2019-3-31-LIVE OAKS - Abiding - Love
It must be.
Must be your voice. And it must be the power of your Holy Spirit to open our ears to hear your voice. So Either way, this is you. Speak through me if you can speak around me if you have to but thank you Lord Jesus for your call to follow you and I pray that we understand that more deeply.
Your name we pray I'm in so this morning we're going to be wrapping up our series on discipleship. What we hope to accomplish though is is not that ye were done with it. But this is the beginning of always pursuing discipleship. This will be the end of the of the sermon series proper, but I can assure you that elders and myself. We are asking the Lord's wisdom and discernment how to move forward as a church of disciples making disciples. We are going to be that or we are going to not be anything. We're going to be faithful to what we have been called to so let some real quick go through all reminders of of discipleship and what it means. We have a foundation of discipleship of those in there. Foundation that's from Matthew 28 18 through 20 go therefore and Make Disciples of all Nations. Those are our marching orders. God himself makes Believers from those Believers. We everyday every moment what we eat sleep and breathe as the church is to make more disciples. That's the foundation of it because the heart of it is the heart of our Good Shepherd, which was from John 10:4 and the Sheep follow him for they know his voice. We are just speaking the words of the shepherd. These aren't my words. These aren't our work. These are his words did the only words that that that win responded to bring life that we could Cobble together some good words that might bring about some life Improvement. Maybe we could tweak things around for some folks and maybe change some minor circumstances around our life and maybe give people a temporary sense of Greater happiness or security but life can only come from the words of the shepherd. Follow him because he is the Good Shepherd and also comes with a silver warning that we will be hated. We're not going to be loved by the world as his disciples of Serta is not greater than his master if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you if you do not want persecution and you cannot be a disciple of you. There's a decision that we need to make and then our outline and what we what we've been through. We're like at the at the end of it. Now, what are the marks of a disciple of Jesus Christ a denial of self and an abiding in Christ and we abide in love and in prayer with a thirst a knowledge and dependence on the scripture we find purpose and joy in pleasing the father and we go about making disciples me do that by knowing are calling and that's knowing our general call with every believer's call to our specific calling. Like what is God molded crafted shape and called you to do specifically and his body and we do that by knowing our gifts and we use those gifts to Faithfully fulfill our calling and when we do that it inevitably results. In bearing the marks of a disciple and making other disciples. But this morning I want us to jump all the way back to the beginning and asked a simple but powerful and important question. Who is this Jesus who calls us to follow him? Like who is this man? That calls us to follow him in the first place. Like if that's pretty much exhausted buys the series on discipleship and until I'm dirt and we won't quite get there. Starting at the beginning of it all. Like that first question that first invitation that first call follow me. Who is this man? Who is this Jesus that asks us that question follow me? Who is he? He's God. That sounds easy enough, right? Should get out of here record time. Actually, if you pay attention that sentence might be true. insane speed record I could spend the rest of my life studying just this one fact that Jesus is God. I won't get to the end of it. That's part of the because God himself is infinite, but you look at Jesus. You look at the the man Jesus the God Jesus the God man, the 100% God 100% man, not 50/50 not 200% He's hundred percent, but it's all good. He's all man hinh rest your life stating that mystery won't get to the bottom of it. Looking John 1. That's when the The Narrative of existence really really begins before before Genesis 1:1 and John one and you're just going to have to get used to John 1 in this church.
I mean cuz you can't get much more foundational than the beginning, right. What does d Foundation you build something upon a foundation? That's where it starts. We're always going to come back here. But I mean just listen John 1 1 through 2 in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Jesus is either God or every word that he said and every word that has been said about him. It's about as eternally valuable as a as a as a recipe for gluten-free brownies.
As we all know it's not worth the whole. I don't know what gluten is really but I know it it's it it tastes really good. That's that's what I know.
Jesus is either God. Or what are we doing? Right. He's either God or we need to pick a better Hobby. 1st Corinthians 1500 week we've been spending a lot of time in 1st Corinthians as well. But in 1st Corinthians 15 just jumping right to the right to the middle of a of an argument that that all is making here but in 1st Corinthians 15 verse turn 16/40 the dead are not raised not even Christ has been raised and if Christ has not been raised your faith is futile and you are still in your sin.
Madden 19 if in Christ we have hope in this life only.
We are of all people most to be pitied.
Living your life according to the teaching example of Jesus. Yeah, your life will be better. It has to be you'll be more success we've better. But if it only matters for these few years.
Didn't the scope of Eternity, what does it actually matter? I mean if this life is it and then it's over what does any of this matter?
But there is a resurrection because Jesus was raised because Jesus is God the New Testament uses the word chaos. Chaos Greek word for forgot. And in our descriptions, I'm going to be up on the wall, but I have references Jesus together with it. So I when I was riding down I took out the work done but there's just so you can see clearly that there's no ambiguity. This is not like I'm not like your confusion in the translation of things. And in Jesus was like, you know, he was like a best friend of God or like the Jehovah's that have been coming to my door for every least once once a month for 15 years for the first seven or eight years every Saturday. They were there and what they say is that Jesus just followed the example of God so closely that God kind of kind of adopted him as like a son because Jesus became so much like God know there is no ambiguity in the New Testament. Jesus is either God or is CS Lewis, but it is he's a lunatic or a liar. Right. He's either a liar lunatic or Lord in and your seven passages in the New Testament where it says in phatically Jesus Is God Jesus's fails in the beginning John 1:1 in the beginning was the word and the Word was with Theros the word was fails. John 1:18, no one has ever seen. There's the only thing else who is that the father's side. He has made him known John 20:28.
John 20:28 Thomas answered him my Lord and my sales. Romans 9:5 to them belong the Patriarchs in from their race. According to the flesh is the Christ. Who is Pharos overall. Titus 2:13 waiting for our blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great staios and Savior Jesus Christ Hebrew Hebrews 1:8 for of the son. He says your throne otheos is forever and ever the scepter of a brightness is the scepter of your kingdom 2nd Peter 1 1 2 those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our Theros and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God. So who is it with an outstretched hand who says follow me. It's saying follow me. God himself God in the flesh is saying follow me.
But who is God? again, easy question to answer in 2224 Breezy minutes
Who is God?
The fact that God is Holy and holy means other the fact that God is infinite. We are finite means that there is just a brick wall of understanding in this life. Right, there is just only so much that we can possibly comprehend about the true nature of God, so I cannot possibly describe but what I can do is I can talk about some of his attributes some of his qualities.
Who is God the first thing that I found my pencil writing is that he is the Great uncreated. He's the great uncreated. No one created God.
I need to question all the time with my middle schoolers in my Bible class. They say all right. Well, if God created everything then will who created no one. Well then how exactly that's what makes him. Cuz no one created him. Nothing created him if someone or something created God who would then be God? God's creator God is the great uncreated. But what about Jesus cuz it's it's because we we celebrated every year at Christmas when when Jesus was born. Yes. That's when Jesus was born as flesh. That is not when Jesus was created. Jesus is the great uncreated because Jesus is God as a matter of fact, Jesus is the one who created John 1:3 says all things were made through him. And without him was not anything made that was made. The Greek is very emphatic. There's nothing that was made that wasn't made by Jesus. So how could Jesus have made himself you follow me? Jesus is the great uncreated because Jesus is God.
one thing we need to understand about the attributes of God is since he is infinite. If God is something he's infinitely that something. There's no such thing. As God has some of something because he's in Finnish. So if he is something he is infinitely that something that's so different from our perspective if we have something and this could be something tangible something physical something something we imagined like kind of spiritual or or something like a gift or a talent or money or time like those things are limited. We might have it. But the question is then how much do you have right and then the answer is always what not enough.
This interesting is not enough with God. If God is something if they us is something if Jesus is something he is infinitely that something so he's infinitely uncreated an infant is so that we can become right either. That means it's it's it's Brett and its depth is without limit. It encompasses everything. There is no limit to God's perfection. Is infinitely perfect. He's infinitely. Holy he's infinitely wise. He's infinitely powerful. He's infinitely just he's infinitely gracious and infinitely loving. But he's also in this is what I just these next couple points. I just really need the Holy Spirit to preach it. God is infinitely self-sufficient. God is infinitely self-sufficient. You can look in in Acts chapter 17.
starting in verse 24
acts 17 verse 24 through God who made the world and everything in it being Lord of Heaven and Earth does not live in temples made by man nor is he by human hands as though he needed anything since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. God is infinitely self-sufficient. He likes nothing. He has never been in need of anything.
Alexa nothing, he needs nothing. He's infinitely self-sufficient and he's also infinitely self purposed which means in God himself. He has infinite purpose. Just like you needs nothing including purpose. He doesn't need something outside of himself to have purpose.
God's greatest purpose is himself.
We can ask the purpose of things we can ask the we ask a question. What's the purpose of the world? We can see what's the purpose of of Life? What's the purpose of me? What's the purpose of salad in all the big questions in life. What's the purpose of all these things we can ask that question of anything created? Because if it was created had to be created for a reason. That's the purpose God wasn't created.
All the purpose that he needs is found in himself. He's infinitely selfed self purposed if you take the Creator. away from creation If you take the Creator away from the creation creation loses all of its purpose God loses none of his.
Psalm 57:2 says I cry out to God most high to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
God does not cry out to his creation to find his own purpose. He cries out to Creation to fulfill its purpose. That's God's call to Creation for fill your purpose and it's me.
I am your purpose.
God lacks nothing. He needs nothing including purpose we do.
We are nothing without our creator. We have no purpose if we were not created.
What's a tragedy?
Growing up in a world that teaches you that you're a cosmic accident.
option for More Tears over the hearts of young people
Can I have people questioning Genesis?
I just hate that people are being told at the racks. They're not. We were created on purpose for a purpose and it's him.
His purpose is not us our purpose is him.
This is beautifully modeled by Jesus. Jesus always found his purpose and his joy in his father and God. You sounded in him. He lays it out Oswald Chambers put it really. Well. I'm just going to quote from him may have heard of My Utmost For His Highest Chambers says this
speaking of Jesus. He said to them to hold we are going up to Jerusalem. That's from Luke 18. Jerusalem in the life of Our Lord who represents the place where he reached the culmination of his father's will Jesus said I do not seek my own will but the will of the father who sent me. She came to do the will of the father was the one dominating concern throughout our Lord's life. And whatever he encountered along the way whether Joy or sorrow success or failure. He was never deterred from that purpose. He steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem. The greatest thing for us to remember is that we go up to Jerusalem to fulfill God's purpose not around. In the natural life our Ambitions are our own but in the Christian Life, we have no goals of our own we talked so much today and this is in the early nineteen teens. So much more true now, we talked so much today about our decisions for Christ Our determination to be Christians and our decision for this or for that. But in the New Testament, the only aspect that is brought out is the compelling purpose of God. You did not choose me, but I chose you. from John 15 Our purpose is found in the one who calls us to follow him. Our purpose is found in him. He does not find his purpose in us. He is infinitely self purpose.
Sounds a lot like self-centered.
Which we bristle against I've talked about this a bit in the last few weeks. It's important.
My hoping it all is is that we come out from the other side? Actually knowing how much more deeply were loved than we originally thought how much more holy and complete and perfect God is than we originally thought. How much more infinitely holy and infinitely worthy he is and we are not. Set the infinite self sufficiency in and self-centeredness of God at first glance kind of causes us to see God in a bad light is because his light is coming through a faulty lens. Write a virus sinfulness in our self-centeredness we go. What what's not fair? Things can't be about me then. Why can they be about him? It seems like pride and narcissism on God's part to make it all about him. But remember if God is something that he's infinitely that something and God is loving so he's infinitely loving so everything that God does it can't can't can't be in conflict with his infinite love.
Even his Justice and his wrath is not contradictory to his infinite love. He loves infinitely no limit to the the Heights or the breath of his love for us. So
if it doesn't seem loving
God commanding that we would send her our lives on him and his purposes.
Is the most loving thing that he can do?
I'm demanding that our lives be about him. Is infinitely loving on his part. And and here's an example in it, and it's really harsh and and I just I just need to be blanket absolved from reoccurring illustrations. If I shared this with you before just just be polite like you would to an old man and right. I mean, it's probably just going to get worse from here on out. But this this example it has never left me cuz I was wrestling with how is God's jealousy righteous and loving? Hold our God is a jealous God. How could jealousy be loving? And this is what came to me. Is it just didn't happen? This is just this is just the thought that came to me. In the middle of the night. I hear a disturbance in my house and Dad's wants to know that. I hear something and I didn't Saddles me. Was that broken glass? Is that talking what is happening? And I go to my eldest daughter's bedroom. And they're in their bedroom is another man. In bags are packed. In the windows smashed opening and he's moving luggage out of the window. and I say
What is happening here?
And in my daughter's looking mean go. Oh, he's going to be our father now. We're going to call him. Daddy. We're going to go with him.
What a loving father to well, I can't I can't trample on your desires. That's what you feel you want in your life. I mean if that's the choice that you've made if that's what I'll bring you happiness then okay. Just know I'm always here. Is there a loving father would do? You get the hell out of my house.
They're mine. But not yours. I'm the one that knows how to love them. I'm the one that knows how to provide for them. I'm the one that knows how to protect them. They are not leaving this house. Am I clear? Girl, you are not leaving with this man. He is not your father. I am.
And why didn't you be so self-centered? I have to be so jealous.
Our heavenly father loves us in a way. Can't even compare.
Did this order that ordered him or to her? What is this? Whatever cannot be compared. He is the one who loves he's the one who provides and he insists that we sent her our lives on him because that is the most loving thing he can come and he is literally commanding us to have the fullness of joy. the fullness of provision the fullness of protection fullness of life itself I will not allow you to find it elsewhere cuz it can't be found. You are mine. You are staying with me your abiding with me.
Because he knows he knows that he is the infinite love the infinite purpose the infinite worth the infinite grace the infinite Justice the infinite provision. He knows that. So he lovingly insist that we know it to he's insisting on our life and our joy and our worth.
Because look. Because God is infinitely Worthy on his own because he's full on his own because he lacks nothing. that means that that we can't ever put him in our debt. Like we can't I mean he doesn't need anything from us. So that means we can't have them for a barrel for anything. Like we can't hold them to it. Like we don't offer anything that he needs and again this this might bristle against your
How is that loving God doesn't need me. How is that loving? That doesn't seem loving?
It will if you need something from someone they then what your hope is that you can use that person to meet your need. And think about the deepest hurts that you have in this life in your heart. Never shared with anyone. What were you feeling?
They took something from me. They saw something in me that they needed and then they took it and then they discarded me.
Never fear that from our heavenly father because he needs nothing from you to take.
Serta offer not to take Because we have nothing that he needs.
Our adoption by an infinitely loving God is made more secure.
Because he infinitely wants us.
Anita's wants us. God needs nothing and God gets everything that he wants God's kind of in a habit of getting what he wants. Isn't he? And guess what he wants us.
Another illustration. I want to share. imagina a drowning man the lake he's drowning flailing around. He's desperate right? He's thrashing about can't keep his head above water. He's he's crying out. He's screaming up help help me help me. I need air. I need to stand. I can't swim I'm drowning. I'm in need I'm in need I'm in need and a lifeguard dies in wraps an arm around him and hold him in to shore in. What's left for him to do but Express gratitude? Because what that lifeguard do that lifeguard met needs that he had. And why wouldn't he be grateful? He needed are he needed ground to stand Donnie. He couldn't swim.
Even actual Browning and Jim Barnes was in the back. He's doing his awesome thing walking the framer praise God for him. He was training in the military and life-saving lifeguarding. He agree with me here. I was training the Scout. There's nothing more dangerous than a drowning man. And I was instructed do not go in after a drowning man. If you don't have support. You don't have a boat you not because then you can have two drowning men. You don't need to save him you might need to. a real drowning man if you dive in after him, he flails and he pushes you under
Imagine this scenario, though. The drowning man, he's flailing around and he's screaming. He's in desperate need and the Lifeguard Dives in and swims after him and he fights off the library lights. Roshes round Claus at his face Lifeguard is undeterred and tourism. Back to Lansing. Stop fighting me. I want you to be alive. I want you to have life. I want you to breathe air. I don't want you to drown. I don't want you to be lost.
Jesus doesn't need anything from you, but he wants you.
Providing him with anything that he needs.
We're enjoying a relationship that he wants.
They mocked him whipped him the nail him. 2 across and what did he declare father? Forgive them for they know not what they do. The Greek in that passage means that it was something that Jesus said ongoing and repeatedly father forgive them Father forgive them.
Sin in our fallen nature flailed against him. Play Old against him.
All the while Jesus was saying father. I want them. I want them forgive them forgive them forgive them forgive them.
Jesus doesn't need us and he wants us out. How amazing is this? God does not need us but he lovingly wants us we desperately need him. We don't want him.
As Jesus is on Fallen creation. We have no standing. We have no ground. We have no rights. We have no claim. We don't possess anything that he needs.
We have no rights.
Put in John 1.
starting in verse 9 the True Light which enlightens everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world and the world was made through him yet. The world did not know him. He came to his own and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive them who believed in his name. He gave the right to become children of God who were born not of blood you work the will of the flesh more of the will of man. but of God
Who is this man? Who extends a hand and says follow me? It's the same man that created you.
It's the same hand that's not extending to say here. Give me what is mine.
It's an offer.
Be a child. To be a son or to be a daughter of him.
Jesus is saying would you be my brother? Would you be my sister?
You have an infinitely worthy father. Follow me. I will show you.
Follow me. pray
We have nothing to give you.
with nothing to give you
our righteousness is as filthy rags to you.
We have no ground upon which to stand.
We have new treasure. We have no credit.
We have nothing.
as a matter of fact Outside of you Christ we stand as your enemy. How amazing it is?
That you love your enemies. cuz we are they
And you died for your enemies?
change creature rebellious simple creature to beloved child
seat at the table inheritance a robe a name
Grace it's all Grace.
We are yours.
Maybe for the first time this morning.
We are yours.
May we reach out in and grass that hand that you extend to us? And may today be the first day that we really follow.
All we can do is praise you Jesus. All we can do is respond to you Jesus. You have done it all.
Thank you. Thank you.
Your name is pray. I'm in. And now may the gracious awesome infinite love of God be with us all this week. And may we be his church in his name? We pray time in.