Beginning his sermon, Pastor Phyl tells us that in reality, life can really suck sometimes. We can look around at others’ lives; work; families and feel that their lives are better than ours. We can look at their Facebook and social media feeds and feel that even the photos that they post of their food is better than ours. In reality, we are all guilty of falling into the trap of comparing others’ public “highlight reel” to the truth that happens in the “back office” of life. The truth is that nobody is perfect, even though it might seem on the outside that they are.
We are so incredibly lucky that God is not a God of comparison. In the Bible Jesus likens us to branches in a vine. This vine is full of love, and love is a truly great thing. We all want to love and be loved. John 15:13 says: ”Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Pastor Phyl went on to say that we are born innocent, and slowly, as we go through life, we find ourselves sinning, mounting up a list of wrongs that we have done. We ‘learn’ to sin, although we were never taught to do so. We do things such as lie, hate, cheat, steal. We develop an entire record of wrongs as we age, and we often end up comparing others’ imperfections to our own.
In Colossians 3, Paul talks of our record off wrongs. While we may never intend to do them, and we find ourselves wishing that we could take them back, they are things done in anger; rashly, and then thought about later on, when we realise what we’ve done and find ourselves in a position of needing to ask for forgiveness.
Pastor Phyl tells us that Jesus says, that if we are in the vine, then we are surrounded in love. He is the vine. The truth is that God takes all of our collective record of wrongs and places it on His son. He took it all, and chose to make Himself sin for us, even though He knew no sin.
In doing this, He makes us holy, clean and forgiven. We cannot do it by ourselves; the only way that we can tidy up our messed up lives is through His love, and His sacrifice when He gave His only begotten Son to die for us on the cross of our making.
Pastor Phyl then shared three facts about God.
- God is UNchanging: He is always the same, no matter what happens.
- God is UNmeasurable: He is beyond anything we can think or imagine. He will never run out of love for us.
- God is UNlimited: He won’t ever get “fed up” with us. He won’t ever turn us away.
The truth is that God is in LOVE with us. He wants us; all of us. He loves us with an “overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love” and He wants us to accept Him and love Him back.
Scriptures: John 15:13, Colossians 3