2019-02-10-CCCC - Abiding Part 2
And I said man, Wish I had a leather vest.
So I need a leather vest right some standing back there in the sound booth, you know messing with all of our fanciness and here comes brother Greg walking in with a leather vest
All right. I'm sure there's some patches in the pocket in the right.
I'm into that I don't want to distract you guys with my awesomeness. Barney
I meant I was thinking about I was leaving yesterday going maybe I should put some flames on this minivan.
Can I take a Sawzall to my Mufflers in Flint? Let's pray my goodness. Got you close us in your son's righteousness. We're all we're all wearing a gift. Rock covered in a gift grace and mercy is what we're calling on this morning. We're also asking God. Holy spirit that you would speak. Speak through me. If you can speak around me if you have to and open the ears of all those who adhere and may your word go forth just powerfully with learning what it means to be a disciple. true disciple that's what I want to be found. I want to be found as a true disciple of Jesus Christ. That's what the church is comprised of so help us to to really truly honestly be your followers. Your disciples Jesus your name, would you pray I'm in so in order to series on what it actually means to be a true disciple of Jesus. We have these three main deals are going to go to them every weeks to foundation and the heart and the warning to the foundation of discipleship in Christ is the Great Commission and the Great Commission is found at the end of the Gospel of Matthew and it says go therefore and Make Disciples of all Nations. That's Jesus is charged to his churches make disciples like we get around to what we get right down to it like our charges not to make Believers cuz we can't That's God's job. That's the holy spirit's job. He's the one that opens eyes. We don't make Believers We Make Disciples Jesus Will Follow. So we're just calling out who were the shape any shape here. And the Sheep are like by then come make disciples is our charge. That's the foundation and the Heart of it is just like I said from John 10:4, Jesus says and the Sheep follow them for they know his voice. Let's just speak the words of the shepherd. Bright, we don't have to be too clever. We don't have to reinvent anything just speak the words of the shepherd the Sheep follow cuz they know his voice but it also comes with a very sober warning from John 15 servant is not greater than his master if they persecuted me they will also persecute you. our goal is not to be like our goal is to be faithful. But if we really are faithful. And that's we're going to look this morning. Love is what Reigns?
Right. We'll love everyone from the Lord brings and we will be loved by everyone who knew or bring something a little ahead of myself though. So what are the marks of a disciple of Jesus Christ in this is essentially that the outline of our series moving forward and again, I'll go through this every week cuz I just don't want us to forget. What are the marks of a disciple of Jesus number one denial of self and abiding in Christ? We started in that this week. We're going to finish up this point number one today a denial of self and abiding in Christ Our thirst knowledge and dependence on the scriptures that will take us a couple weeks then finding purpose in joy and pleasing the father. Finally for the making of disciples. If you actually look at those four points to now self abiding in Christ. There is knowledge dependents on the scriptures finding purpose and joy in pleasing the father and making disciples. That's exactly what Jesus did. But you know, we're not inventing anything. We're just following the shepherd. And I'm sure the making of disciples breaks down into a few different areas and I didn't talk about this last week. How do we make disciples? All right, how do we make disciples? We know our calling and we know our gifts and then we use our gifts to Faithfully fulfill our calling and that leads inevitably to bearing the marks of a disciple.
And the bottom line of what it means to to be a disciple is making disciples. You're not really a disciple of Jesus until you're at work making other disciples because again, what was the foundation of it all make disciples? So that's what we're exploring. So as we started in last week quick recap of what we did last week to be a disciple. We must deny ourselves and abide in Christ from John 8. 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 chat know the truth. We can't know Jesus without being his disciple. What did Jesus say when he handpicked his disciples what he say? He said follow me. Wait, we have to follow him and we have to abide in him. I mean you've been out in the big scary world with your tiny children. And what do you say stick with me? Stay right by me hold my hand hold onto my belt with let me put this monkey backpack on you so I can keep you close to me. You got to stay with me, right? Maybe that was just my son out of that didn't land vert push. It was just my experience. You have to abide it in that abiding, you know the truth of who Jesus is and that truth will set you free Disciples of Jesus are free. Amen. What does it really mean to abide in Christ? I like we we get the word like you hear it and you kind of understand it just generally contextually, but what does it really mean to abide? The Greek word is meno a means to stay don't leave remain don't go nowhere. I know that's grammatically incorrect. I just like the way that sounds live indoor stand weight or my personal favorite be at home. Christ is your home. Wherever she is. There is your home. What if he calls you to sell everything up and leave? Guess what you might leave this region, but you're not leaving home cuz you have Christ. He's with you to be at home is to be in Christ in the ba in crisis to be at home. What is this life of a biting look like? Well to put very simply it looks like love. Just does abiding in Christ is a life of love. And when I call the abiding commandment cuz it's always true. It always will be true. We can escape it. 1st John 2:7 through 17 specifically in in verses 7 through 8. Jesus says Beloved I am writing you a John says beloved. I am writing, you know new come in 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 to you which is true in him and in you because the darkness is passing away and the True Light is already shining. So again, how can something be old and new at the same time? It gets old because it is always been the command of God for us to love him and love others and be in him right and be and be with others, but for the first time because of Christ it can happen. It's now possible. It's true in him outside of him. We cannot abide. We cannot love we are not loving we can't love God we can't be loved by God. We can't love others. We can't be loved by others outside of Christ. It's not possible inside of Christ that is life itself. It's a life of love. It's now true. It's now possible. What was old is new Christ is a new manifestation of an eternal truth. And I know this whole thing is rather worried, but just hear it 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. This is not a Dusty command that God has demanded that we follow its Adidas like vcore abiding truth of what life means for disciple. Our eyes have been open and now we know and we can see love itself. His name is Jesus and that loving actual person that presents that God lives in us and can't help but bleed out of us. My grandfather loved garlic loved it ate it like candy for Christmas. He would ask people for garlic and hang in the kitchen is like this rope of garlic and you just walked by Well, guess what my grandparents lived on a ranch that he tended himself 50 acres not generally known known as like effortless work, right a little bit of Labor goes into managing a ranch little bit of sweat goes in to working a ranch. So what did my grandmother decide? Garlic is done husband no more garlic for you cuz it was in him. So it swapped not a word but should be its sweated out of them couldn't help it come out of his pores to dude smell like garlic right take a shower took a shower and then he'd like to read a book and the exertion would just garlic out of them. Right, like if we are truly abiding in Christ the love of Christ can't help but come out of us because it becomes us we used to be full of sin. Former life the dead guy was full of sin and it couldn't help but come out of him. That has been replaced by the actual presence of a living abiding. Loving God can't help it come out of us. It becomes the Living Truth. John 14:6, I am the way and the truth and the life no one comes to the father except through me. It's it's Jesus, right? He's the way the truth and the life in the way is loving the truth is loving in the life is loving itself. Christ is the old way seen in a new light back in first John chapter 2 verses 9 through 11. Whoever says he is in the light. And hates his brother. still in darkness what John is not saying is this? All right, your dad you need to Jesus you love him. Then you messed up and you hated your brother. Now, you're out not saying that. Northeast saying you hate your brother. You got to correct that, you know, and then you're back in right standing. Is it that he says know if you hate your brother, you're not in the light. If you hate your brother you're proving. The Christ is not present in you. green garlic it's coming out of you. You're not abiding in Christ. 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.
The lighted path that new lighted pass the the old path. It's always been there that Christ has not illuminated so we know the way we see the way we can walk the way the truth and love right that way.
Yeah, there we go. Technology write my my pencil and paper never broke down in the middle of a sermon. still something how do we Know that the world sees us walking in the way like, how does the how does the world see us? How does the world see the church? We spend a lot of time honest guys in in church leadership in a long time in church leadership. We do a lot of sitting around tables wringing her hands worried about how the world sees this again with that silver warning matter how well we do. This thing man. The world is is just not going to like us but even without any concern about what they were like this or not. We're getting concerned about our calling right what you said about about faithfulness, but but it still is a good question. How does the world see the Church of Jesus Christ? I don't know. I don't know you might you might be here in this building, but I don't know if you're a part of the church this morning. And you're here with us at this time, but I don't know if your disciple you're here with us at this time, but I don't know if if Christ if your abiding in Christ and he and you right now, I don't know if you bow journey to Jesus you might be on the outside of the church with a real close inside picture this morning years. Do you understand what I mean? How does the world see? that we know the way how does the world see that will Jesus himself says this?
and John 13 Converse 34/35 a new commandment I give you that you will love one another just as I have loved you you also are to love one another underlined by this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.
Most people have a very distasteful. opinion vision of the church, and I'm wondering
Is the church really showing the world Jesus is the church really showing love to one another. What does it mean to love one another verse all we have to look at this when the word love is used. In the New Testament, it's one of four different Greek words. The first is phileo. It means brotherly fondness. It's familial. I mean it it's a key to liking Kate like your coworkers. K like maybe your neighbors on I'm working on that. I've been working on for 15 years trying to be a good neighbor most time. I'm just like I should get in my house.
I've gotten to know them better and I am fond of them. Hi phileo. It's really friendship is the best way to put that was also the Greek word storge. Storge is the one that's familial. It's a it's a natural affection, but also an obligation. like it's like the feeling you have towards people that you have to love. bike extended family gatherings family reunions
So happy to see you. But now it's it's it's affectionate. Love that we have in our families, but it's also kind of obligatory then there's also Eros.
Just where we get the word a rock. So it's you know, it's that kind of love. It's a romantic and physical type love that was not used to hold. in the force Is agape.
That is the love with which Jesus is referring and the apostles are teaching the church. That is the love that we are to have for Christ. And for one. Another is a shopping what is agape mean? It means to wish well to to take pleasure in too long for to esteem to nourish to protect. It's also unconditional and Covenant oil. It's the love that brides and grooms claim to profess at their weddings. It's it's a covenant the Covenant of Love. A contractual love right if you contractually love somebody if you think that your marriage vows was it was exchanging vows of a contract. You're wrong see a contract isn't some of you some of you folks business. My didn't hear a contract means this is what I agree to this is what you agreed to but if you don't do what you've agreed to have a great to contract broken into love is vastly different cover dental love is essentially it doesn't matter. What kind of wife you end up being. This is the kind of husband. I'm going to be It doesn't matter. What kind of husband you end up being this is the kind of wife. I'm going to be I'm a covenanting. I'm covenanting and that's agape and that is the love in which we are to abide. That's the love with which God loves us. That's the love that we are commanded to love one another. By this you will know by this they will know that you are my disciples. If you are got a one another if you Covenant Ali love one another it's unconditional and Covenant. it means the object of your love is more full and more secure. It means the object of your love is more full and more secure.
Here's a test for us all this morning. All right now if somebody Vermont right to think about the people that are around you think about your family think about your brothers and sisters here at this church. Think about your husband. Think about your wife. Think about your children think of all those that that that that that God is calling us to Agape. Here's a test are the people in your life more full and more secure or Are they more drained and more vulnerable?
Are the people that you're called to love? Are they more full and more secure or are they more drained and more vulnerable? I had a harsher word put in here and I changed it in but now I'm going to say it. I had originally the first draft are the people in your wake.
Think about the people in your life that I mean, maybe you just moved away. Maybe there's just a bit of distance. Maybe you used to work at this company or used to be on staff at this church are the people behind you are the people in your wake are they more full and more secure because of their relationship with you or are they more drained and more vulnerable?
for the next wolf
Are the people in this room are the people of this body Are we more full and more secure because of our relationship with one another? Or are we more drained and more vulnerable by this the world will know you are my disciples if you love one another.
And ask if you've ever heard this expression heard someone expresses. I got no problem with Jesus. I just can't stand the church. I've heard this before. I hope you can follow me here. It's clearer than that. They've never actually experienced the church.
If that's their opinion of her they don't know her.
We're up for this way. So let me ask you something. That would just go over with the men here. I'm done to the husband see how would just go over with you. Tell me like you're awesome. I think you're amazing. But your wife. Oh my goodness. She gets the worst. I cannot stand her you want to go play golf.
Excuse me, dude. You are the absolute best. I love you, but your wife is terrible. It's so if you and I want to go grab a bite, but I am not coming to your house. And no. Thank you.
I'm sorry. No. You don't love my wife. You have no business or have you actually met my wife.
You can't have that opinion if you've met her.
Maybe experience something called church, right? The Matrix. Something called Church put them you've also made experience something called buffalo wings, but if you look closely you find that they're made up of vegetables. Racine is the vegan buffalo wings my brother-in-law who I love to death. Went vegan for a little while and go visit him and he's like I was thinking about buffalo wings for dinner awesome cook a flower. It was cauliflower smushed up together and rolled and some barbecue sauce. I mean it was his fine. I wasn't hungry after so I guess mission accomplished, but I don't call him wings like
there are a lot of things called Church.
And let's just let's just turn the spotlight on ourselves. We call ourselves Church.
There's there's something in church leadership called that the 20 80 Rule and I'm not sure if you've ever heard of the 20/80 rule of church that has to do with giving and serving and tithing everything that the 28th. April is 20% of the people give a hundred on a give 80% of the funds 20% of the people give 80% of funds or you can substitute like 20% of people do 80% of the work. Right to maintain things and keep things going 20% of the people give 80% of funds. I want to humbly propose a rewriting. Of that rule and I call it the the 2100 Rule and that is that 20% of the people are 100% of the church. I'm not talking about Crystal Cove cuz I was just talking with with one of the elders Tom this morning. and dumb I have never felt more loved. Buy a congregation that I have here. I've never felt more genuinely loved and I have not seen more genuine love for one another than I see here. I understand that the church is is not just this corner of the kingdom when I say church. I mean everyone everything that calls itself church. I truly think about 20% of the people are 100% of what is actually the church that means the church militant right now like the hands and feet the people alive right now worldwide. We are the church militant. It's the church right now presently, but we're also members of the church triumphant which which gym is a member of now, he's East he's part of church that has preceded Us in glory and is now seated with Christ and we await Jesus is returning all of of of of the church triumphant will come with him. All of those militant and triumphant we comprise the church and guess what a hundred percent of those people counted are disciples.
What I've come to learn and studying discipleship is there aren't these categories that we have invented? there's not like the pretty rough but haven't found the the the you know, that the new new Christians of the carnal Christians church-going the the God-fearing you're either a disciple of Jesus Christ or you are not
And if it if you are a disciple of Jesus, that means you love Jesus, which means you have faith in Jesus, which means you surrender to Jesus, which means you abide in Jesus. It's either all true or it's not your either born again or not. You're either New Creation or you're not
And again, we beseech. It's his work. It's not ours. It's his. But I think I think God loves the question father. Am I really your disciple Jesus? Am I really your your disciple? Please make me your disciple. Guess what that expression of Desire tells me that you are only a disciple would be worried about whether or not their disciple. Only someone that loves Jesus would be worried. I am I abiding in you Jesus. Am I walking with you Jesus? I think God loves those prayers. God make us disciples. Amen.
The way it's loves to follow me. The church is disciples disciples love one another so the only way to truly witness and experience the church is to be loved by her. The only way to truly experience the church is to be loved by her. So if you come across someone who says I love Jesus, but I can't stand the church say I don't humbly. I don't think you've met the church. I don't think you've really been a part of the church. The only the church is the love of Christ. And if you have any experience the love of Christ that you haven't experienced the church. I keep referencing all these meetings that I've had in the past 15 years in church leadership at all these different meetings. I was in a meeting one time and we were sitting around we were wringing our hands about how to make sure the people that walk in the door felt loved and welcomed and I said forgive me gentleman, but how about we just love and welcome everyone that comes through the door. We don't have to worry about how those real though actually be loved and welcomed.
John 13 35 by this all people will know you are my disciples if you have love for one another.
Here's another bad expression. The church is the only organization that primarily exists for those who are not yet members now. I understand the heart behind it. I do not judging the heart behind this it's a it's a it's a heart of evangelism and Outreach and wanting people to come to know Jesus wanting people to hear the gospel wanting people to be saved. Amen. That's awesome.
Only problem with the statement that is is Jesus. Jesus doesn't agree. I understand the heart of it, but Jesus doesn't agree with that sentiment. How does the world see that we know the way have the truth and live the life if we love one another?
Ultimately, it's not about how well we love those outside the church. We're judged by how well we love one another.
Can you see it in your mind by this the world will know that you are my disciples. If you have love for one another when they look into it with a look inside the church in the end in did they say? Now that's something I haven't seen.
I I I lose track of the stories that I've told you. I'll tell the really lightning quick version of it in case I don't want to be that bad like okay, here we go again with that story. He thinks he's telling for the first time but on the eve of moving from one house to another I got violently ill. I mean just like I was over like my wanted Jesus to return that night. And so I like I passed out I woke up on the couch of a member of my church a little I didn't I didn't know how I got there but I woke up and I was like, holy man. I'm so I was like talking to Cindy and I said Cindy I have to get myself together. I like we rented that truck and I will if we don't like how to do it now. I'm at the rent it again with wasted money is we talkin about the whole move and everything. She does all your moved moved my wife friend at the time just made a phone call in. Don't claim they did it. done Just one of my favorite things my watch has ever said she said you can you can come to me and prove that Jesus Christ was a hoax and I still want to be part of this church if that's what it means.
I love for one another. Is how we are judged and too often. I've seen the church eat. It's own and dispose of their brothers and sisters in the name of loving those outside the church.
Pushing out volunteers and vote now elders and changing up the worship team and changing up the greeters because it didn't quite fit the mold. inviting people to go out and find a better place because that you don't quite line up with
I have been one of them.
it's so tragic. Think about it in the name and in the spirit of bringing more people into this deal or not going to love those already in it. What do you think's going to happen to them when you bring them in?
From Matthew 22:34 through 40 teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law and he said to him you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment and the second is like it you shall love your neighbor as yourself on these two Commandments depend the whole law and the prophets we are to love one another.
The best first way to love Jesus and our neighbor is to make sure that we aren't making Jesus's bride look like a cliched 80s movie high school girl willing to sell her own soul. And betray your friends just four more popularity with a cooler crowd. We're not called to be cool. Just love one another.
We have made it so much more complicated than it needs to be.
Our way is love. If you claim to love people, but you cheat on your wife you abused your children you abandon your friends than the world won't care how many habitat houses you've built and neither will Jesus.
Are biting commandment is to love one another.
1st Corinthians 13. It's a it's a passage. I think we're all familiar with if I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal and if I have prophetic powers and understand all Mysteries and all knowledge and have all faith.
I lose my place on my slide.
So as to remove mountains, but have not love I am nothing if I give away all that I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned.
But have not love I gain nothing.
People with the most aggressive disdain for the church are those who are harmed by ER? As a disciple are most important testimony to the world. Is our testimony to each other.
How's the Church of Jesus Christ? We are called to live that Abiding Love. With one another first psych. Let's love each other first. And then maybe work about the people that aren't even here yet. I had a almost an argument with Jesus in my Woodshed a few years ago. I was leading our small Church plantain and I I kept just wondering where all the people were. Faithfully proclaiming the word and we are loving each other and where are they? And Jesus in so many words, you know, it just came to me saying I heard it in my ear, but somebody words. I heard Jesus asking me are you discipling? The people are you discipling your people be like? Well, yeah, I mean they're being discipled worshiping and teaching the word we're serving together and he's like, okay, that's cool. It's cool. Yeah, but I used to discipling happening like on accident or like on purpose. I guess I accidentally it goes right we'll disciple those people in and then we'll talk about those who aren't even there.
I said it yesterday at the service one of the first things that Jim shared with me is his desire to see our Sanctuary filled. And then I was funeral yesterday. I'm like there it is. It's a beautiful sight and I came rushing back to my mind that memory. but like I want us to look around really quickly. I just seriously look around right now. I'm right. We see everyone who's here, and we see empty chairs.
If you really want this church to grow and we want it to be the church. That is grown. step number one This is for the glory of God step. Number two for the glory of God. We will abide in Christ at number three. We will bide with one another love one another.
I'll let God worry about the rest. I wouldn't want this church to grow if the people walk through the door wouldn't be loved. I'd rather than go somewhere else. Am I wrong?
So let's spend a minute in prayer.
Just just pray.
An elitist in just a moment. I'll lead us in an inner in a couple different words of prayer, but just for a moment. Let's just sit quietly.
It's almost a silly thing to declare. This is your church.
If if this is not yours and it's not your church.
Tell him I'm done praying in faith, and I'm speaking for everyone to hear when I say that we want to truly be at the Church of Jesus Christ. We want to be your body Jesus. We want to we want to be your I want to be your bride. We want to be your church. We want to abide in you and and you and us. That means that we love one another.
Jesus forgive us for the thoughts that we have had forgive us for the actions that we have taken in anger or frustration about your bride.
Forgive us for the things that we've done that have harmed your pride.
Forgive us for the things that we have done that have showed the world that we are not your disciples forgive us for the things that we've done that I've chased people away.
Got first if there's anyone here.
That is not yet your disciple Jesus. Holy Spirit, I pray that you would open their eyes and open their hearts and allow them to to see an open open their ears. I'm going to hear your call and please call.
Church on. I'm asking if anyone here before this moment before right now was not a disciple of Jesus, but you want to be
and that's your prayer. Jesus I want to be your disciple. I want to follow you. I want to be born again. I want to be made new. I want my sins to be washed away. I don't want to be made up of sin. I want to be made up of your Holy Spirit into me out and refill me tear me down and rebuild me. Bury me in the ground and raise me up again with you. Give me new life this morning Jesus. I want to join your church this morning Jesus. I want to abide in you this morning. I want to abide in your church this morning. I really want for the first time to be able to love my one another. And love you.
And if that is you brother or sister, please talk to me or Jeremy or one of the elders this morning. In Jesus, finally. I'm just asking that you would.
Keep your promise to abide in us. We are learning. We are Desiring to grow.
But it must be you. Must be For Your Glory.
To draw us closer to you Jesus.
And no matter what?
May you be glorified in US. We are yours. We love you praise you and me. Thank you. Have your way. Have your way with us Jesus? Have your way Holy Spirit? This for you and love you. Your Glory your name come in
As we shared earlier in our time of refreshment and fellowship. We have a congregational meeting directly after and it really is important that you take part in that really a part of the church. So our members, please stay and we will firm elders and deacons and a few other items of of business. So let's just move forward as the Church of Jesus that will never shrink back you realize that we were part of a body that has never shrunk back ever. It is always been moving always been marching always increasing always will Amen, that's going to be the church.