Appointment - 4/12/2020
Welcome to our a service today. We thank you for being with us. I'm Pastor Don pedrick and we are joined together with music and time in your word. May you be blessed in this time? Let's start with a word of Prayer. Are Grace's Father in Heaven how we thank you and praise you for your presence in your power. We thank you that we can come to you no matter what and praise your holy name. We pray that you would be with us today. And with all those who will join us around this world father. May you be high and lifted up and may we rejoice and you we thank you living God in Jesus name. amen
A reading this morning is taken from Philippians chapter 3 verses 7 through 11.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law. But that which is through faith in Christ. The righteous is that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection in the suffering and the fellowship of his sharing in his suffering becoming like him in his death and so somehow do a change of the Resurrection from the dead.
The prayer request that we have this week is continuing prayer for the suffering that is going on because of the isolation that we have going on. We also have a praise Kim Stevens. One of the former pastors of this church needed to have surgery and is recovering really well. So praise the Lord for that and then I'll also for prayer for my wife's sister Lois. She has breast cancer and they are not doing surgeries now, so she is having to go through chemo without the surgery for the cancer. So I'm pray for her and all this going on there also will pray for unspoken request that you might have and Will join the Lord in this so let's pray. Are Grace's father? We thank you for your goodness and love to us day by day. We can look to you and know that we have a God who loves and cares for each and every one of our needs father. We pray that even though our churches are closing their doors because of the isolation process that your word is going out and we pray that it would be touching hearts and lives in our world that Hearts would be changed in a desire to come and know you more and more would be true in. all the lands of this world Father we do pray for the isolation process that we are all going through and the hardship. It is in really being denied communication with them with a dear ones that are loved we pray that you would be with those who are struggling with this that their hearts would be lifted in it somehow in all this process that they would be drawn closer to you to realize that the greatest need of Our Lives as met when we come before our living God and pray and trust in you. We thank you for the recovery of Ken Stevens. What a joy. It is to hear that he is well on the mend and we pray that you would continue to strengthen his body and lift him up. We do want to remember Mary sister Lois and the struggle she is going through. Oh Lord. May you touch her body and put your healing hand upon her and lift her up and bless her in this father. We do pray for all the requests that are made. I think even now people are thinking about request that they have and father you are hearing those requests even is I pray I know others are praying for your Mighty hand to be involved in their lives, whether it's for relationship with you or the connection to others or the provision of finances are the healing of the diseases or meeting the various needs that they are presenting before you at the present time. May you touch their body. Bless them. And guide their lives that they would trust you father. We do pray that you would be with us as we continue on and worship and word. May you bless our time together in Jesus name. Amen.
If you all want to follow along today, we're going to be in Luke chapter 24 verses 33 249. But before we get started, let's have a word of prayer and ask the Lord to be with us into truly bless us with the power of His word. Our gracious Father in heaven. We thank you that we can come together around your word. We thank you for its strength and its power to make an incredible difference in each of our lives and father. We thank you for your Holy Spirit who guides and directs our thoughts and our responses even to your word and the difference is making in our lives. I pray for your spirit to be rising up and ministering to each heart that is listening today and Father. May your spirit be with me. That is I open my mouth and speak the words that you have laid upon my heart that I would be doing. So in the power and the strength of your spirit that those words would be given energy by you. For it is you alone it have the strength to change lights. So bless us in this we ask in the name of our Lord Our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
The last three weeks we have been taking a look at that last week of Jesus Christ before are leading up to the resurrection and eventually is I mean leading up to the his death on the cross and his resurrection that we are going to look at today. And today's message is appointment. Remember that I've tried been trying to focus the messages on how we need to be responding to what God has done for us and that how we can return that blessing to him through using our lives for his honor in his glory and a lot of that depends upon our faithful trust in what he truly has done for us. And we're going to be taking a look today at that whole idea to give you a step of the idea that I'm talking about. Let me tell you a little bit about my life and Mary's life my wife. We were speaking of getting together and being married and I wanted her to know that I really thought that God was going to lead us in sometime in our lives on to the mission field. And so we chatted about it and Mary said, you know, that's part of my life my desire as well. And so it was a good connection and now we are heading towards our 50th year together, but that was a long road if we got married in 1970 and it wasn't until 1998 that we finally felt that something had. R94 that we felt that something had Arisen in our lives to the point where we could respond to that call that we felt that we were going to have Mary had been working a very good job for her. I've been teaching in school for about eight years and yet we felt that God was calling us to go on the mission field to work in a Christian School. That was opening in Budapest Hungary with the fall of the Communist Bloc in Eastern Europe. And so we responded to that call left the positions we had it was interesting to hear from the people that knew us well and those positions the teachers that I was teaching with. I had been very successful in those eight years. I have been chosen four times to be nominated as teacher of the year in our district in that one of those years. I had become that teacher of the year for that District. I'd also had a very successful time with coaching and so they said, how can you leave all this? To go out and just start your life all over again and I had an opportunity to tell them what a difference God had made in our lives than it was our response to that difference that we were making this step of faith. And so we went over and for 7 years we taught at the Christian School in Budapest. And finally we felt God's call to go and serve him as Church Planters in Greece and we ministered in Greece for three and a half years and finally God brought us back to the United States where I took a position is the pastor of a church in there since then been pastoring a church here in the United States. Anyway, this is to say that it was a response to my desire in my wife's desire to go before God and serve him even if it meant that we didn't get everything that life offers here in this world because the life he gives us is eternal life. And this message is particularly. For those of you who have asked Jesus Christ in your life. It is your response to the living Gods call on your lives. What does that mean for your lives? And the message title is appointment when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior. We are being a point good. To serve him in this life and it doesn't matter what we go through in this life. If our desire is to serve him. We are following his command to give up this life for that great and eternal life we have in glory. We're going to start on the adverse 33, but just to give you a little bit of background. It's the closing statements of the disciples would that we're on the road to Emmaus talking about all the things that happened since the death of Christ and all the rumors that were floating around and Jesus came and met them and they didn't recognize him, but he was explaining to them the The gospel and eventually he got to their home in Emmaus and he began to pray and they recognized who he was and he disappeared. Okay from that point they say here's what happened. It says they they got up and returned it once to Jerusalem there they found the 11:00 and those with them assemble together and saying it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon then the two told what it happened on the way and how Jesus was recognized by them and when he broke the bread.
one of each of these episodes Leads us to a faithful trust in him and when you came to know Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, it was a step of Faith trusting that you truly believed that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead and that's what they were excited about. Jesus Christ was no longer in the grave he had risen from the dad and that is the great hope that we have. He died to cover our sins. But he rose to give us the realization that his resurrection is a Prelude to our own Resurrection to be with him. And we're going to take a look at some of these verses but I want to start out with a verse from 1st Corinthians chapter 15 verse 17, which is the resurrection truth. And why the resurrection is so important to our lives because without it there is no hope it says Paul is writing to the Corinthian Church and he writes these words if Christ has not been raised your faith is futile. You were still in your sins. You see if the resurrection didn't occur then his shedding Blood on the cross didn't make any difference. What is through the power of the Resurrection that we can know our lives are completely different?
Because we have been created a new through the power of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the holy spirit in our lives. There are three people. I want to take a look at real quickly about their faith face battle and that where it brought them. The first one is Mary Magdalene. Isn't it interesting of all the people that Jesus appeared to from his resurrection morning? that Mary was the first she was one who came to Christ to know him because she had been possessed by demons.
and her life was lost and Incredibly futile and horrible things were happening to her and cries came along and he cast out the demons healing her life and giving her and I hope It certainly changed her life because it tells us that she along with the disciples walked with Jesus through this time, and she was one of them who actually came along and helped provide for the provisions of Jesus and the disciples and she followed him. She followed him even to the cross and then even to the Grave she went to look for him. It makes me think that perhaps she truly listen to Jesus Christ when he was getting ready to go to the cross and he told the disciples that I am going up to Jerusalem and they're going to take me and I they are going to kill me and I will die and be on the cross, but don't forget I'm coming back. And I think that perhaps she along with perhaps the Apostle John truly believed. That that was going to happen and that is why she was so willing to spend the time with Christ at the cross. and going to the Grave because she had a hope. She had a seeking faith. And the question is for each of his where's our faith. The next one is kind of a Wandering Faith. We're going to take a look at Peter just a little bit. He was a man who just had moments of incredible faith and courage and moments when that was totally shattered. Turning away from the Lord one of those moments of incredible Faith was when he got out of the boat in the storm in Jesus came walking on the water and he says, you know, call me to you Lord and Lord said come on and he got out of the boat and he walked on water.
But then he was drawn away from Jesus the look of Jesus to Jesus and he was drawn to the look at the storm. any faltered and fell Then later on he has that great moment of faith when he calls Jesus the Living God and God's holy son, and and Jesus says, you know the Holy Spirit taught you to do that and then he turns around and he denies Christ 3 times. You know, it's an up-and-down faith that he has in so many of us have that type of Faith where we have those moments of great wonder and faithfulness and courage and then other moments where we totally falter in and fail and so some of us truly can identify with Peter in his faith it Luke 24:12. He says Peter however got up and ran to the tomb, you know, he was actor the Lord even though he had denied him bending over he saw the strips of linen Lying by themselves and he went away wondering to himself what happened. 1st Corinthians 15 5 and says he appeared to Peter and then to the twelve you see he got an experience with Jesus Christ before the 12 did and I think that that was partially to help restore his faith his strength because Jesus knew that he was going to have to be strong to help lead the disciples on their transition to ministers of the Gospel to the world. and the last one was the struggling of these two disciples on the road to Emmaus wondering trying to figure it all out working on their own in Christ comes to them and he talks about himself and how all the scriptures showed who he was and what he was doing and it still didn't sink in who he was and what he was talking about and it wasn't until he prayed and God bless the food that they recognized in this it.
Then he was gone and it caused them to jump up and run back to Jerusalem to see the disciples and to find out the good news the great news of the resurrection of those moments of faith. We find ourselves struggling in we want to get to that faced where we are looking at Jesus Christ completely finding that true faith that gives us strength and courage no matter what we face in this life. Well, let's continue to read on and we'll take a look at what Jesus gives because of his resurrection from the dead starting at verse 36 through 44. Well, they were still talking about this Jesus himself stood among them and said to them peace be with you. They were startled and frightened thinking that they saw a ghost. He said to them. Why are you troubled? Why do doubts a rise in your mind's look at my hands in my feet it is I myself touch me and see a ghost does not have Flesh and Bones as you see I have When did said this is showed them his hands and feet and while they still did not believe because of the joint amazement. He asked them. Do you have anything here to eat? And they gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it in aided in their presents. He said to them this is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms. You see Jesus is great. Desire was to bring peace to the world. What is peace? It has nothing to do with the Warriors and the battles that are going on in our world. It has to do with our relationship with the Living God. You see we didn't have any of that piece before we came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but once we come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior his pieces given to us because he's cleansed us from our sin. And he's come and dwelt in Us by his holy spirit to give us guidance and wisdom for our lives and that should bring us. Peace because no matter what happens in this world. We have an eternity of hope so we don't have to worry about the difficulties in struggles of this life. Paul is writing to the galatian church chapter 1 and he talks about this piece and he says Grace and peace to you from God our father in the Lord Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age. According to the will of our God and Father. You see we're living in an evil age an age when Satan is abounding in his desire to lead the world astray. Yet through Jesus Christ. We can have that amazing piece because of his great grace that he gave us by coming to this Earth by willing to die on that cross shedding his blood to cover our sins and then through the resurrection. We find that piece that he alone can give Who is amazing gift of Grace?
And it becomes a visible thing for us when we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There is a change that comes over our Lots remember what happens when we receive Jesus Christ his blood washes away our sins completely. We are cleansed and pure and what it does is it gives us an access to the heavenly father. Remember we talked about the curtain last week being torn that opened up the way to come into the inner Sanctuary to come before the Living God. We don't need a priest to go there for us. We can do it all on our own. Because God invites us into his presence to talk to him. But even then he gives us the Holy Spirit Living God coming and dwelling within each and every one of us to give his guidance and wisdom on how to live this life changing us more and more into the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we listen to the ministry that is going on certainly a visible change occurs in our lives because we become different people. Remember 2nd Corinthians 5 verse 17 it says these words if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone. The new has come.
When we have a change the truly occurs in our lives there becomes a difference in our lives and that difference should be seen in our response to life. We need to be changed there needs to be evidence Evans of that desire that occurred in our lives when we gave our lives over to him and truly it's your response. It's your faith then comes before him and says forgive me come into my life. It make a difference and it should lead us to an incredible desire to know and experience the presence of the Living God. You know, it's it's more than just okay, I want to show up for church on Sunday and listen to what the pastor has to say and then go my way and live my life. No God calls us to a live where we're constantly seeking and growing in him. And that evidence that is in our lives becomes alive and real. David writes about this way back in Psalm 34 Verse 8. He's talking about that relationship with God and what we're called when he says taste and see that the Lord is good in other words actively pursue him. Is this blessed is a man who takes refuge in him? In other words God's calling us not to just have a word faith that says the words and accepting but a participatory faith that is a response to his great love and willingness to die for our lives so that we have life ourselves.
It's like Peter wanted to get out of the boat. Seeing Jesus coming towards him and saying that's where I want to be. I don't want to be here in the boat. In the Safety and Security of the boat. I want to be out there with my Lord and so he gets out and he does walk on the water when he keeps his eyes and his focus on Jesus Christ. That's the miracle of things God performs miracles in our lives when we truly respond to him.
It's when we take her eyes off him that we falter and sink in the water and need that saving hand to reach down and touch us. God doesn't allow us to sync but gives us a hand back up and helped us in. And when he comes into our lives it brings that peace noticed that when he stepped into the boat into the presence of all the others that that safety and peace came over the waters around them. And that's what we need. We need his presence in his power in our lives to guide and strengthen us and then he goes on to say this is true because everything that the Bible has told about me that the word of God has said about me and that I have told you about myself is coming true. And so he goes through the whole Testament of God explaining to them.
He said in Luke 18 before he went up to Jerusalem. He gave the disciples these words and I think that's some of them really took them in most of them. Just couldn't imagine what he was saying was true and didn't believe it. But they're I think we're a few that actually believe this says Jesus Took the 12 aside and told them we're going up to Jerusalem and everything that is written by the prophets about the son of man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him insult him spit on him flogging and kill him on the third day. He will rise again. This is what's going to happen. Imagine him. He's speaking to each and every one of us that's already happened. But he's calling us to make a response to him because of what he says is true our response to him and our willingness to be obedient to him is powerful and strong and he will bless those responses. Let's see what that appointment is reading versus 45 249 Benny opened their minds so that they could understand the scriptures. He told them this is what is written the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in the name in his name to All Nations beginning a Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I'm going to send you what my father has promised the Holy Spirit. Let's stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.
God wants us to have a clear mind about who he is and what he desires for our lives, but it comes with our faith to truly seek after who he is. He wants to have clear minds and he was clear with the disciples, but they couldn't make the connections. In John chapter 16. He's in the upper room. He is describing what is going to happen to him in the following few days and he says these words. I have John 16:33. I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In other words, you're going to go through some rough times right now, but you can have peace as long as you keep your eyes on me in this world. You will have trouble but take heart I have overcome the world aren't those great words. Jesus is overcome the world. It's a no longer hold you it can no longer give you that feeling of Despair and and wonder It can give you the peace and the hope and the strength that can only come through trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. He wants to change our hearts.
And so he's given us this incredible story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that's what he goes through and he talks to the disciples about that. He talks about what was written in the Old Testament and how it described what the Christ the coming Lord would have to go through. Remember they were all looking for a king to establish his kingdom. We couldn't have a kingdom until he had people who would be part of that Kingdom, and he couldn't have people to be part of that Kingdom unless he was willing to die for that Kingdom so that they could have life and if you're a believer in Jesus Christ, you become a part of that Kingdom. You become a part of that life. You've listened to the gospel story. 1st Thessalonians, 4:14 says we believe that Jesus died and rose again. So we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
and those of us who truly believe in him who have given our lives over to Jesus Christ because we believe Did he died for us? Did he rose again and he's going into heaven? And there is no doubt in my mind that when I die passing from this life, I will also be with my Lord and Savior in heaven. And one day he's going to come back and when he does. I'll be with him. I'll be coming back with him. I hope that is the Hope and desire and that is what keeps you going. In this life we have on this Earth. It may be only a short time. We need to stay with the task. our response to this ought to be he has saved my life. He has redeemed me. He's given me the hope of eternal glory with him. And all I have to do is trust in him. So how do I respond to this? I'm a new creature. What do I do with this new life that has been given to me? I have been reconciled through the precious blood of Jesus Christ to be a child of the Living God. And Paul writes about this and 2nd Corinthians 5 and inverse 20. He says these words we are therefore Christ's ambassadors. If I claim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I have become an ambassador for Jesus Christ.
So if you as though God were making his appeal through us. You see God is chosen through all our Frailty and all the struggles we have in this life to make us instruments to touch the hearts and lives of others for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine him Desiring to use these frail impotent bodies for his glory and if you look at yourself and you say there's no way I can't do it. It's impossible. You know, I just don't have what it takes. to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ
You know, that's a lie from the pit. Satan wants you to believe that. But we have all the power and all the strength that we could ever have because God dwells in US. And he is our power and strength remember he is the creator gone. He gave us everything we possibly can possibly see any gave you lie. That's an incredible abundance of blessing. Paul's writing about this in Philippians chapter 4 verse 13 he gets to do what he says. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Remember Paul was weak and he had some type of disorder and Yeti realize that has a long as he trusted in the power of Jesus Christ. He could do everything. There's nothing it is held back from him because God is his strength and power not himself. If you're trusting in yourself the call today is to give up that trust in yourself put it over to Jesus Christ and start start serving him as an ambassador to the world. You can only do that if you seek after him and desire your life to make a difference for others on this Earth because that's what he's called us to it didn't take us away from this Earth. He kept us here. So that we could touch other people's lives. If you've been touched that's your call. If you haven't come to know Jesus Christ as your lord and savior that call is still out there. God has a desire to touch your life and the change you. Into the new creature that he desires for every person that walks the face of the Earth that's his continual call to our lives. And our response to that changes our lives for all eternity. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your lord and savior and would like to fall on your knees before in the safe father. I recognize that Jesus Christ died for me and shed his blood to cover my sin. Please forgive me. And take me into your life help me. By taking hold of me that I will be your child for all eternity. And God will change your life. He will give you the power of the holy spirit in your life and he will give you energy and strength to serve him.
Come to him before it's too late. and follow him Let's pray. Our gracious Father in heaven. We thank you for the incredible gift that you have given through the power of your son. Jesus Christ who gave his life a ransom for all who will believe and that's the millions and perhaps billions of people that have come and gone since Jesus Christ and of trusted in you. What a great Army you will come back with With father there are many out here that have not chosen to do that yet. And I pray that today your spirit would stir their hearts to make that commitment. And for those who have just lived out the life without really Desiring a true change of heart and life. May they have a renewed desire. To look to Jesus Christ and keep their eyes and their focus on him and do those things that you called them to do for we have a great work to do in this world. May we get it done before the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We ask this in his precious name. Amen.