Today’s sermon, Christ our Healer

I have never been one to say that God does not heal people today. I have never wanted to limit God and believe that God has stopped certain miracles. Recently, I was talking with a group of pastors and I said that I believe in Divine healing, but I think it is rare. They asked why. I responded that I do not see it that often. I met with one of those pastors later on and he shared many experiences he had personally experienced. Myron shared:

His wife was raised in India with sicknesses and little medical care.

Her father would Pray in faith and things were healed. The Lord intervened when no one else could.

Myron’s wife would challenge him when their children were sick to pray for them. He would pray for the specific disease to be healed.

One time his 4th born son was 2.5 years old. They were having a birthday party for his older son. There were all these boys at the house and the water went out. He saw a water truck up the street and thought he would go ask them what is going on. He went to his garage, looked behind his van to make sure no toys were behind it. He got in and started to backup and then heard a noise. He backed up and pinned his 2.5 year old. His son was hardly breathing. EMT’s  arrived and they were shocked. They couldn’t get a pulse. ER dr said he was in life threatening condition. Broken fibula, tibia, hip… collapsed lung. Chest was like collapsed. They called the careflight and they took him to University Rainbow hospital, the children’s hospital in the midst of it. As they were driving they were sending calls for healing. They were crying out for God to heal his son. Probably 800 women in a meeting in St Lewis and they all stopped the meeting and prayed.

They get to the hospital and they see an African American man holding his son and at first he thought, “that can’t be my son.” Then the man sat him down and he ran to his dad. The man said, “the Lord healed your son.” The drs said they had x rays but they didn’t match him. They kept him overnight and then sent him home. Scratches and outside injuries were still there but the bone breaks were gone. He is now 20 years old and perfectly fine. Hip bone was broke and leg was sideways but that was fine when they got to the hospital.

That was the most personal and miraculous testimony I have heard of a healing.

My theme today: Because of the blood of the cross Jesus is our healer.

Stacey Hollaway testimony

Let’s read Matthew 8:14-17:

When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”

  1. Jesus heals us spiritually and physically
    1. As we look at the passage we see Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law and others. But what is most interesting is that Matthew applies Isaiah 53:4 as a prophesy fulfilled in the healing.
    2. Isaiah 53 is the servant song and it is all about Jesus. I often would look at this passage and say that Jesus heals us spiritually. But in this case Matthew applies it to physical illness.
    3. The point is that the suffering of Jesus and the death on the cross reversed the effects of the fall.
    4. We will all be healed at death through Jesus’ blood, but some will be healed now.
  2. Sickness can be caused by sin
    1. Notice I said “can” and we don’t know if it is caused by sin or not. Ultimately, all sickness has its root in original sin. (Romans 5:12)
    2. But look at 1 Cor. 11:28-30: Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
    3. Paul is writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and saying some are sick and dying because of unconfessed sin.
    4. Please know that sin is a break in a relationship.
    5. Please take seriously confession.
  • What is the process of prayer and anointing:
    1. James 5:13-16: Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
    2. James says to:
      1. Call the elders of the church to pray over you.
      2. Anoint with oil.
      3. Have faith
      4. If sinned, forgiven.
      5. Confess sin: remember that unconfessed sin breaks your relationship with God. Psalm 66:18: If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
      6. Remember that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
    3. If you come forward for healing you must believe that God can do it. You must believe that He is able.
      1. Is that God that forgives of your sins able to heal you?
      2. Is that God that will give you a new resurrected body able to heal you? (1 Cor. 15)
  • Is the God that split the Red Sea able to heal you (exodus 14:14-30)?
  1. Is the God that spoke creation into existence able to heal you (Gen. 1-2)?
  2. Is the God that created you in your mother’s womb able to heal you (Psalm 139)?
  3. Is the God that allowed barren women to have children able to heal you (1 Samuel 1-2)?
  • Is the God that will create a new Heaven and new earth able to heal you (Rev. 21)?
  • Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there is nothing that our God can’t do. The Mountains are big, the valleys are big, the stars are His handiwork too. Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there is nothing that our God can’t do.
  1. Lastly, believe, but surrender to God’s will. If you are not healed it is not for anyone here to say that it is a lack of faith. It is not for anyone here to say that unconfessed sin kept you from being healed. Confession of sin and faith is important, but only you and God know if that has kept His hand from healing you.

Close:

Salvation and confession

Don’t come forward for healing if you are not committed to Christ. If you are not a follower of Christ, come forward to accept and trust in Jesus first. Make yourself right spiritually before anything else.

Luke 9:23

Let’s pray.

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

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Jesus, Open Our Minds (Luke 24:13-45)

Sometimes we need our eyes opened

Last Thursday, my five year old, Mercedes, had her tonsils and adenoids out. She was so scared. She was so scared that she would wake up in the surgery. She was scared that she would wake up after the surgery and we would not be there. We walked in the hospital and down the hall to the same day surgery. A nurse saw her come in and how nervous she was. The nurse approached Mercedes, seeing she was nervous, gave her a stuffed animal and said that she could even take in into surgery with her. We head in the room and the tears start, for Mercedes too. Meagan sits on the bed with Mercedes and eventually she got more comfortable. Eventually, the anesthesiologist comes in and they give her some medicine. Within a few minutes she is QUITE content. I was quite nervous how I would react as they wheeled her away, but since that medicine made her content, so was I. Within 30 minutes our pager goes off and the doctor comes out to tell us things went well.

Over the last few days I have had my eyes opened to the “reality and raw emotions of a father watching his daughter go into surgery. Yet, I realize that many dads face surgeries that are much more serious.

Yet, I also share with you that Mercedes had her eyes opened to surgery as well.

Yet, I I want to tell you that Mercedes really needed her eyes opened after the surgery.

They wheeled her back into the room and it in a sad and humorous time we saw Mercedes dopey for the first time. For the first time ever we saw our usual energetic, and VERY logical and rational daughter make really no sense at all. At first she could hardly talk and I had to compose my usual very stoic emotions as I felt myself start to sweat and have emotions I usually do not experience. I thought to how I heard of dads passing out in the hospital. I thought that would not be me. That was the last thing I remember, no I am kidding. I sat down and within a few minutes it was not sad but humorous. Mercedes started talking more.

She said, “Is the surgery down?” Meagan “yes it is all over.”

Mercedes, “I don’t remember it at all.”

Mercedes, “what is this in my arm for?” Referring to the IV line.

The nurse, “That is to give you a drink of water.”

A minute later:

Mercedes, “what is this in my arm for?” Referring to the IV line.

Meagan, “That is to give you water.”

Mercedes said again, “Is the surgery down?” Meagan “yes it is all over.”

Mercedes, “I don’t remember it at all.”

A few seconds later:

Mercedes, “what is this in my arm for?” Referring to the IV line.

Meagan, “That is to give you water.”

A few seconds later again:

Mercedes said again, “Is the surgery down?” Meagan “yes it is all over.”

Mercedes, “I don’t remember it at all.”

A few seconds later:

Mercedes, “what is this in my arm for?” Referring to the IV line.

Meagan, “That is to give you water.”

Mercedes eyes were opened to surgery, but they needed opened to reality after the surgery. She was quite dopey.

Then she started:

Can we go home?

I was a little worried but by mid afternoon she was running and jumping through the house.

By 11 am, Mercedes EYES were wide opened to reality.

The disciples needed their eyes opened and sometimes we need our eyes opened.

Let me come back to that, but our eyes are opened by God, by Time with God.

God calls us to an intimate relationship with God.

I heard intimacy described as “into-me-see.” It was hard watching Mercedes that way because I have an intimate relationship with my daughter.

Do we have an intimate relationship with God?

INTIMACY: HOW IS YOUR PRAYER LIFE?

Do we have a burning desire to worship?

  1. Do we desire to worship?
  2. Are our hearts burning to be with Jesus?
  3. Do we want to be here?

Do we need a fire in our heart?

Eugene Peterson writes:

“She came to see me at the recommendation of a friend. She had been troubled for years, seeing psychiatrists and not getting any better. The consultation had been arranged on the telephone so that when she walked into my study it was as a first meeting. Her opening statement was, ‘Well, I guess you want to know all about my sex life- that’s what all the psychiatrists want to know.’

“I answered, ‘If that is what you want to talk about I’ll listen. What I would really be interested in finding out about, though, is your prayer life.’

“She didn’t think I was serious, but I was. I was interested in the details of her prayer life for the same reason that her psychiatrists had been interested in the details of her sex life–to find out how she handled intimate relationships.

What do sexuality and prayer have in common? These are both aspects of a beautiful thing called intimacy.

Are we connected to God?

Can we sense His presence?

Can we sense His lead?

That is what I wish to talk about today. We already read the story of Jesus meeting two on their way to Emmaus, but let me emphasize just a few verses:

Verses 44-45:

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, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 

  1. Let me summarize what is happening here.
    1. Jesus has been crucified and now it is Sunday and He has risen.
    2. Now a few people, who are not part of the 11 disciples, are returning to life as it was. I can say that some of the disciples did this to. They went back to fishing (John 21). Except the women. The women were more devoted.
    3. So, a few of them are on the road to Emmaus and so they are traveling away from Jerusalem. They are talking, but it seems like they are disappointed. They think it is over.
    4. Jesus comes to them, but they do not recognize Him. They talk with Him. They tell Him what is going on and they even say, “We were hoping it was He who was going to redeem Israel.” (verse 21)
    5. In verses 25-27 Jesus explain the Old Testament to them. He tells them from Moses all the way through the prophets what the Scriptures say of Himself.
    6. Now, they still do not know this is Jesus. Not until verse 31.
    7. In verse 33 they had back to Jerusalem.
    8. They meet up with the other disciples.
    9. If you read verses 36-43 the other disciples do not totally get it either. They think He is a ghost, or an angel. He eats in front of them to prove He is real.
    10. So, we come to verse 44: 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, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 
  • Do we need our minds opened?
    1. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
    2. Do we desire to worship?
    3. Are our hearts burning to be with Jesus?
    4. Do we want to be here?
    5. Play: Little House on the Prairie clip from Mary teaching at the school where they do hocus pocus…
    6. I don’t think we are like them, but sometimes we are very limited to what we are taught or exposed to or not taught.
    7. Jesus had traveled with the disciples and He had taught them, but they missed this.
    8. Is it possible that we miss things too?
    9. The disciples had a different view of how God was to rescue Israel. (John 11:16) They were expecting someone who would setup a Kingdom now. They were expecting someone who would literally conquer Rome. They expected a William Wallace Braveheart character. They expected Russell Crow. They expected John Wayne.
    10. The disciples needed their eyes literally opened by Jesus.
    11. Is it possible that we are limited in our view point by the church we grew up in or the society we are in?
    12. Is it possible that our thinking is confined and limited?
    13. I was taught in high school youth group that the King James Version is the best translation. I believed that until I got to college.
    14. I needed my eyes opened.
    15. I was taught in high school youth group that the alcohol of the New Testament was non-fermented. I believed that for a long time. I needed my eyes opened.
    16. But you know what, it wasn’t just me. The former vice-president of my denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, taught those views. They really believed alcohol in the Bible was non-fermented and the King James Version was the best translation.
    17. Bailey was widely respected in the denomination. He was a missionary and teacher and denomination leader and district superintendent but he was wrong. He may not have been wrong about the KJV 150 years ago, but the alcohol argument was wrong. His writings on healing are still used. He wasn’t wrong about everything.
    18. Garth Brooks has a song called “Some of God’s Greatest Gifts are Unanswered Prayers.” He sings about wanting to marry a women and God doesn’t answer that prayer. But later on he is happily married to his wife.
    19. You know sometimes God has to tell us no. The disciples were distraught to say the least. I wonder if they thought that God did not answer their prayers.
    20. They were thinking: “God why didn’t You let Jesus be the redeemer.” “God why?” “God when are You going to redeem us.” But God’s plan was in place.
    21. Jesus opened their eyes.
    22. Do we want our will or His?
    23. Think about praying Biblical and Christ-centered prayers. There is a difference in praying for a private plane to help us get to Disney and praying that God provides missionaries with a plane in Africa when they need a plane to get medical supplies to a destination.
    24. As we grow as adults and as Christians our prayers should change: Now I lay me down to sleep… changes to: Lord God, I am about to go to bed for the night. So much has happened today and we need Your help tomorrow. Throughout today I have too often been satisfied with material possessions and not You. I have looked to other resources for help rather than praying to You. I confess this as sin. I need You. I need to be satisfied in You. Lord, give me and my family safe rest. Take care of us. Watch over us physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. Give us opportunities to witness for the Gospel tomorrow. Lord, please be with my family. Help my children to stay safe tomorrow. Keep them from sickness. Help them to grow up to be responsible and be hard workers. But most of all, help my children to come to know You as Lord and Savior. Help us to live for You. In Jesus’ Name Amen.
    25. Contrast that with:
    26. Dear Lord,
      So far I’ve done all right.
      I haven’t gossipped,
      haven’t lost my temper,
      haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
      I’m really glad about that.

      But in a few minutes, God,
      I’m going to get out of bed.
      And from then on,
      I’m going to need a lot more help.[1]

    27. Do we desire God’s will or our own?
  1. How does Jesus open our minds?
    1. Notice that in both of these cases Jesus opened their eyes with Scripture. He started with Moses and the prophets. Jesus went to and through the Old Testaments.
    2. DON’T divorce your spiritual activities from the Bible.
    3. Jesus opens our eyes by time.
      1. Sometimes we must wait and wait and wait to see what God is doing.
      2. It was close to 1400 years from Moses to Jesus. They had to wait for the Messiah.
  • It was maybe 4000 years from Adam and Eve to Jesus, which was the first Messiah prophesy, they were waiting on the Messiah.
  1. How many of you waited on a job?
  2. How many of you waited on a spouse?
  3. How many of you waited on an answer to a prayer?
  1. But I want to focus on Spiritual Disciplines.
  2. I am more and more convicted that spiritual disciplines with the church are absolutely critical.
  3. We need church wide prayer.
  4. We need prayer partners. I believe we are strongest when we pray together.
  5. We need to fast. Fasting is depriving oneself one something in order to focus on Jesus and say, “I need Jesus more…” Every time you have a hunger pain you pray, “I need Jesus more.”
  6. We need prayer and meditation:
    1. Jonathan Edwards found solitude in an open field. While traveling on the Connecticut River he recorded, “At Saybrook we went ashore to lodge on Saturday, and there kept the Sabbath; where I had a sweet and refreshing season, walking alone in the fields.”15 More commonly he retreated to the woods for silence and solitude with God: “I rode out into the woods for my health, … having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer.”[2]
  7. We need confession. You know that confession is a spiritual discipline?
  8. I believe that we have our eyes opened by Jesus only by spending time knowing Jesus.
  9. This is why Eugene Peterson asked the woman about her prayer life. Prayer is intimate. Do we have an intimate connection, an intimate relationship with Jesus?
  10. Without Spiritual disciplines/activities we are disconnected.
  11. Have you ever been on the phone and you drop the call? The phone loses its connection. Have you ever been watching the news and your cable goes out? Have you ever lost power? Are prayer time, fasting, meditation, confession, church time and other spiritual disciplines are our direct link to God.
  12. We are busy and we are distracted. These help us focus on God.
  13. As we go through the congregational summit today, let’s ask God to open our eyes as individuals and as a church.

Close:

Do you need your eyes opened? Patton did:

Patton’s prayer at the battle of the bulge

http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/12/16/pattons-prayer/

Patton prays:

Sir, this is Patton speaking. The last fourteen days have been straight from hell. Rain, snow, more rain, more snow – and I’m beginning to wonder what’s going on in Your headquarters.  Whose side are You on, anyway?

For three years my chaplains have been explaining that this is a religious war.  Patton goes on and on asking the Lord’s helping hand.

Then he responded days later:

His follow up prayer a few days later:

Sir, this is Patton again, and I beg to report complete progress. Sir, it seems to me that you have been much better informed about the situation than I was, because it was that awful weather which I cursed so much which made it possible for the German army to commit suicide. That, Sir, was a brilliant military move, and I bow humbly to a supreme military genius.

Let’s seek the Lord.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

[1] Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/prayers/protestant/morning/morning-prayer.aspx#iKVxBD37U7gteiBJ.99

[2] Murray, page 53.

16 Murray, page 100.

Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 197

Growth Charts

I just read this as a chart for spiritual growth

In The huddle

I love growth charts. Some people cringe at the very thought of them. I get excited about them. It’s just how my brain functions. In fact, this morning I took a test that measured almost every aspect of my body composition. I am sure that with time I will find it a bit depressing in some areas and encouraging in others. Either way I stack it, I just needed to know where I was progressing or regressing. I need to see growth and I need to see areas of weakness so I can continue to grow. We all do.

This past weekend at The Summit, I asked our church to consider our spiritual maturity from Ephesians 4:1-16. During the message, I encouraged us to look at 6 areas of growth that are practical applications in our lives to see where we are becoming more like Christ rather than the old person. Look…

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Christ our Savior

Intro:

I am going to ask that the sanctuary lights are turned off at this time.

Does that bother you?

What if it was dark outside, would it bother you sitting in the dark?

[hold a light switch, flashlight, etc and use throughout the sermon, or even a lighter]

A few years ago I read a book titled, Night in Times Past. It was interesting as the book traced how people handled the night time in history. Electric lighting has revolutionized night time. Throughout history people were afraid of night time. They had a fear because of all the dangers. There were dangers of fire while you slept. There were dangers of people trying to cause harm through robbery, murder, rape, etc. There were dangers of falling and tripping if you were out walking. There were dangers from wild animals. Night times was different. The sun sets and everything changes.

Maybe this is why the Bible often uses a metaphor of Light for salvation, for God and for Jesus.

Let’s look at John 8:12 and talk about Jesus, the Light of the World.

My theme:

When Jesus is our Light we have eternal life and we do not walk in darkness now.

This week, every time you turn on a light switch remember that Jesus is your light for life now and all eternity.

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

  1. What does this mean?
    1. I am a literal person and sometimes analogies, metaphors, symbolism, hyperbole goes right over my head.
    2. But this would not have gone over their head.
    3. Jesus spoke these words on the last day of the Feast of Booths. Even if His announcement came after the feast itself, it evoked imagery associated with the feast since, in Jesus’ time, candles were used as part of the celebration of the Feast of Booths, commemorating the pillar of fire that provided light and guidance to Israel in the wilderness (Ex. 13: 21). Jesus is the light to which the pillar of fire as a type pointed. Since God is light (1 John 1: 5), Jesus’ words amount to a claim of deity. Again, “I am” points back to Ex. 3: 14 (6:35 note).[1]
    4. The Moody Bible Commentary gives more detail:
    5. During the Feast of Booths, large menorahs lit up the temple complex, commemorating the fire that guided the Israelites during the wilderness wanderings (Nm 9:15-23) and anticipating the Messiah who would bring light to nations. After seven days of dramatic illumination in the temple, Jesus declared, I am the Light of the world (1:4-5, 9; cf. “Jesus’ Seven ‘I Am’ Claims” at 6:35). If one believes in Christ and then follows Him (cf. 8:31), he or she will not walk in the darkness (1Jn 1:5-10).
    6. Imagine Jesus pointing to the menorahs and saying “I am the Light of the World…”
    7. The people knew that Jesus calling Himself was a claim to be God. The Rabbi’s used to call the Messiah “The Light.”
    8. Jesus Christ is the light of life that dispels the darkness of death.  When He says, “I am the light of the world,” He even uses the tetragrammaton, the I am.  The claim to be God, and the claim to be Messiah.  To say, “I am the light of the world,” is to identify yourself as God.  Psalm 27:1.  The psalm has said, “The Lord is might light and my salvation.”  First John 1:5 says, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”  They understood what he was saying.  He was claiming to be God.  He was claiming to be the Messiah, the light.
    9. John often wrote about Jesus as the Light.
    10. John 1:5: “The Light shines in the darkness.”
    11. 1 John 1:5 says that “God is Light.”
    12. Jesus is saying that He is God.
    13. Jesus is saying that He is the way to eternal life.
    14. Jesus is saying that He is our light now.
  2. Trust in the Light of the world.
    1. Too often we are afraid when we don’t need to be. Jesus is our Light for now and eternity.
    2. Psalm 27:1: The Lord is my light and my salvation—
      whom shall I fear
      ?
    3. I heard Ravi Zaccherius talking about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11). He said what would Lazarus be afraid of after that? That was an interesting question. People could say, “I’m going to kill you!” Lazarus would be like, “Okay, I have died before!”
    4. Likewise, what are we really afraid of? Jesus is our Light. We have eternal life, but we have the Light with us now.
    5. Jesus once said in Matthew 10:28: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill thesoul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
    6. Jesus is the Light of the world. Trust Him.
    7. Don’t just trust Him one time, but trust Him all the time.
    8. Trust Him today. Be confident that Jesus, the Light of the world is with you.

John 12:35

So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.

Close:

Darkness, do we like being in the dark?

I don’t like being in the dark. Everything is different when it is dark. Noises sound different, my senses are on edge.

I was at Camp Kirkwood co-leading a Middle School and High School retreat. It was night time and the teenagers were playing a game. Myself and a few of the leaders were at the bonfire which was near our tents. It was time for the teens to finish up the game. We called for them, blew a whistle, however we got their attention, and some slowly drifted back to our camp site. We still did not see all of our teenagers. Eventually, we chose to walk different ways to find them. Do you think I wanted to head out in the woods, by myself, in the dark? No, I did not! We divided up sections and we found all the teens. But everything is different at night. I don’t like being in the dark.

What an illustration we get from Scripture of Jesus being the Light of the world.

We don’t walk in darkness.

This week, every time you turn on a light switch remember that Jesus is your light for life now and all eternity.

This week, every time you get in the car and turn the head lights on remember Jesus is your light for now and all eternity.

This week, every time you turn a flash light on remember Jesus is your light for now and all eternity.

This week, every time you see a cell phone screen, Kindle, computer screen or television light up at night remember Jesus is your light for now and all eternity.

This week whenever you notice the sun is out remember the SON is your Light for now and all eternity. You don’t walk in darkness.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

[1] Reformation Study Bible (2015) ESV (Kindle Locations 115488-115493).  . Kindle Edition.

4 Fold Gospel

Opening:

Lion King

A long time ago a movie came out called The Lion King. I saw it at the drive-in theatre. Around that time I remember talk on the news regarding the beginning of the movie and whether or not it would be too sad for children. Disney is really good at making the beginning of a movie sad. They did it in Finding Nemo as well. Also, Frozen and probably many other Disney movies that I only watch when my children are sick during the night. The beginning of The Lion King was not too sad for me when I first saw it. I think I was thirteen years old. But awhile back I was watching it with Mercedes and it was gut wrenching. Watch this and I’ll tell you why.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGtJn-L5xEs

So, the king is murdered. Mercedes is watching it with me and she said, “He is asleep.” I said, “No, Mercedes he is not asleep he died.” Mercedes said, “No, he is asleep, look, he is just sleeping.” I continued trying to explain that the lion is dead. Now, some would say this is not good for children to be exposed to, but the evidence is to the contrary. People who write about talking with children about death say that we should not use euphemisms, but we should be straightforward. Further, children used to learn about death from the farm animals. Now, the fish dies and we try to replace the fish before it gets home so that little Johnny never has to understand that his fish died. In reality, that is a small way for the child to learn about death. So, I applaud Disney for crushing children’s hearts in the beginning of a movie and teaching children about life. In reality, I think it is harder the on the parents than the children.

So, why do I share this? Why am I putting you through this? I share this because we all face death. The older I get, and many of you would say that I am pretty young, but the older I get, the more I grapple with death. I stand in front of too many graves every year. I stand beside too many hospital beds. By the time my father was my age his dad had died. By the time my father was just a few years older than me his mother had died as well. That was the only time I saw my dad cry. I have to tell you that I HATE death. I hate to think about it. I really do. Meagan and I have talked extensively about our will and who would take care of our children if we were both to die. I hate the conversation. I hate it! I hate to think that they would have to go through such a thing.

All of what I just shared, including the video clip is why the Lenten season matters. All of what I just shared is why the cross matters. Jesus died, was buried and resurrected so that we will live again. So, death will be no more (1 Cor. 15:55-56; Rev. 21:4).

So, I am beginning a Lenten sermon series and it is all about Jesus.

Jesus saves, Jesus sanctifies, Jesus heals and Jesus is our coming King. Today, I am giving a brief overview and then next Sunday we will focus on Jesus saves, followed by Jesus sanctifies, Jesus heals and Jesus is our coming King. This is one denomination, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, calls the “4 Fold Gospel.” I cut my spiritual teeth with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and heard that Jesus is our Savior, Sanctifier, healer and coming King.”

My theme today: Life is all about Jesus. He saves us, sanctified us, heals us and He is our coming King.

Application: Wholly Surrender this Lenten Season

Revelation 5:1-5 and verses 9-10:

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”  But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.  I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Verses 9-10:

And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests
 to serve our God,
    and they will reign[b] on the earth.”

The Christian life is all about Jesus. Only Jesus is worthy, Amen!

  1. Jesus saves!
    1. Jesus is our Savior, only Jesus. Jesus is worthy. This is why good Friday is good. Jesus was crucified, but we live. This is why resurrection Sunday, which we usually call Easter is so powerful.
    2. Acts 4:12 says: Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
  2. Jesus sanctifies!
    1. Every now and then I like to eat something sweet, okay, I admit, every day I like to eat something sweet. So, suppose we have 5 brownies left in the morning and I know that I want one when I get home. Maybe I will take one and place it in a special place not to be touched. I sanctify that brownie for my eating later.
    2. Simply put, sanctify means to “set apart for a purpose.” More specifically it can mean to free from sin. Jesus sanctifies us.
    3. In Christianity, this is positional and progressive. When you accept Christ as Savior you are in a sinless position in God’s eyes. Jesus has freed you from sin because of the cross.
    4. However, this life on earth we still struggle with sin and this means that Jesus is working in us to make us more holy now.
    5. What is key to understand is that it is about Jesus.
    6. Jesus sanctifies, not you and not me.
    7. If you are trying to work out sin on your own, stop and turn it over to Jesus.
    8. You ask, “Do you have a Scripture?” Yes, thanks for asking:
    9. 2:6 is progressive sanctification: So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him…
    10. 1 Cor. 6:11 is positional sanctification: And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
  • Jesus heals!
    1. When we talk about Jesus as our healer we will actually have a time to come forward for prayer and anointing. I believe that Jesus still heals, but it is about Jesus and not about us. There are a lot of people faking healing for there own gain. But I have heard some amazing testimonies of healing.
    2. Matthew 8:14-16: When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities
      and bore our diseases.”
    3. One more passage:
    4. James 5:14-16: Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
    5. I know some are skeptical. Listen, every Christian will be healed for eternity when we die. But sometimes for God’s glory He heals now.
    6. One pastor writes: As a pastor, I was called to meet a couple at a hospital. Their daughter had suffered a seizure and was not breathing. When I reached the hospital, neither the parents nor the doctor were with the child. A nurse was unplugging the flat-lined machines.

The Holy Spirit prompted me to do something I’d never done before — pray over the girl’s lifeless body. I asked the nurse if I could pray for a minute, to which she replied, “You know she’s dead,” but allowed me to go ahead.

I asked God to restore the little girl. Then I went to next room and found the parents witnessing to the doctor. About a minute later, we heard a scream, then the little girl crying for her mommy. It’s never happened to me before or since. But Jesus is still healer.[1]

  1. Jesus is our coming King
    1. Jesus will come again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords
    2. Acts 1:11: Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Close:

The Christian life is all about Jesus. We face death now, but because of Jesus death is not the end. Jesus saves. We face sin now, but because of Jesus we are purified of sin in God’s eyes and Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit to keep us from sin now (Ephesians 5:18). We face sickness now, but Jesus is our ultimate healer. He heals some now, but He heals all for eternity. We will all serve in Jesus’ coming Kingdom.

Aslan lives! Jesus lives! We live!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0u90NYqTCk

Do you know Him? Are you wholly surrendered? Or, are you living the Christian life on your own strength?

Luke 9:23

Let’s pray.

 

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

[1] https://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/healer