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POINT #1 The Lord PURSUES us because He loves us (He initiates “the 2nd chance”) - wants us to experience our full POTENTIAL (which not only benefits us but others as well) - which is found His PURPOSES for our life!

APPLICATION #1 Identify a specific regret.. failure .. sin .. discouraging or demoralizing season in your past ... and practice “forgetting” and looking forward to new growth and possibilities in the Lord (i.e. Like a New Yorker “Forget about it!”) Phil. 3:13-14 

POINT #2 Our small steps of obedience - God blesses in a BIG way!  

APPLICATION #2 Make this your prayer, “Lord I am willing to take that right step and I pray that my willingness to do so would be strengthened with greater resolve by your Spirit!”

APPLICATION #3 Pick up the cross and follow Jesus (Matt. 16:24-26) 

#1 To carry a cross in the first century meant that you were an outcast- a scourge of society- and object of derision- the ultimate minority! 

#2 Today, to carry the cross means to be willing to be the minority in living a bold and godly life (because our difference is the needed hope for man)! 

#3 To carry the cross means that our aim is not primarily to be liked, or not to offend, but to live for an audience of One, the Lord Jesus! 

#4 To carry the cross in our culture means to we willing to be called a “hater” because it’s coming from a culture of relativism, hedonism, atheism, sensualism, etc (Yes! I “Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” Romans 12:9) 

#5 To carry the cross means like Paul that we are willing to warn, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31

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