Jesus sermon today very simple. I want to think about it. When you hear the name, Jesus. What do you think? And so I did invite you to shout out what you think about Jesus one word.
Jesus has a lot of names right lots of things that he does for us a lot of things that he did for us on the cross know. We're about to enter the season of Lent where you know why we celebrate kind of the sad moments of Jesus dying for us and then Jesus rising for us on Easter. But Jesus the Messiah of the world the Savior for each of us know we wouldn't have Easter morning without that crucifixion. We wouldn't have a way to heaven eternal life without that crucifixion without the birth of Jesus on Christmas. All of it is necessary to fulfill the prophecy of the Old Testament. This Sunday, we celebrate this special day in the life of the church that they were Jesus brought his disciples to the mountain and God spoke from this guy saving. This is my son who I am well pleased. Right. We noticed that this is really the second time in the scriptures that is happens right at Jesus's baptism. God speaks from the sky. This is my son. Whom I'm well pleased today marks for many Christians around the world a feast day. To signify the importance of this event in the life of faith. The scripture this morning lays a testimony to both Humanity of Christ and the Divinity of Christ. But as we reflect upon this event the New Testament, let's set the stage.
The hear the voice of God what must we do? Just like Jesus did I believe we must go away Into the Wilderness? Now the question is where is your Wilderness and your own life? All right. I was going through my my Facebook photos right now. I'm looking at all the places that I've been and it's pretty limited compared to probably some of you that have traveled all over.
but I look at those moments of being in the wilderness and hearing the voice of God so clearly For me, it's when I turn my phone off. When there's nothing else besides me and the Lord. And I sit with God and His creation and I hear his voice clearly.
So for me this past week, when did that happen? But I took a drive to Jacksonville. And there's almost nothing. It seems like you little small towns, but you really drive through the woods to get to Jacksonville. And I heard God speak to me not going to share everything you said. the guy that I had a conversation And the conversation is a lot of wise why God? What are you what are you trying to do? It's a nice moment of silence and Jesus sets the example right before is his betrayal before Jesus. Did anything you went away in Silence with his father? And often life is so busy and chaotic and we have so much noise around us that we don't spend that silent time with the Lord. The question is when are you in the house alone in prayer and your thoughts and in his creation? What is God telling you this morning? What is God telling you to do in changing your own lives or Peter James and John and his brother the statement from God was clear this morning. This is my son. What is he telling us? Is he calling us to repentance perhaps forgiveness of our brother or sister perhaps to a Ministry calling. I perhaps reassurance of our own fate. God is speaking to each of us this morning. Each of us during those moments of Silence God is speaking. So we just have to be able to pause. Our words pause our minds which is sometimes very difficult night time. I have to take melatonin because my mind just goes goes and knows anybody else with me. I'll sit there in bed and just think. 4 hours, but if I can take some, you know night time meds once in a while, I'll go to sleep. It's great. But God calls us to be people of peace to be people of Silence. But Jesus is what we talked about. His authority Jesus has authority Jesus is Lord. We're told but what is that Universe 5 here this morning? This is why you were still speaking at brightcloud overshadowed them and behold a voice out of the cloud said this is my beloved Son. With whom I am. Well pleased listen.
Do we have a few things here?
Around the world Christians were were killed at the beginning of church history because they claim Jesus as Lord now, they could have easily recanted. It said, you know, what Caesar whatever King is my Lord but instead Jesus was her Lord, right? So I hears dictionary.com. It says a lord a person who has Authority control power over others a master chief or ruler. Liking today is dictator ships to declare that anyone else besides. The dictator is Lord is a capital crime. What is important here is that these early Christians were declaring it the one that gave their they gave their allegiance to God and God Alone. So this is significant that Christians believe this to their poor even today. We're willing to die to defend. Who cries this around the world and then some places you can work. We're not only threatened with character assassination as Christians. but death and someplace around the road pastors again this past Sunday was sentenced to 8 years in prison for proclaiming Jesus. The point here is that we must make Lord Jesus Christ who we give our Allegiance do in all situations. And I get it. This can be challenging because who wants the face consequences in life. I'm going to think of of Joshua 24:15 and the the end part of this is pretty familiar. I'm sure. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord choose for yourselves today whom you will serve the point is you're going to serve somebody as Ward. When did the gods which your father sir which were beyond the river or the gods of the amorites and whose land you are living but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Now we have a flat somewhere with this at our house. I'm sure some of you do two for me and my house we will serve the Lord. What does that mean? It's not just a platitude. You know, it it's an actual statement that we will not serve the Lords of the Kingdom. We will not serve the Lords of our bosses will not serve any of those people. It is Jesus and Jesus alone is who our first king is so this morning I could tell you my house. The blues are going to serve the Lord. So the question is for each of us this morning is to what extreme are we willing to say? Is that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Supreme King. You know, don't let me put this in Practical terms. I had a friend a dear friend and we were having a conversation about faith. I know I've brought this up I think before but outside of the church, his Lord was his political party and he believed that that was primary and you know why you said what the Constitution says separation of church and state So therefore I have my church life and I have my state but that's not the case. Right? We know that this morning Jesus our Christianity is where our Allegiance is and y'all trying to find the verse here, but I think this applies it the grass dries up the flower Withers, but the God's word will exist forever. How many kingdoms how many kings how many you know again? I love history. They have all Fallen. But God is still here. Is he not? Through it all and so, you know, I don't get involved in everything going on in the world and perhaps I could be faulted for that. I probably will not run for office of any sort.
Who knows? I might you know, maybe school board, but The point here is it God is my king. And even if I do run for office I God is going to be my king or King doesn't have term limits right arcing does not have to be elected in the office. Are king of Hazzard a word and it is real and when he says he's going to do something he's going to do it and sometimes that is very difficult me. Look at the minor Prophet Jeremiah, for example If you read their Jeremiah, what does he tell the king says, you know, you guys are wicked people. You need to repent and change your ways are God's going to destroy this place. At for Jeremiah Wright, he's tortured and he's putting in the ground to the diet bud and take some out of that and rescues him. I told him he won't die in that way. But the point here is our King Jesus. has to be the ruler of Our Lives. And sometimes that is so hard. I know it in my own life. Sometimes I put you know, especially I'm a father and a husband. I'm going to put my kids and my family first, but sometimes you know that there's there's conflict there. Do I put God first or my family and I have supposed to put God first God and family, but I don't think God is going to do anything to us. No harm has either you know, here we are.
But Jesus came and touched them get up you said don't be afraid. So we're All Sons & Daughters of the king. We've all been touched by Jesus by Peter James and John and his brother were this morning. We were claimed by our Lord at our baptism. You know, so if you go inside baptismal Theology and what all this means here's we have the baptismal font. It is the new circumcision ording to some people right in the Old Testament Jewish boys circumcised the show that they were boys men of the king men of God. And so when we are baptized we are introduced into this family of God and I don't care if that happens when you're a baby that happens when you're a teenager and adult we are claimed by God at our baptism. Jesus gives us a command here. He says get up. And do not be afraid. Get up and do not be afraid. How many times do we act in fear? Whatever's going to happen. You know, I was hoping I meant or pasture that the order he's got in the last fear and anxiety he has and I'll never forget my home pastor Wayne Taylor. I was sharing this morning. It would do something crazy. I acted without a really seeking permission a lot. But he would say to me the worst thing that can do is fire me a really messed it. He didn't care. He's like this is what the Lord God has called me to do and I'm going to do it and you know, he was punished for it, but the kingdom of God is a better place for him. for those actions that he took So I can a lot has happened in the life of our church in the conference and some of it. I'm in the middle of it. But I've accepted that like Peter James and John and his brother that the Lord will work out everything in my location. And you know Christians have christianese we call it, right? So what is a vocation? I mean we talked about location location is different than a career path. And that's what's really difficult. God has called each of us to a vocation. For me that's to be a preacher. I've accepted that I tried to get out of it a couple times and it never works out. All right, I've accepted it. For all of us to have families our first location is our family. That's our vocation. We are called by God to disciple our families with a Biblical model. And you know, I'm all for embracing and funding Youth and children's ministry. I think that is a priority but we have to also as the people of God invest our time with those young people. That's our location. Our location has also how do we live out our jobs for Jesus what we do on a daily basis. So my encouragement is we can't live in fear and anxiety. And again, I have to live and accept this as well. But Jesus did calm the storms on the boat when the disciples were afraid. And Jesus gets out. He was sleeping for goodness sakes. He says, why are you so worried? And he does White House about the waters and the waters obeyed him. Jesus rose people from the dead
and in the Beatitudes that we read I think 2 weeks ago. Jesus blesses each of us. But only for one the same as Paul and be strong for him. Are we willing to be a witness for Jesus? I standing up and not taking the seat. Get up Jesus as it's a command. Get up your king tells you to get up you get up if your king tells you to go fight your fight. Whatever your king demands of you you do. And he tells us not to be afraid.
How do we not become overcome by fear? C&R our last one here is very simple. He tells us to tell others about verse 9. So as they were coming down the mountain Jesus commanded then he were commanded. You didn't request. Don't tell anybody about this Vision until the human one is raised from the dead. So Jesus fulfills That Old Testament of raising from the dead after his crucifixion. Jesus life from humility luck Don't just take my father's word for it. But watch. that's what they did and you know, what's pretty funny to me is These men Walk With Jesus in his ministry. They saw him perform Miracles. They saw this but yet they still really didn't understand why he was still alive. And what happened? You know, Jesus is out of the Tomb and and Jesus talks to the women in the women say Jesus is risen. Going to all the others. Wow, so finally, I guess the men need a woman to tell them what reality is, right?
Jesus used the women in that passage the tell us man. What is the right way?
Hear this if you don't fully understand Jesus the Bible Faith. It's okay. We all have to start somewhere. Write these men that walk with Jesus didn't fully understand. You know, that that's why we study the word of God. That's why we have discipleship. That's why I'm and is going to do this class based on you know, the spiritual boot camp get back to some of those basics of faith. I had somebody come up to me. I think it was last week. You know what just some clarity on my sermons. I've been preaching, you know, we were talking about law and grapes and what does that mean? No, the law all is not it's not you have to obey the law to say it. No, Jesus saves Jesus and Jesus alone, but it also means that we don't just purposely do whatever we want to do and it's all Jesus. I'm sorry every every week we turn around and not try to change our lives being a person of faith means that we are continuously trying to strive to live like Jesus tells us to live You know and in the wife of churches and life of our faith, there's ups and downs when I was in seminary. I had to do the spiritual timeline of my own fate. And right now I'm working on that with my students at United and we're talking about our spiritual timelines. What are those ups and downs within our own spiritual life? I've had moments while serving in the church and what would not serve in the church that me and God have been conducted and and and I hear his word everyday and there's been moments that I'm depressed and turned out and you know what? I want to go hide in the corner and not even hear them. I've had those moments and again the church is like this God's God's commands for us. I get are not Justin's there. So the United Methodist Church has two books write the book of discipline, which is supposed to be what we stand by and the Book of resolution. The book of resolutions is big like Maroon book and it's always been the book of suggestions. Right? None of it has any status of the church at all, that word is not that God words. Words is how we live our lives.
And again, I'm I'm guilty of in my early Christianity going to the Bible and finding those passages that support my view. Is anybody else been guilty of that? I'm telling you when I went out to Oregon again at 17 and let me tell you we saw things totally different from each other. I put that scripture and try to use it as a as a and you know a way to defend myself and my views and it was wrong of me it was wrong. But again, I haven't even started by the power to that point. But as time is going on. I understand that sometimes when we read the word of God contradicts everything that we think it contradicts our theology or perspectives are political values and then we have to deal with it in our head and say will God, how do I how do I live with this? But get in the word of God. And when I study I with people that have different faiths than me different Christian groups know what's really great about that is they hat they're not taking my baggage with them to the Bible and then I have to really think about it and say, you know, I've been thinking about that wrong. So I have 49 commands here from Jesus. We're not going to read all 40 not. Okay, we fall asleep, but there's 49 really commands from Jesus in the Bible is going to kind of go through them and on the slides and my Charisma is just look up and see if any just stick out to you.
So notice is first one available to you as well. So you can read the the word for yourself.
Practice secret discipline that talks about you know, we are to pray and and fight, you know, we are not the judge I'll take care of the homeless and the median the widows all those things right here. We are not we just talked about that. Tells us not to fear. There's my favorite one at the end right love our neighbors. Love the Lord.
Let your heart not be troubled. Feed my sheep. Keep my Commandments. Be born again.
We have to tell others about Jesus. It's a command process morning. It's a command that we hear repeated throughout the entire New Testament. To go out into the world and you know, it's really cool. If you go to the Baptist Seminary New Orleans and you going to library room which you know, when I was a student I hated the library almost never went and now that I'm not a student I make time out of my way to go. So there's this room in the library and it's on the bottom floor and I'm envisioning it and there's Maps these pull out mats and all these map show all the places that are untouched people groups around the world have yet to hear Jesus. Can you believe that there are still hundreds of thousands of people that have never heard Christ preached brooklane never had an opportunity for baptism the sacrament of communion, there's they're out there. And they're not all in a lot of people think the continent of Africa is where a lot of these places are actually not true. But you know, I love to see how Asia and all these places that there was an article on how Christian pastors who have been killed not in China, but they're going out during this disease that is spread in there and proclaiming Jesus and they're not being punished because of right because everyone's afraid to get out on the streets. But Jesus is using that and they're probably putting their lives at risk. The way here on this most special Sunday, we celebrate Jesus being once again confirm my God the Father in heaven we hear that Jesus is both the Son of God and we hear that Jesus is human and divine. Can we tell it in the Apostles Creed this morning? That we must follow Jesus as the Lord Of Our Lives. Because something will become our Lord if we not follow him as Lord. That we must follow the commands of Jesus not because they save us but because we love Jesus with our whole hearts. That we serve as a mouthpiece and an instrument to the World on who Jesus really is the savior the King of Kings the one who sets the standard for his children. We must accept that were called to be the hands and feet of God for the world full of isolation. Let me hit on that real quick. The road is becoming more and more isolated. People don't have friends people. I don't go to their neighbors houses. In fact, they don't even know who the neighbors are half the time and I'm just as guilty. I mean, I know I've met the neighbor on the right side of the parsonage and the left side, but I don't know the people across the street and I know what people the Baptist church and they gave me a pain the other day. So I guess you know, you're starting to like me the Women's Center across the street. That's my neighbors. Who are your neighbors neighbors? Have you shared a meal with them now that that speaks a lot when you share a meal with somebody that means you really love me. At least in my mind, but I like food, so.
People are disillusioned with the church more so than ever they think the church is this horrible Place full of Hypocrites, you know, and it's pretty horrible you not go online on Facebook last night and I keep you know, how they give ads based on your conversations. I guess they're listening to us others addict keeps coming up about clergy abuse in the Catholic church in every every time I get on Facebook asking if I need legal representation. Right. I don't know. I don't know why you think I need it. But the point is that these are the type of things going out and then you'll see that stuff about these pastors that have these private jets and how they want another one and then the Rope thinks that's all of us. We don't pay taxes. We don't all these things that are just ridiculous. The common sense will tell you that's not true. But people are disillusioned with the church. So we are we have to change that and people are filled with hopelessness for goodness sakes. They feel like the whole world is just around them and beating them. And they have no hope but yet here. We are as the Christian church. We have the answer. of what hope is what love is and we get the joy to share it. So, you know, it's sad to me that the church's is slowly declining membership worldwide, especially here in the States. You know, when we are they answered a hope. How could we not grow? How can we not see people of love? How can we not be the answer a famine and disease and homelessness and all these World issues because I'm a tell you what the government's never going to figure out how to deal with all of this. Jesus gave us the church to do this. We're not just a social organization the gospel and when we go out into the world and we take care of his children that is sharing the gospel.
Share the gospel. And so I hope as you know, I'm a young Pastor I get it, you know, and I look at my my friends that are close to retirement. And they all look at me in like well, it's got to be a difficult place to serve as a pastor. The truth is I don't know what the next 30 to 40 Years of my Ministry friend look like because the road is ever-changing. But I have hope that there's going to be a renewal we've had 5 renewals in the American church that I can think of within our history since the Revolutionary War. Why can't we have another one? It's happening. It's just the Church of going to look a lot different than it does today. No, less buildings less maybe less people. But Jesus is going to go and file so I let us pray. God we we thank you for your church. And for this story of your identity. Got this story tells us where the father met the Earth. Guy that those were two in one. God help us be the body of Christ. Help us look past our own understanding but to you, let us the find you as our Lord in our King first. Let us take care of our widows and are sick and are homeless and all those people that need you. God let the church be the place where you and the world are met. Help us be that body. Let us be a place where the gospel is rightly proclaimed. Did the sacraments are given the hungry people?
And help this community of Chiefland know Christ in a way. That is so real God that it changes this very place for you. What a great Revival of Christianity filled this land. And we pray all this in Jesus name. Amen.