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Invovled

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Involved

Thank you Pastor Howard and Edi Wohlgemuth for allowing me this opportunity to share with your church.

Intro: Thank you Pastor Howard and Edi Wohlgemuth for allowing me this opportunity to share my faith with your church.
This off season with the Jaguars we had good group of Jaguars players and wives meeting weekly together as we read through a book entitled Jesus is Greater than Religion by Jefferson Bethke. Jefferson rose to fame several years ago with his famous spoken word Jesus is greater than religion. He was a viral sensation. Off of that movement he wrote a book that was really impactful as it spoke to hearts of all involved. It’s primary focus was overcoming religion and all it’s works and embracing the finished work of Christ.
When I first came to know Christ as my Lord and Savior. I will say I ran to the alter. I ran to the alter because this was my opportunity to get to know God. I was convinced that there was a God I just needed somebody to tell me about Him. I responded to the pastors alter call not as a conviction of my sins, but an excitement knowing that God wanted to know me, and have relationship with me. Finally after having all these questions I finally was about to find some answer to one in particular. If there was a God would he want to know me?
This off season with the Jaguars we had good group of Jaguars players and wives meeting weekly together as we read through a book entitled Jesus is Greater than Religion by Jefferson Bethke. Jefferson rose to fame several years ago with his famous spoken word Jesus is greater than religion. The book was really impactful as it spoke to hearts of all involved. It’s primary focus was overcoming religion and all it’s works and embracing the finished work of Christ.
Bethke, Jefferson. Jesus > Religion (Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition) p. 7
Now 23 years later I can tell you there is a God and He wants to know you personally. I know Him and He knows me intimately. I have not allowed religion or circumstances back me down from my profession and comittment of faith. Today I have more joy and excitement about God than when I first got introduced to Him as Lord. I got saved at a large church in Detroit when I was a junior in high school, and because of the size of the congregation it was easy to come and go unnoticed.
Thesis:
We are programmed for birth to follow the rules. All of the years we spent in school the teacher always started the year with list of rules. When it come to our faith we come with a set of questions as well. We ask well what can we do? Will I be able to have fun?
Thesis:
Jesus didn’t come to create a religion He came to lead people to God. He came to show men the way. The problem with religion is that erects barriers and seperates people from knowing the everlasting God. We veer from truth when focus on the rules instead of focusing of the truth of God’s Word. Jesus destroys our religious strongholds, and following Him will make you free.
Body: Jesus is > than Religion
“He Got involved in our mess - He Got involved in our hurt - He Got involved in our Pain” Jesus is Greater than Religion Jefferson Bethke
John 4:1–26 NLT
1 Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. 4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. 9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” 10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” 11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” 13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” 15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” 16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. 17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” 21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah!”
: 1
Her Story: Represents a way to minister to someone who stuck in their religion and guided by their hurt. The Story of the Samaritan shows How God was willing to get in her mess.
Jesus Got involved in the Samaritans woman’s story and change her direction.
Race issues
Identity issues
Her Sin - He met her where she was
He reveals to her how to properly worship
Romans 5:1–3 NLT
1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
Truth is God is always working in our mess. He never stops loving us. The danger of religion is that it creates:
Bondage
Performance focused
Hurt
Pain
Rejection
Unworthiness
Wars
Jesus is relational being who’s heart is set on meeting us where we are. God is Love, God is Patient, God is Kind, God does not keep records of wrongs, God is longsuffering, God is like a dove. He want for us to choose Him, but He wants to reveal Himself to you.
“There is more to being a Christian than following the rules and being good. When you focus on the rules and good behavior we are promoting performance based religion which will only lead to self defeat and frustration. However, when you recognize who we are in Christ Jesus, and the work that He has done us we will walk confidence, and are empowered to live boldly for him. “- Jefferson Bethke
Now 23 years later I can tell you there is a God and He wants to know you personally. I know Him and He knows me intimately. I have not allowed religion or circumstances back me down from my profession and comittment of faith. Today I have more joy and excitement about God than when I first got introduced to Him as Lord. I got saved at a large church in Detroit when I was a junior in high school, and because of the size of the congregation it was easy to come and go unnoticed.
We are programmed for birth to follow the rules. All of the years we spent in school the teacher always started the year with list of rules. When it come to our faith we come with a set of questions as well. We ask well what can we do? Will I be able to have fun?
Body:
“The Bible isn’t a rule book. It’s a love letter. I’m not an employee. I’m a child. It’s not about my performance. It’s about Jesus’ performance for me. Grace isn’t there for some future me but for the real me. The me who struggled. The me who was messy. The me who was addicted to porn. The me who didn’t have all the answers. The me who was insecure. He loved me in my mess; he was not waiting until I cleaned myself up. That truth changed my life, and I’m convinced it can change yours.”
Bethke, Jefferson. Jesus > Religion (p. 7). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Bethke, Jefferson. Jesus > Religion (p. 7). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
1 Samuel 16:7 NLT
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
:
A Need For Truth: When we enter the story of Jesus he knows the mess that he is entering
John 4:1–25 NIV
1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Ephesians 2:6–9 NIV
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
John 4:23 NIV
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
John 4:16 NLT
“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
:
John 14:6 NIV
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 4:39–42 NIV
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
John 4:36–39 NLT
36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” 39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!”
:
God desires of them they have to understand who they are in Christ and that there position in Christ determines there victory.
God desires of them they have to understand who they are in Christ and that there position in Christ determines there victory.
If we could follow the law, and never sin then there would not have been a need for Jesus.
The bad thing about performance based religion is that one day your not going to be your best, and what happens then?
We can walk in freedom and liberty in our relationship with Christ, but we must understand that our salvation is a gift (grace) based on faith. Religion works and deeds are useless when it comes to be accepted by God. For we are saved by grace . It’s when we embrace His work that we are truly free to live this life as we should.
The Bible isn’t a rule book. It’s a love letter. I’m not an employee. I’m a child. It’s not about my performance. It’s about Jesus’ performance for me. Grace isn’t there for some future me but for the real me. The me who struggled. The me who was messy. The me who was addicted to porn. The me who didn’t have all the answers. The me who was insecure. He loved me in my mess; he was not waiting until I cleaned myself up. That truth changed my life, and I’m convinced it can change yours.
Bethke, Jefferson. Jesus > Religion (p. 7). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
- Enjoy our relationship with God
- Fulfill the great commission
- Allow God to use you in your workplaces, families, and communities
However if we are constantly looking at everything that is wrong with us instead of focusing on the work that Christ has begun and will complete we will lack confidence to live as we should. We will be dominated by religion and never able to enter into the rest that God promises us as believers.
Conclusion:
When we have confidence that we are loved, forgive, redeemed then we can have confidence to live boldly for Christ!
- Enjoy our relationship with God
- Fulfill the great commission
- Allow God to use you in your workplaces, families, and communities
However if we are constantly looking at everything that is wrong with us instead of focusing on the work that Christ has begun and completed we will lack confidence to live as we should. We will be dominated by religion and never able to enter into the rest that God promises us as believers.
“The Bible isn’t a rule book. It’s a love letter. I’m not an employee. I’m a child. It’s not about my performance. It’s about Jesus’ performance for me. Grace isn’t there for some future me but for the real me. The me who struggled. The me who was messy. The me who was addicted to porn. The me who didn’t have all the answers. The me who was insecure. He loved me in my mess; he was not waiting until I cleaned myself up. That truth changed my life, and I’m convinced it can change yours.”
Bethke, Jefferson. Jesus > Religion (p. 7). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
The Bible isn’t a rule book. It’s a love letter. I’m not an employee. I’m a child. It’s not about my performance. It’s about Jesus’ performance for me. Grace isn’t there for some future me but for the real me. The me who struggled. The me who was messy. The me who was addicted to porn. The me who didn’t have all the answers. The me who was insecure. He loved me in my mess; he was not waiting until I cleaned myself up. That truth changed my life, and I’m convinced it can change yours.
He got involved in our mess.
He got involved in our hurt.
He got involved in our pain.
God Looks at the heart:
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
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