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This One Thing: John the Revelator

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • June 20, 2020
    11:00 AM

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Let's pray indeed Lord this was that perhaps pinnacle of hope of Jesus as the anticipated the end of his earthly ministry that you would make us one I pray forgive us Lord when we've let opportunities go by where we would develop a bond forgive us Lord when we have failed together for edification forgive us Lord when we have failed to gather for proclamation forgive us Lord when our gatherings have created division and stead of unity and I'm praying Lorne that a deeper love for you would lead on to a deeper love for each other so that we might bring the sweetness of your spirit into a colossal battle in which we remain the spiritual David against Satan's Goliath do something now in this morning of the order that you've already done prepare our hearts prepare mine and the Lord I pray teach and touch according to your will in Jesus' name amen I want to talk to you this morning about the difficulty of becoming a pastor if it was hard 30 years ago it's hard today now it was something when I when I sat in that church school in my heart was opening up to Christ and I was learning about the beauty and the nobility of Jesus Christ and all the faithful people that have followed him through the millenia. As I listen to the stories about the pioneers of this church great men and women who dedicated their all. Sold some of the most central things to the production of money in their lives like Buck and bright that prize a team of oxen that were the best in 5 counties so there could be a steam press in Battle Creek and the owner would go down there and listen to the his sin the pearl and say there's buck and bright pulling for the lord no set of oxen to plow its field the next spring as I sat and listened to these stories as the saw the pictures of the pioneers on the walls as my teacher who was filled with the Holy Spirit Day in and day out praying for us would come to that classroom he was forming a little family of faith and posturing us to make a difference in a dark world. At the end of that year I was baptized the next year they had a set up doing what you'll be able to see this afternoon in the lead program at 4 o'clock carefully discipled to encounter Christ and then share Christ of course there's a personal dynamic of that which isn't to be skipped but there is a there is a power in carrying the mantle of proclaiming the most beautiful message that's ever been told and at the end of that little message I gave it was clear to my teachers that God might have something in mind for me maybe a unique gift the next Monday at school they pulled me aside and they said Ronnie we think God might be calling you to the ministry and I'm thinking he like the pastor it's settled in my heart and mind is a beautiful thing until I settled a little bit too much into my Christian role and enter those later adolescent years and I just started melting in to the culture of the church which has so many beautiful things I love this church do you love this church friends. There's nothing like the sweetness of Jesus when he makes his people one in this church but sometimes we don't follow on doing this one thing seeking to know Jesus wanting to know him more than anyone else and I lost my way for a little while and I went to a public college which if you're their friends may be a light but make sure you're there because you should be there I was there because I didn't have the faith that I should be at Andrews University and after a year of that journey with another sibling coming behind me I said to God One day God I'm going to Andrew's University and my sister's not going to have the experience I've had this last year listen doing what God wants always looks hard but it's always the best and the most beautiful if we have faith enough to hear his voice and follow him every single thing this church does is resisted at a level that other churches and other entities are not resisted at in your personal life this will be true as well and one when I arrived in him Bridgeman Michigan in a rainstorm in that little red traveling bomb it was a Pinto if you remember those Pintos they were set up for for fireworks my sister was already at Andrews working in the business office it was the age before cellular phones and there I am stuck on the east side of Bridgeman because my car is flooded out it's barely something you dare trust your collegiate to make a half hour trip and let alone the 5 hour trip from Peoria Illinois to bering Springs Michigan I got on the phone and eventually ended up on the campus and the journey began but I hadn't yet recently under my life completely the Lord so I was going to try something other than ministry. I made a for a here I made a foray there eventually the Lord allowed me to stumble their time and to hit my nose on a closed door and there finally came a moment while I was a student at Andrews University that I said Lord I'm giving my life back to you you can do with me whatever you want. In that moment a certain piece flooded my soul my troubles were over they just changed a new journey of challenge began but I want to tell you something if you're going to have trouble friends you'd be better off having it on the outside than have it in on the inside and have peace on the inside with God why am I talking to you about the difficulty of choosing Ministry I'm talking with you about it for 2 reasons number one there are people listen to me here today whether they're in this auditorium of their online whom God is calling them to a pastoral or teaching ministry but every other person that's within the sound of these audio waves of my voice is called to a ministry your very life is to be a ministry and when when I think about the life of the Apostle Paul I recognize that he had a few challenges on the front side too but if you think it's easy to let go of the convenience of a good lie I can remember in the beginning I thought man I don't know if I want to be a pastor because they're out every evening I like having my evenings at home let me tell you friends being out every evening is a problem this big now for me 30 years into this but whatever it is for you God's calling you to a different level of commitment to his sure which you know the church is is struggling don't you some I say it's even worse than struggling. Well we've read the statements she says it's going to look like the church is about to fall I wonder how long it will be until it looks like the 1st domino sets the others in place were not as far away as we used to be. Church school I went to school at where I was converted it's out of business they kept me where I went to school that is out of business places that should be vibrant and alive by following the prophets because believe the prophets and you'll be established listen to the voice of these godly men and women and you will prosper friends there there is some measure of simplicity to the vitality and the joy of winning instead of losing if there was one thing that made it difficult for me to choose to embrace the identity of this church and actually be the face of it in time and place was the fact that I could see already even 30 years ago that the levels of commitment were leading to a a law is a fair and a lack of excellence in its corporate identity and its efforts and I want to tell you no young man or no young woman wants to sign up for mediocrity one of the early phrases that we adopted in ministry here they'll Ijaz no more blemished offerings no more showing up a few minutes before the service begins no more moments when you didn't come prayed up and practiced up and prepared up how many of our churches look like 2 bit dog and pony shows because the way we're approaching the level of commitment we have is lower than the guy selling hamburgers next door and Jesus Himself said the sons of darkness are more shrewd than the sons of light. But we're living in a consumer age where you can't really hold anybody accountable because when you go to holding people accountable they might say well I'll just take my money and I'll take my shoe leather and I'll go right on down the road Thank you know thank you which by the way is another practical outcome of being unified so that the prophetic voice in the home in the school in the church is pretty much marching to the beat of the same Holy Spirit drum wherever we go. Instead of picking your flavor here and picking your flavor there yes it's hard to become a minister whether you're a lay minister and I'm not talking in the sense of following a pastor around or an elder around I'm talking into the sense that whether you're fixing a car swinging a hammer whether you're writing code or doling out physical therapy God wants to inhabit your person so that the light of His presence in the spirit of heaven is around you wherever you go because I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt the instead of holding up and taking a siege mentality we're going to hang on until Jesus comes we're going to do more than hold the fort we're actually going to band together in prayer we're going to gather we're going to pray we're going to go and we're going to let the gates of hell do a little bit of shivering and shaking and stead of us getting up and make in tepid offering appeals so that we can just keep the heat and the lights on in our churches I'm 3 quarters the way through my journey unless God answers my prayer that I could be like Caleb and Joshua in which case I'll go a little longer was be up to him but if there's one thing that I decided early on and what I was doing it kind of went along with what my mother said I can remember those days when I'm vacuuming the floor she told me by the way she's listening mom I'm calling you back into that fellowship she's listening not politically correct. But you know the church is waiting there are many that have wandered spitter prophecy says it will come back the story of my life is not is not it's a beautiful hopeful story for which I'm turning grateful to my mother but it is not a story of a 7 day having his home it's the story of a woman who when our own way but did decide their kids would have a chance to choose if they wanted to and so when I was thrust into that church school at 13 years of age which by the way Alex is a difficult time to interject that much change but it wasn't up to me and she had fought too many battles so when she dropped me into that period junior academy it was against my will but it wasn't against God's will and it was an answer to Grandma's prayers and the turnabout was something she never imagined she didn't realize she'd have a teenage preacher in the making in our home and today Mom I'm preaching to you I know God's calling you mom you're following him and all those others like my mother who maybe have felt the sting of inconsistency and hypocrisy and some of those other things God is calling you back keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus the author in the finisher of our faith people are going to disappoint you things are going to go wrong all the people I've worked for in the church have not been converted people who say Pastor you're judging them no I'm not judging them the fruits of their labors made it very clear that some of them became very accustomed to the mechanism of the church and administration but very unaccustomed to the administration of truth and principle. Yes it's hard to leave behind a convenient life which is why so many churches are inconveniently mediocre not vital not alive not making a difference the world is not listening to the church if you hadn't noticed the church is traded in the battle for the soul of this nation for power structures of a manmade making the church is largely impotent today in changing even the generation of its own youth. And some would say well that's the church's fault I would agree. It's just we don't mean the same thing when we say there's nothing new under the sun conversion works the same way today in the 21st century as it worked in the 20th and the 19th all of which comprise the history of 7 they haven't Tizen the prophetic world has not changed there's nothing new under the Sun Man has created many new things and wonderful inventions but he's at his worst when his inventions start tinkering with the social the relational and the spiritual all of those things structured by God have never changed. Parents and educators you're not to be teaching your kids to follow their dreams had a seminary professor sit down by me in this church this last week said down by me said Pastor I need to talk to you. He says I really do believe that we are doing our young people the tremendous disservice that echoes more the sentiments of common culture than it does the call of Christ on the cross to tell them to follow their dreams Now listen when a man's way pleases the Lord and when we delight in the lower. He gives us the desires of our heart but prior to that moment in the discipleship dynamic we're actually to be calling all today I'm calling you young and old we are being called to actually learn to let go of some of the things that aren't robbing our vitality and short circuit in our spirituality so that we could fall in love again with Jesus. Take your Bibles if you would know open them up to the book of 2nd Current thins Paul this one thing 2nd Corinthians Chapter 11 this one thing. I know I've lived through the generation listening to the stories of all the people who have articulated the neglect of their parents especially if they were a pastor or teacher how refreshing it was to me to listen to Brittany Birmingham in her village testimony talk about the inspiration of dedicated Adventist educators Yes train your families that they have 2 things to understand about Ministry I'm talking to every denominational employee right now train them that they have a right to remind you when it's time to come you apart and rest awhile I don't ever want to hear of a family where there is not a trust respect relationship between a husband and a wife whatever role they fulfill and a proper one of course between the children the parents where they can say Mom you're working too hard things are out of bounds dad you're doing too much and in a relationship where there's not a proper cycle of to wait feedback proper accountability where truth is not true anymore will lead to dysfunction and I give no countenance to the dynamic of dads who aren't around enough to spend time with their their little boys and their little girls are moms in the same way and certainly husbands and wives there's really very little left to give if there's not a living cycle between the 3 court and straight end of husband wife and go on having said that there's a 2nd thing to teach your children if you work for the church is that part of their sacrifice is to share the health and vitality of their family whether it's mom or dad with the larger family and yeah indeed there to be a part of what's going on it's a work for everyone and everyone makes some sacrifices and carries a cross Let's get the balance right but let's come back to this one thing this one thing. The Ins 11 I wish that you'd bear with me verse one in a little foolishness. But indeed you are bearing with me for I'm jealous for you with a godly jealousy for I be trust you to one husband I want to get the metaphor of marriage so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin those words are laden with spiritual practicality for distinction from the world so that love can flow freely to Jesus but Verse 3 is where he hits the nail in the head but I'm afraid. You know this is the 2nd of probably the 2 most painful letters in all of the New Testament Paul didn't know if he should send the 1st one it was so strong utilizing his prophetic role every father every mother every teacher every pastor there is a prophetic role it is not the telling the future although proverbially you may do that in the general sense of this activity will lead to this but it is indeed the role of exhortation edification and consolation that's described a few chapters later in chapter 14 I'm afraid today as I stand before you I want you to know something I'm afraid to I'm afraid that is the serpent deceived Eve by its craftiness your mind's will be a lead astray from the simplicity empirically of devotion to Christ I love the amazing simplicity although I know he does write some things hard to understand but I do love that this great mind filled with the Holy Spirit can get it down to some very easy to understand things simplicity of purity and devotion to Christ when I met my wife at Andrews University another and the most preeminent amazing thing I took away from Christian education God gave her to me. It didn't take me long to figure out in simplicity and purity of devotion what I wanted I wanted to carry her books I wanted to buy her food I wanted to spend free time with her I love to go for walks with her I love to take her out and go get something special to eat off campus I love simplicity and purity of devotion in the blessid benefit of just being in her presence but I know today everybody has a really good reason why we don't come and gather in the name of Christ but it's not that we don't have simplicity and devotion for Jesus it's just that we get that some other way I'm here to tell you there are thousands of churches in the Western world that are dying simply because there are not enough rays of light brought together by the magnifying glass of Christian community to start a fire on anything David went out to fight to live by himself but I want to tell you it's pretty intimidating when you're pastors biggest worry is whether or not somebody is going to show up the members are going to show up and fill the pews to encourage him in the proclamation or encourage or in the proclamation I want to tell you the church no longer has the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ as a matter of fact if they're really honest with themselves they'll admit that other things are crowding in the virginity of their spiritual walk may not be everything they think it is in our churches would simply gather they would have the unity that was sung about they would see the presence of God as they come in humble dependence and a powerful prayer ministry to tear down the forces of evil they're not going to do it by themselves we've had another good high Diaz says it's time to quit tinkering with the machine and get down and ask God to put some gas in the tank so it can read to life and scare the devil to death. It's time for the church to come back to the simplicity and the purity of devotion to Christ and that person down the pew from you that you don't feel comfortable with yet is distant and designed to become a brother or us and the woman a sister in Christ and the awkwardness maybe even the frustration maybe the natural dislike is to give way to a brotherly and sisterly affection and that kind of love will get the attention of the world and when they don't like what the preacher said they'll still like the sense of communion community and family they got when they were with those people but you know what it's hard to love somebody like that who's a stranger I know I'm busy serving the church I work for the church in this community we have a disproportionate number of people who work for the church I know you're all doing good work that's why that's why you're too busy for some of the things that are going on what's the excuse 100 miles from barren Springs this one thing What was Paul's One thing you say Pastor you're going to try to take most of the New Testament deal still and down into one thing you know I'm going to distill it down into 3 contradiction of homiletic of terms doesn't I need you to know before I get into my 3 Paul hated the church Paul hated the church oh that more people hated the church today I could wish that we were hot or cold but Paul hated that church because it was a blazing inferno of fidelity for Jesus Christ and it was eroding away the fortresses of darkness and tradition of cold formality Paul hated the church his was a message that was destined to destroy the church but the message of Jesus Christ was destined to change Paul this is not of this is not a sermon about the personality of Pong. This is not a critique of the personality of Pong if Paul were alive today according to modern leadership theory he'd be a pariah that mean he'd be a cast off a 21st century postmodern leadership theory but I'll tell you what if everywhere I go they serve tea but everywhere Paul goes there's a revolution the church itself might find a vitality a power a challenge maybe even some frustration or resentment to the articulator this powerful prophetic Paul but the church will not be the same when the message of the prophets and the power of this Elijah message him bodies more of us than it does today back to Philippians chapter 3 this one thing What was Paul's one thing well it's pretty much right here in chapter 3 verse one finally my brother rejoice in the Lord to write the same things again is no trouble to me and it's a safeguard to you I want to give you some good news according to the Apostle Paul if your preacher never tells you anything new it's no problem we think the success of the church is the pope we think the suggest the success of the church is is the vitality and giftedness of the person who stands behind it I want you to know something so many of those New Testament churches went forward without any character or very few maybe we could have put a policy in there that had the kind of homiletic of gifts that Paul had but somehow that church grew for the 1st 3 centuries and conquered the pantheon of Roman gods and we went from. Well we went to mano Thea's them in place of that spiritual pluralism Paul's churches were without a preacher many of the times but they were not without power because the church itself pressed to gather to learn of Christ from the word and from each other. If you want your church to come alive gather to pray for the preacher. Gather to hold him or her up so that there can be an announcement of glorious good news that is coupled with the joy of a corporate family good news experience it's nice to scapegoat on somebody if only we could get a good preacher here things might work that's not what Paul says and I want you to know if your preacher stands in the pulpit and they never say anything new just remember what Paul said it's Ok it's safe for me to say all the things you again I already said it's a safeguard for you there's nothing new under the sun then he goes on to write be aware of the dogs be wary of the evil workers be aware of the circumcision probably a reference to the Jew day I hears can't prove it makes sense based on the rest of what he's written but we need to know one thing those that were contrary to the simplicity and the devotion of Christ still exist and then we get a little bit farther down verse 7 whatever things were gain to me those things I've counted loss for the sake of Christ more than that I count all things but loss in view of the surpassing value of the knowledge knowing Jesus Christ my Lord and there it is friends if there's one thing the 11 of the one a the one prime if there is one thing that Paul's going to make the main thing thats it. Oh that I might know you don't know you and your death and in your resurrection Paul is willing to suffer Paul is willing to endure all kinds of difficult circumstances but there's one thing Paul is not letting go in his life and that is this living relationship with Jesus where he says go he goes he says Say stays and he says speak up he speaks up that he says Be quiet be quiet friends if the church was living like this today we would have so many stumbles and awkward moments Paul declared a change in identity and once the change in identity was determined and and decided Paul made that identity in Christ by the holding he became change those 3 years in Arabia the rest of the time Paul never forgot the priority of knowing he was in God's will and out of God's way and it's imperative today you've got a lot to do some of you may be too committed to the external side of of that one supreme object of God's regard the church and by the way friends when I'm talking about Jesus we know from the fees in chapter one there is one Lord one body one baptism and we know in chapter one that Jesus is the head of the body that body is the object of his supreme and guard it is the church that is his fortress in a revolted world of darkness this church your church is to be outside of the walk with Christ it is to be an expression of the inner walk with Christ the relationship you have with him if there's one thing that Paul did as he counted everything else but last for the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ so how can you skip your devotional life you've got some kind of public thing you're afraid you might be nervous you might mess up well welcome to the real world where we all do you've got a grade you've got again I had the wonderful distinction of making it on the academic probation when I was in and university sorry about that my good professors. But for all of you that know what I feel felt like and understand what I'm talking about there's hope friends turn it back over to Jesus after I did that we started climbing out of the pit they even decided to let me into a post-graduate degree program but I can remember a few distinct moments when I decided that as as one of my students had told me I'm good make Ron Make sure you get on his grades. I'm not a cheater knew I said no you don't get it make sure you're not feeling time from gone and from your family to achieve your goals time does not permit me or give me the opportunity to tell all the different moments when I determined like Paul that I would make the surpassing glory and value of knowing Jesus Christ the priority of my life what is it for you friends maybe it's time to recognize that there are some leeches on your spiritual life and they're not even bad but is there gorging themselves on the spiritual vitality that ought to be offered up to a higher order and a greater purpose maybe it's time to say does anybody have a little spiritual salt I need for a new op location I want this bloodsucker off my spiritual experience I need to put a little bit of salt on this thing Oswald Chambers will remind us in my upmost for his highest that the greatest competitor for our devotion to Christ is our service for Christ at least for some for some of the rest listening to me this morning it's all kinds of a myriad host of other things that don't morally present themself with a with an ugliness. But I'm here to tell you when the church can even gather to pray and any size and semblance of numbers and any you know back in the day when the miners were down digging the coal they had the birds in the cages and when the poisonous gases started escaping out of the layers of the earth the canary would quit singing and that was indicated to the miners get out get out today I would suggest to you that the challenge with closing schools is not the schools themselves typically but it is the overall absence of vitality in the larger congregation of that faith community it is the absence of the powerful gripping convicting account of the all accountability holding gospel message that convicts us that the cross is something done by us and then shows us that the cross is done things done something done for us these are the dynamics of the gospel which Paul were not was not willing to release he worked in the same mantle Empress and dynamic of Jesus Christ he spent time with Jesus and like Acts Chapter 4 verse 13 like the rest of the Apostles it became clear that the marks of his ministry were such that he took his marching orders from God He was he was faithful to the truth as it was in Jesus always kind but always true and when you know it the Gospel sprouted to life all over the Old and New World the 1st thing Paul didn't was he made certain that he was walking with Jesus especially talking to pastors and administrators and teachers right now there are so many times in our work I'm talking to parents too by the way there are so many times in our work when you need to have everything right when you act. Their lives they used to say the right thing done the right way at the right time for the right reason you need it all lining up you need a spiritual constellation of permission to go forward and then you need the confidence when the storm breaks out that you were in is Will we're living in an age with an absence of true prophetic ministry and consequentially people are choosing their own past and when you know it given a generation we see colossal societal dysfunction to the point where someday the secular world is going to crash out even the secular world is going to cry and say we need to get back to church that's where we're headed It's not hard to see the 2nd thing that Pastor Paul did was he pressed on for the sake of others his journey wasn't about himself he didn't take all of the layers of his theological training and sit away doing nothing one thing if ever there was a life of service that was Christ but if there was one that followed hard on the heels of Jesus it was Pastor Paul he'd write in the 11 are they Hebrew so am I Are they is your light so my are they to sense of Abraham so my are they servants of Christ I'm speaking like I'm crazy I'm more so far more in Labour's far more imprisonments beaten times with number pas Pastor Ron Pos What is the worst thing that's happened to me move your membership don't like his preaching start a rumor about him that's half true those are the worst lies by the way lose a potential promotion that one's hard to prove and you don't need to worry about it anyway John the Baptist said a man can only have with God given there's a place for me there's a place for you what what has my interest in a lost world cost me some sleepless night yeah I can check that one at least partially fill in invading my family life for sure. Changing my schedule even how many days later I leave on my vacation almost always and how does that compare to beatings with our number. What's my point well it's nothing new to you but remember it's Ok for me to tell you what you already know the last you've invested in sacrifice. It me. We have little Shetland sheepdogs had a little little girl cept when Shetland sheepdog name was Sandy we made a terrible decision and decided to raise puppies I was in the seminary I was sponsored for which I was frank full My wife was teaching that sell Ben and you know I was there the day the those little puppies were born you know I grew up on a little quarter acre postage stamp subdivision law just outside imperial annoy I didn't get the blessings in the benefit of ever watching something come into the world but I was there when those little puppies were born and I want to tell you it was love at 1st sight and feeding them again taking care of them the only problem is when you get ready to get rid of them I'm going to sell you a member of my family and we had the unfortunate benefit of one of them actually getting sick now for those of you that maybe aren't from the same ilk is this this preacher I think one night I laid on the kitchen floor with the puppy we made one of those trips to the emergency veterinarian services which wiped out most of any money we thought we might make doing this and finally because of all that had been invested in that dog I could not bear to watch it leave the family so I gave it away to a family member. That was a 4 footed beast with a life span of about 10 years do you know there are myriads of people. Eating their way into the grave when one friendship with one 7th Day Adventists who understands the laws of health and how to protect some measure of vitality with one church having one seminar and all the stars lining up just the right way for a living connection they could have the information that changes their lives you know there are people that are still sucking on these weeds and some no longer use weeds they just light something in a pipe and work harder on their lungs in a shorter amount of time what ever happened to the fact that the church that started the 5 day plan to quit smoking can barely rally enough people to do a health seminar ever now and that what has happened the right arm of the gospel seems to have become palsy maybe tied behind our back by circumstances and other priorities I don't know but I know this I walk into stores whether I'm in the store off to my west of the one off to myself and I see all kinds of the degradation that comes with ignorance and unknowing and a lack of hope and we're Ok with it as long as it doesn't touch the borders in the boundaries of our home it's not Ok we have invested so little song and by the way the spectrum of investment tends to be directly related generationally and this is the father of 4 millennial so I have no problem challenging them all and reminding them all that this daddy prays often Lord make them soldiers in the army of Christ that's what I raise them for. Are there any parents reminding their children that they've been bought with a price and that they're to glorify God or are we simply telling them to follow their dreams have we taught them the practicality the freedom and the joy of picking up across or is it more about the fact that we kind of take a take off from society and get the window into your wings we've been seeing you're the wind under my wing sorry for anyone that just thinks that's the greatest song in the world I happen to think it's a great substitute for the true inspiration of the Shrew actualization that comes in the Lord Jesus Christ 5 times I received 39 lashes Can you imagine how scarred this man's back once 3 times I was beaten with rods once I was stoned 3 times I was shipwrecked a night in a day I've spent in the deep I've been on frequent journeys and dangers from rivers dangerous from robbers dangerous for my countrymen dangerous from Gentiles dangers in the city dangers in the wilderness dangers in the sea dangers among false brothers and you know what we've got a few dangers going on in our society today too don't we but I wonder if they should shut the church down I've been in labor and hardship through many sleepless nights and hunger and thirst often without food when have I gone hungry circumstantially required that is in cold in exposure and he gets the end of the list as if the whole thing's wearing him out. Verbal a and he says and apart from all these external things those are all on the outside those are the burdens of the outside there's a daily pressure on me concerning all of the fill in the blank friends church is are you hearing tell me that in the name of Paul we call ourselves 70 Ad minutes and trusted with 5 greatest doctrines of the Protestant denomination at least 5 of the greatest ones. And our personal agendas have the ability to reduce us to impotency in a society to where we're barely struggling to stay alive and it casts such a cautious pall over all of our administrative delivering deliberations is this really where we're supposed to be on the cusp of eternity or should we come back to this one thing maybe it's time to set some of those things on hold maybe it's time to say if it's in a I'm used to it might have to be a b. because I'm going to be there and I'm going to commit to this and I'm going to do that. Maybe it's time for us to say like the apostle Paul. Of which the church was what he sought to establish and what he sought to protect that we will be as committed to warning the lost world as he was and again this is not him. I will not allow myself at least to reduce this journey to a reflection on his personality that is reductionism of the wrong order its absolute fallacy while he was a man of intensity no doubt he was moved and motivated by the cross as a matter of fact and why it makes it very clear the love of Christ said Paul constrain of us that's 514 this was the actuating principle of his conduct it was this motive power if ever is ardor in the path of duty flagged for a moment one glance at the cross caused him to gird up a new His lawyer belongings of his mind and pressed forward in the way of self-denial in his labors for his brother and he relied much upon the manifestation of infinite love in the sacrifice of Christ within subduing constraining power Listen friends for all of you who have gone before us for all of you that are laboring right now take courage Jesus is by your side take courage your for your labor is not without fruit take courage the harvest will be greater than maybe it looks right now but remember friends we have a unique stewardship and we need to come back to this one thing winning a lost world. The 3rd thing Paul did was he pressed on for the church that it might stay true to Jesus that's what most of these letters are about one of our new testament professors at the seminary said something that I wish could be put on a megaphone while Paul gives us the most beautiful narratives of righteousness by faith you need to remember that most of the New Testament is about behavior modification now a discussion of motivation would be very important once I say that wooden. Is it for legalism and acceptance is it for anyone's way are we back to the simplicity and devotion of my love for Jesus as Lord you can have it all my palate my ears my eyes my hands my relationships my money my dress ad infinitum it's all yours Jesus but I want to tell you Paul practiced the prophetic gift to keep the church true to what it was called to and Leviticus 1718 says don't hate a fellow Israelite in your heart rebuking and he says I believe it is to the fusions maybe it was the current the n.c. said I have to in front of the whole church How about when he writes in chapter 4 your enemy because I've told you the truth is churches that he actually shed blood to establish but I want to come back to Leviticus 19 because we love to quote verse 18 but we have forgotten to read it in context for hints a so I'm going to read the 2 verses together and you'll reckoning venge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people but here comes the famous line in context just told how to do it but love your neighbor as yourself I am the Lord years ago there was a carpenter building cabinets for Picasso and he had a question about the cabinets so we went down to the great our studio and the question was not answered with words the question was answered with a drawing and as the carpenter stood there watching and Picasso is is sketching out what he wants. The deal is about to be finalised instruct him because so ask him how much money he wants and the shrewd carpenter replies this he says we pastors teachers and parents administrators the mark of our ministerial imprimatur is on the people that we are disciple What does it look like. Have we simply raised up a group as can decrease the Dean will call in our book almost Christian have we raised up a group of moral therapeutic Diest nice people. They're not going to create a stir in the world they're not going to embarrass us and cause a big problem but nobody's life is going to be changed either because they've learned that they're at the height of the of the mountain they are the peak of kings and queens in a customer and customer service age gone it is actually calling us to call our children not to chase their dreams but to this one thing the other night I. Pulled into my driveway I live about a 1000 feet back in the woods God gave me a little house back there when I step out on the porch on that campus sambal I can't see another house from where I live it's his it's for me so that in the midst of my commitments I don't have to go anywhere I can just go walk my driveway if I want this week on my way home from one of these virtual camp meeting experience it's one of the nicest nastiest Black Cats you're ever going to mean when we got that cat it had been born under the somebodies porch and was half wild and I should have known we were in trouble when it when as weird as went back and. He's half wild when he's not have well these wonderful devote wonderfully devotional the cat won't got taken to the Humane Society fortune tain an outside cat the people at the Humane Society didn't want deal with him. I knew he's a little hard to deal with he doesn't like going to the vet I show up at the Humane Society and I came with the right ferocious in the back of that cage it's a big black cat that he scared even me. And finally I mustered up my courage and I reached in a back of the cage and I grabbed him had a few choice words for him paid the money after all that expression of gratitude I thought I should leave something behind Actually I was required to do that so the other night he's on the driveway crouched He's getting ready to pounce So I just stop and wonder what he's going to get he just moves slow tailless it's pretty late but I say to myself I can't watch this anymore I need to move on so as my little car starts to roll toward him things start to happen he rushes to the base of a little white pine and I hear a little screech and I'm thinking to myself He's got some animal I jump out of the car No Well there's gloves and I grab that cat by the nap of the neck and I say you let go he's got this cute little bunny I know what about all the last people in the world I grab that cam by the back of the neck he wriggles out for me the bunny runs off he runs across the road now I'm in the bushes on the other side I grab that category. You let go of that bunny poor little bunny whiskers twitching he's Ok I grab that can I throw him in the car I drive down my 900 feet of gravel driveway I take him in the garage I give him a big scoop of cat food you eat this leave the bunnies alone. This one thing. You are a member of the bunny as far as I know he still hippety hop in around out of my state and I want you to hear the words of God to Jonah there's a 120000 people over there Nineveh the don't know their spiritual left hand from their right hand and it's Ok with you John. Well it wasn't Ok with Joan is gone and it was a no came with Paul's God and it's not Ok with your God or my gun that means it shouldn't be Ok with us I'm calling you back to a new commitment to Christ he'll speak loud enough to tell you what to let go and what the hang on I'm calling you back to a new commitment to reaching the last and I'm calling you back to a new commitment in the name of Christ in the name of Paul and I'm going to guarantee you something it will work a lot easier than you think and it will be a lot harder to make the choices to be here and take advantage of those mighty weapons of warfare for pulling down the strongholds of this age God's done to before well even prophet so you so shall you be established and let's go on to believe him again and so shall ye prosper no blemished offerings only are best for the Master Lord I want to know you more to know you and your death and resurrection and I'll go where you want me to go and yes Lord some day this Paul he couldn't be crucified upside down Peter and Paul crucified Peter was but Paul about $8067.00 finds himself being walked out to the executioners block but n.y. tells us it is fought sprung forward to the inheritance as the shadow of the executioner swing came down to sever and course all it was due he was following Jesus. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus had been in the form of God it wasn't robbery for him to be called equal to God but he made himself of no reputation he became a bondservant and he humbled himself in the likeness of man and he went farther being found as a man he went and was obedient to the point of death and he went farther even the death of a cross why. Because he only had one thing on his mind. And you. This media was brought to you by audio a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse you would like to listen to more sermon leave w.w.w. audio verse or.

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