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The Best Part of Knowing Jesus

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The best part of knowing Jesus is KNOWING JESUS!

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Essentials Class starts at the end of the month—Sep 30.

Introduction

General: The best part of the worship conference was sharing an elevator with Chris Tomlin...
Personal: What would you say if I asked what is the best part of being a Christian?
Forgiveness
Freedom from addiction
The joy you have in Christ
The peace that carries you through the darkest and most difficult seasons of life
The relationships you’ve found with other believers in the church
The promise of eternal life
Biblical: We’re going to look at a short little story from the Gospel of Luke; this brief interaction Jesus has with two sisters, and we’ll see the best part of knowing Jesus played out in this scene.
Subject
What is the best part of knowing Jesus? What is the greatest thing about a relationship with God?

Story

Luke 10:38–42 NET
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest.39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted with all the preparations she had to make, so she came up to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work alone? Tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her.”

Big Idea

The best part of knowing Jesus is KNOWING JESUS! The greatest thing about a relationship with God is that you have a relationship with God!

Implications

Knowing Jesus means knowing what He wants—your heart. God desires your affection.
Exposition
Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him, while Martha was distracted with all the preparations. Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the best part.” The best part of knowing Jesus isn’t working for Jesus, it’s being with Him…
Here’s the thing: God doesn’t need us to get things done for Him. God doesn’t love you for what you can offer Him, or what you can do for Him.
The best part of knowing Jesus isn’t working for Jesus, it’s being with Him… Here’s the thing: God doesn’t need us to get things done for Him. God doesn’t love you for what you can offer Him, or what you can do for Him.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross so you could work for Him. He went to the cross so that you could have an eternal relationship with Him. He doesn’t want your money, or your time, or your talents, or your abilities, or your ideas if they don’t come with your heart. He wants your heart because if He has your heart, He has all of you.
God wants your heart because if He has your heart, He has all of you.
Illustration
Corinne didn’t marry me just to mow the grass and scratch her back, and I didn’t marry her just so she could pick out my clothes to save me from looking like a dork. She could mow the grass herself and buy a back scratcher. I could hire a fashion consultant, or just look like a dork and not care. We didn’t get married because of what we could do for each other, we got married because we love each other. And because we love each other, we serve each other, care for each other, help each other. I scratch Corinne’s back and she sets out my clothes.
Corinne didn’t marry me just to mow the grass and scratch her back, and I didn’t marry her just so she could pick out my clothes to save me from looking like a dork…
Think of someone you love deeply. You would do anything for them. You would give anything for them—maybe even your own life for theirs.
Application
Think of someone you love deeply. You would do anything for them. You would give anything for them—maybe even your own life for theirs… Just like Jesus did for you. He loves you and gave Himself up for you. He wants your heart because when you give Him your heart, He gets all of you.
Does He have your heart? Do you love God—not just the idea of God, but God himself?
Knowing Jesus means knowing that He cares—about you. God pays attention to your life.
Exposition
Look at what Martha said to Jesus: “Lord, don’t you care…?” How many times do we find ourselves asking the same question?
But Jesus said to Martha, “You are worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed.” Jesus is saying, “Yes, Martha, I care. I see your life and how busy you are. I see you worries and your anxieties. I see your fears. I know your pain. I hear your cries and I see your tears. But you need to trust that I will take care of you. Give me your anxieties and your burdens. Cast your cares on me. I love you and I care about you. Come spend some time with me and let me worry about all those other things.”
Illustration
I had a seminary professor who used to say, “When we are so busy that we don’t have time for Jesus, we’re obviously too busy. But the real question is why are we so busy? Because we’re not sure God will take care of things. Rest is a sign of trust. Do you trust God to take care of your life, or do you think He needs your help? If you trust God, you’ll find it much easier to stop the busyness and make time for Him.”
Application
Do you trust God… enough to stop and make time for Him?
Knowing Jesus means knowing that He’s here—waiting for you. God makes himself available to you.
Exposition
The God of the Universe makes Himself available to you. Wow! If only we could really believe that, what a difference it would make…
Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her.” Jesus is always there for you. He will never leave you. He will never step away from you. Even if you turn your back on Him, He’s right there when you turn around.
Martha asked, “Lord, don’t You care?” and Jesus said, “Yes, I do. I’ve been right here the whole time, waiting for you to come and see me.” No matter how far from God you are, it’s one step back to Jesus. He’s been right there the whole time.
Illustration:
Older couple in car at stoplight behind a younger couple… “I haven’t moved.”
“The only limitations of God’s presence in our lives are the limits we ourselves set. We are as close to God as we choose to be.” ~ Cynthia Heald
Application:
Will you spend time with him?
C’s and D’s get degrees: Practical pointers from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
Consistency
Developing a deep relationship with God isn’t much different than developing a deep relationship with any other person. It takes spending regular time together.
This can be very difficult, especially in the midst of the busyness of life. But here are the D’s: Discipline leads to devotion, and devotion leads to dependency. When you begin setting aside consistent time with God, it’s like exercising for your soul. You don’t always feel like doing it, but if you have the discipline to be consistent, you get into better spiritual shape, and you begin to love the time. It moves from a discipline to a devotion. And then over time, you discover that you can’t get along without your quiet time. You’ve become dependent on your time with God.
But it takes time and consistency to grow from discipline to devotion to dependency. For me, I didn’t consistently set aside time with God until I created an appointment with Him on my calendar. Everyday I have a meeting on my calendar that says: God, Me 1:1. It took me putting that meeting on my calendar in order to have consistency in my time with the Lord. And now, if I miss a 1:1 with God, I’m in a tailspin the rest of the day.
A note from Corinne to those who are in the busiest season of their lives:
During a busy season, it doesn't look the same. Sometimes getting in the car with the toddlers, driving, and cranking up worship music is the closest thing I get to a quiet time. A friend texting me Scriptures every morning became my daily devotion when I didn't have the mental energy to create my own. And signing up for daily emails and studies from the IF Gathering or other places were my source of "feeding", simply because they were easily available on my phone and I could read them while nursing, rocking, or waiting to get the boys from school. If I missed a day or three days, I didn't back-track. I just picked up on the new day and felt His grace. Alone-time with God is certainly important. But being flexible with that alone-time is far greater than NO time when we feel like we can't reach the unobtainable bar.
Alone time with God is certainly important. But flexibility with alone time is far greater than NO time, if we feel like we can't reach the unobtainable bar.
Creativity
Keep things fresh by being creative, just like you would if you were dating someone.
For some creative ideas, see the back of your Life Group questions in the bulletin.
Conversation
Develop a conversational relationship with God. Talk to him throughout your day. And listen, too. God does speak directly to us. We just need to listen.
Try slowing down in your Bible reading. Read smaller sections multiple times. I would rather spend six months in a single book of the Bible, engage it deeply, and be transformed by what God speaks through that book; than read the entire Bible in a year but not see any real change in my life.
Ask God to speak through His Word. Ask God to show you one thing you can do, or pray about, or change as a result of what you read. Then, talk to God about what you just read. Reflect, meditate, and go do whatever it is that He puts on your heart from His Word.
A note from Corinne to those who are in the busiest season of their lives:
During a busy season, it doesn't look the same. Sometimes getting in the car with the toddlers, driving, and cranking up worship music is the closest thing I get to a quiet time. A friend texting me Scriptures every morning became my daily devotion when I didn't have the mental energy to create my own. And signing up for daily emails and studies from the IF Gathering or other places were my source of "feeding", simply because they were easily available on my phone and I could read them while nursing, rocking, or waiting to get the boys from school. If I missed a day or three days, I didn't back-track. I just picked up on the new day and felt His grace. Alone-time with God is certainly important. But being flexible with that alone-time is far greater than NO time when we feel like we can't reach the unobtainable bar.

Conclusion: Application for LakeView

We’ve been a Martha church for a long time, but God is calling us this year to move in Mary’s direction.
We tend to be too focused on significance, impact, and self-discovery. We spend so much time carefully crafting mission statements and writing out core values and gaming out strategies on whiteboards. We spend hours talking about what makes us unique and how we can leverage that. We love talking about ministry and making our plans for how we’re going to do something great. We plan all our events and load our ministry calendars up. We add activities and programming and meetings and studies and socials, and all these things that keep us so busy.
We plan all our events and load our ministry calendars up. We add activities and programming and meetings and studies and socials, and all these things that keep us so busy.
I’m not saying that programs, events, activities, strategies, and mission statements are a waste of time. But I think God is telling us that our plans are not that important. Our carefully crafted statements of vision and values are not that important. Our impact is not that important. Our name is not that important. Our Savior is everything. Jesus is all to us. If we don’t center ourselves, our families, our marriages, our ministries, and our church on Jesus, then all the programs, events, and mission statements we come up with are nothing more than a distraction. We need to stop trying to be all that and a bag of chips and start loving Jesus!
God is saying to LakeView Church the same thing He said to Martha: “One thing is needed. You worry about the depth of your relationship with Me, and I’ll worry about breadth of your ministry.”
One thing is needed. One thing brings success. It is the presence of God. We need to be a church that longs for the presence of God, that loves to come together and be in the presence of God. This is the year when LakeView becomes a church whose heartbeat is worship.
Worship is the heartbeat of our church.
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