March 19, 2017

Be a R.E.A.L. Man (Part 3)

Preacher:

Today 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.

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