Friday, February 26, 2021
One of the great truths is that when you are a Christian, you have victory. You have the victory already. Isn't that great to play a game and know that you're going to win? The good news is the Bible says that you're going to win, you're going to have the victory.
Friday, February 26, 2021
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
One of the great truths is that when you are a Christian, you have victory. You have the victory already. Isn't that great to play a game and know that you're going to win? The good news is the Bible says that you're going to win, you're going to have the victory. Who will you have the victory over? You'll have the victory over sin and death.
I get this from 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 where it says this: "Where oh death is your victory? Where oh death is your sting? The implied answer to both questions is it's nowhere. Verse 56 says, "the sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law." The law helps us to know right and wrong and that's what helps us see sin. The wages of sin is death. So the law leads to sin, or at least leads to us seeing that it's sin, and sin leads to death. But we have victory over all of that. So the text goes on to say, "but thanks be to God, He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ".
You're a winner. I'm not talking about looking in the mirror and pumping yourself up. You're a winner because of Jesus Christ. You have one question? Do you want to be a winner or not? If you do, then follow Jesus Christ. Put your faith in Jesus Christ and trust Him alone. He will give you the victory. When I put my faith in Jesus Christ many yeas ago in October or November on a Sunday night, 1983, I felt the victory. I had some things going on in my life that I instantly changed. Yeah, there's some other things that took time and some other things that are still a battle right now, but I know this: from that day on, I knew I was right with God. I knew I had won. I had victory over sin and death in the law.
Do you? You can have victory if you commit your life to Jesus Christ. Many of you have, some of you have not, and there might be some of you who think you have, but you really have not. So how do you have the victory in Jesus Christ? You invite Him into your life by faith. You do that by saying "Jesus Christ, you are God. Jesus Christ, I am not and I'm a sinner. I believe when you died on the cross, you took my place and paid for my sins. You allowed me to be forgiven of everything so that I can be in right relationship with you for the first time ever and so that I can go to heaven. Because of all that, I have your victory."
Have you ever committed your life to Christ? You say, "Vince, I've always believed that." First of all, you didn't "always believe that". When you're three months old, you didn't believe anything. There has to be a point in time when you believe it. You might say "I believed it when I was a kid." Great. That's not enough, either. Have you received Jesus Christ? You have to believe it and receive it. Have Jesus Christ come into your life. He never goes where he is uninvited; he must be invited. Will you invite Him into your life? Say, "Jesus Christ, come into my life. I put my faith in you alone, not in my good work, not in my religion, not in my sacraments, not in any human effort, but in you alone. Come into my life. I receive you by faith." If you say it and mean it, you're a Christian. Life might be hard. In fact, it might get harder. Just because you become a Christian doesn't make your life automatically easier, but I will say this: with Jesus Christ at the center of your life, you have the victory. You have won.
I want to win. Do you? If you've committed your life to Jesus Christ by saying that prayer, let us know about it! You can send us an email or tap the Connect button in the Lakeshore App. We want to celebrate with you and support you in your new faith! Thanks for joining me today, have a great day.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Are you an ambassador? What is an ambassador? It's someone who represents a person or entity to another person or entity. So for instance, in the United States of America, we have ambassadors to different nations; we have an ambassador to Italy, to Ireland, to France and to other nations.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Are you an ambassador? What is an ambassador? It's someone who represents a person or entity to another person or entity. So for instance, in the United States of America, we have ambassadors to different nations; we have an ambassador to Italy, to Ireland, to France and to other nations. What's the whole goal of the ambassador? To faithfully and accurately represent the nation that sends them before another nation, to make sure that our intentions are clear. Our desire ideally, is for a good relationship based on honesty and truth. The ambassador helps that communication flow between the nation they represent and the nation they're standing before to help them understand who they are, and to have a better relationship.
That's why I come back to my original question, are you an ambassador? So the question is ambassador for who? An ambassador to whom? Are you an ambassador for Jesus Christ? Are you an ambassador to other people? See, other people need to see Jesus Christ and you might be the only Jesus some people ever see, so you're called to be a great ambassador. Now, as I said, hopefully, you're an ambassador for a great nation. We're ambassadors, as Christians, for the living God who is perfect and holy, splendid and magnificent, amazing and wonderful. We get to be His ambassador.
What does that mean? That we represent Jesus Christ well. That we tell people about Jesus Christ, appropriately and at their level, when they're ready to hear it. It means we keep representing Christ well, so that ultimately, we can form a pact between God and the individual. It's called the covenant. It's called the New Testament. It's called the gospel, the good news message, that God wants to forgive people of their sin. Are you an ambassador for Jesus Christ? Do you live your life in such a way that you model and inspire grace and the good news of Jesus for others? Do you make it easy for people to want to become Christians because they admire the way you live? I know that sometimes there are people that don't agree with the way we live as Christians, but they do usually quietly, inside, respect us (and that's not the goal. The goal is only to respect us so that they respect and commit their life to Jesus Christ). But it all begins by being an ambassador.
It says this in 2 Corinthians 5:20-21: We are there for Christ's ambassadors as though God we're making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf be reconciled to God. God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God. Romans 10 says, how will people ever hear the good news unless somebody tells them? Are you telling them, Ambassador? It's the best way to live. Being an ambassador for Jesus Christ is a tremendous honor and there is no greater joy than being such an ambassador before others that they want to follow Jesus Christ too. Some of the greatest joys in my life have occurred that way.
As you know, I've done a few funerals here, and it's always such a joy when people have come to Christ and put their faith in Him here at Lakeshore Community Church. I do those funerals with the biggest smile I possibly can have on my face, because I know as sad as their loss is, it is nothing compared to their tremendous joy as they spend eternity with Jesus Christ. Nothing greater.
So let me pray. Father, I pray that you help all of us be an ambassador, and that we would do what this text says, that we would be an ambassador for others, as though we were making an appeal. "We implore you before Christ to be reconciled to God". That's what the text says. I pray God, that you will help us to be that ambassador who represents you well, so that people can be reconciled to you. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, February 22, 2021
How many of you have problems? We all do. Today, I want to talk to you about God's power in our problems. We have problems every day. That could be small problems or big problems. It could be a momentary problem that's a week, month, year long or it could be a lifelong problem, for all I know. I don't know, but I do know when you have a problem it's an opportunity for God
Monday, February 22, 2021
God has power for all of your problems, not one problem you can't solve. Let him get to work for you.
Friday, February 19, 2021
Today, I want to talk to you about giving yourself to God's work. A lot of people think serving God is optional, and that's unfortunate. What makes it really unfortunate is when people who follow Jesus Christ say, "working for God is optional."
Friday, February 19, 2021
Today, I want to talk to you about giving yourself to God's work. A lot of people think serving God is optional, and that's unfortunate. What makes it really unfortunate is when people who follow Jesus Christ say, "working for God is optional." Now, nobody ever comes out and says that, but what people do is they basically don't work for God. They end up doing their own thing and they end up saying, "well, I go to church and that's work for God." There's some truth to that, but here's what I want to say: You should spend your life finding ways to work for God.
Why should you work for God? Well, He pays well. He has great rewards, a great benefits package. He's a kind boss. Doing His work is thrilling if you really love Him. I get that because of 1 Corinthians 15:58, the very last verse in the chapter, where the Apostle Paul says this: "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." What does that mean, "not in vain"? It means it's not useless. I already told you all the benefits, but here's what I want to say. Give yourself to the work of the Lord.
You might say, "Vince, what does that mean? What does that look like?"
1. Here's the first. Whenever you're at work, model your faith. When you're at home, if you're the parent, if you're the child, whatever you are, model your faith by playing your right part in the family.
2. Here's another one: serve God at church. It's amazing to me how Christians who profess a faith in Jesus Christ, year after year after year, do nothing to lift a finger to serve God in the church. I find that disturbing. This text says, always abound in the work of the Lord, always finding ways to do God's work. You can do God's work at home, at work in church, in so many different places, but He wants you to abound in it, not dip your toe in it. He wants you to get involved in His work. Whether that's working in the church or working with people who are not yet followers of Jesus Christ to help them, whatever it is. Get to work for God. Always be at work for God. Find your way. There's so many ways. God has a way for you.
Ephesians 2:10 says that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. He's got a plan. You just have to do it. You may not know the plan. Just begin to do God's work wherever you are at, the best you can. And guess what? You'll be in God's plan. He'll work it out. He'll open doors for you. He'll create opportunities for you.
Are you abounding in the work of the Lord? He wants you to be because He loves you. He knows it's fulfilling to work for Him. Nothing in life is greater, and that's kind of why I got into the ministry full time from engineering. Working in ministry is so satisfying because I love working for God. It's not always easy, but it's always rewarding and it's always fulfilling. Are you abounding in the work of the Lord? You don't have to be a full-time pastor to do that. No, all you have to be is available. Availability is so important. God cares more about your availability than your ability. He'll give you the ability. You just make yourself available. I hope you'll find a way to abound in the work of the Lord today and every day of your life.
Let's pray. Father in heaven, thank you so much for the reminder, to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in your work and that is not in vain. Help all of us to find your work, to pursue it and to live it. Help us to get to work for you because you are a kind boss. You have great rewards stored for us and heaven when we do. Thank you so much, in Jesus' name. Amen. Hey, it's an absolute privilege to work for God. Are you at work for him? I hope so. Thanks and have a great day.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
I have to deal with so many people all the time throughout the week. I deal with people here at church in a work environment, nearly 15 staff members, other volunteers, and other people that come in.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
I have to deal with so many people all the time throughout the week. I deal with people here at church in a work environment, nearly 15 staff members, other volunteers, and other people that come in. On the weekends, like on Sundays, we're talking hundreds of people. Here's what I have learned. I have learned that if I really want to, I can take things that people say so literally and so negatively that I could be discouraged. I can also choose to give people what I would call "the benefit of the doubt". And I find I live better.
So let me give you an example. Somebody might say something, and then they say, "you know, that was a good message, Vince", and I could think about how come they didn't say it was a "great" message. Somebody could say something like, "I think you could have done better," and I can take it in the most negative way. What I find is that a lot of people can say things and you could take it the most negative way. Somebody can crack a joke and you can say "you attacked me." I have found that if nothing else, give people the benefit of the doubt. When you're not sure how to take something, take it the most neutral or positive way you can. Life goes a lot easier that way.
I get this from 1 Corinthians 13:7, which is one of the 15 traits of love in the Bible. This chapter is called the "love chapter". If you read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, you pick up 15 traits of love, and I want to focus on a few of them related to giving people the benefit of the doubt.
1 Corinthians 13:7 says this: "love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres". Love always protects. Protects what? People and relationships. Love always trusts. Of course, you trust God, but you trust people to the degree in which you can. It says love always hopes. You're always hoping for the best in a relationship, and love always perseveres—it goes for the long haul. So here's what I want to say, when people say things or when people do things, and you're not sure, and there's any possible way that you can interpret it another way, interpret the most positive way possible. Somebody says something, just say they're having a bad day. Or maybe they really meant this, or somebody does something, maybe things aren't going their way. Here's the thing, just give people the benefit of the doubt.
Now, sometimes, you can't give people the benefit of the doubt, because there is no doubt what they did was mean and awful and vicious. And listen, it is what it is. You have to forgive them and you have to move on. Not forgive and forget, but forgive and release. So, give people a benefit of the doubt. Don't jump on every word and don't jump on everything—don't be jumpy. Let it go. Just let it go. Give people the benefit of the doubt. I know many times people have said, "Vince, you know, I said that to you. I hope that didn't bother you", and I go, "Not at all". You know why? Because I gave them the benefit of the doubt. So instead of taking something and running with it negatively, when you give people the benefit of the doubt, you're better for it and you give them room to be better for it as well. Do you give people the benefit of the doubt? It's a great way to live.
Let's pray. Father, I pray that you'll help us give people the benefit of the doubt. Lord, You gave us the benefit when there was no doubt that we did not love you. We were sinners and we turned our back on you. And I pray Almighty God because you gave us the benefit when there was no doubt that we were alienated from you and sinful. Help us to give other people the benefit of the doubt as well. We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen. As you go throughout the day, don't take it the wrong way. give people the benefit of the doubt as long as you can.
Monday, February 15, 2021
Hi everyone, welcome back to another week of Life Lifters. We live in a day in which we suffer from a critical disease called "me-ism", where we tend to think about ourselves.
Monday, February 15, 2021
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Hi everyone, welcome back to another week of Life Lifters.
We live in a day in which we suffer from a critical disease called "me-ism", where we tend to think about ourselves. We used to have a magazine in our country called "Self", which seems appropriate. For this disease, me-ism, we have a term called "narcissism" where all we do is think about ourselves and what interests us. We all know that's wrong, but unfortunately, we're all tempted to live in "Me-ism Ville". That's a new word (or place)!
I want to instead propose a new idea that's completely countercultural, radical, and goes against the flow of everything you probably see, read and hear: put others first. It's interesting that narcissistic people that focus on themselves are the most unhappy people. All the research shows you this; the more you focus on yourself, the more unhappy you are because all you're doing is examining yourself and critiquing yourself. It's why social media is such a colossal flop for so many reasons. I mean, it has some positives, for sure. The negative of social media is that you see all these people putting their fake images of themselves out there, and meanwhile you're going, "I don't seem that happy, I'm not doing all these fun things like they are." All social media can do quite often is feed narcissism, or me-ism. All the research says that it will depress you. "I think about myself all day long."—It's a radically depressing thought. But you know what the research shows about people who put others first? They are the happiest people! Counterintuitive? Countercultural? Yeah, but it works.
I get this idea from the words of Jesus Christ with one of his marquee statements in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10, verse 45, where he said this: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He didn't come to be served, but to serve. Now, Jesus Christ is God. Jesus Christ is perfect. Jesus Christ deserved to be served. Instead, He served. Why? Because in His humanity and deity, He loved us to the full and because of this, He served us. He served us because we needed serving because of our sin. He served us because He loved us. He also served us so that He would be a model for us. In fact, here at Lakeshore, when we teach people about leadership, we teach about not just any leadership, but the driving motive for the leadership we teach here is servant leadership. Servant leadership puts other people first.
Do you put other people first? It's really hard, in fact, it's probably impossible, but I can say this: when you begin to engage and appreciate God's love for you, then you have something to give others. You cannot give what you do not have. But if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a Christian, and God's love is in you, and then you can put others first.
I already told you that if you think about yourself all the time, it's depressing. If you think about others first, it's enjoyable, but here's the thing: if you put others first and yourself second, you're going to be more satisfied because what happens is when you put others first, most 'reasonable' people will be appreciative of you. It will encourage you and you'll feel more satisfied. If you think about yourself, people are going to think, "I don't want anything to do with that". That's depressing. So, put others first. When you do, you'll find life has more meaning. If Jesus Christ said the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give His life for ransom, I'm thinking that's the right way to live for me. Is it easy? No. It's especially hard if you're Italian, but I can tell you this: it's worth it. I think it'll be worth it for you, too.
Let's pray. Heavenly Father, thank you so much for this reminder to put others first. If you Lord, and your Son, Jesus Christ, put others first, help us to do it. Help us catch ourselves when we're trying to put ourselves first, and others second. And help us to think about ways we can elevate others and when we do, you'll lift us up. You say that the last shall be first when we humble ourselves. You will exalt us. So many great promises. So help us to do that. Help us start at home, start at work, start in our neighborhood and do it to everyone we can. We asked this through your Son, the servant leader, Jesus Christ, Amen. Thanks for joining us today. Have a great day.
Friday, February 12, 2021
Our world has a lot of people that have a lot of views. That's to be expected when you have 7 billion people on the planet. The problem is how people share these views. Some people share them, peacefully and quietly. Some people share them violently i
Friday, February 12, 2021
Our world has a lot of people that have a lot of views. That's to be expected when you have 7 billion people on the planet. The problem is how people share these views. Some people share them, peacefully and quietly. Some people share them violently in an anarchist way. Regardless, if we don't share our message with love we never can win anybody to our side. And what the world needs is love, sweet love. And I get that from a passage in Romans chapter 13, where it talks about love as we get closer and closer to the very end of time as we know it and the Lord returns. Romans 13:8,10 says, "let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law". So the first thing it says is that the only thing we should ever owe people is love. You always owe people love. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you forfeit your right to hate anybody because God doesn't hate anybody. He hates sin, but he doesn't hate people. So that's the first thing, we need to be a source of love.
Then I think about verse 10, where it says, "love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore Love is the fulfillment of the law". We see a lot of people saying "you need to change", but they're saying it with a bat, or catching things on fire, or punching, stabbing, shooting and killing people. There's a lot of violence in our world and there's a lack of love. In fact, Jesus said "the love of many will grow cold" in the end times, and I think we're getting they're getting very close to there, if we're not they're already.
But this is your chance to shine, to show love when there's so much hate. I know this --I'm responsible for my behavior. I'm not responsible for how people respond to my queries. So be a person who extends love. I know Valentine's Day is for your sweetie, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your husband or wife if you have one. But, let's extend love and show love to people. We owe that to them. And if we want to represent Jesus Christ well, if we want to be heard, if we want to make the world a better place, we have to communicate the message of love. And most importantly, perhaps, if we want to model Jesus Christ so that people will see Him in us, let's show love.
So when you see people remember you owe them love and if you really love you will show no harm. Love is the fulfillment of the law. So I hope this week that you'll be a loving person that you'll show love everywhere you possibly can. I think your life will be better for it and maybe the world's a little better for it.
Let's pray. Father in heaven, thank you so much for your love. Your love is what fuels our love. We live in a world of hatred, and enmity, and strife and bitterness, and cantankerous and fighting. I pray that we'll be people of love that we will love the people that we engage with even if we disagree. I pray that we'll be able to show your love through it and that people will see you in us. I thank you for this, in Jesus name. Amen.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
This devotional for today is called Hope For The Heart. Our hearts are the place where hope resides, or where hope doesn't reside. And we need that for our heart. I don't know where you're at. But some of you may need an infusion of hope, a little hope encouragement blast, a little energy, a little love, a little affection for that hope. I want to share it with you today from John 14.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
John 14, gives them that comfort that even though Jesus would leave them, he'll come back. I believe the very comfort he gave the disciples 2000 years ago, is the same comfort he extends to us. Now, look at what it says, Jesus speaking to the disciple says in John 14:1, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me." Why? Because he is God. It continues, "In my father's house, are many rooms. If it were not, so I would have told you, I am going there to prepare a place for you? And ifI go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Then jumping to John 14:6, it says "I am the way, I'm the truth, I am the life. And no one come comes to God the Father except through means of me".
So what kind of hope do you need? For what do you need it for? Jesus said, these words will comfort you and I pray that the hope of heaven will get you through the hurt of life on Earth.
Let me pray for you. Father, we all need an infusion of hope. We all get discouraged and I pray whatever it is that, even now, the thought of being with you in heaven will give people hope, a hope to cope. Thank you, Lord, that you'll come back for us, if it is our privilege to be here when you come back at the rapture, that next great event in the future. But regardless of how, when we die and stand before you as Christians, we will be in heaven. Thank you for this, in Jesus name. Amen. I pray that fills you with hope and I hope you have a fantastic day.
Monday, February 8, 2021
We live in a world that can make us feel very alone and isolated. Even people that we think are our friends, sometimes, can turn against us. Life can turn against us and sometimes we just feel so alone. You may think or even say "you'll never understand, you'll never know, why should I even share that with you" and we feel so alone. And Jesus says I'll never leave you and never forsake you.
Monday, February 8, 2021
This Sunday, Febraury 14th, we're beginning a brand new series called "You Are Not Alone" and today I want to talk to you about this idea. You are not alone. You are never alone. The great news of life is that you don't have to be alone. You know, you can not be around people and not be alone, just as easily as you can be around a ton of people and feel very, very lonely. So either case, the good news is that if you're around people, you can feel lonely, but when you have God, you're never alone.
And when God is with you, there's a tremendous comfort in that. Where do I get that from? I get that from you my life verse, Hebrews 13:5b-6. I'm starting at 13:5b because 13:5a says, "Be free from the love of money". Now, I have all kinds of problems just like you do, we all struggle in many ways, but persoanlly I don't struggle with money. It's just not a problem for me. I have other problems, which I'm not going to share with you here, but it's the second half that helps you understand that you're not alone. And it's my life verse.
It says this in Hebrews 13:5b-6, "Be content with what you have, because God has said, 'I will never leave you will never forsake you'. So that we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'". I'll never forget, it was April or May of 1985, I was graduating from our RIT, I was a brand new Christain and I had a calendar tacked up behind my desk. It was a Christian calendar and each month had a scripture, and it had this verse. At that moment, that spoke to me because I was going to graduate, move to Florida and I was going to be alone. My mother wasn't going to make my meals, my bed or anything else. I was going to have to do it all myself. (By the way, when I went to the grocery store, all I got was instant food. If it didn't have the word "instant" in front of it I didn't buy it. I felt like "wow", I'm going to be all alone. It was going to be three months before my wife and I got married. So I was going to be in Florida for June, July and August all by myself, then come back and get married, August 31, 1985. That verse gripped me, that God will never leave me and he'll never forsake me. Isn't that good?! He'll never leave me. He'll never leave you. Isn't that amazing?
You might think, "I've done some pretty dumb things". He'll never leave you, he'll never forsake you or turn his back on you. We live in a world that can make us feel very alone and isolated. Even people that we think are our friends, sometimes, can turn against us. Life can turn against us and sometimes we just feel so alone. You may think or even say "you'll never understand, you'll never know, why should I even share that with you" and we feel so alone. And Jesus says I'll never leave you and never forsake you. And in the bigger, broader context of Hebrews, the letter to Hebrews, Jewish Christians, they're considering going back to the Old Testament because the Christian life was getting hard for them. They thought, well, maybe we chose the wrong thing. One of the reasons why Jesus said this is to tell them not to turn back.
So I don't know what you're struggling with. I don't know what you're feeling alone, about. I don't know what loneliness is in your life. I don't know if you feel like no one is for you. God is for you. He's with you. He'll never leave you or forsake you. The moment you become a Christian he makes that pact with you and it's a good pact.
Are you struggling? Say "God I'm lonely but with you, I'm Never Alone. Comfort me. Fill me. Help me have your peace. Help me have your strengths." And God will do it.
Let's pray. Father, there may be a number of people reading this that feel alone. I pray that they would look to you and turn to you and remember that with you, they never have to be alone. You will never leave us nor forsake us. And as the text says, and you'll give us the boldness to say, "The Lord is my helper, who shall I fear? What can man do to me?". Thank you, Lord, for giving them this peace and comfort. In Jesus name. Amen.
You don't have to be alone. If you want to learn more about this fact that you're never alone for the next five weeks, that's going to be our series here at Lakeshore Community Church. We would love to see you here. If you can't make it here in person, you can join us at Lakeshorechurch.org and click the watch now link at the top of the webpage. We'd love to have you join us. Have a great day!
Friday, February 5, 2021
We've reached the end of our 10 session Life Lifter study on "Our Identity in Jesus Christ". Who are you in Jesus Christ? Do you know? It's important that you know. You're never going to live out the fullest blessings of God, you're never going to enjoy life to the fullest until you understand your identity in Christ. Yet too many Christians don't know who they are in Christ.
Friday, February 5, 2021
Well, we've spent the last two weeks talking about our identity in Christ based on the most incredible chapter describing our identity in Christ in the most depth and detail, Ephesians chapter one. I won't review all the previous things, but we've talked about nine important ways to understand your new identity in Christ, and you can review any of those previous Life Lifters. Today, I want to talk to you about the final one, and that's your identity in Jesus Christ is that you are assured.
Ever go into a situation where you weren't sure and somebody says you can do this, and you aren't sure you believe them? Well, when God says you can be assured, you are assured. God assures us that he'll never leave us or forsake us. He assures us that we're his and he assures us of our inheritance. When you become a Christian, you get some things now, you'll get some things as you grow in your faith in this life, but then you'll also get some things in heaven. Those are called your inheritances. Not just heaven, but there's reward in heaven.
1) You acknowledge that God is holy. Do you believe that God's holy?
2) You acknowledge that you're a sinner, not an occasional sinner, but it's your career. It marks you.
3) That Jesus Christ bridged the gap between God's holiness and our sinfulness.
4) That you believe this and receive it into your life. Here's the key - by faith alone. If you're ready to do that, say "Jesus Christ. I believe everything that Vince just described about the Good News, that you are holy, that I'm sinful, that Jesus Christ is the only way between my sin and your holiness and Jesus Christ shed his blood to forgive me and rose to justify me as if I'd never sinned before. I ask you to come into my life right now. Cleanse me and forgive me. Make me a Christian. In Jesus name. Amen." If you do, you have all the things we talked about the last two weeks, you have a new identity in Christ. And I want to tell you today, you can be assured that you're a Christian and going to heaven because of this final truth!