Easter 2019


Through the chaos of life, our souls can become knotted. There is something about Easter that supernaturally draws us all to Jesus. We are hoping for hope. So, today, how’s your soul? When we are worried, upset, anxious, or discontent in the world around us, our soul becomes knotted up and we can’t fix it on our own. Only Jesus can unknot our souls. He came to settle our soul in an unsettled world so we could live in peace.

Alright. Hey, everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek. We are so glad you’re here with us. Whatever campus you’re at, we want you to know that we have been praying for you and preparing for you and our prayer is that you would have an encounter with the hope of Jesus this Easter. You see, it’s Easter. It’s the time of second chances, fresh starts, new beginnings. Maybe you walked in here today and you need one of those. And so, what we’re doing together is we’re just lifting up the name of Jesus, the name above all names, the friend of sinners, the savior of the world, the gateway to heaven. And whether this is your first time with us, you haven’t been here in a while, maybe you’ve left and recently come back, maybe you’re here every single weekend, it really doesn’t matter. What I want to say to you is, welcome to the party.

And I know some of you are thinking, “Church isn’t a party.” Yes, it is, because when lost things are found and dead things come back to life and hope is restored, the only thing you can do is celebrate. You see, Easter is the most significant event in all of human history. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus changed everything and that’s why every year, we’re drawn back to it. It’s like there’s something supernatural in the story of Easter that draws us back in every year. Like, it doesn’t matter what you do all year long. Easter comes around and there’s something in your spirit that draws you to Jesus, that draws you to the cross, that draws you to the church, and you’re not even always sure why. It’s kind of like the disciples on that first resurrection morning. They went running to the empty tomb thinking to themselves, “Could this really be?” It’s like they were hoping for hope. And so, we gather around Easter from all different walks of life and all different realities with all different kinds of things happening in our lives and we show up in a place like this hoping for hope.

And so, can I ask you just a really simple question this Easter? How are you doing? Like, how are you really doing? And not that thing like when we say to each other, “Hey, how are you doing?” and we say, “I’m good” or “I’m really busy.” Yeah. Okay. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about like how’s your soul, like, how are you doing in here. Like, are you full of faith, and hope, and love, and joy, and peace? Are you walking in victory? Do you have freedom? Are you enjoying life? Do you have courage for the future or are you kind of all knotted up in here? Are you depressed and anxious and worry and fearful? Are you restless and dissatisfied? Is there a lack of peace and contentment? Is there a storm that’s raging, chaos that’s brewing, a pain that is simmering or a loneliness that’s echoing?

Like, how is your soul, man? And when was the last time somebody asked you that question? And notice what I’m not asking you. I’m not asking you how’s your finances, how’s your job, how’s your family, how’s your circumstances. I’m asking you how’s your soul. The thing we talk about the least is the most important thing in our life and whether we realize it or not, it’s often really knotted up. I mean, one day, Jesus went to a dinner party and he was sitting there and some people were sitting at his feet just enjoying his presence, enjoying the peace that he offered. And there was a woman by the name of Martha who is throwing the party and she was doing all the work and she was getting frustrated that no one else was helping her and she had a storm that was brewing inside of her soul and it’s amazing is when there’s a storm in here, eventually it will come out here. And so, she starts yelling at everyone for not helping her and then she starts yelling at Jesus, telling him what he should be doing.

I’m just saying. Your soul isn’t in a great place if you’re yelling at Jesus. And so, he looks at her and he says, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only thing is needed.” In other words, he says, “Martha, your soul is all knotted up and I’m your only hope.” You see, I like this verse because it translates in my own life. I think sometimes Jesus says to me, “John, John, you are worried and upset about many things.” I wonder if Jesus was talking to you today if he would say your name and he would say, “Hey, hey, you are worried and upset about many things.” You are frightened and overwhelmed by many things. You are anxious and stressed out about a lot of stuff. You are disappointed and confused about the world. I wonder if Jesus would look at you and say, “Hey, your soul is all knotted up and I’m your only hope.”

You see, we all know that we can’t settle our souls no matter how hard we try. Like, we inherently know this. As humans, we can do amazing things. We can build buildings. We can build teams. We can create art. We can make music. Man, we can go to the moon or we can go to the bottom of the ocean. But, we all know we can’t settle our own souls. The best we can do is numb it. And so, we have things like Netflix and Facebook and Fortnite. We have work and activities and addictions. The best we can do is numb it because we all know there is not enough, there is not enough relationship, there is not enough control to settle our own souls. That’s why Ecclesiastes tells us, “All the labor of a man is for his mouth and yet his soul is not satisfied.” It’s like no matter how hard we try, we can’t get the knots out of our own soul. It’s kind of like my kids with their shoes.

Like have you ever seen kids tie their own shoes? The knots they create, like, how they create them, I don’t even know. It’s like putting them on and off a hundred times without never really untying them. They just keep knotting them up and they just kind of do this thing where they yank on it and it’s those real little bitty knots. Do you know what I’m talking about? And after a while, there’s like 15 of them in a row all the way up. And so, instead of being free and loose, the thing is tight and hard. And I watch them sometimes as they’re trying to put their shoe on, no matter how hard they try, their little fingers can’t get those little knots out of there. And eventually, they have to look to me, the one who has the wisdom and the tools to unknot the knots. Okay. Sometimes, we have to look to Jesus, the one who has the wisdom and the tools to unknot the knots of our soul.

And the more knotted up your heart is, the less hope you have. The less free and fluid those laces of your heart are as they swirl around in this life. We all get knotted up, all tied up, all bound up in here but Jesus has come to set us free. This is why Acts 4, tells us that salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name in heaven, under heaven given by which men must be saved. In other words, Jesus is our salvation. Jesus is our only hope. And the word saved, it doesn’t just mean a ticket to heaven, it means to save, to heal, or to make whole. Jesus wants to make your soul whole, free, and loose, and flowing in life. That’s why in John 16, Jesus says, “I have told you these things. So, that in Me, you may have peace.”

In this world, you will have trouble but take heart for I have overcome the world. In other words, Jesus says, “I have come to settle your soul in an unsettled world”. I’ve come to give you peace in here in the midst of the chaos out there. And I love that He uses the word peace. The word peace in the original language is the word, Shalom. It means, comprehensive flourishing. The fullness of life rests satisfaction, quietness, prosperity. You see, peace is not the absence of problems. It’s the wholeness of our soul.

And that’s what Jesus came to give us. I mean, do you remember the story – have you ever heard it when Jesus and His disciples, they got in the boat and they were going across the sea and Jesus was tired so he took a little nap. And as they were going, it was just a nice gentle boat ride as it started but then this big storm came out of nowhere. And as the storm raged, the boat began to sink. The boat was flooding. The disciples thought they were going to drown. They begin to panic and so, they wake up Jesus and they say, “Don’t you care that we’re going to die?” And Jesus looks at them and He says, “Hey, why are you so afraid? Why are you worried and upset about many things? Why are you allowing the storm out there to dictate what’s going on in here?” “So, as I have come that you might have peace in here.” And so, He calmed the wind and the waves to show them that He had the authority to calm the wind and the waves in here. You see, Jesus didn’t come to give you eternal life someday. He came to give you abundant life today. He came to untie the knots in your soul. And so, whatever you walked in here with today, whatever kind of hope you need, hope is here because Jesus is here.

You see, hope is not wishful thinking, it’s not a feeling, it’s not an emotion. He’s a person and His name is Jesus. And when Jesus walks into your life, hope walks in with him. That’s the story of Easter. And that’s what it’s all about because Easter is when hope came to move among us. Easter is when living hope came to live among us once and for all. That is what it’s all about. And then, I don’t know what you think of when you think of Easter. I’m not even sure why you’re here. like, I don’t know if you got dragged you because someone promised you a meal after this thing or whatever the deal was but, like, but listen, I don’t know if you think like, Easter is just a religious event. It’s just historical thing. I don’t know if you think, you just got to show up at Easter, once a year to make your salvation ticket is still punched, like, so you’re still getting there when it’s all said and done, no. Listen, Easter is the most relevant event in your life.

Why? Because it’s when the living hope came to live among us. And what the death burial and resurrection of Jesus does is it shows us why there is always hope no matter what is happening in our lives. So, let me show you this. Let me just walk you through when you think of the cross, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus. This is what it teaches us, this is why we always have hope. Just journey with me for this. The first thing it shows is simply this, God is good even when the world is not. It’s what Easter teaches us. That God is good even the world is not.

And we all know the world is not good. All you have to do is look around for like five – turn on the news for five minutes and your soul will become very anxious very fast. The death, the darkness, the destruction, the pain, the brokenness. It’s all over the world. And it becomes so easy to take the brokenness of the world and project it on God. Like, if you were good, why did you let this happen? If you really cared why didn’t you step in here? If you are really aware of what’s going on, where have you been? And we take all the brokenness and we act like it’s His fault but God is good even when the world is not. So, in Psalms 1:36 tells us, give thanks to the Lord for He is good. Goodness is His nature.

God always has been and always will be good and if He is good then He can only do good things because identity determines your behavior. Who you are always determines how you live and so, if God is good, the only things He can do are good things. He always has been and He always will be. Therefore, He can only do good to you and me and to the world around us.

And if you go all the way back into the beginning, you’ll discover that God created the heavens and the Earth and us and everything He made was good because He is good. And He gave us authority over this Earth and He told us one thing we couldn’t do, eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So, what’s the one thing we decided to do? Eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when we rebelled against God. And we invited the kingdom of darkness into this world, death, destruction, brokenness, all began to rule and reign. And all these years, we like to blame it on God but because God was so good, He didn’t give up on us. He didn’t pull the plug. He didn’t shut it down. He didn’t wipe us out. He had a plan to send the Son of the God to be the Son of man to save us and set us free because He is good even though the world is not.

And I would bet the world is not being all that good to you, right now. I bet some of you walked in here in the way that your ex has been treating you. That sickness that’s in your body. That circumstance or that situation that’s breaking you apart the way your boss has been treating you. That chaos that’s in your family, yeah. The world probably isn’t all that good to you but God is. That’s why Genesis 15:20 says, you intended to harm me but God intended it for good in all the world. While the world is trying to hurt, God is still being good to you. So, maybe we’ve got to change our perspective. And stop focusing on what’s broken in the world around and start focusing on the good of the God who is for us. So, in Psalms 1:16 tells us, let my soul be at rest again for the Lord has been good to me. Until you believe that God is good to you, your soul will never be at rest. And because He is good and He’s good to you, He sent Jesus to forgive you. You see, Jesus has forgiven you regardless of what you have done.

It’s the story of Easter. Because God is good, He sent Jesus to forgive you. All of your past, all of your – all of your sin, all of your shame, all of your guilt has been paid for by Jesus once and for all, for always. In fact, John 3:16, that famous verse, for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, because God was good, He sent Jesus to die for us. That whoever believes in Him shall not parish but have eternal life, for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world. He didn’t send Jesus to be mean to us or to get us or to punish us but because He’s good, He sent Him to save us. You see, in Jesus you’ve been fully forgiven. All of it. All of the past, all of the present, all of the future sin. Everything you ever have done, everything you currently are doing, and all the things you will do in Jesus, He says, is already been forgiven.

This is why Hebrews 8:12 tell us, for I forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more. You want a verse to give you encourage this Easter? He says, He remembers your sins no more. That in Jesus, the things you can’t seem to forget are the ones God says, He can’t seem to remember. Come on. The thing you can’t let go of, the thing you’re embarrassed about, that secret that you keep, yeah, that thing you did over there that you think no else knows about, the places you’ve been, the things you’ve done, the things you’ve been part of, yeah. Those ones, those are the ones that in Jesus, He can’t seem to remember. So, maybe we need to start to remembering to forget. Maybe we need to stop paying for what’s already been paid in full because in Jesus that past was punished on the cross and buried in the grave and it did not rise again with Him. So, why do you insist on holding on to it?

Come on, this is the difference between religion and grace. Religion is about what you have to do. Grace is about what Jesus has done. Religion will tell you, if you obey then God will be good to you. Grace tells you, because Jesus obeyed God is always good to you. We’ve got to change our minds and where we are. Everything that’s ever been required of you has already been taken care of. Like, if you think of all of the elements of the cross. It just seems like a story sometimes or like, why do they have to put in all those details? It’s a little gory, it’s a little much because it was a picture of all the freedom that we got. Like, they put a scarlet robe on Jesus, representing the deep stain and shame of our life went on Him. So, we could have the clean robe of righteousness. They put a crown of thorns on His head, representing the curse. It was going to be placed upon Jesus, the world that was there to fight and prick and push and pull, so that we might live under the blessing of God. They beat Jesus’ body and broke Him open so our soul could be put back together and be made whole.

They nailed Him to the cross because the law was nailed, the requirements of what God expected from us was nailed upon Jesus to cross so we could live under the freedom of His grace. He became thirsty so our soul could be satisfied. He was forsaken by the father so you’ll never have to be and they put a hard spear into His soft heart so your hard heart could be made soft once again. That’s why He said, “It is finished.” No more guilt. No more shame. No more condemnation. You’re a new creation in Christ Jesus, a beloved son and daughter with a new name and a new identity and a new reality. Hear me, God is no mad at you.

He’s not disappointed in you and He is not out to get you. He sent Jesus to die for you. Jesus got what you deserved so you could now forever have what He deserved in Jesus’ name. And so, because Jesus has forgiven us, we now know forever and always that you are loved. You see, you are loved for who you are not for what you do. I’m just saying, if someone lays down their life for you and dies, so that you might have life. You know, they probably love you. Don’t you agree with that? For who you are, not for what you do. You see, catch this, Romans 5:8 says, God demonstrates His own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. You know what that means? When you were at your worst is when Jesus chose you, wanted you, and died for you.

If Jesus died for you and you are an enemy with Him, when you were actually a combatant against God and that’s when He laid down His life for you. That means, He does not love you for what you do, He loves you for who you are. Do you know how freeing that is? The cross is God’s cosmic declaration to say once and for all, you are loved. He didn’t have to get you, He wanted you. That’s why 1 John 3:16 tells us, this is how we know what love is. That Jesus laid down His life for us. That’s love. And what the human spirit or the human soul wants more than anything else is to be loved. You know it, deep down in here, that’s what you want – you want to be loved. And so, we spend our lives trying to be lovable. Some of us are more lovable than others.

So, we perform and we achieve and we strive and we try to look really good and make lots of money and all of that’s great because we want to do all these things so people love us. But here’s the deal, what happens when you can’t perform anymore? What happens when the money runs out? Or you don’t look as good as you used to, or something changes in your achievement or possession status? If you’re loved for what you do, then when you no longer are able to do what you do or someone does it better than you then you’re no longer loved? So what if we were just loved for who we were? Then nothing would change regardless of what we do. You see, in Jesus you are fully known, fully loved with no fear of rejection. The one who knows you best is the one who loves you most. The one who knows all the secrets in the past and brokenness and the thoughts and the knots in the soul is the one who most loudly shouts over your life, “I love you”.

You see, because you are loved, you are always welcome home. Before you do anything right and even after you do everything wrong, you are loved by God. And some of you just need to hear this today, you are worthy of love. You don’t think you’re self-worthy of love. And so you’re doing and acting and living in ways to just try to get the love of somebody for a moment or to punish yourself because of the insecurities and the brokenness and things you think are wrong with you. You are worthy of love.

In fact, Deuteronomy 33 says this, let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him. Let him have peace in that love, for He shields him all day long and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders. Just see if you can catch this. Jesus took the cross and put it on His shoulders and took all of our sin and our shame and our guilt and our brokenness and He climbed up that hill and they stretched Him out, He opened His arms and His shoulders on that cross for our sin and our shame so that the Father’s love, so the Father’s arms and the Father’s shoulders of love and acceptance and grace could forever pick us up and hold us free.

We rest in the shoulders of the one who died for us so the Father could embrace us. So stop focusing on what’s wrong with you and start focusing on what’s good about Him. You don’t have to perform, earn or achieve for that love. It’s already yours, just receive it in Jesus’ name and some of you, that’s all you have needed to hear today. Listen, I’ve got a picture of somebody in this room and you’ve been cutting yourself because you don’t feel like you’re worthy of love. Today, Jesus says, “You are worthy. There is hope”. And when you know you’re loved, you now believe that everything is possible. In other words, there is always hope. You see, I would just submit to you.

Anybody that can predict their own death, burial, and resurrection is somebody worth following. And if you think about it, if He loves us 1 John tells us, that this is — there is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear. If He loves us and I don’t have to be afraid anymore because I know that He is with me. I don’t have to fear the unknown. I don’t have to fear the future. I don’t have fear the what ifs, why? Because greater is He that is in me than He that is in this world. If Jesus could overcome sin, death, and the grave and rise again as the resurrection and the life and He now lives in me, then guess what, everything is possible. Come on, if God is for you, who can be against you?

We’re not sure if we’re excited about that or not but that’s why everything is possible. If Jesus could rise again from the grave, then death, the ultimate authority is no longer an authority in any ways, shape or form in life. That means, everything else by nature is now possible. The empty tomb is the cosmic declaration that there is always hope. Come on, see how these four things work together.

Because God is good, He sent Jesus to forgive you, and because you are forgiven, you know, you are now forever loved and because you are loved, you now can believe, everything is possible. This is Easter. This is hope. This is why there is always hope and you don’t have to hope for hope, you can grab this hope because hope is the belief that God is good, Jesus has forgiven me, I am loved and everything is possible regardless of what is happening in the world around me. So here’s the question again? How’s your soul? Because any knot that’s in your soul is directly traced back to a place where you don’t believe this.

Every place in your life that you don’t have peace or hope is directly traced back to one of these. You see, hope never dies, we just lose sight of it. Hopelessness died on the cross with Jesus, it was buried in the grave. It did not rise again. Hope rose again. Hope does not die, we just lose sight of it. And if you think about it, think about your life right now. Where are you saying things will always be this way or they’ll never change? Yeah? You’ve lost sight that everything’s possible. Where do you feel like you’re unworthy, unwanted, or rejected, well, that’s a place where you’ve lost sight of the truth that you’re loved. Where are you carrying shame and guilt and resentment from the past, that’s a place where you’ve forgotten that Jesus has forgiven you. And where are you carrying things, like anxiety and depression. That’s where you’ve forgotten that God is good to you. You see, what happens is, is we replace these truths with lies. God’s not good to me and I’m not forgiven and no one loves me and this is impossible.

Knot, knot, knot, knot, knot. We get all bound up, but hope is here because Jesus is here. And that’s why Jesus’ main message was repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. You’re like, “That’s mean.” It’s only mean because we’ve heard it preached poorly for years in our lives. What it means is, change your mind. Change your mind to superior reality is here, stop believing lies and start receiving the truth of what I came to prove for you once and for all.

You see, I love this Psalms, look at this, why are down cast o, my soul? He’s talking to himself. Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God. Come on, don’t you sometimes just want to look at your soul and be like, “Be happy.” “Why are you so sad in there? Stop being so anxious. Stop being depressed. Stop being so worried and afraid. Stop being so insecure and broken.” Why has it been years since you’ve had any peace? It’s like we can talk to our soul but nothing happens. So what does He say? Turn your soul to God and let your hope come from Jesus. The only one who can take the knots out. That’s why it says, He restores my soul. Only He can restore it. And if there was hope for Peter’s insecurity and John’s anger problem and Matthew’s greed and Thomas’ doubt and the demoniacs suppression, there is hope for you. Are you with me on this?

You see, the question then that you have to ask is where do all those knots come from? Well, it’s really simple, it’s three things. It comes from the brokenness of our past, the pain of the present, or the purposelessness of the future. It’s where the knots in your soul come from. They come from the sin, the shame, the brokenness, the condemnation, the things we’ve done and have been done to us, create knots in our soul towards the pain of the present, the loneliness, the grief, the discontentment, the dissatisfaction create knots in our soul, or it’s the purposelessness of the future. We look into the future and there is no hope. There’s no reason to wake up tomorrow. We don’t know why we’re on this Earth, knots in our soul. So Jesus came to forgive the past, to heal the present, and to empower you for our future. And so, as we start discovering Jesus, look at the opposite, as you discover Jesus and His grace and His mercy in your life, you now are able to find friendship with God and you’re not lonely or doing it on your own anymore.

And then you start to realize, you have been created to make a difference, to live a life of purpose and all of a sudden, one by one Jesus Himself starts taking all those knots out of your heart, that what was hard and crippled becomes soft and free because Jesus came to restore your identity, reconcile your relationship with God and redeem the purpose which you are created for. And we’re not the only ones to have gone through this. You see, if you think of the disciples, let me pull it all together for you. If you think of the disciples after Jesus was crucified and buried, they’re broken, man. They’re hiding out in a little locked room and — think about it. I mean, they’ve got the brokenness of the past. They all denied Jesus. They just watched their best friend be crucified and dead and buried so they got the pain of the present and they have no idea what their future is going to be because He’s gone. So they’re terrified and they’re all locked up in this room.

John 20, check this out, the disciples were together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. The resurrected Jesus came and stood among them. Jesus didn’t knock and open the door, He just appeared. He’s the resurrected Jesus, He can do what He wants. Surprise. And He said, “Peace be with you!” After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord again. Jesus said, “Peace be with you as the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Catch this, they’re afraid, they’re locked up in this little room and the resurrected Jesus just appears among them. And He looks at them and He say, “Peace be with you. Shalom.” And he looks at them and shows them His hands and His side. He says, “Look, God is good. I have forgiven you. You are loved and everything is possible”.

“I’m here to forgive your past, to heal your pain, and empower you for a future. So, peace be with your soul,” and He breathed on them. Woooh, and they breathed in the Holy Spirit and came to new life. And I read you that passage because that’s our story. You see, we’re not locked up in a little room, we’re locked up behind the knots in our soul. We’re afraid. We hide out behind all these knots that are all knotted up from years of living. From years of living in a world that has not been good to us. We’ve got all these knots and we’re hiding in here and then of a sudden, one day the resurrected Jesus just shows up. We’re like, “How’d you — how’d you get in here?” You don’t have to look for hope because hope is always coming to look for you. And He shows up and your soul on a day like today and He looks at you and says, “Peace be with you.” And He’ll show you His hand and His side and He’ll say to you, “Look, God is good.

I have forgiven you. You are loved and everything is possible. So, shalom to your soul. I’ve come to heal you and make you whole”. Woooh, and He’ll breathe the Spirit of God into your life and give you a new beginning. You see, Jesus has come to set you free. So how’s your soul? Come on, man. How’s your soul this Easter? God is not mad at you. He’s not out for you. He’s not trying to make you religious. You’re not getting bonus points by being in church, you know that, right? You’re like, “That’s why I came.” Jesus got you infinity bonus points for the rest of eternity by doing what He did.

And He offers you now freedom of your soul. This is why Jesus in Matthew 11, He says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burden.” Come on, manage your soul, weary, and burdened. Is it not in opposite, dried out, is it restless, is it discontent, is it broken, is it numb, is it just — just not it. He says, “I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart.” I’m kind and gracious. “And you will find rest for your soul.” Only Jesus can take the knots out. It’s like, my kids, they can try all they want but their little fingers can’t out those little knots, but when they give to me, I can take care of it for them. You can try the rest of your life with money, and fame, and looks, and possessions, and activities, and stuff, and followers, and all of that, but deep down you know you can’t take those knots out.

Until you say, “Jesus, I give you my life, will you please help heal me and restore me?” And He’ll say, “That’s what I’ve been waiting for. So peace be with you.” See, to choose Jesus is to choose hope. And when you follow Jesus, you follow hope, and goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life. Hope is here because Jesus is here and that hope has come to stay. And so may you allow Him in here and may you allow Him to show you that God is good. Jesus has forgiven you. You are loved and everything is possible. So will you close your eyes with me and let me just ask you a really simple question today, what do you think God wants to say to you? Like, just forget about everything else for a moment. Forget about the service and what you’re doing after service, and music, and the videos, and the men — who like, who cares about any of that? What matters right now is, what does God want to say to you? What’s He whispering in your heart? You see, maybe you’ve never heard everything we’ve just said or maybe you’ve forgotten, either way, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you want to choose right now. See, to welcome Jesus is to welcome Him and everything that He brings with Him.

And Jesus brings us the goodness of God, the forgiveness of our sins, the love of the Father and the supernatural power of heaven. And all you have to do is something like this, just say, “Jesus, I invite you into my life. I invite you to take out the knots in my soul. I believe that you came and died for me that you took my sin upon your life as perfect Son of God. You took the brokenness of my world upon yourself that you died, were buried in the grave, but three days later, rose to new life that now as I believe in you, I rise to new life too.” And so, Jesus, I welcome you. I give you my life. I give you my knotted up soul and say, “Would you take them out one by one by one to make me free, and whole, and secure in you?” What is God saying to you? And how do you want to respond? The hope of Jesus is in this place. And He came for you.

And my prayer is that in some way, shape or form, something will have shifted in your mind to change how you view God and who He is and what He has done that will allow the peace of heaven to deposit in your soul because until you have peace with God, you will never have peace with this world or yourself or your relationships. But Jesus has come to speak peace to you. Thank you, Jesus, for salvation, for abundant life today and eternal life tomorrow. Thank you for hope and freedom. Thank you that there is no soul too far gone from Your redemptive love and grace. Today, we turn to you, Jesus, and ask You to do what only You can do. We love you, Lord. In Your name we pray, amen.

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