they realize, hey, I got 50 to 90 years but I got all eternity's on the leverage and that more people might know him the more people may hear what he's done for me, that they may receive Christ in faith and they may experience his grace for eternity anything about our church choir limiter flares right now. Jeremy diggers headed to Canada, move his family up this weekend to play freeze never lived before.
Why because the 50 to 90 don't matter in light of eternity.
Right we can do hard things we can step out of our comfort zone about families are moving to refugee housing who have the means to live in and in many more expensive places. Why because you got all eternity. We got 50 to 90 here and they make an impact for all eternity, and in light of God's grace forever. Christian God may be calling you to do something that seems radical to the world should feel very normal.
Just think about maybe does not call you take maybe a big step like that right now, but it said nothing. All of us can take simple actions that for assaulting there's a car that you got a sticker that you got in your seat when you came in all of our campuses and encourage you put this somewhere sure to look at every single day that you can think about your maybe pray through because a lot about this gospel prayer is. It reminds us of the grace that God is given to us is not earned. Gift and reminds us that God is giving us everlasting joy in Christ that we have eternity ahead and I know for us that that we get distracted or us to fall into hate. We think we gotta work a little bit harder. We need that reminder every day may because only somebody commit to him every day, remember the gospel, remember his grace, thinking for the live, in light of the maybe you're here maybe you're here in your not a believer never trusted in Christ.
When I would encourage you as a set earlier today.
This weekend could be your but God moaned, give me a moment to change everything for all of eternity. Again, 50 to 90 years eternity ahead and I want you to experience the grace of his kindness towards you in Christ Jesus forever. The question is is will you receive. We receive.
I believe this week and could be your but God moment in the sermon. When I finish praying worship man to come up there and play couple songs.
We have a prayer team at front and all of our campuses and I would encourage you if you're here you say hey I want that I will have it.
I got uncertainty. I'm confused. My life is falling apart. I know I don't have that piece.
I know I don't have that joy.
But God wants to rewrite your story's own encourage you that's you tonight. You want to have a relationship with Christ per counselors per team assume you don't front. They want to talk with you about that but what it looks like to follow after Jesus's own encourage you when I finish praying God's work on your heart. Don't leave this moment without do business with him.
Only this moment. Don't walk out because God has that bug moment for you and can be changed or like to be change for all of eternity tersely stand up together were to pray together worship man to come up and leave us in song per counselors we don't front. They would love to talk with you maybe see depraved pray for something maybe you need to trust in Christ today. They would love to talk through it all our campuses about what that looks like for you whispering father God we love you. We thank you for your loving kindness to us. We thank you to you for your grace to us in Christ Jesus, God, not just for today, but for all of eternity got me thinking that you are enough that you are all that we need got afraid to remind us that we have life and you gotta crave for those that are out there that this is there but God moment. Gotta pray that there was step out. They would talk somebody today that they would leave here knowing what eternity will be like joy full of love and grace in kindness towards them because they received when faith today for it all in Christ Jesus name, amen