Broken: Good News in Tough Times, Invincible
This is the third week of our message series entitled broken: good news in tough times. The first week of our series, we learned about suffering in our world, and how suffering can be a time of renewal and growth. In the second week, we heard “Hope is the trust that somehow, one way or another, even when things don’t seem to be working out and are very difficult, our future is in God’s hands.” If you missed either of those, you can find both of those messages on our website saintmary.life as a blog or a podcast.
This week we are going to see that even though we experience brokenness in our lives, there is good news for those who love God. God has chosen you.
Most of us probably do not remember when we were baptized but God chose you in that moment. Just before baptizing you, the minister asked your parents or guardians for your name, and using your name, baptized you, claiming you for God.
Make no mistake about it, if you are baptized, God has chosen you for himself. Your being here on earth is no mistake. Your existence is no mistake. And God’s love for you is real and true.
The world is full of people who need help. People sense that life is not the way it is supposed to be. We are broken and are in need, so we seek for the cure. We seem to have a self-help book for every kind of problem in our lives. We have TV shows that are supposed to give us the answers. It seems as if the world is running around looking for a magic solution and looking to build heaven on earth. We seem to be missing the point.
Could it be that the answers to our problems lie in the one person who is completely and totally the truth? Could it be that Jesus Christ is the solution to our meaning and purpose in the world?
The good news is that he is.
You can’t know your purpose without a relationship with the one who created you for a purpose. You’re not here by accident. That’s why you seek purpose in your life and life is meaningless without it. In searching for your purpose you’re really searching for God.
Remember that in Genesis God created human beings in his image and likeness. Now that means we are like God but we are not gods. He created man male and female to reflect the love that He has for the Son and the Son for Him.
This means that we need to treat all people with the dignity that is due to them as creations of God that reflect his divinity. When we live a life that is fully human, we reflect God as being made in his image. We are immortal, we have an intellect, free will, and we utilize all of this in our ability to love.
When we look at Jesus Christ, who is fully human and fully God, we need to understand that Jesus redeems us and gives us His grace through the Holy Spirit so that we are able to choose the good, which is His will.
When we embrace a relationship with Jesus Christ, with the help and inspiration of the Holy Spirit we have an entirely new world revealed to us and it speaks to us to how we should live. Through Jesus we are able to leave sin behind and live a new life without sin, choosing the good. When we have a relationship with Jesus, he teaches us and leads us into a loving relationship with God.
Think about your life as a boat. You are the captain. You have free will, which is the ability to choose and decide what you will do, whether good or evil. The desires you have are like the wind that pushes the boat. Because of the effects of sin, our desires can lead us astray. The navigator is your intellect that tells you where to go, regardless of the wind or your desires and emotions.
When we allow Christ through the Holy Spirit to lead us, He is able to guide the wind and the navigator so that we desire and reason out the good. When the wind blows in the same direction that the navigator wants to go in, the choice for the captain is clear! The captain is no longer fighting with winds or his navigator. He simply goes with the good, which is always what God wants. In our passage today, Paul is not telling the Romans that this is easy, but he is saying it is possible.
The more we live without Christ, the more we find that we struggle against our intellect and our desires. Conflict arises and we find ourselves caught in depression, anxiety and addiction.
When Jesus became human, He showed us that by our baptism we are the adopted sons and daughters of God because as the Son of God, Jesus is also one of us, taking us into the family. Being the natural Son of God, He also knows the heart of God better than any man and is able to show us the way to the heart of the Father. When we model ourselves on Christ, we can grow in our relationship with God. And as we learned last week, the Holy Spirit will lead us in our groanings.
In so many ways, Christ simply told us what we need to do to have a relationship with God. We learn this as we read the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. We ask, “What did Christ do while he walked the Earth?” He did the will of the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus taught us to pray, and as we learned last week, we know that when we don’t know how to pray or what to pray for the Holy Spirit will intercede for us.
In the world of self-help, people look for the answer to their problems in all the wrong places. How many would be helped if they turned to Christ? Do we believe he will help us if we turn to him? Paul says, “YES! God has promised that all things, not some, ALL things are going to work out for the good for those who love Him.”
The next time you are in a bookstore or watching TV and you see someone trying to sell you on the idea that they or you can solve all of your problems, open the Gospels and look to the one who is the truth: Jesus. Spend time praying the prayer of hope we gave yolast week, and allow the Holy Spirit to pray for and with you.
What do we want you to know? While man and woman were originally created in God’s image, it is through baptism into Christ, the image of God, that we are transformed by grace and born again in the image of the Creator.
This week we want you to be a light shining in the darkness… do something Christlike. Pick a person that you know and do these things: 1) pray for that person; pray for their needs, pray specifically that God will be in their lives; 2) find a way to encourage that person, call them, send an email or write a letter or special card to let them know that you are praying for them.
God has chosen you. You are His. Don’t ever forget it.