Monday, June 18, 2012

Grace Healing Service Sermon: New Creation


Preached by Hawley Todd TSSF on 6/17/12.

Scriptures (see below for text).

2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17

Mark 4:26-34

Many sayings are attributed to great people.

And I have heard it said that Mark Twain once commented about Holy Scripture that what bothered him most about scripture were not all the many things he did not understand. What bothered him were the ones he did.

I think I may be glad that I am not one of the disciples to whom Jesus explained everything in private. I have enough trouble trying to apply what I do understand to my life!

However, for this morning, I want to look at the last verse from 2 Corinthians.

5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

What a glorious concept!

What a wonderful promise!

To be made new in Christ!!!!!!

What in the world might that mean to any of us?????????

I don’t pretend to fully understand what it might mean to be made NEW in Christ.

However I will share with you a few observations from having worked with people for the past 40 years or so.

The single greatest issue that most people face is the fact that deep down inside most people do not love themselves – they do not feel worthy of love – and have never experienced total and absolute acceptance for who they truly are.

You may be the exception to what I am saying. And praise God that you are!

However in my work doing spiritual direction and healing ministry, what I encounter in person after person is a deep desire for love and acceptance.

That applies to the rich, powerful, and successful as much as it does to the normal Joe in the street or Jane in the pew.

There is an underlying theme of – if people only knew what I was really like, no one would like me.

Now it gets masked in numerous ways in our time and culture. We have all types of “holics” – workaholics, alcoholics, sexaholics, needaholics, holier than thou-aholics.

Yet deep within us all – there is a hole in our souls – a chink missing in our hearts.

We know we are incomplete and that something is missing. Yet we search and long for what that might be. We go from activity to activity – group to group searching for what might make us whole.

And all that time, what we are frantically searching for, is knocking on the doors of our heart and mind.

The wholeness and healing that we all so desperately need is the Love of God.

I am not talking about an intellectual concept or a dogma of the church.

Preachers can give a 1000 sermons on God’s love and it may not make a particle of difference in one’s life.

Intellectual understanding and assent is not enough.

What I am talking about is becoming a NEW CREATION in CHRIST.

- Experiencing in the depths of our being the absolute and unconditional love and acceptance of God.

- Experiencing it in our bones – the very marrow of our being.

- Allowing that love to permeate one’s being.

RENEWING us in God’s love

RESTORING us in God’s image.

Truly making us whole and one in Christ Jesus.

A new creation!!!!!!!!!

And here is the catch – where I will not speak to you in parables.

We are constantly in the process of being made NEW in Christ.

It is not a one shot deal.

It is not a matter of being saved or giving one’s life to Christ on Nov 1, 1975.

It is a moment by moment process

A decision by decision choice of being constantly made new in Jesus

And here is the good news!

It is real.

God does make us New – the old does pass away.

The anguish, sorrow, and agony can be washed away.

Being made anew in Christ is not an insurance policy to protect us from life and all that life may entail. Yet it is a life preserver that enables us to move on and become the persons we were created to be. – Authentic and real.

Scriptures appointed for the day:

2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17
5:6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord --
5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
5:8 Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
5:9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
5:10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
5:11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences.
5:12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart.
5:13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
5:14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.
5:15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
5:16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.
5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Mark 4:26-34
4:26 He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,
4:27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.
4:28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.
4:29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come."
4:30 He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?
4:31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;
4:32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."
4:33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it;
4:34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

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