I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

What I Learned Last Sunday

And [Jesus] said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19

Check out last week’s sermon here.

1. I have decided to follow Jesus
The Bible is filled with wonderful and helpful descriptors of what Christ offers sinners when He says, “Follow me.”

From Darkness to Light
“Follow me!” Jesus calls. Christ, the light has called me out of the darkness. I had become so used to the darkness that it seemed like a friend. The dark kept me company. When Christ first appeared to me, he was an enemy. The darkness I loved was exposed by Christ’s light. I felt shame. Run from the light? I can no longer. He is always behind me. Surrender to the light? I will lose the darkness that accompanied me these many years. Can I keep the darkness and claim the light? No, dark and light cannot abide in the same room.

Surrender to the light? Yes, and what joy! How hard it is to see clearly in the dark. How long I lived with my greatest hope only the next paycheck/relationship/pleasure. Christ the light has opened my eyes.

Rejecting My Kingdom for God’s Kingdom
“Follow me to My Kingdom!” Jesus calls. Christ offers entry into the universal realm and reign of God almighty. What is the cost? Everything. My kingdom is no good. My kingdom must surrender its territory and plans. My enterprises and investments are to be called in and handed over to the King.

This seems to be a serious risk. Shouldn’t I keep some of myself back from the King for a rainy day? Will He keep me safe if I fully surrender my old kingdom? Will He fail? Is this King the true King?

And [Jesus] went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. -Matthew 4:23

Though His Kingdom means great cost to my kingdom, I am given in return the safest place in eternity.

2. No turning back
When I see the Light given, displacing my darkness, I cannot return to the dark. The Light is better than the darkness, pure and life-giving. When I see the better Kingdom offered, more secure and grand than my own, I cannot return to my old shabby Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is stronger and more stable than my own. In fact, in His Kingdom I see that I am right where I belong, under this King.

And, when I see the Savior bid me follow Him, I am overwhelmed. My own path has always meant death, the end of all mankind. Jesus’ path meant death and life. His path meant a cross and a tomb emptied victoriously. I cannot turn back. I will follow Him in faith, plunging into His death and rising victoriously by His life. His death means my life, and my life is bound eternally to Him. No turning back.

Be Gone, Satan!

Be Gone, Satan!

What I Learned Last Sunday

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil…Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. – Matthew 4:1, 8-11

Check out last week’s sermon here.

“Be Gone, Satan!”

Real help and real hope is found in those words. Jesus endured real temptation from the great adversary. More than enduring, Jesus ended the encounter with the Devil in power, showing all along God’s providential care in each moment.

It was the Spirit who led the Son to be tempted, and it was the Son who turned away the Tempter with the Word of God. At the moment when we all would say, “yes” to the offer of the world, Jesus said to the Tempter and the temptation, “Be gone, Satan!”

How is this helpful?

A simple answer would be that Jesus is our great example to follow. He was tempted as we were and now sympathizes with our weakness (Hebrews 4:15).

Yet, it is not ONLY helpful and hopeful that Jesus is our example. Having an example to follow does not solve the problem of our temptation to give in to the Devil’s ways (sin).

How is this true?

Imagine your father were to one day set out to teach you woodworking. He sets you down and hands you a beautifully ornate birdhouse trimmed and stained and to perfection. Your eyes may desire to build such a box in the example your father gave, but you may be less hopeful when your father reveals that he was given the birdhouse, and your father has no means or tools to build one with you. The example may be of top quality, but you have no tools or ability to follow that example. In our own strength, we are at best incapable of accomplishing the change needed to turn down the temptation to sin.

Thank God, Jesus is much more than an example. Jesus is our Substitute (Romans 5:6, 1 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus is our Advocate (1 John 2:1). Jesus is our Savior (Acts 4:12). He only bids us to follow, having made the way and cleared the path by actually transporting us into His Kingdom by God’s power (Colossians 1:13).

“Be gone, Satan!” Those words are hopeful and helpful with real and everlasting implications. I do not just have an example who showed me the path of life. I have a Savior who saves me to, by the grace of God and the power of the Spirit, say to the Tempter in my great hour, “Be gone, Satan! I will serve my Lord today.”

Question: When tempted will I turn to Christ in faith, trusting that He is able to far more exceedingly beyond all that I ask or think (read Ephesians 3:20)?

Come and See

Come and See

What I Learned Last Sunday

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene. – Matthew 12:13-23

Check out last week’s sermon here.

The Humility of Christ

Come to Nazareth, most insignificant of towns, and see the Savior humbly dwell. He had no beauty or princely upbringing that we should see Him as a worthy Lord (Isaiah 53:2). He came from lowly Nazareth. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46).
Come and see the greatest good for all mankind. God took on human flesh, serving the servants. He came from humble Nazareth, bore our sins on the cross, and now reigns exalted at the right hand of God (Philippians 2:5-11).

The Sin and Suffering in the World

Come to Herod’s house and see the tyranny of our sin. King Jesus calls for us to call Him Lord; our ‘king of self’ must be made obsolete and Jesus enthroned in us by the Spirit. But Jesus will not rule within our hearts of opposition. We would rather play David’s card and take measures (through effective murder) to keep our reign (2 Samuel 11:14-17). We would rather play the Herod card and kill those who might usurp our power and control over what is ‘ours’. “My kingdom of self, my choice!” We will slaughter others no matter the cost if it might keep us on our throne.

The Providence of God in it All

Come to the Advent story and see a God by no means naive, a God not competing with chance, nor a God not far off but utterly close. He spoke to His prophets (v. 15) many times calling for His Son’s peculiar arrival into the world. The world engrossed in sinning, suffering, and loss was offered a lowly Savior, God’s Son. Jesus came to His own, and they rejected and killed Him (John 1:11). Yet, the very act rejecting this humble Servant was God’s purposeful sovereignty. God willed to crush His Son (Isaiah 53:10). Now there is an offer of peace by crucifixion of that Savior (Colossians 1:20).

Praise God, by His providence you can proclaim, there is no other name than Jesus alone where salvation is found (Acts 4:12)!

Merry Christmas!

Joyful Surrender to Jesus

Joyful Surrender to Jesus

What I Learned Last Sunday

When [the wise men] saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. – Matthew 2:10-12

Check out last week’s sermon here.

The Gospel is an unwavering message proclaiming that Jesus is Lord, having sacrificed himself to God’s wrath in payment for our sin. The Gospel’s call is to surrender to this Christ in repentance and faith. There is no means of salvation outside of surrender to Christ.

Last Sunday Pastor Mike shared the contradictory responses that King Herod and the wise men had upon hearing of and seeing Jesus’ birth. Herod sought Jesus’ death. The wise men sought Jesus to worship.

With exceeding, great joy, the wise men rejoiced in the Savior. They, “laid down their earthly treasures to treasure Christ.” What can be said of King Herod but that he sought to kill Christ for the sake of his earthly treasures. There could only be one King on the throne of Herod’s heart–Herod himself.

To the singular, unchanging Savior, Herod and the wise men responded in radical ways. To us Jesus offers himself. He offers life, eternal life, joy, and peace. No one is given more or less of Christ. To have him is to have all of Christ, life, joy, and peace.

Yet, Jesus never morphs or reshapes himself to fit our fancies. Jesus offers himself, Savior, King, and Lord. There is no room for two Kings in the universe; there are not two thrones to be filled in your heart. Jesus will never surrender his lordship to Herod’s. Herod must surrender to Jesus. Jesus cannot surrender to the wise men. They must surrender in joy to Jesus or reject him. Jesus offers only himself to you. You must surrender to have Jesus.

Jesus is the one standing, knocking at the door (Rev 3:20). Jesus is the one calling, offering rest for weary sinners (Matt 11:28). What is Jesus’ call to us? Let us see his star (his wondrous works), rejoice with redundant joy (as Pastor Mike shared), and fall down in surrendered worship before the Savior.

Twisted Past, Redeemed

Twisted Past, Redeemed

What I Learned Last Sunday

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,  and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah… – Matthew 1:1-6

Check out last week’s sermon here.

Question: Are you ashamed of the things in your past?

You might agree that remembering the past can recall both happiness and sorrow. For every rosy recollection, there is usually the remembrance of that blunder you did to him, those cruel words to her, or the one thing you wish you could have done but failed to do. The remembrance of your sin can leave tinges of pain and embarrassment.

As a result, you choose to not bring up the past if you can.

Matthew’s Jesus *Genealogy

When Matthew penned his story of Jesus, he scanned his people’s past full of joys and many sorrows. Rather than sugar coating Jesus’ family line, he reveals the real genealogy showing the underbelly of humanity. Cheaters (Jacob), twisted adulterers (Judah and Tamar), prostitutes (Rahab), outsiders (Ruth), and a murderer (David) add a small taste of the sinfulness composing the line of Jesus. Why on earth would Matthew fill the written lineage of King Jesus with such filth?

Is Matthew combatting a lie?

Who did Jesus come to save? Some today proclaim that the work Jesus did to save you was to actually reveal your true identity. You were always special as God’s child, and Jesus came to pull back the shutters of your life.

Though it may sound nice to think about myself so positively, and there is a partial truth in our special connection to God (see Genesis 1:27, 31), Paul would beg to contradict the sentiment that we are naturally good (see Romans 3:23). Additionally, personal experience, that honest remembrance of my past recalls failure after ungodly failure, only ‘special’ by my unique ownership of each one (they are specially and uniquely my sins).

It could be then that Matthew is combatting the lie that his readers are good and worthy of God’s affections on their own. There is a benefit in remembering our many failures in order to fully see the counteracting miraculous work of the Savior. “**Our sins they are many, His mercy is more.”

Are you convinced that your past failures need to be corrected, fixed, perfected in order to receive Jesus’ love? Friend, Jesus calls you to fall at His feet, weary (Matthew 11:28-30) and sinful (Luke 5:32). The work Jesus does in human hearts is just like the work He did to His genealogy. He takes twisted and sinful things, and redeems them with His presence. Jesus’ genealogy is a glorious testament to grace. Let your life be the same.

*Andrew Peterson wrote a great Christmas album which includes this song about Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel. I recommend listening.

**His Mercy is More written by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell

For the Sake of the Name

For the Sake of the Name

What I Learned Last Sunday

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth. – 3 John 5-8

Check out last week’s sermon here.

The formula goes like this…

God’s glory (climatically in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection). + Seeing Jesus with a heart of faith.  = Following, sending, serving, and going for the sake of His name.

Question: Will I be found faithful to God (3 John 5) when the moment to serve arises?
What is the problem with this question? Mainly, it assumes that service to God is something that can be turned on and off like the water tap. Rather Scripture calls us to give our whole selves (time, talent, and energy) to God as a living offering to God (Romans 12:1).

In 3 John 5-8, John connects faithfulness to God to the proclamation of Jesus’ name to the world. It is an act of faithfulness to God to _________ for the sake of Jesus’ name.

For the sake of the name, the name of Jesus Christ, FOLLOW.
Jesus will reign, every knee knocking (some in terror and others in joy) bowing in reverence before Him (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus is reigning now and will be recognized by every tongue proclaiming, “He is Lord!” He is a worthy Lord to follow, now.

For the sake of His name, SERVE and SEND in a manner worthy of God (3 John 6).
Beloved Gaius in 3 John was found faithful in his service to the itinerant Christian brothers. He did not turn off the tap of faithfulness when given the opportunity to serve. Jesus’ name is worthy of our service.
He is also worthy of the restructure of our resources, so that we would send well. What does sending well look like? John says that we should send and care for Christian missionaries, who go for the sake of Jesus’ name, in a manner worthy of God. What is God worthy of? All our time, resources, and energy. The burden seems to be less on miserliness and more on genuine generosity and care for those who go.

For the sake of Jesus’ name, GO.
“*For God’s global glory,” go into all the world and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus’ name, his fame and global reputation, must be proclaimed to the ends of the earth. There is no other salvation available outside of Jesus (Acts 4:12). The combined value (by the Spirit) of the exclusiveness of Christ, the severity of the human condition outside of Christ, and the great glory of God are the rocket fuel of the Church to go out and proclaim.

*Shared from the sermon preached by Pastor Mike on November 14, 2021. I encourage you to listen here.

The Heart of True Friendship

The Heart of True Friendship

What I Learned Last Sunday

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.  – 3 John 1-4

Check out last week’s sermon here.

Friendship is…
1) Rooted in love, 2) rooted in truth, and is 3) full of real concern and real care.

Discipleship…
1) is goal oriented toward helping one another walk in God’s truth, 2) usually bears fruit, 3) brings incomparable joy.

It’s interesting that we, for the most part, see the value of friendship while discipleship is a ‘holy’ word reserved for a select few. John helpfully unites friendship and discipleship via writing to his dear friend Gaius.

It’s a beautiful thing that the love of Christ and the work of the Spirit can shape uncommon people into common brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers. The shaping work of the Spirit produces lasting treasure (glory to God) through real, Christian, discipling, friendships.

At The Heart of True Friendship
Do I like you for the same ball team?
Or share a passion for hunting,
politicking, for shopping, running,
ranching, for parenting?
Or because we follow the same regime?
Or does the Good News blur those pastimes?
Are those saved sisters, blood-washed brothers,
true family, friends sublime?
To whom Jesus cries, “Follow!”
whom God calls, “My child!”
Are they worthy of your time,
your prayers, your life?
Worthy to pursue for growth?
Worthy for Christ’s name,
the glory of God?

A Danger, A Command, A Warning, and The Only Encouragement

A Danger, A Command, A Warning, and The Only Encouragement

What I Learned Last Sunday

…many deceivers have gone out into the world…[so] Watch yourselves…[because]…Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. [But] Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. [So,] If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting… – 2 John 7-13

1 Peter
1 Peter

Check out last week’s sermon here.

The Danger

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. – 2 John 7

Parishioner: “But pastor, isn’t it enough for people to just believe in Jesus? People can disagree about different aspects of who Jesus is (His divinity, humanity, purpose) as long as they all believe in Jesus’ name.”

Pastor: “There is deep Scriptural truth behind the name of Jesus. His person, His work then, and His work now are all essential truths to mine. The Word speaks of Jesus as more than a name (Colossians 1:15, Isaiah 53:10, John 4:6. John 8:58, Romans 8:34, 1 John 2:2). We encounter life from death through the name of Jesus. We encounter who Jesus is in His Word. If you unite around too little of the Christ of the Bible, you will find yourself worshipping a savior of straw.”

The Command

Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward…If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting… – 2 John 8, 10

Parishioner: “Pastor, this teaching seems too harsh. If someone speaks of Jesus and claims Christ, how can I be so cruel?”

Pastor: “The command for us is to be so serious about the truth of Christ that our love would be shaped into obedience to Him (2 John 6). Like Paul commanded we should seek to endure in purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, and genuine love (2 Corinthians 6:3-10). But we should be wise as serpents to never support, give a platform, or encourage things that are against the Jesus of the Word (Matthew 10:16).

The Warning

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God…[and do not treat a false teacher like a Christian], for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. – 2 John 9a, 11

Parishioner: “Pastor, how can I have any hope? This passage makes me squirm with anxiety. Could I walk away from Christ at any moment?”

Pastor: See below.

The Encouragement: Who is our shared hope in life and death?

Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son…[I have more to say and desire dearly to visit you to share together in the Father and Son], so that our joy may be complete. – 2 John 9b, 12

Pastor: “Two tremendously good things for you can occur at this moment. 1) Your self-reliance is being crushed, realizing if your hope is in yourself you would lose Christ forever. 2) In your despair, the sweetness of Christ may now seem more dear than ever. You have looked to yourself for salvation and realized you will never abide in Christ on your own.

You are at a crossroads. To return to your own strength will mean eternal despair. To turn to Christ is eternal joy.
In Christ, you will never be separated from him (Romans 8:35 the answer to Paul’s rhetorical question here is, “NOTHING!”). In Christ’s body (His Church), you will be built up into complete joy. Is that hopeful to you?”

*Christ our Hope in Life and Death
O sing hallelujah!
Our hope springs eternal
O sing hallelujah!
Now and ever we confess
Christ our hope in life and death

*This chorus is from a song by Keith & Kristyn Getty, Matt Boswell, and Matt Papa. I encourage you to give it a listen.

Discipleship Done Right

Discipleship Done Right

What I Learned Last Sunday

I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. 5 And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. – 2 John 4-6

Check out last week’s sermon here.

Discipleship – when a Christian intentionally teaches another Christian what it means to follow Jesus Christ. -Pastor Mike

John provides a helpful discipleship formula for a discipler in 2 John 4-6.

Time & Observation + The Word of God = Diagnosis & Instruction

Time & Observation

I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth… – 2 John 4a

A discipler places himself in a position to be able to see the fruit being produced in the life of the one he is discipling (2 Timothy 1:5). Does this seem invasive? If so, remember that if my goal is to be formed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18), the image is brought into focus by the transforming Spirit in the body of Christ (God’s people) (Hebrews 10:24). It is God’s grace to put in my life another follower of Christ who can see things I am not seeing with the desire to help me follow Jesus. My desire to run from this Christian brotherhood/sisterhood or the feeling that I am OK with my Bible and my own thoughts is not from the Father but from self-confidence.

So, John, the discipler, observes something (Christians walking in the truth), and he is overjoyed. How does John know what is worthy of joy?

The Word of God

…just as we were commanded by the Father. – 2 John 4b

The true, noble, excellent, and praiseworthy things (Philippians 4:8) of the timeless Word of God give John (and us) confidence to make observations about what is of value. John has been transformed by the power of Christ’s Gospel. He now loves what is true. He labors hard over God’s truth and lets it settle into every crack and crevice forming a smooth, mature Christ follower. He’s seen the frauds that pass as, “real love,” but he sees there truthlessness as empty shells, human forms love that claim to be from God. John knows the frauds because fraudulent kinds of love never include the truth of God.

So, John, when he sees, “children walking in the truth,” as God commanded, he wants to throw a celebration. He doesn’t waste a truly joyous moment like this, as one who lives surrounded by a world that is in the evil one’s power (1 John 5:19). John knows that what he is seeing is otherworldly, supernatural. The dead came to life in order for John to witness such walking in the truth.

What more can John do with what he has seen in these lives?

Diagnosis & Instruction

And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. – 2 John 5-6

Further up into the old old story (the one from the beginning). Further into faithful fear of God and His ways (keep His commands). Further out to love for one another.

So, John says what must always be said, whether in joy (as in this passage) or in painful warning (to a rebellious heart). John calls the disciple Heavenward to surrender to the Father, letting God’s truth settle into every crack and crevice of that disciples heart until a mature Christ follower is formed. There is no mountain of holiness or valley of despair any Christian will reach in this life where the call to the old truth of love and obedience will be insufficient.

Grace, Mercy, and Peace Forever

Grace, Mercy, and Peace Forever

What I Learned Last Sunday

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love. – 2 John 3

Check out last week’s sermon here.

Grace from the King

You are a beggar in the gutter, but the King draws you in. He calls a carriage for you and has you cleaned and presented at His table for supper. To top it all, He welcomes you as, “My child.”

Mercy from the King

While on the gallows for the seal of your judgement, before the noose closes around your neck, the King proclaims, “Punishment canceled forever!”

Peace from the King

Your fortress is surrounded by the King’s armies. Your defiance has made war, and the result for you is the barraging of your battlements with mortar fire. You refuse to surrender, though it will cost you everything you hold dear. Your castle is being crushed. A battering ram is at your gate. You stand knowing that your death is near. The doors crumble, and you close your eyes expecting death. Instead the herald enters with letter in hand reading, “The King is no longer your enemy. He has decreed peace.”

Will be With Us

It’s too good to be true.
Once helpless beggar, now honored child.
Condemned convict, now comeuppance cancelled.
Enemy, now friend.
It cannot be true that such good providence would last. But again and again, morning after morning into eternity, the grace, mercy, and peace will never, ever cease.

In Truth and Love

How in the world can such never-ending goodness come to me?
It came to me in the form of the absolute standard of reality and reliability (The truth of God in Christ) and shown through the greatest act of affection and kindness the world will ever know (The love of God in Christ shown in Jesus’ substitutionary atonement).
By the Son of God, call me an honored child.
By the Bearer of my Sorrows, call me, “Not guilty!”
By the Prince of Peace, call me one of God’s people.

Question: Is that good news? If so, how ought God’s work in me do its work in my day?