Highland Avenue Community Church of the Nazarene in Rancho Cucamonga, California

Free From Despair



Pastor Gabe Martin

Have you ever sat in the stands of a stadium long enough after an event to watch the crowd dissipate? An area that was just 30 minutes prior filled with the cheers and elation of thousands upon thousands of enthusiastic fans can quickly be reduced to a deserted feeding ground for seagulls snacking on leftover peanut shells. The contrast can be so stark when the celebration has finished and people have journeyed back to the routine of their everyday lives. I have found that a similar contrast can be present after we celebrate holidays like Christmas and Easter. The festivities of the day have concluded and many of the sobering realities of life set back in. So what was it all for? Is resurrection merely something we commemorate as a historical event, or does it run deeper than that?

On Easter Sunday we focused on the fact that resurrection is not just an event to know about intellectually, but also something to be experienced daily. Not only did Jesus rise, he is also still risen! He continues to offer victory, new life, hope, and unending affection. This is life changing stuff! We have been set free, but sometimes we forget to walk daily in that freedom. This is the first in a new sermon series titled “Free: Walking Daily In The Overflow of Grace” that will lead us up to Pentecost Sunday. In John 8:36 Jesus says,

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

I’m excited to see what God has in store for us as we learn to walk in that freedom that he offers! With this message, we will look at Luke 24:13-35 where traveling companions bound by a sense of despair and disappointment encounter Jesus on their journey.


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