Faithlife Sermons

Jesus the Catalyst for Maturity

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Are you ready for your chemistry lesson?

What is a catalyst? 

A substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a faster rate.

It stimulates a process to proceed with more energy. 

There is another catalyst.... an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action

Dr. Timothy Johnson is well known to many of us, as the Doctor whose wisdom we appreciated as he talked about the latest medical issues on ABC's Good Morning America!  What many of us did not realize was that Dr. Johnson had opted to become a Dr. after he completed a Seminary Training. 

Throughout his career he had interacted with many of his collegues in the medical, and broadcast field.  They knew of his faith and would often ask him "Timothy, what do you really believe?"  "If you had to write it down, what would you say?"

Those questions and the people that asked them served as the catalyst for his book Finding God in the Questions:  A Personal Journey.

A Big List

  When we come to the end of the let to the Hebrews we find a long list of things we must be about. Let's reveiw the list:

  1. Love each other as brothers
  2. Entertain strangers
  3. Rember those in prison as if you yourself were a prisoner.
  4. Remember those who are mistreated as if you yourself were mistreated.
  5. Remain faithfull to your marriage vows.
  6. Keep your selves free from the love of money.
  7. Be content with what you have.
    • God is our keeper, and helper.
  8. Appreciate your pastoral leaders and the outcome of their faith and imitate their living faith.
  9. Don't be carried away by strange teachings, that make ritual more important than the offering of Jesus.
  10. Let us endure disgrace and mocking of the people who oppose Jesus, because it is bound to be present inside the church, and in the world around us.
  11. Let us pour out our hearts in praise to God for his great gift.
  12. Make sure you work for the common good of Christ, sharing what you have with others who are in need.  God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship, a different kind of sacrifice that take place in a kitchen and workplace, and on the streets.

That is at least (maybe more if you divide them in a different way) one dozen things to be done! And attitudes to be had. Have you ever had a list that long of things to do and character matters that you had to be concerned about? *

Intimidating isn't it?

Is it even possible?

How on the face of this planet are we supposed to keep our hearts and our actions so tuned to what God & Jesus desires of us?

Let us look for a catalyst in this passage!

Is there anything here that encourages us be more like God want's us to be?

Is there anything in this passage that has the potential to lift our lives to a different level?

The Catalyst for these instructions is:

The Ministry of Jesus is the Catalyst for change!

Nestled in the middle of these paragraphs of instructions or encouragements to live well like God desires us to, we find this wittness to Jesus!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. vs 8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. vs 8It should not surprise us that this is here.

The letter began with a lofty expression concerning Jesus:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Heb 1:1-3 NIV

Jesus is the one!

  • God spoke to us thru Jesus
  • Jesus created the world "in the beginning."
  • Everything will belong to Jesus when this world ends.
  • Jesus mirrors God exactly for us.
  • He holds everything together by what he says!
  • He offered himself a sacrifice for our sins.
  • He is now right alongside God with all power and authority.

And this is a good as it gets.

There is nothing greater in all creation.

No rituals, like continuing the sacrifices.

No acquaintance with angels.

No one or nothing can compare to Jesus. 

No one has more love than Jesus!

No one can forgive sins like Jesus can!

No one can change lives like Jesus can!

No one can change attitudes like Jesus can!

Just look at his disciples....

  • Look at Peter...a fisherman who became the leader of the disciples.
  • Look at Peter...who confessed that Jesus was the Messiah, (incredible) and seconds later needs to be reprimanded by Jesus because he was ready to take things into his own hands...
  • Look at Peter...who said,"I will never deny you Jesus!"  Hours later he denyed him 3 times and fled from the garden.
  • Look at is Pentecost Sunday..and he courageously stands up and gives a message that shakes the world as the Spirit blesses with thousands of lives that begin to change as they come to the Messiah.

Is there anybody that can change the life of people like Jesus can? No...

The ministry of Jesus continues to this day open to us thru the Spirit which applys the ministry of Jesus to our lives.

Hebrews 10:15-17 (NIV)

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16  “This is the covenant I will make with them

after that time, says the Lord.

I will put my laws in their hearts,

and I will write them on their minds.” (Jeremiah 31.33)

17 Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts

I will remember no more.”

Conclusion:  Christians are now being judged, not on their teachings, but on their lives.

  • Whether we like it or whether we don't makes no difference.
    • It is not that our teachings are not is are we open to Jesus to work in our lives  as he has promised.
    • Remember He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
  • Our children and the people of the world around us look to see if we are showing the virtues, attitudes and character that the author of Hebrews so encouragingly tells us to persue!
  • The encouragement that is present in these words.....
    • tells clearly:  Live as Jesus did and it will bring tremendous blessing.
    • Have faith in HIM!
    • Even more than that...It is possible to live as this author has so lovingingly encouraged us.
  • Many today incite people to violence and riot. 
  • My task is to incite you good works.  To let the world know and our children know that our lives are about doing as Jesus asks.

Jesus is the catalyst for transforming us into servants of the His Kingdom.  So our prayer "Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

He will sustain us by His powerful word!

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