Welcome to Mariners Church. If this is your first time with us, we’re really glad you chose to be with us today. My name’s Eric, and I’m the senior pastor here. If we haven’t met, I would love to meet you sometime.
This is week four, the last week of our series called NEW. We’re going to talk about what it means to live new because he’s made us new. Next weekend, we’re going to start a new teaching series called Relationship 20/20. It’s about better relationships, better connection. You’ll see information in your bulletin. Doug Fields, our pastor of student ministries, is going to kick off the series next weekend. It’ll be a lot of fun. It’ll be a good time.
If you’re here, and you’re like, “Awe, a relationship series. That means it’s going to be a series about marriage,” it’s not actually a series about marriage. We know that over half of our church is single, over half of Orange County is single. So it’s not a three week series on marriage. It’s a three week series on relationships. We’re going to look at getting some insight about all types of relationships from the Scripture. It applies to marriage, but it applies to marriage, applies to dating, applies to parenting, applies to friendships and work relationships. That begins next week, we are really excited about it.
Today, we’re going to wrap up what it means now to live new. As we’ve seen over the last couple weeks, he’s given us a new name (do you remember that from the first week of NEW?), he’s given us a new community, and last week, he’s given us a new heart. We saw over 250 people last week receive a new heart, which was just beautiful to see. Now, because he’s made us new, how do we now live?
Several years ago when I lived in Miami, I came home one week from summer vacation, and there was this huge, massive dead spot in my yard. It was the second summer that it had happened. I’m not talking a little patch. I mean essentially, half the size of the stage was completely parched. The neighborhood we lived in at the time, people took care of their grass. It’s Miami, so it rains all the time, so people cared a lot about how their grass looked.
I felt like neighbors were driving by my house and seeing this huge massive dead spot and were kind of pfft and giving my house the stink eye like I was ruining the whole ambiance of the neighborhood or I was bringing the property values down. The summer before, when it happened, I had put new sod because I was trying to fix this huge dead spot. This summer, I was like, “Last summer I spent money on new sod. There has to be a better way.”
So I got on the computer, and I started searching, and I found a product that I didn’t even know existed until that moment. There is such a thing as lawn paint. You can paint your grass. Amazon will ship it to you. If you just want to give up, you just paint it. It doesn’t actually make it alive, it just makes it look like it’s alive. It doesn’t actually make the grass new; it just makes it look new.
I sat there one night, and I thought about getting this lawn paint. I decided not to get the lawn paint because what I wanted was a new yard, not just a yard that looked new. I say that because as we look at this passage of Scripture, I want you to really understand that the message of the Christian faith is never about you painting the lawn spiritually. The Bible never instructs us to just worry about the outside just to make ourselves look new and not actually be new.
We’re going to look a passage of Scripture where we’re challenged to live new lives, and anytime we study a Scripture like we’re going to study this morning, I want to be sure we understand that the new lives we live are because of what God has done beneath the surface.
He’s not asking you to just paint the outside of your life, just to look a certain way for him or to look a certain way for other people. He does want us to live new lives, but because of what he’s done in our lives beneath the surface, that then causes us to actually walk a new life.
Let’s see this. If you have your Bible, Ephesians 4. In verse 17, you’re going to see this challenge for you to live new. Then in proceeding verses after that, we’re going to see, “How do I actually live new?” Verse 17. The apostle Paul writes this to Christians who live in a city called Ephesus. He’s going to challenge them because of all he’s talked about. He’s talked a lot about the mercy and the grace of God in chapters before 24. Now he’s going to say, “Because you received a new heart, because you have a new name, a new identity, now live new.” Verse 17.
“Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts.” Let me stop here real quickly. In the Scripture, when you see the phrase, “As the Gentiles,” it was language that was used to describe my life and your life before you became a Christian.
The apostle Paul is writing both Jewish people and Gentile people, but he’s using this phrase to say, “This is how you were before you were brought into the kingdom of God. Don’t live like that anymore. Don’t live like you used to live. Don’t live like someone who hasn’t encountered the mercy of God if you’ve actually encountered the mercy of God. If you’ve really received the grace of God, live like you’ve received the grace of God. This is how you used to live, this is how you used to be, and this is what someone who doesn’t know God lives like. Verse 18, he continues.
“They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.”
This is how you were. This is how I was before Christ rescued me. Same exact thing. Look at the verse. “…with a desire for more and more.” Why did I desire more and more? Because nothing satisfied me. I wanted this. It didn’t quench me. So I wanted this. It didn’t quench me. I wanted this. So someone who hasn’t yet received God’s grace is going to constantly want more and more because whatever they acquire doesn’t ultimately quench them. That’s how you were before Christ rescued you.
You also, according to this verse, were darkened in your understanding. You were excluded from the life of God. I was darkened in my understanding of God before I met him. I didn’t see God as beautiful before I became a Christian. I thought God was a bit boring. I thought this kind of thing was a bit boring. I didn’t understand how amazing Jesus is. I didn’t understand how great God is. I was darkened in my understanding. The apostle Paul says, “That’s how you used to be when you weren’t yet rescued by the grace of God. You were excluded from life. You had a hard heart.”
We talked about this last week. That we (all of us) have needed our hearts of stone replaced and given a brand-new heart. That’s how you used to be. I want to stop here for a moment because it’s so important to get this.
Never in the Bible do you see God asking people who haven’t been changed by Jesus to live a new life. Never do you see, in the Bible, God asking people who are not Christians to act like they are Christians. Never do you see that. You only see God asking those of us who’ve had our minds opened to how awesome he is, who’ve been brought in, who have had our hearts replaced of stone with a heart of flesh, who now know how great and amazing God is and are satisfied with him.
For those people, for us, he does say, “Because I’ve done this for you, you should live new.” But never does God ask someone who hasn’t been made new to just paint the lawn and worry about the outside of their life.
The reason this is important for you to understand is because sometimes we have Christians when non-Christians act like non-Christians. It’s even personal for me. You should never do that. You should get frustrated with yourself when you don’t act like a Christian, but you shouldn’t get frustrated with somebody else who’s not yet a Christian and acts like they’re not a Christian.
This is where it’s personal. When I was a student pastor in Cincinnati, Ohio (this is years ago) our youth ministry had a youth night twice a week. We had a ton of un-churched kids, kids who didn’t know Jesus, who started showing up. I was the chaplain for the high school football team. I was looking for different ways to speak on public school campuses. I was meeting all of these high schoolers who didn’t know Jesus, and I loved them. They would show up. A whole bunch of them were coming.
An un-churched teenager who doesn’t know Jesus, who according to that passage, their eyes haven’t been opened yet to how awesome Jesus is, is going to bring his un-churched problems with him. We all do. We bring all of us with us wherever we go.
So I had these parents that came to me one night, and they were like, “We are starting a petition. We don’t like that our kids are being exposed to all of these un-churched kids.” I thought that would be an answer to prayer that we had a bunch of people who were hearing the gospel, but they were like, “We don’t like this. We’re having a petition for you to start a whole separate night just for our kids. You can talk to those kids a different time, and you talk to our kids this time.”
I said, “Tell me exactly. What are you going after? What’s the problem?” This group of moms said, “Well, our kids are hearing naughty words. They’re hearing curse words sometimes from these other kids at church.” So after I said a curse word under my breath, I responded.
I responded and said, “The greatest danger for your kids isn’t that they’re going to hear a curse word at church. The greatest danger for your kids is that they’re going to see Christian people not receive and not welcome and not love people right where they are. That’s the biggest danger. That’s the greatest danger.
I want to be sure we’re clear. This passage here is really strong, and we’re going to see it. Live new, but it’s to those of us who’ve been made new. If you’ve been made new, the Scripture is saying, “Because you’ve been made new, you should live new. B
ecause of all Christ has done for you, because he’s rescued you, because he’s changed you, you should live it now. You should live that out because everything he’s given you, his new mercy. He’s changed your heart. He’s given you a new identity. Live out what he’s done.
“Okay, how? How do I live it out?” We’re going to see three things in this passage, so let’s keep reading. I’m going to pull from this text one thought for every several verses. The first thought is this. This is how you live new.
- Remind yourself of who you are.
You have to constantly, I have to constantly remind myself, “I am new.” Remind yourself over and over again, “I live new because he’s made me his son, he made me his daughter. I live new because that’s who he’s made me to be.” Remind yourself who you are.
You’ll see this in verse 20. The apostle Paul says, “But that is not how you came to know Christ.” Don’t live your old life because that’s not who you are anymore. That’s not how you came to know Christ. Do you see what he’s saying here? He’s saying, “Live new. Don’t live like you used to live because that’s not who you are.”
“But that is not how you came to know Christ, assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds [think, remember that you were new], and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.”
Take off your old, put on the new. It’s a powerful image here of remembering you’ve been made new, so take off the old. You’re new, so take off the old.
After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans (I had grown up there), I went back pretty early to help with the cleanup. I brought a group of guys with me. I was living in Miami at the time, and we drove to New Orleans to help after Hurricane Katrina. There weren’t homes yet to stay in, so we stayed at this big FEMA tent.
We were told, “Bring old clothes. Not clothes you’re going to wash and try to wear again. Bring old clothes that you never want to wear again. Wear the old clothes. Clean up all day. You’re going to be encountering mold and fifth, and all kinds of toxins. So throw those clothes away.”
All of us brought big duffle bags, a bunch of old clothes that we wouldn’t bring home with us. We would work all day, and then we’d go back to the FEMA tent at night. The shower situation there was essentially these big porta potty showers. There’d be like 150 dudes waiting to get in the shower after you, so you couldn’t take a long shower.
You would take off your old clothes, put it in a bin that would be thrown away, and you’d get in a shower. If you were in there like 90 seconds, somebody was banging on the door saying, “Hey. Bro. How long are you going to take in there?” You have to hurry up, so you don’t really feel like you’re getting clean. You have these old clothes on. You took them off. You had a 90-second shower. Then what I would do is put on some more old clothes that I would wear tomorrow for cleanup. That whole week, you never felt really clean.
Until the last day. There were some friends of my parents whose house had electricity now and hot water. We were going to go to this special restaurant the last night. They said, “Before we go out to eat, would you want to take a shower at our house?”
“Ahh. Yes. Glory to God in the highest. I would love to take a shower at your house.” We were leaving early the next morning to drive back, so I had the one pair of new pairs that I brought because we weren’t going to work in these clothes. I brought them to their house. They were new clothes, and I laid them down. I walked into the bathroom.
I remember. I still see these three big yellow towels. Huge. I’m talking the huge and fluffy ones. I smelled it. “Ahh. This is going to be amazing.” I turned the water on really hot, and nobody named Bubba was banging on the door trying to get in. I took a shower, and I was clean. I was so clean. I didn’t put on old clothes. I then put on the new clothes. I then put on the new clothes because I was clean.
Do you understand what the image of Scripture here is? The Scripture is saying, “God has made you clean. Therefore, put on the clean clothes. God has declared you to be pure. He’s purified you with his grace. Therefore, walk in purity because that’s who you are. God has made you righteous. He’s declared you to be righteous. Therefore, put on righteousness because that’s really your identity. That’s really who you are. You now live that way because that’s what Christ has done.”
The early church father, Augustine, before he became a Christian, was very sexually promiscuous. He had a lot of affairs and a lot of relationships. Then he became a Christian. The story is told, it’s a famous story, that one night, he was walking down the streets of Rome where he used to walk.
There was a woman he had had sexual relations with. They had had many flings together. She seems him walking, and she starts calling out to him, “Augustine,” thinking that they’re going to have another fun night, that they’re going to party and do a lot of stuff together that night. So she starts calling out, “Augustine.” He hears her, recognizes her voice, starts looking down, and walking the other way.
She goes, “Augustine. Augustine, it is I. Augustine, it is I.” Augustine famously stopped and looked at her and said, “Yes, I know. But it is no longer I.” I am not longer going to live that way because that’s not who I am anymore because Christ has changed me. The first way to live new is to constantly remember, “This is who you are. You are new, so you live new.”
- You have to replace the old with the new constantly.
Going from old life to new life positionally before God happens in a moment. The moment you say, “I believe.” It was so awesome last week to see. The moment that happened positionally before God, your old life is dead, and you were brand new. That’s positionally. Practically, how we live it is, is constant of reminding ourselves who we are and constantly taking off our old life and putting on our new life.
We’re going to see now in verse 25 the apostle Paul gets super practical here. I want you to see this rhythm in this verse of taking your old life off and putting your new life on. See this constant rhythm of old gone, new one. Old taken off. Put the new on. Verse 25.
“Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.” So you take off lying, and you put on truth. You don’t just take off lying. You have to also put on truth. You replace lying with truth. “Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity.”
Put away bitterness, and, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger…” so constantly forgive. Put away bitterness; put on forgiveness. “Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need.” Take off stealing; put on honest work. Take off stealing; put on generosity. Next verse. Verse 29.
“No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need…” So take off language that destroys, and put on language that builds up. “…so that it gives grace to those who hear.”
There’s this constant rhythm of taking off the old and putting on the new. This is going to be our old lives. Scripture says, “Bitterness.” All of us have wrestled with bitterness. Why? Because all of us have been hurt. All of us have been beat up in some fashion in this life. God doesn’t run behind us in our bitterness and just say, “No, no, no.”
I’ve learned that doesn’t even work. You can’t just take bitterness off. You have to replace bitterness with forgiveness. In fact, if I just tell myself, “Don’t be bitter anymore,” I actually become more bitter. Why? Because I’m thinking about why I’m bitter, and I’m thinking about the person who’s causing me to bitter. You can’t just stop it. You have to replace it. You can’t just stop bitterness.
You have to take bitterness off, the passage says. But if you don’t put forgiveness on, you’ll then run back to bitterness.
You have to take off the old, and you have to constantly put on the new. If you don’t put this on, you’ll pick bitterness back up. You can’t just stop bitterness. You have to put on the new. You have to constantly replace the old with the new. Everything I’m saying here is in this passage.
Then he says, “Take off the old clothes of foul speech, of speech that tears people down, of your words being used to hurt people and harm people.” But you can’t just stop foul speech. Yes, the passage says you are to take it off. You have to take off foul speech. But if you don’t replace the vice of foul speech with the virtue of encouragement, you’ll run back to foul speech.
I’ve learned this, and I’m still learning this. I can’t just stop my vices. I have to replace, by God’s grace, my vices with virtues. I have to replace by God’s grace because of what he’s done in my heart. I have to replace the vice of my foul language with the virtue of using my words to help people and using my words to build people up instead of my words to tear people down. You can’t just stop. You have to replace.
It doesn’t work if you’re going to tell yourself, “Stop doing these bad things.” That’s not what this Scripture teaches. The Scripture says, “You take off the old, but you don’t just take off the old. You have to put on the new.” Take off the vice of lying. Replace lying with truth. If you don’t replace lying with truth. If you don’t replace lying with truth, you’ll just go back to lying.
Now, I’m just going to quote the verse here. I’m just going to quote the verse. The verse says that you have to take off stealing. You should not steal. You shouldn’t steal and take from other people what is rightfully theirs. You must stop the stealing. You must stop the conniving and the thinking that you’re going to develop some elaborate system to take from other people what they’ve worked so hard for with your ingenuity. You should stop that.
Because you’ve been made new, you have to take off stealing and unethical behavior. You have to take it off. Then you put on the new. You replace the old with the new, and you actually work for what you are going to receive. Then you are generous with everything that you’ve been given. And all the Dodgers fans said, “Amen.” That’s what you said. All right. Good. I totally realize that I’m probably not going to be invited to speak anywhere in Houston. That’s fine because I totally love living in Orange County. Everything’s great.
- Remember what Christ has done for you.
This point right here is of everything I’m talking about. Any change that is happened in my life is because of this. This is what’s really brought about change in my life. Remembering not only that I’m new but remembering why I’m new. I’m new because of what Christ has done for me. Now we’re going to see this as the chapter ends. Verse 30-32. The apostle Paul continues.
He says, “And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him…” Underline that phrase. You’re going to see two things that God did for you.
“You were sealed by him for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
Underline that phrase, “…forgave you…” You were sealed by him, and you were forgiven by him. This is what Christ has done for you. Two things. He has forgiven you and sealed you by his Spirit. This is huge language here.
It means when you became a Christian, all of your sins were gone, but also the Holy Spirit of God moved in, and you were sealed by him. Which means you were always going to be his son or daughter. There’s never a moment, there’s never a second, when you’re not his son or daughter. All of your sins are forgiven, but God has moved in and sealed you.
Now, all of God’s perfection and all of God’s righteousness moved in with God, so all of your sins are gone, but all of your perfection and holiness and righteousness of God has moved in. So when God looks at you, he doesn’t see your sin any longer. He only sees the perfection of Jesus, which has been given to you. He doesn’t see your struggle. He doesn’t see your past. He only sees the perfection of Jesus covering your entire life.
Some of you have heard things like this. “Christianity is beautiful because we get a blank slate, a clean slate. We are forgiven.” While that is true, the Christian faith is actually even more beautiful than that. We don’t only get a blank slate. We get a new slate that is completely filled with all of the perfection and righteousness of Jesus.
It’s much better than he just wipes away our sin and forgives us, and we have a clean slate and blank slate. The Christian faith is even more glorious than that. All of the perfection of Jesus, all of the righteousness of Jesus, now fills your slate. When God looks at you, he doesn’t see your sin. He sees the perfection of your Savior. Your guilt is gone, and your God has moved in. That’s what Christ has done for you.
I was sharing this one night two summers ago at a fourth and fifth-grade summer camp. This fifth grader comes up at the end of the service. He’s crying. I had been saying, “The beauty of the Christian faith is you don’t only have a clean slate. Your slate has all of the righteousness of Jesus. God looks at you, and he sees perfection because of Jesus.” I was teaching that. I was pouring my guts out to these fourth and fifth graders.
This fifth grader comes up, and he’s crying. He says, “I want to understand, Pastor Eric. Is this what you’re saying? Are you saying that God empties all of my bad grades from my report card?” It must’ve been a rough year for this kid? “And then he fills my report card with all of his perfect grades?” I said, “Bro, come here. That’s exactly what the Bible teaches.” He went, “Yes,” and walked away.
Then I realized, “Wait a minute. I don’t want him to go home and tell his mom that his report card doesn’t matter anymore.” So I said, “Hey, man. I just want to be sure you’re understanding. Your spiritual report card is emptied of all of the bad things, but it’s filled with the perfection of Jesus.
This should actually motivate you more to care about your regular report card. Not because you’re trying to earn favor or not because you’re trying to get God to love you, but because he already loved you. Now you can go to school this next year, and you can enjoy school more because you’re not trying to use school for your worth and your identity. You can enjoy school as a gift because God’s already given you all of your worth and all of your identity.”
Some of you need to understand that. You can stop using your relationships. You can stop using your career path. You can stop using your job to find your worth and identity.
When you realize that your blank slate isn’t blank, but it’s filled with the perfection of Jesus, you are now free to enjoy all the things that God gives you as a gift because you don’t need them to give you your worth because Christ has already given you your worth. He’s given it to you.
So we live new because he’s made us new, which means we should take off continually the old. When you came in today, you were handed a rock. A couple of months ago, I led our pastors through a Bible study on what we just talked about today. We are to take off our old and put on our new. I challenged all of our pastors, and me included, “What’s something from your old life that you need to leave behind so you can walk the new life? Something in your old life: a sin, a struggle, shame, regret. Something you need to take off and leave so you can now constantly put on the new.”
We were at the Back Bay when we did this. Everybody had a Sharpie just like you have a Sharpie, and we all wrote down a word. I wrote down the word, “Guilt.” I shared that even though I preach the forgiveness of Jesus…I preach it over and over again, and I believe it…I still sometimes struggle with guilt. It’s not guilt from my life before Christ. I still struggle with guilt today.
This was six months or so ago, and I still was wrestling with guilt about moving here. I love being here. This is where I want to be, but I wrestled with guilt that I left a team I built, that I left some things unfinished, that I disappointed people. I still struggled with guilt. I still struggle with guilt, even as a pastor, like I’m not doing enough. I’m not being for the people what I need to be. “God, am I enough?” So I wrestle. I wrote down, “Guilt.”
Then we prayed, and everybody went to different places in the Back Bay and threw their rocks in the water. We were doing that symbolize that we’re leaving this beneath the forgiveness of Jesus. So I walked on the bridge at Back Bay, and I dropped this in, and I haven’t struggled since, which is completely not true.
It’s not true for you either. It’s not that easy, is it? It’s not that easy. The Christian life isn’t that easy, is it? We are going to constantly struggle. I wrote down, “Guilt,” and I tossed it in the water. Here’s what has happened. I didn’t even realize when I led the pastors through that exercise how important that moment was going to be for me.
Probably 10 or 12 times since that moment, I’ve gone back to Back Bay, usually with my daughters to go stand up paddle boarding. I can point to the exact spot on the bridge where I stood and dropped it in the water. When I’m there, and I’m paddleboarding with my daughters, I look right there at that bridge. I remember, “Eric, you don’t have to carry this anymore. Jesus carried it for you.” I remember, “Jesus has already taken it from you, Eric. Quit picking it back up.” Every time I go to that spot, I remember this grace covers my sin.
Corrie ten Boom said this. “God takes our sins – the past, present, and future, and dumps them in the sea and puts up a sign that says, ‘No fishing allowed.'” Don’t go back and try to pick it up. Remember that Christ has already taken it. This is what I want to do. I want to create a moment for you similar to the moment that’s meant so much to me.
You were handed a rock and a Sharpie. If not, you can get one in a moment on the way out. I want you to write down on your rock, something from your old life that you still struggle with. All of us have it. It could be bitterness or foul language or anger or guilt or shame or lust or approval. Whatever it is for you. You know it’s your old life, and you struggle, and you want to be reminded that it’s been buried.
You’ll write this down on the rock, and here’s how we’re going to end our service. We’re going to worship in here, and simultaneously we have worship out by the lake. In a moment, I’m going to pray a prayer of blessing over you. You can worship in here. We’re going to continue to sing in here. Whenever you’re ready, you can walk out to the lake, and we have worship music happening there. You spend a moment, and you cast it in.
The Scripture says in 1 Peter 5:7, “… [cast] all your cares on him, because he cares about you.” Have you ever seen a little kid try to throw a ball for the first time? They forget to let go. “Throw it to me,” and they hold on. Some of you are holding on, and you’re forgetting to let go. You’re holding on. Your life feels like you’re constantly carrying this. I want you to toss it into the lake.
Not because I believe you’re never going to struggle. Actually, I don’t believe that at all. I want you to toss it into the lake so every single time you come to Mariners Church, you can look at that lake a remember, “Jesus, I don’t have to carry it. Jesus carried it for me.” That every single time you come to Mariners Church, you can look at that lake and remember that Christ has buried it.
We have a new stone, a new rock out by the lake. It says this. It’s the Corrie ten Boom quote. “God takes our sins – the past, present, and future, and dumps them in the sea and puts up a sign that says, ‘No fishing allowed.'” It’s out by the lake, and you’re going to throw your rock in. Every time you come to church, if you’re struggling to remember who you are, if you’re struggling to remember what Christ has done, you look at the lake, and you remember it’s been buried.
A couple practical instructions. This is not going to be a somber moment. It’s a special moment, but it’s not somber. You can spread out. The lake goes further to the left via stream than you think. It goes all the way down by the student building. So you can spread out, and toss your rock in. Do not toss your rock into the baptismal because we have to take it out, and that messes up the whole symbolism because we’ll have taken your rock out. Do you know what I’m saying? It has to go into the lake. Otherwise, it’s not staying there. Be sure it gets into the lake.
Also, get as close to the edge as you can before you toss. Don’t be trying to be like, “Hey, baby. Check it out,” and from a distance, and show how awesome you are. Don’t do that. Then you’ll have to fill out another rock for messing up somebody’s day. So don’t do that. Get as close as you can and release your rock into the water. Next time you come, you can always cast your eyes to the lake, and remember that your sin is gone. It’s been buried. Will you extend your hands for me to pray a prayer of blessing over you?
If you need prayer for anything else in your life, we have a group of people right over there by those lights. While we worship, while we sing in here, you can go to them, they would love to pray with you. We have an elder prayer room in the back. Our elders are there to pray for you for healing.
Father, I pray now for your sons and daughters with their hands extended to you. Lord, I ask that you would remind them that the rock they’re holding has been removed from them as far as the east is from the west. Lord, I ask that you would remind that you see their sin no more. I ask that you would remind them today that your grace is bigger and deeper than all of their struggles. I pray that you would motivate them to leave the old and wear the new. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.
We’re going to sing in here. We’re going to sing out there. As God leads, you can stay in here and pray and worship. You can start and make your way there. Whether here or there, let’s sing, let’s worship, and let’s remember the goodness of God.