Disciples Live by Faith
Let us pray God as we Proclaim your word this morning. May you open our hearts and our minds to be more like you the Christ name we pray amen.
Today is Veterans Sunday tomorrow. Is it today or tomorrow? A lot of veterans get free lunch all over the place. So I hope that you all take advantage of that and that's the one thing. My grandfather tells me every years and looking forward to his free lunch. So So I am no just as proud. I know Veterans Day. We celebrate those that are here now and those that have passed but it's not Memorial Day. And I'm very proud of that the men and women in my family to that has served this country from its very Foundation. I've talked about a few of them and my sermons in the past. From those in the American Revolution to my grandfather. That was a marine there in Vietnam. And of course my grandfather that passed away last year or the year before that served in the Army. Here's a few of his pictures from Germany that we found and his dresser that we thought all the pictures were gone. So my grandfather asked you like to drink beer I didn't have a picture of that someone that he is drinking a lot of beer and he gave away all the pictures there wasn't many left. But we had we found this picture but that it was like a yearbook he kept when he was over there and Germany and it was all his War pictures and then lots of pictures of my grandmother that she sent him because they got married and then he went off to Germany because he escaped like he wasn't supposed to and so they said were sending you to Germany. So that's what happened to him. He was a great guy. He was Honore he was not the tallest man. So he like to fight a lot.
The grandpa Harold we love them.
All of us have family members or friends that have hope to spread democracy and freedom to all people Nations and races the me. That's kind of the point that we had people that had enough faith and what they believed in that they were willing to risk it all of the support it to defend it. So I'm going to go all the way back to the founding of our country, right July 4th 1776. And the majority of the men that founded this country men and the support of the women. We're Christians that upheld certain standards. Right and here's a part of the Declaration right? We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now since that time men and women this morning many of you have fought Reserve this right that we believe first comes from the Creator. That we have a right to live our life free. We have a right to worship him here this morning that while other countries right now. There was pictures released the last night of Christians in China that are being killed and I'm not trying to be on a soapbox and talk about it every week. I'm sorry. It's just every week. I am seeing Christians that are being martyred for their faith. And yet we on this Veterans Day. Get to worship because somebody thought it was worth fighting for. So to me, that's that's what's important today. That we have a right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I love that. We have a right to be happy. I mean I was told I watch the documentary about Korea and North Korea and South Korea and you go to North Korea. Everyone just looks depressed all the time because it's depressing as a communist country inn and there they are in the South and they have freedom and so
I wonder where to talk about Joe this morning. And for those who don't know much about jobright Jobe was tortured by Satan essentially and I don't know how many that were in the armed forces this morning was stood torch. I was stood pain. I'm sure many of you but I just wonder how many of them we don't know of we don't know how what they went through in order to preserve freedom and faith. And today we're going to talk a little bit about what that looks like.
I want to lose my one grandfather that was in Vietnam. I tried to get him to talk a little bit about his service and he won't. Now my grandfather was in Korea. I said he like to drink beer. So you got them a few beers down. He was talking about his service in the military if it was true or not. I don't know but he was talk about it.
Our first verse we're going to look at today is worth twenty-five. So disciple should live by faith because Our Redeemer Lives But I know my living Redeemer and he will stand on the dust at last.
Life as we have talked about is hard.
But no matter how difficult life is.
Jesus is Alive. Jesus is with us and he says they're in verse 25. So my living Redeemer. So we Proclaim as Christians that Jesus rose from death. And then we know he ascended into heaven. Right. We know the rest of the crew. He is Seated on the right hand of the father. We Proclaim this as the Christian church. We believe that Jesus is with us and there are many gods of this world. Now get As Americans were less likely to see golden cash being produced and people worshipping them, but I got to hear a sermon yesterday from a Methodist Pastor here in the Florida annual conference. Are they grew up in Japan? And when she grew up she worshipped many many gods. Once you said 1% of our country are Christians. And you know, what was interesting a statement was the majority of Japanese people today want to get married in a Christian Church, even though they're not Christians. and
she talked about the one song that they like to play. Is what a friend we have in Jesus at their weddings. And told she was kind of wondering what's that all about? Well, most Japanese students now are going to Christian Schools their missionary Schools summer Methodist. Summer Lutheran Etc. But I have this idea of God that Jesus is just our friend and when Jesus is a friend that takes minimal commitment. Right, you can have a friend. Guess what you could be friends today and not friends tomorrow over simple things. When Jesus is the Living God takes a little bit more commitment, right? When Jesus is there with us in the battles of life? Are the battlefields for those who served? It takes commitment.
Did I I don't know what it is to be pure exhausted fighting. I don't I know what pastoral burnout is 1700 pastors resign every in America. So I understand that and I understand the need of going before Jesus when you feel that there is no other option now, right he should be our first option at the first thing we should do is go to Jesus, but often it's in that time of a pure exhaustion that we go to him. And I know that I serve a living God. I know that my God is the king of kings. The only guy that rose from the dead. Never filled the Prophecies of the Old Testament.
our God Is the real God? Sol disciples should live by faith so we know that that God is real that he's with us right now. Not so couple of years ago. I talked about it last night. We serve the church call John Calvin Presbyterian and they sent me to this youth retreat. And so I had this real problem, right? My face has been all over to they said you're not Presbyterian enough to work for us. So we need to send you to the Presbyterian youth pastors training and sausage. Okay, I'll go great. I'm the elevator Montreat North Carolina. I'm going to stay out in the woods. It's going to be a great Retreat. And so the guy that they brought in to speak with Tony Kampala. Is anybody familiar with Tony Kampala? He's an American Baptist preacher. You made this really interesting connection for me. He said God Jesus Jesus died on the cross. And Jesus has no past present or future. The Jesus on the cross is the Jesus dying right now for your sense the sins that you commit today. Jesus is dying for. And it made me think about really. What am I since the day that are causing Jesus to be crucified? Now that that for somebody that might be way out there but Jesus does not have a past present future. God is now. God is dying for our sins. God knew our sins before we committed them. And and God purposely chose to die for us. That's all I have to put my head around. man I mean when I get mad at somebody or you know when I say some colorful words. God is there.
And me and you know again every time I get in the car. And it's 60 miles an hour in someone's driving 40 just lose it. I don't like it. So but Jesus is there in my passenger seat?
But you know. Our second boy here comes from verse 26 this morning. We have eternal life. We live forever. See Joe tells us even after my skin has been destroyed yet. I will see God in my flesh. my goodness for each of us at some point. Will join the church triumphant every single one of us had it hard. He lost everything and you know, he lost his family lost his money. You lost you imagine it job went through it. and here Jobe is saying but yet I will see God in my flesh Joe was a sure of where he was going. now I go back to my grandmother my grandma Jo and she was so afraid. She was a Godly woman. She went to church. She was an hour and on for 40 plus years. She prayed every night, but she was so afraid of what would happen to her. But the point here is is we can play the what-ifs. We can be worried our whole life. But God promises us eternal life. This is such a short life really is and I You know the perk the point here is is first second Timothy 3:12 tells us in fact all those who want to live a Godly life in Christ. Jesus will be persecuted. It doesn't say may be persecuted will very different word, right? We as Christians as Disciples of Jesus Christ cannot expect for our lives to Abby easy life, and I've said this at and again, I really try not to just repeat myself. This is. This was the scripture this morning for us and it tells us that if we're not being persecuted. Maybe just maybe we haven't stepped out in faith quite enough. We need to be out into the world for suing people for Jesus. And if somebody hates us for it. Oh, well why cuz it goes back to our second point right work. We're not going to be here forever. I when I go before the Jesus Christ, I hope that I can say, you know. I talked about you. I told others about you. And of course, right that's an easy thing for me to say. I mean, I do it professionally. I went to Seminary all those things. It's it's but it's the people, you know, we're told in by the Apostle Paul that right. It's my job to equip the Saints. That's You All Saints of the church the go out and play in The Gospel of Jesus Christ. and this is getting to me. And I might not go 32 minutes to Sunday like I did last week cuz I'm already on my third Point here for you. We have a relationship with a living God everyone go 2627 says I will see him myself and my eyes will look at him and not as a stranger. My heart longs Within Me.
I looked at God. Not as a stranger.
So let's think about this.
When you first started dating your spouse, and I know many some people, you know, they date they dated for two weeks and then they got married. God bless you and they've been married years and years. But when you first started dating your spouse, how much time did you commit to getting to know them? I hope a lot. I hope that you got to know your spouse you when you said yes. I want to marry you that it was thawed out. Now after a couples have been married for so long. They start knowing what there's other spouse going to say before they even say it, right? In fact, like her comedian talk about this to my spouse can tell me what looks better on me. When I dress, right and our spouses know what we are thinking. Because they know us they've spent time with us now. It's like that with Jesus now, we've already accepted. I hope that Jesus is a living God we Proclaim this in the guy in the Creed's every Sunday. We Proclaim that our time is short that this is very a minimal amount of time on Earth. So now we need to accept that we need to spend time with Jesus if we if we want to be a disciple of Jesus. Then we have to have a relationship with. And so how do we do that? How do you know when you spend time with people you begin to act like them, right? That's simple. It's very know. It was funny that I had a like 90. I think they were 90 and maybe 93-94 it is like their third marriage and one was like a very devout Democrat was a very devout Republican and I don't know how they got along and I was really funny cuz the one spouse with tell me something and they would follow up and and tell me what they really thought about it, but couples that spend a lot of time together begin to think they begin to become of one mind. Now this is the problem in the church, but I see the global church is we don't spend enough time with each other. We don't spend enough time with Jesus. And therefore we the church is fighting in the midst of a world that is struggling to remain faithful. Is struggling to be Christian? It's going to my closing. You know, I have shared that 53% of our County. and Roll, Florida Doesn't believe in Jesus Christ. 53% you know, who does the stats or is it fake news? I don't know but I could tell you 53% of our County now that's compared to the rest of the country that 90 + percent. Christianity in this country is going to look radically radically different. It's already beginning to go that direction churches are closing colleges. I've talked about some of this.
And I think it goes back to Jesus not being a stranger. If we treat Jesus as the stranger that we go to when we're having troubles and not the person that we're spending life with then our life will look nothing like Jesus. And we have to change that for the church. We have to change that for people that called himself disciples know how much time did the disciples spend with Jesus everyday? I can't wait. We're not in a we can't spend time with the historical Jesus. Absolutely, but can we spend time in his word every single day? Yes. Can we spend every single day in prayer? Yes. Can we ask what would Jesus do in this situation? Yes, and eventually, you know, what's going to happen. We won't have to ask what would Jesus do because you're modeling the wife of Jesus. Churches will change Ministries will change churches will grow I don't care what church it is. If we're modeling the life of Jesus Christ and him crucified him rose from the dead and we proclaim the gospel. The holy spirit will do the rest of the work. So, you know I get this question, you know pastors. I hate it get around pasture Circle to talk about worship attendance and high church is doing drives me crazy. So the point is Jesus the Holy Spirit does the work 100% we all are just vassals for the holy spirit for work. So for us First United Methodist Church, what does that mean? How do we apply that to our congregation? I think we have to we have to accept that God is here in real if we haven't already. The Jesus is not just this guy in the sky. We have to accept that we have a short-term mission. Because that's all we have here is a short-term mission. And our mission is to bring people to know Christ. And we have to act. And we have to commit to have to commit I asked we have to commit to a relationship with Jesus like we never had before. And when we do all those things people want wonder what is wrong with you.
Well, you seem a little crazy today. You know, you're not going to know I don't know what you guys do and your secret life's but you know, you're not mad. You're not angry you're not. Hanging out getting drunk every Friday night Saturday night. Maybe ask nobody here. But something is different. So that's what my call is Broadchurch. So our call is to believe in a living Jesus to accept the mission like a missionary short-term mission for some of us. That's a lot longer. I don't know who the oldest one in the room. Is there another sequel in their 90's.
I know there are many that have had longer Mission opportunities than others.
And then to finally accept this relationship with God like you've never had before. And you know what all the nonsense going on in the world and life of that church forget about it. That's what I'm trying to do, and I'm it I fault it. I'm not perfect.
God help us be your hands and feet.
That we know that you are a living God. Who walks with us that holds us our hands through battle. Who guides us through Troubled Waters?
That are hoping Our Redeemer as a psalmist Elsa.
Yeah, you tell us Point Blank. That we have one Mission and one job. And that is to Proclaim your good news to the four corners of the Earth. Use us as vessels during the short term that we have here on Earth. In God we we thank you and praise you for those who have taken that call here at this church.
God help us move forward in a relationship with you that we have unlike we've ever had. Let us be people of prayer everyday. Let us be people to read your word everyday. I got all I ask personally. To. Got the equipment to do that as well. Had to hold me accountable. And I pray for accountability for all of us. In this regard and got if we begin to get persecuted because of our faith. May we stand as one shrunk Church United for you and for your gospel message? Help us God. Help us be your church. And we pray this in your Holy Name men.