Relocate. Release. Restore.

21 Jun

Happy Wednesday, Summer Excitement Family!  It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through Summer Excitement.  It’s truly incredible watching God work here.  We hope that our social media posts and pictures are helping you experience SE vicariously.

 

This morning, Kyle talked to our students about stretching our comfort zone and doing things that may not be our forte.  However, when we stretch our comfort zone for daily activities, God is able to stretch the comfort zone of our faith, so that we can be used as His instruments.

Before we talk about tonight, we have to first give a huge shout out to Quaker Church of Christ.  Bill and Janice Flemmons have done an incredible job of coordinating volunteers and setting up for Jailbreak!  With the theme of “Wizard of Oz,” Quaker outdid themselves with an amazing Jailbreak, and we want to thank them for their service.  Our kids enjoyed all of the food, and they danced their hearts out.

During Rainbow Celebration, Kalum Tuggle talked to us about God’s Epic Justice.  Before we dive into God’s Justice, we must talk about God’s Grace.  In Isaiah 58, the Israelites were confronted with their sins.  Every day, they went to the temple, worshipped God, and fasted, pretending to delight in worshipping God.  Hoping to fool God with going through the motions with no soul.  Instead, God calls them out for being prideful and performing these acts for their delight, not to bring glory to God.  They claimed to be people of God, but they were fasting while fighting with others, praying for help while hounding the helpless.  Sound familiar?  Many Christians are really good at putting on the show when we receive perks and benefits.

THIS DOES NOT WORK WITH GOD! WE CANNOT BUY GOD’S GRACE CAUSE IT’S NOT FOR SALE!

Grace is a gift.  It cannot be bought nor earned, because no one has enough money to buy it, and no one can do enough good works to earn it.  And sometimes, we can forget that message.  We often believe that we can go about our lives, doing what we want as long as we do the religious and spiritual rituals on the side to please God.  However, that’s not what God wants from us.

Our Father wants us to embrace His grace so much that it overflows onto others.  We only become people of God’s justice after we have accepted His grace and released it to others.  Therefore, we have to abandon the belief that we can earn grace, and instead take in the reckless grace of God.  That’s when we become people of justice.

God’s justice occurs when grace is made visible.  Kalum gave us 3 possible ways to be God’s people of justice.

  1. Relocate. Step out of your comfort zone.  Step out of your bubble and go care for others.  This can be moving across the cafeteria, moving across the auditorium at church, moving across town, or moving across the globe.  Where is God calling you to relocate?
  2. Release.  Often, we hold on to God’s abundance of grace with a clenched fist.  We want it for ourselves.  We are afraid that if we let go, we will lose it.  God’s grace and love is like a boomerang.  As we give it away, it comes back to us.  Who can you release God’s grace to?
  3. Restore.  Raise us the weaker and neglected members of the community.  While thoughts and prayers are nice, it doesn’t stop there.  Restoring others moves beyond words, beyond simple acts of kindness.  It involves sacrificing yourself to get to the root of the problem instead of just settling for hollow words.  Who is broken in your life that you can restore with God’s grace?

A word of caution.  We must remember to not act justly to earn God’s favor.  We would just be repeating our mistake.  We must act justly because we see Christ’s example where He humbled Himself, relocated to be with us, and then restored us.

Brothers and sisters, our prayer is that we embrace God’s grace fully, allow it to fill us up, and then overflow into the lives of others.  We pray that we remember that we cannot do this on our own. It’s all through the glory and power of God.  Grace is a wonderful gift that we get to share with others.

Praise the Father.  Let us continually worship Him throughout our daily lives to praise His epic grace and His epic justice.

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