Accepting Christ’s Invitation

This week we near the end of our sermon series based on Matthew Rawle’s book, The Redemption of Scrooge (available in paperback or as a digital download from Cokesbury; or from Amazon).

This week, we explore Scrooge’s visit with the Ghost of Christmas Future and his profound fear at what he observed. As a result of this experience, how did Scrooge respond? We all likely experience fear when we are shown undesirable possibilities. How do you respond?

Romans 8:4b-17
4bNow the way we live is based on the Spirit, not based on selfishness. 5People whose lives are based on selfishness think about selfish things, but people whose lives are based on the Spirit think about things that are related to the Spirit. 6The attitude that comes from selfishness leads to death, but the attitude that comes from the Spirit leads to life and peace. 7So the attitude that comes from selfishness is hostile to God. It doesn’t submit to God’s Law, because it can’t. 8People who are self-centered aren’t able to please God.

9But you aren’t self-centered. Instead you are in the Spirit, if in fact God’s Spirit lives in you. If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, they don’t belong to him. 10If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life because of God’s righteousness, but the body is dead because of sin. 11If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you.

12So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it isn’t an obligation to ourselves to live our lives on the basis of selfishness. 13If you live on the basis of selfishness, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the actions of the body, you will live. 14All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters. 15You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children. 17But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him.

Surely we can see Scrooge’s selfishness and how it has changed his life. Does doing away with selfishness alleviate fear?

Supplmental Scriptures
1 Samuel 3:1-10, Psalm 42:1-5, Luke 19:1-9, John 4:4-30, Acts 3:1-10

Readings from Chapter 4 of The Redemption of Scrooge
Sunday: The Hope of Christmas Future
Monday: A Grim Reaper
Tuesday: A Silent Spirit
Wednesday: Will Be, or May Be?
Thursday: Carol of the Bells
Friday: Keep Christmas Well
Saturday: Reflection: A New Day

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