Highlights | Sunday 09-April-23

Broken Wall - A Testimony from Sarah

How can I be saved?

Broken Wall - A Testimony from Sarah
I just wanted to share a little testimony of what happened to me on Good Friday. I got up really early, my children were on a sleepover at their grandparents, and I was desperately trying to get my daughter's bedrooms painted. I had one more wall left to paint and it was the area just around the bay window and it was an awful wall. It was covered in cracks, it was very uneven, there was a slight hole under the windowsill and I'd really tried my utmost the day before to solve all these problems. I must have used about a kilogramme of Polyfilla and a spatula from my kitchen to just try and create some kind of smooth surface but despite my best efforts, it was still really, really bad! However, I needed to get the paint on and I decided, I'm just going to slap it on, nobody's going to notice. Nobody's going to look up close, the curtains are going to cover most of it anyway and so I just slapped this paint on. But as I was doing it, I was almost just saying to myself out loud "this is so bad, it's so embarrassing, this is so bad, this all is so bad”.

Anyway, I did it and because it was Good Friday and I was on my own, I went down into the living room and I just wanted to spend a few quiet moments with God just reflecting on Good Friday and what that means to me as a Christian. I was thinking about the similarities between me and that wall. How broken and imperfect, I am and how sometimes I don't want people to get up close and see the bad in me, and how sometimes I try keep people at a bit of a distance because I don't want them to know.

In response to that I spent some time reminding myself of some of the truths that I know that come from the Bible, of what Jesus achieved on the cross for me. Actually the Bible says that “whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8) and it's not about my efforts in trying to make myself perfect to be accepted by Jesus, it's just by his grace, it's simply by believing in what he did on that cross, believing that he won the victory for me (Ephesians 2:8-9). Another verse that came to my mind as well, that I just reminded my heart about, was that “there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1-2), there's no need to feel guilt or shame for the things that we have done, the things that we're going to do. Again, scripture says that “by his wounds we are healed” (1 Peter 2:24) and I just spent time speaking these truths back over myself.

You know I've been a Christian over 30 years, but it was so good to remind my heart again of those truths and to know that I am a new creation in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17) and I felt that I wanted to share that with you today, maybe some of you feel a bit more like that broken wall this morning, but I just want you to know that those truths that I spoke over my heart are true for you today as well. Amen.

How Can I Be Saved?
As part of our service on Easter Sunday I spoke about how if you don't know Jesus, there is an opportunity for you to know him in a personal way! He calls us his children, He calls us His beloved and it says really clearly in the Bible what we need to do. It says in Romans 10, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. Not “you might be saved”, but “you will be saved!” “For with the heart one believes and is justified and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10). So actually, if you want to go deeper with God, if you want to know him as your friend, your Lord, your Saviour, it's really simple! We can make it really complicated, but it doesn't need to be, the Bible says simply that if we confess with our mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead then we are saved.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that it is that simple for us because of what you did, which wasn't simple. Lord, I thank you that it doesn't matter where we come from, what we've been through or what we've done, your blood is sufficient and your grace is sufficient for us. Lord, I thank you that you've made it so simple for us, your children, that we can simply say we believe you are Lord, you are our Lord, you've bought us with such a price and we believe that you not only died, but were raised again and defeated death, so that we might live with you forever, our King, our friend, our father. Thank you, Lord Jesus. 

Sometimes people say to me and maybe they say it to you as well. “Graham, I don't think God could love me because you don’t know what I've done”. You know, “it's fine for you”, but people say “you don't know what I've done. You don't know what I've been through. You don't know how I've reacted in a situation, you don't know what I've been like or what I've done”.  

Because of that, sometimes people think that God therefore, couldn’t love them, that somehow God’s love isn't sufficient to overcome what they've done. I just want to read a few verses of scripture to you. From the same book which Rachel read from the book of Romans, the letter that Paul writes to the church in Rome, in chapter 5, he says this. “You see at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly”. Anybody feel ungodly or have felt ungodly?

It goes on “very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die but God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Today, whether you've known this for decades or years, you can celebrate, or whether you're just hearing it for the very first time, "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" and you can put your own name and you can insert your name here, Christ died for you!

Lord Jesus, thank you that we didn't have to get to some level of righteousness or some level of perfection before you would love us but while we were still in rebellion against you, while we were still sinners, while we hadn't even acknowledged you, Jesus, you died for us. So, we look to the cross and we are reminded that while we were still sinners, you died for us! We thank you on this Resurrection Sunday, we celebrate your resurrection and new life! Because of that we can experience that new life today! Lord Jesus, thank you that while we were still sinners, you died for us! Lord we thank you for such amazing Grace, such amazing love. Thank you God, we love you, Lord!

To find out more about Jesus and how you can become a Christian you can visit: jubilee.org.uk/jesus