Jesus is The Way and The Truth

But how do we get there? Is it automatic?

JESUS IS THE WAY
If we do right things we get there!

Jesus’ way is different. You are different! Jesus followers’ motivations are different, passions, goals, etc.
Look out for #1 – or – The first shall be last. Luke 22:26-27
Get all you can, can all you get – or – Give up your life. Matthew 10:39
Believe in yourself – or – Trust in God. Proverbs 3:5-6
Discover yourself – or – Deny yourself. Luke 9:23
Be true to you – or – Seek truth. John 8:31-32

Christianity is not a spectator sport.

Luke 9:62

Christianity is not a la carte

Here Am I, Send Me – Isaiah 6


JESUS IS THE TRUTH

Luke 20:20, Luke 7:30, Luke 20:21-26

When your opinion becomes part of your theology, you taint the message.

“Surround yourself with truth-speaking people.”

John Powell

Tempered: having the requisite degree of hardness or elasticity.

How do we find the Way? How do we know the Truth? Jesus gave us a “tool.”

John 14:6

Jesus Is The Life

John 14:6, John 1:4, 1 John 5:11-12, John 10:10, John 3:16

Happiness is not the goal.
– We aren’t designed to feel constant happiness.
– Happiness is an unrealistic metric for our lives.
– The pursuit of happiness is a sure recipe for unhappiness!

The blessed life is one of purpose and meaning!

The life Jesus gives produces love, joy, peace, contentment, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, self-control. (see Galatians 5:22-23)

John 11:25

Yesterday ended last night.

Zig Ziglar

Jeremiah 29:11

God was not promising to overlook their past but to redeem it!
Plans – God has long been thinking and planning for you
Good – to establish a place for you, to settle things in your life.
Not disaster – He is against all attacking you
Future – for it isn’t over, you have a future,
Hope – no matter the circumstances!

Habakkuk 3:5-6 – God is no stranger to troubles and suffering! He is comfortably right in the midst of them!

Numbers 16:46-48 – Aaron the high priest of Israel ran into the midst of a deadly plague! Unafraid! Without hesitation! He literally stood between death and life!

Mark 1:40-41, Luke 7:12-15, Luke 8:51-55 – Jesus touched lepers, coffins and dead people! And a lot of other sick people, too.

So one more right question… Whose life have I made better this year?

Don’t just exist, don’t just get by, don’t just make it. LIVE for something!

Faith is not merely what we think or feel but what we live!

The Head AND The Heart

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” – Psalm 14:1

The “heart” commonly refers to the mind as the center of thinking and reason (Pr 3:3; 6:21;7:3), but also includes the emotions (Pr 15:15, 30), the will (Pr 11:20; 14:14), and thus, the whole inner being (Pr 3:5).

ROMANS 1:19-20 MSG

Based on His creation, what can we learn about God?
– God is intelligent.
– God is creative.
– God is personal.
– God is… good?

  • The world isn’t perfect. The world is broken.
  • God didn’t make it that way. He made it good.
  • He created us to be part of that good world, AND for relationship with Him.
  • We broke the relationship. We broke the world.

WHY DOESN’T GOD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
What if He already has?
1. He sent Jesus – To show us how live in step with God.
2. Jesus died – To open the door to have a relationship with God.
3. Jesus set up the Church – To be a light in the darkness

WE HAVE TO DO BETTER.

“Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21:1-5

“Faith sees best in the dark.”

Søren Kierkegaard

“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.”
Job 42:5

I realized at that moment this historic figure of Jesus was no longer just this historic figure, but he was the one who was calling me all along through my creativity, and I realized, if this is true— if Jesus is the one who gave his life for me so I would know love, the greater love that I have been longing for— if this is true, then that is exactly the paradigm that would allow me to understand beauty, beauty that I was creating.”

Makoto Fujimura

Matthew 7:21-23

“We can be left utterly and absolutely outside – repelled, exiled, estranged, finally and unspeakably ignored. On the other hand, we can be called in, welcomed, received, acknowledged. We walk every day on the razor edge between these two incredible possibilities. Apparently, then, … our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.”

C.S. Lewis

Matthew 16:13-20

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the Right Questions blog article from 2017

Asking wrong questions…
Do Christians have to go to church?
Can I _______ and still get to heaven?
Can Christians watch R-rated movies?
Should Christians tithe on all increase?

Asking right questions…
What is the importance of the church?
How does ________ affect my testimony and my reliance on God?
What parameters, what protections have I set for my mind, for my heart?
What part of my finances do I want God’s blessing on?

No one is righteous— not even one. Romans 3:10

We are fallible, errant, imperfect, flawed, envious, resentful, vengeful, unforgiving, selfish, proud, weak people in need of this God who was willing to die for us and deliver us from ourselves!

We first must address our humanity, our carnality, our sinfulness, yes, our wickedness. I am a sinner. I need a Savior!

“Do good people go to hell?”
Who is good? What does a good person look like? What constitutes being good? I mean, is doing good things enough?

“Who is perfect?”
Maybe the right question isn’t how many evil acts did God allow last week but how many He prevented!

So let’s talk a little bit about hell. Matthew 25:41

So “why would an all-loving God send people to hell?” is the wrong question. Because He doesn’t! We either choose to change direction and get on the lifeboat or stay on the sinking ship.

So maybe the question of heaven and hell isn’t who is perfect or who commits sin. Perhaps the real question is:
Who does eternity belong to?
Honestly, what is my true personal moral character?
How do I choose to respond to the greatest love ever displayed on earth?

A couple quick stories from the Bible:

Jesus is willing to go out of His way to reach someone who is sincere and willing to listen!

  • Jesus even reaches out to those He knows will reject Him!

Every person must acknowledge their personal moral shortcomings,
realize Jesus is the only solution to sin,
and accept
His sacrifice as payment for our sin,
His grace as forgiveness of our sin and
His power for deliverance from our sin!

Start With Jesus

“Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
Matthew 3:16-17

John the Baptist, who was in prison,… sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
Matthew 11:2-3

  1. Experiencing doubt is a normal part of faith
  2. Asking questions is the surest way to find answers
  3. We need people who walk with us through these times

Knowing WHAT you believe is good.
Knowing WHY you believe is better.

Why is it so important for us to watch out for how we treat others?
We never realize how our small actions affect the faith of those around us.

START WITH JESUS.

What I found…

What would the world look like if we all lived like that?

The church has done a lot of good.

The way Jesus taught us to live is the best way to live.

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic…or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

C.S. Lewis

Did Jesus Exist?

Did He claim to be The Messiah/God/Son of God?

Did He rise from the dead?

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…
1 Corinthians 15:3-5

“What is certain is that the earliest followers of Jesus believed that Jesus had come back to life, in the body, and that this was a body that had real bodily characteristics: It could be seen and touched, and it had a voice that could be heard.”

Bart Ehrman

 If Jesus is who He says He is, it changes everything.

Making of the Bible – Tim Mackie Video

Settling The Big Questions

1 Peter 3:15-16

If God is omniscient, He always knows how to do what’s best.
If God is all-loving, He always wants to do what’s best.
And if God is omnipotent, He is always able to do what’s best.

If I settle those 3 big things, the little questions don’t matter.

We struggle believing because there is evil in the world and God isn’t handling it the way we would.

If I don’t believe something simply because I don’t understand it, I am saying there can be nothing in the universe greater than what I can comprehend. And I know that is not true. It is that inherent knowledge that is the seed of faith. It’s not what you can deduce or figure out nor what you can sense with your body. That’s why God gave us a seed of faith, to help us believe beyond the limitations of our mind and body!

And God gave us His Word to help us in that pursuit, that journey of faith to believe, understand, reach what we cannot reach with our mind or body!

He is omniscienceHebrews 4:13, Isaiah 55:8-9, 40:28, Psalm 139:4, 147:5, Romans 11:33, Colossians 2:2-3, 1 John 3:20, Jeremiah 1:5, Job 37:16

He is all-lovingJohn 3:16, 15:13, Romans 5:8, Psalm 103:11, 136:26, James 1:17, Ephesians 2:4, 1 John 3:1, 4:8-9, Jeremiah 31:3– He gave His Son to die for people that reject Him, ignore Him, curse Him and deny Him. End of story.

He is omnipotent Mark 10:27, Ephesians 3:20, Jeremiah 32:17, 27, Genesis 18:14, Romans 4:21, Job 42:2, Daniel 4:35, Isaiah 55:11 – He created everything that is!

Why doesn’t He zap every evil immediately – as I probably would if I were God?

Grace is messy!


Proverbs 6:16-19

God hates when we act evil, when we plot evil, or murder the innocent, or give false testimonies or reports. God also hates lies. God hates a person who stirs up conflict! And He hates when we deem ourselves better than someone else.

Jesus teaches love, selfless sacrifice, humility, kindness, grace and mercy.


HERE IS THE DIFFERENCE — AND THE POINT:

  • Evil doesn’t begin with Jesus!
  • He doesn’t produce evil, or act it out.
  • Jesus is the enemy of evil!
  • He speaks against evil, teaches against evil, commands to shun evil, stood against evil, lived without evil, died to deliver us from evil, and upon repentance He even forgives evil!

2 Peter 3:9

Easter Message

Over 12K times a day someone searches for “Jesus Christ” on Google!
That’s about 4½M every year!

But there’s a problem with the cross
– It makes us sad
– It can make us feel guilty
– It can be confusing

THE REASON FOR THE CROSS is forgiveness!
Easter is about life that begins – after Jesus!

Today, let’s not skip the cross!

Luke 9:21-22

Skipping the cross

All the disciples ran and left Jesus behind – Mark 14:50

Judas sold Jesus out – Mark 14:10-11

Simon Peter denied Jesus – Mark 14:66-72

The crowds turned on Jesus
One Sunday they are giving Jesus a parade (Mark 11:7-10)
Five days later they are demanding He be put to death (Mark 15:9-14)!

I really hope to call us back to our first steps!

You’re in the best place when you realize there is only One who knows everything and it ain’t you!

Nothing Is Impossible

Value everyone, try anything and believe that nothing is impossible with God!

Mark 9:23, 10:27

Our world isn’t interested in Christians that know it all. Our world is desperate for believers that actually believe in the power of God!

People who are struggling, losing their marriage, home, job, kids, etc. don’t just need another friend. They do need a friend that knows all things are possible in Jesus!

We absolutely must make up our mind what we believe!

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, displayed the power to heal and work miracles, then promised to send that power back to us!

Sometimes the difference is in what is allowed. Matthew 13:58

Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith. Unbelief is the opposite of faith.

Alisa Childers

Faith isn’t having no doubts. It is often believing in spite of the doubts.

Hebrews 11:1, Mark 9:24

We believe anything is possible! Forgiveness, reconciliation, unity, peace, justice, mercy, hope, healing…

JESUS DIED FOR OUR IMPOSSIBILITIES
Of course, the biggest impossibility was forgiving our sin so we can be reconciled to Him and receive eternal life. But once that was done, it opened up possibilities into all my impossibilities.

Do Anything

WHAT DID JESUS DO TO REACH YOU?
HE REFUSED TO LET ANYTHING STAND IN HIS WAY

 Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus’ whole life was an example of the extremes He wants us to go to to reach people.

Jesus was willing to DO ANYTHING to reach someone.
And I believe He wants a church that will be willing to DO ANYTHING to reach someone.

  • “We’ll do anything short of sin to reach someone.” – Craig Groschel

There are ways of doing church that no one’s thought of yet,  … The problem is that at some point most of us stop creating the future and start repeating the past and we get comfortable. Well, tell me the last time you were uncomfortable and I’ll tell you the last time you grew.

MARK BATTERSON

If we’re going to be a church that is willing to try anything, we have to be those people.
To reach people no one else is reaching, WE/I must do what no one else is doing.

MATTHEW 25
– KEEP THE FIRE BURNING
– KEEP TRUSTING GOD
– KEEP LOVING PEOPLE


WHAT’S IT GOING TO TAKE?

  • A willing heart
  • Open eyes
  • Positive attitude
  • Fresh ideas
  • Reckless love
  • Bold steps