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Journey Outreach delivers Masks to Liberty and NKC Hospitals

As a part of Journey Church efforts to help in any way we can with the current virus crisis the Outreach Team purchased and delivered seven hundred N95 Masks. We divided them up between Liberty Hospital and North Kansas City Hospitals. We also gave masks to some of our Journey Church families who are nurses and physicians that we knew of who wanted one.

Matt and Lacey Nelson are a part of the Journey Outreach Team and are also employees at North Kansas City Hospital. They volunteered to drop them off there for us along with a card that went to those who received the masks. You can see examples of the cards in the pictures below.

Thank you Journey Church for supporting Journey Outreach! Email outreach@journeykc.com if you would like to join the team or want to get involved with Journey Outreach in some way.

Journey Church gives Masks to Liberty Hospital and North Kansas City Hospital

Journey Church gives Masks to Liberty Hospital and North Kansas City Hospital

Journey Church gives Masks to Liberty Hospital and North Kansas City Hospital

Journey Church gives Masks to Liberty Hospital and North Kansas City Hospital

Journey Church gives Masks to Liberty Hospital and North Kansas City Hospital

Journey Church gives Masks to Liberty Hospital and North Kansas City Hospital

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Let Your Light Shine – Richard Porr

I’d like to lay the groundwork for this article with two Scripture passages:

II Corinthians 3:13-18 (The Passion Translation)
13 We are not like Moses, who used a veil to hide the glory to keep the Israelites from staring at him as it faded away. 14 Their minds were closed and hardened, for even to this day that same veil comes over their minds when they hear the words of the former covenant. The veil has not yet been lifted from them, for it is only eliminated when one is joined to the Messiah. 15 So until now, whenever the Old Testament is being read, the same blinding comes over their hearts. 16 But the moment one turns to the Lord with an open heart, the veil is lifted and they see. 17 Now, the “Lord” I’m referring to is the Holy Spirit, and wherever he is Lord, there is freedom. 18 We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

I Corinthians 10:11 (King James Version)
Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

In the first passage, we see an Old Testament description of something that happens today–the blinding of the eyes so people cannot see their need for God. [There are other NT passages that refer to the blinding of unbelievers’ hearts so they cannot spiritually see their, speaking of the “eyes of their hearts”]

So let’s take this apart and then make an application that, if I’ve rightly divided the Word, can give you the ability to open people’s eyes and get them saved and into the security of the Kingdom of God. So notice this particular wording: “…that same veil comes over their minds when they hear the words of the former covenant.”

Note, the application of the Old Covenant (the Law) causes blinding, a veil over their eyes so they cannot see. However, the reading/telling of the New Covenant (Grace) frees one to turn to the Lord (the Holy Spirit) Who removes the veil.

So how do we apply this? How do we bring this truth that the Bible itself says is for today into our day-to-day lives? Take a look at a part of your own journey. I’m sure many of you were raised as I was with a heavy dose of guilt and condemnation, delivered by well-meaning saints who thought obedience to the Law of faulty doctrine and denominationalism would set us free. Instead, a veil of shame and sin-consciousness blinded us to liberty in Jesus. How did we get free?

The Bible says it is the goodness of God that leads us to a new way to think and be. I imagine the veil got lifted off of you because of some expression of God’s goodness. Someone was kind. Someone invited you to church. Someone offered to pray for you. Someone got you to church camp. Someone loved you. You can do the same for others–every day and certainly here at Journey Church.

People often say they feel something different about Journey from the minute they step through the doors. I believe that “something different” is many things but is maybe foremost the love and acceptance from God that shines through us as we “…all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus.” We are not like Moses who hid his shining face.

We can pray for people for the veil to be lifted, for them to see the Lord and give themselves fully to Him. But we can also be the shining mirrors that–from the heart–shake hands, smile, show a real interest, and know that we are being used by the Holy Spirit to thin and lift that veil, even as He stands by our sides to transform lives.

Now get out there and shine!

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Looking Back at 2019 – Aaron Porr

Come, see the glorious things God has done. What marvelous miracles happen to his people! – Psalms 66:5 TLB

How have you seen God moving in your life in 2019?

Years ago at another church, in another time, we used to sing a song called, “Look what the Lord has done”. It was a simple song just calling people to stop and acknowledge how good God has been to us. Our stories of God’s love, grace, and faithfulness have tremendous power. The Bible calls these stories testimonies. It even teaches that our testimonies are part of the one-two-punch that takes out our enemy! (Rev 12:11)

Our stories of God’s love, grace, and faithfulness have tremendous power.

The danger is that we can live our lives with demonstrations of miraculous power and love happening all around us and be totally unaware of how God is moving. Our church has grown to the point where we have to intentionally look beyond our sphere of influence and awareness to see all the wonderful things God is doing.

So let’s just take a look at a small sample of how God has shown Himself faithful and strong throughout Journey Church in 2019.

• One man in our church was told that there was a dangerous mass growing in his abdomen. The tests and scans all showed detailed proof, and the details didn’t look good. Cancer was being suggested and fear was beginning to knock at his door. We prayed after Sunday service and many others continued praying. When he went in for the surgery the doctors could find no mass, no tumor, not even a sign that anything had ever been there. It had been removed before the surgeon even had a chance to take it out!

• There is another story of a man who had lived far from God for many years, a slave to addiction and lies. He was in a very dangerous living situation and no one was able to locate him or contact him. His parents, who are a part of Journey, were calling hospitals and even the morgue trying to find their son. Our Real Life Group began to claim his life for God and call him back. God even woke me up in the middle of the night twice during that time, calling me to pray for him. A short time later, he was contacted and returned home. He now is completely clean. He loves God and he is serving others and helping them find freedom from the same types of addiction that once enslaved him! There is so much power in a testimony!

• One Sunday after second service, a woman and her husband came forward for prayer because they were told by their doctor that there appeared to be cancer growing in her body. We prayed and when she returned to the doctor…..no cancer! It was gone!

• There is a powerful story of one of our Elevate Youth girls who was dealing with a possible diagnosis of epilepsy from her doctor. She was taken by her dad across the country to see a leading specialist. Before she went we prayed one Sunday morning after service. What was the outcome? You guessed it, no epilepsy! Her doctor said, “Throw away your medication. You don’t need it anymore!”

• Even stories that may seem more simple and less dramatic are no less amazing! I can remember a man coming forward to be prayed for for terrible pain in his back. On a scale of 1 to 10 his pain was at a 9. When we were done praying his pain had gone down to a 1. No aspirin or ibuprofen has that kind of potency!

• Recently, one of our ministry leaders had gone to the emergency room with terrible abdominal pain. He was diagnosed with several kidney stones. He was checked in to the hospital where they could monitor him. The church prayed and during the time that he was checked in to the hospital the stones disappeared. They didn’t pass because the doctors were monitoring all of that. They simply disappeared. They were there when he checked in and then they were gone!

God is so good. He has been doing great things all year. This is only a small representation of the incredible things God has been doing. We are growing and moving forward in confidence and relationship with the God of the Universe, Who also happens to be our Father! As great as all of this is, it has just been a rehearsal for the epic revealing of the Kingdom of God that we will see as we move into the next year. Expect great things! Anticipate an unprecedented move of God! He wants to love this world through you and me and He has a miraculous way of doing that. We were made to confront the impossible with the limitless power and love of the Kingdom of God!

2019 has been awesome, and the best is yet to be!

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Journey Outreach Respite Night (December 2019)

The Journey Church Outreach Ministry hosted it’s 2nd Respite Night for Foster/Adopt families that attend Journey in December 2019.

Respite Night provides an opportunity for these parents to enjoy some much needed time to themselves, while volunteers care for their children. 19 kids and 12 volunteers had a fun filled evening that consisted of dinner, games, crafts, and an indoor 12 days of Christmas scavenger hunt. We wound down the evening with a movie and snacks.

This evening would not have been possible without our amazing volunteers and Respite Event Coordinator Jamie Goettling. If you would like to know more about how you can be involved with upcoming Respite Nights or would like to serve on the Outreach Ministry contact Chris and Felecia Athey at outreach@journeykc.com

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

Journey Respite Night - December 2019

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Operation Christmas Child 2019

Operation Christmas Child 2019 was a huge success in many ways at Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri. The packing party not only produced 283 boxes, it also brought our church family together to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

It was so fun to see so many families, teens and young adults excited about packing a simple shoebox. But, it was even more meaningful to watch them smile as they got their picture taken for their boxes and pray over them. Being able to fellowship with snacks and crafts (and the sliming) was important too.

With 3 different services, it was nice to meet people at other services that we don’t normally get to! We also had many boxes brought in that families packed on their own which is a special family tradition as well.

Our total number of boxes that will affect children’s lives around the world was 349!!! God is so good and I am so thankful for the many people who helped make this event possible!!

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Operation Christmas Child 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

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Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019

Volunteers of all ages from Journey Church gathered Saturday morning, November 23rd 2019 to participate in an outreach for Thanksgiving.

A total of 58 meal baskets were assembled and delivered containing the ingredients to make an entire Thanksgiving meal. 8 of the baskets were given to families of the Fresh Start Hillcrest Hope Program. Contents included all the fixings for a family meal from turkey to dessert and everything in between. After being assembled, the meal baskets were delivered to local families all over our community as well as within our church family.

We have already received many messages of thanks from the families in the community that received a basket. Some of the emails that I have received have stated…

“This is the first time I get to cook Thanksgiving all by myself with my kids.”

Thank you! The family that delivered to us was wonderful. They told us all about Journey Church and prayed for us.”

I just wanted to tell you thank you for the turkey dinner. Without your help my family wouldn’t be having Thanksgiving dinner. I just lost my job of 18 years. You have really blessed my family and it will help me stay positive. I’m sorry for not letting you pray for my family, but it’s not easy telling anyone that I lost my job. Thank you sooo much.”

Journey Church loves to bless people in our church family and local community. Outreach events happen throughout the year so there are many ways you can serve in our community and inner city. For more information or to get involved, please contact Chris and Felecia Athey at outreach@journeykc.com

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

a href=”https://www.journeykc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/thanksgiving-outreach-2019-95.jpg”>Thanksgiving Basket Outreach 2019 - Journey Church in Liberty, Missouri

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Kingdom Marriage Resources

As I write this article, we here at Journey Church are finishing up a teaching series on marriage called, “Kingdom Marriage”. The content in these messages are full of wisdom from scripture on God’s plan for marriage. Every marriage, no matter what its current state, has room for improvement. Applying these biblical principles and adopting a Kingdom perspective will bring new life and purpose to any marriage.

Of course wisdom has no value when it is only taught but not applied. Walking out these truths in our marriage is the real key to growth and health. It’s so easy to hear the Word but not do it. Let’s bring our marriages to a place of surrender and submission to God and watch as He fills them with life!

You don’t find a great marriage, you build one.

In addition to the messages in the Kingdom Marriage series, you will find a list of resources below that you can draw on to help strengthen and focus your relationship with your spouse and your marriage’s relationship with God (your marriage has an identity).

Check out these resources and be encouraged to share any stories of how your marriage has been affected with others. Our stories have power! (Revelation 12:11)

~ Pastor Aaron Porr

MARRIAGE RESOURCES:

Journey Insider - June 10, 2019

Wild Adventure VBS & Journey Kids with Becky DeWitt (and many more)

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As A Man Thinks So He Is – Becky Dewitt

Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. . Can we all agree that quote is not totally true? It’s true sticks and stones can break bones but words do hurt and cause wounds that we sometimes can’t see for years. Words are powerful, they are containers of life or containers of death. They either bring the change we hope for or they bring the destruction we will regret.

Proverbs 23:7 – As a man thinks so he is.

We recently heard a sermon series called Life and Death at Journey Church which caused some things to stir up inside of me. It took me back to a time in life where I needed a course correction. We were newlyweds living in Wisconsin. Everything was new for us, newly married, new city, new job, new church, new friends, new climate… it was cold! We had a lot of adjustments to make those first few years of marriage. But one of the biggest adjustments I had to make was with my thoughts and words!

I soon discovered the things I was thinking about, the grumbling going on in my mind and eventually out of my mouth about all the newness in my life and how hard it was for me was revealed by the words I was saying. My conversations were becoming pretty negative and what should have been a happy time in life was becoming pretty miserable. Thank God for people in my life who offered spiritual wisdom and the Word of God which is powerful enough to get right to the issues and cut out what doesn’t belong. (Hebrews 4:12)

As I read scripture I discovered Proverbs 23:7 – As a man thinks so he is. . This short but powerful verse was a game changer. I was beginning to understand my wrong attitude and negative words traced back to what I was thinking about. My thinking was determining how happy or successful I saw myself and our life. I needed a firm understanding of how God wanted me to think. If I could change the negative way I thought about myself and current situation I could change what I was saying and ultimately change my circumstances.

What is our self-talk about? Are we beating ourselves up? Are we thinking negative thoughts about our spouse, children, coworkers, government and even God?

Luke 6:45 tells us that out of the heart the mouth speaks. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the rivers of life. . It all starts in our thinking. What are we thinking about? What are we meditating? What we think about eventually settles in our heart and then flows out of our mouth.

What is our self-talk about? Are we beating ourselves up? Are we thinking negative thoughts about our spouse, children, coworkers, government and even God?

As we take inventory of our thoughts let’s compare them to what Philippians 4:8 says we should think about. Are our thoughts true? Do they bring honor and respect? Are they right and confirmed by God’s word? Are our thoughts pure and wholesome? Lovely? Do our thoughts bring peace and a good report? Are our thoughts full of praise?

What do we do if our thoughts don’t line up with this scripture? Take them captive! Scripture tells us we need to tear down every argument and obstacle that keeps people from knowing God and take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Taking captive and tearing down requires action. And depending on how long you have been thinking and saying wrong thoughts will determine how hard or easy it will be for you to start thinking and saying life giving words.

We must be proactive about what we are allowing into our minds. Are our thoughts a reflections of who God is?

As a man thinks so he is…

  • I am a child of God and loved by Him.
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
  • I am the righteousness in Christ
  • God is for me and not against me
  • I am seated in heavenly places and everything my hand touches prospers
  • I walk in signs, wonders, and miracles
  • Jesus’ blood paid for everything
  • I am healed, set free and made whole.
  • Let’s think God thoughts about ourselves and others and declare them out of our mouth.

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Resistance “Training” – Jake Sapp

“Shaking the House” was a popular song by Petra when I was growing up. I always loved the catchy notes, the rock riffs, and the words. I don’t think I ever really thought too much of the words until I was really working through some law vs grace stuff with the Holy Spirit. I posted the lyrics below but the gist of the song is that you better get your house upon a firm foundation, because the fire of refining is coming. As I listened to the song I got a Holy Spirit download about the idea of trials and tribulations from the perspective of grace.

Trials and tribulations can best be thought of like working out. When you are working out you stretch your muscles to the point of tearing. The point is to rebuild the muscle stronger. As we are working out it often times hurts and is uncomfortable. But we do it because we see the effects afterwards. There is an encouragement in the pain, knowing that we will become stronger from it. Trials and tribulations can be like this do. I believe it’s why James said “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” – James 1:2-4

Resistance Training Post - Journey Church

When someone is working out we don’t tell them to stop or that it is bad for them. We join in with them or encourage them. However, some people don’t like encouragement when they are working out if the person isn’t doing it with them or hasn’t done as much as them. Trials are like this for some people. They don’t want encouragement but people don’t turn down a listening, understanding ear who is willing to be there with them. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” From our workout analogy Ecclesiastes is advocating a workout partner.

When someone is working out we don’t tell them to stop that it is bad for them. We join in with them or encourage them.

In fact, if we seem stuck when we workout or are struggling we look for workout coaches or research how to get better. But we don’t do the same spiritually. Why is that? Shouldn’t we look for pastors and spiritual leaders (workout coaches) or do the research (read the Bible) to figure out how to get over our hurdles. Just because it got hard doesn’t mean we throw in the towel. Paul speaks to this in 1 Corinthians 16:9 “for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” He saw the opportunity in the pain.

We have to understand that trials and tribulations will come. In John 15:20 Jesus said “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” Again in John 16:33 Jesus says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” We are told trials and tribulations are going to come our way. But we noted James told us this was to our benefit. That doesn’t mean that we may be happy about them but we can choose to have joy knowing they will make us more Christlike.

Everything we built will be tested. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”

Resistance Training Post - Journey Church

As the Petra song implies we had certainly appreciate this fire because it can make us better. If we have something burned up or shaken off here on Earth it can be rebuilt with better materials.

When building a house you use green rock instead of sheet rock near areas of humidity and water. Green rock is more resistant to mold and mildew. Sometimes it isn’t until the sheet rock gets mold and mildew on it that you find you need to replace it. However, green rock is stronger and more durable. Don’t we want our lives to speak of the same thing? The we are made of the most durable materials.

There was a recent popular song by Hawk Nelson saying that “when the pressure is on he’s making diamonds”. Diamonds are beautiful. They are crystals of pure carbon that have formed under a combination of high temperatures and extreme pressure. They require a temperature of at least 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. For a point of reference, the surface of the sun is 10,000 Fahrenheit. That’s a lot of heat!

Speaking of heat. “Refiner’s Fire” was a popular song for a while with the lyrics talking about the refiner’s fire being “my hearts one desire” for the purpose of “being Holy”. It is noble to desire holiness but we have to realize what that may cost us. To refine gold it has to be heated to 1,948 degrees Fahrenheit to get it to melt. After it is liquid the dross or impurities in the gold are skimmed off the top. Then reheated again, and again to repeat the process further refining the gold. This is why we measure gold in karats. 24 karat gold is pure gold, nothing else. 22 karat gold is a combination of 22 parts of gold and 2 parts of another metal. If we expect to be 24 karat gold we have to expect some refining.

Ultimately it was best said by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:16 “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” The trials may feel like they are destroying are body but are spirit is being renewed. And only one of those is going to heaven.

Everything that can be shaken will be shaken from within

Better have your house in order when the shakin’ begins

You examine your foundation

Does is stand on rock or sand?

When the smoke clears does it bring fears

When the houses fall or stand

In the fire of refining with flames too high to douse

You remember someone saying

It’s beginning in the house

But don’t fear when it comes near

And you see the raging fire

If you hold fast it will all pass

Till your heart has His desire

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Seeing through the Grace Lens – Pastor Aaron Porr

If you’re looking for an interesting Bible study soon try Romans 7 and 8.

Romans chapter 7 has been used as the basis for the claim that we are all still under the power of sin even though we strive against it. And actually, that is exactly what that chapter is saying. Romans 7 describes the experience of the frustrated christian wrestling against sin on his own.

Are you seeing your struggle with sin through the lens of grace?

Romans 7:21-25 – I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Am I reading that correctly? I SERVE THE LAW OF SIN in my members? Is that what I see everywhere else in the Bible? We serve God with out minds and we serve sin with our bodies? And yet that is how this chapter is interpreted……or should I say misinterpreted many times.

We all know how it feels to fight and resist an urge to sin in some shape or form only to find that our own efforts aren’t enough.

We find ourselves once again in the discouraging place Paul describes in verses 15 & 16, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do.”

The temptation is to stop there and believe that there are only two choices before you:

  1. Resign yourself to the inedibility of the “sin nature” winning out over your desire to live a holy life or…
  2. Mustering all your strength and resisting sin with all of your resources and strength.

Those who choose to keep reading find another solution in chapter 8. Remember, Romans, just like the rest of the epistles is a letter written to a church. It wasn’t meant to be divided into chapters and received as segments like we do. While chapter 7 describes a law that rages in our members, chapter 8 describes another law that overcomes the law of sin and death.

Look at verses 1 and 2 in chapter 8…

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Chapter 7 describes the experience of STRIVING against sin in your own strength, not so good. Chapter 8 describes LIVING in the newness of Christ where He has already overcome sin. It’s a new reality, a new IDENTITY! Righteousness is not what you DO. It’s who your ARE!!

2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

You are as righteous as Jesus. Not because you do good things or successfully resist sin. It’s because the very righteousness of Christ has become yours through the cross……”In Him”!

Wow, that should be a game changer.

You live out of a new identity. The old nature is dead, nailed to a cross. Jesus rose from the dead but he left our old sin nature to rot in the grave and we won’t see it again.

That is such good news because that means that when God looks at you He sees the righteousness of His Son! God doesn’t recognize or acknowledge your “old man”. There is one who comes and reminds you of “your” sin and how hard it is to resist it and overcome it…..and it’s definitely not God.

If you feel weighed down, oppressed, or burdened with guilt over sin, remember, condemnation does not come from God. “…there is now no condemnation for those who are IN CHRIST.” Your sin has already been dealt with. It’s in the past. It’s history! What once separated you from God has been removed by Jesus and “cast as far as the east is from the west.”

You may still live in a world where sin resides, but you are not of this world. You’re an ambassador from another world spreading the good news. 2 Corinthians 5:20. If you struggle with a sinful habit or temptation the first step on the road to freedom is understanding who you are. What does God see when He looks at you? Is He mad, is He disappointed? Or does He see the righteousness of His Son Jesus? Don’t let religion try to convince you that you and God aren’t on good terms until you get it together. You are never going to be good enough on your own to measure up. That’s why the perfect Lamb of God came to this world to take our place. Your striving and struggling can’t add to what Jesus has done. You can’t make your redemption any more complete than it already is. The Father isn’t in Heaven telling Jesus, “I know you did a lot to redeem Aaron, but I sure hope he is up to the task to finish the job.” NO! “It is finished” is what Jesus cried before He surrendered His Spirit.

It is finished! I am His! He is mine! I am in Him and He is in Me. Our Spirits are now mingled and my identity is in Christ. The old is gone the new has come. Sin has no power over me. The “ME” that was vulnerable to sin is rotting in the grave and will never return. When we walk around struggling with that old man it’s like digging up a stinking corpse and walking around with it….that’s just weird, and gross. We’re not supposed to be doing that.

At times in my life when one temptation or another has gotten the better of me, the key to victory has always been remembering who I am in Jesus and shaking off wrong thinking, shaking off the lie of the enemy that I am still locked in that old nature. I thank God that it doesn’t depend on my ability to resist sin with will power alone. None of us have that kind of will power. But there is no sin that has the ability to overcome God’s power in us. When we walk in our new identity sin has no power. What does it mean to “walk” in your new identity? It’s all about choices you make. If you have struggled with lust you probably shouldn’t be looking at things that incite lustful thoughts. If you struggle with alcohol you probably shouldn’t be hanging out at the bar or the club. It’s not about rules and regulations it’s just about making common sense, wise choices. Be intentional. Pursue Jesus! Seek the Kingdom of God! If you do these things, anybody can do these things, you will find that the power of sin diminishes and eventually disappears.

Religion will tell you that everything depends on your works. Religion is defined as mans attempt to reach God. God hates religion because it separates Him from the ones He loves. It deceives people into thinking that He doesn’t love them when in fact, He radically loves them!

Grace tells you that everything is based on Christ’s works. It’s how we’re saved, it’s how we’re healed. It’s how we live a sin free life. It makes the impossible possible. Grace is becoming the person that God sees when He looks at you.

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