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Love, The Only Reason Why

Weston Fargo
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  • May 2, 2015
    10:00 AM
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How many have heard of I share before. Oh a good number. OK Great Will. I sure is a ministry out of the Pacific Union conference or basically stands for I seek to help advance revival and evangelism. I hope I got that correct. They'll be checking on skin I think to help advance revival and evangelism. And once a year we hold a conference an annual conference. And at this conference we have various engaging speakers seminars discussions and it's a it's a great opportunity to come to network to learn more about the Bible to learn how to share the Bible. If we're praying for a viable in your life in your community this is a great opportunity to come and to learn more about the Bible to learn more about how to share the Bible with those around you. It's actually our next conference is coming up in August so it's coming up fast and it's going to be right around the corner in Ontario at the Ontario convention center Aug fourteenth and fifteenth and I just wanted to tell you about it because registration opens up in a couple weeks and we're expecting well over a thousand people in attendance to deafen deftly want to register soon we're hoping to see you guys all there. I currently volunteer as the programming director so I know we have some really exciting stuff for you guys I volunteer alongside Tina Montero. Not sure Tina in the back there if you have any questions. We have been doing the programming for sure so we're really excited about it. A lot of really exciting things going on in our world today a lot of really cool things I believe we live in such an exciting time of Earth's history would you agree on a positive things but of course with the positive comes the negative a lot of negative things as well and you don't have to go far but turn on the news or the radio to find that out is that right. Sometimes we become somewhat desensitized to it all because it happens so often. Or the way the media portrays certain things. We've become somewhat desensitized to just the things we see the things we hear tend to go in one ear and right out the other I was just recently with a good friend of mine and we were talking about this phenomenon and of course he knows that I'm a preacher and so he's like oh well you haven't heard the one about the three guys who went hunting have you and I was like OK here we go. So he's like yeah three guys go hunting. One's a preacher. One's a lawyer and one's a doctor and so rifles in hand they walk out into the field and as soon as they get out into the field they see a mass of deer running across the field and a gunshot is heard and the deer goes down and so they look at each other to see who shot the deer but what they don't know and so they walk over to the deer and they see Sure enough the bullet pierced the head of the deer. They go over to the gamekeeper. Did you see anything who shot the deer gamekeeper looks down takes a quick glance he says that's easy to notice. It's the preacher the lawyer the doctor they look at each other the preacher why the preacher Oh when the bullet went in one ear and right out the other. And so my friend was timing the story and it was somewhat humorous but I pray that that would not be our experience here today I am praying the message would leave a lasting impression and that it would be a heartfelt message not just one that pierces our mind but that pierces our heart as well the title of today's message is up on the screen. Love the only reason why I want to be to I want to talk this morning about the importance of love as the basis for decision making the basis for our very Christian experience. With your permission I just went about our heads for one more word of prayer and ask the Lord to be present with us dear Lord I pray as we talk about this concept of love as we talk about your character dear lord. But she would show us something about our very own character and how we could be more like you. Speak through me I pray in Jesus' name amen. William Kyle Carpenter came from a place called Gilbert South Carolina. Has anyone heard of Gilbert South Carolina. So OK I hadn't either until I heard the story. Population size of about six hundred people. Now I take it we all currently live in Southern California maybe some people have traveled in from afar but can you imagine living in a location with only six hundred people you and your family decide to take a vacation and you dramatically exponentially decrease the population size of your hometown six hundred people. This is where Kyle came from William better known as Kyle Kyle came from Gilbert South Carolina and at a young age he decided to enlist in the Marines. And shortly after enlisting he was sent out to work in Afghanistan. And there he would experience you can imagine experience all the perils of warfare the casualties the engine or ease the the various dangers one hundred fifteen degree temperatures. But while he was there he actually also made a friend a very close friend in his platoon a bond that was forged in the battlefield his friend's name was Nick. And I was listening to an interview with Kyle and he was saying how there's nothing like a friendship that that that's forged on the battlefield nothing like a friendship where you have to trust the other man with your life. One night Kyle and Nick and the rest of his platoon about twelve men total were sent on a mission into enemy territory and they were they were on their way into the territory they had entered into the territory and they decided to camp out for the night. And so they camped out they built a barricade they camped out these twelve men Kyle and Nick were to be on watch that night and watch it. It went somewhere and went smoothly the whole night through nothing necessarily took place. But Morning came and they were awoken by automatic rifles firing directly at them. Kyle and Nick with the rest of the platoon took cover behind barricades. When all of a sudden a grenade flew over the barricade and landed right beside Nick Kyle's best friend Kyle without hesitation without thinking twice thinking acting instantaneously lead to his feet and jumped on the grenade in an attempt to save his best friend's life his fellow Marines life. Over two two years in the hospital five months of which he found himself in a coma over forty surgeries later he alongside the rest of the platoon that witnessed this. We're there to tell the story of Kyle risking his life to jump on that grenade to save the life of his friend. Question I have for us this morning is very simple. How can we get to the point in our own experience where we would act when when faced with the opportunity to make a moral decision when faced with the opportunity to make a selfless decision. We too would act instantaneously to have the experience of Christ where were our constant thought is not necessarily on ourselves but on those around us. When I introduce you to the three most profound what I believed to be the three most profound words in all scripture from the first John chapter four verse eight most of the verses will be on the screen says this he who does not love it's usually he who does not love does not know God why. For God is love the three where. As God is love I'm told sometimes it's easy to think about things and in the form of an equation somewhere you are like I've had enough schooling they take it easy right. But if I were to ask you four plus three equals you would tell me. Seven If I were to ask you five plus five equals you would tell me ten. But if I were to ask you what God equals or what God is what would you tell me. Well logically you tell me love right. And so that begs the question well what is this thing that we call love in the English language as well as of course any other language really we have what's called the grammatical equivalents the one the grammatical equivalents which is to say we have other words within the language to describe a particular word or phrase idea expression experience right. I just came across one word I thought I'd share with you just for the sake of illustration the word is infra dig and I was led to look this word up and this is what then if I like the meaning so I thought I'd share it in for dig beneath one's dignity. So if I were to ask you what the definition or or what the grammatical equivalence what the meaning of infra dig is you would tell me. Beneath one's dignity don't ask me to use in the sentence I'm still learning. But the point is I mean that would be the meaning right but what about love. If I were to ask you what love means what would you tell me. See I believe as time goes on our perception of love or on an understanding of love becomes more and more obscure. If I were to ask you all pick on maybe my good friend Ted I don't think you know Ted what something you love. Maybe you'll tell me I love my wife. Vonte or maybe some of you would say I love my my pet I love puppies I love sunshine I love some really healthy pizza you know and I mean my that very healthy restaurant or something right. And so we love our favorite pets we love our favorite weather we love our spouses. We love God so it's like we have this perception that's just far reaching. But when studying scripture it's always important to let Scripture define itself right. So I want to stand and share my own opinion of what love is I just want to share what the Bible says. So first Corinthians chapter thirteen also known as the Love Chapter it says this will let the Bible define itself. First Corinthians chapter thirteen verse four and five. If you find it easier to turn there I'll give you a moment to turn there. So I mention First Corinthians thirteen if you want to read through the entire chapter later is what we know to be the last chapter in the Bible to anyone or to ask you. Says love suffers long and is kind love does not envy love does not parade itself is not puffed up does not behave rudely and I like this very next phrase does not seek its own is not provoked thinks no evil so if I were to fill another word into the context that would accurately represent what love is what would be another word love is not selfish very good. Love is not selfish love is not self-seeking love is there is focused love is outwardly focused is that right. And so here we see Christ as the exact representation of what love truly is. Leaving his throne I want you to visualize this with me leaving his throne in Heaven to come to die on the cross so that you and I can live a life abundant through him. It's a beautiful picture and of course the Bible goes further to exemplify this in John Chapter fifteen thirteen Greater love has no one than this event to lay down to lay down one's life for his friends and of course that. An example given to us by William Kyle Carpenter as he risked his life that day to save his friend Nick. He went on to be awarded the the greatest honor the Medal of Honor by the president himself. It was a decision that he had that day. I'm told a grenade explodes in what four to six seconds. He had no time to think twice. He acted instantaneously to make a decision for someone else. And I prayed that it would be also our desire our spirits to be so transformed that we too would have this experience when faced with a moral decision when faced with the opportunity to make a self sacrificing decision. We too would act instantaneously. But notice this. The Bible says than to lay down one's life for your friends. Laying down one's life does that necessarily always mean dying for someone else. How about living for someone else. How about living to better the lives of those around you. The experience of Christ thinking about how you could better better the lives of those around you. Thinking about others. Outward focused. When I introduce a concept here this morning and it very simply goes like this character is not developed in a day but it is developed day by day. Character is not developed in a day but it is developed day by day and so all throughout Scripture we find the sense of urgency. This sense of of of haste. Notice with me Hebrews Chapter four verse seven. Today if you will hear his voice do not harden your hearts to day if you will hear his voice. Second Corinthians Chapter six verse to apologize don't mean to flip too. Fast we're just going to go through these next couple verses. Behold one now is the accepted time behold one now is the day of salvation right. Throughout we see the ministries of Lige of John the Baptist right calling individuals to make it's a repaired immediately immediate repentance right why. Because the kingdom of God is at hand. Alija How long will you falter between two opinions if you will serve the Lord make a covenant with him right he's calling them to act in urgency in haste to make a decision right then and there why. Here's why. As of course. Maybe sometimes we think you know we asked that question we allude to the Apoc apocalyptic events of Jesus in return and I believe biblically we can study this from the Bible if you're interested in studying prophecy. I urge you to study prophecy in the Bible it's incredible it's eyeopening. But as we see Jesus truly I believe is coming soon but many times we think Jesus is coming soon as though there is no preparation that needs to take place before hand. While back I was driving I came across a bumper sticker and it said something along the lines of Jesus is coming soon look busy right so I was like Jesus is coming soon yes. And then look busy no you know it's one of those but nevertheless why the sense of urgency. Because God knows that the decisions we make today will influence the person that we become tomorrow. Does that make sense the decisions we make today will influence the individual that we become tomorrow. Weston as he stands before you today is simply you could say a conglomerate of decisions decisions he's made leading up to this point. And so God calls us to act immediately. So I think many times we know that but we lose sight of why we're making those decisions in the first place. We lose sight of of the moat the motive and the motivating factor of what I like to call the Y. factor in our own religious experience and that I believe is the love of God We'll talk about that here in just a second but if you have your Bibles Let's go ahead and turn to Mark Chapter ten I don't like to have all the verses on the screen because we want to dive into the Word of God a little bit but just for the sake of time and just for ease I usually have most of them up there more chapter ten we here have a story of a young man who we refer to as the rich young ruler he was very well to do. Like the there's there's a lot actually wealthy younger individuals the individual who created Facebook right. But this man he was he was very wealthy very well to do rich young ruler he comes to Jesus with a simple yet very profound question. This is what he says here in verse seventeen of Mark Chapter ten. This is the question that the rich young ruler asks Jesus what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life and so he comes to Jesus and he seeking satisfaction he seeking happiness he seeking this filler to the void in his heart. And what does Jesus do. Jesus points and back to the basis of law love and obedience his very law his ten commandments. Notice this verse eighteen. So Jesus said to him. Jesus replies Why do you call me good. No one is good but one that is God a reference to the statement that the young man made just prior verse nineteen you know that that you know the commandments do not commit adultery do not murder do not steal do not bear for. It's when this you know the fraud on your father on your mother. And he answered and said to him what does he respond. Teacher all these things I have kept from my youth. He was a religious person since his youth he was a good person since his youth you can go as far as to say he was an ethical person since his youth he had the head knowledge but it seems to me here that he didn't have the heart felt conviction. Going further verse twenty one Then Jesus looking at him loved him and said to him one thing you lack go your way. So whatever you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven come take up your cross and follow me and so Jesus simply asks him to go and sell everything he has. Why. Well because the rich young ruler had idolised his possessions in place of God Do we often do that as well. Sometimes we idolize certain things in place of God But you know our friends I've noticed something in my own experience God doesn't just want a portion of our hearts. God doesn't just want a portion of our minds he wants the whole thing. He wants to be the leader of our lives. So here the rich young ruler he's faced with with a moral decision if I can call it that he's faced with the opportunity to make a decision and what decision does he make. Here in verse twenty two excuse me. Yeah. Here verse twenty two but he was sad at this word and went away sorrowful for he had great possessions. He walks away turns his back and he walks away and let me ask you a question does he walk away joyfully. No the Bible says He walked away sorrowfully. He had the head knowledge he knew. He was a good person. You know many times we look around us and there are so many good people. He knew it but he still didn't feel that satisfaction in his heart he still didn't feel that joy that happiness in his heart. I would submit to you that he knew how to be a good person but he didn't know why. While back I had the opportunity to volunteer an organization called cyphers anyone heard of Saif stands for students in free enterprise and while I was in university I had the opportunity to work with this organization. And basically what this organization does I guess it's formally known as Saif currently known as an actress you may know it now as an actress. They take concepts such as market economics entrepreneurship business ethics and they try and pose the most innovative solutions to global problems. So there's believe over sixteen hundred universities that have cipher and actis teams and they try and pose the most innovative solutions to any given problems that the work world faces and so I had the opportunity. It's to go to the syphon national Expo. It was a good opportunity it's great for networking and other things. And so while I was there I had the opportunity to hear a very compelling speech given by the the C.E.O. of Saif international His name's Alvin roars and this is what he said. I'll never forget what he said listen here this is what he said. He said there's two types of people in this world how many There's two types of people in this world wonders those who know how to accomplish a certain task. They know how to get things done. He said that type of person will always have a job in this world but he said there is two times the second knows not only how to accomplish certain tasks but they know why they are doing it in the first place. He said watch out for those guys those guys will not only always have a job in this world but they're always going to be the bosses and the leaders. This world now that touch me for this reason I believe spiritually speaking there are also two types of people there are those who know how to act. There are those who know how to be good people they have the knowledge they know how to be good people but they don't know why they haven't yet found that Y. component which I submit is the very love that Christ has for us that transformative love that that God has for us. In Matthew chapter twenty six if you don't mind turning There's one on your Bibles and that is Chapter twenty six this is shortly after the Last Supper. Jesus having a conversation with his disciples. Notice what he says here in verse thirty one of Matthew chapter twenty six having a conversation of course it's nearing he's nearing the cross. First thirty one of Nucky Chuck twenty six. Then Jesus said to them all if you will be made to one because of me to stumble because of me this night for it is written I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered taken from Zechariah thirteen seven. But verse thirty two. But after I've been raised I will go before you to Galilee Peter answered to him even if all are made to stumble because if you I will I will never be made to stumble and so here Jesus predicts Peter Peter's denial and so Jesus predicts Peter's not with Peter's response verse thirty four Jesus said to him assuredly I say to you that this night before the rooster crows you will deny me how many times three times Peter said even if I have to die with you I will not deny you. And so said all the disciples see friends I believe at this point Peter. Or he was walking with Jesus he was with Jesus Day in and day out he was at the very source of truth. He knew what he knew what he needed to do he knew right from wrong but he didn't know why he thought he did. And notice what happens next jumping over to verse sixty nine of the Save same chapter. Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard fast forwarding toward Jesus's is leading up to the cross. Sixty nine now Peter sat outside the court garden servant girl came to him saying You also were with Jesus of Galilee. What does Peter do. First seventy but he denied it before them all saying I do not know what you are saying he denies the first time. Surely he denied the first time but he's not going to deny a second verse seventy one. And when he had gone out to the gateway another girl saw him and said to those who are there. This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth seventy two but again he denied with an oath I do not know the man a second time. First seventy three and a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter surely you also are one of them for your speech betrayed betrays you. The disciples were known for their purity of language of time the people knew that these fishermen had been with Jesus just by the purity of their language. You know sometimes we think that in order to reach people where they are at war in order to to relate to a certain individual we need to talk a certain way or or maybe even compromise our purity of language of tone. Did you know that something as simple as as how we speak in other words the words we say could have an effect on on on our reflection of God's power. Let me we're going further. So what does Peter do. He begins to curse. Then he began to curse saying I do not know the man I'm mediately a rooster crowed and Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him before the rooster crows you will deny me three times when my favorite authors or I would say my favorite author draws this beautiful picture of Peter's there. The crow of the rooster is fresh in his ears and he looks over to Jesus and Jesus turns and looks at him and eye contact is made and he's disappointed. He's down he realized three times he denied it and this is after Jesus predicted he would. And what did he say his expression was Lord even if I have to die with you. Gung ho Peter. I'll do it. But notice something there's no worse feeling than knowing you can do better knowing you wanted to do better but feeling Peter experiences this is failure. But notice the expression of the in the eyes of Jesus here desire for ages a book called Desire Of Ages if you haven't read this book. Mazing book beautiful book page seven twelve. While the degrading oaths were fresh upon Peter's lips and the shrill crowing of the caucus still ringing in his ears the savior turned from the from the frowning judges and looked full upon his poor disciple at the same time Peter's eyes were drawn to his master and in that gentle countenance he read deep pity and sorrow. But there was no anger there. It goes on to say this. The sight of that pale suffering face those quivering lips that look of compassion and forgiveness pierced his heart like an arrow. You know sometimes we think it's the frustration it's the anger it's the it's the boldness that will read. And pierced the hearts of certain individuals. I would submit to you that this initiated what I would call Peter's conversion experience this this this realisation that he has the true and genuine love of Christ expecting anger expecting even frustration What does he see. Compassion and forgiveness acts of the Apostles written by Ellen White same author page five fifteen says this bear with me it's a slightly longer quote it says it was after Peter had been let led to self-renunciation and entire reliance upon the power that he received his call to act as an under Shepherd. Christ had said to Peter before his Niall's him when thou art converted strength and my brother these words were significant of the wide ineffectual work which this apostle was to do in the future for those who should come to the faith for this work. Peter's own experience of sin and suffering in repentance had prepared him not until he had learned his what his weakness could he know the believers need of dependence on Christ amid the storm of temptation. He had come to understand that man can walk safely only as an utter self distrust he relies upon the Saviour. He began to understand why he believes the way he believed what. Not necessarily just the knowledge but now he had this this heart felt conviction and this realisation that only by distrusting yourself and believing and trusting in the Lord. Can we walk safely in the midst of temptation and in through the midst of the storm is that right. Maybe it maybe today are going through a storm in your life whatever that may be whatever that may look like maybe it's a job that you've been trying to get maybe it's a relationship but you find yourself and maybe it's it someone in your family who's who's sick or suffering whatever that may look like. Only in trusting in God Can we walk safely through the storms of life and you know friend sometimes things get worse before they get better. Don't let the situation or the circumstances affect your faith or your vision of God. But Peter has this realisation this what I call the why factor. And notice this going further. This is the same context of acts of the Apostles page five fifteen at the last meeting of Christ with his disciples by the sea Peter tested by the thrice repeated question lovers than me. So now we fast forward to the last meeting last meeting that Jesus has with his disciples you can read it in John Chapter twenty one. The last meaning Jesus has by the sea of time periods of the Sea of Galilee. He has a conversation there with Peter in the midst of His disciples and there he asks Peter the same question not once but three times and the question is this. Peter do you love me and Peter is like Lord I love you. And Peter says feed or if you do then Jesus says feed my sheep. But Peter Jesus says Do you love me Lord Lord I love you. Then ten might tend to my sheep. Third time Jesus says. But Peter do you love me. And Peter says Lord you know all things you know that I love you. It was then and there that that that that that he knew that Jesus knew he knew that Jesus had had seen his he is transformative experience if I can call it that. And here it says by the thrice repeated question love is Valmy had been restored to his place among the twelve. His work had been appointed him he was to feed the Lord's flock. Now converted and accepted he was. No only to seek to save those without the fold but was to be the shepherd of the sheep now not only understanding how but why he too became a leader a shepherd of the sheep. Christ mentioned it Peter only one condition of service. How many conditions of service are there. One condition of service. Love this thou me this is the essential qualification though Peter might possess every other yet without the love of Christ he could not be a faithful shepherd over the flock of God Knowledge benevolence eloquence zeal all are essential in the good work but without the love of Christ in the heart of the work of the Christian ministers of failure you may be saying yourself Lord I don't want to I don't want to share your love with others because I was eloquent you know that individual who goes out every day knocking on doors I don't have their zeal so I won't do it I don't have the knowledge of some of the the individuals who have been studying for forty plus years so we'll put our devotions on hold I'm ready one God says there's only one condition of service what is that condition of service. Love this thou me. Question he asked. Peter it's the question that he's asking to you and I today do we love who it is that today you're going through a struggle in your life. Maybe it is today that there are certain things that are bringing you down. Maybe like the rich young ruler you're searching for happiness or searching for satisfaction in your life today. You're searching for that joy that only God can bring into life. Have you experienced his lot. How do you surrender all to him. Are you taking time each day to get to know him. Maybe three devotions. Maybe through music maybe through a walk in the park maybe through nature. Are you taking time to get to know God each day. Friends there's a lot of people who know of God who know of Jesus but do you know him do you know that he wants to transform our lives. He wants to transform and I pray I pray that this would be our experience here today that he would transform our lives so much so that we would be the vessels used by him to channel his love to those around us and I believe that's when we'll see a life changing revival all around us. Is that your experience here today. I pray that it would be all of our experience praise God amen. Thank you guys. Let's go on our heads for just one last word of prayer. Father in heaven. We're so grateful for the love you have for us dear lord. So much so that you left your throne in heaven dear Lord to come to suffer to die for us so that we could live a life abundant through you. Dear Lord we are here today with different struggles with different problems with with with different storms that we are facing in our own lives. Dear Lord and maybe we don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Dear Lord maybe we don't have all the answers but we do know one thing and we trust in one thing that you love us and you know what's best for us dear Lord and I pray that you will continue to transform us all with your love. Dear Lord continue to turn us into those vessels that you see fit to be channels used by you as was Peter dear Lord to be a shepherd of the sheep to be a soldier in your. Our me dear lord. When faced with the opportunities to make certain decisions that would reflect that love that you have for us help us to act instantaneously. May the snow only P.R. prayer but our experience as we leave this place in Jesus name we pray Amen. This media was brought to you by audio peruse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about our universe or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave to visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.

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