Is The Honeymoon Over?
Is The Honeymoon Over?Sun, Jul 9, 2023 10AM • 49:20SUMMARY KEYWORDSJesus, people, temple, relationship, church, god, bible, money, worship, lip service, read, john, replied, disciples, great, scriptures, father, love, follow
Good morning. Welcome. You've had your coffee. Good. They don't give that to me. You'll find out why if you're new. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene. I serve here at C3 church as your pastor. And I heard a story. It was about a couple that wanted to get married. So they approached the pastor, and they said, We want to get married. The pastor said, Are you guys friends? I said, Yes. He said, Then why do you want to get married? So that's, that's just a joke. So the that's alright, anyway. And that everyone laughed. Alright, meetings this week, we will have a lot of meetings. So anyway, he says, Yeah, I'll marry you guys. But here's the thing. We got to do marriage counseling, right. We want to set you up for success, like premarital counseling, because, you know, marriages work, the honeymoon will be over pretty soon, you know? So we want to just set you up for success. Right? So we're going to have meetings, so they responded in a way the pastor didn't expect. We don't need premarital counseling. Pastor kind of looks like now. We've both been married several times before. Yeah. All right. I kept it short this week. But it's not an indicator of anything else is going to happen in the message? I'll tell you that.
All right. So if you're, if you're new here, we're going through the series, the rest of the story where we're actually doing something and most churches don't do, we're looking at the Bible in its entirety. And it kind of takes a while. I'm trying to unconfuse a lot of things for you guys. So we're unraveling it, we find ourselves in the Gospel last week hard topic, money, who wants to talk about money? They're like, No. So we talked about it, we rip that band aid off. And now we're continuing in the gospels, we found ourselves talking about the contrast between Judas and Zacchaeus. Right What the money does to different people. If you are new, and you don't know this, if you're not new, you should know this. The Bible is not in chronological order, it gets very confusing. So we're in the gospels now four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, they basically tell the same story about the life and ministry of Jesus. But one author might come along and have another detail and other experience and other thing to add to the story. So you get a really full picture. But on the readers end, some of you may have read the Bible and goat didn't I just read this before? Like, why does he tell the story four times over and over again? Well, you got to look for the details. So what we're doing is, I'm putting it in chronological ish order, I'd say ish, because you don't know sometimes whether Jesus is just saying the same thing, again, whether one author's including a person at the scene, and then the other one just doesn't include that person doesn't mean that they're not there. So you got to be careful about being hyper definitive. When you look at these things, I'm trying to be fair here. Today, we're going to it's going to be a lot of jumping around, so you can follow me straight through. So here's a chart, I make these charts for you. They're in our app, you'll be told how you can download that app, if you want to look at it, and your Bible nerd like me, and you want to kind of go through and mark your Bibles up, it's okay to do that. You can refer to this chart, we'll talk about these things at Bible study, I sometimes skip over little things for the sake of time, unless you want to be here for three hours. I'm totally good with that. But most people don't. So I understand that. So we're going to hop around quite a bit. So where we left off, if you remember the parable of the servants, some call it the parallel of the minas. It's close to the parable of the talents. That's where we left off in Luke. And we end it actually, with Judas, his complaint are the disciples complaint about the money. So it kind of happens in between here. So we're going to go back to Luke. So that's what would happen if we were reading the parable of the servants. We'd go right into this, which is why it says Luke 1928, after telling the story, so this is in Luke's gospel doesn't mean the thing with the money didn't happen in between. Jesus went toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples, as he came to the towns of Bethpage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, He sent two disciples ahead, Go into that village over there, he told them as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever written. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, Why are you on tying that call? Just say the Lord needs it. So they went and found the call, just as Jesus had said. And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, Why are you untying that call? And the disciples simply replied, The Lord needs it. So they brought the call to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. As he rode along, the crowd spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives. All his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful music miracles they had seen. Blessings on the King who comes In the Name of Lord, Peace in heaven and glory in highest heaven. But some of the Pharisees along among the crowd said, Teacher, rebuke your followers. Let's stop them essentially from saying things like that. He replied, If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst out into tears. So here's this rejection by the religious leadership of Jesus, Jesus knows what's going to happen. So here you have a segment where he weeps over Jerusalem. Basically, I wish today that you people can understand the way to peace, but it's too late now peace and here's a key phrase in the section is hidden from your eyes, you are blind, then he goes on to describe how the ramparts will be against the city, your children are be there, you're all going to die, this Jerusalem is going to get destroyed and attack predicting that, then Jesus predicts his death kind of in a different way. We've seen this in the past, he lets people to know what's going to happen. But this is different. It's interesting, some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration, they paid a visit to one of his disciples, Philip was from Bethsaida. They said, Sir, we want to meet Jesus. So Philip tells Andrew and they go to tell Jesus, Jesus, his response is kind of not what they're expecting. And he says, Now, the time has come for the Son of man to enter in his glory, I tell you the truth, Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil, and dies, it remains alone, but its death will produce many new kernels, a plentiful harvest of new lines. So he's talking about death and resurrection through him. So there's the positive, but then he says, Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. Now my soul is deeply troubled, should I pray father saved me from this hour. But this is the very reason I came, Father bring glory to your name and something happens, a voice from heaven speaks out, I've already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again. When the crowd heard the voice. They're divided. Some thought it was thunder, some declared, an angel is speaking. Then Jesus told them that voice was for your benefit, not mine. The time for judging this world has come when Satan the ruler of this world will be cast out. And when I'm lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself. He said this indicate how he was going to die. The crowd responds, we understood from scripture that the Messiah will live forever. How can you say The Son of Man, so they kind of understand what he's talking about here, we'll die. But just who is this son of man anyway, so they're looking for a different Son of Man, they're looking for a different kind of Messiah here. So Jesus replies, my light will shine for you just a little while longer, walk in the light while you can. So the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness since the Emir cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there's still time, then you will become children of the light. After saying these things. Jesus went away, it says he was hidden from them. Now if we hop over to John, John 1237. But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet have predicted. Lord, who has believed our message, to whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm, but the people couldn't believe. For as Isaiah also said, The Lord has blinded their eyes and heart in their hearts that their eyes cannot see. And their hearts cannot understand. And they cannot turn to me and heal them. So, it might sound familiar to you, if you remember the parable of the Sower. This is Jesus's explanation essentially, like why do you teach everything in parables? Jesus? It's a heart issue. But in the parable of the Sower, what was the whole thing? Like the word of God is the seed and the soil types are the people and their reception to the gospel to Jesus? So it's kind of a very similar thing. They're like the idols they've made. They're blind, deaf and dumb, right? So they can't get it. Again, those in the darkness cannot see walk in the light. While there's time he reiterates that, and he goes on. John explains, Isaiah was referring to Jesus, when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah's glory. Many people didn't believe him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders, but they wouldn't admit it. They're worried about the Pharisees kicking them out of the synagogue for they loved human praise more than the praise of God. Jesus shouted to the crowds. If you trust me, you are trusting not only in me, but God who sent me for when you see me you are seeing the one who sent me sees one with the Father, I have come as light to shine in this dark worlds that all put their trust in Me, will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don't obey me, for have come to save the world not to judge it. This is where people get confused and a lot of people stop they're like, oh, Jesus isn't going to judge me. Right? He's talking about then I came in this body to die he explains right and save the world because if you keep reading, but all who reject my message will be judged on the Day of Judgment. By the truth I've spoken, I don't speak on my own authority the Father has sent Me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life. So I say whatever the Father tells me to say. Then we see this if we go in Matthew, that's probably chronological here. Matthew 2118. In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was angry. And he noticed a fig tree beside the road, he went over to see if there are any figs but there were only leaves. He said to it, may you never bear fruit again. And immediately the freak fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, How did the fig tree wither so quickly, Jesus told them, I tell you the truth, if you have faith, and you don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more, you can even say to this mountain may be lifted up and thrown into the sea and will happen, you can pray for anything. And if you have faith, you will receive it. Okay? So keep that up, because I want to unpack a couple things. So a couple of weird things happen when you're doing things chronologically. So I'll explain like a typical false teaching, but we're going to go back if you were reading this and Mark, what would happen in Mark is he would curse the fairy, he curses the fig tree, then we're going to go over the section next, he cleanses the temple as they're coming out of the temple. Look, the fig trees weathered. How did that happen? It's a similar discourse have to pay attention to the text very carefully. Right? So then he said to me, you never bear fruit again. And immediately the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this, and asked, I saw people get confused, right didn't happen immediately, probably. But there was no commentary after that. So the temple cleansing happens. So this is a good example of it isn't always chronological. The person documenting this stuff is just not necessarily concerned with that, but just the things that happened. And they'll kind of arrange it their own way. So it's just this type of literature that you're dealing with. Now, the other thing, you can pray for anything. So this is like a verse of the day for a lot of people, right? You're going to pray for anything. And if you have faith, you will receive it. Right? That sounds right. So like, you know, so we have a lot of genie in the bottle Christians, right. So that's it. That's what I want. Right? And so what's the problem? Well, it's totally out of context. You didn't read all the other Scriptures where it says, like, you know, we had this like, what, like, two, three weeks ago, if you're abusing your wife, God's not listening to you. It's actually a scripture. Read First Peter. So it's a thing, right? It says it New and Old Testament. So, you know, be careful with this, like, whatever. Then you see Jesus saying, right, whenever you asked for, and we went to Luke, and we dispelled a lot of things, Luke 11, right. How much more when he gives you what the kingdom, the Holy Spirit, like he's talking about spiritual things, he's not talking about material things. He's talking about actually dispensing of things. If you love this life, you'll lose it. So they're not putting it all together. And here's the other thing. They're not reading chronologically, because right after that last sentence, if you go to Mark, it says this, Mark 1125. But when you're praying, first, forgive anyone you're holding a grudge against, so that your have a father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
And you can compare it with Matthew six, five, the sermon on the mount or 15. But if you refuse to forgive your father in heaven will not forgive your sins. Yep. Good reason. I know that's depressing. Good reason to keep reading though, right? So this is a good lesson in that it's important that a lot and even pastors do this. They'll go in, they'll read Matthew, right? And they're like, Matthew 20 chapters. That's great. I don't need to read any the other Gospel accounts. Wrong, you know, because they give, you have to keep reading. So this is how Christians read the Bible. Like you would never think about it. Like when you went to school, would you do a book report, I only read 25% of the book, right? I got 25 pages, whatever it is. And now I'm going to do my book report and draw the conclusion, you'd probably get an F, right? Because you didn't read the conclusion, there's a conclusion to every story, right? So that's where you want to get right. And we find that in Revelation, scary, there's a conclusion. So you have to keep reading all the way through. And people who are teaching you have to be diligent about constantly being it should be in recent memory. So it's really important. So good lesson for you guys. Right? So be really careful about coming up with like real definitive like theology before you read and understand the whole thing. And when people who don't understand the whole thing are talking to you don't listen. You got to understand the whole thing. So Matthew 2112. Now, as I said, this would happen in Mark in between and I'll explain to you why it does. He places it there very interestingly, Matthew 2112, Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers in the chairs of those selling does. He said to them, the Scriptures declare my temple, my temple will be called the House of Prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves. The blind and the lame came to in the temple and He healed them. The leading priests and the teachers of religious last saw these wonderful miracles, and heard even the children in the temple shouting praise God for the son of David. But the leaders were indignant and really angry. They asked Jesus Do you hear With these children are saying, yes, Jesus replied, haven't you ever read the scriptures? For they say, You have taught children and infants to give you praise. Then he returned to Bethany where he stayed overnight. So what we have here Jesus is going back and forth during this festival. He's staying in Bethany, and going back to Jerusalem every day. So that's what you have happening here. But what you see, here's the point, don't miss this. The greed attaches to last week, the greed for money has affected their worship, it's an infected, it's crept this way in the temple has become very, very important to them should not be made it a den of thieves, like once you're on fire for me than a thief. So here we again we see the Tao of the religious leaders, and it continues here. Matthew 2123, when Jesus returned to the temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him, they demanded, by what authority? Are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right? I'll tell you, by what authority I do these things. If you answer one question, Jesus replied, did John's authority to baptize come from heaven? Or was it merely human? They talked it over among themselves. If we say it was heaven, he'll ask us why we didn't believe John. But if we say it was merely human, will be mobbed. Because if people believe John was a prophet, so they finally replied, We don't know. And Jesus responded, then I won't tell you by what authority I do these things. So Jesus is really good at trapping people. So John, if you don't remember, if you're unfamiliar, John, the baptizer. John the Baptist, he was the Messiah is Harold, he paved the path for the Lord, a great example of humility. We're told both in the gospels, and historians record John the Baptizer. And they say his ministry was huge. And he had this really gigantic measure of all these people were following him like crazy. And what did John do? Jesus comes on the scene, He must increase, I must decrease. So it'd be like someone really famous or popular. Just saying, there's Jesus, I'm stepping down. That's it. I got nothing else to say. So big time, but very humble. Matthew 2120. Notice that continuation. But what do you think about this? Jesus is talking, a man with two sons told the older boy son, go out and work in the vineyard today? The son answered, No, I won't go. But later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father of the until the other son, you go, and he said, Yes, sir. I'll go. But he didn't go. Which of the two obeyed His Father They replied, The first than Jesus explained this meaning I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you do for John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live. But you didn't believe him while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refuse to believe him and repent of your sins. So we see a theme here, in this section of Scriptures, the reception of Jesus, and the rejection of Jesus. So it starts with the triumphal entry. That's a great thing, right? Yeah. Like even the stones will say, that shoulder and everybody's praising Jesus, they're receiving Jesus with joy. And then you see the rejection of Jesus by the religious leaders. That's his response to the whole thing. Yep, they're going to kill me, right? So he knows he's going to get rejected. And for some, even that reception may end up in lip service, kind of what the parable of the sons is about, right? And then of course, Jesus gives the meaning. They didn't get it right at first. But then they turned and repented. And so they're good, they obeyed. We see a contrast here in the enthusiasm of those who believe and welcome Jesus. And those who doubt him. Some are called Blind again in that Isaiah context. They're like the idols, their worship their blind, deaf and dumb, Isaiah goes into this whole section about how idols and making what they did, then they're stupid, right? They, they just nail them to the wall. They can't even hold themselves up. They're not gods. It's this whole section, especially when you get into like chapters 41 and following. So you have this theme, right? So the triumphal entry, we talked about it receiving Jesus with joy. Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, how I wish today, the only people would understand the way to peace, but now it's too late. Peace is hidden from your eyes. Jesus predicts his rejection and his death. They're going to kill me. Even though the voice spoke from heaven, there were some it was hidden from well, it's just thunder. Right? So it's hidden from them. Then what is he says whole theme to those who walk in darkness. They can't see walk in the light or pizza twice, while there's still a time walk in the light. They're blind and deaf. Again, the unbelief of the people at the center of this section. You have the parable here like it's a symbol of this whole thing here and the fig tree at one time. They bore fruit. They started out great. Now, dead wood. May you never bear fruit again, as a mom puts the temple cleansing right in the middle of that show that like contrasts parabolic. And that way, Deadwood, Jesus clears the temple. So we see here, as I said, they made money their priority over their worship they once worship with enthusiasm in this temple where as you read the Old Testament, it's crazy. All the stuff that goes on in temple. Now, it's just a den of thieves. They've reduced it to that. It's just lip service. Again, Isaiah 29 will say that authority of Jesus is challenged. So what does he respond with? The two sons, one who doesn't have the right responsive first, not too enthusiastic. But he acts the right way, ends up doing well, like those sinners who repent, and the other who responds properly, maybe enthusiastically at first, but doesn't follow through. So here is your theme. Sometimes, we start off with things very enthusiastically. But we don't follow through, like, workout equipment, you have to raise your hand. But who here has a piece of workout equipment in their house? That is now a drying rack or something for clothing? It's collecting dust. Do you remember like you got enthusiastic about ordering that thing? Didn't you? And he probably spent a lot of money on it a lot too much. Right? There was some investment, there was some enthusiasm and now what? Nothing? Nothing at all. It's just taking up space. No follow through. Maybe a New Year's resolution, right? Like, where are you at with the gym membership? You know, this time you everyone's like, alright, so yeah. So we can relate right? A project out, you know, project around the house, right? I probably have 13 projects around the house that I started that are not finished in my garage, right? That's, that's where they are. So that is like half of my garage, we fit one car in there. The rest are unfinished projects. That's what it is right? So guilty, we do it. Perhaps we started something with a lot of enthusiasm. But then maybe we got distracted. Maybe we didn't realize how much work it was going to be. Maybe we didn't take that thing and keep the enthusiasm on a level of priority in order to finish it. We just kind of let it go. And sadly, a lot of people do this in their relationships. As a pastor, this is what we see all the time. Right? And you try to get people back to that you remember what it was like? And so why did you guys get together, you start asking these questions to get the person like realizing like, you know, how did you get here? You get to a point where as they say, the honeymoon is over.
There's excitement, and fanfare and wedding right? It's a lot. It's like the triumphal entry. It's great. But now is the honeymoon over the victory. bears fruit at first. But now it's barren. And perhaps we've gotten to the point of like, going through the motions. Giving people lip service. When this happens is the funny not funny thing. When I was a kid. We had this like close family you know, people are like you call them aunt or an uncle and they're not like that. So they're older than my dad, my parents. So they're kind of like grandparents age, and you don't have to be older to get this or you know, to observant. Really. I was a little kid. I remember the guy. Always saying to his wife. Yes, dear. Yes, dear. It's just like, even if he wasn't talking. It's kind of like I told the story about my mom. Like, when you are my grandma, when you have to listen to me too much, right? She's just going Ah ha, ha ha, ha ha. And I'm like not talking. So I'm realizing oh, yeah, that's just she just Yes, as me all the time. So this guy was Yes, dear. Yes, they're just on autopilot all the time. And one time, he went out of his way to give my dad some advice. He's like, you know, this is the key to a healthy marriage. Just tell her whatever she wants to hear, you know, so you just put that on program? Well, that healthy marriage ended when she died. And then everybody found out he had been sleeping with another woman their whole marriage. Yes, dear. Great marriage. Lip service. And here's the thing like, perhaps some people are doing this in their relationship with the Lord. Are we giving him lip service? So if you've been here at this church, you've heard this before, but if you haven't, you might not you might need to hear it. At the Bible. When you look at how the Bible defines worship, it's not singing songs. Right? I know, the whole Psalms thing in the whole, like Temple worship, but remember, what is Jesus saying here? The temple will be destroyed. If you go to Isaiah, you go to animals five is anyone Amos five know where it all is? That's what they're talking about their take away from me the noise of your songs. God says, I want righteous living and justice, right? And we're not the justice, you're thinking about your righteous living just wants you to do right by love. He wants you to love everybody. That's worship, then, if you keep reading, you'll get to Romans 12. Therefore be a living sacrifice to others, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual service of worship. Don't be conformed to the world, but transform so that way you can love your enemies. That's what it's all about. Right? So when we sing here, it's an extension of our worship if we're doing it right. Otherwise, is it lip service? Like, do we believe everything we're singing? Do we mean that you can take all of this world? Just take it? Just give me Jesus? That's enough?
How many Christians do you think really believe that? How many problems would we have if we believe that?
Something to think about, right? So sometimes I think about that cry a lot during worship? Because I'm like, do I really, like oh, man, you know, that's heavy. So it's something we should be thinking about. So let's go on the other side of it, you can breathe, it's cool. Just like a lot of people say, you'll, you'll get along just fine here, if you understand how the gym works, right? Like this, like this spiritual gym, like, you're come here, it's going to hurt a lot. But now let's go to the other end of it. We're going to do a little healing right now, like so. Alright, so just a little more stuff where it's going to depress some people, and then I'll make you feel happy. Maybe not. I don't know. So anyway, like, just one thing, we got to do a little, a little disclaimer here. And this was like, kind of, I was talking my wife about it. So it was interesting. Like, sometimes I like, it's good, because you get advice. And other times, I'm like, Oh, that's a great idea. And then the sermon starts getting longer, and you're like, No, I want to throw her ideas, because then you know, I got to live with her. Right? So I got to throw away some of my ideas. And I'm not going to throw away the Scripture. So anyway, disclaimer, short one. First, we have to ask ourselves about the relationships. And this is a serious thing. Like, so why does that happen? And when I find a lot, like when I'm counseling people, this is a big thing. This is a really big thing. Right? So why does this happen? We have to ask ourselves, sorry about that. That was weird. We have to ask ourselves, why did we get in this relationship in the first place? member? I brought that up in the beginning. Why did we get in the relationship in the first place. And so that's what you're doing when you're counseling a company, let's go back there. Because a couple of things are going to like reveal themselves. They're either going to start talking about like, oh, and then we did this, and you know, like, whatever, blah, blah. So you know, it's going to be good, right? Or they're going to be quiet. And then you have to work through some other problems. Because sometimes people get into relationships for the wrong reasons. Right? Sometimes people get in the relationship for money. For convenience, right, rent is half now, right? of wrath, that's when your rent is half. So your rent is half now, you know, this is great. Like, I've seen it happen. It's just as simple as that. And you think, yes, it's just as simple as that. Right? Sometimes it's a social thing. Sometimes it's the thing of pressure. Sometimes in some cultures, it's an arranged thing. We're kind of thinking about that for our daughter, because anyway, she's like, right and arranged thing. So it's a whole different story. But like, what was it all about? See people come into the to get married to become a citizen, like whatever it is. Why did you get in the relationship in the first place? So now, how does this tie to Jesus? Well, and this if you don't understand this, you've never been here? I'm not just waiting anyone for baptism. In fact, that's the way I'm going to end today. Spoiler alert, like, I would encourage you to get baptized, of course, like that's essential to becoming a Christian. But, but how did Jesus do it? Very different than the way most people do it today. And if you've been paying attention to like, remark, what did he talk about today? Anyone who wants to basically this is what he's saying. Anyone who wants to be my follower must follow me to what? Death you must die for me. That's a warning. Right? Like I want to follow you seen this kind of stuff. Like I want to follow Jesus like foxes have their dens birds have their nests, but I don't know man doesn't have a place to rest. I'm homeless. What's the permit? He says it again and again. Deny yourself, pick up your cross, then you can follow me. I mean, just over and over and over again. Over what about the rich man, that was his hang up. You got to give away everything you know, otherwise you can't be my disciple. That's it. What Yeah. So there's some mornings what King was 10,000 troops goes against another king with 20,000 troops before getting counsel and trying to go negotiate terms of peace. That's one of the things he says, regarding falling. Think about it. Why? He's trying to dissuade them. No, he wants a genuine relationship with you. And he knows if he doesn't do like the marital counseling, he doesn't like describe what's going to happen, you're going to be surprised when we see that when people get up, yay. And they go to the waterpark, and they get baptized, and it's all great, but no one ever explained it to them. And so they think, right, like, I'm going to get whatever I asked for all the time. That's not true. The Bible says it's not true. You're never going to suffer nothing, you're not going to get sick, going to be healthy. As long as your faith is here, you're going to be good. But when something bad happens, they freak out.
They either take it out on them, so my faith isn't good enough, I'm not saved or whatever, that's terrible. Or they fall away from the faith. They're like, forget it, this doesn't work. So that's why it's important. Why did we get involved in this? In the first place?
What was our motivation? Now it'll get better. If it was genuine, like, okay, what are some reasons? Maybe we forgot about the warnings. Maybe you forgot about that stuff. Maybe we let other stuff take priority. Maybe money is getting in the way of reversing, it's getting in the way of our relationships. It's distracting us. Like the people in the temple, there's that danger of money. And here's an irony, and I've talked about in the past, I'll do it quick. But a lot of the people they work with bark, bark, bark, and they get all the money. And it's this funny thing. It's really, if you're being honest, it's kind of like, well, I need to support my family, you know, it's like, yeah, and then you need your toys, and you need your money, and you need your status if it wasn't about that. And the irony here is the very thing that you're saying you're supporting your family doing is actually taking you away from a good relationship with them. It's a horrible irony. That blows up in our face. Maybe like the people looking for another Messiah, right? So what do they want? This guy, he does miracles, that's great. But he's like, you're going to die. If you want to follow me. I don't want to hear that. I want the warrior king, right? We want revenge on the Romans like, so. We need a guy like that. Do we do that in the relationship? We get in the relationship? And we're looking for something better? Are we looking for something better? Sometimes, instead of the person right there in front of us? That's another reason. Perhaps we didn't think it would take work. That's a big thing in Christianity. Big thing in marriages, relationships are work. Neither one of us is perfect, we will never be perfect. That's it. You're not Jesus. As long as we have these human bodies on, it ain't going to be perfect. It's going to if we want this to be good, it's going to take work and that takes time. Energy. It's hard sometimes. Did we think about that? Right? This is too much work. Maybe a relationship with someone else will be easier. It's not humans right now. And people do this in Christianity. It's huge. They read Ephesians two and one little part of it. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And they close it up. They don't read the part that were created anew in Christ Jesus for the purpose of doing good works. Christianity, it takes work. It's not easy. So perhaps the honeymoons over. So how can we stop it from happening? And here's where we get the practical application. So I'm going to point out a flaw in something that probably people know. But here's what we do. Typically. Here's what our culture does. We have holidays for everything. And it's beginning to annoy me like every day is a holiday. I'm like, okay, you know what I mean? This is enough, right? I don't need that. Right. So but we do it. We have anniversaries, like, that's okay. We have birthdays. That's okay. You know, and then we have Valentine's Day. Okay, I'll tell you why we don't celebrate Valentine's Day. Because here's the thing. I'm a foodie. Right. So I like food a lot. And I like to eat out there in places. And if you go to your favorite restaurant, you get the prefix menu. I don't want the prefix menu, right? That's when they just here's what you're going to eat. Because all like the weekend warriors come in, right? You know, the people who don't normally eat out and like, I can't get my favorite food. It's terribly selfish, right? So there you go. That's my sin, right? So anyway, you get the prefix, right? But here's the thing. That's funnier, right? Hallmark holidays, right? You were told to celebrate that. Now, for me. It's not like an act of defiance. Right? You know, I realize no, I'm not going to do it. No, it's not the point. The point doesn't we all know this? We all know this. You can't tell whether it's genuine or not. You can, because you know, the other person was just told to do it. So Heather and I are like, we'll just love each other. Right? The other 364 days of the year, instead of this one, right? We'll have like the airing of the grievances like a Seinfeld episode. On Valentine's Day, like, No, we fight. This is going to we patch it. Except a birthday. All right, so it doesn't work. So a little bit better. If you have like a date night or something like that. We do it weekly. That's better. That kind of works. Or you have like a date night. Good, good. But here's the best thing you can do. daily. Daily. It doesn't have to be like some alive just learn. This does not have to be like an elaborate thing. I'm making a dinner. I'm doing No. It's just like, take it as those moments in life. Just stop.
When's the last time you're in a marriage? And it's not like lovey, lovey, nibbling. I love you. I love you. Then here's another thing I've learned. So we know it's not lip service. You serve. We
talked about servant relationships, like a couple of weeks ago. Serve them for you know what they hate? Don't do it. Yeah, it's hard, though. You know what they hate? Don't do it. Don't do it. This time. They just it's so easy. You know, just don't put that there. Don't do this. That's just don't do it. It's more about we don't do and then if they have something they hate to do, do it. Take a minute and do it. And our house is laundry. I hate laundry. I'm like, Okay, I'll do the laundry. Right. So that's it. I just try. I forget. But you know, for want to get what I want. I do the laundry. That's how it works. I can't believe he's admitting all this stuff. Well, so here's the thing. It's similar in a relationship with Jesus. Right? So we have a joke. We call them CEOs. You know what that is? Christmas, Easter and other Christians. Right? So they're like, Oh, I'm a CEO, Christian. It's not a good thing. Right. So and it's a funny thing, like I've seen people kind of like, almost say something. And so don't on Christmas, Easter, don't come in here and be like, you're in my seat. Right? So no, I but I can understand the sentiment. It's kind of like saying, Where have you been all year? So like, that's the yearly. It's Valentine's Day. There's like Valentine's Day Christians. That's it. That's when you see them. All right. So we've through the years, and churches all do that. They give them the prefix. That's what they do. They give them this, like, shorter show. And that's what they do. And I told everybody, I think it was last year, the year before I like ruined Christmas forever. And I'm like, No, we're just going to do a normal service. It's no bait and switch. This is what we do at the church, the lots of scriptures. I'm not apologizing for God. That's it. We're not changing it. During the pre fixed menu, it doesn't work. Because what happens? They come in the next week, and they're like, Whoa, this is different. Why am I still sitting here? It's another topic. Don't even get me started. So then there's weekly. Right? Weekly. I talk about a Sabbath all the time. It is the only one of the 10 commandments that Christians are prideful about breaking. I'm not impressed. Like I worked on it. I'm like, You're stupid. Like you need to take every no one's smarter than the Sabbath. Nobody was talking to an old guy once he always took a Sabbath. But he's, he's like, if you don't take them once a week, you'll be taking them all at the end of your life. Yeah, I see it all the time. So it's good for yourself to take a rest. But here's the thing. And if it's work, does your boss know that you're in a relationship with Jesus? And that you have a standing date with him on Sunday? It's important. So here's got me, right. I'm not going to talk about the news, or current events or any of that stuff. And it's all the same, just all the same nonsense and noise, read the Bible, but I poked my head out, just kind of know what everyone's going to be complaining about this week, right? So I turn on the news. And I'm like, alright, what are they going to be Wow. And about? And so I saw something that was interesting, might have been a couple of weeks ago about the Supreme Court, and they're making all these decisions that everyone's like, you know, it's amazing because the Supreme Court controls our lives on so going back and forth and right one sides complaining and the other side's rejoicing and rubbing it in. It's all this thing, but then there's one that like nobody was talking about. It was about the Sabbath. And the Supreme Court ruled unanimously. So there's a lot to unpack here, but I'll make it very short on one end. Gotta give the guy a lot of credit, was willing to lose his very long career and The Post Office willing was willing to leave I'm sure there's a Panthers, you know, lost his job. It's not like he had it for a week. He's like, No, I've been taking a Sabbath forever. You guys have to let me take this out, well, I'm quitting then if you don't let me do it. courage of his convictions? I am. I have a standing date with Jesus on Sundays. That's more important than money, or my pride of my career, who I really identify as that should make you think. And here's the other thing. It's amazing to me that this was something that they didn't even argue about in the court. They're like, Yeah, this makes sense. What. So something to think about now churches important, a lot of people, they disregard church. And so here's where I'm going. As we wrap it up today, they disregard church, I do have to say this, when you look at the Bible, in its full context, and you look at the New Testament, church ecclesia, it means to assemble, you could where every place you see Church and the Bible, you could change it to the assembly, and you'd be correct, you'd be reading the Greek correctly, it just means to assemble. Furthermore, when you understand the Bible, and all the ways it talks about church, it refers to church as the body of Christ. Right, so to assemble and become the body of Christ. So when a person is apart from the body of Christ, they are not a part of the body of Christ. It means because you can't do virtual church. You know, it is to assemble as the body of Christ and the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit. That's what it's about. And the Bible teaches this. Alright, so here in Hebrews, I just jumped there for a second. This is a great example of the theme today, they started out enthusiastically they were Jews first, and they became Christians real on fire for God. But then he got hard persecution happened. And so now they're tempted to fall away. So the whole book of Hebrews is all about Jesus's superior. That's it that's like, if you had to title it, something we did a series about. Jesus is superior to the prophets, the angels, Moses, Joshua, everything right to the law to Melchizedek. Everybody, he's a mediator of a superior covenant. And so it's what it's all about. But in the midst of this, the author says, Hebrews 1023, let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise, let us think of ways to motivate one another two acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together as some people do. But encourage one another, especially now that the day of Jesus's returns drawing near, we need to come together and affirm our relationship with Jesus, and one another's brothers and sisters in Christ as the body of Christ. And then I'll just give you one final thing, there's daily, daily, like, how are you starting your day? How are you started off? Like, what do you do first? Or second? Or third? So there's the bathroom where we got to do that. But have you started Dale? Prayer, talk to God a little bit? Can we do that? And so I do something. Double invite you I love you guys know about this. But I'll invite everybody into it. I've said it before in the past, you can do this if you want. If not, it's okay. We all get a lot of texts. But everybody's on their phone. That's what you do. Right? The first thing you're on your phone, that's what you're looking at. So what I do is in the morning, I text everybody of Proverbs Devo. It's like a short little thing. We discussed the proverb, depending on what day of the month it is, always corresponds. And so you get Jesus in your phone, the first thing, right, so you're reading something positive, something good. You know, you're getting the Bible in there. And then here's the other thing. Is that relationship, and then there's this one. It's an open door. Good morning. Right? And some people don't stop, right. It's too early, apparently. But good morning. It's good, right? Open Door. If you need something, let me know. Right. So you can text back and forth, we can take a phone call if you need to meet with me, fine. So if you want to receive that, you'll be told how we can connect. I'll tell you how you can connect with us say I want the Proverbs Devo and given or you can do the connection card, the app or you can just like do it the old fashioned way. Hi, my name is Jean, can you send me? Yes, I'll give you my number. We can do that. All right. So really practical. We have to take time. We have to practice this, to take the time to appreciate why we got into this in the first place on a daily basis. Or it's not going to work. Remember what he's done for us where we started? So if we continue in Hebrews 1023. Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remain faithful even though it meant terrible sufferings as the context I just gave you. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and you're beaten and sometimes you helped others were suffering the same things you suffered along those were thrown in jail. And when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. Think back, even though you had suffering, even though it was work, think back to that time when you were willing to give your time, your talents, your treasured when you're on fire for the Lord. And so, if that's you, if you've been in relationship with Jesus, maybe it's gone a little cold, we invite you to recommit, recommit. And if you're not baptism, and here's where I told you, I was going to end and I made a promise that I promised that I'm going to do that baptism. So if you're new, or you've never been baptized, maybe you're not new, I want to invite you to do that too. I'll dunk you over there. So it'd be fun. But
I don't look when you're, when you're not working for the Lord. The enemy is not going to bother you too much.
Or you'll just keep your right there. When you go. I'm working for Jesus. Well, now the enemy cares. He's going to come after you. That's a very real thing. So we got to help you get that armor of God on right. He's going to come after you. That's certain. Right? But your church is here to help. That's what we do. We're going to build you up or prepare you like the marriage counseling, right? Like, okay, what do we got to watch out for? Okay? I want you to stay in the faith, I want you to finish the race strong. It doesn't matter how you started. It's how you finish. So Jesus is saying, all right. Some people were Senators when they can pray, whatever. How they Finish, finish strong. And that's what that's all about. So if you want to learn about baptism, all right, learn about Jesus, learn about what it means become a part of the body of Christ experiencing no matter what happens in your life, you will be able to have joy doesn't matter. You're looking forward, right to the kingdom of heaven in the future. And it's just a great place to be. So I will encourage you. So with that being said, thank you for coming in this morning. Let
me pray for you. Lord, I thank you for everyone who took the time to come in and come to church. for not doing it as an obligation but being genuine about coming to church. And I pray for all who may hear the message and the sound of my voice. I encourage them to reach out to us and see through church or if there's a Bible believing church close to them and get plugged in become a part of the body of Christ what you're doing. When I pray that you fill us with your love, your joy, your peace, your mercy, your kindness, your goodness, so that we can be vehicles for you of the gospel message. I ask these things in Jesus's name. Amen.