Sunday was really amazing and I could sense the sermon ministering to people all through the day. At our church in the city, we have a lot of walkers and it’s crazy to think we had our highest non-event weekend attendance ever on a VERY rainy day. Thank God!
I wanted to upload the youtube of the sermon and the main points for you in case you missed it. Here it is:
Main Thought: The key to winning is understanding that I’ve already won. Because of what Christ has done, LOVE already won. Every battle you face, every struggle you experience, every challenge in life has already been decided. Even when you lose in life, because of Christ, you have already won. Because of Gods LOVE, you are victorious! In other words, our journey with God is rigged. Other than getting in our own way, we win in the end and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
What are the keys to winning? Or more importantly, the keys to not getting in our own way …
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? “36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
1) Know that you are loved
Two quick questions this passage asks me:
ONE — How did Paul know overwhelming victory was his?
-Love changes our mind, all of us. In Acts, Galatians, 1 Cor., and 1 Tim. Paul describes his radical conversion.
-If God could transform a murderer and offer to use his life for something purposeful, there is no question that ANYTHING is possible. Good news for all of us.
TWO — How did he make up his mind to accept victory?
-Paul understood that our humanity is in a constant battle against our spirituality.
-2 Corinthians 10:3-4 “3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”
-This battle in the mind is a battle against strongholds. We have the ability to tear down strongholds. A stronghold is a mental block. Paul is talking about arguments that are set up against the knowledge God.
-Do you have a stronghold? (A worldview, materialism, secularism, fear, addiction, a bad family history, a tendency towards losing)
-Winners tear down strongholds. It’s a mental game!
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
2) Accept that you are loved
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” –Tim Keller
-We can know something but not accept it, yet we don’t have to fully understand something to accept it.
-We call that FAITH (the substance of things hoped for but not yet seen)
-This is why Paul was so convinced, He knew God KNEW Him in his ugliest, yet accepted & loved him, therefore NOTHING could separate him for God!
-What you focus on determines what you believe about yourself.
Focus on God’s LOVE, it’s already won for you.
Focus on the cross
Focus on the scriptures and its truth
Focus on hope
Focus on the future
Focus on the fact that God loves you despite your ugly
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
3) Live like you are loved
-God sent Jesus to live in such a way that it proved HE LOVED YOU.
-The best way for us to walk in victory is to in turn; live like we are loved … it is our highest act of worship and recognition to God who love us first.
-How do we live like we are loved? We care about what God cares about.
-People who don’t know Him
-The poor and forgotten
-Your marriage and family