This is an excerpt of a sermon given by Chuck Foreman, Teaching Pastor at First Christian Church of Phoenix on Nov., 27, 2011
We just go along holding God at arm’s length and before you know it, we’re so far away from Him it seems impossible to ever get back. We try not to think about it. We stay busy and put it out of our mind. But in those occasional moments-something happens to trigger that gnawing feeling inside us. We know we’ve drifted about as far away from God as we can get—so far we don’t even know how to get home—to Him.
There’s only one thing that separates us—creates this painful distance between us and God, distance we can feel: SIN
I know, you’ve heard all that before, haven’t you? You see, that’s the problem with going to church all the time—it all becomes too familiar. After a while, we turn it all off. We stop listening. We just set our cruise control and go on down the road—but it’s almost always in the wrong direction. Our sin problem just gets bigger and bigger until it takes up the full screen of our lives—just like that.
Come on Foreman! It’s Chrismas time! We don’t want to hear about SIN!… Maybe you haven’t read the Story in a while. Don’t you remember what the angel told Joseph to name Mary’s baby? (Mt. 1:21) Jesus—Yeshua:“The Lord Saves”—because He will save His people from their—SINS.
People, that’s what Christmas is all about—God’s plan, God’s way of saving you from the sin that ruins your life!
One thing the Lord has made very clear to me is that I’m not supposed to make it easy for you to come to church here at FCC. WWJD? People would say to him, “Lord, I will follow you wherever you go!” What was his response?
- Foxes… Luke 9: 57-58
- Bury my father… Luke 9: 59-60
- Hand to the plow… Luke 9: 61-62
- Deny yourself & take up your cross… Matthew 10:38
Sometimes SIN is blatant. We know exactly what the sin in our lives is. We just don’t care. It hasn’t quite caught up to us and we’re still enjoying it. Or it has such a hold on us we can’t get rid of it. But sometimes SIN isn’t so obvious. Sometimes SIN disguises itself as… SELF It’s barely visible. We’re hardly aware of it, if at all.
Our own self-centeredness is the most powerful, yet most subtle separator of us from God.
We’re all in the same boat as humans as far as our sin problem. Look at these:
- Romans 3:10-18 Is that you?
- Romans 3:23
- Romans 2:5-11
- Ephesians 2:1-3 Can you speak about yourself like this, using the past tense, or are you still there?
If Jesus was here, right now, would he say to us what he said to His 1st century religious contemporaries? Mark 7:6
So if God knows all this about us, that we become dirt bags pretty fast w/o Him, what’s his attitude toward us, his intention for us?
- I Thessalonians 5:9
- Parable of the Lost Sheep Luke 15:1-7
Here’s what I think that means: If you’ve stayed from God, He knows it. He knows you’re missing. And he’s after you! He’s searching for you—and He won’t stop until He gets you home!
Soli Deo Gloria!
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