Are you looking for peace, hope, and freedom today? Jesus has a constant cleanse of grace for you!
All right, everybody, welcome to Valley Creek. We are so glad that you are here with us today in this new year. Come on, whatever campus you’re at today, Denton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, The Venue, watching or are listening it online somewhere in the world, will you just help me welcome everybody in together? Come on, we are so glad you are here with us. Happy New Year to you and your family. It’s 2020. New beginnings, fresh starts, second chances, and hope is here because Jesus is here.
Hope is here in 2020 because Jesus is here in 2020. is not somewhere in the past. He’s not somewhere way off in the future. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is right here, right now in your life and whatever is going on, however this year looks to you, what I want to say to you is there is hope for you because Jesus is here.
And so, what we’re doing this year as a church starting together is normally, we start with a theme and a vision for the year and all that kind of stuff. What we’re doing as a church this year is we’re just starting this year by just simply focusing on Jesus. And we’re taking a couple of weeks to just take our attention and our affection and our focus and turn it towards Jesus and allow him to be more than enough for us because if we’re honest, it’s really easy to lose sight of Jesus. It’s really easy to think this is all about church, this is all about religion, this is all about all kinds of other things in your life, in your daily rhythm, in school, in work, in all that kind of stuff and we kind of can lose sight of Jesus being more than enough for every area of our life.
And so, we’re just kind of simply calibrating ourselves, if you will, at the beginning of not just a new year, but a new decade because if we will put Jesus first at the beginning of the first year of a decade, what we’re doing is we’re setting the tone for the next ten years of our life.
You see, I love this verse, it says, “But I’m afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” He says it’s really easy to be deceived and led astray and start thinking that Jesus isn’t enough, that Jesus isn’t enough for your struggle, that Jesus isn’t enough for your marriage, that Jesus isn’t enough for your anxiety or your depression or your stress or what’s going on at school. He says it’s really easy to lose sight of all of that. He says, “What I want to do is bring your attention back to Jesus.”
And so, we said last week, we said what if your 2020 vision was simply Jesus? What if instead of having all those New Year’s resolutions and the goals you want to accomplish and the few pounds you want to lose, that habit you want to break, that new thing that you want to start, you’re like, “You’re already two weeks into the year, you’re probably not crushing it”?
Yeah, yeah. So what if that’s not the focus of our year? What if just how you said it, what if our 2020 vision was just Jesus? You say, “Well, what’s a vision?” A vision is what captures your heart. A vision is what you want more than anything else. It has your attention, it has your affection, it has your focus. And when you are locked into a vision, it’s really easy to have guard rails or boundaries on the side of your life to keep you from drifting because you know where you’re going. Okay.
So I’ve been thinking about that all week. And you know what I realized? I never thought of this before. It’s a really interesting thought for me and I hope it will make sense to you. Do you realize that you are Jesus’ vision? We say, “What if we start this year and let Jesus be our vision?” But do you realize? You’re his vision.
Like you’re the thing that has captured his heart, you’re the thing he wants more than anything else. You have his affection and his focus and his attention. And because you are his vision, it was really easy for him to put guard rails and boundaries on the side of his life, step out of heaven, come to Earth, and die on the cross because you’re his vision.
Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man, Jesus came to seek and to save what was lost.” He came to passionately pursue and save you. And when you catch that you are Jesus’ vision, he’ll start to become your vision. If Jesus isn’t your vision and you have no interest in him and you’re kind of like, “Bro, I’m just here because it’s the beginning of the year, you’re supposed to go to church at the beginning of the year,” that’s okay. If Jesus isn’t your vision, it’s because you have lost sight that you’re his vision. Because when you understand you’re someone else’s vision, everything changes and that’s kind of what we’re talking about in this series.
See, Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” In other words, whatever I’m hearing, my faith in that thing begins to grow. And none of us at the beginning of this year needs our faith to grow and how bad things are, how hard things are, how much we need to improve, how much we need to change. No, no, no. All of us at the beginning of this year needs our faith to grow not in what we have to do but in what Jesus has done.
So we need to hear more about Jesus, the word of God so our faith in Him and what He has done begins to grow and that moves us forward. That’s why I love this verse in Acts that says, “The message of His grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance.” Come on, I love that.
It says, “Grace, grace, grace, Jesus and his goodness builds you up.” It will strengthen you, it will restore you, it will supernaturally charge you. And when you grab a hold of that grace, it will give you an inheritance. In other words, you will get every good thing that Jesus came to give you. Our hearts are drawn and attracted to grace the way a flower turns towards the sun and opens up. Jesus is more than enough.
You see, one day, Jesus went on a mountain side and he began to teach and a large crowd began to develop and the longer he taught, the bigger the crowd became. And he was teaching the sermon on the mountain, one of the greatest messages that’s ever been preached. Then it was just like one of those days, man, that the sun was out, the weather was perfect, Jesus is teaching about the kingdom, the mysteries of heaven, the goodness and the grace of God — everyone was totally engaged and it was just one of those days. You know those kinds of days when you come to church and everything just clicks? It’s like you get here and you find the perfect parking spot for you.
And because you’re a Valley Creeker, it’s in the last row because you leave all the front spots for the guests. So you’re like, “Man, a last row spot. This is a good day.” And you walk in and someone holds the door for you and you get into the atrium and you see some of your best friends there. You didn’t even know they went to church here but there they are and they’re like, “Hey” and you’re like, “Hey”. And you hang out and talk to them and then there’s no line at the café. You get the perfect cup of coffee, the perfect temperature and whatever junk you put in it, it’s just right. “Oh”. And you came early so you had time to enjoy it so you don’t have to throw it out to come in here. I mean, it’s a good day.
And then you get in here and guess what? You get your seat. Like, you are — you know, like maybe you’re sitting in it today, maybe someone else grabbed it today, but you get your seat and there is an empty spot next to you.
You got some elbow room, you can stretch out. Service starts, it’s your favorite three songs, like, ever in your life. Some of you, it’s like we pulled the throwback song from 30 years ago, you’re like, “How did this happen?” The message or the video is exactly the next step that you need to take, then the message starts. It’s like everything is piercing your heart, as if Alexa was relaying what was happening in your life that week to whoever was communicating, because you know Amazon’s keeping a record of it.
So we may as well let the Holy Spirit do something with it. Okay, yeah, yeah. Okay. So that kind of day. Jesus is teaching about the goodness and the grace of God. And off in the distance is this man. And he’s all covered up and he’s hiding behind the rock and he’s got his distance between himself and the crowd, and he’s hearing about this goodness and this grace and he’s got all this doubt and skepticism in his heart like, “Could this really be for me?”
Because he’s a leper, he’s got leprosy. An incurable, contagious disease that forces him to keep a distance from everybody else and be covered up in shame his entire life. We don’t know when he got it, we don’t know how he got it. I’m sure when those first spots started showing up on his body, man, he tried to cleanse himself as hard as he could. And then when he went to work and I’m sure somebody saw something on his arm and said, “Hey, what’s that?” “Oh, no, it’s just — it’s just a bug bite.” And he did everything he could to cover it for a while. And then, as it began to spread, I’m sure he started to compensate for the disease in his life. So he tried to work extra hard and be extra kind to his wife and his children and make more money and bring in as much as he could. And then as it began to spread, eventually, he just started ignoring it because he knew he couldn’t stop it, and then he lost everything, his family, his life, his home, his purpose.
And now he just wanders the wilderness, covered up in shame as his body is falling apart and he’s listening to the goodness and the grace of God. And he’s thinking, “Could this really be for me?”
And Jesus finishes up the message and he sends the crowd away, and the man’s hiding behind the rock and watching everything happen and Jesus starts making his way towards him. And the man is looking and he’s like, “No.” But with every step, Jesus is getting closer and closer and he kind of drops down behind the rock for a moment and waits a second and pops himself back up and sure enough, Jesus is making a beeline for him. And as Jesus is getting closer and closer, he’s thinking to himself, “What am I going to do?” Because he’s basically got two options, to keep covered and hidden or to expose himself to Jesus, which is against the law. Someone with an incurable, contagious disease is not allowed to approach anyone else. And as Jesus comes right to the man, he takes a breath, pulls the cloak off of his head, hits his knees and looks at Jesus, exposes his leprosy and says, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Desperate, humble, broken, and in that moment Jesus does the unthinkable. He touches the man. He touches him. And he says, “I am willing. Be clean.” And in that moment, Jesus didn’t get leprosy, the man received healing. In that moment, Jesus didn’t get a disease, the man received the Kingdom of God. You see, you have to understand in the old covenant, under the law, under religion, sin was the influencing agent. So if a clean person touched an unclean person, the clean person became unclean. In other words, sin was the influencing agent and it would corrupt and erode everything that it touched.
But under Jesus’ grace, when a clean person touches an unclean person, the unclean person becomes clean. Grace is now the influencing agent. Jesus didn’t get leprosy, the man received salvation. And in that moment, Jesus helps him up and he gave him back everything.
I mean, think about it, he restored his identity. The man was a leper. He’s now, once again, a man made in the image and likeness of God, a beloved son. He reconciled the man’s relationships, his relationship with God and his relationship with everyone else in his life because he couldn’t even go home to his own family because of his disease. And Jesus redeemed his purpose. He gave him back a life worth living. Salvation came to that man’s life that day.
I tell you that story because that’s us. Every one of us in this room was born with leprosy. You can say, “No, I don’t have leprosy.” I’m not talking about physical leprosy. I’m talking about leprosy of the soul. See, in the Bible, leprosy is a physical picture of a spiritual reality. We all have leprosy of the soul. Sin, shame, brokenness, darkness. those things you know are in here that you know if anyone else in your life knew about them, yeah. And as we become aware of the leprosy of our own soul, we do the same thing. Man, we try to cleanse it, don’t we? We try to scrub those stains out, but they don’t go away. And then we spend a lot of time covering ourselves, covering our shame by trying to look the perfect way, look beautiful or look handsome or have a personal brand or make sure we have this perfect outward appearance that everyone that sees our life from outside, everything looks right and that doesn’t really work and so then we try to compensate.
We perform and we strive and we earn and we achieve and we try to make more money and win more awards and do good deeds and good works but the harder we try to compensate, the more this thing rages within us and eventually we just kind of give up. And we stand way off in the distance from God and we hear about grace and like this man, we’ve got this skepticism, could this really be for me? And then one day out of nowhere, Jesus just starts beelining for your life. Like all of a sudden, he’s coming right at you and we all know in a sense that we’re playing this cosmic game of hide and seek with God. Here’s what we think: we think God is hiding and we’re the ones seeking Him. We’re looking all over for Him everywhere, but the truth is we’re the ones who are hiding and He is the one who is seeking. The moment Adam and Eve sinned, the first thing they did was ran in the garden and they hid.
And what did God do? Hide and seek was birthed, baby. Adam, where are you? Or how about Moses? Who kills a man in anger and then he runs and he hide as a shepherd on the backside of a desert and God comes to find Moses through the burning bush, “Moses, where are you?” How about David? David, the man after God’s own heart, yeah. When he took another man’s wife, slept with her, got her pregnant, then had him killed, yeah. David’s hiding out in his palace and it’s God who comes through a prophet, “David, where are you?” And today, He comes in our lives and He says, “Hey, come out, come out, wherever you are.” And we get a choice: we can hide and keep ourselves covered and compensate and do our own thing or we can expose ourselves to Jesus and say, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” and he says, “I am willing.” and he wants to touch us and bring salvation to our life.
He wants to restore your identity so you’re no longer a sinner but a beloved son made righteous, forgiven, a new creation in Jesus, he wants to reconcile your relationship with God so you can once again have a relationship with Him and he wants to reconcile your relationship with others because an incurable, contagious disease doesn’t help much in the relational quality or the relational equations of life and he wants to redeem your purpose, he wants to give you back the life that you were created for. And what’s our part? Humility and desperation. Our part of the entire salvation equation is to expose ourselves and say, “I need you.” Psalm 51 look at what it says, “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart.”
In other words, what God wants more from you and me, it’s not religion, it’s not good deeds, it’s not a lot of effort, it’s not trying harder, it’s Jesus I am desperate and broken and I am humbling myself before you because I’ve tried it all and it ain’t coming out. Desperation. Or how about the next verse when Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick, for I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.” He says, “Hey, make no mistake about it. If you think your whole life is put together, you don’t need me.” That’s what you think but that’s not true. He says, “I’ve come for those that know they are broken and sick and need me in every moment of their life. Here’s what I want to say to you.” The barrier, the greatest barrier between you and God is not your sin, it’s your pride. The greatest barrier between you and God is not your failures, Jesus died to take care of those, it’s your pride.
It’s your arrogance, the, “I think I’m good, I’m better than other people around me, I cover it better, I compensate better, I try harder, I do more, I’m not like them.” That’s the greatest barrier, and we need to humble ourselves and say, “Jesus, I need you every day.” Not just on that day but today. Here’s a question, did you come in here today desperate for a touch from God? Or is it like, “No, God touched me 20 years ago.” Can I just tell you, God wants to touch you today too because we live in a leprous world. Look at this, I love this. Are you with me on this?
Look at this, look at this next verse. This is the – “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Interesting. He believes Jesus is able, he’s just not so sure he’s willing. Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man, I am willing, he said, “Be clean. Here’s what I want you to see. Jesus has compassion, Jesus is willing and Jesus is able. Jesus has compassion, Jesus is willing and Jesus is able. Hear me: Jesus has compassion for you. He sees your misery, he hears your cries and he is concerned about your suffering, he sees the sin and the shame and the brokenness and the pain and the darkness in your heart, he has compassion on that divorce, the compassion on that brokenness, compassion on that anxiety and that depression, he has compassion on where you’ve been and what you’ve done and what’s been done to you, he has so much compassion for you.
Look at this next verse, it says when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Okay, the Bible says that we’re sheep. That’s probably not the best animal to be compared to. Think about it. Sheep have no weapons. Come on, man. They don’t have horns. They don’t have sharp teeth. They have no claws. They are not fast and they are not smart.
They have no weapons. But they have the ultimate weapon: a shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for those sheep. Sheep have the ultimate weapon. The shepherd who is willing to lay down his life to stop the sin, the shame, the death, the brokenness that was harassing us and left us helpless. He laid down his life to defeat that for you. He has compassion. And not only does he have compassion, he is willing. He was willing to step out of heaven and come to this Earth and do what he did for you and me.
Look at this next verse. It says but we – this is talking about Jesus on the cross. But he was pierced for our transgression. He was crushed for our inequities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds, we are healed. Jesus was pierced, crushed, punished, and wounded. You never have to question whether or not he is willing. Why? Because you’re his vision. You, you, you are his vision. This is why he didn’t drift to the right or the left. This is why he didn’t tap out and say, “Father, I’m done. Take me home.” No, no, he had a vision and it was you. And he was more than willing and he completely and forever, once and for all, forgave you in Jesus’ name, so maybe we need to stop covering up what’s already been cleansed. Maybe we need to stop compensating for what Jesus has already taken care of. Forgiveness is a decision God has already made.
The question is this: now, are you willing to simply receive it? He has compassion, he is willing, and he is able. Acts 4, “He is able.” Acts 4 says, “Salvation is found and no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given by which men must be saved. He’s not only compassionate, he’s not only willing, he is able, and he is the only one who is able to bring salvation into your life and my life. Jesus is more than enough. Are you with me on that?
Okay. Now, the problem is, we have a very low view of salvation. We think salvation is about praying a prayer so we can get to heaven when we die. That’s a very low view of salvation. Now, let’s make no mistake about this. Okay? There is a real God and there is a real devil. There is a real heaven and there is a real hell.
And we were all born trapped in the kingdom of darkness, but Jesus came to lay down his life to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness that we may now live in the kingdom of God. Yes for eternal life, but also for abundant life. See? Salvation is not about you getting to heaven someday. Salvation in the Bible is about giving – getting all of heaven into every moment of every day, of every area of your life. That’s salvation. It’s not about getting to heaven someday. It’s about getting all of heaven into every moment of every area of every day of your life. In fact the word “salvation” in the Bible is the word “sozo.” It means to save, to heal, to make whole and deliver. Can you just agree with me? That’s a lot bigger than making it to heaven someday. Come on. Listen to me.
We have got to stop reducing the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus to a prayer and eternal life someday. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is so much more than I think about it. It means you’re a new creation. You’ve gone from death to life. The spirit of God now dwells inside of you. The kingdom of heaven is the atmosphere of which you live. There is now an open heaven, a restored identity, a reconciled relationship, a redeemed purpose, you have the keys of the kingdom, you hear the voice of God. Come on. Should I keep going?
Is it little bit more than heaven someday, man. We got to stop reducing it. See? Catch this. In Jesus, you have been saved, you are being saved, and you will be saved. This is really important. Most of us think – most of us think in Jesus, I have been saved. I pray the prayer. I believe in Jesus. Now I go back and live my life.
And when I die, I got that taken care of. That’s not salvation, man. Think of the leper. The moment Jesus touched him, he was saved. Forever, once, always, cleansed, saved. But he still thought like a leper. He didn’t know how to live free. He had always broken thoughts and all kinds of broken circumstances, he still needed to be saved every day to live above that brokenness of his past and one day Jesus was going to come back and he would be saved, once and for all, with a new heavens and a new Earth. That’s us. Listen, you have been saved. If you put your faith in Jesus, and you, by faith, invited him into, you have been saved, forever and always, period, end of story. No one can snatch you from God’s hand. You don’t have to worry about losing your salvation. All of that junk, you have been saved, restored identity, new creation, period, end of story. You’re with me on that? But you are being saved like today. Today, you didn’t just need the grace of God to save you then.
You need the grace of God to live today. You need the grace of God today to go from glory to glory, and victory to victory to be renewed day by day. You need the grace of God for how you spoke to your spouse this morning. You need the grace of God for how you treated your kid or your parent. You need the grace of God today for what you did last night or what you’re thinking about doing tonight. You need the grace of God for the broken thoughts in your head, and the pain in your heart, and the dysfunction, and the places that we go. You need him to save you today too, to pull you up out of the muck and the mire and one day you will be saved because Jesus will come again and make all things new. See, hear me. His grace forgives you of sin. His grace empowers you to have victory over sin and one day his grace will free you from the presence of sin. He holds your past, or he’s forgiven your past, hold your future, but he’s right here giving you victory today.
So if we trust Jesus for eternal life someday, why would we not trust for daily life today? It’s bigger, are you hearing me?
It’s not a one and done thing. Salvation is a desperate dependence upon Jesus today. That’s why it says, “Today is the day of day of salvation.” Every day of your life is the day of salvation, the day when the grace of God wants to pull you up out of the brokenness of the world and bring heaven into every situation of every moment of every area of your life.
Come on, I need to be saved every day. Don’t get confused. Salvation, I put my faith in Jesus, yes, you’re going to heaven, you have eternal life, it will never be taken away. But man we live an inferior life if we don’t think we need his saving grace today.
I need it. Come on, I was talking to one of our Hub students recently and they were telling me about how hard school is. They said every day when they go to school, it’s like going into like a lion’s den and they just get beat down and discouraged and torn apart.
And they gave me this illustration I thought it was so good, they said, I believe in Jesus and so I believe that Jesus has given me a colorful heart. So I have this Technicolor heart, I can see it, it’s what God’s done for me, he’s given me a new heart, but every day when I go school, it gets covered in black. And when it gets covered in black layer after layer after layer, it starts changing how I talk and how I live and how I respond and how I feel and what I think about myself and my situation. And we had this conversation about how we don’t just need Jesus’ saving grace in the past; we need Jesus’ saving grace to cleanse the blackness of the world off of our heart every single day. The junk that sticks, the junk that comes, the leprosy, the fragrance of the brokenness of death and destruction in this world that gets on us is the saving grace of Jesus today, that cleanses and restores.
He’s more than enough. And just don’t need him in your past, you need him in your present. Are you with me on that? And so the question then that often gets asked is:, okay, if Jesus is more than enough, well how do I know then that I’m saved? How do I know the salvation has come to my house? Well it’s really simple, you change. 2 Corinthians Chapter 5 says, “Therefore anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come.” Salvation, if I put my faith in Jesus, I become a new creation. This is the word metamorphosis, like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. When Jesus enters my life, when he touches me, I can’t help but start changing. Can we all agree that when he touched the leper, that leper probably never lived the same again?
How do you get cured of leprosy and go back to living like a leper? There’s change. He’s not perfect, he’s still got leper thinking and leper living and all that kind of stuff, but he’s making progress; he’s changing. Or how about when Jesus says in the next verse, he says, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good. Or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” This is Jesus talking, what he says is, “Hey, if you’re in me, your root system has changed and so your fruits will start to change. But if you’re still in the world, you’ll still have worldly fruit, because the tree is recognized by its fruit.” In other words, our lives tell the story what’s actually happening in our hearts. So here’s what people will say and maybe this is a testimony you have had, people will say, “Oh, I got saved ten years ago, but nothing changed and then ten years later, I rededicated my life and everything changed.”
Okay. You didn’t get saved ten years ago. You heard about Jesus ten years ago. You got saved when you invited him into your life and things began to change. You can’t say, “Salvation has come to my house today, but nothing changed.” I’m not talking perfect. I’m not talking you got it all right. I’m not talking you didn’t mess five minutes after he came into your life. I’m saying, do you have a desire and a grace, a saving grace that is changing you from the inside-out that starts to change and transform how you live? That’s how you know. And every day you’re desperate, “Jesus I need your grace today”– not a prayer I prayed when I was a ten-year-old kid. Some of you that’s your story. Ten years ago, twenty years ago, fifty years ago, somewhere you had a moment, this thing, this encounter, and you prayed a prayer. And since then you’ve lived your own life, but you think, “I prayed a prayer, so I got the eternal life thing figured out.” That’s not salvation. Salvation is, “I am desperate for the grace of Jesus, today.”
Salvation is not, “I needed grace once for eternal life.” Salvation is, “I need grace every day for abundant life.” I need his grace, his saving grace in my life, today. Last thing and I’ll pull it all together. There is one other story that we read about, Jesus encountering lepers. There’s ten lepers, they’re off at a distance. Jesus is coming by and they cry out, “Jesus, master, have pity on us.” He says, “Okay, go show yourselves to the priest.” And as they went, they were cleansed; Jesus healed them. And when they realized the Leprosy was gone, nine of the lepers took off and went back to their life. Went back to their girlfriends or their wives or their jobs or their homes or whatever they left, they all just took off. But one leper, when he realized he was healed. It says, one of them, when he saw what Jesus had done in his life, he was healed, he came back praising God in a loud voice and he threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.
Come on. Ten lepers get healed and only one comes back. We hear that story it makes us mad that, doesn’t it? Like it makes us indignant, like are you guys, are you kidding me? You had leprosy for years and Jesus heals you and you go back to your girlfriend? That’s the first thing you’re going to go do. Right? Because you put yourself in that situation of like, oh, well, how — okay. One came back. Why? Because when you actually start to realize how incurable and contagious your brokenness is and what Jesus has done, you can’t help but be drawn back in. It’s grace, not shame, grace that always draws us back to Jesus. So the question is, “When was the last time you saw the grace of God healing, cleansing, transforming you in a way that you became aware?”
He didn’t just save me 20 years ago, he’s saving me in this moment for how I just talked to my wife, how I just treated my children, how I just treated that other student in school, what I just did with my finances, what I just watched on the internet, where I’ve just — oh my goodness, he is healing and cleansing me right now in this moment that I came back and worshipped Him because of who he is and what he has done. If there has been very little come back to Jesus, here’s what that means, it doesn’t mean you’re not saved, hear me on that. I don’t want anyone to get lost in that equation today. What it means though is you’re not inviting the fresh touch of the saving grace of Jesus into your life today. His grace, his grace forgives you from your past sin. His grace gives you victory over your current struggles. And his grace will one day free you from the presence of sin in this world and in the universe.
And when I become aware of that, that grace isn’t about one day for eternal life. No, grace is about every day for the fullness of life. I start realizing, “Oh my goodness, no, not only am I no longer a leper, I have the cleansing stream of the grace of God removing the black dust of this world off my heart and I can’t take it off. But He can and He will. Because he has compassion, he is willing and he is so able. The question is, are you desperate and broken enough to say, “Jesus, I need saving grace today.” So you close your eyes with me.
Let me just ask you what do you feel like God wants to say to you today? Like in your life, in this moment and what’s going on in your hearts, and you’re, “What’s he saying?” For some of you, today is the day of the beginning of salvation. Today is the day to say, “Jesus, I need you in my life. Will you forgive me and will you touch me?” And for a lot of us, today is the day when we say I need a fresh touch from Jesus. I need His fresh grace and His fresh saving grace in this present moment of my life today. And so here’s what I want to do, we did this last week and I want to do this again this week. You don’t have to do this but if by fate, you want a fresh touch of the saving grace of Jesus, or you want the first touch of the saving grace of Jesus, I just — as a sign of faith, I just want to invite you to stand up wherever you are.
Whatever campus you’re at, you don’t have to do this if you want don’t want to. This is just somebody saying, “Hey you know what, I am desperate today for a fresh touch of the grace of Jesus. And by faith I’m taking off my cloak, I’m pulling things down and I’m saying, ‘Jesus I am desperate and dependent upon you. I need your saving grace, your gracious touch, your cleansing words in my life.’” And so right now, Lord, I pray for every person and every campus by faith that stood up. I pray right now for a fresh touch in Jesus’ name. In fact, if you’re standing now, maybe just turn your hands — like turn them up like as a sign of humility and surrender. Lord I just pray that you just touch our lives for those people that are starting a new relationship with you, today is the day of salvation, today is the beginning of the day that they walk free and clean with you.
And for so many of us that are standing up and saying, “Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a touch of grace. It’s been a long time since I’ve been humbled — since I’ve stopped covering and compensating and trying to cleanse myself.” Today is the day that Jesus is allowing his fresh cleansing grace. Can you just feel it cleansing your heart? Removing all the residue, all the black, all the darkness in Jesus’ name. A fresh touch because he has compassion, he is willing and he is the only one who is able in Jesus’ name. And so whatever campus you’re at, I would just want to invite everybody else, if you will just stand up with us for a moment, let me just pray for you. Lord Jesus, thank you for a new year. Thank you for grace, thank you for freedom, thank you for your goodness and we just declare that you are more than enough, that today is the day of salvation.
Jesus we need your salvation to be saved. We need your salvation, your grace, as we are present tense being saved and we need your grace someday to be saved when you come to make all things right. Hope is here because Jesus is here and today we leave with a touch of grace cleansed, whole, set free and delivered. Come on, some of you, some deliverance was just happening in your life, some broken, dark, nasty things in Jesus’ name have just come clean and been set free because of His grace and His goodness in this room. So by faith, grab it and receive it. Jesus, we love you. We lift up your name over our lives. In your name we pray. Amen.