Last Sunday we celebrated the magnificent truth that we have been set free from the Kingdom of Darkness and are now part of the Kingdom of Light. We are no longer under bondage to Satan but are now redeemed, blood-washed sons and daughters of the Lord of Glory. We are a New Creation in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. The Old has gone, the New has come!
At the end of the service, right before Holy Communion, we literally put our old label (Inadequate, Lost, Failure, Without Hope, Reject, Disappointment, Loser, Unloved) on the cross, remembering that our former life of sin was nailed to the cross. We wrote our new label on a name tag (Forgiven, Redeemed, Adopted, Reconciled, Son, Daughter, Restored, Loved) and wore it proudly as a reminder of who we are now in Christ.
It turned out that one name tag initiated a life-changing encounter for someone. Pastor Ron Peer called me on Sunday afternoon to share his experience. It is powerful and I received his permission to share it with you.
I went to a different 7/11 store than I usually go this past Sunday, July 3rd. As I approached the cashier he noticed the sticky note that Pastor had us put on our shirts telling others what we have been set free from at Calvary. It said, “I am Redeemed, set free from all sins”!
The cashier said, “I like your sign! I have not been redeemed yet!” I asked him, “Why not?” He said, “My hands are still dirty”. I said, “This is a ‘come as you are party’; come with your dirty hands!” He immediately bowed his head and prayed for forgiveness!
God has already prepared the people! He is about to give the biggest altar call that man has ever witnessed! Give your testimony to everyone you come in contact with! Now is the day of your salvation!!!
Amazing story, and what a profound reply: “This is a ‘come as you are' party; come with your dirty hands!” It is tempting to think we need to clean ourselves up before we turn to Jesus. But cleaning up is not our job; it is His. When we try to clean ourselves up, that is Religion – man’s attempt to reach God. Thankfully, the Lord knew we could never accomplish that so He reached down in love to us through the person of His precious Son, Jesus, who humbled Himself, left Heaven’s glory and died upon a cruel cross, paying the penalty for sin that you and I could never pay. Then, three days later, He rose victoriously from the tomb – defeating death, hell, sin and the grave!
“This is a ‘come as you are' party; come with your dirty hands!” We can never clean our dirty hands by our own efforts – good works, religious zeal, spiritual piety. Our efforts will never be enough. Thankfully, we don’t have to. Jesus invites us to come to Him, just as we are, and be cleansed and made new. As songwriter Crystal Lewis invites us: Come just as you are. Hear the Spirit call. Come just as you are. Come and see. Come receive. Come and live forever more.”
Jesus came to us and His heart is for us to come to Him. When we do, He welcomes us. The party changes from a “Come as you are” party to a Celebration party as the angels in heaven rejoice over even one sinner who repents!
This Sunday, July 10, we will look at the glorious truth that we have been “Chosen for His Glory”! This will be a follow-up to the emphasis of two Sundays ago that we were Made for More. You are not an accident, a mistake, a leftover, or a reject. Instead, the Lord has Chosen you for His Glory! Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream every Sunday to both sites.
Coming Up: Our next Water Baptism will take place on Sunday, July 17. After the 10:35am service, whoever wants to attend can carpool to Waialae Beach Park for this exciting event. Roger Huang, founder and director of “San Francisco City Impact”, a ministry to the Tenderloin district, will be with us on Sunday, July 24.
Aloha ke Akua!