Eph 1:9-23 God did what he had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan he had already decided to complete by means of Christ. (10) This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head. (11) All things are done according to God's plan and decision; and God chose us to be his own people in union with Christ because of his own purpose, based on what he had decided from the very beginning. (12) Let us, then, who were the first to hope in Christ, praise God's glory! (13) And you also became God's people when you heard the true message, the Good News that brought you salvation. You believed in Christ, and God put his stamp of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit he had promised. (14) The Spirit is the guarantee that we shall receive what God has promised his people, and this assures us that God will give complete freedom to those who are his. Let us praise his glory! (15) For this reason, ever since I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God's people, (16) I have not stopped giving thanks to God for you. I remember you in my prayers (17) and ask the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you the Spirit, who will make you wise and reveal God to you, so that you will know him. (18) I ask that your minds may be opened to see his light, so that you will know what is the hope to which he has called you, how rich are the wonderful blessings he promises his people, (19) and how very great is his power at work in us who believe. This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength (20) which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world. (21) Christ rules there above all heavenly rulers, authorities, powers, and lords; he has a title superior to all titles of authority in this world and in the next. (22) God put all things under Christ's feet and gave him to the church as supreme Lord over all things. (23) The church is Christ's body, the completion of him who himself completes all things everywhere.
May 16 2021
May the Words of my mouth and thoughts of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen
Jesus speaking to those who would hear said these words:
Joh 8:36 If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free.
This puzzled me for a long time
how does the son Jesus set free
and what does it mean to be really free.
So the term free means to be set lose from captivity
taken out of chains
all those kind of connotations.
And in Jesus words it has a kind of completeness about it.
You will be really free.
And for years I’ve wondered what does really mean
and how does Jesus do it?
The apostle Paul wrote
“The good I want to do, I can’t do.”
It seems that he knows what he would love to be
he senses within him
something so very good
which I would call the God DNA
but it just doesn’t work out in his life.
Maybe we all sense this.
Something within that calls us to a higher purpose
that seems almost unattainable.
And so we often settle for a more mediocre life.
And yet at the same time we know it’s not unattainable.
I truly believe that you and I are spiritual beings
having a human experience.
That’s why many of us sense a longing to be with God
to be home
in the safety of God’s embrace.
To be known
truly known and truly loved.
I think that’s why the word home is such a powerful word
whether we know of God or not
we have within us
a longing for home.
That’s why I think programs on finding ones lost family
are so popular
The lost sheep longs to be found
because if not it will die;
the prodigal son wants to be home
because he knows there is life only in the Father’s house.
And this longing I sense is tied up in what it means to be free
as Jesus speaks of.
In other words to be home in God is to be free.
So a few more introductory pieces
and of course you know
it’s going to come back to the love message.
It’s got to.
When I look back to my first teenage
or young adult introduction to the gospel
and to Jesus
it was all a kind of a head thing
which you have to have as a teen.
We like things fixed.
Black and white.
And so I found myself in this group of teens
who I just assumed where smarter than me
and understood the whole Jesus story much better than I did.
The problem was at that age
we all had a degree of low self esteem
that hid behind a kind of bravado.
For me it was bravado and a guitar
which meant you could play and lead singing
and not have to get to involved with people.
I discovered too that I had a lot of underlying anger
from my childhood
which showed itself in stupid ways
as it does when you have to hide who you are.
we came together into this group of church teens
rather enslaved to all kinds of negative emotions within.
But at the same time –an almost mystical
sense of this seeking God.
So it seemed there were these two forces at work in me.
One, that reminded me of the Divine
and the other the wounded child within
trying to survive.
And all of us were the same.
All of us to a greater or lesser degree
carry wounds which we in turn attempt to mask.
There is a book entitled, “Why am I afraid to tell you who I am?”
The point the author was making is
that while we want to be genuine and real
there is a fear that if people knew who we really were they wouldn’t like us.
And so what happens is that we come into the church
and I think this is particularly true at a young age
we come and we love being with a group of like minded people
people who are generally caring
and similar to us
but who like us, are nevertheless wounded.
And in our search for love and acceptance
we can do a lot of damage.
Then we become adults in the church still carrying those wounds that display themselves in
negative emotions like anger, jealousy, fear, arrogance,
cloaked hostility etc
and of course these are all potential sources of conflict.
We do a good job of masking them
most of the time.
The apostle Paul puts it this way
the human nature is at war with the Spirit of God within.
So how can I be delivered,
how can I be healed of the wounds
I carry that do such damage;
not just in relationships
but damage to mental and physical health as well,
set free from the wounds I carry within?
The solution could be as simple as this.
What if I could offer those wounds
wholly and without reservation to a lover
who would embrace those wounds and
as our mothers used to say,
kiss them better. There is a great truth in that!
Embrace those wounds
speak into those wounds
understand those wounds
cover them over with love.
Pour a trillion Divine kisses upon them
until all the pain was taken away?
Today I want to suggest that that is essentially what
the baptism of the Holy Spirit is all about.
It is the flooding of our being
with the love of God.
The apostle Paul writes:
God has poured His love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit
which is God’s gift to us.
Why would God want to pour His love into us
unless it was to set us free?
I know there have been all kinds of things written
by importantly spiritual people
and there are a number of list that are produced
that say, if you do this
and you believe this
and you get someone to do this
then it will all happen.
And maybe it does
but it occurs to me that it would be like
an arranged marriage, right?
Contract is signed, a dowry is paid,
certain conditions have to be met
and presto you have a marriage.
I’m not sure if that’s how a love relationship works.
When you’re falling in love
something in the other person moves you
un scientific thing starts to occur
and you are in love.
And you change and become open to the others presence.
I know a man who was struggling over his belief that the gospel was in essence so
and it was to his mind an intimacy with God.
It wasn’t popular with others
and he struggled over it.
Was he right in his thinking
when others were adamantly tied into forms and procedures.
With a kind of frightening god as well.
He recalled standing at the sink one morning alone, washing dishes
very torn and uncertain
but wanting separately understand
maybe even to be free.
He remembers how in this unholy
of holy places
it felt that a certain kind of warmth began to spread up through his body
a kind of inner embrace
that brought with it
a mysterious tingling
and tears of joy
as something within began to release him from
what he would come to see as a kind of captivity.
And he knew God was present in the fullness of God’s
love, a love that said, “It’s O.K.”
Be what I have called you to be.
And with it, the beginning of the cleansing of the wounds of his past.
Today is the day of setting free.
Whatever religious burden
has been dropped on you
whatever wounds you have brought here today
whatever feelings of inadequacy
in Jesus name you are not inadequate
in Jesus Name your wounds may be healed
today, the Son of God would set you free
and you will be free indeed.
Let us Pray
Now unto God the Father, God the Son and God, the holy Spirit, be all the honour and
glory, world without end. Amen
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