08 Jun 2016

Grace & Truth


Recorded on 8th June 2016

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Church Camp 2016 – Grace & Truth

Let's pray together as we begin, okay? Father, thank You for the privilege to gather again tonight, and to be able to think about of the truth that sets our hearts free and causes us to see you clearer, love you more, follow you better. We pray now that You would grant the things that we cover this evening to be a benefit to our hearts, to our minds and our souls that we might truly see you clearer and love you more. So grant that tonight, we pray and thank You. We ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Last night, we began with the concept of glory and I mentioned how keyword to understand in order for the faith to really become clear. We talked about the story of glory and as a quick review, number one… Let's see if you can even remember this and it'll be great if you could know at least the first four so that you could tell the story to those that you're trying to express your faith to.

First one would be… what? To design with glory, it is fall from glory, number three is search for glory and last is discovery of glory. Glory [can be defined as] renown, splendour, satisfaction. We want to find life, we're going to find it in Jesus and that's pretty much review for most of us. I mean that's not new content in the sense of we know that Christ is who has to be our all in all, but I met many, many, many of us who are sitting here right now, like myself, are in a struggle every day to make Christ our authentic glory and not to look at other things.

We should probably do a quick self-evaluation and say, “Lord, what is in my heart that I'm saying I have to have in order to find satisfaction other than You? What are the things that if I don't have right now, I don't think I could find myself satisfied?” And then we want to take those things to the cross and repent of them, right?

By the way, the understanding of repentance, let's make sure we all know what we talk about when we say repentance. Repentance does involve admission that what you'd done is wrong, correct? A lot of people think that's what it is, it's just confessing that what you'd done is wrong. It does include that but it is more than that. I like to think of it this way: it's kind of three steps to full repentance.

The first step is saying, “Yes Lord, I am responsible for what I did. What I did was wrong. I admit it.” But, we have to take a second step. That second step is saying, “And Lord, I am remorseful for what I've done. I regret what I've done. I wish I hadn't done it. I don't want to do again, to do it again. I would plan not to do it again, knowing that I still will fall. I'm still going to struggle but my heart's desire is to no longer make that my idol, whatever the sin may be.”

But there's actually another step. And that final step is coming back to the open arms, as you perhaps have heard, open arms of a loving Father and saying, “Your love is enough for me.” Do you understand that? It's what we say, really, “The reason that I feel I have to have something else to be happy is I don't think Your love is enough. The reason that I feel that I have to have this idol of my life right now – this counterfeit glory – is because I'm not sure that Your love is sufficient for all that I need. No, it is sufficient. Lord, I am sorry, I come back to You.” That is repentance, okay?

So we need to be thinking, what are the areas of our own lives that we struggle now? Once Judy [a suicidal lady mentioned the day before] had understood this idea of glory, and she understood that oh, there is something else in life that I have never realised is far better than anything else and it will satisfy my heart, I couldn't stop there. I had to say, “Judy, now I need to explain to you how you're going to find such glory.” We all need to be able to articulate these great truths – the fact of glory and how important it is – but not only that, we need to be able to communicate to people.

And let me help you understand how you find that glory in Christ. How do you find it? I'm going to suggest to you that we're going to find it by what's called the word “grace”. “Grace”, we use it all the time, do we not? Grace, grace, grace, what is grace? Grace has been often referred to as “God giving us what we don't deserve”. It's a great definition for grace. God giving us what we don't deserve –  grace. By the way, you know mercy is a little different. Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve; it's kind of the two sides of the same coin, right?

Timestamp 0:05:37

But God giving us what we don't deserve, others say Christ's riches are “God's Riches At Christ's Expense” – G-R-A-C-E. God's riches at Christ's expense – grace, but do we really understand grace? So in order to help people understand this idea of grace, this is what I often share and it actually is a support tool that I would have shared with you in the morning but I won't need to as I share it right now.

Here's the idea of grace. I like to take a piece of paper and pull it out and say to my friend, “Let's put God here.” [A box is drawn at the 12 o'clock position with the word “God” written in it.] Every person who is atheist does believe in God, wants God to like them, would you agree? We all want God to like us; particularly when we die, we really want to know if God like us.

Well, there's only two ways that people go about trying to relate to God. One, I'll put a box over here [9 o'clock position] that describes one way and I'll put a box over here [3 o'clock position] that describes the second way. This box over here [at 9 o'clock], I will put the word “Performance”, “Perform”. So because it's our performance, I will draw a line going from that box “Perform” up to “God” and we spell this religion “DO” [written along the arrow pointing from “Perform” to “God”. It's what we do for God or don't do because of God, you with me?

Now this idea of “do” creates within us a righteousness. A lot of people don't understand it, it does, it creates within us a righteousness but it is a particular type of righteousness that comes based on what we do ourself or don't do ourself, and therefore we call it what kind of righteousness? Self-righteousness, so I'll put an “S-R” – self-righteousness [written in the same direction as the religion “Do”].

Now, when we see self-righteous and we hear the word self-righteous, don't we immediately say, “Urgh, I don't like self-righteous people. Urgh, self-righteous people they turn me off.” No, they don't. You and I love self-righteous people, we enjoy being with self-righteous people. When we have our kids playing in the street, a little cul-de-sac, a little park or whatever with other little kids that live in our apartment or neighbourhood, do we look down and say, “Oh no, he's playing with the child that became such a good child on his own.” No, no, no, no. You know what we really hate? A hardy, arrogant, self-righteous people, that's what we dislike. But self-righteous alone, no big deal.

Then Jesus came along. Now, He didn't like any self-righteousness. He saw all of it kinda together unlike us. And to help you understand that, you see He was repulsed by self-righteousness in a way that you and I aren't. To help understand that, maybe I would use this illustration. I don't know what… I use sports activities a lot and I know that Singaporeans are not as much into sports as the people of America you know, but er there is a golf course in the US. That's probably the most famous of all golf courses and they have a big tournament there every year. It's called the Masters; it's just a very, very, very exclusive place to go, all right? So at the Masters, it's every golfer's dream in America to one day get to play at Augusta. It is so, so, so, so, so, so, so hard and unusual to be able to get to play that course. I mean it's just a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a guy that really likes to play golf, all right?

Timestamp 0:10:01

Now, here's the illustration. Men, imagine that you're married if you're single; if you're married, put yourself in the situation. Ladies, if you're married, put yourself in the situation; if you're not married, pretend like you are for a few minutes, okay? Now, you're in your marriage and you're talking with your spouse, and I'll direct this kind of from the male perspective, just because I'm a male. So you're talking to your wife and your wife says on Monday morning as you're preparing to go to work, “Honey, there is something that I want so badly I would like for you to provide for me.” “What is that, honey?” “I want a day of your life to do anything I want to do with you. I get to choose the agenda for an entire day. Would you give that to me as a gift?”

And in a moment of temporary insanity, you say “yes” without asking, “What you want to do?” But you say, “Sure, I'll give you a day.” She said, “I would like to have a Saturday. You pick the Saturday but I would like to have a Saturday to wake up early in the morning and start wallpapering our bathroom.” You hear that and you go, “Oh no.” “Then I'd like maybe at noon to clean up and go to the mall and shop until 10 o'clock that night when the mall closes.” Now you hear that and say that's the closest description of human hell I've heard in a long time and you're thinking, “Oh my goodness, what did I commit myself to?” She says that you promised you would do it. “You will keep your commitment, right?” “Yeah, I will.” “Well, give me a Saturday,” and so you say, “Well, why not this Saturday?” You're thinking, “Get it over with, just get it over with.” “So, Saturday okay. I'll do it Saturday.” She says, “Now, you're telling me nothing is going to interfere with this commitment, right? You are committed to me,” and you say, “Yes honey, I'm committed to you.”

Now, each day as you get closer to Saturday, you're dreading it more and more. It's Friday and you're ready to come home from work and the phone rings at your office, and it's your best friend and let's assume it's your golfing friend. Let's assume you play golf. I know you don't but let's assume you play golf. So you're there and your buddy says to you, over the phone says, “Hey pal, sit down. You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you.” You say, “What is it?” “We've hit the jackpot.” “What do you mean we've hit the jackpot?” “Oh, we had been invited to play Augusta National!” “No!” “Yes!” “We get… You're kidding me! That's the dream of all my life! That's the ultimate of anything, really! When do we get to do it?” And your friend says, “Tomorrow morning. All we have to do is get to Augusta where the course is and we get to play.” And all of a sudden you're thinking, “I committed, I committed tomorrow to my wife.” He says, “You're going to play, aren't you?” And you then say, “You know what? I think I'll play. If it killed me, I would play. I would make sure… and not realising that it may be a self-prophecy that you may die because of it. So you've said yes, you're going to play and now you're driving home thinking, “I have to explain this to my wife, somehow, who she could care less about Augusta or golf or anything else.

Timestamp 0:14:01

And so as you're driving home, men, you think, “You know what? I've never ever bought my wife flowers. I think I will buy her some flowers.” So you buy her some beautiful flowers, expensive arrangement of flowers and you're driving home still thinking about it. You think, “Maybe that's not going to be enough.” And you see this very expensive jewelry store and so you pull in and you buy this very expensive beautiful necklace, and you walk in the house and your wife sees the necklace… errr, sees the flowers and said, “Oh, who are the flowers for?” just assuming that they're not for her. And you say, “Honey, they're for you.” “Me? Why? Why? What's the occasion, honey?” “That's the point. There is no occasion. I'd just been thinking about you all day and how much I love you and how little I demonstrate my love to you and I thought I'm… I just needed to buy you some flowers,” and with that, she jumps up and hugs you and says, “This will be the most memorable day of my life. I will never forget this.”

And you say, “You know honey, you think about it, you'll never forget them but the problem is, these flowers they'll die, they'll be forgotten so I thought maybe I ought to buy you just something a little bit more and you show her the necklace. “Hah!” And she sees that beautiful necklace and says, “That's for me?” “Yes, honey.” “Why would you do this?” “I've just been thinking how much I love you. That's all it is. I just love you so much.” Now she jumps up, she kisses you, she hugs you, she says, “Oh, I will never, never, never forget this day,” and she just floated around, excited for the next couple of hours until finally, you say, “If not now, never. Here we go!”

You say, “Honey, you like the flowers?” “Oh, I love those flowers.” “Now what about that necklace? You really like the necklace?” “Oh, I'll cherish this necklace.” “Oh that's great, honey. By the way, did you know there's something I like too?” With that, she kind of tilts her head in suspicion and waits for the next word and by the time you say, “Golf Augusta tomorrow,” with that, she becomes furious and with that, she says to you, as she takes the flowers, throws them in the garbage, takes the necklace, rips it off her neck, throws it at you and then she says, “You repulse me.”

Now, what happened? Did she quit liking flowers? No. Did she quit liking beautiful necklaces? No. What happened was she saw the motive behind the action. Are you with me? Same with us. This is the religion of “DO”. Lord, I want to go to church for you. Lord, I want to give my money because of you. Lord, I want to help and serve because of you but really, God sees that and says, “No, you know why you're doing that? You're doing that so you can get me to do something for you.” That's performance, performance, performance. God's repulsed by that but the truth of it is that most people don't understand this.

There's another way and there is a correct way to relating to God rightly. It's over here and it's the word “Grace” [written in the box at 3 o'clock]. It's the word grace and so now the line goes from there [“God”] down to here [“Grace”] and now this religion is spelled “D-O-N-E”. It's what Jesus has done for us. Now it creates a righteousness within us as well, but this is actually not self-righteousness; it is Christ's righteousness placed within us. So I'll put a “C” here – Christ's righteousness [“C-R” was written in the same direction as the religion “Done”, along the arrow pointing from “God” to “Grace”].

Now this is where a person might ask, “Oh, is that where you walk down your aisle? Is that where you pray your prayer and all that? Is that what it is? Well, not really. It's a lot more than that and so what we have to do is we have to put one more box down here [at 6 o'clock position] with the word “Love” in it. 2 Corinthians chapter 5 says that it is Christ's love and there it means in that text Christ's love for us, not our love for Christ. Christ's love for us compels us to obey or to perform, performing not in order that God will love us but performing because God loves us [a line was drawn from “Grace” to “Love” and from “Love” to “Perform” such that the four boxes are in a circle]. Are you with me?

Now, here's the point. We have to ask ourselves this question: Where [in the circle] does our religion begin? And this is a question you will ask as you're sharing your faith with other people, showing this little diagram as a little support tool. I love to ask people this, “Let me ask you, when does your… where does your religion begin? Does it begin here [“Perform”] and go up to here [“God”], or does it start right here with God and does it go all the way around [round the circle clockwise]?” That's what we're really looking for.

Timestamp 0:20:08

Let me ask you. I know you're in church, I know you're in a good church, but do you know for sure that your righteousness is because of what God has done for us to the work of Christ and therefore it's His love for you that compels you to do the things that God has asked us, even demanded us to do? That's the real faith, that's the real faith.

By the way, just for a little fun here just to make sure we understand a little bit of theology that will support this understanding a little bit. Do you know there's been debate through the history of the church even as far as Luther. Luther was a little bit concerned that maybe the book of James was not really inspired of God, was not a part of Scripture. Do you know why? Because James seemed to contradict what Paul had to say; James said faith without works is dead. Paul talked in the book of Romans, it is faith alone – the cry of the Reformation, faith alone.

Well, are the two contradicting each other? No, not at all. In fact, if you want to see it, here's how it really works. You put a line down the middle [from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock] and you say okay, one of these two halves was Paul. Which side do you think was Paul? Hah? Yeah, this is Paul over here [right side], okay? This side [on the left] was James. You see, James was just simply saying, “Oh, you have a really… you really don't have this [faith on the right] unless you have that [perform on the left].” Paul would not disagree with what James is saying at all; they're not in disagreement. One is a passive righteousness being described and the other is an active righteousness. So you tell me, which one is the passive righteousness? Yeah, this [Paul on the right] is passive, right? This one over here [James on the left] is an active righteousness that he's referring to. That's all it is. It's the same thing really being referred to here, okay?

Now, as you look at this diagram, we understand it, okay this [on the right] is the true faith. Now, we have just described here the gospel, but I like to make sure that you all understand the gospel and so I'm going to put this up in a different way and try to make this as clear as I can so that we all understand grace as much as possible. And so I'm going to give you a little trilogy, a simple little trilogy of statements that will help us understand this.

The gospel can be stated in this way. One, we lost it all. We lost it all, meaning at the fall, when Adam sinned and Eve, that at the fall, we lost our perfection, our goodness, we lost everything at that time, okay? Do we all agree with that? Alright, good. That leaves number two, which says that He – Jesus, He did what? He did it all, meaning that He did everything necessary for our salvation and to be made righteous? Do we all agree with that? Alright, good. Number three leads to we – those of us who are His true followers, we get and you can guess it, can you not? We get it all, meaning we get His full total righteousness, given to us. That is the gospel, men and women.

Now, do you know that most Christians, I think most Christians that I've come across don't really believe this and we may find out that some of us here don't really believe this either. We just think we do. What many of us tend to think is something a little distorted from this and you have to be very, very careful with it because this is the belief of most Christians today, at least in the United States. They tend to believe that we lost… that we lost a lot, that at the fall, yes, we did lose our perfection but we didn't lose our goodness.

Timestamp 0:25:15

For instance, if I asked the typical church gathering, if I said, “Tell me what happens to a little girl who's 11 years old, maybe 12, who is the sweetest, most gracious, most kind little girl you have ever, ever, ever, ever met, who is killed in a car wreck, tragically killed in the car wreck, and oh, by the way, she lives in North Africa and she bows to Allah multiple times a day and she's killed in a car wreck, what happens to her? Do you know what most Christians do they say? “Well, you know what? I know the Bible says that the… I mean you know I know this… I realize that when the… Randy, help me out. That's a hard question for me. I don't really know how do you deal with that question.”

You know what they really say? “There's a little good left in everybody,” but we already went through that this morning. No, no, no, no, there's none good; no, not one. And so the reality is we didn't lose a lot, we lost it all, but if we believe that we lost a lot, do you know what we have to believe by necessity? That He did what? A lot, that He did a lot. I mean after all, He went to Calvary, He paid for our sins, He gives us forgiveness. Now, all we do is a little bit. This is the view of “a lot”.

What we do is very minor, what we do is we take that little goodness left in everybody that they presume is still in everybody, and we bring a little faith that we create, a little repentance that we create and then what we do is we do a little and He does a lot. That leads to the necessity of believing that we get what? A lot. Oh, we get to go to heaven and we get forgiveness and so forth, but these people never understand getting the full righteousness of Christ, and that's why so many, many people in churches are caught in the performance trap though they believe in that whole circle because they think it's really… you know only a lot [we lost], a lot [He did], a lot [we get].

They still find themselves saying, “Oh oh, God's going to… He is going to make life hard on me now. He's going to really be angry with me in such a way that He's not going to love me anymore, the way I need to be loved because after all, I had an abortion when I was such a, such a age, or I didn't this or I've done that and all of a sudden, they feel this performance trap, nothing worse to be caught in the performance trap. The thing that dispels performance is always grace, you agree? It's grace.

Now, having said that, I want to now take the third and final piece. That's a very brief piece and that is the idea of truth, of truth. We know it's glory, it comes by way of grace but not just grace, it's also truth. We've already put up last night the little progression of life. We have the line here. I'll put it up once again.

Here we are going in life. Initial glory, you remember? Initial glory comes to us and how it's glory added to glory, or an ever-increasing glory until finally we get to the point of what? Full glory when Christ is come back again and we said the line that takes us glory to glory to glory is what's called truth [that is, Initial Glory + (Glory + … + Glory, perpetually added as we follow truth) = Full Glory]. God has given us a means by which to live and it is His word. It's the truth of God and the more we adhere to that line of the truth, the more glory is added to glory, is added to glory.

Now, there is the counterfeit glories, as we said last night. They're all over the place, always attracting us, trying to say, “You need me, you need me, you need me,” and sometimes, we falsely reason and we get off track. We go this way, we go that way, we get away from truth.

There is a verse in Scripture – John 8:32 and you shall know the truth and the truth shall do what? Set you free, exactly. It set you free and so we got to be very, very careful that we don't find ourselves moving away from that truth, because glory, yes, how do we get glory added to glory? It's by means of the truth, as we follow the truth. How? By means of grace, but as we follow truth.

Timestamp 0:30:39

We have a daughter who was in her high school years and kind of the… you know the outgoing, never… always love people, enjoyed friends and just kind of a fun person but something happened to her. Some things happened to her when she was in high school that brought her world caving in on her and when that happened, she found herself for the first time ever being depressed.

Now, I know that many of you have probably dealt with depression. Many of us have loved ones in depression. We know how ugly it can be and by the way, there are a lot of different types of depression. We got to keep that in mind, but in our Rachel's situation, because we took her to doctors and had her examined in this and the other, they say this is a chemical issue or something like this. This is a circumstantial depression based on her experiences of life and how she interpreted those experiences of life. She went into a deep depression, she hated it.

The thing went on for a couple of years. We had taken her to doctors, we'd tried medication, we thought about even putting her in an institution of help because she found herself no longer wanting to live. We did not think she would take her life but it scared us that she would and for a long period of time, we would have to wonder in the morning as we would get up, “Is she okay and should we check on her?” because we were afraid something bad could happen to her.

In the midst of this, her thinking is this, “Mum, dad, why is God allowing this to happen? Why am I in this deep hole? Why can I not get out? I love the Lord, I've served the Lord. I'm doing this, I'm doing that. I'm… Why God? Why would God not let me get out of this horrible, horrible condition?” And we could not find any solution to get her out.

After a lot of obviously praying and looking for answers and talking to people and all that, I thought, you know, maybe we have an answer to the problem and so I called her down from her upstairs room one night and I said, “Rachel, we need to… we need to talk. I think maybe I have an idea how to get you out of your depression.” Well, that was joyous news to her. Oh, she was excited, really.

I said, “Yeah, it's gonna come to you strange but I want you listen to me.” She said, “What is it?” I said, “I think your answer out of depression is, you need to raise hell.” She said, “What?” “You need to raise hell.” “Dad, what do you mean?” “Well, you never had alcoholic drink. Maybe you get inebriated, you get drunk, try getting drunk. See what happens.” She looks at me like, “What?” I said, “I know you… I know you've never, you know, gone out with guys and done, you know, sexual activity that's inappropriate but maybe try sex, premarital sex, given it a shot. See what happens.” She looks at me and she says, “What?” She knows it ain't a joking matter.

I said, “No, I really think it's probably what you ought to do. Now, don't get me wrong.” She said, “Dad, you've taught me against those things.” I said, “It's not that I want those things. I think it's better than where you are now that maybe that might be the best solution for you.” She said, “Dad, I don't get it.”

And I said, “Well, here's my thinking.” I said, “Let me ask you a question.” I've been writing and I had written down the number of things that I kept hearing her say, things like this: “I am so ugly.” If I put a picture of my daughter, our daughter up on the screen, there's not one person that would say that is an ugly girl, none of you. In fact, I think you'll say that's a very attractive girl. I heard her say constantly, “I am so fat. I am so fat.” I could put a picture of her up there and I don't think any of you would say, “Now, there is a fat girl.” You wouldn't say that but she truly thought she was fat. She truly thought she was ugly, and the list went on, the things she said.

Timestamp 0:35:13

And so finally, I said, “Let me just ask you a question. Do you think you're ugly?” She said, “Yeah, I'm ugly.” “Do you think you're fat?” “I know I'm fat.” I said, “Alright, let's assume that you and I are debating that, those very issues right there and as we're debating, somehow Jesus in the flesh incarnate walks into our room here with us and it's the three of us and I say, “Jesus, so glad you're here because we're disagreeing on a matter and we would like for you to break the tie. I think she's pretty, she thinks she's ugly. I think that she is not fat, she thinks she is fat. Jesus, what do you think?” And then I looked to Rachel and I said, “Rachel, honestly, what do you think Jesus would say?” She said, “He would say that I'm pretty and he would say that I'm not fat.”

I say, “So, let me get this straight. You think it's a pretty bad thing to go out and get drunk and have premarital sex. Which do you think would be most offensive to a holy God – for you to go and get drunk and have premarital sex or for you to look at your Saviour and say of Him, ‘You're wrong or You're lying.' Which do you think would be most offensive to a holy God?” And she said, “To call Him a liar or to say He's wrong.” I said, “Rachel, do you understand the verse ‘and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free' [John 8:32]? Do you realise the opposite of that is bondage? You get away from the truth and it'll take you in the bondage. Do you know every time that we move away from truth and go to something as beautiful as a counterfeit glory, good or bad, whatever it may be, do you know what it does? It puts us in the bondage. It doesn't give us freedom.”

This [line of truth illustrated earlier] is the pathway to freedom. This [counterfeit glory] is the pathway to bondage and I was able to say to her, “Do you realise that that may well be the source of your bondage in your depression and that it's circumstantial and you're not thinking on the truth right now?” That's why we have to be in the Word. That's why we have to hear the truth of God, we have to submit to the Word of God, and as we do so, freedom comes. That's the means by grace… but it's the means by which we find that incredible glory added to glory, added to glory, the ever-increasing glory that is going to be the end of the search for satisfaction. It's found in Jesus. Do you follow?

Do you know I asked Rachel, I said, “Rachel, do you know that's called sin when you declare your God either wrong or lying? Would you like to repent?” And we've already talked about what repentance is. I said, “Would you like to?” And you know we did, we prayed one at a time, I would pray and then she would ask forgiveness and I would pray over her. I have a list of the things she did say and just ask forgiveness.

Now, it wasn't that the next day the depression was gone but over the period of a short period of time to just release, release, release until she was freed from that depression. The reality is any of us fall into the same camp every time we say, “I'm not going to believe the truth. I'm going to believe my feelings. I'm going to believe my desires. I'm going to believe other things, other people but I'm not going to believe God on this one,” and when that happens, we go into bondage. There is when we have the withdrawal of glory; that's what takes us to bondage.

As I close, let me just summarise it this way. Glory versus counterfeit glory, grace versus performance, truth versus false reasoning, do you see how they line up? The more we stay on the glory, grace and truth, we stay away from the counterfeit glory, performance and then reason. Boy, glory added to glory, added to glory or put it in another way, glory, glory takes us to Christ. Glory is our Christ, He is our hope of glory, right? Glory goes to Christ. Grace takes us to the cross. It is the grace that comes by means of the cross of Christ, and truth, truth takes us into the Word of God. That is the truth, the Word of God.

Timestamp 0:40:37

And so the reality is, it's Christ, the cross and the Word – those become the focus of the believer's life to see that glory added to glory, added to glory. Know that's how it happens – it's the cross and the Word, the cross and the Word, the cross and the Word, through Christ. Simple as that.

I like to give us all here, if you would, I'd like for you to take a challenge for 21 days. Why 21? I read, correct or incorrect, that 21 days of repeating something over and over and over instills a habit within the life, 21 days. So I would like to encourage you to make that prayer that I used last night, to make that your prayer for 21 days in succession, all to drive us back to Christ, the cross and the Word, glory, grace and truth. I'm not sure if you do, do you have that little prayer in your notes? It's in your notes, simple enough then.

Resolve to seek after glory by means of grace and according to truth. You can put it in any words you want but why not make a moment every morning for 21 days, as you wake up and say, “Lord, I want to pray for this glory, grace and truth. I just want to focus on those three today.” Start your day with that focus, see what happens. And I bet many of us here are going to find glory added to glory, added to glory, and you're going to find freedom added to freedom, added to freedom, bondage slipping away, slipping further away, slipping further away. That's satisfaction, that's when you've found satisfaction. Let's pray together, all right?

Our Father in heaven, we do pray, once again, glory, grace and truth, would You grant us to have those as our focus day in and day out? For the next 21 days, just rivet our attention on these three words until three weeks from now, we'll have a sense that we've found the great freedom, freedom from bondage, great glory, great satisfaction that we've never experienced to a greater degree, of this we ask. Would you grant that, and may You do so not just for our good but for Your honour as we're Your children.

I pray for any of us here tonight that are outside of a true relationship with You. Would You grant that we might find right now, through the work of the cross by our Saviour, Jesus? We pray that we might now fall in love with You, if we never have before and come to know You even right now. Thank You for Your love, thanks for glory, thanks for grace, thanks for truth. We ask it in the great and strong name of our Saviour, Jesus. Amen.

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