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Faith Development – Putting on the New Self

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
August 23, 2021 1:43 pm

Faith Development – Putting on the New Self

The Verdict / John Munro

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I'm so grateful to teach a life group that is called step-by-step and a pastor's message develops from the spiritual journey that the pastor is going through in this message today comes from our step-by-step life groups study of Paul's letter to the Colossians now turn to John three I know this as Colossians 3 on the board and will get there just a little bit but wants to start in John three, and if you'll turn their that would be super as we study this.

This book of Colossians the spirit use this study to help me reflect on my own spiritual life and I feel like that there might be some of you here today who might be able to benefit from what God spoke to me during our journey through Colossians so I want to thank the step-by-step life group, for assisting me with my sermon preparation and also want to invite you if you're not a part of a life group the very best life group at Calvary church meets in room 238 okay so after the service today. If you want to join us in room 238. We would love to have you as we start the book of Proverbs.

Today, so John three verses one through eight is where like for us to begin the day you'll turn there and read with me know there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.

Jesus answered him, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God and Nicodemus said to him, how can a man be born when he is old, can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born in Jesus answered, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of the water and the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you. You must be born again and let me stop right there.

As we look at this passage, we note that Jesus is still in Jerusalem.

Following the Passover, when he receives a night visit from a man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus Ellis. Look at verse one and will see that Nicodemus was a Pharisee and that he was the ruler of the Jews verse one. Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. Now Nicodemus was a Pharisee and that means that he is a strict observer of the law, the Torah or the first five books of the Bible once more being a Pharisee meant that he was an expert at Jewish law and Jesus in the 10th verse of this chapter calls him Israel's teacher he was probably wealthy, both to be considered a member of the Sanhedrin, which is a Council of of 70 elected leaders, spiritual leaders for Israel.

Plus, the chief priest is a part of the group making 71 said he was probably wealthy to be considered a part of the Sanhedrin and he was probably wealthy because he assisted Joseph of Arimathea both physically and financially, and purchasing Jesus's burial spot and you'll see that in in John 19 verse 39. The second thing we we's we see about Nicodemus is that he was a ruler of the Jews, and that means that as a member of the Sanhedrin. He made all the decisions for Israel, the nation of Israel. Now I know that Israel was under Roman control.

At that time in Rome was really in charge, but Rome allowed people groups to be able to maintain their identity within their kingdom. Your you still had to follow Roman law, but all of the legislation that took place for the Jewish people took place in front of the Sanhedrin and they are the ones who govern Israel at that time. You might remember that when Jesus was being tried that he went to the court of the Sanhedrin to be tried and that there was a court of of of the Romans that he was tried and so he went back and forth between these two just to give you an idea of how the government took place during that time. So verse to verse two if you would tells us that there's something different about Nicodemus from the other members of the Sanhedrin.

He was a seeker verse to this man.

Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and said to him, Redeemer. We know that you're a teacher from God, for no one can do these signs and less God is with him. So in reading this passage.

My first thought was why did Nicodemus, nine of the first thought is that it could have been fear.

Fear is what calls Nicodemus to come and I were told that fellow Sanhedrin member Joseph of Arimathea publicly identified himself hadn't publicly identified himself. Jesus, because he was afraid of the Jews, so here's Joseph of of Arimathea and John 1938, who when confronted about being with Jesus did not identify himself with Jesus because he was afraid and Nicodemus possibly could have been afraid as well.

Perhaps he seemed a little bit bolder since he stood up for Jesus in John seven whenever he was Jesus was in front of the Sanhedrin, but perhaps fear is what controlled Nicodemus and had him coming at night were not really sure. Possibly it could have been that Nicodemus was just being cautious because of Nicodemus was seen in public and dialogue with this new Galilean teacher. With these new teachings. He could have been seen as endorsing Jesus and his teaching.

So perhaps Nicodemus was being wise and cautious and that's why came at night, or perhaps it was Jesus's accessibility. Perhaps the best reason for seeking Jesus at night was that Nicodemus would have the, the, the opportunity to engage Jesus a little bit longer there will be no one there to interfere with his questions he could ask Ernest questions seeking questions without interruption. So nighttime was probably a good time for an earnest seeker like Nicodemus to come to Jesus noticed that this esteemed scholar of the law.

What he acknowledges whenever he meets Jesus and we see this still in verse two he calls Jesus, Rabbi, which in Hebrew means teacher or leader or great one Nicodemus that acknowledges the legitimacy of Jesus's teaching role by calling him, Rabbi, and though we we don't know if Jesus was told in any school. We do know that Paul was from the book of acts we know that Jesus was knowledgeable of the Scripture. You remember that in Luke two that Jesus will impress the temples of the teacher as a boy of 12 with his knowledge of the Scripture and no doubt that he had studied Hebrew at one time that Jesus knew the law.

We don't know if it was a local rabbi that told him that maybe it was Joseph his father that taught him. But Jesus was well versed in the law and was able to teach Pharisees and teachers of the law, even at the age of 12. How did that happen is not the God divinely sin the word to him just like you and I he has to stay had to study the word of God. No one what Jesus's childhood was like. I don't think he had a one is there anything you mean.

I don't think you came on Wednesday night and had great Bible teaching is a children we don't know exactly what took place. But Jesus was well-versed in the law and we know that Joseph of of that that Nicodemus recognized this need. Nicodemus was impressed by him as a teacher, which is high praise coming from a member of the Sanhedrin like Nicodemus. The second thing that we know is Nicodemus also calls Jesus a teacher come from God. Unlike most of his fellow Pharisees who claimed that Nick indeed that Jesus was of the devil himself since he cast out demons. Nicodemus recognized that Jesus had a divine origin and that his miracles were of God. I think that Nicodemus maybe was flattering Jesus.

At least I used to think that I used to think that when he came to them is that all your teacher of the law.

Your great miracle worker that it was flattering but I think I was wrong. I think the Nicodemus was just being honest and it is these miracles that made Nicodemus so very curious there are lots of people that seen Jesus's miracles.

At this time and had been attracted to him and for in chapter 2 of John, verse 23, it says while Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast. Many people saw the miraculous signs that he was doing and they believed in his name. I think Nicodemus was one of these. He was a witness to the miracles that Jesus said that he wasn't a full believer yet, but I believe the miracles calls Nicodemus to recognize that God is behind Jesus's miracles. And unlike the fellow Pharisees who were rejecting Jesus's miracles. I think Nicodemus sees them as an indication of God's hand at work in Jesus and he had come at night.

To learn more. So let's look at verses three through five. Because this is where I like to make a make a big point for us. Jesus answered him, verse three. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God and Nicodemus said to him, how can a man be born when he is old. How can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, and Jesus answered, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. The unknown is a great lesson here about the kingdom of God. But that's not the topic were go look at us a topic for another time. I want us to focus on Jesus's statement when he said you must be born again, this being born again is a central theme of the New Testament and I want to look at a few other places where this theme of being born again is used turn if you want to Matthew 18 verse three, Matthew 18, three, and you gotta use your Bibles a lot for the next few minutes of this is Bible drill time.

If year not familiar with your Bible. This is that opportunity. Matthew 18, three Jesus said, truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children become like children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven will flit back over to John chapter 1 verses 12 through 13 John 112 through 13, but all who received him, who believed in his name that's Jesus's name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, born of God and then turn over to the book of Titus to the letter of Titus. Titus three verse 53 verse five it says he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration in this word regeneration means rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit and got several others were less go to first Peter chapter 1 first Peter chapter 1 verse three it says blessed be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to his mercies, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. So this being born again, what does that mean being born again being born of God. This is a common theme and being born again happens to every believer.

So what is being born again. Nicodemus asked that question turned back to John three please of verse four Nicodemus said to him, how can a man be born when he is old Kenny enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born as a valid question. Nicodemus was trying to gain some understanding of what is being born again is a Jesus clarifies it.

Jesus answered him. In verse five. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that Sadie said to you.

You must be born again. Jesus intends this to be understood not as a repeat of a previous for birth but like enter to the mother's womb for the second time as Nicodemus asked, but he clearly identifies this as a new kind of birth that is brought about by the spirit. This really worth this. Born again is a new kind of birth that is coming from the spirit without John the Baptist sheds a little light on this turn to John one verse 33. He talks about this new type of birth that is going to come. John one verse 33. I myself did not know him but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, he on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain. This is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. So here's John the Baptist baptized by water. And here's the one that came to him that was baptized, as Jesus was going to baptize by the holy by the Holy Spirit now sees me, so there are two kinds of baptism here. John spat baptism with water was a baptism of anybody repentance. Somebody said repent and be saved right there was a baptism of repentance now to repent before God, you got to humble yourself before God.

You repent of your sin and you asked for God's forgiveness and this baptized autism by water. This repenting is necessary for one to be born again. We got to humble ourselves before God. This is the baptism of water that Jesus talking about.

We got to repent of our sins we got to ask God to forgive us this baptism.

This is baptism by water and was confusing because we look up to the baptistery we think, is this what they're talking about here.

But notice talking about John's baptism of repentance is necessary that Jesus is baptism with the Holy Spirit represents a rebirth. When the spirit of God comes into a person the Holy Spirit comes into a person at their time of salvation and makes them you were born again.

The Spirit of God lives in us so that both are necessary. We know that in order to be a believer in order to have salvation we have to repent of our sins we have to ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins, and then we have to trust Jesus as our Savior and his Holy Spirit comes into and that is the process of being born again. So in this context I believe that Jesus was saying to Nicodemus you must be born on you by repentance and by humbling yourself before God.

And when you do that the Holy Spirit will come into you and begin a regenerative AAA rebirth inside of you, and let me tell you, you cannot enter the kingdom of God by your own efforts. There is no way you must surrender yourself to God and God only can make you into that you creation, so let me let me try to clarify this with illustration I can remember the day whenever I was born again.

Can you can you remember when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior was born again. I can other was a children's Crusade at my church that I attended whenever I was growing up I remember getting to the chapel and gathering there with all the older children I was nine years old I was an older child child at that time and I can remember sitting on the very back row of the chapel because that's where all the good good boys who behaved always sat on the back row right. I remember that the pastor shared the God love me and he used John 316.

He said for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

And I said okay God loves me. I know that I have known that all my life. I remember the song Jesus loves me this I know it probably one of the first sight songs I ever learned.

Jesus loves the little children all the children of the world you to pray to Jesus because he cared about me.

I knew that God love me and then the pastor started talking about sin, about being disobedient that I knew that I had no big sin in my life when I had killed anybody in the only thing I had stolen was probably for my brother and I was it was just not that big of a deal.

I guess, but he started talking about having an attitude of disobedience. I was on the back row that describe me. He shared John 323 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

He explained to me that everybody in that room was a center and have fallen short of God's glory and that was me okay God loves me okay I'm a sinner. I got this attitude of disobedience is a part of my life.

Okay I'm a sinner and then he shared something that was troubling for me.

He shared that my sinfulness that the punishment for was more than just a spanking.

You know, disobedient kids get lots of spankings now days that they they go to timeout or something else on or get a trophy. I don't know. Nowadays you get participation trophy for everything I but he shared that since punishment was in eternal separation from God, and that eternal separation from God would take place in a place called hell.

I knew about hell. I knew that hell was a place where bad people went and they would burn eternally as a as a nine-year-old on you that I knew the difference between heaven and hell and that I wanted to go to one place and didn't want to go the other.

I wonder if our children know about hell anymore. Sometimes I think we've kind of tried to soften things up so more so much that we forget to teach our children and our adults about punishment. This pastor said that God is holy and sinless and will not allow sin in his presence and that all those who are sinners. I'm a sinner that they're going to go to hell.

He said for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ is from 623 you know for me. I said there recognizing that I was separated from God and that I was destined for eternity in hell because I was a holy and I could not enter into his presence, and there may be some this morning who recognize that they are in the same place there separated from God because of their sinfulness and my thought was one of my going to do.

I don't want to go to hell. That's when the pastor shared Romans 58 but God shows his love toward us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us here. The pastor explained the Christ lived a perfect life that he took my sins and that he was punished and died on the cross for my sins so that I did not have to and that he did it because he loved me. Jesus exchanged his sinless life for my sinful life.

He took my sins upon himself and carried them to the cross and paid a dad that I could not pay and he gave me his righteousness was imputed upon me now to know that if a nine-year-old. What that means day imputed on me.

He exchanged weekly exchange lives in a so now would have the opportunity to enter into the presence of God is his holy presence because Christ could make me sinless so I got on my knees and I repented of my sins, born of water K born of water and I trusted Jesus to take my sins and give me a new life, a life that had Jesus living in me living in my heart, making me into a new person being born again. Where is the temple of God for Christian the hearts right word is worship take place for Christian. I mean, it takes place here, but it's in our heart me when were singing we were celebrating and worship. It takes place right here in the temple of God is where worship takes place in this is where the indwelling presence of God is in my life at that time, I knew that Jesus had come into my heart. I was born of the Holy Spirit and God lived in me how to know that Jesus was living in my heart first. The Scripture tells me it's a promise.

Romans eight verses nine and 10. If you would turn their Romans eight verses nine and 10 it says you however are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of God of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you and he was because that accepted Christ as my Savior.

Although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit of life because of righteousness. God was in me. His son was living in me and rather than being just to me.

Christ lives in me. Galatians 2 verse 20 turn there if you would quickly.

Galatians 220 says I have been crucified with Christ is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me and the life I now have in flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

Here Paul did not say that I live in a Christlike way or that I glorify Christ through my behavior. He said Christ lives in me and this clearly shows us that Christ lives in his believers and because he lives in us. The Christian life is not a matter of just trying to behave like Christ.

But trying to allow Christ to live in us and through us else I can have it under the Christ to come into my heart through personal experience, I could sense that there was a new friend that walked with me each and every day his presence. The Holy Spirit was there to convict me of my sinfulness. Ellison is a disobedient kid.

I wish that whenever accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. It was like shazam. I was new super Christian you know it doesn't happen that way. Even though Christ was in my life, my behavior really did not change that much. There was still that disobedience there but the Holy Spirit was there convicting me that what I was doing was wrong and calling me back to the Savior.

So when we accept Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We are born again and we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The spirit of God comes into our heart and lives there and the walls to live through us in us and through us. But remember this message about faith development, and this old self were supposed to start putting to death whenever we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior look if you would to our text for the day which is Colossians 3 verses five through seven, and that doesn't mean I'm just starting the sermon a K this is just the next section, verse five Romans Colossians 3 Jesus are cautiously Paul says put to death therefore what is earthly in you that's after you've accepted Christ as your Savior, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, covetousness which is idolatry on account of these the wrath of God is coming in these you to one's wall when you were living in them. Okay that's my old life.

I wasn't involved in all those things that that Paul mentions here but again I was living a simple lifestyle of disobedience and Paul was talking to the lifestyle of disobedience in the Colossians were living at that time he was specifically talking to them. But what mentored me was that I had to put to death.

Sin in my life. I had to put away my old way of thinking now. I love the church I grew up in but someone forgot to tell me that it was like when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. The box was checked, casuals good. He's got his fire insurance never really long right and I will stuck you know what the first thing that I got after I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

I most of your thinking a Bible already had a Bible.

My parents gave me a Bible.

This is a Baptist church in the first thing I got were were were offering envelope and on the front of the offering envelope was a little you write your name on it. You write what you're giving and then you had checkboxes at the bottom yard. So we all remember that you checked on time you checked present Jonestown your present only while they had that box there as well. Daily Bible reading, check what you did or not. Most kids check because you will hundred percent of the attending worship. Check and then you had all your your checks 100% in the and I thought that in order to be a Christian. A good Christian.

All I had to do was come to church and check all the boxes I was 100% and you Christian 100% of the Christian change life Christ in me, but nothing it really started changing them life. The old self was still in charge. It was this is it was if I was stuck spiritually just doing the checklist and it left me as empty as before, I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. That's what a works based faith can do for you okay I want to stop here for just a moment and ask you to allow the Holy Spirit to do some searching in your own life is your life just a life of works, your boxes might be different now days but is your relationship with the Lord based on doing the right things.

The church things or do you have an intimate relationship with the Lord now. I'm afraid that some of you that your relationship is it with the Lord is about church attending church. Yes, volunteering for different helps. Opportunities check I attend a life group not to 30 another one Mason 238, which is the best one. But I tell a lie.

Check work in the food pantry delivered through their check. These are all good things are great things, but they should manifest themselves out of our personal walk with the Lord and our desire to serve him and to be him to others. I can remember the first time that I had an intimate encounter with the Lord it came six years after my profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

It started with being alone with him. I found myself in a spiritual wilderness. I had grown after other idols in my life and is idols do. They left me broken this playing church had left me empty, and the Holy Spirit was calling me back to my relationship with the Lord and that's where I came back to Colossians.

I remember reading versus five chapter Colossians 3 chapter chapter 3 verses five through 11 with boy talk about putting off or putting to death the old things to look at verse eight. It says, but now you must put them all the way anger, malice, anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk for your mouth.

Do not allow to one another scene that you put off the old self with its practices here are more scents that are listed there had not done the first group, but the second group I thought goodness that probably does describe me.

I still had idols in my life. Titus three describe and Paul says there he says for we ourselves once fullest foolish, disobedient, but astray are slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hate about others and hating one another that was steel my life, my idols, even though as a believer pride. My personal opinions and rights, power and popularity. My idol was still myself and Jim was still living on the throne of his life at that time the Christ in me the Holy Spirit began to speak to me and I read verse 10 of Colossians 3 it says have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. You know I had never heard this before about putting on the new self and I want you know that what I've learned is this putting on thing you self is not a one time action but this is a lifelong process of becoming more like Jesus. So here's what happened.

We put to death the old and we start putting on thing you thing you self now this putting to death the old into as a life long process because that old life wants to raise its ugly head. Time and time again and control my life and keep me from enjoying the abundant life God has for me so it's a constant battle of putting to death the old and is a constant opportunity for us to put on thing you self Colossians 3 verses 12 through 17 turn there if you would cause this is what God wants us to put on put on them as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience that this is a new character that I'm supposed to demonstrate I'm supposed to imitate Christ. Verse 13.

Bear with one another.

If one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive, and again this is I'm supposed to imitate Jesus and be forgiving. Forgiveness is supposed to be my guide verse 14 and above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony above all things, it says put on love.

I remember a song from a teenaged dating myself solo choruses said and they will know we are Christians by our love. I wonder how the world sees me a believer today, do they see me. Loving others as I relate to people of different colors of at or ethnicities.

How do they see me as I relate to people who have different values than I do how do they see me as I react to covert can they see the character of Christ in me.

Can they see Jesus in me. When an unbeliever looks at us as as believers do they see me living a life of works checking all the boxes and almost hating others who are not like me or do they see me living a transform life by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ that they was a significant day in my faith development us all that there must be a constant battle there would be a constant battle in my life of the old self and then you self in this battle will exist until the day that we reach the heaven reach heaven and why is this such a vital topic for today because I think Satan's greatest tool to keep us from experiencing God in an intimate way is to keep us busy doing religious things, and Jesus wants a personal relationship with each and every one of us first. That's what he wants serving him comes as a response to that loving relationship once I began to put on his character, his passions, for others, becomes my passion.

One last thing, how does this new life. Develop were to put to death. The old self and put on the new self, but how does this putting on happen. Look at Titus three verse five and got got to hurry here three verse five Titus 35 he saved us, not because of artworks done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. I want us to consider the word that the word regenerate quickly you how starfish can grow its arm back if it becomes missing some your pride and know that I had to look it up on you. The starfish regenerated that I didn't know that that there*is recalled arms.

Did you know that I thought maybe they were her feet for the feeder little tentacles and on the end of each arm is and I kind of strange how God creates everything is in it. But back to regeneration. Okay, the starfish can grow in arm back if it becomes missing and that's called regeneration.

The arm grows back with all its feet size, feet, eyes, etc. it's pretty cool. This regeneration for starfish can happen over 200 times we put to death. The old self.

The Holy Spirit regenerates makes a new self, and the Holy Spirit makes us over again and we are born again, and this is this is what Jesus was trying to help Nicodemus understand now, this becoming a purse about the Holy Spirit just does not happen. It happens when we study the word of God. Romans 12 verse two says do not be conformed by this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is what is good and acceptable as perfect and perfect. Do not be conformed to this world. Paul says SCO life, but instead be transformed be made in you that's that regeneration that you life and how does it happen happens by studying the word of God. This is God's word and when he spoke creation came into existence and when he speaks to me in his word today. He re-creates life in me and makes me into a different person being a believer is not about checking all the boxes I hope you're not stuck there being a believer is about having an intimate personal relationship with the Lord and recognizing that Jesus walks with you and talks with you and carries you through the difficulties of life and challenges you and shape you each and every day into the vessel that he wants you to be in into the vessel that he wants you to be that he wants to use so as we conclude if you're not a believer in Jesus Christ. I know that you've heard the gospel today and I pray that you recognize that you are undone before the Lord. If you were to call you home today and in your own righteousness. There is no way that you can gain access into heaven, but by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Not only will he forgive you of your sins but you begin that process of becoming a new person. The person God always wanted you to be the person that you probably want to be and it doesn't matter how bad that you have been because Jesus is in the business of changing, no matter how wicked a person is it to a new creation as you study the word of God, there may be others of you who are believers just like I was, but that got stuck that are stuck spiritually is time to repent before the Lord is time to get back to the word of God is time to allow him to help you start putting to death the old and putting on thing you join me as we pray together follow. Thank you so much for this opportunity that you given us to study your word today and father, we thank you for clearly telling us what you want to do to us and through us that you want to forgive us of our sins, father, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness to the blood of Jesus Christ and the father you want to do great work in us that you want to create us a new father and make us into the person who is more like Jesus.

Saturday father we've heard your word. May your spirit. Now move among us and move us father to where you would have us to be in a relationship with you forcing Jesus name we pray.

Amen


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