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From that time on Jesus began to inform his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem. There he would have to suffer a lot because of the leaders, the chief priests, and the experts in Moses’ Teachings. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be brought back to life.

Peter took him aside and objected to this. He said, “Heaven forbid, Lord! This must never happen to you!”

But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get out of my way, Satan! You are tempting me to sin. You aren’t thinking the way God thinks but the way humans think.”

Matthew 16:21‭-‬23 GW

Jesus answered them, “I can guarantee this truth: Whoever lives a sinful life is a slave to sin. A slave doesn’t live in the home forever, but a son does. So if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free.”

John 8:34‭-‬36 GW

I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key to the bottomless pit and a large chain in his hand.

He overpowered the serpent, that ancient snake, named Devil and Satan. The angel chained up the serpent for 1,000 years.

He threw it into the bottomless pit. The angel shut and sealed the pit over the serpent to keep it from deceiving the nations anymore until the 1,000 years were over. After that it must be set free for a little while.

Revelation 20:1‭-‬3 GW

If you want to make sure something gets done what do you do?

You do it yourself.

Why?

Because you can’t trust anyone else to do it the way you would do it.

You could hire someone or force someone to do it, but the minute your back is turned, they’ll be off screwing around and messing things up.

If you want it done right, do it yourself.

That’s how I think.

And I think in God’s mind it’s the same way.

His will is that all people be saved.

So He did it Himself.

He died on a cross, providing His Son as the perfect blood sacrifice.

Jesus is the atonement for our sins.

He died to set us free.

Now, freed from our sins we don’t have to walk in them anymore.

Deliver us from the evil one.

That’s the unheard heart’s cry of the people.

A lot of people point fingers at other people accusing them of being the evil one.

They’re just pawns in a game of spiritual chess.

We already know that Jesus put the devil in checkmate.

Victory is assured.

So let’s start walking in victory.

What’s going on in the Church currently?

Growing pains.

The Church is maturing and unifying on mission to fulfill the Great Commission while at the same time rightly representing the heart of God in our fallen society.

We’re becoming more like the Bride that we were created to be.

God’s Spirit is marrying His Church.

They are becoming one.

In that process, we all must die to ourselves.

Love, submission and obedience will rule and reign.

It actually might appear foreign to some local bodies who have been deceived into legalism and religion.

The Church is coming alive.

If you want to die to yourself, you need to do it yourself.

Say no to the things you want and pick up your cross daily.

Sure, God will send people and situations to help speed that process along, but ultimately you’re the one who decides how you’re going to think and act.

Are you going to think and act like a human?

Or are you going to think and act like your Father in Heaven?

We have the mind of Christ.

We are the Body of Christ.

Seems like we should be Christ-like.

Or Christian.

It’s time we took back that word and started being proud of being called a Christian.

Don’t call yourself a Christian.

Only godless fools honor themselves.

Let praise come from someone else’s mouth.

Call yourself what you are.

A sinner saved by grace.

Someone who follows Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

A worthless slave who only did what was expected of them.

You’re either a slave to sin or a slave to God.

You can’t have it both ways.

You are a slave to whatever controls you.

You’re a bondslave when you’ve been set free but realize that you’re better off staying and serving your master.

Jesus set me free.

But there’s no place I’d rather be than in His Holy Presence.

And in His grace I’ll abide, so help me God.

Amen.

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