Sunday, Feb 25, 2018
Thank you Pastor for your kind way of reminding me of how old I am.
So delighted honor to be with you here today and Racine and for clean and I to share this moment with you and not only to do that to make free connection with the pastor at and Angela. It's an honor and you like to be here don't be distracted by this. Nobody's going to notice that. I'll get to that later. And that this is not a raffle. So it's not that I have a very long sermon and you need sustenance during the mid break or something like that, but I'm going to remind you about this in just a little bit. That's a boy growing up in the church. I slept on a lot of church pews like this only they weren't padded. Slept under them also and I can remember a guest speaker coming to our church more than once in saying something like this. I'll before I preach I want to say something. A my little mind would start twirling and twisting and I would say something like does that mean that when he preaches he's not going to say something, you know. And I have figured out that since then the Lord has visited me with vengeance because for the last 20 some years I have been a guest speaker. I have been a bag of bond in this Fellowship in movie sing at a different church every Sunday and I find myself wanting to kind of connect with you for a little while. So I'm tempted to say now before a preacher want to say something. How can I do you know without saying and a little bit later? I'm not sure how well it's going to work but it's just a joy and an honor to be a part of this. I read the history of this church and find out that you have root systems about as deep as our entire Fellowship, which means the people before us pay the price so that we can be on the same today and serve the Lord in the way that is called us. And then leave that Legacy to others as the Lord Terry's believing that even more will occur. It is really that that I want to focus on this morning and the word of the Lord that I bring to you. I know the words that I say may or may not be very important. But what we share from the word of God, of course is vital and then what the Holy Spirit translates for us. Be accurate because he knows our number. Imma gas number one hit wonder how you know you do don't know me. I'm going to leave before we get acquainted. So what can I do that will harmonize with where receipt assembly is right now and Leadership of Pastor Ed and the leadership of the church. What can I do that would invest in that? And as a friend of mine wants that I think I could really select the message that I want to share with you this morning almost anywhere from generous to Revolution, you know. Anywhere in between all of that, I could just find almost any story and God's word and and kind of find these Essence there, but we're going to take a very familiar passage of scripture a very familiar story and God's word. We're going to find ourselves there because we're not very far away from where the disciples are people of recede assembly whether you are a long-term memory newly come to Christ in your face that we are not very far removed from where the disciples off and were in Jesus was guiding and guarding and in investing in them and shaping their life in order for them to become what he wants them to become. So that's it. We're going to ask the Holy Spirit to measure us a little bit today and then to help Mark out a path for us for some steps that each of us could take that will be very valuable and very vital in her walk with the Lord. I've chosen Matthew chapter 17 is the passage about the Transfiguration of the Lord. And I'm going to read real fast. It's a long passage of scripture. So if you'll allow me to just kind of read the story real quickly if you listen fast, I'll read fast and we're just going to set the familiar setting that you're you're probably know and notable within the story of Jesus in the Mount of transfiguration. It's found in Matthew 17 + 6 days later Jesus Took with him Peter James and John his brother and brought them up to high mountain by themselves and he was transfigured before then his face shine like the sun his garments became White as light and behold Moses and Elijah appear to them talking with it. The Peters answered and said to Jesus Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish I will make three Tabernacles here one for you one for Moses in one for Elijah and while he was just speaking behold. They brought Cloud over shatter them and behold a voice came out of this is my beloved Son. With whom I am. Well pleased listen to him and when the disciples heard this they fell on their face first 14 And when they came to the multitude a man came out to him came up to Jesus falling on his knees before him and say oh Lord have mercy on my son for he's a lunatic. He's very ill the oven falls into the fire. I have to just Paws in Interceptor. I just love the scripture for a lot of reasons, but I just love it. It's every parent's Delight is in Matthew 17 Lord help my son. He's a lunatic. You know, how many parents have prayed that at once or twice in your life, you know. Okay that has nothing to do with what I'm going to say today, but it's just I just had to park on that for a half a second because I have prayed that prayer more than once. Help my son. He's nuts.
But that's not what this man was saying is that's a little out of country. What have mercy on my son crazy lunatic? He's very ill he often falls into the fire and I'll turn into the water and I brought into your disciples and they could not carry me Jesus answered. It's at all. How long will I be with you? How long will I put up with you bringing here to be a Jesus rebuking and the demon came out. I've been the boy was cured. It wants first 22 and while they were the gathering together and Galilee. Jesus said the son of man is going to be delivered into the hands of men and they will kill him and he will be raised on the third day and they were deeply grieved. Here's my message entry point and that's why I brought the M&M's cuz it's going to be the m in the m in the M. I could have brought, you know, 3M Post-it notes or Scotch tape or something, but I thought these were a little more tasty. So every time you I'm not worried about you using a Post-It note home. But every time you dip into the candy jar and get an M&M. I want you to remember. The Eminem in the a.m. This morning. Okay, here it is. Here's the message this morning. It goes like this. This is sign language.
You got it if you got it when you go home. We can beat the Badgers to the buffet line now. Hello my goodness you Lord it is good for us to be here.
Lorde Oh, no, you're not going to do that. Are you Lord?
There is the Mountaintop. There is the ministry moment. And there is the mission the Christ came to accomplish and the Arlen bedded the story that you and I know very well. Let's just unpack a little bit. The Mountaintop is pretty easy to discern isn't it the disciples experience something they had never felt before or so before Jesus was transfigured Moses and Elijah appear the voice of God spoke from Heaven. I mean, that's more than perhaps many of you and I have experience with Peter's response was much like you and I in those moments where God brought his presence comes in Bella's our hearts our life and we say, wow. I like that. This is good and let's enjoy this some more. And I want to say first of all with a great affirmation that I absolutely believe in those intersecting moments that God brings into our lives whether it's in a corporate worship that we share together here where your personal Journey where God in her sexual life his power in his presence come down. And you say wow, that is so overwhelming and so powerful. I want to give there again and we have a tendency to say Lord. It is good. Let's build three Tabernacles and stay right here, isn't it? And the fact on the downside there are people that chase that all the time and you even hear it in their language. Where is the Mountaintop? We're going to find it. Where is the river flowing but they're always chasing the Mountaintop. My wife's home is Alaska. She says it besides missing her family the thing that she misses the most is the beautiful mountains and they are there Majestic. One of the things I've learned about those mountains is if he go high enough things stop growing. And if you go really high and there's only room for the mountain goats and the ice. The only thing that's there. In other words things don't grow on the Mountaintop, but they do grow. in the valley if you want to grasp that real well. You will know that the Mountaintop is absolutely vital to our experience. Peter says later in his own Epistles about authenticating the word of God from heaven. We were there we saw we heard we touched it. We have not followed Strange Tales to tell you about this is authentically the word of the Lord for we heard and we know wow.
At the sky or a spiritual God. I hope that Peter is hanging on and I will tell you folks. It's those Mountain Top moments just God intervening in your life and mine that helps you to say. I know that I know that I know that is sure you don't get that just out of a textbook you get that by walking through the things of God and seeing got it work and I'm glad that we can say this morning that yes God has pronounce with affirmation that he is true Indians real Indians Among Us. But if we are only chasing that moment of Mountaintop experience, we're also going to miss something very powerful in our lives. When you pray for patience, what are you praying for?
I can almost not say it. You know James's tribulation Works patience. I don't know of anybody who's ever said Lord. Hit me again. I love it. Thank you Lord for this.
Who have this incredible song by Andrae Crouch the second verse goes something like this and I thank God for the mountains and I thank him for the valleys and I thank him for the things. He's brought me through for if I didn't have these problems. I wouldn't know that God could solve them. I wouldn't know what faith in his word to do. Yes, true it all through it all. I've learned to trust in Jesus. I've learned to trust in God and I will tell you those are things that you and I don't learn on the Mountaintop. We don't learn when they have Valley breezes are blowing and we just feel that everything is just putting together so wonderfully, but we often learn that what we find God so faithful in the tribulation moment. So we are much like Peter we are much like those early disciples when we experience something really wonderful upon the Lord. We say it like an elevator button or hit that button again and make it come faster if you ever try to figure out how can you make the elevator come faster if I hit the button several times?
But we're kind of that way with the things of the Lord in the old. Let's do that. I'll pass or past but you got to think that song again the last time we did that song. I mean Heaven came down God blessed we enjoyed let's do that again Pastor.
I've met very few people who walk out the door greeter pastor at the door and say something like this.
You know, thanks for stepping on my toes Pastor cuz I just kind of needed that.
Hello. Yeah. Okay. I kind of thought you might get that. Show The Mountaintop was in Peter's experience in the Mountaintop is in yours and mine and God blesses and intervenes and brings it to us, but it's not the only moments. So they came down from the mountain top and found a moment of ministry where the father said. Incredible words and I brought him to your disciples, but they could not.
Now I am going to step on your toes and my nana moment. I'm distracted a little bit your butt is
Try that part again, okay.
Got that hand Mike. Give me a hand light. Turn this phone off.
You're not distracted, but I will be in that'll make problems. Okay?
So I will step on arto my toes your toes. Living on the mountain peak does not necessarily Translate. into accurate ability to minister
Yeah, you know you can shout and dance and singing Prince about in the spirit all you want but you still have got to go outside and meet the father who has a son in trouble and say what are we supposed to do here?
And that was a real heartier man right there on that one, too.
You see that comes from the discipline. That's where the word discipleship comes through. the discipline walking with Christ and growing up in him and learning the measures of ministry that he wants us to be involved in and I suggest that everyone who loves the Mountaintop must also be prepared for the ministry. I'm not talking about the professional Ministry. I'm talking about the day today Ministry that God has called you to in the people you're going to meet in the store in your neighborhood on the assembly line in the office. Whose lives are up an entire plate of spaghetti and they want to know how to make sense out of it and you don't just need to say Hey, you know, if you'll come to my church. My pastor goes fishing every Sunday and he might catch you. Let's some people's version of evangelism right there. Come to my aquarium on Sunday in our pastor goes fishing. He might have up to you. I don't know.
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not do anything with this. And what did Jesus say about them later these kind come not out but by fasting and prayer in other words, it requires the discipline of walking with the Lord in order to an experience the power of God in that moment. That was so needed.
So there is
mountain top And there was Ministry and then we have another element in the story The Element of Christ mission after this was all over Jesus says, hey, they're going to kill me. And the discipleship are fun. Don't experience that defeat Lord sitting here today get just a couple of weeks and I were going to celebrate the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that's all that we are about today. How many of you are thankful for the Lord made it all the way to the Cross shame. That's why were alive today and that's why we have what we have that was all a part of his mission. That was the target the Jesus came for he was born to die, but he offers that up his disciples and they say I don't know.
And I will say that very often. the dishes the area that we stumble the most about I'm just going to dig one layer deeper this this morning and then I'll shoot right out the door before you get a chance to catch me. Okay?
Most churches that have any kind of discussion or Discord whichever word you want to use in that? Okay, just use whatever you want. It's usually not about Doctrine. It's more often about. What are we supposed to do? And how do we do it?
more often about taste than anything else and when are real hard should be Lord. What is your plan for us? And how should we be about doing this? We are about the mission of the Lord and the mission of the Lord is the Lost. It's the people that don't know Jesus. It's the next one who comes to him. It's the one who doesn't know Jesus. That's that's price Mission. And when he said I'm going to go all the way to the crosses disciples. What will wait, wait. Wait, don't stop this incredible party we have going here.
So the Mountaintop is vital valuable key element. Yes yesterday men, but it doesn't stop there because the Lord wants to take us from the Mountaintop and send us Your Door Mission field for Ministry, and he also wants us to unite not around. What we like but about what he's doing at the moment. Do I joke about getting out early and beating the Baptist to the buffet line. But you know when you walk through the buffet line no two plates are the same. Isn't it strange? I mean what if there were armed guards at the buffet line telling you what you had put on your plate you wouldn't go there anymore because this is all about taste. This is all about what you like and I could stand by your side at a buffet line isn't what I don't look very good. You say that's what I like. I would say the next line would be where you're stupid for liking that. You know, that would be the next one. Right? No. No, the next line would be. Well, I was raised in Southern Iowa, which means I like black eyed peas and I like gravy and biscuits and all that kind of stuff because I was born in the south southern, Iowa.
And my sister was born in Northern Dallas and she didn't like any of that stuff. So I don't know why we came out of the same family, but I'd I know my tastes are sure different than hers and my taster probably still different than yours.
And what we are about here is not about what do I like? But what does he want to do? Let's get on board with that. Let's make that happen the best way we possibly can.
And so we sacrifice and give a little bit.
Do I get satisfied? Oh, yeah, that's right. I'm a grandparent. I am and you know, I've learned that when they're around. We we eat stuff that they like to eat.
I don't exit the dinner table just because of that and I'm glad they go home and leave me a couple of times, you know, so I can get what I want. Okay what you stand that hole?
So there is M & M & M.
Here you go Pastor. You can put these out in your office. Take him home with your kids or steal mall for yourself. I don't care. But then, you know the Halloween candy was gone or I would have got a little packet of that for everybody because you know, I just want you to every time you get an M&M plain or peanut go ahead. Just think about this mountain top. And Ministry and Mission and where am I in that? One other thought and I'm done. A few years ago. We were living in the big city of Carlinville. which is all kind of a nice spot wide spot in the road in mid Central, Illinois, and our daughter was living at our home preparing to Go to the mission field was doing I-10 rhaetian Sochi. starter stuff at our house and hit the road was home now and then I'm not I'm not kind of the spreadsheet guy in our family I do though the accounts in the Reconciling the checkbook and all that kind of stuff. So I'm I'm kind of the Bean Counter in our family. Okay, that's that's my makeup and I'm going through the checkbook and I now Colleen and I had a checkbook at that time and has his Niceville Harbinger the back of it because we discovered that both of us have some timers disease. So those carvings kind of Saved our bacon a few times. I'm going through the checkbook and I flip back up into this carbons and I saw this carbon of a check that was made out and sign but no amount. So I immediately had a conversation with my wife and I said, you know, that's the best way to World of fraud to happen because you don't sign a check without any amount being in today and we can meet Lee had a male female conversation that would something like this.
Cuz I'm saying to clean, you know, this is trouble you can't do that. And she said honey, this is Carlinville. It's not Chicago. Give me a break besides. I just wrote a check and said Terry to the store our daughter to the store to buy some groceries and she was going to fill in the amount. It's okay. I know you know who won that conversation, don't you? Yeah, you know.
But I thought about it a lot since then.
And I'm thinking that is exactly what the lord of this church wants us to do. He wants us every one of us to sign the check and let him fill in the price tag. Later.
He wants us to get on board with his purpose and his plan in history without ever knowing all the price that he's going to and say I'm in Lord. I'm for what you're doing. I will do that and sometimes we found out later. Wow, that that was a pretty big price I wanted but we also fine and it was all absolute Joy when we follow him. I'm not asking you this morning to sign on to what I've decided. What I am saying, it's important for each of us to sign on to what he has chosen.
And his priority is the Lost. and the week and the Young Is it and it all of that we find? Yes, there is fullness of joy. There is satisfaction. There is great pleasure in the things the Lord but it's really not just about the way I liked the dress or the way. I like to drive for the way. I like to go through the buffet line that that that is not what's really valuable here. What is really bad as having been to the Mountaintop and I want to go back and experience and more and just experienced incredible present. Having been there. I want to be able to also Walk The Daily Wok Experience of things the Lord in my life pretty shapes of mold and guides and guards and disciplines me through the word of God that as I walk in the shoe leather of this life and I encounter the people whose lives are jumbled up I can say this is what the Lord can do for your life. Let's talk about that. Let's pray. Let's see God do something in your life. I want to see that happen, you know the best ab Angeles in our church are sitting in our pews every Sunday morning because we go Over this community we go to places your pastor will ever get to the deacons may never get there, but you will get there and God is sending that's where he wants us to shine. And then when it all adds up, he also wants to say Lord. I'll buy into what you're doing, which is more important than what I like.
Clean if you come and help me where you are. I'm not I'm going to sing our prayer and just be done. Okay? and I'm going to sing it through once if you heard this whole song You might want to join in on it, but I