12.16.2018 Advent 3 "Do" Luke 3:7-18
Fellowship Church their third week of Advent we started with the first week with stand and my challenge to you was not just do anything but the stand there and wait for God. Somebody said it today wait for God to speak to you. Second week was to clarify it was what is the Kingdom of Heaven look for look like so we're supposed to stand for the kingdom of heaven. But often times it's confusing it. We've been talking about this for a long time and then you get so many different perspectives. And what does it mean to stand for the king and what is a king stand for I was last week and this week we're going to be talking about doing doing actually following through with what the kingdom of heaven looks like and I can tell you I've been struggling recently. Just lots of reasons holiday. I'm not sure there's been some there's a gentleman. I've been spending some time with him in jail, and it didn't go well for him this week. I asked for prayer last weekend, the sentencing hearing was postponed until the first week in January, but the judge said something like it's time for you to pay your debt to Society it's he's going to be put away for a while and I sat there and it's the first time I sat to one of those without offering an alternative and I felt really helpless and Powerless and and it's lingered all week. It's just been a hard week for me to accept this story and God's not done with it yet and it's complicated and I don't go into all those details, but I'm just sharing with you that even this text for me was difficult. So this week the third week of Advent. It's known as God that's gaudete Sunday, which means rejoice in Latin and it's this this idea that has were preparing that there's this sense of joy joy joy, like in a beautiful marriage Joy like in the gifts under Christmas tree Joy like when your loved ones come together and we share meals amazing meals with each There's a sense of joy that is missing. I think they're at least it has been missing for me and I'm hopeful that the spirit will kind of move through us this today and be kind of bring us back alive. So however this the scripture lessons come with this expectation that the people of God will do something to be a part of the inheritance promise to Abraham the prophet Zephaniah instructs that people do not let your hands grow weak. Do not let your hands grow weak. That's just the idea that don't grow weary in doing good things and then John offers us further teaching again. We're going to get to it works bear fruits worthy of repentance. So bearing fruit producing a fruit worthy of repentance of that repentance again, is that we've been acting on our own selfish desires. Some of us are more hell-bent than others weed. Point where we realize that if we keep going this way, it's going to end badly for me and for others. And swear like God help me if he says okay. I'm here and you're like, okay turn around. And go this other direction. I live in a different way behave in a different way. And when you do those things your life produces a different fruit. Do you actually out from within you comes this different things? And this is the context that were talking about. There's a gift of God, which is our Eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, and then there's a fruit that comes from accepting that gift as he comes into our hearts and he starts to transform us and that's that's where we are. I'm going to say I'm going to I'm going to do this. I'm going to pray and then I I have an odd transition so fact, I'm going to show the video and then I'm going to pray cuz it's a non transition. So let's look at the video for Once Upon a Time version of the Christian faith practically irresistible.
If you put in Chippewa Falls Fellowship, I get 10% nothing. Just kidding.
I'm glad you laugh. Like I said, I'd transition I read this text today and I'm going to read it. I'm going to pray before I read it, but I really focused on this idea that that the people of God the first followers of God were revolutionary and people were drawn to them in a way. That seems hard to find Tommy Prank father God I ask I'm asking I'm asking that you would to your spirits speak to us as individuals. And as a community that you would stir US in US your spirit that we could start to see again what we're standing for and why? What's the kingdom of heaven looks like and then what is it that you ask of us to do as your children? Got to destroy them this in your name. Amen. Luke three were continuing in the text starting verse 7. When the Crowds came to John for baptism, he said you brood of snakes who warned you to flee the coming rat prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turn to God don't just say to each other we're safe for descendants of Abraham. That means nothing right tell you God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the acts of God's judgment is poised ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
the crowds ask what should we do?
John replied if you have two shirts give one to the poor if you have food share it with those who are hungry.
Even corrupt Tax Collectors came to be baptized and asked teacher. What should we do? He replied collect no more taxes than the government requires.
What should we do? Ask some soldiers? John replied don't extort money or make false accusations and be content with your pay.
Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah John answer the questions by saying I baptize you with water but someone is coming soon who is greater than I so much greater that I'm not even worthy to be his slave or untie the straps of the sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire he is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing Fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area Gathering the wheat into his barn, but burning the chaff with never-ending fire. John John used Mini such warnings as he announced the good news to the people. I get time the first picture I guess.
Prove by the way that you live that you have repented of your sins and turn to God.
Most of my life I've spent living my life my way doing what I want to do. I believe in what I thought was best for me. I think you get the sentence for that idea that it was all you know surrounded around me. I think I've told you that in my family we had this this thing it still happens in my family when I'm I'm like, I just need you to listen to me about me right now. And it it happens and hasn't happened in a couple of days, but it does happen and there's sometimes I just get so focused so self-centered that I I'm almost demanding that somebody just say pay attention to me and I think the kingdom of heaven And what guys asking us to do?
Is actually spend a little less time.
a little less time worrying so much about me. And really considering others.
In the text. He says that that the people say we're safe for we are descendants of Abraham and he says that means nothing. If I tell you God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.
I meant to talk about that verse but as I read it this last time I was thinking about my Stony heart. Where I was when I was hell-bent.
and to think of the fruit that God has been able to pull out of that, which is pretty miraculous.
Believing in Jesus is not just an insurance policy that pulls you out when you need it. You know, it's not like I got it going on and then when I get into trouble, you know, I'm sick finances relationship problems. Then I'm a Jesus follower. It's actually this way of conduct a way of Behaving a way of treating one another that speaks of the king that we serve.
I want to focus on these three dudes first picture 10. I guess the crowds the crowds asked. What should we do and John replies if you have two shirts should give one to the poor. And if you have food to share it with those who are hungry. In the 9-hour we're talking about he doesn't say give away all your clothing. He doesn't say give away all your food. He doesn't say. To hurt yourself in this process. He simply saying that if you have something to share to share it I again, I I can't remember we said do what you can with what you have right where y'all at him was packs at it today to my favorite quotes. Do what you can with what you have Right Where You Are. There's a contentment that seems missing in America.
There's a contentment that's missing in my life house that I'll be really honest. That I'm dissatisfied with my house that's peeling the paint or the fact that people have to wear coats and hats when they're my house because it's so cold cuz we keep the temperature down about 66. I'm disappointed when I look can I compare myself to everyone else who has more than me.
And I'm not going to be shocked to know I have more than two shirts.
more than two shirts
And why I think the Kingdom of Heaven is talking about being content with this gift that we have Jesus's death resurrection and eternal life. Like that's a pretty big gift. freedom from sin huge gift
the crowd asks, what should we do? If you have extra share it with those who don't is pretty simple.
So then even the corrupt Tax Collectors came to be baptized. These are Jewish people that kind of betrayed that the Jewish people and went to work for Rome to collect money from their community. And then they weren't satisfied with the money they would get for doing so so they did add extra taxes.
he says What should we do? And he simply says collect no more taxes than the government replies. He doesn't say quit your job. He doesn't say don't work for Rome.
Every few years. There's a new movement where there's a Christian spokesperson who believes that cried Christians have no expectation to pay their taxes. It happens. Almost I think it's every other year. It might be every 3rd, but there's a I see people people that I love really coming and Save-A-Lot says right here give to Caesar what Caesar and to give to God. What is God and so I'm absolved of this on the Kingdom of Heaven person. I mad after that. I don't have to pay taxes if it happens all the time.
John says collect no more taxes than the government required. He doesn't real against taxation. He simply says do justice.
Follow through act as if Jesus is your boss cuz he is.
And then some soldiers. And I find this fascinating but John replies don't extort money or make false accusations and be content. with your pay back then a Roman soldier could threaten someone with violence? Extortion to get money.
Cuz they had the power. Again, he does not say don't be a soldier. Quit your job runaway abandon your post. He doesn't say it.
He says be content. Be content.
my opinion most of the problems in our country stem from this
disease of discontentedness
you could look in this room and see people who have more more something then you do. You look on Facebook or social media. Everybody seems to have more. more happiness more travel more something and I think that breeds this discontentedness.
It is it as I break baby boomer. We used to have bigger and bigger and bigger Christmases when I was in my hell-bent behavior Christmas was this giant gift exchange and we always beat everybody else in my community to get more gifts. I'm sorry to tell my kids that now because we don't do that anymore.
I was so discontented. And there was never enough gifts.
And I still couldn't make anyone happy including the most importantly. What's up?
Repentance Micah 6-8 that uses day of the week. Does Nolo people the Lord has told you what is good and this is what he requires of you. repenting turning around do what is right?
to love Mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
What should we do? do justice do the kingdom Justice?
And it should take a weight off of you not add a weight onto you. And if you feel like you're getting more weight put on you. Come talk to us cuz I think it's the wrong Kingdom.
Pat said he was going to cry earlier. I think it was the first song it might have been in the in the 9 hour for me. There is just a sense of God's presence here. And every time it happens to me pushes me to my knees and I feel completely powerless. It's usually means he's pretty close. It's pretty close. We're at Advent. We're just a week in a couple of days away from Christmas.
Today is the day where we get to to celebrate with each other to share and and you don't have to be joyous. I'm not asking it for 10. I'm just simply asking you to come along with.
Eat a meal.
Say a prayer. Be vulnerable.
The king is quotes. Kingdom is near. Christmas is coming. I'm going to pray. Father God, I know you're with us.
And I pray that we would all each one of us simply come with you align ourselves move ourselves conduct ourselves in a way, which would bring you honor and Glory. And Lord if it's just me, I just want to thank you for being here for me. But if it's more than just me and if there's other people who are sensing your speaking I'm asking that they would be open to what it is that you're saying to them now. And what steps that they might need to take in order to bring themselves back in alignment with you? I pray that we would have eyes to see the people who are in need and do not have as much as we do. And that as a community we would just start tipping ourselves back in your direction.
I'm going to ask of you if you guys can say the Lord's Prayer with me if you can do that. So, it's Our Father who art in heaven Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation. But Deliver Us from Evil for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory forever and ever amen. Thank you rent one more more song.