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Lesson Five: Delivery Day
Carole Combs | Wife of Lead Pastor Jim Combs

I was excited to see the package delivery truck drive up my driveway. As the delivery person walked to my front door, I was wondering why I may be receiving a package as I did not remember ordering anything. I opened the front door and stepped out onto the front porch to receive the package. Sadly, the package was addressed to my youngest son. Obviously, he had ordered something and had it delivered to my address. With a little disappointment, I signed for the package. I guess if I did not order anything why would I be excited or expecting a delivery? 

I do not know why but there is something exciting to me about getting a delivery. As I began to step towards my front door to go back inside my house, the delivery person began to scold me for not having a visible house address. I told him that I knew this and that I was sorry. It was not over then, he then asked me why it was not at the end of my driveway near the road. I told him that it had been at one time, but the snow plow trucks had broken it and knocked it down in the winter, and we had never replaced it. The conversation continued. He then began to tell me where I should put the address on my house (I am sorry to all delivery personnel for making your job more difficult).

If an expected package came to your home and it was addressed to you, what would you do with the package?

The package was not for me that day, but one day I am expecting a package delivery. It is a delivery beyond this world! This package has already been signed for and paid. This package is a gift especially for me. However, this package can be delivered to you as well at no cost to you. Now, this may sound too good to be true and somewhat like an infomercial. Please read on!

God came into this world in the form of mankind all packaged up. He came as a special delivery, a baby boy that was born in Bethlehem to a virgin mother named Mary. “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:23 and Isaiah 7:14). “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus came to deliver you and me from our sins. The delivery that I am personally expecting is the delivery of my soul. I do not know when that will be, but I will be leaving this temporary home called earth and will be transported to my eternal home called Heaven. This delivery of my soul is not a pipe-dream. My soul will be delivered to the very presence of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who dwells in the heavens with the Father. I will not receive this deliverance based on something I have done, earned, or even bought. Romans 3:10-12 says, “As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’” My sin separated me from a holy God. “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:15).

I needed to be delivered from death. This is not a physical death because our mortal bodies will die. This death is a spiritual death, a separation from God for all of eternity. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God (Romans 5:8-9).

Have you been delivered from death? Explain how you know that you have been delivered (If you are not sure that you have been delivered, please speak to your Pastor or your Growth Community leader without delay).

I was twelve years old when I realized that my sins were against a holy and righteous God. These sins separated me from God for all eternity if I was not willing to trust God’s Son Jesus as my Savior. Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin, which is death and by the way, it is the penalty for your sin as well. God's love is so great that there is no sin too big or too small that He will not forgive. Do not limit God in His greatness to forgive your sins. This is the same God who painted the skies blue, and created the highest mountains to the lowest valleys and everywhere in between. We are the ones who limit God! The package of salvation has been delivered to you and me to receive. It has been paid for by the blood of Jesus on the cross. The Bible says, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:9-10,13).

Anthony Ray Hinton was one of the longest-serving death row prisoners in Alabama's history and among the longest-serving condemned prisoners to be freed. He was exonerated from death after thirty years. I cannot even begin to imagine the thoughts going through Mr. Hinton's mind when he was exonerated from his death sentence. He was set free! He no longer had to live a life of imprisonment. With all due respect to Mr. Hinton, are you living a life like Mr. Hinton before he was exonerated? Do the things of this world have you imprisoned?

What kind of things of this world imprison us?

How can the things of this world imprison us?

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin” (Romans 7:24-25). Jesus exonerated you and me. Mr. Hinton did not choose to stay imprisoned after being exonerated. He gladly received his release from prison. Open the package that has been delivered to you! Be delivered from the death sentence. Accept Jesus into your life today. Right now, right where you are. He is ready to set you free! You may have already trusted Christ as your Savior. You may have been delivered from death. You have received the delivery but have tossed aside what God has for your life of freedom.

What does it mean for a Christian to stay imprisoned?

We have been exonerated from the penalty of sin when you and I have trusted Christ as our Savior. Why do you think sometimes believers live as if they are still imprisoned to sin? Do you live this way at times?

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b). I have heard from many people through the years that they do not read the Bible because they do not understand it. A responsibility of those that have been delivered from death is to learn and live like their Savior. What would happen if your employer gave you a new project at work that was expected to be completed by you correctly and with a deadline? You were very unfamiliar with this project that was assigned to you. Therefore, you opened the manual that your employer delivered to you along with the project assignment. The manual became difficult to read and became somewhat frustrating. So, you attempted the project without directions and with limited understanding. The day that your employer returns to you for the completed project might have some interesting results for you.

How would you describe this abundant life that Jesus speaks about in John 10:10?

Do you think it is important for Christians to behave like and reflect Christ? Why? How could this be possible to do?

What could be some possible repercussions of an employee not completing or partially completing a project that had been assigned to them by their employer?

God is not going to remove any of His children from being His children. The Bible tells us that when we accept Christ as our Savior, that is for all eternity (John 10:28-29) However, you will miss the life that was meant for you. It is a life that will bring God glory. We are all a project in the process. I am so glad that God loves projects. I know in this life, I will never remotely come close to repaying the Lord for what He did for me on the cross and neither will you. We are indebted. We need to live with purpose and on purpose reflecting who He is. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

God' s Word is our project manual. Here is a very small portion of Scripture that teaches you and me how we can live after being delivered from death. Let love be genuine. “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12:9-13).

What are some of the things listed for believers to do?

How would you rate your Bible reading time? (10 was great and 1 was poor.)

What excuses have you made for not getting into God's Word on a regular basis?

I had a package arrive all the way from China. When the pair of boots I had ordered arrived, they were packaged in the original shoe box. The package was so crushed on the outside that I was concerned about the contents inside. I opened the package to find the boots that were in the box were still in perfect condition. Jesus was sent to this world for people, just like you and I. He was rejected and despised by this world. He was crushed for your sins and mine (Isaiah 53:3-5). The devil thought that he had crushed Jesus. He feared that Jesus would accomplish what He came to earth to do. Yes, Jesus did accomplish the Father's will for His life. Jesus had victory over death, hell, and the grave (Colossians 2:13-15). Satan is still at work today. You are not immune to his attacks. He fears that you might accomplish what you were meant to do on this earth. You were meant to live an abundant life, a life that is pleasing to God, and spend all of eternity with Him.

What thoughts are invoked when you hear about Jesus being crushed for your sins?

Jesus has a special delivery for you, and he does not need your address. He knows where you live. Matter of fact, He knows everything about you. He does not want to scold you. He loves you and wants to deliver His mercy and grace to your life right where you are. This special delivery is His salvation. Jesus is knocking. Will you open the door of your heart and step out and receive him into your life? Will you be delivered from death?  If you know that you have been delivered from death, are you allowing Satan to bring his destruction into your life, into your home? “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). We are the victors through Jesus Christ our Lord. You do not have to live a defeated life. You have been exonerated! Praise God! Get into God's Word, the Bible. Learn and take the truth from God's Word. Satan disguises truth with lies, right with wrongs, and love with hate. He wants to dull your capacity to hear and see God. Satan wants you to be comfortable with sin and to trivialize it.

What lies are you believing? How has Satan disguised himself to you?

I would like to share a portion of a song I learned as a little girl. I could not stop thinking of it as I wrote about how our lives can be delivered from death.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood the Jesus
Naught of works, tis all of grace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

I am signed, sealed, and delivered! What about you?

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