Preacher: Josh White
Preacher: Josh White
Preacher: Mike McFadden
Preacher: Josh WhiteYou saw Nathan George up there it had the a caption on there the boy that's been there all three of our clubs Nathan George he's not in this service he's going to be probably in the second service but he is the first one that went through the two years of Cubbies the three years of Sparky's in the four year of T.N.T. So we've finally been having a lot of that long that one child has gone through every single year that we have and I want to program he was the first and there's a lot more in the way that I'll go through all nine years are pretty excited about that but I want is a great ministry and it's really need to see these kids really grow in their understanding of God and the Bible especially it's really fun as a leader yes the kids hey where in the Bible does it say you can ask a question and you can see the wheels turning and they can kind of at least paraphrase of verse you know God says Hide your word in my heart that I might not sin against you it is so true that when these little kids they put their Gods word into their mind it stays with them for the rest of their lives so it's a wonderful ministry Well back in February we started a new series on four young men Daniel him in Iowa Michelle and Azariah I'm pretty sure they didn't have a one out back then during their day but I think their parents must have done a really good job raising them because we can read in the Book of Daniel about how they have been firmly established in God and how they continue to live for him throughout their lives and so I want you to open your Bibles to the Book of Daniel. And we had a month of March in most of April when we didn't look at the Book of Daniel because we had man months and then we also had Palm Sunday in Easter Sunday but we're getting back to Daniel there's a few more of these chapters that we're going to look at we're not to look at the entire Book of Daniel but what I don't want to do is because it's been so long I want to kind of recap what we've looked at in the Book of Daniel in the first chapter we have kinetic in as are he besieged Jerusalem and he brought all the noble the. To really prestigious the powerful young men of Israel and he brought them many he had them in captivity in Babylon and so this is the first time we see these four young men and what Daniel was trying to do or what King never can as a risk trying to do to these young men is change who they are change their identity change their culture and change their gods and in the first chapter we see that they refused to compromise and then we go on to Daniel Chapter two and King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream because remember that dream a dream of an a giant statue and ultimately this was God's way of revealing to Daniel and also to all of us can never measure that God was in control of all the ages of human history and that he was the one who would establish certain kingdoms at different times during human history and so we read about that they got a sovereign and because Daniel was the one who was able to interpret the dream and not only interpreted your memory working them a composer had all the magicians do he had them tell him what his dream was and interpret it and none of them could do it but only Daniel and so God on her Daniel because of that and then we look to do it Daniel Chapter three several weeks ago and what happened is after in Daniel Chapter two he never can has or had this dream of a giant statue So what does he do in chapter three he builds a giant statue and then he asks everyone in the kingdom to Val before the statue and hand and I am Michelle and they were the only three who remained faithful and they did not valid before this statute well because they never can as or threaten to throw everyone in a fiery furnace if they didn't he threw these for these three young men into the furnace and for those of you who remember the story we're here to hear about it there was a fourth person who appeared in the fiery furnace and this is probably a Christofferson meaning that the pre-incarnate Christ came in and rescued them from the fiery furnace and King Nebuchadnezzar saw this and he praised the God of her. And I am Michelle and I was Are I've noticed I'm using their their Jewish names not their Babylonian names I kind of to pay honor to them and he praises the God of these three young men and so you would think that King Nebuchadnezzar after he has seen that God's hand is on Daniel and these three young men God protected them that he would eventually turn and acknowledge that God is the God of the universe and the Creator of All Things and it appears as if he did for a little while after Daniel Chapter three but then we come to Daniel chapter four and we're going to read this story today we're going to read the entire chapter you see it's kind of a long story but it does go fast and it does kind of capture your attention now before you read Daniel Chapter four I think it's important to know some of the scholars that I read in my studies of this chapter say that Daniel Chapter four probably happened a good twenty or thirty years after Daniel Chapter three so we have the story of the fiery furnace and two or three decades have gone by and scholars also believe that this is a time when never can as or went through an extensive building projects and so in Babylon he was building it up making a very big and glorious and he also was fighting lots of different territories and enemies and so he was really for twenty or thirty years expanding his kingdom and what do you do when you get to the end of expanding your kingdom and building projects don't you want to kind of rest and relax a little bit and kind of look at what you've done and say hey I did I've done good right well that's what King Nebuchadnezzar is doing you know you guys like to do that I do if you have a project for a day the backyard is a mess or you have to clean up the garage clean it out and then you look at that and you think oh what a great sense of accomplishment right for those of you who had yards growing up up north you know not in the first zone of I remember when the yard looked horrible I grew up there and I'd mowed the lawn and. Yes Remember that's like and then you look at all the the wheel tracks in the grass and it's all uniform it looks great you're like I hope the entire neighborhood walks by my yard right now it looks really good and you have that sense of accomplishment so you get that after like spending a day of hard work or how about years and years of hard work for those of you who are empty nesters Is there a sense of accomplishment with that some of your life yes some we really don't know whether you want to be an empty nester or not I'm not looking forward to that yet I'm sure some day I will be but Daniel Chapter four is it's an interesting chapter because this is actually it's autobiographical meaning King Nebuchadnezzar wrote this himself and it's a story about the evils of pride and the importance of humility and also a story of something else that I think I'm going to emphasize at the very end so let's go ahead and read Daniel Chapter four. Verse one. KING Never commands or tall people's nations in languages that dwell in all the earth peace be multiplied to you. It is seem good to me to show the signs and wonders at the most high God has done to me how greater is Signs how my ideas wonders His Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and his dominion endures from generation to generation. I never can has or was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace but what a great sentence what a great verse can you just kind of picture that he's just kind of relaxing in I don't know what it was like for them to do that back then they didn't have any seventy inch screen L E V T V's in mean how that but whatever the reason doing it was enjoying it was prospering in his palace first five I saw a dream that made me afraid as I lay in bed the fancies in the visions of my head alarmed me so I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me that they make known to me the interpretation of the dream in the magicians the enchanters. DNS and the astrologers came in and I told them the dream but they could not make known to me its interpretation now did you notice this is the second dream that Connecticut has or has and he's handling things a little bit differently this time the first time he had them tell him the dream any interpretation this time he's only asking for the interpretation I think after ruling in Babylon for twenty thirty or forty years he's a little more secure in his position the first time he wasn't sure who he could trust or see. At last Daniel came in before me he who was named Delta shadows are after the name of my God and whom is the spirit of the holy gods and I told him the dream saying oh Belshazzar chief of The Magicians because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you tell me the visions of my dream that I mean that I saw in their interpretation the visions of my head as I lay in bed were these I saw and behold a tree in the midst of the earth and its height was great the tree grew and became strong and its top reached the heaven and it was visible to the end of the whole earth its leaves are beautiful and its fruit abundant and in it was food for all the beasts of the field found shade under it in the birds of they haven't lived in its branches and all the flesh was Fred was fed from it I saw in the vision in my head as I lay in bed and behold a watch or a holy one came down from heaven he proclaimed aloud and said thus chop down the tree and lop off its branches strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit less the beast flee from under it and the birds from its branches but leave the stump of its roots in the earth bound with the band of iron and bronze amid the tender grass of the field let him be wet with the dew of haven't let us portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth let his mind be changed from a man's and let a beast. Mind be given to him and let seven periods of time pass over him the sentences by the decree of the watchers the decision by the word of the holy ones to the end that the living may know that the most high rules the kingdoms of men and gives it to whomever he will and sets over it the lowliest of men this dream I can never has or saw and you a bell to shows or tell me the interpretation because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation but you are able for the spirit of the holy gods' is in you I want to stop just for a moment here and I want you to understand that by this time King Nebuchadnezzar. And Daniel probably had a good relationship they have known each other for probably thirty to forty years at this point this is at the very end of King never can as reign and you have to wonder why didn't he just go to Daniel to begin with you know we know that he interpreted the dream back again as chapter two but I'm sure throughout those thirty or forty years that they knew each other he saw the wisdom that God had given to Daniel so why didn't he go to him at first I don't really have an answer for that but it's interesting that this happened where as it says in verse four when he was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace I think this is a step ahead a lesson that most people can learn one of the times that we are most susceptible to danger or Cannick attack is when things are going really good. When things are just perfect in our life and we think there is no problems here. Let's keep reading first one thousand. Then Daniel whose name was or was dismayed for a while and his thoughts alarmed him the King answered and said Let not the dream nor the interpretation alarm you about the showers are answered and said My lord me the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies the tree you saw which grew became strong some of its top reached to heaven. And it was visible to the end of the whole earth whose leaves are beautiful and its fruit abundant and in which was food for all and under which the beasts of the field found shade in whose branches the birds of the heaven lived it is you. Who have grown to become strong your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven and your dimming into the ends of the earth and because the king saw a watcher a holy one coming down from heaven and saying chop down the tree and destroy it but leave the stump of its roots in the earth down with the band of fire and bronze in the tender grass of the field and let him be wet with dew of heaven and let us portion be with the beasts of the field tell seven periods of time Passover this is the interpretational King it is a decree of the most high which is come upon my lord the king that you shall be driven from among men and your job Welling shall be with the beasts of the field you shall be made to eat grass like an ox and you shall be what was the dew of heaven and seven periods of time shall pass over you and listen to this this is the important part. And tell you know that the most high rules of the kingdom of man and gives it to whom he will. And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that heaven rules and so when this story we realize that God has been watching King Nebuchadnezzar and it's time to teach him a lesson the first stream in Chapter two was all about his reign how he was going to be the mightiest of the statue and guess what it was fulfilled and after that you would think it can never again as I would say wait a second this dream was given to me from God And so I need to give all glory and honor to God because the fulfillment of the stream and stand what never can it did was he took the glory for himself and if we know anything about God God repeatedly tells us that he is a jealous god. And he will not share his glory with anyone else and he opposes the proud and so Daniel sees what's going on in Daniel maybe in hopes that he could get some sense in the King Nebuchadnezzar says this to twenty seven. Therefore Okene let my counsel be acceptable to you break off your sins by practicing righteousness and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity. You know something I didn't even consider but I was as I was studying this one of the commentary said there is most likely that King Nebuchadnezzar sort of like Pharaoh when building Egypt he probably took an energy of the poor and the oppressed in his kingdom and used them took advantage of them for his building projects and things like that and so now Daniel is saying you have you have forsaken your responsibility to provide for the poor and the oppressed now wake up and help them be merciful to them Well the problem is. He doesn't pay attention this morning and this is what happens verse twenty eight. All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar and of the twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace Babylon and the King answered and said Listen to how he says this is not this great Babylon which I have built I buy. My mighty power as a royal residence in for the glory of my majesty and as the year passes apparently he forgets and he didn't realize it the first dream came true bar the second one true it will probably come true as well verse thirty one says and while the words were still in the King's miles there fell a voice from heaven. Never can has or to you it is spoken the kingdom has departed from you and you shall be driven from among men and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field and you shall be made to eat grass like an ox. And seven periods of time shall pass over you and so you know that the most high rules the kingdom of men and gives us to whom we will immediately the word was fulfilled against now became as Or he has driven from among men in a grass like an ox and his body was wet with the dew of heaven tell us hair grew as long as ears Eagles thousand years and his nails were like birds cause. When I was a kid after I read or heard this description of King Nebuchadnezzar and here's a great picture of that that's actually a real picture. He looks like a mess doesn't he I remember reading this and this gave me nightmares as a kid I read the story and probably heard it in a want to you know about he never can answer and I just had this this horrible image of what he looks like now between verses thirty three and thirty four there are seventy years that a lapse in Daniel chapter four and as a person that likes details I'm very frustrated because we are given any details about the seven years and there are certain things that I really want to know like for instance what did the people of Babylon think when he never can as it was in this position you know I did I never even considered this but one of the commentary said it's very likely that Kenya can measure really never had daily interaction with the people in His Kingdom today national leaders in America around the world they're on television they're there they're tweeting out their decrees but back then a king could just kind of be insulated from the people in his kingdom and he could have his nobles and they could go out and they can carry out as he Dixon is all the things that he wanted to do so it's very possible that no one in his kingdom knew what was going on with King Nebuchadnezzar But I want to know what happened to him Where did he go and who manage his kingdom were as there were other people battling to take over the throne we don't know any of these details maybe Daniel manage the kingdom we don't know but do you remember what God. It needed to happen before he never could as your sanity was restored it was in verses twenty five and twenty six. God says to him seven periods of time shall pass over you until you know. That the most high rules the kingdom of men gives us to whom we will and as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree your kingdom shall be confirmed for for you in other words will be given back from the time that you know that heaven rules and so this is exactly what happened let's finish the story verse thirty four. At the end of the days I never can as are lifted my eyes to heaven. And my reason returned to me and I bless the most high and praised and honored him who lives forever for his dominion is an everlasting dominion and this kingdom endures from generation to generation all the inhabitants of the earth or account of his nothing and he does according to His will among the hosts of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can say to his hand or say to him What have you done at the same time my reason returned to me and for the glory of my kingdom My Majesty and splendor returned to me my counsellors and my lord sought me out and I was established in my kingdom and still more greatness was added to me now I never can as your praise and extol and on are the King of Heaven for all His works are right and His ways are just and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. King Nebuchadnezzar went out the right way his life ended well in fact you know this is the last we hear about King Nebuchadnezzar one of the greatest youth that has ever walked on the face of the earth and all we have is the angles chapter one two and three and four and that's it again or Chapter five we are dealing with the new king but you know what the passages like this you read a story like this and what we're supposed to do whether you're a preacher or. Bible suit you read a story and you say OK what how my schools to apply this to my life what am I supposed to learn from this story and the most obvious one what would be to not be proud right the humility is a very important quality that God wants us to have and obviously we can take take that to heart but as I spent time reading this and I was thinking about the story and you know how how should we interpret this and how should we apply this to our life there's another thing that came to my mind and so I want to share that with you right now as we kind of close this some this message this Daniel Chapter four as we're reading through again in chapter four I'm just wondering how many of you were rooting. For King Nebuchadnezzar to be knocked off his throne how many of you want him to be wanted him to be home I mean in your heart in your mind you're like God given what he deserves it who does he think he is Why is it that we always see a person in a high position and we want them to be brought low we want you know the underdog we're always rooting for the underdog but we want to the guys atop the giant to be to be knocked down. Do you see in this story as I have seen that King Nebuchadnezzar as proud as he was God never gave up on him and God loved King Nebuchadnezzar and that's part of what this chapter is about King never can is a wrote that because of the discipline of God It led to him having an acceptance of God's sovereignty in His goodness and I think this shows us what our attitude should be like towards the proud you know someone in your life that is proud and arrogant you might say I want God to smite him you know those in preparatory prayers and we pray for our enemies but instead maybe we should view this from the standpoint God Love King Nebuchadnezzar and he wanted to show him mercy and so that's maybe the attitude that we should have sometimes towards those who are proud I have to. There are passages I want to read for you I want you to look at these with me are the first isn't First Timothy Chapter two. First Timothy Chapter two. And here the Apostle Paul is telling Timothy and all of us how should we respond or how we should respond to those in authority over us in the first some of the two beginning in verse one just a few verses here. It says first of all then I urge that supplications prayers intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people for kings and all who are in high positions now we may lead a peaceful and quiet life godly and dignified in every way and look at verse three this is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior who desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth this is what God wants His desire is not to humiliate the proud he is wanting them to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth and so what did God want King Nebuchadnezzar to know he tells us the exact same thing he wants them to know the truth says in verse twenty five your kingdom shall be confirmed back to you from the time that you know that they have been rules and this is a very unusual way for God to teach someone this lesson to strip him of his fantasy sometimes how many of you feel like you've just gone insane usually that's mothers of infants you know they feel like they've gone insane but some of us who you know this is quite a drastic approach that he took but not only did God use this discipline on King Nebuchadnezzar but we can look in the Bible and see other times when God did this is well that he will bring someone low so that they will have this understanding of God's goodness in His mercy I want to read one other passage and this is a Romans eleven. Over in your Bible so Romans eleven and this is dealing with the pride in the arrogance of the Nation of Israel and how God had temporarily set them aside to make them jealous so that they might know the truth of God's image. In Romans Chapter eleven this is talking about the selection principle of God and he's speaking first the possible speaking first to Gentiles and he says this about their relationship with the Jews Romans eleven verse thirty. Romans eleven verse thirty it says For just as you Gentiles were one time disobedient to God but now I have received mercy because of their disobedience so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy for God is consigned all to disobedience that he may have mercy on all of the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God how unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways for you know the mind of the Lord who has been his counselor or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid for from him and through him and to him are all things to him be glory forever amen God knows how to get our attention and the story here in Daniel Chapter four is obviously a lesson about the dangers of pride but even more than that we can read this and understand that this is a story about how much God loved King Nebuchadnezzar and he didn't give up on him. And if you're here today and you're wondering Does God give up on me will he ever give up on me if he was this gracious and kind to do what he needed to do to get King Nebuchadnezzar to realize who God was he will sometimes do that to all of us as well sometimes he needs to humble us so that we will know the mercy in the love of God. You know some of you are sitting here today and you might be thinking I know a few people in my life that are very proud and I wish God would do this for them if you're thinking that you don't have to raise your hand we know that you're also a king that I think all of us. From time to time but maybe what we should do instead as we look at this passage here is we should make our prayer in alignment with what we see here taking place in Daniel and then also especially in First Timothy Chapter two that we will have the heart of God that our desire for others is to not see them disciplined and humiliated but that our heart will be that we want other people to come to a knowledge of the truth so that they might be saved. I know it's hard to live in a world where we see injustice because we see it every single day it's very frustrating but when we have the heart of God and we want other people to understand God's goodness and mercy I think we are right we're God wants us to be and so let's make that our prayer and let's let's close in Perth right now the father is a church we come before you and we are living in a world full of lost people and so Father our prayer this morning is that you might use us if it is your will to show people your grace and your mercy so that they might know you. If anyone's here Lord is wrestling with pride I pray that you might humble us so that we can practice in know your truth or that's a dangerous prayer but I know sometimes our pride really puts us in opposition to you and we can't learn those lessons and be the person that you want us to be well Lord I thank you so much that you've given us this chapter here again a chapter four and all the lessons that we can learn from it but Lord we realize that you loved King Nebuchadnezzar and we thank you for your love for him and more importantly we thank you for your love for us thank you for using all the means at your disposal to get our attention off our self and onto you where they rightfully deserve to be and so now Lord I pray that we as a people that we as a church that we will have your desire be our desire that we will do anything in our power to share with others the truth of your grace and your mercy and we make that our Perth this morning in Christ and we pray the men. And now May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all the men.
Preacher: Josh WhiteYes but I am officially now a Saturday sports parent. That's how I spend my Saturdays now watching my kids' T.V. remember those days I. Couldn't play sports there I was going to say I was for a long time ago for you anyway but so are you this is our Saturdays look we we come early Saturday morning make sure all the kids are awake and we take Jackie to her soccer game and then we cheer and cheer and say Hey when your kids and we come home we wait for a little bit and then we take K. to his basketball game and then we come home because we've been so stressed out all morning long we take it now no not really but we probably sometimes should but you know I realize you know I grew up playing sports and I don't know what's more stressful playing the sports or being the parent that watches the kids play the sports because all morning long we're cheering and shouting and we're we're it's like we're involved in the game like all morning long when Jack is out there playing we're saying no don't kick it down we kick it over here and run back go forward kick shoot the ball and and eventually hopefully one of the kids in soccer because it doesn't happen very often but one of them will make a goal and then what do all the parents do. It's like you just you know won the lottery you know one of the kids finally kicked the ball into the goal and I think the one who's the most excited obviously the kid who made a goal he usually has this look on his face like I can't believe I went in there but we're all excited foreman and then we go watch Kyle play there's a lot more scoring so that's I guess one benefit of basketball but we're like I don't pass a ball and play defense get your arms up and and I literally have to say Christian calm down no I'm serious I calm down they have a coach they don't need a second coach on the bench Christian kind of gets into it so it's kind of fun but you know we in many areas of our life we have an emotional investment in what's happening and so in a way we sort of participate with it right and I think you know that's true of most things in life that we're involved. And we are invested in there's many different types of investment that we make in life sometimes we make an emotional investment into someone or to something sometimes we make the relational investment sometimes you make a financial investment into something and sometimes we even make a spiritual investment into different things and and if you're invested in something you can expect to participate in the highs and the lows and the good and the bad of those things here's a couple examples you know talked about my kids their sports teams and and as a parent I hate to even admit this but frankly I don't care too much of their team wins or loses I just want my kid to do well right but how many of you might have a sports team that you root for and you are so passionate about this team that whether they win or lose they will upset or make your entire day or weekend some of your yeah yeah a couple of you have that and I have a couple teams and I'm not as bad as they used to be but if you know my team wins and I'm happy and if they lose I just you know what's the point of life you know you're just not even go on living or how about how about this some of you and I don't want you to raise your hand but i'm some of you are probably invested in the stock market you have money in stocks right and over the last few months if you've been paying attention you have noticed what has been going on in the stock market somebody will labeled it the Trump rally and I have no idea if it is in your dollar Trump but you know how much the stock market is up over the last four or five months some of you know very well because you're invested in it it's over two thousand points up ten percent and so if you log on and you look at your investments you're going to experience the growth of the stock market and fortunately when it goes down eventually you know you're an experience that is well. We also have an emotional and relational investments in other people and that's one of the beauties of beautiful things about a relationship if you are friends. You have a family member and they're going through a wonderful time in their life maybe the they struggled for a while and they finally got over that disease or they got that promotion What do you do with them you know you read Joyce with those who rejoice and and if someone is going through a very difficult time you mourn with them and even though you're not going through yourself you are participating you're part of that process and you know as much as we are affected by some of the things that go on around us sometimes we hear of these great big tragedies in the world around us and because we are removed from them socially we are removed geographically we are removed chronologically We are removed we hear about these events and they don't really affect us I can many times you're watching the nightly news and you hear about a tragedy maybe here in the United States or in some foreign country and people were killed and and just for a moment you think oh that's horrible what's for dinner you know we sometimes we do that because we're not invested we don't have an investment in those and so sometimes we just simply move on with life well this morning we read a passage of Scripture Joel read from Luke twenty four talking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Luke twenty four all read this for you Luke twenty four verse one it says. On the first day of the week very early in the morning the woman the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the two so I want you to just imagine what it was like for these women these women had a huge investment. In Jesus Christ they had a relational and emotional investment in him they knew him and they loved him they had a spiritual investment in him and so they were prepared to go to the tomb early on that Sunday morning and participate in the burial process of Jesus Christ but they didn't get what they were expecting. Something Completely Different happened verse two they found the stone rolled away from the tomb but when they entered they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus while they were wondering about the suddenly two men in close they glean like lightning stood beside them in their freight the women valid down with their faces to the ground but the men said to them Why do you look for the living among the dead he is not here he has risen. Some of the best and most powerful words that have ever been spoken in human history and so we read about this event in Luke and all of us should say where to say this happened quite a long time ago almost two thousand years ago how am I supposed to view and respond to what happened back then is this merely some historical event that I'm just supposed to be aware of sort of like a trivia question or more than that should we expect of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to affect us in a very real and personal matter. You know if the Bible is true so when you came this morning you got your Bible on your phone or you have a Bible in your hand and we carry this around and we read these words but if this is true and this really happened then this event is the single most important event that has happened in the entire history of mankind outside of creation itself and the Bible tells us that if we by faith believe in these events and we put our trust in their significance then we will participate in them in a very real and life changing way and so for this morning as we are celebrating Easter we are going to look at the two main parts of Easter this Easter story and they reveal to all mankind these two things that all of us are going to participate in I want you open your Bible so Romans Chapter five and six. We're going to spend our time there this morning there are several different verses that we could read for Easter Sunday that teaches about the Easter story but I want to go to Romans five and six and the first thing. That we realize that the first thing that these are story reveals to all of mankind is something that we're going to participate in is this all of us will participate in the punishment of sins every single person in this room is going to participate in the punishment of since you know it's kind of. It's kind of a statement is it. Every single sin thing about there's every single sin that has ever been committed by every single human being will not go unpunished and some of you might be thinking oh wait a second I soon all the time and no one ever knows about my sins God does and those sins will be punished and they're going to be punished in one of two ways. Either you will have to pay the penalty for your sins or they were all put on Christ on the cross and he paid for them let's read about this in Romans Chapter five Romans Chapter five verse twelve. Romans Chapter five beginning in verse twelve it says therefore justice and came into the world through one man and guess through sin and so desperate to all men because all sin. And we decided we weren't there we were there in the Garden of Eden how did their sin affect us while the Bible teaches us that Adam and Eve when they sin sin entered the entire human race we have a participation in their sin there is a a little phrase that's kind of helpful that I learned back in college you know why why why are we sinners Well this is kind of the answer to that question why do we sin we are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners you understand the difference between those and if you want proof that we are born sinners all you need to do is look at a baby right. J. Vernon McGee famous preacher said babies are seven pounds of sin and especially. When they get to age to a man Al your parents can be a that's true my kid is a sinner Well why is he saying he's born a sinner there are sins that have come into the world because of Adam and Eve were good verse eighteen Romans five eighteen. Therefore as one trespass led to condemnation for all men so one act of righteousness leads to the justification and life for all men for as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners so by the one man's obedience the many will be made right yours. And so this verse here in Romans is teaching us that Christ's perfect sacrifice and his perfect life paid for the sins of mankind and Jesus teaches us that if we place our faith in him and this is a word this is a phrase it's used all throughout the scripture if we put our faith and trust in who Jesus Christ is then we are in him that we are in Christ meaning the things that happened to Christ the things that he did are credited to us and we have a participation in those things as read about this in Romans Chapter six but of Romans Chapter six verse one two. So this is something that we can expect when it comes to the payment of our sins crisis death will cover them if we place our face on him all men six verses one and two. One two and three it says what shall we say then are we to continue in sin the Grace me a bound by no means how can we who died to sin still live in it do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus we're bad ties into his death now look at verse ten. Verse ten says Romans extend for the death he died he died to sin once for all but the life he lives he lives to God So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin. And alive to God in Christ Jesus and so this teaches us that Jesus' death pays for our sins so how is it possible that we get credit for Christ death well back in verse three it explains it it says that we've been baptized into Jesus meaning we have been permanently identified with him and this is talking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and so in some places their faith in Jesus Christ the Bible teaches us an important lesson of public when you put up the fusions one infusions one passage this is talking about us being permanently identified with Christ and His works if you change one thirteen and fourteen. It says in him in Christ you also when you heard the word of truth the gospel of yourselves ation and believed in him were sealed with the promise Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of his glory and so what God does this as soon as we place our faith in Jesus Christ his death and resurrection we are sealed with the Holy Spirit this is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and if we are bad times by the Holy Spirit and placed in Christ then his dad we become a participation of that we participate in the death of Christ and so when God looks at us he sees the death of Christ he sees the blood of Christ and not our sins saying Christine is five seventeen says Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation the old is passed away and behold the new Eskom you know talking about sins and how our sins are forgiven I realize as I was putting all this together it can get really technical you know we can get into all the technical details of how our sins are paid for in us being baptized into Christ and were baptized into His death and and when you get into technical things you can easily get bogged down in making it kind of boring sometimes we don't like the technical details right sometimes all you want to do is focus on the emotional stuff we like to feel right we like to have our our hearts. Strings pulled and there's plenty of that in the story but here's something important motions cannot solve the problem of our sin. Only payment can solve the problem of our sin. Live you here probably have a mortgage on your house you're making payments what would you think if you wrote a love letter to the C.E.O. of your mortgage company and said you know you are the best C.E.O. you are the best mortgage broker in the world and I love you so much and you have the power to pay off my mortgage will you please do that I believe that you can do that you know what he's going to say to you show me the money he's not going to get his pay off your mortgage there needs to be a payment made for your mortgage and in God's great love for us he sacrificed his son so that Christ's holiness and justice for God's holiness and justice would be satisfied listen everyone sins are going to be paid for but if you accept Christ death as payment for your sins then you have as the Bible teaches us you have participated in the death of Jesus Christ and if you don't accept Christ payment for your sins then you will be responsible for them and so as we read the Easter story this is the first important truth that we really reveal to us that we will participate in the punishment of sins and if our faces in Christ and His payment pays for our sins Well the second thing these three story reveals to us is that everyone will also participate in a resurrection from the dead everyone will be resurrected you know the resurrection of Jesus surprise certain people they were shocked that the heresies of the Sadducees and all the religious leaders they didn't believe that he would be resurrected but they said you go put a guard on the tomb because we think that his disciples are going to come and steal his body but guess what he rose from the grave. And they should have been prized by this because Jesus predicted this he told us was going to happen can you put up on the screen John five that Jesus teaches us that everyone will be resurrected in fact there are two resurrections there are two resurrections that are going to take place in John Chapter five Jesus teaches us this John Chapter five Verse twenty eight. Jesus talking to his disciples and he says Do not marvel at this for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out here the two resurrections those who have done good to the resurrection of life. And those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment there are two resurrections and every human being that has ever existed will be resurrected to one of these two things and one of someone is saying well I I don't believe this I really don't think this is going to happen it doesn't change the fact that it's going to happen if this is true this is going to happen and I suspect that there are going to be millions if not billions of people who are going to stand before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne of judgment after they've been resurrected stand before the judgment seat and they're going to have this thought go through their mind. If only I would have known. If only I would have known that my sins separated me from God if only I wouldn't known they Christ's death paid for my sins if only I would have known I was going to spend eternity somewhere I would have done things differently. A few months ago I was talking to a friend of mine the friend at the friend that I told you about the want to give me the Michigan hat his name is Eric Postma and I'm going to be in Michigan in two weeks from now so I'll be here next Sunday and then I'm going to be in Michigan for a pastor's conference and I was telling my friend I am going to be there all this get together let's have lunch or do something he says it's great and he's into running kind of like I am and there's a fun run that he's been doing for. I think a couple of years it's a half marathon trail run in Michigan a trail run in Michigan you just don't hit a tree and you're fine there's not too many mountains but he's telling me about this trail run and I thought you know I'm going to be there on a Saturday maybe I should do this within and he said yeah they'd be great sign up for this trail run and so this is like two or three months ago and I'm doing some research I'm going to I could do this with no problem and Dr two or three months I'll train I'll train really hard and I looked at an online and I saw that there were another couple trail runs before this trail run in Michigan and I thought I'll sign up for this one in February in this one and margin and when I get to the trail run with my friend going to beat him so bad I'm going to go so fast so much faster than him and all of bragging rights forever I'm a I'm a little competitive and that means a little bit to me so so I'm looking at this I go Hey I told him for am going to find out because you better do it quick because you know the it sells out and so one day I'm online and I'm registering for and I give my name and my shirt size and all the stuff I hit register and I immediately got an e-mail that said Sorry races full well it's got to be kidding me and so I emailed the race director and said Hey my name is Josh going to be in town and I got a friend he's told told me I should do this is there any way you can squeeze one more person into this race I'm coming up there and I need to know can you can you let me know you know what are my chances of racing in this race he said you know I hate to tell you this but you know we can only have a certain number of people race on this course because it's kind of a small course and I have a lot of other people who signed up before you so they're Before you on the waiting list and so I said Just tell me what are my chances and he says pretty much slim to none so blind OK so I have been training have been running I did do those other two races and on Thursday. I get any e-mail from the Race Director me in about twenty five or thirty other people who are on the waiting list and he said guess what we have room when you. On a run if you'd like to know what I'm thinking. And I literally sat on my desk and thought If only I would have known. If only I would have known that there was going to be an opening the last two or three months of my life would have been different I would have been running I would have done those other races I would have been training I would have been prepared to get it done my best so that when I saw my friend I could rub it in his face forever but I'm faster than well I did sign up yet he said he had to sign up by Sunday which is today I did sign out and now I'll just run it for fun with my friends you know go out find. Whatever anyway. But I thought if only I would have known if only oh what a KNOWN that I could run in this race how many people are literally going to be at the end of their lives their end of their existence and they're going to say before the Great White Throne of judgment if only I wouldn't know I wish someone would have told me that this was going to take place well let's read about that events let's go to Revelation chapter twenty. Revelation chapter twenty. Almost to the very end of your Bibles Revelation chapter twenty and this is dealing with future events and we're not going to get into too much detail about what's going on here but in this passage we read about these two different resurrections. The resurrection that is like Christ's and the resurrection to judgment Revelation chapter twenty beginning in verse four. Revelation twenty beginning in verse four it says. Then I saw thrones and see them them or those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who have been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God and those who would not worship the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their forehead or their hands listen they came to life. And reigned with Christ for a thousand years that's the first resurrection we see this. Second resurrection of were spied the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended and now it was to the great weight throne of judgment this is the first resurrection Blessitt in the holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection over such the second death has no power but they will be priests of God and of Christ and they will reign with him for a thousand years there are two resurrections in here and you see that Jesus came back to life to teach us this truth now go back to Romans Chapter six. Romans Chapter six picking up in verse five. Romans Chapter six verse five teaches us that we are will participate in the resurrection like Christ Romans six five says For if we have been united with him in a death like his we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his we know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be done brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin for one who has died has been set free from sin now if we have died with Christ we believe that we also will live with him we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again Destin a longer has dominion over him for the death he died he died to sin once for all but the life he lives he lives to God So you also you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus I hope you all see the significance of what is being taught here especially verse five Look at verse five again it says For if we have been united if we have a participation if we have been united with him in a death like his we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like hits and so Easter is about the deaths and the resurrection of the Son of God and our fate. Within him means that we participated in his death because we've been sealed and baptized by the Holy Spirit we are identified with the death of Jesus but it also means that we should fully expect to participate in a resurrection like his that's what the Easter story tells us and Paul tells us when this is going to happen I mean all of us want to know when this is going to happen right and if the genre First Thessalonians four verses sixteen and seventeen it says for the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command with the voice of an archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first then we who are alive who are left are we caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we always will be with the Lord Well when this is going to happen we have no idea it will probably happen when we least expect it but when it happens if you are in Christ you should expect to participate in this that's what Easter teaches us and so Easter is the most important event in human history I believe and our face and acceptance of these events determines who will pay for our sin is either Christ on the cross or you. And our face in acceptance of these events will also determine which resurrection we will participate in the resurrection to life with Christ or the resurrection to judgement for eternity and for you here today you should all now be expecting to participate in one of those and it's your choice if you want to accept the free gift of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ all you need to do is ask that the Bible teaches us how easy it is to accept this and to be found in Christ in Romans ten nine and ten it teaches us how we can be saved it says. Romans ten nine ten because if you confess with your mouse that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart to God raised Him from the dead you will be saved for with the heart one believes in his justified and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. And now that all of you are here today and all of you have heard what the Bible has to say no one here can ever say if only I would have known now you know. And now it's time to make a choice many of you here I hope all of you have already made your choice and you have placed your face in Christ that his death will cover your sins and that you will participate in the resurrection like it is but if you have never made that decision if you've never prayed this prayer that we see here and Romans eight nine eight or ten nine and ten you can do that right now and how the hope of eternal life and so I invite you to do that if you've never done so before I like everyone to close your eyes and about your head and just kind of silent your heart before God and come humbly before him and if you are ready to do this for the first time just simply pray this prayer to God and He will hear you in your heart say this say Father God I know I am a sinner. But now I believe that Jesus died for my sins. And I believe you raised him from the dead to give me the hope of eternal life. Right now I place my face in Christ alone for myself ation. And so the good news for us here on this Easter Sunday is if you prayed that prayer whether today for the first time or if you ever have you will rise again some day just like Christ did let's close in prayer and thank God for the Strewth dear lord we we've just come before you today and it's so wonderful that we can celebrate the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ and today Lord as we look at Romans in these other passages we realize why. You sent your son into this world to solve these two problems you you created us to live with you forever but our sins separated us from you and so Lord in your great love for us you sent your son to pay for our sins so that we wouldn't have to and you raised him back from the grave so that we too might have the hope of spending eternity with you Lord we proclaim this we share this and we ultimately participate in this and so father we're so grateful that you've given us this truth so that we know so that we won't be standing before you of the Great White Throne of judgment and saying why didn't anyone tell me in your great love you told us the Lord it's my prayer that as we go out here for those of us who have made this decision that we will share with the world around us that they too can have this hope and we will share this great message of salvation with them so Lord thank you so much we love you for what you have done and what you will do on our lives and we now close this this worship service and with one more song we prove we sing to the praise and honor and glory of Jesus Christ and His name we pray Amen.
Preacher: Josh White
Preacher: Travis SandersI know my kids said it was making me feel too old.That's another story all right but Travis you know I asked Travis to do this is long as I've known Travis for those you know Travis is well he takes his face very seriously he's a man of prayer he's a man of face and today he's going to share with us what God has laid on his heart to so hopefully get well as pray Dear Lord I pray for my brother your son Travis I'm excited for him to share with us what you believe on his heart and what is important to him and it's important to him as a community of believers I pray that it will be important to us the way that we think in act and live on our face and so I pray that you'll be with Travis right now helping to be able to share clearly with us what you lean on the story who prays in Christ name human and.Yes ready.To go.Before I fire Well it's just I'm going to pray really quick God is pray that your words will come out.And that.Your body would hear your scripture not. Your name and I were going to start in verse a day in Colossians three.Verses one two.And cautions three wanted to Therefore if you have been raised with Christ keep seeking the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.Keep thinking about things not things on earth.They want to talk to you about a focus where we focus our minds where we put our thoughts.I know a little bit about this I'm a fireman. OK And you know when you go through a twelve week academy you learn about the. Pissing on times and getting the hose laid laid out right and making sure you don't screw up at all and then you look at the instructor and says yeah you're good and that's what you focus on so when you get on the field you just keep doing the same thing.I have a brother here from the fire department but you can attest to this so you get out into the field in that first fire call you go on you're so focused on not screwing up that you completely screw up everything you do right so you're getting in the truck and you're putting on your hood and you're getting turned out and we call it turned out is when you get all your gear on so you get all your gear on and you get in turned out and you end up screwing up your jacket so it's like sideways in your mask is on backwards and you put on your hood and your senior fireman's next to you like just trying to adjust you as you're going because you're screwing up everything you get to the fire and the brake sets and you jump off and you're like this you've got your head down and you put on your packing you're getting your air pack on so you can breathe inside the fire your air pack on you pull the hose off and you run it out you realize you're in front of the wrong house you've got to go over to the next one.And so finally are the front door right.But you haven't paid attention to anything that's going on you're just trying to get your time and not screw up but you've done all of those things already screw up everything.So as you get more senior on the job you realize that your focus has to be on other things you get the fire calm when you get on the truck you just automatically put on your gear and not paying attention to putting on my gear I know how to do that my focus is on the radio because the radio tells me everything I need to know tells me how big the fire is where it's at or thirty people trapped what kind of what kind of hose line there point off the truck so that gives me an idea of how much fires in the building. You're looking at the time of day or the people home are they at work give you an idea of their victims and then when you get to the fire you're not paying attention to getting your hair back on you. Looking at the fire you're looking at where it's at in the building how you're going to make access to the front door to the side doors are going to go around at the back all these things are going through your mind you're taking in all this information right you have to so that you know how to do your job right.So if you're taking any notice we're going to we're going to start reading we're going to go to cautions one versus nine through eleven.We're starting verse nine.This is Paul speaking to the church in caution or the last day but for this reason we also from the day we heard about you have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.So the first point about focusing our mind on Christ putting her thoughts and our focus on Christ is that he is the source of our wisdom in our knowledge.At a pretty good buddy in high school.My senior year and he was a very charismatic guy we got along really well we always in the rooming together whenever we did high school trips we ran cross-country together.And we both went off to college and we came back and I was hanging out with him at his house and we were in his backyard and he's he's telling me about how how smart his professors are in college how much more he's learning and about this new idea about religion and how religion is all just relative right so you can believe in Buddha or Christ and all these things as long as you believe in it as much as you can then we can all just get along and it's just fine and I'm looking at all of you and you shaking your heads you know you're like well that's not right but see we know that's not right not because of ourselves we know it because we know the truth of Scripture.And it's only through knowing scripture in focusing our minds and. Pricing him pouring his wisdom and his knowledge into us that we're able to determine what is a lie and what is truth. C. and you can't do that unless you focus your mind on God if you don't keep your mind on got you can get structed and the verse that came to mind see I was raised in a Christian home and I have been taken to church by very faithful mom and dad would really helped me out a lot knowing scripture but the verse that came to my mind immediately when he started telling me this was in Colossians two and two two three four and I read it for you see I didn't even know what the verse was when this came to my mind but it came to me immediately when he started telling me about this. My goal is that their hearts having been knit together in love may be encouraged and that they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God namely Christ and whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge I say this so that no one will see view through arguments that sound reasonable. See God is the source of our wisdom and our knowledge and when we focus on him he puts his wisdom and knowledge into us he pours it into us and we're able to figure out what is truth in a life in this world.And just like on that on the fire if I'm focused on the fire if I look at what I'm getting myself into I take in all the information that I need in order to take the proper actions.And that brings us to our second point in Colossians ten cautions one versus ten.So I'm jumping back and forth a lot of give you just a second to turn.So cautions one verse ten so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please Him All right. Bags bearing fruit in every good.Growing in the knowledge of God.So our second point is that we have to focus on God because He is the source of our purpose and all explain what I mean by this.His source of our purpose I was always raised that our primary role as creation is to glorify our creator that's what he made us for we are supposed to glorify him and just to give you a visual what that means I have a really beautiful wife and she let me use your as an illustration but she's not just the pie eating champion of Grace Bible Church she's also she's also a very complex carpenter she really enjoys building large solid farmhouse tables.And so this she makes them all like every single one is different but she likes to use her artistic ability and she changes all the time but this last one she made was really cool in it she got on the planks together and she got them all glued unscrewed all together and then after that she took a torch and she burned it all and the way it works when you burn wood is that the dense parts of the wood don't burn as quickly as the the less dense parts so what you end up is just as undulating pattern of dark and light colors it looks really beautiful and if you were to look at that table. Would you glorify the table or the maker you would you look for the maker right she did a great job she planned it all she decided to be a certain height so he could sit underneath it right she made the legs and the table top and everything well the same thing goes for God Right see God and we all know this he existed before anything right you're the Father Son and Holy Spirit existing in perfect harmony and he didn't need anything else and then one day before the Reagan days he said let's make some stuff and he created the worlds and. And it says the sun and the moon and stars and he created time and mathematics and physics and science he created all this thing all these things and then he made us. He made us so that when we looked out his creation we say wow God is amazing he is amazing and then when people look at us our lives should exemplify God so they could say wow God is amazing that's what we were made for.I really like how David puts it in song twenty three he talks about resting in God a hole through Psalm twenty three he's talking about just resting in God and near the end of the song the talks about his cup runneth over and I'm just this picture of God just pouring his wisdom in his knowledge into us and it flows out into our lives and into our actions so that we exemplify God in everything that we do and that's that's what we should be doing. So just like on that fire I was talking about earlier I take in all the information I need and then I can put my actions in they make a difference and they do what they're supposed to do on like that new guy who I'm just trying to wrangle and bring back to the right spot I'm I'm going through the front door I know how to do it I know where the victims are you know how big the fire is of us and the addicts and the side door or whatever you know and that's that's how our lives should be we should be focused on God so his wisdom and knowledge come in comes into our lives and in our actions can make a difference and glorify him.Continuing on with our passage we get down to collage ans. Chapter one Verse eleven.Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might. For the display of all patience and steadfastness joyfully.Point number three is that we have to focus on God because he's a source of our power.And this is this is. The best part of this Christian walk that we have you see as a firefighter I do all the work it is really hard work and I would not wish you guys fighting a fire at all because half of us are going to have a heart attack and the other half are going to quit it's really tough it's probably the hardest work you'd ever do in life but as a Christian that's completely different God does all the work he is the the power behind our vehicle.In scripture we see that that God is compared to the vine and we are the branches see all the all the power comes through the vine and into the branches we don't produce it in verse ten if we go just back to one one verse this is bearing fruit in every good deed so you always thought that bearing fruit was the same as producing fruit in bearing I don't know my mind didn't really translated very well but bearing isn't producing God produces a fruit we just bear it we hold it right God makes all of the good deeds that we do but we have to focus on him for that to work.In Philippians one six he says who he who began a good work in you. Will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. God does all the work in our lives we have to focus on him so he can impart His wisdom and his knowledge into our lives so that he can propel our actions forward and then they make a difference in glorifying him in this world around us.A really cool thing about God is that he is cool is such a terrible word.Incredible let's use incredible really incredible thing about God is that he's infinite right and because of that there's an infinite number of ways you can focus on God as long as it's comes along. With the truth of the Bible you can focus on God in so many different ways. But it just before you know I'm done I close I just like to share with you how I would I like to look at God how I like to focus on him.And rather than using my own words I'm going to use Scripture because he's so much better than I am so. You don't have to read along I'll just read it to you just just listen to these words it's in Isaiah six verses one through five.In the year of Kenya's eyes death.I saw the sovereign master seated on high elevated on a high elevated throne the hymn of this robe filled the temple.Saira first it over him each one had six wings with two wings they cover their faces with two wings they cover their feet and they use the remaining two to fly they called out to one another holy holy holy is the Lord who commands armies his majestic splendor fills the entire earth the sound of their voices shook the door frames and the temple was filled with smoke I said too bad for me I am destroyed from my lips or are contaminated was sent and I live among the people whose lips are contaminated with send my eyes have seen the king the Lord commands armies.See we we worship a powerful God and he is seated in heaven.And he commands respect and when we put our mind on him all the little troubles that we have in our life like.My kids not having soccer practice at the same time so I have to be at the park for an extra hour you know just all these all these little troubles that we and I can't even think of so many right now but you hold them up and you hold them against this powerful god that we have and the one without the other immediately. And when we're able to focus our minds on a God like that.Just makes better husbands better fathers and better friends because we're able to use and we're able to be more like Christ and influence those relationships the way they ought to be so.That's all I had to say today.That was it.And I'm going to close in prayer and then it will be dismissed.Lord God it is thank you for this opportunity to speak to my brothers and sisters here I pray that as we go through this week that we would focus our minds on you that we would allow you to.Be the power in our lives like your wisdom and your knowledge flow into us.And spread that we would all be safe for us that day and in prayer and in.
Preacher: Les PetryMore songs will take the offering the Travis will preach and we'll have them both in the back and you guys can congratulate them and maybe they'll still still be in standing at the endthat's the goal but I want to pray for you right now less and then the floor is yours dear Lord I thank you so much my brother in Christ and I'm excited that he has this opportunity to him to talk about you and to talk about your love for him and the way that you've shown him that he is very special in your sight and so Lord I'm just use less his words to encourage all of us to inspire us to live on our face like real men and so father I just pray that you give him freedom as he speaks to us and just allow us to embrace the common faith that we share and we present Christ in human.Yeah to Phil thank you well good morning and thank you for letting me be up here this morning I guess we'll find out later today and my wife just mouth to me that's been four years.So I stand corrected a little bit about myself I'm less Petri my wife Karen we've been married thirty seven years we hail originally from well I come from Canada My wife is from Denver Colorado we have two children you might know the area and Stacey Stacey is our youngest. Declan and Desmond are their children and then Brad and Margaret their kids come to want to enter volunteer where they go to another church and that's Maher Madeleine and and Evan So we're very blessed to have a very healthy happy family.When when.Josh asked a few weeks ago about the getting up here I'm not sure I want to do that I've been in front of people before that didn't bother me but he used to. Sermon to preach and that was something that made me very uncomfortable. So and then I was talking with Stan in the in the lobby one day and I was always taught to be respectful way and to find something nice to say about people so I commented about the color stance here is it really like the color of your hair and he looked back at me so well so almost the same as yours isn't it.Now taking that a little bit further Josh had asked me to represent the older people.So I guess that's why I'm here is to represent the older people so don't take any offense to that and then on the hair theme I thought you know there's a lot of passages in the scripture about hair maybe a preacher bow hair well that's not going to happen and number one I'm not preaching I'm just talking and I'm not going to talk about here so. That's that's how I came to be up here so we've been coming to the church about for years as well as we said so. I really kind of struggled as to what to talk about Josh it asked me to talk about a verse. I had a hard time just picking one verse so I reflected back and actually went to my favorite book The Book of Job. In it it helps.I'm going have to read some of this I'm sorry so just bear with me.It helps me grasp who I am in the grand scheme of things to whom and why important and why and when you go through trials and tribulations I think we all ask ourselves why is this happening to me arrayed and it helps to put everything in perspective so why is this happening to me and I'm I'm a child of God I believe and yet I'm going through these difficult times.If you want to just turn with me first of all to Joel. One one one through five we'll just read that very quickly and we're just going to bounce around a little bit and Joel this is not a real heavy deep study of job it's just some things that have encouraged me.So job one one to five and we'll just start there there once was a man named Joel who lived in the Land of Oz He was blameless a man of complete integrity he feared God and stayed away from evil he had seven sons and three daughters he owned seven thousand sheep three thousand camels five hundred teams of oxen and five hundred female donkeys and he employed many servants and he was in fact the richest person in the entire area. Job sons would take turns preparing feasts in their homes and they would also invite their three sisters to celebrate them when the celebrations ended sometimes after several days job would peer file his children he would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them for a job some said to him say to himself perhaps my children of sin and of curse God in their hearts this was bulbs regular practice. And now I think I think we can see from this job had a pretty good all right he was a godly man. He was wealthy he had a healthy happy family and and he he was pretty pretty content in the world where he was and where things are going that's going to change now I'm sure all of us have been through personal trials and tribulations. If you haven't they're coming OK. And it doesn't matter if we're a believer or nonbeliever they're going to come but we're looking at it from the perspective of a believe yours.Faith today.After we I said we had come from Calgary and we had moved to Paysan. We lived there for two. When you yours and I actually we came through pace and I think in one thousand nine hundred two it doesn't matter and I said this is a great place to be and to be quite honest with you I thought I could ride my motorcycle year round. So.It took us a while to. Get ready and God worked things out that we were able to go and we actually moved in the summer of one thousand nine hundred five I packed up a duffel bag full of tool tools in the back of my motorcycle and Karen and the kids flew to Denver and stayed with her folks while I found a job and a place to live so that's what we came to Arizona with.We you know we were in the process we had built our first house and pace it was one thousand nine hundred eighty eight I think it was and you know I had a healthy happy family we were involved in a church our kids were great and I suffered a back injury that took basically two years out of my life our lives that I couldn't work I couldn't get out of bed you know I wasn't eligible for any social services and so we were totally dependent on God.It just amazes me how God took care of us looking back I can't even really say how he did this or how we did that or how he did this but I know that God was in control and took care of us would I change that time not for anything they grew us together as a family it grew us together spiritually and it just I'd like I said Was it tough yeah did I want out of it at the time you better believe it. There's a sense of self-worth when a man is working and supplying for his family when he can't do that it's pretty devastating but. That's just how things happened it wasn't by any plan it wasn't any. God's wrath just was the way things were it was a trial it was a trial so. So let's go back to job and let's look at job one six through twelve just very quickly and this is job's first test one day the members of the heavenly for court came to present themselves before the Lord in the accuser Satan came with them where he come from the Lord as seen Satan answered The Lord have been patrolling the worth Earth watching everything that's going on then the Lord asked Satan Have you noticed my servant job he is the finest man in all the earth he is blameless a man of complete integrity he fears God and stays away from evil I just want to stop there for a minute you know God is very proud of Joel and and he has been holding him and hiding him from Satan and not allowing anything to happen so let's keep going Satan replied the Lord yes but Joe has good reason to fear God you have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property you have made him prosper in everything he does look how rich he is but reach out and take everything away he has and he will surely curse you to your face all right you may test Him the Lord said to Satan do whatever you want with everything he possesses but don't harm him physically so satan left the presence of the Lord.You know this last that verse twelve really really speaks to me.Job is very ultimately in the hands of God and Satan has no power over. Joel state has no power over God God is telling Joel what you can do all right and this is really important for us to remember God is the victor and he has it in him he has us in his hands and God permits it as we see throughout job that he. He is protected but also that job has a part to play and that's OK It's going to be a learning curve for job and it's going to be very sincere.You know Joel job has it we're not going to read the entire book but you know we if you're familiar with the story Joel goes through a lot he loses basically everything his friends his wife tell him to curse God and to walk away and job still and yours and hangs on there and he just he just really is hanging in there but he starts to cry out you know whoa is me what's happening you know he's really a better word forty's whiny he's really whining to God and you know we kind of got a question that a little bit but I think sometimes we do that ourselves you know we whine and we complain to God as to why this is happening. You know and God God listens for a while I mean job goes on his friends go on and God listens for a while and we can see you know God is very patient he doesn't he doesn't just stand up and wrap and I mean even if you look at all the Biblical text with Israel lights and whatever you want to look at God is very patient but there is going to come a time OK.Let's flip let's flip over to Job thirty eight one to three please.That's Job thirty eight versus one to three.So all this time job has been complaining and God has been listening now the Lord is going to challenge job at least that's what it says at the heading of my chapter in my Bible OK.So Job thirty eight one to three then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind who is this that questions my wisdoms with such ignorant words brace yourself like a man OK because I have some question. As for you and you must answer them all right it's pay up time OK. So.He starts the starts to let me go back to job and kind of question him and I want to think back when I'm going to go there but I want you to think back about Genesis and the creation you know and how God created everything and he created everything out of a spoken word all right God created the word spoken was created and that's all great and beautiful.Excuse me for a second.That's all great and beautiful but this is the part that I really love a boat a boat job it's all of the next few verses and chapters all the way through Chapter forty one God gives a beautiful illustration of creation he talks about you know where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth tell me if you have understanding who determined it's measurements Surely you know or stretched the line upon it.He goes on to say where are you when the font is born you know who harnesses the power of the of the of the horse and the donkey and who where were you when I hung the stars in the sky you know we think we're so smart we're so clever and we know so much but when you start reading through job when you start looking at what God actually did during creation it just blows me away.Well job finally is coming to a spiritual sense and seeks forgiveness so let's flip over again it to Joe forty two verses one to six.Job forty two verses one to six then the job replied to the Lord I know that you can do nothing and no one can stop you you asked Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance is. As I and I was talking about things I knew nothing about. OK things far too wonderful for me you said listen and I will speak I have some questions for you and you must answer them I had only heard about you before but now I have seen you with my eyes I take back everything I said and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance. Well I think it's really important here to see the change of heart to Joe Pass we know the job was a godly man he was blessed.And when he started to question God God It dealt with them and Joel had a change of heart which is what God looks at so he looks at our heart and how that is perceived.And on this is where I kind of gain might perspective of who I am who I am I ported to and why I'm here I'm here to love and serve my God And I was bought with a very very expensive price.And you know through this we see that Joel is cared for by God. More than circumstances but out of what God Or what about but are real a personal relationship with us to God That's what God cares about.I want to tell you a little bit of story and I might get emotional and very but.This is a very good church fit for me because I've always been interested in guns.So when I was a man I can't even remember maybe. Fourth grade. And probably a lot of you don't even really remember these but they were little pistols and they were spring action and they shot the beans that mom used to sew to cook for three days and I wanted one of those guns so badly I just I just really wanted one we didn't have any money so all.We had lived in a house which we had vacated and I knew how to get into the house and just one day I could I broke into the house to be honest with you that's what happened OK there's no easy way to say it I broke into the house and I was went into the basement was rummaging around and I found this great beautiful badminton set so I hooked up badminton set and I took off and I was going down the back alley and mom called to me from the back porch and I dropped the badminton set in the weeds and took off and.Mom said What do you have I said I just I just had a plastic bag you know I just found this piece of plastic that I was messing with and she said OK She had me do some air and I don't remember what it was after I did what she wanted day I went back and retrieved the badminton set what am I going to do with this being a creative little.Stinker that I was I hopped on my bike and I rode down town to the pawn shop. And I tried to pawn this badminton said well the point dealer said you know I got a note from your folks song OK so I'm on my way back home and on my way back home on my bike I met a buddy of mine.High school friend or partner elementary school friend and he had been going well I was able to talk him out of it being gone OK so we swapped I gave him the badminton set and he took I took to being a gun I had a great time with it I probably pilfered some of Mom's beans that day I don't remember. After supper there was a knock on the door and it was my friend and my dad answered the door and he said Hey my folks said I can't trade this being done earth is badminton set for this being done. While we're where you where you hear well Lestrade neither the badminton sit well less doesn't have a bad day and said Oh yeah I traded so last Camaro.So I went to the Oh no dad he's got the wrong guy it must have been an. Other friends OK. So.While the truth came out.I had to go get the bean gun that I had stashed swapped it back Dad wanted know where you get the bad news is that so confession time. And my dad told me he said OK there's going to have to be some punishment to go to the bedroom so I go to the bedroom dad comes in and I can still remember him taking his belt off you know that through the belt loops.And I thought OK you know brace for this you know and then my dad took his shirt off and he gave me the belt and my dad made me with him.To me.It's an illustration so you.Of what Christ done for us whole life.I say this to you to go back to Joe and the trials and the tribulations and I want to be very careful not to perceive our trials as God's wrath there are consequences OK now I don't believe that job was going through was a concert or was it was it was God's wrath I believe it was a trial to test and improve him.But there was a change of heart as I said for Joel There was also a change of heart for me when Dad made me with him.I remember striking my dad with the belt and I remember him telling me hit me harder it's got to hurt asked me something it's given.So.Let's just jump over real quickly too. James one twenty four.And will will read that.James won twenty four count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness steadfastness and let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect complete and lacking in nothing.So we see that God always has a plan for us all right.And then I want to also look at Romans five eight to eleven if you want to flip there that's fine if not just read it and it's probably a verse that we most of us have memorized OK but God shows His love for us and that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us since before we have now been justified because blood by His blood much more shall we say be safe by him from the wrath of God For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by death of his son much more now that we are reconciled sure we saved by His life more than that we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now received reconciliation.So.I'm very important to God.We all are very important to God We all have extreme value to God. So much so that we have been reconciled and by the Blood of Jesus Christ OK it's a very very heavy price he paid.God loves me he forgives me her forgave me and he has me in his hands at all times to regardless of what I or we are going through.What is my. Heart condition when I'm going through these trials and tribulations and my thanking God and my respect to God for it or am i just trying to get through it and getting angry with God. God always has a reason and a plan don't hide don't run or getting angry with them.So I hope you can take.Some of the stuff and just kind of think about it and just remember I said you are important to God God loves you he has you in his hands at all time don't run and hide because you're just going to be a better person for it let's pray.Heavenly Father we thank you that you are in control we thank you that you do love us and you love the so much that you paid this sacrifice I just pray that we would endure hardship and focus on you. Thank you for us in Jesus' name amen.
Preacher: Aaron LehmanAll Be ready and one person in particular should be more ready than most of us Erin come on enough ready or not here we go.Pick Mike is on to area you can tell by my novel that hopefully I am he's ready so I don't earn for us by five six years we kind of debated with less than the first service I know you and C.C. been here for a little bit longer but when the one of the reasons why I asked Aaron is because to preach he has a strong faith and I've enjoyed hearing his comments whether it's after a service it's an Sunday school class he obviously knows his Bible well and he loves the Lord and so this is a great opportunity for us to hear how God is working in his life and hopefully you'll be encouraged I'm sure all be encouraged I've already been encouraged just meeting with you and talking about this but I just pray for you right now and then I will just go to sleep in your heart dear Lord I pray for my brother Aaron I'm excited for him I'm sure he's excited nervous but Lord at this time he's just sharing with us your eternal truth this is your truth and I just pray that you'll use Aaron as the mouthpiece just give him freedom that he can share clearly what you lead on a certain Prince of Christ's name human.James Chapter three verses one and two a start off not many of you should become teachers my brothers because you know that those who teach will be judged more severely than others.Good morning.They're really as I think a reverend on earth and responsibility and addressing congregation so I apologize for I'm a little bit nervous because I keep on looking down that's on purpose.But I think my my heart has definitely been a little bit heavy just making sure to be properly prepared and I'm also able to paraphrase I say a six five word says I'm a man with unclean lips I live amongst the people of unclean limbs so this morning I just. This is an area I think that we've been talking about this past week being real I really feel that this is an area that I need my own encouragement with and so. I think I'm really kind of coming from not a position a sincerity of a lot of strength or insight but definitely a place where I also feel like I need to be encouraged So once more just want to pray and then we'll get started Lord Jesus Christ again just thank you for for this opportunity be with my heart be with my nerves speaks through me speak in spite of me let your words come through and just be a. Testimony and encourage not only to me but my brothers and sisters in Christ Thank you Lord Amen.One of the things I think about having different men speak is one of sociate that you're able to associate with the different stories in the different areas that were N. and so I think one of Josh is ideas in choosing the lay men.Because that's my name get this Mr Dan told me last week that he really appreciated my jokes so if you don't well it's going to be a long twenty minutes.You know it just shows I think people from various walks of life basically so we can associate so we can share so we can encourage How else if can you associate necessarily with me unless you know a little bit about me so I think before we actually get into the sermon just share a little bit about my testimony share a little bit about my background and then from there we can kind of launch him and I'm coming from I am a native Phoenician born and raised apparently there are not that many of them it's something that always serves as a conversation starter The only time I've ever spent outside of the metro Phoenix area I spent in Tucson going to school so I'm really pretty familiar with Arizona and the Arizona ways I was born into a Christian home my parents are here this morning so I have to be a little bit careful what they say. But I turned out so well so we know that everything worked out great.My parents are a fantastic Christian people fantastic Christian examples I recall accepting Christ at a very very young age I remember.Waiting in the bathroom while my mom was preparing a bath and so I really don't know of life a way from kind of a Christianity or a Christian example.I really am if you want to even call it didn't necessarily know better but we listen to Christian radio in the car we had Christian cassette tapes for music. Listen to Christian books I went to Christian school I was in rolled over northwest Community Christian school for a few years we had Christian video games Christian bicycles Christian yogurt Christian glue sticks.I am exaggerating a little bit. We were not allowed video games we played Christian who know.I did I went to school in in Tucson I graduated in two thousand and four so I'm a little bit sad this weekend for those who don't follow college basketball with Lost.These days I met while I met my wife Stacy we met back in two thousand and seven we were married in two thousand and nine.We have two boys Declan his age two and a half he didn't show up until I was thirty three so probably for most of the young men or the families I'm only about a decade or so behind you Desmond is two months old so at home I have a potty training toddler and I have a newborn and I would be lying if I said I wasn't questioning some of my life choices right now at the scariest And if we're actually honest about it I haven't been able to get through the sermon in under fifteen minutes without pausing every five minutes to escort a toddler back to the potty so you guys are good like if I just run off every right now it.So as I said I I was born and raised in a Christian home but at some point in time one has to make one's faith. One's own and if I think if I'm honest about my biggest struggle it's I think I've done a pretty good job of kind of being able to turn on the Christian needs when you show up for church on a Tuesday or Wednesday and Sunday but then it's also very easy to kind of go back to. Just the way that life is because it's just kind of how sort of always been and at some point in time as Josh has been talking about this past week how do we make our faith real R.T. How do we make it experience will I think honestly I am a pretty good candidate exactly for that so now that you know a little bit about me let's launch in or sermon and my official sermon training that I received said that an excellent way to introduce that is through an analogy or a story and one often does that through your youth employment experience so.Now I work church maintenance which means I have a lot of experience with food bowl and bathrooms and writing golf carts I did not have anything truly spiritual like package delivery or pancake delivery.So let's not use one of those to lead and instead of we're talking about a relationship I'm going to talk about my relationship with my wife Stacy and specifically how we look to grow that because I think that's kind of a nice lead and for our spiritual a ship. You know I want to spend time together all men want to plan a date night we usually do so around food now I know most of you are probably like everybody does things around food but there is a term if you've ever heard it before which is the term foodie and if you haven't while it's pretty straightforward I would Ridgeley think that way it's just somebody who really likes and appreciates food now of course once you're is sitting around a hunting campfire. Or trying to explain to the likes of one Steve McFadden why anybody would possibly want to spend more than six dollars on a meal all the sudden that simple explanation is not quite so simple but let me just talk a little bit about what when we want to plan a date night special with two young children first you have to pick a time in a place it's not just something where you can just run off and go you have to set the time aside do we have is this a particularly good day do we have too many consecutive nights.If we need to we have children we either take the children the other right or we have to communicate with with parents or with the babysitter Hey parents are you all of vailable and then are you going to come to us are we going to go to you because then I have to make sure more time babysitter then we get into more of the cost and when it is the babysitter available once you actually go out to a restaurant you do have to make sure you actually have the funds to pay for that Alternatively I guess you could also cook at home we do enjoy cooking but you have to know what you're going to make and if you're going to know what you're going to make you have to be going to the store to make sure you have all the ingredients and once again we have to crazy town boys and who is going to occupy them all somebody cooks and once you're done cooking then now you have a whole mountain full of pots and pans and somebody has to clean them all whilst a two year old jumps all over everything asking for a garbage truck videos.Basically date nights don't happen unless you plan for them they require dedicated time resources planning.They're always enjoyable they're at are always satisfying at the end but if and when we don't make date night a priority but simply do not happen.Life is always simpler and more convenient just to let things be so if we want to commit to our relationship we have to set aside the time the resources I must be intentional otherwise life swallows set up and I believe the same. Can and does happen our relationship with Jesus Christ we have to premeditate both time and resources otherwise simply the results aren't going to be there and that really brings me to my primary point which I we must be intentional in our spiritual life in our relationship with Jesus Christ and so I'm going to add I for intentional so we are really are already a way to our man month and if anybody has any letters too bad I took them.So I would like to open up to first Peter take out your Bibles Let's open up and we're going to go to our key verse which is first Peter chapter one verse thirteen as you search I will help you Peter one you will find right before first Peter chapter two.As we turn there my my last parting shot because I have the opportunity has anybody ever noticed as Pastor introduces the chapter he never actually introduces the verse I've talked to a few people and you've all said yes and so everybody has to be cued up like in verse number one and then we launch and in a minute scramble in order to find where we are I'll try not to leave you hanging.See see it's.And also one other element I'm going to be reading from the international standard version which should be relatively close to what's up on the screen but it's not going to exactly slip there so in the form of avoiding controversy I'm not doing a good job with that either. First Peter chapter one verse thirteen through sixteen therefore prepare your minds for action keep a clear head and set your hope completely on the grace to be given to you when Jesus the Messiah is revealed as obedient children do not be shaped by the desires that used to influence you when you were ignorant instead be holy in every aspect of your life just as the one who called you is holy for it is written you must be holy because I am holy I think this is an outline for how we can be intentional in our relationship with Christ. So let's dig into this verse together shall we.Therefore.What is it therefore let's flip back a little bit because we looks like we need some context we're going to flip back in the same chapter two verse three. Blessed to be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah because of his great mercy he's granted us a new birth resulting in an immortal hope through the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah from the dead to an inheritance kept in heaven for you that can't be destroyed corrupted or changed through faith you're being protected by God's power for a salvation that is ready to be revealed at the end of this era OK we have a there for we have a why Peter tells us we have a new birth we have an inheritance kept in heaven for us there's a payout we don't have it yet but it's coming and this payout results in an immortal hope through the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah and if you return back to verse thirteen Peter doubles down on that point set your hope completely on the grace to be given to you when Jesus the Messiah is revealed.The apostle Peter is telling us repeatedly to stay conscious of the fact that Jesus is not yet done a he is coming back and when he does there will be something to look forward to in both grace and inheritance and Peter is not alone in this advice our Savior Jesus Christ encourage us exactly the same way so let's turn to Matthew chapter six we're going to pick up in verse nineteen and you'll find Matthew six right after Matthew five.How long until this job gets old.Matthew six starting first one thousand stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth where mobs and rust destroyed where thieves break in and steal but keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven or mobs and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal because where your treasure is there will heart be also so we are to live our lives in anticipation of a page. Out of the treasure there is an objective to be obtained and we have something to look forward to Peter tells us this should be the basis for how we approach this life and this foundation is what gives us and moral hope I do believe we have a key sermon point and official sermon training now says that I'm supposed to give you three or so bolted easy to follow points and so our first point for those of you following along or taking notes is Peter tells us to keep our eyes on the prize and we approach each and every day with the knowledge that one day God's plan will indeed cumulate Jesus Christ will be revealed and given full dominion over everything we will experience and share in his inheritance set your hope completely on the grace to be given to you in Jesus the Messiah is revealed but if we're honest isn't that really how we we approach a lot of our goals here on Earth if I'm trying to be intentional in my relationship with Stacy we're setting aside time and resources in order to make our date nights happen if you're looking to make a big purchase like a house or a car if you're looking to go on a trip if you aren't dieting. Basically every in every single one of those you are setting it aside short term game and sacrifice in order to meet the end objective a lot of you don't know and probably really nobody knows.If that I am actually the result of a fairly significant weight loss probably not back in college I was high to twenty's I know a surprise and really what it was is I was just kind of done with with where I was and I kind of started trying to do this and that in the one thing that worked was running I hate running hated run but the end objective of being more physically fit overcame my in this case completely dislike of running the end of the ject of was worth the short term sacrifice.This focused on the end result keeping our eyes on. Prize looking forward to having that treasure is exactly also how the Apostle Paul encourages us and so let's flip over to First Corinthians Chapter nine we're going to pick up in verse twenty four.You know that in a race all the runners run but only one wins the price don't you you must run in such a way to be victorious everyone who enters an athletic context contest practices self-control in everything they do it to when a reef that withers away but we run to win a prize that never fades that is the way I run with a clear goal in mind that is the way I fight not like somebody shadowboxing know I keep on disciplining my body making it serve me so that after I preach to others I myself will not somehow be disqualified.And John if this event vision of what this prize is what to look forward to at the time and revelation of I'll just kind of read this Revelation twenty one one through four then I saw a new heaven and a new earth because the first heaven in the first earth disappeared and the sea was gone I also saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven prepared like a bride adorned for her husband I heard a loud voice from the throne say see the tent of God is among humans he will make them his home and them and they will be his people God himself will be with them and he will be their God and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes there won't be death anymore there won't be any more grief crying or pain because the first things have disappeared. That's pretty awesome we know the ending and we know just like our earthly goals are worth the effort and worth the short term sacrifice how much greater will be the payout and inheritance with Christ Jesus Amen.Let's move on and let's actually return back to our key passage in first Peter let's pick up in verse fourteen.As obedient children do not be shaped by the desires that used to influence you when you were ignorant instead be holy in every aspect of your life just as the one who called us holy for this written you must be holy because I am holy all the possible Peter is using a fairly common approach once again to achieving goals and this is our Step number two which is don't do that do this.So as I said.I was some weight loss and you know if we're honest like sometimes the don't do that do this doesn't that sound a little bit contrived if we're honest about things there was a series of books that were really popular several years ago and had web articles that would come out they were called Eat This Not That and they were completely ridiculous if you really read I least I thought they were because they would talk about things like check out this deep fried onion bacon don't a cheeseburger. That's really bad for you instead you should eat a leaf of kale.They know obviously I'm exaggerating a little bit but they're always just frankly ridiculous and now for those of you who are really tracking deep fried onion bacon donut burgers are not foodie that's Carnie Now if we were talking like peanut butter jelly for Gras foodie it's a big difference in their own be a quiz afterwards.Sometimes though hearing about those types of alternatives especially when you're in the throes of say a diet and you're hungry all the time and then the the alternative of all just focus on eating kale doesn't always sit all that well which is why you're looking basically to establish a foundation of easily met objectives and then to build upon that foundation.A few months back I was asked to be a part of a men's group and Bruce camper. I had the opportunity to to mentor from him briefly and he shared with him that it was just a group to talk about being men and taking responsibility and the different challenges that we encounter and Bruce and shared that his eighty or so you are so old that he still struggled just as regularly with certain things that he always did and a first that was very encouraging other Here's a strong man of the faith and he opened up that he was struggling with these things and then almost immediately crushingly depressing because here is a man who is one of the most godly examples that I've had the opportunity to know and he just shares these earthly temptations can be just as bad even after living a life such as if he had.So it's not exactly like we're looking at a particularly easy avenue with this here.And if we go back and take a look at what Peter says he really kind of tells us not necessarily to focus on the negative but he says to focus on the positive instead be holy and every aspect of your life so let's take a look when Peter says to be holy what exactly helps What do we do to us Peter says the holy holy or the Greek word which can make that and I guess can tell me if that's right or not awesome.Really means the likeness of the nature of the Lord because. Different from the work world. That's a key distinction be holy in every aspect of your life just as the one who called you it is holy for it is written you must be holy for I am holy Well are there places in Scripture that sell us what God wants us to be or how to be a likeness of the nature with the Lord Well let's take a look let's first turn to second John chapter one it will begin in verse six.And then I've got a whole plethora of verses Saul probably just read them on the shelf on the screen but second John chapter one verse six.And this is what demonstrates love that we live according to God's Commandments just as he was heard from the beginning what he commanded you must live by it all right here we go on verses I will read to you Ecclesiastes Chapter twelve verse thirteen. Let the conclusion of all of these thoughts be heard fear God and obey his commandments for this is what it means to be human so I would say pretty definitively being lightness of nature with the Lord is obedience to God's Commandments Well the simple question then how can we demonstrate love and obey God's commandments unless we know what they are well are there any verses that deal with guidance towards I learning God's Commandments on the if they are here we go strap in first Peter chapter two verses two and three say like newborn babies for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation Surely you have tasted the Lord and know that he is good Psalms chapter one verses one through three How Blessed is the person who does not take the advice of the wicked who does not stand on the path with centers and who does not sit in the seat with mockers but instead he delights in the Lord's instruction and meditates in his instruction day and night he will be like a tree planted by streams of water yielding its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whether he will prosper in everything he does I think the trend is forming some one nineteen in verse nine How can a young man keep his behavior pure by guarding it according to your word I have sought you with all of my heart do not let me drift away from your commands I've stored what you've said in my heart so I want sin against you.So as we look to follow Peter's advice of do this not that and focus on the. Positive of being holy and we know one of the most common approaches to accomplishing the goals to set a consistent and achievable series of tasks like taking a cue from Peter and from the soul must think one of the first things we can commit to is spending regular and recurring time studying our Bible and committing it to memory.Well what else can you I'm very glad you asked flippy Unst Chapter four verse six seven and again I'm kind of machine gunning these verses all just read them but flipping is chapter four verse six never worry about anything instead in every situation let your petition be made known to God through prayers and requests with thanksgiving then God's peace which goes far beyond anything we can imagine or guard your hearts and minds in the union with the Messiah Jesus first US alone eons chapter five Verse sixteen always be joyful continually be prayerful and everything be thankful because this is God's will for you in the Messiah Jesus efficiency Chapter six verse eighteen pray in the spirit at all times with every kind of prayer and requests light ways be alert with your most diligent effort and pray for all the Saints finally James Chapter five verse thirteen. Is anyone among you suffering he should keep on praying is anybody cheerful he should keep or citing Psalms as anybody amongst you sick he should call for the elders of the church and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord So step two B. is take it to God and pray now I don't know if I'm allowed to give you any more sermon notes that's technically for that I've given you and I think that's the the limits otherwise you are dealing with powers not understood. Let's recap so Peter gives us an outline in chapter one for how to approach our daily lives and how to be intentional Therefore prepare your minds for action keep a clear head and set your hope completely on the grace to be given to you when Jesus the Messiah is revealed we should. Be conscious that Jesus' full grace has yet to be revealed and that revelation should supply us with hope we should keep our eyes on the prize which will affect our day to day actions as obedient children do not be shaped by the desires that used to influence you when you are ignorant don't do that don't focus on the negative instead be holy in every aspect of your life just as the one who called you is holy for is written you must be holy because I am holy do this instead focus on the positive be a likeness in nature with the Lord we strive towards this lightness the foundation of time in the Bible and by petitioning the Lord in prayer and as we wrap up just like anybody who is making progress towards their goal of physical fitness or whatnot there are tangible benefits to enjoy and experience along the way yes we do have an inheritance to look forward to but there are benefits to enjoy right here and right now so let's turn to these and just focus on what we receive right now first Peter chapter one starting in verse eight.We should be there though you have not seen him you love him and even though you do not see him now you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy because you are receiving the goal of your faith the salvation of your souls we have joy and we have that right now that's not all we have Paul at the end of his journey wrote to Timothy and second Tennessee chapter four we're going to pick up in verse seven. I have fought the good fight I have finished the race I have kept the faith. If God is the God of all creation and He designed this very life that we live how can we possibly have any regrets if we live a life the way that God designed this life to be.And lastly Jesus Christ as he was praying in the garden in John Chapter seventeen verse three praise now this. This is eternal life that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.Jesus tells us to turn a life has already begun we are already reaping these rewards and there is only so much more to look forward to when he returns and we get to share in that inheritance Let's choose to be intentional and let's also thank God and close in prayer Lord Jesus Christ thank you so much for your words thank you for Peter the foundation to be able to set a foundation for us about how to live about how to approach our life and how to reproach our relationship with you as we look to be intentional to set aside resources to set a plan and to be focused that one day we will make sure that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Just be with us this week thank you for the opportunity that I have found be with Matt as he shares again open everybody's eyes and ears speaks through Mount speak in spite of now and again just let us all be able to it to fellowship and celebrate. In in the inheritance that we have to share it man.
Preacher: Matt McFaddenMatthew McFadden. I've known Matt for fourteen years first time I met Matt it was a grease youth camp and I was the speaker for the high school and I remember meeting Steve out there and I knew Mike Mike was in the high school group and Steve were you or your other son any pointed down the hill at this skinny little kid this tall with this huge yellow afro on top of his head and glasses this thick.You he's much bigger now and the neat thing about that in all the guys of him preaching I appreciate my relationship with them but I have seen Matt really grow and blossom in mature and he is now someone that I really respect and so I'm very thankful that we can share the pulpit and that I'm looking forward to God as to see him through you to all of us and so I want to pray for you do and I pray for my brother here I'm excited to see what you have done in his life and how he wants to share that with us his church our church and your church and so just be with that at this time Christina Priem human Thanks Betty yes.Good morning everybody.I don't know if I'm as funny as Aaron but my mommy said I was funnier this morning so.I think I'm pretty comfortable that.I know it's kind of counterintuitive but I'm much more comfortable being up on the stage while I'm singing If I burst out into song halfway through my sorrow and that's what I mean I got nervous.But I am not so proud to be of the millennium generation.Monny ols I really American culture today is really used to making excuses for things and not taking responsibility for their actions and a couple of examples of some excuses I've heard recently why. And I'm surface you have kids in school you've heard this but if kids get a bad trade it's because the teacher hates them it's not because they didn't do well on that test.One thing I heard at work was a lady who I work with rear ended somebody because when the light turned green they didn't go quick enough so she rear the rear end of this person and she was surprised when the police said that actually it was her fault.Or one that the my FIL outfielders may have heard me say last night was when I dropped that fireball is because of the wind.Really I'm just not that good.But one that might hit home with a few of us many of us in this room I know it does for me is when we don't read our Bible or don't spend time with God It's because we don't have a lot of free time or it's because we just forget and while those things might be true there are still excuses and there are still things that we need to take responsibility for and I mention that because that is my. Probably biggest struggle in my walk with God is is not making excuses for. For not spending time with God And so that's what I want to talk about this morning was. Making excuses the the real acronym R.T.L. that passion Josh has been going through the last few weeks if you really break it down and look at the definitions of those four definitions. It doesn't leave any room to make excuses for anything especially as a man.So we really just need to take responsibility for our actions and what we do and what we don't do.And I think the real issue when I think about when I make excuses is that I'm not placing my face in that certain area of my life so if I'm making an excuse I don't have a full faith in God. In that area of my life and I know it's true because if if I had faith in that area I would have no reason to make an excuse for I would be comfortable with that and that would kind of trump the desire to be right or to be liked or anything like that.So we need to place our full faith in God or faith in every area of our life so what does that mean and how do we do it is what I'm going to talk about today there's two points that I came up with to kind of strategies that I am trying to use to to get better in this area to get better at taking responsibility for my own actions and to help explain these I'd like to look at Jonah chapter one.And you probably could have guessed when you heard me say we were going to talk about excuses but that we were going to turn to Jonah it's kind of what is known for. But this morning it. I want to. Well I mostly look at John as an example of what not to do but I also want to kind of point out that he had a certain level of faith that I think we should all strive for and I was sounds kind of weird but.The.He has an extreme amount of faith in one area and I want us to leave this morning kind of respecting.That faith that John has so we'll talk about that a minute but Jonah chapter one.And I'm just going to read verses one through three So Jonah one one to three.The word of the Lord came the Jonah son of Amitai go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because it's we can assist come up before me but Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish he went down to Joppa where he found a ship. Down for that port after paying the fare he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the war.As men we see as we can be kind of reactive sometimes kind of impulsive when it comes to certain things and our first reaction to certain things is not always the best as my wife can probably attest to that. It's not always the most well received reaction is not always the most effective reaction especially when it comes to Christ.To kind of illustrate how reactive Jonah was in the story.I want to kind of pull the hand a map for you guys so this is Jerusalem God wanted Jonah to go to Nineveh which is right about here it's about five hundred or so miles away. What Jonah did was he was so kind of against this this idea of going to Nineveh that he says fled to Tarsus so of Jerusalem here and then of us here Tarshish.Would be over here charges in Spain and for you history geography buffs in the room Spain that was our Western Europe was the farthest that they knew about at the time and.Basically John it is going in the complete opposite direction as far as she is aware that the world extends to. So that would be like if my wife wanted me to pick up something at Target I would be so against that idea that I went to Wal-Mart in L.A..It's so opposite of what of what God wanted Jonah to do so that's how reactive Jonah was and I think that the first point the first strategy that I I wanted to bring out today was to react faithfully. And I think what that means is that when we're facing an opportunity to serve to minister or facing a difficult decision in our life. That that we shouldn't just go with our kind of manly first instincts. When these when these things come up so if if we're faced with an opportunity to serve. Instead of kind of thinking about it was to react faithfully which in that case would be to basically jump on that opportunity.If we're facing a difficult decision I think react fatefully would mean to react with prayer and to kind of include God in that decision making so when we're faced with certain things that maybe we're not comfortable with we should react faithfully.The second point I wanted to bring up was to give up control and we're going to look at just one page over should be Jonah chapter three.And Jonah chapter three verse ten and then we're going to read through verse three of chapter four.Basically at this point the story Jonah did eventually go to Nineveh after a encounter with the giant oil giant fish. So he eventually goes to Nineveh he preaches against it and then of a does get redeemed they do believe in God. So chapter three verse ten when God So I would they did and how they turned from their evil ways he had compassion and to not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened but Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry he prayed to the lord oh lord is this not what I said when I was still at home that is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish I and knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God slow to anger and abounding in love I. Sadhu relents from sending calamity now a lord take away my life for it is better for me to die than to live.This part of the story is the most interesting to me because growing up in.Sunday school and growing up in church I think the Sunday school story kind of gets Jonah wrong and sorry Sarah it's not your fault but.The Sunday school story of Jonah is that because Nineveh and Israel were enemies at the time Jonah was too scared to go to Nineveh and he fled as far away as you could get but you see here in chapter four that he didn't want to go to Nineveh because he didn't want them to get redeemed he didn't want them to be believers he was not reacting faithfully he was reacting selfishly and the extreme faith that I mentioned he had earlier was that he he had such great faith in God that he knew without a doubt that he would redeem this evil wicked city and he didn't seem to want to be a part of that.So when I talk about having faith in. Only certain areas of our life John has a great example he had extreme faith that God's will would be done. But he didn't have faith in certain area of his life where. We're none of it would get ready he didn't want them to get redeemed because he was being selfish and his hatred for them kind of took over that area of his life.So I think when we're talking about giving up control we need to give up control in the areas of our life. That we are not only we gain but confidence so. In areas where we are weak some men would probably say that finances is something that they're not too confident in.Relationships. Communication a lot of these areas are common areas for men to not feel as confident in than others but we especially need to give up control when in areas of our life that we are confident because at that point we think that we have a good grasp on that area of our life and we don't really need God to. To be successful in that area or to.Prosper and i area so for me personally I think what I'm costs in an area that I'm confident in is providing for my family I both financially and. Spiritually.And then my identity through Christ and in my family at work I'm very confident in these areas and I think it would be. More crucial to kind of give up control of those areas of my life to God then it would be to give up areas that I don't feel as confident but I think that really shows that I am making an attempt to.You know push my full faith in God and have him control every area of my life.I want to look at a short has it year mark eleven.Smart eleven verse twenty two to twenty five.Has facing God Jesus answered I tell you the truth if anyone says to this mountain go through yourself into the sea and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen it will be done for him therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it and it will be yours and when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone forgive him so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins. I think it's easy to read that passage as a. A kind of a prosperity gospel you know if you ask for a million dollars you'll get a million dollars but I have to me I think what that saying is that if you if you fully give yourself up if you give up control of every area of your life then God will absolutely do some amazing things in your life and he'll help perform miracles through you so I think that's what it was that passage to me and so just giving up control in every area make sure that God is first and foremost in every area of your life.So in in closing we are all called to to do God's work at some point and in some capacity in our lives all of us I fully believe that at some point God is calling us to do his work and we can react to different ways we can react like Jonah where he was very impulsive he had faith that God would be done but he didn't really want to be a part of it he was comfortable with where he was at. Or we can react faithfully to that calling and. You know pray about it take opportunities or take advantage of the opportunities to minister to witness and and give up control in every area of our life even or especially the ones where we feel we we have a big grasp on and I think when we when we do that we kind of eliminate the need to make excuses for us selves and I think that's something that I know the a lot of people neighbors especially me.To you know to make it a point to take responsibility for for actions and especially our faith.Thank you for listening I will close and.Lord thank you so much for the opportunity to share what's been on my heart about this topic and thank you also for the three other men who came up and spoke today talked a lot of courage. And just hope that everyone here church today in the Sunday schools and in the sermons this morning that they might be able to take something from these sermons and apply it to their lives this weekend and beyond and we just pray for safety this week and we pray in your name and then.
Preacher: Josh WhiteToday is my my final sermon of Man Month and we'll be finishing looking out what it means to be a real man so if any of you were here today and you miss either of the first two weeks of May and month you're out of luck you'll never know what it means to be a real man unless you listen to the sermons online but when I say that we want to be God wants us to be a real man real is an acronym are stands for Responsible a real man and ultimately a real child of God This is dealing for men and women but a real man is responsible in other words he knows the responsibilities that have been entrusted to him by God we look at the parable of the unfaithful steward and Luke Chapter sixteen and there's a few other parables about faithful stewards and that is something a responsible person does as they recognize God is in trust that certain things to us and we are responsible to God with those things last week we looked at a the letters in a and they stand for engaged in aware dealing specifically with the responsibilities of God is given to us if God has given you something God wants us to be aware of them and also engage in them and actually doing them and today the letter L stands for loyal a real man is loyal.What are you loyal to.If I give you enough time you should probably be able to come up with a few things on maybe some products and brand names that you're loyal to maybe some sports teams or whatever you know I was thinking to myself this week I had a lot of time to think about this and it made me ask the question what makes us loyal to certain things and to certain people and I think there's a few things.I think we become loyal to a lot of firsts in our life if you experience something for the first time it was a very positive experience you are usually look to that thing for the rest of your life and so first. It's become a thing that we're loyal to and then if we have like a very positive experience with something we become loyal to those things like I said sometimes for the rest of our lives let me give you a silly example the Seattle Seahawks I am loyal to the Seahawks That's right a man from a Christian No I'm saying that's out there he's a but I grew up in Spokane Washington and I remember they had Steve Largent indeed Craigan Kirwan and all these players and when they're doing well and they go into the playoffs as as a you know a young little boy I started to get excited first for N.F.L. watching the sea oxen and that those first exciting emotions they just they become part of your heart and so always be loyal to the Seahawks You can hate me for it that's OK God has forgiven me I'm a Seahawks fan I want to I want to share with you another example of loyalty to a friend of mine I have several friends like this you probably have some people in your life that you're loyal to no matter what's going to happen in your life you'll always be loyal to them and one I'm going to share with you on His name is Eric Postma. A couple of you might know Eric Postma I went to Grace Bible College and grown up in Michigan and he was the very first person I met and so my dad I still remember this you know my dad dropped me off in August of one nine hundred ninety three he dropped me off the same day that we arrive I'm in the dorm room and there's only one other kid in the entire dorm and I hear him outside and so I stick my head out and here is this six foot tall one hundred thirty pound skinny kid air post when I walk up to way I'm Josh White goes hi I'm your post my from Gaillard and he did this with his hand and I thought boy that something's wrong with this guy and and he's the one who taught me that this is a map of Michigan your right hand and he's from this part of Michigan the top part of your middle finger Gaillard Michigan and we ended up being just the best of friends all throughout college and we played soccer together for four years we both played on the. Fence I was the stopper he was the sweeper he was an all-American twice and because I made his job really easy I tease him about that people had to get through me to get to him and so he did really well he was in my wedding I officiated his wedding so we every time I go back to grown up it's He's one of the few guys that I always want to be and a couple things about Erik after I had gone to Greece probably college for two years I decided I was going to move back to Seattle become a firefighter because that's kind of popular in this church people become firefighters and and as I was driving away after my sophomore year I graduated my associate's degree and I'm driving away and there was only the very first person I met in Michigan was there postman the last person I saw as I was driving out of the parking lot he made sure he was there we gave each other a big hug and he said Josh it's great knowing you these two years if you ever need anything you give me a call and I remember I'll always remember this driving away and looking in the rearview mirror and there's my friend Postma wave again he was the only one there when I came back in our friendship renewed and I'm going to show you a couple things and this is just talking about Erica's almost reason enough to show you my Michigan hat sorry adam but Erica gave me this hat.As a wedding gift on his wedding from like October something two thousand and one and I have been wearing this house for a long time and I told him just this last summer when I saw him I said Eric remember that hatch you gave me I still wear it but there's a hole in the hat now it's my Michigan hat is falling apart so you know what a loyal good friend he is. Where is it there it is he adds and not only did he got me a new hat he bought himself a matching hat is not cute and so so he has a had just like this and our nickname to each other is friend so whenever I call him we're talking to a friend and he says hey friend and he wrote friend and oh isn't that nice. And so on Saturday mornings I'm sitting in my house with my hat on watching Michigan football he's in Jenison Michigan with his hat on washing machine football and we're texting each other the whole time I'm always going to be loyal therapist he's just one of those guys that will always be a loyal faithful friend to me I'm going to tell him he doesn't know yet I'm going to tell him that I was talking about him so maybe he'll listen to this so hey friend I do and thanks for thanks for checking in once you're say hi friend. There you go now now now he has to listen to this you know why you my loyal to him and other people there's other people in my life that I'm a loyal to him and you have that as well and I think there's a few reasons why I'm loyal to him. Because of shared experiences and things that I share specifically he has placed his faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior Yes What we're really friends forever we have other things that we share in common we played sports together we like the same teams we went to the same school. So all of those things is make me loyal to him and him to me Do you have people like that in your life I think you probably do I think most people do you just have a few friends that no matter how much time goes by you see them and there's always going to be that connection. Who are you loyal to that is an important question for every single human being to be able to answer and this morning as we talk about being a real man all of us should be able to say this that a real man is first loyal to Jesus Christ.And then after Jesus Christ all the other people and things that Jesus Christ has brought into your life and his and trusted to you as a faithful steward to be responsible to those things you know if you read the Bible and we look at the history of mankind we will notice that humans are free engine neared to be loyal. To something maybe the best way to describe that is God has made us created us to be worshippers we're going to worship something and so everyone is going to be loyal and we're going to worship something in this life and so this is this is something that's so important we can't get this wrong our loyalty must begin with Jesus Christ and then to the responsibilities that he's intrusted to us once you turn your Bibles to Luke Chapter sixteen we're going back to that first parable that we looked at. Luke Chapter sixteen as your turning I'm going to try to prevent that coughing attack that I had last week so I have water up here already have a couple.Cough drops in my pocket.Luke Chapter sixteen and we're going to be kind of the end of this unfaithful steward passage.Luke Chapter sixteen beginning in verse ten.This is kind of the summary.Of this parable and this is what Jesus teaching us Luke sixteen beginning verse ten.It says one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much and one who is a dishonest in very little is also dishonest in much if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth who will and trust you the true riches is not true someone's faithful with a few things then they're probably going to be faithful in a lot of things and the idea of faithfulness I think you can also from a practical standpoint you could swap out the word loyalty he who is loyal in a few things will be loyal and responsible with many things verse twelve and if you have not been faithful in that which is another's who will give you that which is your own and then we get to the heart of the matter in verse thirteen why why is this so important why would someone be faithful and responsible and the answer is B.. I was they don't just consider their responsibilities and intellectual concern in an intellectual matter they have gone to the heart and those responsibilities have become very personal to us that's what loyalty means loyalty is not just something that's in your head it's also in your heart and look at verse thirteen this is kind of the most important part of this passage is that deals with today's point no servant can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other you cannot serve God and money you know everyone lives with purpose in their life we are serving and worshipping something and we will be loyal to that thing in verse thirteen that word for devoted in the E.S.B. is the Greek word and Soko which means to hold on to something you will hold on to the thing that is important to you the thing that you serve that word is a very important word it's only use for the times in the New Testament Matthew chapter six exact same state in the Jesus made in first US alone eons of says that we are to hold on to the weak in the faith that we are to support them and then in Titus talks about qualifications for someone to be an elder or an overseer in the church it says that they must hold firmly to the trustworthy word is taught so they may be able to give instruction and sound doctrine and also rebuke those who contradict it so there are things in this life that we don't hold onto to be devoted to and to be loyal to and it starts with Jesus Christ you know as I was studying the sermon something dawned on me this week you know I came up with this acronym for a real being a real man a few months ago as I was deciding to do man month and I thought this would be really good and it dawned on me that basically being a real man is fulfilling the greatest commandment Well I'll show you I'll show you what I mean. On your server not a sermon else but on your bulletins you should have Matthew twenty two thirty seven that is the greatest commandment. The greatest commandment is hopefully all of you know this to love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your mind and with all your soul that is the greatest commandment and when you look at the greatest commandment Jesus teaching us that every part of us as a being should be loving the Lord our mind. Our soul our actions and our heart and if you look at this afternoon for real I didn't even plan on this it just kind of dawned on me this week as I was starting preparing being a real man incorporates all three of those things being responsible is in your mind being aware and engages with your hands and being loyal is right here with your heart and soul being a real man or a real child of God is basically someone who fulfills the greatest commandment want you to read verse thirteen again from Luke sixteen it says no servant can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other you cannot serve God and money you know it do you believe that that's kind of a powerful statement do you believe that's true I think so can you see in your life the thing that you serve becomes your master it kind of dominates all aspects of your life and so because this is so important to get right to make sure that we're serving Jesus Christ first and foremost let me give you three ways in which being loyal to Jesus Christ will guide your entire life if you get this right it's going to guide your life in these three areas let me give you number one if you are loyal to Jesus Christ. It will make your decisions become more clear if you are loyal to Jesus Christ your decisions will become more clear they will not become easier. But they will become more clear once you turn over your Bible to Joshua chapter twenty four.And as you're turning to Joshua chapter twenty four I'm going to read for you what is a very well known song proverb I think is probably the most well known proverb Proverbs three five and six truss and Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding you know this one in all your ways this is important in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight it doesn't say he will make your has smooth but if you're acknowledging the Lord in all your ways in other words if you're being loyal to him he's going to make your decisions very clear not easy but He will make them very clear in Joshua chapter twenty four this is when the Israelites have essentially conquered the promised land and they're about to experience some some peace and some rest and Joshua kind of gives this ultimatum in this decision in this this kind of a line in the sand type situation basically he's telling them OK we're here God has delivered us into the Promised Land now you have some choices to me because now that we're not fighting you we're not going to war I'm going to battle all the time you're going to be tempted to turn your back on the one who brought you here and so you need to decide today who you're going to be loyal to so Joshua twenty four beginning in verse fourteen so this what Joshua said to them.Joshua twenty four fourteen says now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness be a faithful steward be loyal to him throw away the God Your ancestors were should be on the Euphrates river in Egypt and serve the Lord but if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve whether the gods your ancestors serve beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living but as for me and my household we will serve the Lord Josh. Was saying I'm going to be loyal I'm going to be loyal in every aspect of my life to my God And this decision that Joshua made for himself and that generation they got it right their kids that's another issue and that's why we continue to read the Bible because they're their kids didn't make those same decisions but if we don't live this way having firmly devoted our loyalty to God we could very well make contradictory decisions our entire life so how do you make decisions if you're not devoted to the Lord in making decisions based on your world to Jesus Christ sometimes if a summit situation comes up we'll say OK well what am I supposed to do in the situation I'm talking about big things not you know where we're going to go for lunch it's a big things and you might say well the last time I had a decision like this. I made a decision based on what was in my best interest. And I didn't really go very well so I got to have another criteria to fall back on it and then another time a decision I guess I did I did it based on what other people wanted me to do you ever make a decision like that other people want to me to make this decision and and so if you're not deciding to be loyal to Jesus Christ every time you come across a big decision you're going to have to try to figure it out from scratch but if an every situation you say I will make a decision that represents my loyalty to Jesus Christ how can this decision show the world and Jesus Christ my savior that I'm loyal to him it makes your decisions much more clear again it does not necessarily make them easier but it makes them more clear and so how do you does make decisions today what criteria if you're here today in church well you made a good decision this morning at the very least right if you come to church but you probably make good decisions but is your criteria not just good is it is it the best. And that's what loyalty to Jesus Christ is it makes helps us make the best decisions. Well another way that loyalty to Christ guides our life not only will make our decisions become more clear but also our motives become more clear we know not only what to decide but we also know why we should make those decisions let's go over the cautions chapter three.Cautions chapter three.Verses twenty three and twenty four. Another very well known passage you probably have heard just before maybe it's even underline in your Bibles.You're that sound there's bible pages turning this morning in the second service of won't be as much.MORE ELECTRONIC Bible that's OK.Cautions three twenty three says. Whatever you do work hardly for who as for the Lord and not for men knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward your serving the Lord Christ and so in this passage there's a couple issues that we see here the first issue is in everything that you do who you want to have the honor for it a lot of you want the honor for ourselves that's our natural tendency that's just what it is to be a human being but our honor should go to the Lord that shouldn't be our desire in the second issue is we're living by faith you know you look at this and this idea of living so that when we stand before Christ the bema seat that we will receive rewards I know sometimes we think wait a second is that kind of a selfish reason should we really live our lives based on trying to get rewards for eternity and if that thought goes through your mind it's normal to think that and the answer to that is if this is true no it's not selfish it's faith.The only reason why someone would do this and delay in seeing gratification for rewards in the future is if you truly believe what Jesus sense and so that's the issue be. Loyal in the faith to what Christ is promising to us you know guess what happens if you spend your life being loyal to something other than Jesus Christ it ends in nothing. I like sports I like to talk about sports I'm going to also now show you how silly it is to like sports do we have any Chicago Cubs fans here maybe no one no Chicago Cubs fans here well who one anti Cubs fan the Cubs fans they won the worlds the Cubs won the World Series us last fall first time in was it one hundred eighty years I mean that's a long time and all those loyal Cubs fans those die hard Cubs fans for years have been rooting for the lovable losers they finally won the World Series and guess what they got.A couple happy emotions that's it that's all they got fans were not rewarded for the years of loyalty by their marriages becoming better well maybe for like a week some marriages got better for the gov fans anyone who had an incurable disease now because the Cubs won those fans they didn't magically get cured of the i didn't happen fans they didn't check their their online bank account the next day and all of a sudden there's a lot more money in there there are no rewards for being a Cub fan other than some really good emotions and there's nothing wrong with being a Cubs fan or being a sports fan but the thing is there's only one person that we can serve and be devoted to in this life where it will actually matter for eternity and that's Jesus Christ Oh I get what you me let me give you the third reason or third way that being loyal to Christ guides our lives and that is this it makes being dependent upon Christ essential.If you're going to be loyal to Christ that means that you need to be dependent upon him for his power to be at work in your life when you turn over your Bibles to one last passage and that's and John fifteen.John Chapter fifteen.Jesus. To His disciples and he's speaking a truth that applies to us as well and that is that Jesus Christ is the source of our power and our strength John fifteen verse one they will go down to four five and six are four and five so John fifteen verse one Jesus says I am the true vine and my father is the gardener so here is teaching us this illustration of everything in our life comes from the vine it was Jesus Christ for He says remain in me and I also remain in you know branch can bear fruit by itself it must remain in the vine neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me I am the vine you are the branches if you remain in me and I knew you will bear much fruit apart from me you can do nothing.Who here would like to see fruit in your life evidence of God I think all of us would and this is telling us that if we remain in Christ if we depend on him as a source of our power in our strength then it will result in fruit and whatever that fruit might be a might be healthier relationships not perfect relationships that's not going to exist but healthier relationships meaningful service how many of you want to do things in your life that you know really makes a difference in other people's lives if we remain in crisis that will take place will also give us a clear understanding of life's issues how many opinions are out there in the world to many right and she many people willing to share their opinions if you remain in crisis then all of those seem to kind of go away and life becomes a lot more clear if you remain loyal and faithful to Jesus Christ can you think of a time in your life when you truly gave control over situation over to Jesus Christ and you experience his power your life if you can think of a time like that you know what that does it takes our faith and it moves us from the head to the heart and. That's when we really start to become a lawyer to Jesus Christ not just because we know we're supposed to but because we've experienced something with him and that's what it means to be a real man or real child of God or someone who is fulfilling the greatest commandment. It's MORNING right now I want to stew participate in communion and so I have three gentlemen are going to help if you guys can join me down here.And. And as we do this what I want you to realize is being loyal to Jesus Christ is simply because Jesus Christ was first loyal to us. And so what we're about to do in taking the bread and the juice which represent the body in the blood of Jesus Christ is we are recognizing the Jesus Christ is not asking us to be loyal to him just because we should he went out of his way to show us just how loyal he was to us when we sinned he did not just let us go on our own. He sacrificed himself so that we could spend eternity with Him And so the smarting as we do this what I want you to do is just a couple things.I. Want you as we take the bread and we passed the bread around I want you to spend time thinking and praising God for the loyalty that he didn't just talk about but that he showed you through the death of his and self and as we pass out the juice in just a few minutes think about the loyalty that he says to you that he's going to come back and take us to be with Him forever and so his loyalty to us does not just end with his death it's just the beginning of a charity.So as we pass out the spread just take a few minutes to think about these things and as as you hold the bread in your hand I would like you to imagine that you are one of those original disciples when Jesus was celebrating the Passover meal and when he took the bread and he looked them in their eyes well. He is looking you in your eyes and he says this is my body.Which is broken for you.He's showing you just how loyal he spent time thanking him and praising him for that.The apostle Paul writes to us in Corinth he says for I received from the Lord but I also passed on to.The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks he broke it and said This is my body which is for you do this remembrance.Dear Lord we thank you so much we can't thank you enough.For the loyalty that you've shown to us we were your idea you created us. And we fell into sin.And you redeemed us because of your commitment to each and every one of us and so Lord as we sit here this morning in this room.Thinking about your great love for us I pray that we will respond to your loyalty to us by being well to you thank you present Christ me in.The good news is loyalty didn't end just with his death and as we pass out the cup with the juice which represents the blood of Jesus Christ we are told that that is the cup that represents the new covenant the god has put his Holy Spirit in us. And that is a guarantee that he will come and take us to be with him forever so his loyalty doesn't end with his death it begins and so spend time as you take the juice and just spend a moment praying to God If you have not been as loyal to Jesus Christ and you need to make changes in your life maybe this is a great time to recommit yourself to being loyal not just thanking him for your solve ation but realizing that you need to put him first so take this opportunity to do just that.The passage of Scripture also says in the same way after supper he took the cup saying This cup is the new covenant in my blood do this whenever you drink it in remembrance of me for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death and tell he comes.This morning Lord be proclaiming. We proclaim that we are saved because of the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ and today we commit ourselves to being loyal. First and foremost you Lord I thank you that we have a church which we can come together and we can be an encouragement to each other and with this being man month old so really we're talking to everyone men and women about what it means to be responsible and aware of our responsibilities and engage but Lord today this is where you want it to reside in our hearts and that's what loyalty is about and so father as a realize that no one can serve two masters if there's someone here today who is has placed something on the throne of their heart. Help them to remove it into place you there because there is nothing in this life that will give us the joy in the pleasure for eternity other than serving you and so Lord I'm I'm thankful that we have a church that is going to teach and promote these trues not just myself but with everyone here all the teachers the men who are going to be preaching next week Lord we desire to see people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ that is our goal and that is our desire so Lord strengthen us help us as we remain in you to be loyal to you we pray this in Christ almighty need any minute.Now May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all again.