February 21 – Meet the Team – Jake Lawson

Read Romans 6:1-23

“…so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Becoming “alive in Christ” was a process for me. It wasn’t one moment but over the span of a year and a half. Having grown up in a Christian home and literally growing up at Grace Church, I knew the basics and fell back into going through the motions. It wasn’t until missions’ trips after my sophomore and junior years of high school to San Francisco that God really got my attention. At that point in my life, there was a lot of junk behind the scenes. Behind the “pastor’s kid” persona was a life that no one saw…I didn’t let them. Behind my knowledge of grace was a false belief that, because I was forgiven, sin could go unchecked in my life.

Over the course of those 2 combined weeks in SF, I stopped the backslide, positioned myself toward Christ and trusted in Him fully with my life, all of me was His. I placed my future in His hands.

In the year that followed, college plans fell through which led me to central Florida for 10 months to intensively study the Bible at the Great Commission Bible Institute. The very first steps of my “newness of life” was taken there in Sebring. There was a Sebring local in our class who quickly became a close friend and confidant. When I was angry and didn’t now how to react, she was there talking me through it. When I was hurting and didn’t know how to deal with the pain, she would lovingly point me back to Christ. When I needed to vent, she would quietly listen and understand.

After school in Florida, I landed a student internship here at Grace which ultimately led me to where I am now (9 years later as of this writing) serving as Next Steps Director. Currently, I oversee our groups and devotional ministries (among other things). As a young boy, I dreamed of one day following in my dad’s footsteps in being a pastor at Grace. I’m so glad that dream lined up with God’s plan for my life!

That Sebring local became my wife in 2016 and a year after, we welcomed our son, Matthew (Mattie) to the world. What an incredible family God has blessed me with : )

When I turned my life around, Romans 6:11 quickly stood out to me. As a follower of Christ, I should be “dead to sin”. The contrast between sin and our life in Christ is so distinct in this chapter and, as you read one of my favorite chapters of the Bible today, I challenge you to take an honest inventory of your life. Is there unchecked sin? Are you abusing grace? What steps do you need to take in order to live in the newness of Christ?

Just as Ultron said, “There are no strings on me” when he busted through the wall in Tony Stark’s tower in Avengers: Age of Ultron,  may verse 14 be our battle cry. Sin doesn’t have control of your life. You have experienced the newness of life through Christ…you are alive through Him!

Jake Lawson

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