Abounding in Hope

In The New Covenant of God With His People, Jesus Is Our Hope

Ross Sawyers
Nov 29, 2020    45m
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Have you found yourself feeling hopeless in this season of life? If so, take heart; this message reminds you that because of the New Covenant of God with his people, when you are His follower, Jesus is your hope. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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Ross Sawyers: 00:12 What an awesome time in worship, and I just love the privilege it is to be able to sing God's praise. And on this Thanksgiving weekend, we're incredibly grateful that God is our cornerstone, and that Christ and Christ alone is our hope.

Ross Sawyers: 00:32 I received a text the other day, and just wanted you to know I wasn't looking at my texts right before I jumped up here. And I received one, and I asked permission if I could share it. One of the things that we started recently, it was a 44 day challenge to memorize as much scripture as possible. And we've been talking about the underground church, persecuted people all over the world because of their faith, and for many of them the only scriptures they have are the ones they've actually memorized or hidden in their own hearts. They don't have access to God's Word, they don't have devices they can go to. And so we just kind of posed that, and said what if we simulated a little bit, and said, what if we had 44 days, and then after that 44 days, we'd no longer have Bibles, we would no longer have our devices, and the only thing we would have of God's Word is what we've actually memorized. What would that do in us to motivate us in a different way to memorize God's Word, we have different plans that we've put on a website. So if you're interested, it's not too late to jump in, and I would just encourage you to start right where you are.

Ross Sawyers: 01:42 And I think as I read this, it'll give you an idea of one person, and what this has done for them. It says, hi Ross, and she named herself. And then she said, I just wanted to share that the Lord is really using the scripture memory to change my heart. I've been consistently memorizing scripture for the last year, including several Psalms. However, I've never been challenged and stretched the way that I am with First Peter, it is hard. And she put in all caps, it is hard. And one of the challenges, one of the plans, is to memorize all five chapters of First Peter in these 44 days. She said, in order for me to fully memorize and stay on schedule, I'm reciting it multiple times each day. I come back to my Bible throughout the day, I go to sleep reciting the verses, I wake up and recite the verses before I get out of bed. The verses are entering into my prayer time, and even my conversations with my children, God has clearly using these verses to increase my thoughts on him, and it's given me so much peace. My dad has dementia and it's rapidly progressing. I've struggled, especially in the last month, with feeling a deep sense of sadness, but God is using these verses to replace thoughts of sadness and anxiety with thoughts of truth. I'm so grateful that our church has called us to this.

Ross Sawyers: 03:05 I want to note a few things she said in there that I think are really cool and insightful. We don't memorize scripture just for the sake of saying that I know this verse. She's memorizing this, and she said, it's increasing my thoughts on God. It's deepening my love for God. It's increasing my awe of who God is. That's in essence what she's saying, and that's what happens when we continue to hide God's Word in our hearts. And then she said, it's hard. And I love that she said this isn't easy, and it's hard to do. Some people can memorize really easily, for most of us, it's probably hard, it's hard. And I love that she's not skirting that, that this is not a simple thing. What I'm doing in these days is trying to reload on verses that I memorized a long time ago. And there was a day when I was younger that I laughed when people would say they're older and they couldn't memorize as well. And I thought, sure, you can, it's no problem. Then all of a sudden I started losing verses, I would try to quote it and I would think, uh oh, where'd that last phrase go? And then I go find it in the scripture and say, oh yeah, that was it. So I'm just reloading afresh, but it's hard, it's not simple. And it's hard to eat right also, and it's hard to exercise, and do the right things to keep our bodies in shape, but it's worth it. And the scripture says that bodily discipline is of little profit, it's of profit, but compared to spiritual discipline, it's of little profit. And it's a discipline to do it, but it's a joy to do it.

Ross Sawyers: 04:54 And then what did she say? She said, I'm practicing these when I awaken in the morning, and when I go to bed at night, it's coming out in my conversations with my children, and it's part of what I'm even praying. It's just naturally starting to flow through her. And that's what happens, and then what did it do?

Ross Sawyers: 05:16 Her dad has dementia, and is going down at a fast pace, and that's difficult. A number of us in here have experienced that around us, but God's replacing the anxiety of that with His truth, and that's giving a peace to her. That's what God's Word does, it starts to press out those things that are in us that aren't good, and it presses in us those things that are.

Ross Sawyers: 05:47 One of the verses that I've reloaded on is Romans 15:13. It says, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." And that's what I want us to think about, from God's Word, is abounding in hope. Coming off of Thanksgiving, we're entering into the Advent season for Christmas. And that's a term that may or may not be familiar to you, but these next few weeks are called Advent. And the word advent means, come. And the idea of Advent before Christ, is it's an anticipation of the coming of Jesus, the coming of the Messiah. There's also a second advent, so we're on the other side of that first advent, that first coming of Christ. And we anticipate a second advent, a second coming of Jesus. And just as sure as he came in fulfillment to the promises and the prophecies of the Old Testament of our Bibles, we can be just as confident that his promises, yes, that he'll be coming a second time. In this season, as we think about the birth of Christ, and the significance of the birth of Christ, and the advent of his birth, and that occurred. It also causes us to think through his perfect life, death on the cross, his resurrection, his appearing to many, and then one day his return, and we anticipate that return.

Ross Sawyers: 07:27 I was reading an article by John Stonestreet this week, and he was talking about Advent, and he described the Greek word Perusia, which gives us the word come. And it's the word that used when we think about the second coming of Christ. And he said, "When people in that day would have understood and heard the word Perusia, it would have been in context of an emperor coming to town." And it was a big deal. When the emperor came to town, people would put on their best clothes to greet him, and there would be feasting, the best of food. And it would be the best of the best when the emperor came to town, they would have totally understood what that word Perusia meant. And in the same way, we anticipate Jesus coming back, and we do that with our best clothes, in our best [inaudible], the best of the best as we anticipate the arrival of our King. And he noted something else, when people anticipated the emperor coming, they were supposed to say, Caesar is lord. Jesus, we're declaring Jesus is Lord. And when you declared Jesus is Lord, Caesar is not. Jesus is, Cesar is not. And that caused all kinds of persecution for the early followers of Jesus, because they declared Jesus is Lord, not Caesar. In the same way, persecution comes the way of believers all over the world, and it will happen here, because we declare Jesus is Lord, nobody else, Jesus is Lord. We abound in hope when we're fixed on Jesus as Lord.

Ross Sawyers: 09:23 Turn in your Bibles to Jeremiah chapter 31, verses 31 through 34. It's an incredible promise that is given to the prophet Jeremiah, it comes in difficult times, they're in exile and things are not going their way. Things aren't going the way that they want them to go in their country, they've been displaced from their country, and now they're in another country. They had done a number of things that were unjust, and they were relationally not doing well with each other. And in the midst of this comes a promise, and something of hope. And I think that fits our context well, I can't remember a time in the life of 121 where I've ached more with so many people in our church body. There've been more deaths in this past several months of family members, of people in our church, there've been deaths of people in our church. There've been divorces, and relational breakups, that have been devastating to families. There's been the anxiety and the fear of, can I do this, or should I do that, in the midst of the COVID pandemic? There's an unsettledness, depending on your particular viewpoint in the election. There's violence on our streets. There's just so much, that it's so unsettling.

Ross Sawyers: 11:02 I do, I literally drive around every day thinking about this person, or that person, or this person, in the loss that they've had in recent months. But in the midst of that, there's a hope, and our hope ultimately is not in circumstances, and our hope is actually not in each other, we find our hope really in only one person, Jesus Christ, that is where our hope lies. A confident expectation will be a good definition of hope, it's not wishful thinking, as a secular culture would probably describe it, but it's a confident expectation. And we have a confident expectation in our God, and in the Word of God, in which he makes himself known to us.

Ross Sawyers: 12:15 I'd like for us to just think about that big idea of abounding in hope, and I want us to look at it in a promise that was made, that it will be several hundred years before it comes to pass. The context of this particular part of Jeremiah, they're in exile, they're yearning to be able to return back to their homeland, and in this part of Jeremiah, he starts to tell them that there will be a day when you'll return to your homeland. And there's something even more astounding than that, that's about to occur, not only will you return to your homeland, but I'm going to establish something with you that's brand new. Despite the fact that you've rebelled, despite the fact that you're in opposition to me, God says, despite the fact that you're disobedient to the ways that I've laid out life to be lived, despite all of this, despite you turning to idols, to other gods, to things that are more ultimate than myself, I am in hot pursuit of you, and I love you deeply, and this is what I'm going to do. And that's what we find in the promise in these verses.

Ross Sawyers: 13:33 In a smaller context, in verses 27 through 40, there's three sections. This is a way when you're reading your Bible, that you can break things down, so all of us can do this. But there's three sections, and they each begin with, behold, days are coming, behold, days coming. There is something coming, there's an advent of something in front of us, behold days are coming. Verse 27 starts that way, verse 31 starts way, verse 38 starts that way.

Ross Sawyers: 14:05 I want us to hang out in a small piece of scripture, that is a profound piece of scripture in verses 31 through 34, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." There's a future hope, there's a day coming, God says, when I'm going to make a new covenant. And if you like writing in your Bible, and you're doing a study in your Bible, reading your Bible, one thing you might want to do in verses 31 through 34 is circle the word, I. Now, when we talk about team today, we don't like that word, I, that has a selfish idea to it, and we want to think more team in the way we function. But the I here is God in pursuit of us, God in pursuit of his chosen people, which will extend to us. And multiple times we see it's God who's doing this, God is the initiator, God is the pursuer, God is the one who loves us in spite of ourselves, this is who God is. So we know, God is the one, everything centers around God. And he says, there will be a new covenant. Now, if there's a new covenant,, that would imply there's an old covenant. In our Bibles, our Bibles are, if you have your Bible, you have Old Testament is the first part is the little bigger part. The back part is a New Testament, the Hebrew word for covenant is translated into the Latin word Testament, which gives us the English word Testament. So when we think about our Bibles, we have the Old Testament, which really is the old covenant, and then we have the New Testament, which is the new covenant. And that's how we get the way our Bibles are divided up in God's a big story.

Ross Sawyers: 16:00 So there's this new covenant in verse 32, "It's not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD." So he says in verse 31, there's a new covenant, I'm going to give you something new. There's something to have a hope in, a confident expectation there is something new coming, because the old covenant, you broke it. God brought his people out of slavery in Egypt, they'd been an Egyptian slave for 400 years, and God rescued them out, established them as his people, gave them a law. This is what it means to be my people, and God says the kind of relationship I had with you, I was like a husband with you. A husband wife relationship, the most intimate relationship, and you broke it.

Ross Sawyers: 17:06 For many, you know, the disloyalty of a spouse who broke the covenant of your marriage relationship, and you know the heartache, and the pain, and the hurt, more than anyone could imagine. And God has met you with his kindness and grace, even in that hurt. But God says, that's what this is like, you're my people. It's like a husband, wife relationship, it's an intimate relationship, and you broke it. In Jeremiah chapter 11 verse 10, he says it very poignantly, “They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.” They broke it. Sometimes we think, you know, idols are, that's something different, we don't do that idol thing. Or other gods, they're always talking about how they served other gods, or chased after or had these idols. No, an idol would be something that is ultimate, and if God is not ultimate, then it's an idol. That can be anything, anything that we make ultimate over God is an idol, it's a disloyalty to God himself.

Ross Sawyers: 18:52 And in the same way that they broke the covenant, oftentimes for us, we do the same, we chase after other things. Now when we think about a covenant, I've talked about it here just a little bit, but let's define it, let's define the covenant. The word covenant is like a chosen relationship, where two people choose it. It's between two parties that make binding promises, and are moving towards a common goal. If you're familiar with the Bible Project, they do a great little 5 minute and 45 second video on covenants, it's fantastic. So the Bible Project, great resource as well, if you'd like it. So covenant, and that's what marriage is by the way, when we come together, two people, and it's an ideal moment, you're making a covenant, it's a marriage covenant. It's two parties coming together with binding promises, with certain obligations, you're moving towards a common goal. That's a covenant, there's different kinds of covenants, and what we see primarily between God and his people is the person who is stronger, making a covenant with those who are weaker, and then he actually obligates himself to his part. Sometimes the covenant has an expectation on the people, other times, it's all on God.

Ross Sawyers: 20:26 For example, after God flooded the earth, Noah and his family were spared and he made a covenant with Noah. With that covenant, that binding agreement, he said, I'll never flood the earth again. I'm making this covenant with the people of the earth, and there's a sign that goes with that covenant, it's a rainbow. That is totally on God, there's nothing that anyone else does. God has made that promise between himself and us, people of the earth, and he'll keep that promise. With Abraham he made a covenant, and he said, you're going to be a great nation, and have a great name, and you'll have a land, and you'll be a blessing to all the families of the earth. And then later in Genesis 17, he says, the way you'll experience the benefits of this covenant is to walk blamelessly before me, there was an expectation that Abraham and his people would walk in obedience to the ways of God. They ultimately failed to do that, but God honored his end of the covenant. And he would establish a people, and all the families of the earth. He established the people, with the land, and the name. God honors his end.

Ross Sawyers: 21:50 The people go into slavery. I described that a minute ago, God brings them out. And on Mount Sinai, he makes a covenant with Moses and the people, he says, I'll be your God, and you'll be my people. If you obey me, this is what will happen. If you disobey me, this is what will happen. It's not good on the disobedience part, it's awesome on the obedience side of it. They failed to keep it, that's what brings us to where we are in Jeremiah.

Ross Sawyers: 22:17 And then he makes a covenant with King David, the second King of Israel. And he says to him, through your descendants will come someone that will be the everlasting King, there'll be a throne forever, and God will honor that covenant.

Ross Sawyers: 22:42 Those are the old, he says, I'm doing something new, I'm going to establish a new covenant. You weren't able to keep the old, I'm going to establish something new, something where hope abounds. And in the establishment of that covenant, in that new covenant, there's three things that characterize the covenant, it's internal, it's intimate, and it's indescribable. It is mind blowing what God has done in establishing this new covenant, verse 33, let's think about the internal nature of the new covenant. And this is where we find our hope looking ahead, “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." This is an internal covenant. Previously, the covenant they were functioning under in Exodus 34:1 was written on stone tablets. The law of God was written on these stone tablets, and this is what the people were to keep. It was external, that is the old covenant. This is a new covenant, the only thing that was written on our hearts or on the hearts of the people in that day, it wasn't the things about God that were good. Rather in Jeremiah 17:1, "The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus; With a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart and on the horns of their altars." The only thing that was written on their heart, and engraved on their heart was the sin of the people, that's what was written on their heart. And here's this external law, here's all this that I'm supposed to obey or keep, that they were to keep, but nothing internal about it, it was totally external. But he says this covenant, this new covenant, I'm going to put my law within them. I'm going to write it on their heart, it's no longer out here, it'll be internal to the person. And for those who have that internal relationship with God, he will be our God, and we'll be his people.

Ross Sawyers: 25:14 One of things we've been teaching over these last several weeks in our life groups is, we call it just eight ways to follow Jesus, his commands to love God and love each other. And one of the ways we talked about in those eight ways, was to repent and believe. We talked about God's story, and as we look at verses 33 and 34, I want to build that in to what we've been teaching in the eight ways. If you haven't been doing those, this will give you an idea in part of what we're doing. So I started out by saying that there are several I's in these verses, I, God says, I'm going to write this on their heart, and he's the one that's doing it.

Ross Sawyers: 26:02 See, God is the center of the story. When we think about a story, and God's story that has an Old Testament and a New Testament, the old covenant and the new covenant, in this whole thing, both parts of it are God's story. This whole thing is about God, everything centers on God. And at the very beginning of God's story, we see creation. And if you think about a book in chapters, you just kind of think about this as chapter one of God's big story, his creation, he creates everything. He creates the form, and then he creates the people and the animals that will populate the form of what he created, and he does it in perfect harmony. He creates human beings in the image of God, he makes them valuable and sacred, and he establishes marriage in that creation part of his story. And it's connected to God, just right.

Ross Sawyers: 27:04 And I don't know if this is right, you can wrestle with this yourself and shoot me a text or an email and say, I don't think you're right on that, and I'll be good with that. But I was thinking about hope, and I don't know that hope was necessary in this part of God's story, because there was perfect harmony in their relationship with God, there was no need for a confident expectation of something out here because it was perfect. So I don't think hope necessarily existed in this part of God's story.

Ross Sawyers: 27:36 Where hope needs to come into play desperately is in chapter 2 of the story, and that's the fall, and the fall describes when sin entered into humanity and now we have a broken humanity. It's why the covenant was broken because the hearts have sin written in the tablet, and an engraved in their heart, and it's not possible to do the complete and full law of God, so there's a fall. This brokenness that has occurred, and it's what separates us from God, who's the center of the story. So we're no longer connected in this story anymore, we're out here outside of that connection with God, that's the result of sin.

Ross Sawyers: 28:28 There's good news though in the story, and everybody loves a good redemption story. We love it in sports, we love it in the work arena, we love it when somebody bounces back from something tough or difficult, and they come back and it's redemption in what they're doing. And this is what happens, we're separated out from God, and yet through Jesus Christ...and this takes us into the birth of Christ, it's not just about Jesus being born in this season, it's who he is, he's God in the flesh, he's Emmanuel, he's the savior. And he'll go on to live 30 plus years of a perfect life, he'll land on an old rugged cross, and on that cross he'll bury your sins and mine, our guilt, our shame, every layer of that guilt and shame, he'll bear the judgment and the penalty for that sin and death, and he'll bear the very judgment of God that you and I deserve. He takes all that on himself, on the cross, it's astounding what he does there. And this is how it starts to look like in internal change, it's not something that happens out here, it's something that happens in our hearts.

Ross Sawyers: 29:44 I'm reading Timothy Keller's book, The Meaning of Marriage, excellent book for both single and married. And this is how he defines the gospel, it says, "We're more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe." I think that's pretty true. Don't you? I mean, it's easier for me to find the flaws and the sins in you, than it is for me to spot them in myself. We are flawed and more sinful than we ever dared believe, there's more layers to our sin than we even at this moment know. Yet, at the very same time, we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. It's just what God did here, they're an absolute rebellion against him, and he's establishing a new covenant. He's pursuing them. And today it's the same, we're broken, sometimes we actually love pursuing sin. And in the midst of that, God is chasing us down, and he's taking care of it, something has to take care of it, and he's taking care of it on the cross so that we can be free.

Ross Sawyers: 31:06 There is not a sin in the room, in the deepest depravity of our humanity, that Jesus hasn't covered on that cross. I saw the other day, how much effort we usually spend thinking about degrees of sin, and which ones are worse or whatever, You know, we can kind of take a stab at sexual immorality over here, and that seems to be worse than maybe something over here. But one of the verses on reloading on it's, Romans 13 verse 13, and he says for us to lay aside the deeds of darkness and he describes three pairings of words, carousing and drunkenness, sexual promiscuity and sensuality, strife and jealousy. These are interesting pairings, how often do we think of the person who causes strife, and division, and argument, in the same category of sin as the sexually immoral, or the drunkenness, or the carousing? Or how often do we think about jealousy in the same idea of sexual immorality and drunkenness and carousing? Yet, Paul just puts them all right there together.

Ross Sawyers: 32:37 I think we might spend a little too much sometimes thinking about what's worse or not worse, the reality is it's just sin against God, it's vile against him, it's in opposition to him, and it brings no pleasure to him, and it certainly doesn't bring any pleasure to those around us either. Our sin affects way more than we know, yet, in Jesus Christ, we are loved and accepted more than we ever dared hope. It's unbelievable how loved we are, and the way that we move into this part of the story, instead of being knocked out of the story over here, we get brought back into the story through Jesus. And the way we do that is to repent and believe, it's believing what he did, this is the new covenant. Jesus said in Luke 22:20, when he was having his last meal with his disciples, he goes, hey, this is the new covenant, which is my blood out for you. In Hebrews 8 and 9 it says, Jesus is the mediator of this covenant, we don't go through anybody else, we go through Jesus, he's the perfect mediator. And he's better go, through Jesus, he's our way into the new covenant, into this relationship with God. It's internal, so now we're written into the story.

Ross Sawyers: 34:03 Well once we are written into the story, now we have hope, our hope is in the person of Jesus Christ. In verse 34, we see two more marks though, of what happens once we're in the story. Once we actually believe this, “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD." He says, you're going to know the Lord. It's an internal, so it's at the heart level now, and we actually know him. And that word know, is the idea of a profound change of relationship, both with the way we think, the way we feel, and the way we act. It changes everything, there's this radical new relationship that I have with God, the God of the universe, through Jesus Christ, that's what this new covenant is. And it's an invitation for every person to be in this internal and intimate relationship. He's not distant, it's internal.

Ross Sawyers: 35:10 And not only is it an internal and intimate relationship where we're connected in, it's an indescribable relationship. The last thing in verse 34, he says, "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Can you just rest in that idea for a minute? Once we receive Jesus and enter into this new covenant, this new binding that's on him, Jesus is the one that secured it for us. He says, I'm going to forgive you, and I'm not going to remember your sin anymore.

Ross Sawyers: 35:50 Ken Sandy, in his book Peacemakers, writes and he talks about forgiveness at a human level. And we know when we've forgiven someone when I'm no longer going to hold this against you, I'm not holding onto it, I'm not going to bring it up again, I'm not going to tell other people about it. We're done, got to let it go, that's hard as human beings today. In Psalm 103:12, it says, "That God takes our sin as far as the East is from the West, he removes it." I don't know how far that is, I know people start trying to mess with that and make it whatever, I just think it's a big chunking of the sin. Just imagine, no matter what sin it is you've committed, this is the scandal of God's grace, he forgives it through Jesus Christ and releases it. If you've come before Christ, and it's like, we took our sins on here and just erased it, and it's all cleared out. If you're walking around in guilt and condemnation over sin that's already been confessed and forgiven, that Satan attacking you. That's not God bringing that up and saying, hey, remember when you did X, I just want to keep holding that over your head just a little bit longer. That's Satan accusing and attacking, God forgives and releases, that's tough to believe, that's what's so amazing about grace. There's hope right here.

Ross Sawyers: 37:34 You say, well, I've actually entered into God's story, I know Jesus. But somehow I keep sinning, I keep disobeying, what's up with that? Well, the story's not over, see, there's a fourth chapter to God's big story, it's the new heavens and the new earth. And we're living in this, already, not yet. So it's, we enter into God's story and we have X number of days, or months, or weeks, or years, whatever it is God's going to give us. And that's what we're in right here, we're in this in-between time in God's story. So we're already in Christ, we're safe in Christ, we're accepted, we're loved, we're valued in him. And we're His, he's the one that keeps us. And in the meantime, the scripture says, there's this battle going on within us of the flesh against the Spirit, the way our heart changes when we repent and believe, the Holy Spirit of God enters into our lives. And it's the Spirit who teaches us, it's the Spirit who leads us, it's the Spirit who empowers us, it's the Spirit who bears out good fruit in our lives, it's the Spirit who enables us to use the gifts that he's given us. The spirit is who God has given, he radically changes our heart, just the Holy Spirit within us. And there's this war raging between the Holy Spirit of God, and that remaining sinful flesh that rises up and wants to continue to disobey.

Ross Sawyers: 39:20 But what's different, when our hearts are changed, we no longer are naturally inclined to want to disobey God. We more hate the fact that what's going on in us, that we're somehow wanting to disobey, or somehow keep doing the thing I don't want to do. Paul says that in Romans chapter 7, but it's flipped, now that God has changed my heart, I hate it when I sin, and I hate the battles that I have, I hate the addictions that I'm fighting, I hate all of it. And there's this battle, and as I yield to the Spirit of God, he's who enables us to obey God and to keep the law of God. And it's not a burden to do so, it's a desire of our hearts to do so, it's a love for him to do so. It's like a parent and child, a parent who loves the child will gladly and willingly do the things the parent asks, it's not a burden to them. If it's a love relationship, I'll gladly do it. If it's not, then it's external, it's burdensome, it's a beating, it's a whip, I'd rather disobey, that's that old stuff. If we continue to yield to the spirit, and he carries us through to the new heavens and the new earth.

Ross Sawyers: 40:55 Second coming, second advent, that's what will set this in motion? Jesus is the King, he's going to establish his Kingdom. I was talking to someone the other day, and they said that a person they were talking to, in a gathering with said, you know, the idea of eternity, this whole idea of eternity, I would just rather things end, this person said. And you know what? I think a lot of people think like that, I think there are people in the room that think like that. Eternity is kind of a mind blowing idea, it's a mind blowing idea to me. I mean, it's beyond what I can grasp, and I would assume others are like that. And this guy is saying, you know, I would just rather that not be the case, but things just end. And I've really dwelled on that the last few days, I thought that was interesting to hear him say it. And this is what God brought to me just for now, there actually is an end, when you understand what it is that Jesus has done. Because when I realize that he loved me so much that he would die for me, and that he's given life to me, when I believe that and come into relationship with him in that, the old life is ended and now there's something new inside.

Ross Sawyers: 42:14 And it's, already, not yet, and I realize there's still a battle on this planet that I have to walk through, but then there's going to be a second end. And the second end is going to come when Jesus comes back, and everything gets set right, and there's going to be no more tears, no more hurt. I'm not going to drive around with my own heart aching, and aching for everyone else's hearts and their losses, and their relational challenges and struggles, all that will end, and the only thing that will be left in all eternity is the restoring of all things new. Joy, peace, life, no more sin, no more death, no more grief, no more mourning over death, there is an end. And then there's an ongoing new beginning, that's where life is found.

Ross Sawyers: 43:27 These last several months, we've spent a lot of time thinking about how we can learn from our brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world, and we want to continue to do that. In just a moment, we're going to watch a video of one of our global workers apologize to those who are online on this particular one, the security is such that we can't show the video online, so we'll just be able to watch it here. If you're online with us, what I would encourage you as you think about this passage today, to take some time to reflect on just the hope, the abounding hope it's in Jesus Christ. Grateful if you know it, and if not consider it today, of being written into God's story and what he has established in that new covenant. And then I would encourage everyone, this coming week, to maybe do the Lord's supper together in your family, with life group,, maybe get a couple of friends together. And we've learned in the eight ways how to do that, and I hope that can be just a good reminder of the hope that we have when Jesus said that he's established this new covenant.

Ross Sawyers: 44:46 And so we're going to just break from our online, thanks for joining us worship today, and we just appreciate that we have that opportunity to be together in that way.



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