Following Jesus

I didn’t set out to be a preacher. Most of you can look at me and tell that. I don’t really remember what I set out to be, but I can tell you what I became.

I became a liar. I became a cheat. I became a thief. I became an addict to both drugs and alcohol. I became a user and abuser of women. I became angry and violent.

I lived like an animal and eventually society put me in a place just like this one. I didn’t set out to be there either, but that’s where I was.  More importantly, that’s who I was.

I look around at you ladies, and I know none of you set out to be here. You too had dreams, hopes, a future. But life is difficult and we make mistakes.

Sometimes life deal blows that wound us deeply and we react from those wounds. And sometimes we just get overtaken with anger or fear and strike out.

And some of us don’t stand a chance to begin with or at least that is the only reality we know. No none of us set out to be here, but here we are.

Feeling encouraged yet?

Me either.

So I better get to the rest of the story.

Jesus meets us right where we are. Every time and all the time, Jesus meets us right where we are, and wherever that is, it is for us at the foot of his cross.

Mathew 11 28-30  “Then Jesus said ’Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you.

Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

 I know there are some heavy burdens being carried here.

But Jesus meets us right where we are, and wherever that is, it is for us at the foot of his cross. There you can finally lay that burden down.

You heard my confession earlier. Believe me that was a brief summary of the burden of all I had become, all I had done, and all I had been named or named myself.

But at the foot of Jesus’ cross, I could lay all that down, and so can you.

Jesus makes that possible because he didn’t meet you here to judge you . Jesus met you here to offer forgiveness and grace, to lead you into a life of abundance. And it only takes one small step at a time.

You have already followed Jesus for a while probably without even knowing it. For whatever reason you came to grace Place tonight, I know Jesus led you here.  

Your being here is one small step you have already taken in the footprints of God.

We will share the communion meal shortly. All are invited and welcome to join us at His table. It is a means of grace. It is one of  the reasons Jesus led each of us here tonight.

Another small step in the footprints of God.

Get a copy of the bible and read Jesus’ story for yourself. Read it to and with each other and talk about it. Some of us have difficulty reading, and hearing Jesus’ story could make all the difference in the world to them.

Another step taken in the footprints of God.

Each and every little act of kindness to one another, every kind or respectful word to a CO, every helping hand offered, each and every act of love, is one more step in the footprints of God.

And I will make you a promise that only God can keep.

 If you continue to take one small step at a time in his footprints, you will find that in this very institution you can have the abundant life you were created for.

Every need you have will be met, and your life will be full of love, peace, comfort, joy and hope. I don’t make that promise lightly. I make it confidently, because Jesus is the one behind the promise.

And Jesus is the promise keeper.

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