SERMON SERIES:

standing firm & loving well: lordship

03/10/2024

This Sunday, March 10th, is time to “spring forward” by setting our clocks ahead one hour. Daylight Savings Time is always a minor transition during the year. It is good to have the extra daylight and leave the darkness of winter behind! This is exactly why the ancient church leaders developed the season of Lent to help us leave the darkness of our sins and enjoy the light of God’s presence. Why do we struggle with human nature? Why do we love darkness rather than light? This week’s study highlights one of the most common sins that separates us from God. It is universal across all people groups and nations. It is the sin of pride. It is so deceptive that it impacts saints as well as sinners. Pride is easy to fall into and it will trip us at the most unlikely time. Why do we struggle to stand firm in our faith? Our pride creates images of people who stand firm but they are obnoxious and angry. We don’t want to be like them, but then we don’t stand for anything. Why aren’t we more compassionate and loving? Our pride creates a false sense of righteous condemnation and we believe people should get what they deserve. We want them to be held accountable but then we don’t acknowledge God’s unconditional love that has allowed us to stand before him in forgiveness. What is our path forward? In our series Standing Firm and Loving Well we return to the witness of our gracious Savior found in Matthew 26:36-46. Jesus is with his disciples in Gethsemane and it is hours before he will go to the cross for all of us. He has done no wrong but he will suffer for everything that we have done to offend God’s righteousness! In the sermon, Lordship, we discover that the path to defeat pride is to find the humility of Jesus. Pride tells us either “we are good enough” or that “it is impossible to ever be that good.” Both deny the power of God and the work of Jesus Christ. Our lives can be transformed by the humble submission of our lives to follow Jesus, not because we are good, but because Jesus is Lord of our lives! We pray that you will find this transforming love and power of God as you witness the humility of Jesus confronting the forces of pride to submit to the will of his heavenly Father. 

Matthew 26:36-46: Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” (NIV)