Calm In The Chaos

We Can Find Calm In The Chaos Through The Peace Of Christ

Ross Sawyers
Apr 17, 2022    1hr 16m
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This Easter message reminds us that once sin entered the world, chaos ensued, but through faith in Jesus' life, death on the cross, and resurrection, we can find calm in the chaos through the peace of Christ. When we know who God is and what He has done for us, we can live in peace through all life's tribulations. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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Ross Sawyers: [00:00:02] There is so much chaos in our world right now, and the definition of chaos is disorder or confusion. And when we think about all the things going on in our world, there's the war that Russia has on Ukraine right now, and we hear about that daily. And that's just the advertised war right now, there are a number of wars going on in our world that are not advertised, they're not the ones the media is choosing to place our attention on.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:30] There's chaos in our political world, there are divides everywhere. There are divides at the local level in our schools. There are divides at the city level with our city councils. There are divides at the state and the national level, and at the world level. There are different philosophies and different agendas that people are driving and moving towards. There's a lack of trust in institutions. There's an anger that simmers beneath the surface and oftentimes rises above. There's a pandemic that we seem to be past, and yet now we hear there's more coming. There's debate over masks or not masks, vaccinations are not vaccinations, there's been illnesses and deaths, and there are ongoing ways that people are still recovering. It seems to me that we're at an all-time high in our country of anxiety and depression and mental illness. And then we have ongoing racial issues; we have the highest inflation that we've had since 1981; and then this past week, we had violence on the New York City subway. There are marriages that are in conflict and that are struggling. There are generational divides.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:36] And right now, it seems to me I may be off, this might be what usually happens in generations, but it seems to me there's a greater divide now, and we see chaos because there's a mass exodus of teenagers and 20 somethings from the faith. It's not just a wandering away, like a party kind of stage, and then one day they'll work their way back. It's a full-on rejection of God, of Christ, of the Scripture of ways that we've taught our kids to rise up. There's sexual and gender and moral upheaval in our culture. It just seems like anything that we can name, it is in some kind of upheaval or chaos.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:19] Judges chapter 21 verse 25 seems to me, to sum it up well when it says that "Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.". And when we all go about our own thing and decide we're the authority for that thing, then chaos is the result of that. And then Psalm 81 verse 12 says, and God says this about those who choose to do things the way they want to do them, "I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices." And this is what we get when we have stubborn hearts, and we walk in our own devices. It's a frightening thing to hear the words from God, that He gives people over to their stubborn hearts.

Ross Sawyers: [00:03:03] So how do we find calm in the midst of so much chaos? And I would say today that peace is much closer than we would think. I don't know if you're a golf fan or not a golf fan, but a week ago, Scottie Scheffler won the Masters, which is really probably the premier golf tournament for the year. One of the things that was impressive about Scheffler is the calm with which he carried himself on the golf course in the stressful moments. On Sunday afternoon, it looked like he had it secured, there were some rocky moments early on, but he maintained his composure. And at the end of his time playing, it looked like about the 17th hole, they could safely talk about him being the winner. My wife and I were watching, and it took us back when we heard the announcers, they started to describe his life. And what is unusual to me today on network television is to hear someone talk about someone else's faith, and they started saying, Scottie Scheffler is a man of faith and that his caddie, Ted Scott, he met him at a tour Bible study. I thought, wait, I just heard him talking about a man of faith in Bible study on the 17th hole of Augusta. And then they asked his sister, they said, what can you tell us about Scottie that the world would want to know? And she said, we're just normal, we're just a family that loves each other. And when he won the tournament and it was a dramatic 18th hole, but when he wins the tournament, you could tell the way his wife loved him, you could tell his family that was all there gathered with him, it wasn't just a typical here's the big win, it was a family you could tell that just really loves each other. It was a beautiful picture.

Ross Sawyers: [00:04:55] Scheffler, though in an interview later, said that Sunday morning he was not so calm, he actually had quite a bit of nervousness in thinking about the day. What if he blew the lead that he had? And his wife, Meredith, is the one that reminded him of what he needed to hear. And we all need reminders, don't we? We need to be reminded of what is our center. We need to be reminded of where we can find our calm and our peace. Sometimes we drift away from that anchor and that core. So Meredith reminded him that his identity is not in golf. She said to him, whether you win or lose today, I think she said, if you lose by ten strokes today, remember that I still love you and Jesus loves you, nothing changes. Your identity is not in golf, your identity is who you are in Christ. And he went on to say, all I'm trying to do is glorify God in the position that He's placed me, and his wife, he said, prays for peace for him every day. His wife is not praying that he will find peace from the circumstances around him. She's not praying that he'll find peace in what this world has to offer. She's not praying that he'll find peace in her or that he'll find peace in his friends or anywhere else, she's praying that he'll find peace in Christ.

Ross Sawyers: [00:06:35] Jesus said in John 16:33, on the night before he would be hung on a cross, he said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.” There's a little phrase in there, 'in me', Jesus says, in me, you'll have peace. In me, it's in Christ that we have peace. Now, how did we get to the place where we live in such a chaotic world? Has it always been this way? The answer is no, God created everything in the very beginning, and when he created it, he created it perfectly. He created the form for everything to exist. He created the people and the animals and the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea to populate that which he formed. He put in place the natural laws that would govern the universe. He created man and woman, male and female, in His image, he created them. He created the workday, six days of work, and one day of rest, he created that rhythm. He created marriage, all that was in perfect harmony, perfect calm, perfect peace.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:58] But God also gave those first two humans freedom, and they chose to misuse their freedom. And once that freedom was misused, sin entered into the world. And once sin entered into the world, then chaos ensued. Sin affects our physical body, sin affects our emotions and our feelings, and sin affects our traditions, the way we view life. Sin is why we're selfish and prideful, and while we have so much self-glory that competes in our hearts for our hearts' loyalty, sin actually puts our own human heart in chaos. Satan takes advantage of that and overrides our hearts with death, despair, discouragement, and deception. The world clamors for us to adopt its ways, with every cultural swing to get in on it, and our flesh yearns for us to feed it with more and more jealousy, coveting, drunkenness, and sexual immorality. Now, it's no wonder that we have such chaos today when we have such blatant misuse of freedom and the consequences that come.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:36] And yet God entered into this chaos with us, he entered into this chaos by way of Jesus, through a virgin birth. And I'd like for us, just for a few moments to run the story, not just on Easter weekend. I've thought about this, I thought a lot of times people come just Christmas and Easter, maybe they pick some other times, and I actually love that you come. But I started thinking if you do that for a lot of years, the only thing you know is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, he died on a cross, and was raised from the grave. So I just wanted to move us from Christmas through Easter and complete the picture a little better, so we'd look at that bigger story, but how do we have calm in the midst of chaos? And when we see Jesus's life, how do we see him move through all the chaos in life with perfect calm? And it's a calm that's available to you and to me.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:42] Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and we don't usually hear this story around Christmas because it's a little too violent. But after Jesus was born, Herod, who was threatened by this newborn baby, believed that perhaps he would be a king someday and supplant him. He was enraged by being tricked by the Magi, and so he performed a decree of violence against the two-year-old’s and younger in Bethlehem and the vicinity around it. An Angel of the Lord had told Joseph that he needed to get the baby Jesus, and the mother Mary, and flee to Egypt, so they'd fled. But Herod didn't want to miss in taking out this baby, so he had all those two-year-old’s removed. In Matthew 2:16, "Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi." See, Jesus was born into a period of chaos, people already felt threatened by him, and there was all kinds of chaos and panic around him. The joy that had come just not too much before this, when the angels were declaring that Jesus was born, that He is the savior of the world, and that He would bring peace to all mankind. Only a few days after that, or some period after that, we see chaos ensue around him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:12:25] When Jesus was 12, he went to the Passover feast with his family. And when his family left, he decided he would stay. His family didn't know because it was such a large caravan, each person assumed maybe someone else had him. And it was after a day's journey, they realized Jesus wasn't with them. We can all identify, I think, as parents, just for that one moment when a kid gets away from us, we're not sure. And there's that moment of anxiousness that runs up in our hearts of where are they? Can you imagine being a day's journey away, and realizing, where is he? Well, they make their way back, and it's after three days they finally find him, and they find him and he's at the temple with the leaders of the temple and the teachers, he was listening and asking questions at 12 years old. And when they saw him, "They were astonished, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” See, we're anxious, our hearts are divided, and they get a little bit chaotic with anxiety, and that's what was happening with Jesus's parents in this moment. And yet the 12-year-old boy, Jesus, was perfectly calm, didn't you know that I had to be here?

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:45] Several years later, then Jesus enters into what would be around a three-year period of time where he would minister and do the things that God had had him come to do. And at the beginning, the Holy Spirit of God leads him into the desert, and when He's led into the desert, after 40 days of fasting, the devil tempts him. How does he respond? He responds with calm, and in the strength of God's word. He responds to each temptation of Satan with Scripture; he responds with the strength and truth of God's Word. He maintained a calm in the chaos of Satan's temptations.

Ross Sawyers: [00:14:27] Then Jesus would find himself, and we see it described in Matthew chapter 8, on a boat in the Sea of Galilee. His disciples are with him, and a great storm rises up, Jesus had gone to sleep. It'd be good to be so calm that you can just sleep right through the storm. The waves were coming over either side of the boat, and the disciples were getting panicky, it looked a little chaotic to them. They couldn't figure out why Jesus was sleeping, and so they go over, and they wake him up. Hey, Jesus, wake up, save us, we're perishing. Now Jesus wakes up, and when he does the first thing he does, he doesn't calm the storm first, "He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm." Jesus went to sleep, calm, he was awakened amidst a panic, and he awakened, calm, and then he brought a perfect calm to the elements. Jesus is our perfect calm.

Ross Sawyers: [00:15:42] Then he goes to the other side of the sea, and he encounters a man that was in the tombs. And the reason that he was in the Tombs is he had some unclean spirits or demons in him. And he was so demonically plagued that no one could bind him, they couldn't keep him contained, so that's where they put him, just get him out of the way. He was screaming at night, and he was gnashing himself and kind of gashing himself. And here comes Jesus, and the demons knew that Jesus was more powerful than them. And they asked if they could just be thrown into the swine, and so Jesus cast them out into the swine, into the pigs, 2000 of them went running over the cliff off the edge. The Scripture says in Mark 5:15 that then the people in the city came out, they heard about it, and they came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the “legion”; and they became frightened because this man was so calm. Jesus is the one that brings calm to the troubled and plagued soul, so much so that people, when they see the calm, they don't even know what to do with that. Calm in the chaos.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:07] And then we come to the night where Jesus would spend his last meal with the disciples, it was the Passover meal, the same one that when he was 12, he had begun going to with his family. He would redefine the meal on this night, it was then to be thought of as a way to remember, to be reminded, that Israel had been enslaved to Egypt, God had brought them out miraculously and rescued them, and whoever had slain the Passover lamb placed the blood on the doorpost, the death angel would pass over them that night. But Jesus would infuse a new meaning that night into the Lord's Supper, no longer would it represent the same thing, rather it would represent when they had the bread that would represent his broken body, and when they took the wine, his shed blood, and he would be the one that would rescue them from their sins. They wouldn't have really totally understood what he was saying yet that night, but they would know later that that was a way to remember what he did for them. We need to be reminded, just like Scottie Scheffler needed to be reminded by his wife, to remember. But Jesus did this meal in just the moments where it would only be a few hours later that all chaos would break out in his world. He did this meal with his 12 disciples, one of whom would, in just a matter of moments, betray him. He kept calm and led them and taught them during this meal, and he washed their feet in an act of humility, knowing that one of them would deny him three times. He did this with the other ten, knowing they would all flee when he most desperately needed his friends. Yet, there was a perfect peace and calm in him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:19:18] In John 14:27, he said on that night to them, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." In me, Jesus says in John 16, you'll have peace in Christ. Well, Jesus found his own heart and soul to be in a place of chaos, he went to the Garden of Gethsemane, and he took his disciples with him. And he knew what was about to happen and he needed to spend some time with his Father in prayer. He took his disciples with him, he had three of them stay a stone's throw away, and he went over here by himself. And he began to pray, and as he prayed, his disciples fell asleep. It says, "He went a little beyond them, fell on his face, and prayed. And this is what he said, he said, My father, if it's possible, let this cup pass for me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will." Jesus agonized in that prayer in his heart. Do you ever find yourself in those places of just pure agony over what's going on in your circumstances? Jesus found calm by going before his Father in prayer alone, by asking his friends to step in there with him. Jesus found calm by anchoring himself into the Scriptures, the truth of God. Peace is found in Christ and Christ alone. A large crowd would come into that garden and Judas, his disciple that had been with him, would lead the charge with a kiss. And they came with swords, and how did Jesus maintain a calm when he had all these people that were about to perform all kinds of violence against him? Well, it says the scriptures had to be fulfilled, he maintained a calm because he knew what the Scriptures said.

Ross Sawyers: [00:21:29] So when we look around us today and see all the chaos in the world, Jesus said it will only get worse, there will be more and more chaos before I come back. We can maintain a calm by knowing that the Scriptures have to be fulfilled, and we can walk peacefully and do what's difficult.

Ross Sawyers: [00:21:49] Oh, they came at him, the high priest, they falsely accused him, and yet he remained silent before that high priest. They spit on him, they beat him, they slapped him, they mocked him, Peter denied him, he went before Pilate, he went before Herod, he didn't respond to Herod. He was mocked, dressed in a robe, and he was sent back to Pilate, the crowd was insistent that he be crucified. Pilate thought he was innocent, but handed him over anyway, what a gutless leader. The Scriptures had to be fulfilled, and Jesus maintained a peace and a calm in the midst of all of it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:22:32] He would hang on a cross for 6 hours from nine in the morning till three in the afternoon, the soldiers would mock him, and the rulers would sneer at him, the ladies who followed him so closely for three years stood at a distance and wept over him. And yet hanging on the cross, in a calm, he said, "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing." Christ said in me, you have peace. We too can stand in the midst of people who don't know what they're doing when they're rebelling against God and ask, Father, forgive them, they don't know, they don't know what they're doing. From noon to three darkness came over the land. At 3:00, Matthew 27 says, the rocks split, there was an earthquake, the veil was torn in two at the temple, and the tombs of the saints were opened.

Ross Sawyers: [00:24:01] In Matthew 28, we're told that these ladies on that third day, they showed up at the tomb, but the stone was already rolled away, and Jesus wasn't there. And an angel said to them, "He's not here. He's risen." And then the angel said, Remember. That's what Scottie Scheffler's wife said, let me remind you of who you are, remember. This is what the Lord's Supper says, remember. The angel said, remember what he said? The Son of Man said that he will be delivered into the hands of sinful men, he'll be crucified, and on the third day, he'll rise again. Remember, that's what he said, his promises are reliable, he's trustworthy, and he's dependable.

Ross Sawyers: [00:24:56] And then he found himself walking on a road towards a village called Emmaus, and Jesus connected up with these two guys, and the guys were talking about everything that had happened. They were saying, there's this guy, Jesus, and he came, we thought he was the fulfillment to the prophecy and that he would be the Savior of Israel, and they keep talking and just talking about everything, all the chaos that ensued. And they're just walking away trying to figure out because they're confused and there are all kinds of disorder in their minds. And Jesus, starting with the Scriptures, explained from the Scriptures how he came to fulfill them. And by the time they were through walking, their hearts were burning within them, because they realize they'd been walking with Jesus. He brought calm to their hearts, explaining to them from the Scriptures.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:55] After Jesus was resurrected and the movement of the church began, there was a man named Saul. And Saul hated the followers of Jesus, and he was part of a movement of people that were persecuting and taking out Christians. Until one day he was intercepted by God and God dramatically changed his life. He changed his name, his name would now be Paul, and he no longer would be against Christians, he would be for Christians. And he would write in First Corinthians 15, which is one of our strongest passages on the resurrection of Christ, he said in verses 3 through 6, "I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received." He was just passing on what had been given to him, all I've done in these few minutes is pass on to you what's been given to me, "That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time." Jesus appeared to many, Paul writes of this, and then he goes on to say about the resurrection, if Christ wasn't resurrected, then we won't be resurrected. If Christ wasn't resurrected, then our faith is worthless, you're preaching in vain. Those who have perished before, those who have died before us, we'll never see them again, we have no hope. We're of all people most to be pitied, Paul said, if there's no resurrection of Jesus. But all the evidence says so, he was resurrected. The fact that he was resurrected says that God accepted the sacrifice that he made on the cross for you and for me, he's the resurrected one. There's a way to respond to what Jesus did, it's the way of faith and repentance. It's a trust in what Christ did, it's a trust in the news, it's good news. And it's a turning from the way that we've lived to the way Christ wants us to live.

Ross Sawyers: [00:28:17] The other night, my wife, she was out of town, and when she's out of town, I try to watch movies that she doesn't usually like. And so after I think probably 22 to 24 years, somewhere in there, I watched Saving Private Ryan. It's an intense World War Two movie, it seems to have captured somewhat of the vibe of what was going on. But the storyline, if you saw it, I'll remind you, if you didn't see it, I'm going to ruin it for you, but Private Ryan is on the battlefront, and three of his brothers are killed in World War Two. And the orders are for this group of eight led by Captain Miller, in the story it's Tom Hanks, to go and find Private Ryan and to get him off the battlefield so that he could go home so that his mom would not have to suffer the loss of all four sons. So the movie is about these men and some of them lose their lives to try to find him on this mission. And finally, at the end, Captain Miller actually loses his life. But before he dies, Private Ryan comes over to him and Captain Miller says to him, earn it. And what he means by that is, look at all these people that have sacrificed themselves so that you can go home, spend the rest of your life being worthy of what just happened for you. And then you go to the end of the movie and it's an older Private Ryan, and he's visiting the tombstone of Captain Miller. He's over there by himself, his family is behind him, and he weeps. And his wife comes over to him and he looks at her and says, tell me that I'm a good man, tell me that I lived a good life. And she looks at him and says, you have. I can't imagine having to live with the weight that Private Ryan lived with, that is the total opposite of the gospel. We don't have to earn anything, we don't have to come to the end of our life and beg somebody to say to me, Tell me I lived a good life, tell me that I'm a good man. Scripture says we're not good, Christ is good, it's only in Christ. So it's not by earning it that I'll have this faith in this walk in Jesus Christ.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:08] It's also not what Carl Truman writes in his book, A Strange New World, kind of describing how we've gotten into this chaotic place that we're in today. He calls it an expressive individualism, meaning that what we've done now is we've made our feelings and our emotions, our authority. And that's how we define our inner self, is the way we feel about it, and that can change, it can fluctuate. That's the total opposite of the Gospel, Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." It's denying ourselves, not embracing our sinful self. And in faith, Christ comes in and He changes us from the inside out.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:03] Oh, and it's not that idea today that this is your truth and it's not mine, so just, that's kind of how it is. No, this is God's truth, it's not my truth. I'm passing on to you something transcendent, something bigger than us, it's a faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God. And once we have this peace with God, we can live a life of calm just like Jesus, because it's Christ in us. It doesn't matter what kind of chaos political rulers are putting around us, in the anxiety around us, Jesus can be a calm to that anxiety. Jesus is the one that removes the demonic, he's the one that calms the storm. Whether there's turmoil within or turmoil without, Jesus is the one that can give us stability and a calm. Whether someone betrays us or denies us like they did Jesus, we can move through that with a calm. Whether we're persecuted like Paul, or we suffer, or there's confusion or disorder, remember what Jesus said, "These things I've spoken to you, so that in me, he said, in me, you may have peace. In the world, you'll have tribulation. But take courage, I've overcome the world." Christ has overcome the world, it's in him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:33:45] And I just wanted to remind us of the character of God, and that what I've said tonight, in story, can be believed because of who God is. And when we look at who God is, he is the God who is the Creator. In the beginning, God created the heavens in the earth, so much so that the Psalmist said that the heavens are declaring the glory of God. That means the stars and the sun and the moon and the comets and the shooting stars, everything that's in the heavens, are declaring the glory of God. Surely, we'd want to join the vastness of the heavens and declare His glory. Oh, the Psalmist also said, "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth?" His name is Majestic. "Out of the north comes gold and splendor, and around God is awesome majesty.", the Scripture says. So all of creation praises God and acknowledges who He is, wouldn't we want to join the heavens in all of creation to praise him? He's an awesome God.

Ross Sawyers: [00:34:58] He's also sovereign. Not only is he the Creator, but he's overall and he's in control. He's the only sovereign, He's the King of Kings, he's the one who dwells in unapproachable light. He's immortal and eternal, he's the Lord of Lords. He has a name, Moses was met by him in Exodus 3, "And Moses said, who am I to tell the people that you are? And he said you tell them, “I AM WHO I AM”. He's the self-existent one, he doesn't need you, he doesn't need me, he's dependent on no one. He's self-existent, he's the Triune God. That's my name forever, I Am is his name. He's the God of Providence, the mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps. So God takes both the good and the bad, and he directs it for his purposes. Oh, He is holy, holy, holy, as Isaiah writes, perfectly pure, the whole earth is full of His glory. He's the God who has all wisdom, He has all knowledge, He has all power, and he's present everywhere. He told Joshua, don't you worry, take courage because I'm with you. God is with us. He's the God of loving kindness, his loving kindness reaches to the heavens and His faithfulness to the skies. His righteousness is like the mountains, and his judgments are like the ocean deep. His justice rolls down like waters and His righteousness, like ever-flowing streams. It's God's righteousness and God's justice, that's who He is. Oh, he's the God, there's no one like him, there's no other God beside him, there's no one holy like Him, He alone is our rock, there's no other rock. He's our stability, that's why we can be calm. He's our fortress, our refuge, and our hiding place, and so not to us, Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your truth and Your loving kindness, that's who God is. He's the God of creation, He's the God of history, He's the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and everyone that follows. He's a God who makes himself known, and he made himself known in Christ. He entered into this world with us, he didn't stay distanced from us. He's Emmanuel, God with us, God with us.

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:28] "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is God, He is the principal being of the world. He's the radiance of His glory, and the exact representation of his nature, and he upholds all things with his power, that is who He is. Jesus is God, he rescued us from the domain of darkness, and he transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. He's the image of the invisible God, he's the firstborn of all creation. For by Him, all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth. Whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, invisible, visible, for by Him and for Him all things have been created. And in him, all things hold together, we have no need to fear, all things are held together by him. He's also head of the body, the church, and it was through him that were reconciled by his blood. He's the one that overcame Satan. He's the lover of God's word. He's our authoritative teacher. He's an overcomer of the world. He's the healer of our diseases. He's the consummate storyteller. He's the friend of sinners, including us, and he's the rest for the weary.

Ross Sawyers: [00:38:51] Oh, before Abraham was, he said, I Am. And then Jesus would say several things about himself, he'd say, I'm the bread of life, I'm the one that gives you nourishment, I'm the light of the world in a dark world, I'll guide you through it. I'm the gate, I'm the only way in. I'm the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will never die. I'm the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me. And I'm the true vine, in my Father's the vinedresser, apart from me, you can do nothing, in him, though, we can do all things and we can do them with a perfect calm and peace.

Ross Sawyers: [00:39:33] He's the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, and he's the ransom in Mark chapter 10. He's the high priest and he's the mediator between God and men. He's the one-time offering and sacrifice for us, so that we might be drawn to God. He, Himself, bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. For by his wounds, we're healed. For Christ died for sins once and for all, for the just and for the unjust. So we might be alive to him. This is Jesus, the one who's crucified, He's the resurrected one, He's the reconciler, He's our eternal life. He's our victor, and he's the triumphant one, He's the ascended one, and he's coming again. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever, and he will not desert or forsake those who are his own. He's the beginning and the end, he's the Alpha and the Omega. He's the firstborn and he's the last. He's Jesus, he's our hope, and He's the anchor of our soul. That is who God is, and that's who He's made himself known, is through Jesus. And Jesus said, if you've seen me, you've seen the Father; If you know me, you know the Father.

Ross Sawyers: [00:40:50] Now, I've got a question for us, if this is who God is and this is who he made himself known to be in Jesus, and he's the God over all creation, the God of history, and he's the God through Jesus Christ, wouldn't we want to lay aside our small thinking that somehow our feelings determine who we are, and instead allow the transcendence of God, a vast and big God, to tell us who we are? And what He says about you and me, for those who are his, that we've been chosen before the foundation of the world, if you know Jesus, you've been chosen by him, picked by him, and you've been chosen so that you might be holy and blameless before him. He formed us in our mother's womb when we entered into this planet, he shaped us wonderfully and fearfully, but yet, we were born with that sinful nature, that's a bit of a bummer. And we inherit that sin, therefore, we sin against God. And what the Scripture says, is that we're separated from him, excluded from him, without hope, we have no hope without God.

Ross Sawyers: [00:41:59] But there's good news about us, and the good news is, is that God made us alive in Christ. We were dead in sin, and he made us alive in Christ Jesus by his mercy and by his rich love. So we're alive in him now, this is who we are. We're no longer first thought of as sinners, rather, God sees us as saints, that's our primary identity. He's adopted us as his children so that we're sons and daughters. He's justified us, he's the one that through his blood has made us right before him. He's reconciled us, he's called us a new creation, the children of God. We're forgiven, we're no longer condemned, and we don't have to walk in the condemnation of sin and guilt and shame. We're in union with him, and he's made us a part of the household of faith so that our new family is every person that does the will of God, we're brothers and sisters in his household. We're a part of the body of Christ that he's designed, and He's the head of the body. We're citizens of heaven, we're just passing through right now, that's who we are. We're the bride of Christ is what he calls us, and he's also invited us to be ambassadors for him to represent him in the days that we have. And he says about you and about me, that we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, saved by grace, but we're his canvas, we're his artistry, and he's shaping and molding and painting on us. And so we're just like him when we're about his ways, that's who we are today, people of value in his image. Broken, but made new in Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:43:50] But the life that he's called us to live, we're incapable of living, we need something else, we need the Spirit of God. Because the Scripture says the Spirit of God is the one who says and enables us to call Jesus Lord. The Spirit of God testifies within our hearts that we are children of God. It's the Spirit of God who helps us in our weakness. It's the Spirit of God who intercedes for us, prays for us, teaches us, he guides us in the truth because he's the Spirit of truth. It's the Spirit of God who illuminates his word, who enlightens what he's given us in his word. It's the Spirit of God who glorifies Jesus, who is our power, and who bears out good fruit in our lives. He produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He produces that, so at the end of my life, I won't look at my wife and say, tell me I'm a good man, tell me I lived a good life. That's not what I'll do, I'll stand before God on that last day and say, I stand here only by the grace of God, and any good that ever came out of me it's because you produced it. So glory to Your name, not to us, Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory. Let's do that together.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213