2019-2-3-CCCC - Abiding - Part 1
A couple thoughts as we begin our time in the word this morning. First of all that that song has such a beautiful and new meaning even for me when the Lord took Jim home Gales first thought in the first thing she expressed was just how happy she was for Jim and them as a beautiful thing to see, you know, when it comes to who we are as a church when it comes to what it means to to be the church to be a part of the church. There are two things that are abundantly clear in the New Testament. Hey there, I mean a lot of things are clear. But I mean there are two things that are like you've missed it. If you missed these two things we are to make disciples. Jesus put a very plainly that we are to go and make disciples. Everything is very plain is that we are to care for the widows and the orphans wiggle room in those two. There's no new wants you can't like culturally context it away. You can't do some great gymnastics in and get away from the fact that we are to make disciples of Jesus Christ and we are to care for the widows New York Giants among pastors whenever someone casually runs into a pasture out and about or when a couple Pastor see each other and they realized I was supposed to have coffee with in like six months ago and have it and explain exchange pleasantries, you know, so how's the churchgoing is the question right? How's the churchgoing and usually passes go to all that. We're just having a building up their building a really good things.
This is the way we really should answer that question. Hey Pastor, how's the church doing Gail is doing really well.
If we fail to care for the widows of this church, and if we fail to Endeavor to make disciples. Everyone the Lord brings us. We have failed. It's a church there a lot of other metrics that we could decide would be important.
The Bible decides the holy spirit of God decides that the making of disciples in the caring for widows and orphans is what is what's important? That's what I want us to pursue. I want us to understand what it means to be a church of disciples that that make disciples. So we're going to where to spend quite a few weeks from from now at least until Easter talking about what it means to actually genuinely pursue discipleship. Now the word disciple the word discipleship their words that we have heard if we've grown up in the church all of our Lives if you haven't I mean, you know of the disciples, you know, that's going to be 11 or 12, depending on how you want to count. You. Just do you know, the people that that personally followed Jesus to people that Jesus invited to follow him. So, you know, at least abstractly what a disciple would be in the gospel accounts, but but what does it really mean right now to be a disciple? And what does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus and in what does discipleship mean? How do you pursue discipleship? And and and what are you pursuing when you're pursuing discipleship did a lot of times we just we we count things as a given when when we shouldn't and humorously every time someone says it goes without saying you go ahead and say it. We never just let things go without saying what goes without saying what I'm about to say, but let's let's not make discipleship. Just one of those things that we figure goes without saying let's actually dive in and and pursue discipleship of Jesus. Like let's be disciples and let's make disciples. We just need to be very clear with everyone that this is a church that will pursue discipleship. We are pursuing Jesus. We are going to be or die attempting to be true Disciples of Jesus. That's what we're going to do. We could pursue a lot of other things, but we are going to pursue True Discipleship Jesus. So I got three things. I want to share at the beginning of this discipleship series, but let's pray.
Jesus this is your church. We are yours.
Jesus you're your father willed that we would be brought to your feet. In the Holy Spirit Holy Spirit you gave us eyes to see and ears to hear the truth. Have you Jesus Christ? Crucified and risen and reigning our Lord Our Savior our brother.
when you came into the presence of of one of the 12 He said follow me. They did. May we keyed the same call Jesus.
Call to us. Ask us to drop our Nets and follow you in in may we?
speak to us this morning speak through your word. Your name we pray. I'm in three things. I want to share read the beginning and I'll actually do this every week season three things that I never want us to forget that when it comes to discipleship. There is a foundation. There's a Hart and there's a warning. Write the foundation of discipleship is from Matthew 28 verses 18 through 20. And Jesus came and say to them sets 8 the new one and Jesus came and said to them all authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to me go therefore and Make Disciples of all Nations baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and behold I Am With You Always to the end of the age. It's not just the foundation of a series on discipleship. That's like the foundation of the church. That's why we that's why there actually is a thing called the church is because he called his disciples to go and make disciples. Star formation is that we are to be disciples making disciples. That's our foundation the heart of it all it's from John 10 for these are also Jesus's words when he has when he has brought out all his own he goes before them and the Sheep follow him for they know his voice. To the heart of being a disciple of Jesus is just understand that we are his sheep and he is our Shepherd. Twilight in the Spanish language does the word for for pastor in the word for Shepherd or like one of the simplest or like you just the tender of sheep is the same like I would it's the same word. I'm standing right here. I'm tending sheep cuz Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. Right. I hope to be not a dodgy one. He is the good one and we are his sheep. So we follow him we hear his voice and we follow and that's the heart of discipleship is just following Our Shepherd.
There's also a warning. It's a very sobering warning and it's something you need to hear from the onset of this whole idea or do you want to be his chief? Do you want to be his disciple from John 15 verses 18 through 20, if you were of the world the world would love you as its own but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you a servant is not greater than his master if they persecuted me they will also persecute you if they kept my word. They will also keep yours. But guess what? They're not going to. The world hates Disciples of Jesus the world hates the sheep of the Good Shepherd. The world cheers for the Wolves and the Bears the capture and maim and consume the weak ones.
And then I also love to see the strong ones quote on quote fall on their flight facer off a cliff the world hates Jesus.
To the world is going to hate Jesus's followers. We can try all we want to be liked by the world and if we are.
You're not a disciple. You pursued the world not the savior of it.
We cannot be cool enough to win. The attention and approval of the world, which is Camp. We're we're going to be on offense. And as I said before that does not give us license to be offencive. I think sometimes. The church almost gets kind of like a perverse enjoyment from being hated. It's almost like they pursue hatred of the world. We're not to pursue hater of the world worship Christ and in so doing we will be hated by the world.
As sheep, let's just follow him and let the world decide what it thinks of us. We're going to decide. Well, Jesus decides what he thinks of us.
But let's just follow him. So that's the foundation. That's the hard and that's the sober warning. So.
You still want to follow him? Let us follow him as disciples. So what are the the marks of a disciple of Jesus Christ? Like what is a disciple of Jesus marked by? And here are the four big points that will guide the rest of our weeks together this week. We're in one but I'm going to go ahead and tell you all for the marks of a disciple of Jesus Christ number one denial of self and an abiding in Christ number to a thirst knowledge and dependence on the scriptures. Number 3 finding purpose and joy in pleasing the father. and number for the making of disciples So this week and next week we're talking about what it means to deny ourselves and abide in Christ.
I did Niall of self and an abiding in Christ if you look in Matthew 16. Verses 24 through 26 I have to get there myself. So you got a second. I love having the scriptures up on the wall, but I also and there's nothing better than just seeing it in print right in front of your eyes.
I can always. Did a memorize where things are in my Bible like literally like oh, yeah, that's okay. That's one of Paul's letters. It's in the right-hand column towards the bottom right-hand corner and I can go and I can find it. Sometimes if I can't find it, that's what I have to say. And that's why Paul said that's why the Bible says you always know that I just don't know quite that's a little insight. You ever hear me say that I know it but I don't quite know it well enough Matthew 16 starting in verse 24
Jesus says this if anyone would come after me. Let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake will find it for what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul. Or what shall a man give in return for his soldiers put Church in there. the highlighter previous point
for what? Will it profit a church if that church gains the whole city before fits its soul.
We are to deny ourselves. Which means? You declare my life is forfeit. for the glory in cause of Christ for Christ himself, I live not for myself, but him
My Flesh war against this declaration, but what is resurrected in me declares that my life belongs to Christ
I will deny myself. I will pick up the cross and I will follow him. And what's amazing is you don't have to pick up the cross that he died on which is weird. Jesus was a thief or thought about that. He stole my cross from me then ask permission just took my sin upon himself and died upon that cross. And so I don't have to die on that cross the cross that I'm being asked to pick up is it is it is a prop. It's a cross of of proclaiming. The cross of Shame it's a cross of Proclaim. I carry the cross of Jesus saying look at this Cross My Savior died on it for me.
I'm living for him not for myself a disciple of Jesus denies himself.
in a by Ides and Christ looking John chapter 8 Gospel of John chapter 8
starting in verse 29
and he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone for I always do the things that are pleasing to him and he was saying these things as he was saying these things many believed in him. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him. If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. We've all heard that right. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. It's it's awesomely displayed and Halls of justice. And and we use it almost like a as a punchline. Sometimes remind in the truth will set us free full what truth sets us free. Here's what's awesome sometimes in scripture. You can work things backwards. So it if the truth sets us free, let's start with freedom case. Where did that freedom come from? It came from the truth.
And has that truth the Disciples of Jesus. How are you disciple of Jesus by abiding in him. It's only those that abide in him. Better truly set free by the truth of who he is.
We deny ourselves and we abide in him. Jesus says whoever was supposed to read it again. If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free if you abide in my word. Now the written word of God. and the written words of Jesus Are the most important written words are the most powerful recorded spoken words it is.
Absolutely true. It is absolutely beautiful. It's absolutely right. I I take it literally. plainly clearly The written word of God we would be lost without it. We could not know Christ without it. The holy spirit makes these words come alive and and in the leaf off the page into the hearts of those were surrendered to Christ who have the eyes to see in the ears to hear when Jesus says if you abide in my word, he's not just talking about the Bible.
Thank you, though. Seabreeze it's not it's not just the Bible. It's so much more than that the Greek word. It means divine utterance. It also means check this out. And I love this. I just want us this morning. It means analogy.
It means analogy and and we know. From the beginning of John this is not in the in the deal. It's just an Indian this deal. So just so in John 1:1 in the beginning was the word the word was with God and the Word was God that the word word. It's Jesus in and the Greek word can also mean analogy. It's like Jesus is is the is the living embodiment of who God is like, who is God like well, let me give you an allergy the person of Jesus Christ. It means if you abide in him not just his spoken word. But his heart his character his nature you will buy them who he is. Not just in the words that he spoke.
How many was Mary who came to Christ later in life already had like words of Jesus memorized like you had so many red letters memorized. But didn't win the Holy Spirit open your eyes and open your ears. Those words stopped as being words, didn't they? They started being pieces of a person the person of Jesus Christ. We abide in him. How many biblical Scholars are not even disciples?
Not just the words that he spoke or the words spoken about him, but him. I'm self.
We are to abide in him. But what does it mean to abide? Right. I mean the word is kind of plane is specially in this context what it means again to the Greek. I'm going to butcher the pronunciation but it's like a meno. Meno. I don't know. I'm not Greek in omena. It means to stay don't leave remain don't go nowhere live. Keep hold onto don't lose cheap clothes indoor stand weight or my favorite be at home. We are to be at home with Christ.
Do you find the person of Jesus Christ to be your home? Just like it doesn't matter what your house is when you're with your family. You're at home.
No matter where you are. No matter what life. Brings you where life takes you what the circumstances are. With your in your living room or or in the emergency room. Are you at home with Christ? Are you abiding with him?
And what we learn is that loving Christ and abiding in him are in a woven.
There's actually no such thing as loving Jesus but not abiding with him. There's no such thing as a biting Christ and not loving him. They are interwoven their interconnected. They are as close to each other as the sun is to the father is to the spirit. In other words. They're just the same thing. Loving and abiding are the same thing. So watch out when you declare that you love them are you lying?
If you really love him. You abide with him. You don't leave him you stay at home with him.
and in the beautiful thing is
that he abides with us.
To all those simple words staying not leaving remaining not going anywhere live in keeping holding onto not losing keeping close in during standing waving at home. That's how Jesus loves us. Loving in a biting same thing. He loves us he abides with us as we abide in him. The right now this morning if you are worried about have I gone far away from him have I strayed have I ignored and have I left them at home?
Are your eyes of the open and you'd see that Jesus has not let go of you.
Just confess. It just say I have tried to leave you behind Lord Jesus. Thank you for not leaving me. We are to abide in him disciples abide, and that means we don't leave. He will not leave us. Let us not leave him here is a truth love does not leave.
love doesn't leave in I have a
heartbreaking question to ask you
How many of you personally?
How many of our children how many of the children of our culture?
have been irrevocably damaged by the following why? sweetheart
I love you. The mommy and daddy don't love each other the same way anymore. And so even though daddy is leaving.
He still loves you.
Ally love does not leave.
We have a Heavenly Father.
does not leave
Christ his son does not leave and he abides with those whom he loves. He abides with his disciples and his disciples of by with him. Do not claim to love Jesus.
And run from him and leave him and say Jesus. I love you.
but This part of my life doesn't belong to you. I love you. But in this area of my life, this is just mine. You're you're you're attempting to leave him behind love does not leave it at Vines.
Our abiding is revealing both as it pertains to Christ into each other. The biting is revealing. Cape Fear it it it serves as proof.
Here's you know, I always go to marriage as an analogy. I'm going to do it here and again in a moment. But as you stood in front of congregation exchanging your vows with your with your with your bride with groom.
Your vows don't prove your abiding your abiding proves your vows or or or let's just proved how true that the words are exchanged exchange abiding with love your vows. Don't prove your love. Your Love proves your vows in other words when I stood and make the Declarations that I did to my wife for richer poorer sickness health I'm saying is I'm going to abide with you I'm going to love you no matter what I'm going to stay at home with you I'm not going to leave and we don't leave the the sanctuary that Dango and I'm glad Tommy proved his love for her.
I approve that I was okay with the plan of how like having a wedding.
right I approve approve my love for her.
Jim proved his love for Gail. Because his hand was he holding Gail proved her love for gym, because whose hand was she holding. Up to the moment. He left the job. I did with one another proving their valves.
Your declarations don't prove anything. your life Is your declaration?
Love does not leave you abide with those whom you love. We as a church. We as disciples must have behind with him as he abides with us.
And Jude 24 through 25.
Cute easy to find it's right there at the end.
Judith says now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy to the only God our savior. To Jesus Christ Our Lord be glory Majesty dominion and Authority before all time and now and forever. I'll men. Jesus is able and Will Keep Us abide with us before all time, and now and forever. That's the life that we're living as Disciples of Jesus. That is the life that we are to live. But what does that life look like is going to sound so Hallmark it almost turns my stomach to say it but it's the truth. It looks like love and I just annoying how the world's just ruined the word. Love you here loving off teddy bears and And I just the IHOP on this a lot, but it's like everyone knows that the passage you know that God is love. The problem is that the world has switched at around say love is God and then we change the definition of Love does changing. The definition of God's love is warm feeling. So God must be warm feelings because God is love and if God makes me that makes my feelings cold or uncomfortable then that's not. cake
love Belongs to the Lord. If you want to know what love is you first have to know who God is a life of abiding in Christ. Looks like love it is a is egg life of love in and he gives us what I call the abiding commandment. It's in first John chapter 2 starting in verse 7 and first John chapter 2 verse 7 John tells us his beloved. I am writing, you know new commandment but an old Commandment that you had from the beginning the old commandment is the word that you have heard at the same time. It is a new commandment that I'm writing you which is true in him and in you because the darkness is passing away and the True Light is already shining. Now. Look how confusing that it sounded. Okay, but if you really think about what he's saying, it's very confusing because I'm not giving you an old come in and I'm giving you a new commandment. I give me something new but it's not new. It's very old.
How can something be old and new at the same time? How how can something that is that is ancient and Timeless be shining and in right off the showroom floor. k I got I got a couple different analogies that I'd like to just share. Okay?
the truth of it all is that
see him. I'm working out here helping that makes perfect sense to Minot. But like Christ is a new manifestation. of an eternal truth It's it's not like new truth. Not a new commandment it it's a new revelation of it's a new manifestation of it. It's it's always been true. But now it's it's new here. Here's a couple different examples.
I'm sorry. I was so eager to get to my examples in scripture. It's always wise scripture 1st John 13:34 Jesus as a new commandment. I give to you that you love one another just as I have loved you you also are to love one another. So Jesus calls it new John says it's not new but it's brand-new you go back to 1st John 2 7 and 8 read that again and it's his beloved. I'm writing, you know new commandment, but an old command that you had from the beginning the old commandment is the word that you have heard in that word was like what Jesus just said that its new again old very confusing. How can something be old? How can something be old and new at the same time? How can something that is ancient be brand new marriage again? Sorry, another example of marriage marriage has existed for a few years I've heard Much earlier that came around much much much much much much older than 19 even though I've been married for almost nineteen years marriage has been around a lot longer than that marriage is actually been around since the beginning of the beginning marriage was the first institution ever devised from God for a man Adam and Eve together in the garden were married got married them together in the garden. The marriage is very very old ancient but as ancient as it can be but on July 29th year 2000 marriage was brand new for me. So even though that the scripture that commanded that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church that command it was true. But I had no wife. On July 29th 2001. I got married. I had a wife so this ancient commandment can now be brand-new. It's brand-new for me and it's brand-new because For the First Time it's possible.
I was always intended to love my wife, but now that I have one it's possible for me to and it humorously reminds me of a conversation I had the day after I got married so was the first day of of my honeymoon and Mike my grandparents helped finance the whole honeymoon deal. So I thought it'd be nice to call them and and and thank them so I called my grandmother lady as I called her as in lady not. Hey lady bug lady. She picked up the phone and I said hey lady, it's Tommy is the first thing she said she got Tommy you must feel like a new man. And I said well as a matter of fact lady I do. Okay. Now what was experienced was not. New to the world that is new to me. Marriage is brand new to me something that was old and ancient is now brand new because it's now possible. What Jesus is asking us to do when you saying you have to abide in me abide in one another love me. Love one another this is not new. This is very old. But for the first time in me, it's possible for the first time in Christ. It actually is possible to truly love God. We've always been committed to but now we can always been commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. But now we can another analogy is like an ancient map. Let's say you have a map it like this just called this even call it a treasure map and you can you can imagine like a really cool one or like a goofy one like a cartoon e14, like imagine a treasure map in if there's an accident that marks the spot of where the treasure is found, you know, I got a treasure map, but you don't know where you are.
Right, if you don't know where you are and certainly don't know where the x is. You don't know how to get there. You just got this map, but it's like useless. I learned this in the scouts like in in in in orienteering merit badge you get a map great, right, but you first have to know where you are. And then you have to know where north and south and east and west is on the maps. You take a compass you put in the bottom left-hand corner and you turn the map until it was oriented correctly. So you can place yourself inside of it and you can go. Oh here's the direction I need to go in right here is the way that I need to go in. sew-in in a very real way
Christ He is now the way to the destination. It's always been there. Write Christ is now. Our ability to see the map in a new light we can now see where we are. We can see where he is the father and we can see how to where to go to get there. The living example and testimony and presence of Christ in your resurrected Heart by the power of the holy spirit is the light that illuminates the map. We've always had. It's an old map. But it's new because for the first time we can follow it.
You are predestined destination. presidents with God presents with the father we can now get there because of Christ. The Bible is not just basic instructions before leaving Earth. That's clever to Goodwin. Whoever wrote that. I salute you. It's not just basic instructions before leaving Earth. It's the revelation of God. It's God's self-revelation.
And when God the holy spirit gives you the eyes to see and the ears to hear the truth about the Heart character and nature of the father made manifest in the Life Death and resurrection of the son. What was once old opinion becomes Living Truth.
The word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. And now that Living Word of God can be present in our heart it can reveal to us who God is
John 14:6, we know it. Jesus said it I am the way and the truth and the life no one comes to the father except through me.
Through Christ. The old map is seen in a new light. Go to First John chapter 2 starting in verse 9.
he is in the light. And hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light. And in him, there is no cause for stumbling.
But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
I am in no way saying. That if you're loving abiding in Christ, but yet trip up and get angry at your brother. You have lost the way and you've stumbled into darkness. No, I'm saying if we hate our brother or our sister, we were never in the light Disciples of Jesus. Love one another the way is love
how does the world see that you know the way? when we love You love one another. And John 13 and Gospel of John chapter 13.
starting at verse 34
New commandment I give to you that you love one another just as I have loved you. You also aren't love one another by this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.
This old brand new ancient but spanking new commandment. I give to you that you love one another just as I have loved you. You also are to love one another by this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. Church Disciples of Jesus we have to be marked by love for one another.
Us here together.
I didn't put us here together.
the Lord Jesus did
and he will abide in us and we will abide in him. And he will love us he will never leave us nor forsake us. We are to never leave nor forsake one another.
If we do not love one another we are not his disciples. It's as plain as that.
going to continue this next week, but that's a very simple sobering thought for us to
Just meditate on throughout the week. Do we love one another?
Do we truly love him?
To truly abide in him. Let's pray.
Jesus may we found be may we be found faithful?
May we be found faithful in you? Maybe we found faithful to you. And how we love and abide in you and how we love and abide with one another.
Got me there not be any air or light between those two ideas May our love for one. Another be just a seamless outpouring of our love for you.
We are called to live life with one another a life of love.
Born out of our knowledge of who you are born out of of you living in a biting in us and through us.
This Abiding Love that we have in you is represented. So powerfully in our time of communion.
We are called to deny ourselves and abide in you. Well, Hugh denied yourself to the point of death even death on a cross.
You allowed your body to be broken in your blood to be shed.
So that we might be filled so that we might be healed made whole only in you Lord Jesus. So as we enter into our time of communion, I pray that you would prepare our hearts in this meal that we're about to share the simple bread in the simple cup. Maybe it may be a blessed conviction not a condemnation but a blessed conviction. That we are whole and healed and you so we don't have to take from anyone else. We have everything we need in you.
We don't have to consume anything or anyone else to be whole and healed we have you.
Praise You Lord Jesus. Thank you for inviting in us. May we abide in you and your name your precious and holy name we pray. Amen.