April 2018

April 29th, 2018          2 questions

Did you know that it is OK to ask Jesus who He is?  He is big enough to hear your questions and answer them.

But sometimes we are afraid….just like the disciple.

John 21:12 – 17 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.  After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”  “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.  Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.  A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” 

Mark 8:27 – 30 “Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”  “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”  Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”  Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.”  But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.” 

To todays text….

 Luke 22:66 – 71  66 At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council, 67 and they said, “Tell us, are you the Messiah?”   But he replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me. 68 And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.”   70 They all shouted, “So, are you claiming to be the Son of God?”  And he replied, “You say that I am.”  71 “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard him say it.”

 The Holy Spirit inside you leads you to wonder “Who Is Jesus?”

Even unbelievers are led to ask, even if the disciples are afraid (John 21)

Are you the Messiah?  (Christ)

The Anointed One                                                                                                                                 The Savior or Liberator                                                                                                                         The Promised Deliverer                                                                                                                         The ONE WAY to the Father

Are you the Savior, Redeemer, Restorer we have BEEN WAITING ON?

  • Are you the Son of God?
  •             ** Jesus called Himself the Son of Man – the Religious Elite said “Son of God”***
  •             God come to us?
  •             God born of man
  •                         Facing life as we face life
  •                         Facing trouble as we face trouble
  •                         Facing temptation as we face temptation
  •                                     Living among us
  •                         Yet remaining fully God
  •                                     Yet remaining fully sinless
  •             Are You MORE THAN A MERE MAN?
  •                         We have been HURT and DISAPPOINTED by mere men MANY TIMES.
  •             We WANT…we NEED more – WE NEED GOD!

Jesus knew there was no need to debate who He really is

  • You either believe or you do not
  • He knew that even the Temple Elite were not believers
  • They may have head knowledge
  • They may have heard the Spirits call

They HAD rejected Jesus

  • Maybe because of their ingrained traditions
  • Maybe because of fear
  • Maybe to keep their power
  • Either way – God IS God
  •                         Without your permission being required

April 22nd, 2018                      “A Chickens Tale”

Luke 22:54-65 “So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s residence, and Peter was following far behind.  The guards lit a fire in the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.           A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”  Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know the man!”       After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!” “No, man, I’m not!” Peter replied.        About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of Jesus’ disciples because he is a Galilean, too.”  But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.”                                 And as soon as he said these words, the rooster crowed.  At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered that the Lord had said, “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny me three times.”                  And Peter left the courtyard, crying bitterly.         Now the guards in charge of Jesus began mocking and beating him.  They blindfolded him; then they hit him and asked, “Who hit you that time, you prophet?”  And they threw all sorts of terrible insults at him.”

  1. A Chickens Tale usually begins by chickening out from being where you really should be!
    1. Jesus was under arrest and being taken to the High Priests House
      1. Peter WAS following Him
      2. Found the warmth of the fire SAFER and MORE COMFORTABLE
        1. So he stopped following Jesus and joined the men at the fire
          1. There has to be a BBQ comment here somewhere
  • Peter was in the VICINITY of Jesus but was FAR from close to Him!
  1. How many times have YOU figured it would be EASIER or MORE COMFORTABLE to just go with the WORLD instead of staying the course with Jesus?
  2. How easy is it for the WORLD to distract you away from FOLLOWING JESUS?
  1. Being too chicken to follow Jesus QUICKLY became TOO COMFORTABLE!
    1. A servant girl called him out as a follower of Jesus
    2. Peter, warmed and happy away from Jesus by the fire replied that he DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HIM
    3. How do you respond when asked by the WORLD if you are a Christian? By your Boss when being asked to work on Sunday?
    4. By your friends/teacher/coach when school/practice/work is scheduled on Sunday?
    5. Is it easier to SUBMIT to the world on Wednesday Evening? Or Sunday Morning?  Or Tuesday afternoon?
  2. A little more time in the world away from Jesus
    1. Someone else said he was a follower of Jesus…that he was one of THEM
      1. Peter, warm and comfy in the warmth of the flesh DENIED BEING A FOLLOWER OF JESUS AGAIN
    2. An HOUR later, Peter is still to chicken to go see what is happening with his Savior Jesus; Peter remains a “safe distance away” in the warmth of the fire enjoying the fellowship of people gathered by the fire.
      1. Someone else INSISTS he is on of Jesus’ followers, an actual DISCIPLE
        1. Because he is a Galilean out of place
          1. Jesus who?
          2. Disciple what?
          3. Whatchya talking about Willis?
        3. But Peter, just like us, thought he was getting away with being a chicken, denying he knew Jesus or anything Jesus was about.
          1. He, like us, was wrong
            1. THE ROOSTER CROWED
          2. Peter remembered Jesus THEN
            1. He remembered what Jesus had told him
            2. He KNEW he FAILED and was CAUGHT
            3. He knew the reality of his SINS
          3. Brokenness overwhelmed our chicken
            1. Jesus LOOKED RIGHT AT HIM!
              1. Guilt washed over him
              2. Tears, tears and anguish flowed through him
              3. He left the warmth of the fire – the world
  1. Even in all that was going on in the life of Jesus right then, He still knew EXACTLY where Peter was and what he was doing.
  1. Jesus was being mocked and beaten – following the path of salvation for ALL OF US!
    1. Jesus was being ridiculed and insulted
    2. Peter cried because he had denied Him 3 times
      1. Just like he had been told.
    3. You are but a sinner
      1. Jesus knows WHERE you are, WHAT you ARE doing AND WHAT you are GOING to be doing
      2. Watch out, less you become too comfortable in the world, in your flesh, that you depart from the presence of Jesus!
    4. REPENT! And turn to Jesus! 

April 8th, 2018

Luke 22:39-46 “Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives.  There he told them, “Pray that you will not be overcome by temptation.”  He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”  Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.  He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.   At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief.  “Why are you sleeping?” he asked. “Get up and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you.”

  1. We need regular and consistent communication with God
    1. Jesus went to pray – AS USUAL
    2. Talking to His Father was His CUSTOM
    3. It is what He did
      1. What are you known for doing?
    4. Every relationship is built on communication
      1. WE talk to God to remember how much He loves us
      2. We talk to God to tell Him and remind ourselves how much we need and love Him
      3. We talk to God to share the burdens of our Heart with Him
        1. Knowing He LOVES us and WANTS to help
      4. We need this fellowship because Temptation lurks at every corner, in every nook and cranny and everywhere
        1. We are not the best at seeing them
        2. In the Air Force we were taught how be observant and spot different types of mines, trip wires and dangers.
          1. In Europe there are still many unexploded shells and mines around.
        3. We need to develop this kind of awareness….self awareness….SIN awareness…..for our lives today
          1. This awareness starts with PRAYER
        4. It is said that our TOP 5 Temptations are: Anxiety or Worry, procrastination, food (eat to much), overuse of electronics or social media and laziness. (faithgateway.com)
          1. I believe that among these is also the temptation to “beat yourself up”, feel sorry for yourself, submit to the opinions of others, hold grudges, LIE and compromise your SPIRITUAL INTEGRITY in some manner (look at what you should not, go where you should not, and associate with people you should not (bad company).
        5. BUT, the reality is that we don’t defend ourselves against TEMPTATION as we should.
          1. We don’t know HOW POWERFUL temptation is until it is too late
            1. We are trapped
            2. We are guilty
            3. We are under temptations THUMB
  1. Our hardest prayer is usually a prayer of submission to the will of God
    1. Yielding what we want
    2. Yielding what the world tries to put on us, in us or around us.
    3. Yielding everything we have to the Will of God
    4. Literal translation is “but not the will of Me but of You be done”
  2. This was a tough time of prayer –  even for Jesus
    1. His prayer was so fervent He began to sweat
      1. Not glisten
      2. SWEAT in HUGE drops
    2. Because of His love for you
  3. WE need to WAKE UP
    1. The time for allowing our FAITH to sleep is OVER
    2. Stop hitting the snooze button of Righteousness.
      1. WAKE UP
    3. The greatest tool God has given us against temptation is a growing relationship with HIM!
      1. The more we focus on Gog the LESS we focus on the temptations around us.
    4. WE need to PRAY
      1. He is God, talk to Him
      2. He is God, listen to Him
      3. He is God, yield to Him
      4. He is God, trust Him
      5. He is God, follow Him
      6. He is God, obey Him
    5. WE need to YIELD our SELF, our FLESH, our EVERYTHING to GOD
    6. Not OUR will but HIS WILL