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Monday, June 26, 2017

06252017 - 2nd Sunday After Trinity - “Christ laid down His life for our brothers and sisters and each and every one of us! (1 John 3:16)”

June 25, 2017
“Christ laid down His life for our brothers and sisters and each and every one of us! (1 John 3:16)”
If you turn on the television, listen to the radio or even only hear the highlights of the days news, it sounds like our world is spiraling down and out of control.  From events in the Middle East, Asia and most recently in London and even our own Capital of Washington, DC, sadly life is no longer valued and people dying.  Sometimes as a result of evil in our world, at other times just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The reality remains, we the church of Jesus Christ live ‘in the world’.
We as the church have a choice, either we can become like an ostrich and stick our head in the sand.  It seems the safe bet, no harm if we don’t encounter that which is evil.  No harm if we choose not to look and do what is right if we ‘don’t see it’.  Yet, when and if we do this, we then forget the truth that John the evangelist reminds us about from our epistle this morning.
In 1st John 3:16, like the Gospel of John 3:16, we are reminded of the truth that sets us free.  John wrote, “Christ laid down His life for our brothers and sisters and each and every one of us!”  Jesus Christ was willing to faithfully stand firm against the evil of the devil and ‘lay down His life’ and die in order to offer us eternal life.  Jesus Christ knowing not only the future, knew that the only way we would have eternal life would require His life.  And it required Jesus Christ taking on the sins of the entire world and redeeming us and offering us the greatest gift of grace the world would ever see or be offered, eternal life.
What was the price?  To us and all of mankind, the cost is free because Jesus Christ has paid for our ticket to eternity.  All we have to do is believe, that Jesus “Christ laid down His life for our brothers and sisters and each and every one of us!”  When we believe this and lay claim to Jesus Christ offer of grace and mercy out of His great love for us, when we take our final breath, we will receive the gift of eternal life.  We will receive Jesus Christ offer of salvation out of His great love for all of mankind, including each and every one of us.
Jesus Christ offer of grace didn’t come out of obligation, but out of love for His Father in heaven.  Jesus listened to the voice of His Father and willingly Jesus “Christ laid down His life for our brothers and sisters and each and every one of us!”  How might we receive this?  It is simple, believe in Jesus Christ and His offer of grace on the Cross of Calvary, and feel His loving embrace as His follower.
This coming week we as Emmanuel offer to our community again the opportunity for the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to be shared and proclaimed again with Sky Ranch.  It is a long history and connection we have with Sky Ranch and their coming here is one way we not only impact our community, but inspire our church to embrace and be embraced by the love of God and His offer of grace and mercy for all of mankind.  How can we support this?  Simply by praying for God’s will to be done, helping us to get the word out and ultimately by loving everyone who walks through the doors of our church.

When we love unconditionally and without attitude or looking down on people no matter how we feel, God redeems not only the relationship with Him and the people we encounter even here in the church, but by His power inspires our love for each other through His perfect example.  We then are not ‘hiding our head in the sand’, but taking a firm stand with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and insuring a simple fact.  That the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change us and faithfully saying with John, Jesus “Christ laid down His life for our brothers and sisters and each and every one of us!”  AMEN.

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