Monthly Archives: April 2020

The Security of the Believer

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction—Security is a commodity that many of us love to have. We want to go to bed at night and feel secure that we are safe from any harm or danger. We also want to know if we are going to have enough financial means to make through the day, week, month, and year. We also think it nice to know what our retirement account will look like when and if we ever get there. Will there be another crash of the stock market? Will my money draw enough interest to survive into my 80’s? 

It is a comfortable feeling when we can know that everything is going to be all right.  If we are honest with each other, we know security is so difficult to come by. We aren’t sure many times what really is going to happen in the near future or distant future.

I believe God designed it that way so we could rely on Him for our security. When things don’t seem to be going our way, we can call on Him and know we are loved, safe, and secure. God is our security. He has the greatest return of investment and it is all guaranteed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now that is what I call security.   

Read John 10:22-38

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

Pray

  1. Knowing security means knowing Jesus—verses 22-26
  2. So, John includes this festival of dedication in his gospel. Why? He mentions it because of the words Jesus says in verse 36. Jesus says that He is “set apart,” and John realizes that this statement can connect to the people because He said it during the festival f dedication. The temple was “set apart” during this festival. 
  3. We are God’s temple and we are to be “set apart.”
  4. So in order to be secure, we must be “set apart” and dedicated to God. Jesus is the only way we can do that. 
  5. We must know Jesus to have security. 
  6. Jesus does not usually reveal His entire plan for you so you can trust Him as your Lord and Savior.
  7. He gives us the information that we need, not what we want. Let me qualify that for you. Jesus tells His listeners plainly, I am the “Son of God.”
  8. It is us that have not listened. Today the Scriptures are coming more and more fulfilled in the area of listening to what we want to hear
  9. 2 Timothy 4:3—For a time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itchy ears want to hear.
  10. In our text this morning the Jews ask Jesus “how long will you keep us in suspense?” “Tell us if you are the Messiah?” If you have been with us anytime here at FBC, you will know as we have been traveling through the book John, Jesus has mentioned the fact that He is actually the Messiah. When you turn off your spiritual ears and listen with your human ears you won’t be able to hear Jesus say I am the Messiah.
  11. When you come to church without any expectations of hearing from God, you won’t. You will hear a story, or a good lesson, or something you can talk to someone else about. But if you come to church expecting to hear from the Messiah Himself, then you will. He is eager to meet you where you are. He wants you to hear Him when He is speaking to you. I hope you can see the difference. 
  12. Maybe you have been coming to church out of sense of duty or to be a productive citizen, instead of sense of excitement and desire to draw near to Jesus. When you come with wrong motives, 2 Tim 4:3, now begins to manifest itself into your life. Sound doctrine isn’t very appealing or palatable anymore. You begin to place you needs ahead of God’s will for your life.
  13. To know Jesus is to understand that He has offered Himself to all and that He is the only security we need.

Illustration—No Jesus No Security, Know Jesus Know Security: sometimes it is just reading between the lines. 

Application—Do you want to be secure today? Then know Jesus today. 

  • Eternal Security is only found in a relationship to Jesus—verses 27-30
  • 3 things to secure your eternity
  • Listening to Jesus
  • Knowing Jesus
  • Following Jesus
  • Eternal life is the result
  • Eternal life begins immediately even as you live now
  • Jesus assures us that once we have placed our faith in Him and Him alone, we are forever secure. We are in His hands. How much more secure can we get than that?
  • I will tell you how much more: As we are in Jesus hands, he then says that He (Jesus) is in the father’s hands. 
  • Jesus says that once you place your faith in me, you are secure forever. How did I get that from that verse? He says that no one can snatch you from my father’s hand. Where are we placed? In Jesus hand. He says you can’t be snatched from Jesus’ grasp. Then He goes one step further, and says and by the way, I am in my Father’s hand because He has given you to Jesus. 
  • Double security. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
  • Verse 30, really sums it up—I and the Father are one. You don’t have to worry about any shake up in the Godhead. There is no doubt about the relationship of Jesus and God. It is in tact. It is unshakeable. It is immoveable. Security never looked better!

Application—Have you secured your eternity yet? The offer is always available. Chose your eternal home today.

  • To have security, we are required to believe in the Word—verses 31-38
  • I am not here to convince you to believe in Jesus. I am here to point you to Him through the Word of God. My words are not important. His Words are what are important
  • Jesus is about to be stoned by the religious leaders. You ever notice when we place religion above relationship what happens? Religion gains momentum. Tradition becomes more important because it sounds practical. 
  • A relationship with Christ is much more than a tradition. It is an investment of you time, talents, and resources. When you love someone you spends time with them, you can’t wait to be with them, and you believe in them. You give away yourself to them. 
  • That is why the Word is so important, so you can know a real Jesus that is revealed to us through the Scriptures. 
  • Sunday only Scriptures won’t last all week. You will starve and become malnourished.
  • Jesus tried His best to convince a religious group that He and the Father were one, so they could have a relationship with Him, but they chose their own way instead. 
  • Today, as you ponder your relationship with Christ, ask yourself this question: Do I believe what the Word of God teaches or something else someone else like mom, dad, teacher, or friend has told you to believe. Jesus wants you to know that you can have security today by knowing what the Bible says about Him.

Application—Have you decided to follow Jesus yet? What are you waiting for?

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Diverse Church

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Diversity means to be inclusive. Jesus was the master of diversity. He preached about it and freely spoke about it. Today, when you think about your church, what comes to mind? Are you living in the past or are you moving forward. Do you see a shift in the diversity of your church? We should be excited, ecstatic, and enjoying the fruits of others that have come before us to allow you and I to see the change in the makeup of your congregation. Jesus is alive and He is always at work all around us. All we have to do is open our eyes. 

Read: John 10:1-21—“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” 19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” 21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

Pray

  1. Diversity begins with Jesus—verses 1-9
  2. Jesus is about to unload information that is going to blow the minds of these religious leaders. 
  3. He says very truly or: interpretation what I am about to tell you is of the utmost importance. 
  4. Gates are how a sheep or a person enters into a particular pen or yard. It is the entrance by which it was designed. 
  5. Jesus explains that the gate is the only way to enter. If you enter (or try to enter) any other way, then you are a robber or a thief.  
  6. Climbing the wall or fence in order to enter
  7. Making your own entrance in the pen by crushing the rocks
  8. Digging under the fence
  9. When the Sheppard opens the gate, the sheep follow, not just because the gate is open.
  10. They follow because the sheep recognize the Sheppard
  11. They hear His voice and they follow
  12. They won’t follow someone they don’t know. They run away
  13. If you know the Sheppard’s voice, then follow Him. If you are trying to enter the Kingdom of God by following a stranger instead of Jesus, you won’t be able to enter. 
  14. Do like these sheep, and run from the unrecognizable voices. 
  15. In verse 7, Jesus makes another statement of what I am about to say is the Truth: I am the gate for the sheep
  16. If any one has come and made a claim that they were the awaited Messiah, of course you know that have been fake, false, liars, or thieves as Jesus describes them. 
  17. They came to steal you heart. They came to take what wasn’t theirs to take. 
  18. But thank God, most did not listen. You have a God sense in you because He created you in His image so that you would know whom to follow. Even those that have gone astray and followed other gods (g), they too know the truth or knew the truth. Everyone has been created in the image of God in order to know whom to follow. 
  19. Her is the catch though: You must enter through the gate, which is Jesus. 
  20. Jesus says if you choose Him, He will save you. You will be able to come and go in peace, verse 9.
  21. Jesus is a diverse thinker, because He as the only one that could bring all peoples to Himself regardless of color, culture, community, or character. 
  22. Diversity starts with Jesus

 Application—Have you embraced Jesus and His diverse church?

  • Diversity includes others—verses 10-16
  • When sheep (people) decide to follow other Sheppards other than Jesus, they exclude all others not like them
  • The picture becomes clear when you see the results of what a liar, false prophet, or fake has in mind. The all have 3 things in common: to steal, to kill, and to destroy. They want to steal your heart, kill your ministry, and destroy your family. 
  • A true Sheppard (Jesus) wants to celebrate who God created you to be. He gives life and He gives it to the fullest. You will receive the best life ever when you invite the Lords of hosts to enter into your heart.
  • Jesus says a statement that will scratch the heads of even the best theologians. He says in verse 16, that He (Jesus) has other sheep (people) that are not like you. 
  • He then says I must bring them, I have to bring them, and I will be bringing them too. They will know me, and they will listen to me.
  • Jesus is the author of diversity. He made no bones about His church being a place where culture, race, color, family, socioeconomics, or any other definition we can place on it, would be welcome.
  • He was actually explaining to the Jews that Gentiles were about to join the group. That was so hard for them to hear because they had nothing in common.
  • The cross is an even playing field. There are no hurdles or hoops to jump through. All can come. Jesus already made sure of it.

Illustration—The San Antonio Spurs of the NBA are one of the best examples I can explain what diversity looks like. The players come from all over the globe. US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Argentina, Virgin Islands, and Italy. They all came together to do one thing and that is to play basketball. 

Many of us come from different areas of the world, all to do one thing: to make Jesus known to all the nations. Jesus was as diverse as it comes.

Application—Do you know that God has made you unique and has a place for you in His church? If not, then know Him today.

  • Diversity is to be celebrated—verses 17-19
  • Jesus loves you so much that He chose to die for you
  • He did to so that you can live in harmony with our brother and sisters who are not like us. 
  • We celebrate diversity. 
  • For some, diversity can be a divider like we read here in verse 19-20. Some people just can’t imagine a church that looks different than them.
  • Jesus came to set us free from that mindset by including everyone from everywhere to the cross. He went to the cross voluntarily. 

IllustrationJohn 17:20-26, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”Application—Have you come to the gate of Christ? He has made a way for you to enter and it is through Him.

Application-Today, worship the God who created diversity!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Healing-Physical or Spiritual?

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction—If you had to choose between a spiritual healing and a physical healing or physical need, which would you choose? I know that probably isn’t a fair question, but play along with me for a little while. If you could be physically healed from whatever is or could be in the future wrong with your health would you chose that? Or, if you could be spiritually healed for eternity, would you choose that? I know, why can’t you have both a physical healing (needs met) and a spiritual healing? Well, you can, but my question is which would you choose?

Jesus wants more than anything for you to have you needs met physically, but not at the expense of your soul. As we seek His face about healing, I believe the passage of Scripture will address both of these types of healing, the physical and the spiritual.  

Read: John 9:1-12, 35-41—As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” 12 “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Pray

  1. The gift of a physical healing or physical need
  2. Physical healings have much value
  3. a person’s worth
  4. a person’s well being
  5. a person’s life
  6. Physical healings are from Jesus
  7. Jesus can heal you physically
  8. Jesus wants you to place your trust in Him so you can be healed
  9. Jesus deserves all the credit
  10. Physical Healings are temporary
  11. Our earthly bodies are temporary
  12. 2 Corinthians 5:1—For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
  13. Our earthly bodies are only available for a short time
  14. James 4:13-15—Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Application—Are you seeking a physical healing or physical need as a means to have a sense of value? Today ask God how valuable you are to Him.

  • The gift of a spiritual healing
  • Is tied to believing
  • If you want a spiritual healing or awakening you have to believe.
  • Jesus asks, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” verse 35
  • Is tied to a decision
  • The man asks “who is he?” verse 36
  • He also wants to know who he is so that a decision can be made. Verse 36
  • We must make Jesus available for all to respond so they may receive a spiritual healing
  • In verse 38, He says “Lord, I believe” 
  • Is tied to worship
  • Worship is the natural response to a new believer 
  • When a spiritual healing occurs gratefulness in the form of worship happens

Application—Have you believed so that can decide so that you can worship Jesus today?

  • Physical Healing should lead to a Spiritual Healing
  • Jesus healed this blind person so that His power over the physical could lead to the spiritual realm.
  • Healing the blind brought about new light on the mystery of life and all its shortcomings, like physical ailments.
  • Jesus saw this opportunity to set the record straight. We are not physically blind or stricken with a disease or mental limitations because of the sins of others, but these things are mysteries and God can use your situation to further His Kingdom work. 
  • Our friends in Acuna were not flooded because of the sins of others, it rained a whole bunch and dry riverbeds were filled beyond their capacity. We need to be Jesus to them in whatever means necessary.  
  • Isn’t that what it is all about?
  • Jesus came here to set us free from our human irrational thinking about why bad things happen to good people, and even godly people. 
  • Here is the progression from the physical to the spiritual:
  • Verse 11 says, “the man the called Jesus”
  • Verse 17 says, “He is a Prophet”
  • Verse 33 says, “He is from God”
  • Verse 35 says, “the Son of Man”
  • Verse 38 says, “Lord”
  • This may explain how a person coming to Christ is a process.

IllustrationLuke 17:11-19—Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Application—Do you want a healing today? I cannot promise a physical healing, but I know someone who can, and His name is Jesus. He wants to remove the scales from your eyes in order for you to believe that He does love you and wants a relationship with you. In Jesus name be healed today from your spiritual lostness.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

What Kind of Man Are You?

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

What Kind of Man Are You? John 8:42-59

Fathers are a gift from God. They are special. They play an important role in lives of spouses, children, society, etc. Even if you are not a biological father or adoptive father, if you are a man, there is someone looking up to you that wants to be like you.

The church needs men who love Jesus. I am not talking about giving up your manhood or becoming a wimp. I am talking about becoming a Giant killer, a warrior, and a fearless leader of a family who desperately needs you to take that stand. 

The future is on us (men) as leaders of the church and our families. We are the key player in the Kingdom of God. We all have different gifts and roles to do and male leadership is high on the chart. Our role is to be the man God has called us to be. 

Stand & Read

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

Jesus’ Claims About Himself

48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” 49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” 52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” 54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

Pray

Men, do you please God or do you please the world?

Seem like a simple question and it should be relatively easy to answer, right? 

  • Men who love Jesus please God.
  • The way we love Jesus is to hear what God says. Listening to His every Word for us, and this will please God
  • Men who understand what their role please God. 
  • What is the Biblical role for the men? The lines seem to be blurring more and more each day even at church.  
  • The best verse I can understand Biblical male leadership is found in Joshua 24: 14-15, “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
  • Joshua was the next great leader of the Hebrew nation, following in the footsteps of Moses. He was of course a male. He, not she, said to the Hebrews “choose this day whom you will serve.” Joshua chose to lead his family to follow God.
  • Jesus was essentially saying the same thing to the followers of His day here in John 8, choose who you will believe in, me, the Son of God, or Satan, the king of liars who speaks his native language of lies. 
  • What has happened over time, the Church has been blinded into thinking that gender roles have changed over time? Have they? God never placed an * next to His role design did He?
  • He did not say the men will go into role reversal in the year 2014.
  • Our male role in the life of our family and church is “to lead.” You wife will love you for it, your kids will love you for it, and your church will love you for it. 
  • Titus 2:1-8—You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
  • What a great thing we have in the Scriptures that remind us of our God given roles. Don’t be afraid to embrace what is rightfully yours.
  • This role is not for you to hang it over others, but it is a role that is humbling, loving, and one full of integrity. 
  • When you start pleasing the world, you say things like Jesus is demon possessed as it says in our text in John 8, or why should I listen to the pastor, he’s too old, or too young, or any other excuse to please yourself, your circle of influence and even your family.
  • Satan will lie to you about who you are, men. 
  • God will never do that. He tells you who you are. You are the creation of the King, you are created to do great things, you are the man God can use, you are His choice for the church, you can become all things through Christ who strenthens you!

Application—Are you a man who please God or the world? Today you can decide whom you will serve. Wont you choose Jesus today?

In Closing—So how do I lead? Here are some ideas for lead

  • Take time each day to tell those around you how much you love them
  • Help be a youth volunteer
  • Help be a children’s volunteer
  • Become a student of the Bible
  • Mentor a young boy or teen who doesn’t have a father in their life
  • Come to Sunday School
  • Take off of work and go home early just to be with your family
  • Take your wife out on a date
  • Go on a daddy/daughter date if you are blessed to have a daughter
  • Go on outing with your son if you are blessed to have a son
  • Lead like today is the last day of your life

God has created you for leadership in your home, at your work, and more than that, at your church. Men, you are the leader, there is no other plan. Serve in your role and be a God pleaser!!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Free At Last

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction—Freedom means different things to different people. For some freedom is being able to speak whatever one would choose to speak. For others, freedom means waking up in a place where there is no war. Freedom for others is becoming a naturalized US citizen. Freedom can mean to have the ability to go to college, to change professions, to marry whom you want to marry. Freedom is an amazing thing to have in so many areas of our lives. 

For many of us, freedom represents our nation. The US is the standard for other countries to follow for what freedom looks like. We are the model nation in terms of freedom. 

What does freedom mean to you?

Jesus was the author of freedom. He lived and displayed what it meant to live as a free person in the eyes of God. Freedom from religious law without love, freedom from tradition over Scripture, freedom to worship God with no strings attached. Jesus came set us free, so we could proclaim, “Free at Last, Free at Last, thank God almighty, I am Free at Last.” 

Stand & Read: John 8:31-41

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.” 39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

Pray

  1. Freedom in Christ is based on The Truth—verse 31-32
  2. Jesus’ teachings
  3. Jesus was addressing the Jews that had expressed an interest in having faith in Him. He wanted to make sure that they knew what the commitment of a true follower looks like.
  4. Holding to the teachings of Jesus
  5. What are Jesus’ teachings?
  6. Obedience
  7. Discipleship
  8. Actually believing what the Bible says
  9. James 2:14-24—What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
  10. The Truth creates Real Disciples, as Jesus continues in John 8:32, He gives a statement that has been widely used in many circles of life. But if the truth were told, real discipleship causes us to evaluate our commitment to Christ. That is what Jesus is trying to get to the root of. Knowing the truth so we can be set free.
  11. Knowledge of the Truth starts with an examination of who we are. Christians in general are named that because of a decision to become a Christian. You are not a Christian because of someone else being a Christian. You are not born into the family of God. 
  12. You must start there. Are you a Christian is the question Jesus asks? A Christian says I believe in Jesus in His entirety. Only you truly know if that is your life, your banner, and your statement of faith. Once you say yes—I want Jesus in my life then the challenge comes. Jesus confronts us, not me or any other person, but Jesus. We are looking at what the Scripture says. That is the beauty of staying grounded in the Bible. It sets the course for our path. It guides us in the direction we should go. It tells us that we can be set free by knowing the Truth.   
  13. Set free is how to be liberated from the captivity of sin, lies, slavery, etc. Set free is where Jesus wants us to go. We cannot be the body of Christ if we are handcuffed by the pleasures of this world. 
  14. How do you become set free? It will take a surrender of your will to the will of God. This can be a process or it can happen all at once. The power of the Holy Spirit is indwelled in every believer you can overcome any stronghold you have in your life through that power.
  15. Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  16. When you know the Truth (Jesus) and you receive power from on high, you will be His witness. 

Application—Do you know from the Scripture the Truth, who is Jesus? If you do, then exercise you faith and be His witness. Your community needs you. 

  • Freedom in Christ speaks The Truth—verses 33-36
  • Once the Truth has been established, the Truth can now speak to you freely. 
  • If you are unwilling to admit that you are a sinner, you have not been set free. Jesus asks these interested followers if they are ready to be set free.
  • The response to Jesus was this: We aren’t slaves to anyone, we are descendants of Abraham. Did you hear that? Does it sound familiar?
  • We sometimes grow up with the attitude that since we are a relative of someone who may be a prominent church member or member of the community, we are immune from the same set of standards Jesus requires of His followers.
  • We can be the ones claiming to say but I am the descendant of this family or that family, why would I need to be set free?
  • The Truth speaks to us so that we can know Him. We are not exempt from spiritual danger just because we are related to a Christian.
  • Jesus tells them plainly in verse 34, that all sin leads to slavery. 
  • Hebrews 12:1-3—Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
  • It is a good thing to be surrounded and grounded by a great Christian family, but we are ourselves must embrace Jesus and throw off sin. We can only do that, as we know the Truth.
  • Jesus remarks in John 8:35-36 are so powerful. Sin is a temporary love potion. Tempting us with pleasures of success, money, education, and all the other avenues that the world thinks of as power. Those aren’t bad in themselves but can become and idol for many. Sin is not welcome into the family Jesus says. 
  • Now a son or a daughter, they are welcome to a permanent position in the family. Jesus goes a little further and says if you invite me the Son into your family, I stay forever, and you will be free indeed.

Illustration— A grandmother was looking after her two little grandchildren a 7-year-old girl, and a 5-year-old boy. And boy, were they naughty. When it came time for their mother to pick them up, the little girl said, “Are you going to tell Mummy?” The grandmother replied, “No, I’m not. But if she asks me, I can’t tell a lie.” The little boy looked up to her and said, “Why not? I’m only five, and I can lie great.”

Application—Have you allowed Christ to speak the Truth into your life? If not, do allow Him to enter your heart so you can experience first hand, true freedom. 

  • Freedom in Christ reveals the Truth—verses 37-41
  • Truth revealed is the best medicine to get right with God. Jesus can see through all the games, lies, and schemes that you may try on Him. As if you can outwit the Lord. 
  • A truth revelation is just what the doctor ordered.
  • Jesus says something that reveals all things when we try to claim to be someone we aren’t.
  • He says in verse 39, that if you really are the descendants of Abraham, why aren’t you acting like it? 
  • You can fake out some, and maybe even your family, but you can’t fake out Jesus. He will sniff you out, with His God powers and let you know by revealing the truth. 
  • Listen, good things happen when truth is revealed.  You have an opportunity to make it right in the eyes of God. 
  • Allow God to open you’re the eyes of your heart so you can be free indeed.

Application—Has Jesus revealed truth to you today? If He has respond to Him and be FREE AT LAST!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Follow The Light

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction—Can people survive without light? Natural light, which comes from the sun, is necessary. Without it, the earth would grow cold, and plants would die, and then animals, etc. So, we can survive somewhat without light, but our bodies would have to find other sources for survival. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to find out. The real question is how long could we survive without the sun?

The Son I want to talk about this morning is Jesus. And just light natural light, living without the “light of the world” will set you on a course of frustration, emptiness, and purposelessness. I implore you today to follow the light, who is the one who can give you your calling. 

1 Corinthians 7:17, which says: “Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. 

Psychologist Martin Seligman writes about three vocational orientations: 

A job, a career, and a calling.  

A job earns you a paycheck.

A career entails a deeper investment in your work.  

But a calling is a passionate commitment to a cause for its own sake. 

Have you been called to follow the light? Have you been wrestling with a gnawing or tugging at your heart for the deeper things of God? Today I want to ask you to lay aside your agenda for a moment and listen; I mean really listen, for God to speak into your life today. I truly believe He wants to do that this morning. 

Churches, ministries, and other Christ connections are in a time of crisis. There aren’t enough called ministers to go around. It is my passion and that of others across our region here to call out the called, to send out the signal, and to ask God to move in your spirit to know what it means to receive a vocational calling into the ministry of Jesus Christ. 

Read John 8:12-30

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” 19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.

Dispute Over Who Jesus Is 

21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” 22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?” 23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”25 “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” 27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

Pray

  1. Verse 12—Jesus isn’t just a light or any light. He is The Light. And He is The Light of everyone and everything. 
  2. He says that “whoever” meaning anyone, who makes a decision to follow Christ will always have an illuminated path. No one is beyond the reach of Jesus.  If they were, the Scripture would read, some could follow the light. It doesn’t say some can follow, it says whoever follows The Light.
  3. Jesus clarifies His calling by saying not only is He The Light, but He is The Light for the world. If you are a living, breathing human being in the world, Jesus is available for you.
  4. The declaration “I Am the light of the world is the 2nd, I Am declaration, in our travel through the book of John. The other one we have studied is when Jesus said in John 6:35, 6:48, “I Am the bread of life.” 
  5. There are “7” I AM’s in the book of John. We will study them as we encounter them during our journey in John. 
  6. Here is the list of the “7” I Am’s:
  7. I am the bread of life—John 6:35, 48
  8. I am the light of the world—John 8:12; 9:5
  9. I am the gate for the sheep—John 10:7, 9
  10. I am the good shepherd—John 10:11,14
  11. I am the resurrection and the life—John 11:25
  12. I am the way, the truth, and the life—John 14:6
  13. I am the true vine—John 15:1,5 
  14. The “Path” is the path of life. When Jesus offers you Himself, He does so in grand fashion. He never says to anyone, “if follow me”, or “if you choose me”, it is going a stroll in the park, or an easy path. His promise is always I will give you life. The life that He promises is one that is in communion with Him, so you can face whatever challenge comes your way. You will have fun, exciting, and amazing days as a follower of The Light, but we all know we will also have the curveballs that are thrown at us throughout life. That is when we need Jesus in our life more than ever. 
  15. Here are some verses for you to be remind you of why following The Light is for you:
  16. Hebrews 13:5—Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 
  17. John 14:6—I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
  18. Psalm 89:15—Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
  19. Psalm 119:105—Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
  20. Psalm 119:130—The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
  21. Isaiah 60:19—The sun will no more be your light by day,
  22. nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
  23. for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
  24. 1 John 1:7—But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
  25. Verse 13-14—The leaders of the church or Pharisees, challenged Jesus. They say to Jesus, you don’t even have your witness to defend you. You are standing on your own. If the leaders of the church have not believed that the Scriptures they studied and learned are actually rue because the Messiah was right there before them, we must be sure that we know what the Scriptures say and that we actually believe in them.
  26. We can become Pharisees if we aren’t careful. We read, pray, study, and meditate on the Word, and then it comes alive right before our very eyes and we doubt what we say we believe.
  27. Jesus always has the answer to our doubts. He says my testimony is valid in spite of your non-belief. That in itself makes me want to follow Him more. He is so sure of who He is, our interpretation doesn’t sway Him one bit. 
  28. Jesus knows who He is (God’s Son), Jesus knows what He will encounter (the cross), and He knows where He will go (Heaven). Don’t you want to be that confident in who you are? 
  29. In the last section of verse 14, Jesus simply states that the Pharisees have no idea where He is from or where He is going. They should have known if you ask me. The anticipation of a coming King should have kept them in high alert, right?
  30. We too have a coming King, but unlike the first coming, His second coming will be a time where everyone will confess Him as Lord. There won’t be another trial, there won’t be another crucifixion, there will on only be a confession of Jesus as Lord. Every eye will see, every knee will bend, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!
  31. Verse 15-18—Jesus now gets into the judgmental state of this group of leaders, and He gives them the their own method of reasoning as they pass judgmental on Him. He says you are using human standards to judge, so that disqualified them to render a verdict.  You have to realize that if you are going to make a decision about what it is that God is doing, it can’t be from the normal way you operate. A spiritual mindset is needed. 
  32. Jesus plays along with them anyway and He says that in your law 2 witnesses are needed to make a verdict true. He says, well I have the 2, me and my Father He says in verse 18
  33. Verse 19—The Pharisees decide to ask Him in what I believe to be mockery by asking who is your father? 
  34. This is not the first time these leaders have heard Jesus say this. Jesus has eluded many time before that He and the Father are one. 
  35. They knew that He was talking about God being His Father, yet the question to me becomes one of sarcasm. Almost as if to say oh yeah, who is He?
  36. Jesus says it would be a good idea to know God, because if you did, you would know me.
  37. Verse 20—Jesus’ timing had not arrived, so the hedge of protection was still there, even though many wanted to seize Jesus
  38. Verse 21-24—A dialog starts up again between the 2 sides and it went like this. Jesus’ destiny was to be united to His father, and their destiny was to die in their sins. Jesus world isn’t like our world. Jesus had come from the presence of God, and the only way they could obtain that level was by faith. By faith. By Faith. You cannot go to where God is without believing faith. 
  39. In verse 23, we see what the problem is not only for the Pharisees but for us as well. We are from here and Jesus is from there.
  40. We can’t use earthly tactics for heavenly victory. We must have faith. Faith is trusting in something you cannot see, much like hope. 
  41. When we receive a wrapped gift, we don’t know what’s inside until we open it. It is hidden from us. 
  42. The Son of God, who is the Light of the World, is hidden from us until we unwrap the gift. 
  43. That is part of the mystery, but it is not a mystery that we cannot partake in. 
  44. In Colossians 1:24-27, I want you to hear it from one of the greatest Pharisees of all times, Paul, who was on the other side of the fence as a non-beleiver.
  45. Here is what he says: 24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
  46. There is no more mystery. Jesus is saying to you and to me this morning to have faith in whatever He is calling you to do. It is easy to believe in things you can figure out on your own, but to have a full assured faith in something that you can’t control is what the Bible talks about. 
  47. Verse 25—Now the same questions that are still being asked today comes out. “Who Are You?” Jesus explained to them He is who He said He is from the beginning. I AM that I AM. 
  48. Verse 26—Jesus explains that He could easily point fingers, but God has a mission for Him
  49. Verse 27-28—Jesus reveals God’s plan in these verses. Since their lack of understanding about Who Jesus was, He would let them know the plan of salvation.
  50. In verse 28, Jesus says one of the most amazing things in all of Scripture, because He now was verbally expressing His mission.
  51. He says when you lift up the Son of Man—when you nail Him to a cross and raise Him up for all to see, you will know who I am.
  52. I AM He. I AM He. I AM the light of the world, I AM the bread of life, I AM the way, the truth and the life, I AM the resurrection, I AM. 
  53. I do it as an act of obedience to my God. 
  54. Jesus said it with His own will and His knowledge of what He was to endure.
  55. Verse 29—Jesus act of obedience is a full disclosure of His holiness. What courage, strength, and love for Him to let all know He would obey no matter the cost. His crucifixion not only lifted Him up, it Exalted Him to the highest measure, seated on the Throne of mercy and grace. He alone can do that for you. 
  56. Verse 30—Challenges us to obey and believe as Jesus speaks to your heart. 

Conclusion—Has God called you to His ministry? Has He spoken to you about His service? Has He asked you to lay down all of it, for the sake of the Call? To lay aside your career, your college, and your convenience for Him?

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Jesus Is The Christ

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction—Who is Jesus? No really, who is Jesus? That really depends on who you ask. I want to share a few Jesus’ that are circulating out and about. Here is the list:

There’s Conservative Jesus—who is against tax increases and activist judges, for family values and owning firearms.

There’s Liberal Jesus—who is against Wall Street and Wal-Mart, for reducing our carbon footprint and printing money.

There’s Therapist Jesus—who helps us cope with life’s problems, heals our past, tells us how valuable we are and not to be so hard on ourselves.

There’s Starbucks Jesus—who drinks fair trade coffee, loves spiritual conversations, drives a hybrid car, and goes to film festivals.

There’s Open-minded Jesus—who loves everyone all the time no matter what (except for people who are not as open-minded as you).

There’s Touchdown Jesus—who helps athletes run faster and jump higher than non-Christians and determines the outcomes of Super Bowls.

There’s Martyr Jesus—a good man who died a cruel death so we can feel sorry for Him.

There’s Gentle Jesus—who was meek and mild, with high cheek bones, flowing hair, and walks around barefoot, wearing a sash (while looking very German).

There’s Hippie Jesus—who teaches everyone to give peace a chance, imagines a world without religion, and helps us remember that “all you need is love.”

There’s Yuppie Jesus—who encourages us to reach our full potential, reach for the stars, and buy a boat.

There’s Spirituality Jesus—who hates religion, churches, pastors, priests, and doctrine, and would rather have people out in nature, finding “the god within” while listening to ambiguously spiritual music.

There’s Revolutionary Jesus—who teaches us to rebel against the status quo, stick it to the man, and blame things on “the system.”

There’s Guru Jesus—a wise, inspirational teacher who believes in you and helps you find your center.

There’s Boyfriend Jesus—who wraps his arms around us as we sing about his intoxicating love in our secret place.

There’s Good Example Jesus—who shows you how to help people, change the planet, and become a better you.

Today I want us to examine the Real Jesus, the One who claims to be The Christ. He is not Prophet Jesus, Christmas Jesus, Easter Jesus, Rabbi Jesus, Churchy Jesus, Cool Popular Jesus, or any other label we can place on Him. No, I’m talking about Jesus the Christ: The King of kings, the Lord of Lords, and the Messiah. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

Read—John 7:25-44

At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” 28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.” 30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?” 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him. 33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?” 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. 40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

Pray

  1. Jesus the Truth—verses 25-30
  2. Truth. What is the definition of truth? Webster defines truth like this: 1. The real facts about something. 2. The things that are true. 3. The quality or state of being true. 4. A statement or idea that is true or accepted as true
  3. Webster did a pretty good job, I think. I can live with 90% of those 4 definitions. They are almost all true, no pun intended. 1. Real facts are a good place to start. We need to know the facts to if something is true. 2. Webster then states as a definition the things that are true. I can definitely accept that definition. 3. The state of being true. I really like this one because this definition makes you think, what? State of being true. This is not past tense or future tense, but an “is” tense or “is-ness.” It is constant, now, or continual. I believe this is where God is. He is in a state of always, or constant, or “is-ness.” He is the Great I Am. That is True. The only part I don’t agree with Webster in the 4th definition is accepted as true. Many things that are accepted as true aren’t really true. 
  4. Truth is important when it comes to Jesus. Jesus is one of the most misinterpreted, misquoted, misunderstood, mistreated person on the planet. He is thrown under the bus more than He is worshipped. Jesus only claimed to the Truth, and we are received that since He is God Himself.
  5. Now with that in mind, lets look back at our text. In verses 25-29, a dialog is taking place and once again, others are trying to identify who Jesus is. They say, “Isn’t He the man we are trying to kill?” I could here someone else say, “Yep. He be the one.” They continue and say, “There He is speaking in public, and no one is saying anything.” No one is trying to stop Him. 
  6. Then here comes the unique part of the conversation. In verse 26, the question is posed, “have the authorities really concluded the that he is the Messiah?” I sense that it has really messed up their mind and their respect for these authorities. Who are the authorities? The religious rulers who are the highly educated in the Law of the Prophets. They have studied about the coming Messiah for years. 
  7. That is where the problem comes in. Not because they studied, no that is what we are supposed to do. But because the studying never led to fulfillment. They had in their mind what they believed to be the truth, and nothing was going to change it. Not even when Messiah was right under their nose. Funny thing about what we believe to the truth and what actually is the truth. 
  8. Our well meaning families told us things that were never true, but they never attempted to qualify what the truth really is. Myths, traditions, and outright lies become the norm. Then when the Christ comes face to face with you and says to you, it is I, the real Jesus, we cower back into what we have been told because the Truth challenges everything we are. 
  9. That is what is going on in our text of Scripture today. The people are facing a challenge to everything that goes against what they were taught. 
  10. Had the authorities changed their minds? Had they come to their senses and made a decision that Jesus is the Christ? Did the call a special business meeting and vote rather or not that it is true? 
  11. Here Jesus was speaking without fear and the big wigs weren’t doing anything about it. 
  12. The conversation goes on and they realize that there is no way Jesus could actually be the Messiah. They come to this conclusion because they say they know where Jesus is from, and according to Micah 5:2
  13. Jesus always has the right response, statement, and challenge. Jesus says, you know me, and you know where I am from. The way the original writings interpret this passage is really in the form of a question. You know me and where I am from, do you?
  14. This crowd only knew that he was from Nazareth and he was the son of Joseph and Mary. 
  15. Jesus reiterates His truth. My origin is from God and my commission comes from Him in verse 28-29.
  16. In verse 30, the attempt is made to seize Jesus, but because God’s protection was over Him and the timing wasn’t right, Jesus was untouched. Have you ever prayed for God to place a hedge of protection around you? Job 1:8 is where this comes from. God will protect you as we see from this verse. 
  17. Believe in Jesus the Truth.

Illustration—Here are some “supposed” facts that aren’t true at all.

  1. Swallowing gum stays in your body for 7 years. False, it hangs around at the longest for a week.
  2. Your hair and nails continue to grow after you die. False, they decay along with the rest of the body.
  3. Hats keep in heat since you lose 90% of your body heat through the top of your head. False, you only lose about 10%, so a hat may help some.
  4. Cracking your knuckles regularly can give you arthritis as you age. False, the popping you hear is actually gad that is trapped between your joints. You will lose some of your gripping power.
  5. Lastly, the 5 second rule. Bacteria will respect the 5 second rule. False, floors are nasty even when clean, so if it hits the floor throw it away.

Sometimes we have been told myths, rumors, and religiosity about Jesus.  

Application—Do you believe the Bible as your authority about the truth of Jesus?

  • Jesus the Promise—verses 31-36
  • Jesus is the Promised Christ. 
  • What does Christ mean? Is it Jesus last name? After all we use the name Jesus Christ as if it is His first and last name. Christ is Jesus’ title, which comes form the Greek word “Christos.” He is the Christ, or Messiah, or loosely interpreted “anointed one.”
  • The world loves promises. They are made all the time
  • Peanuts-Lucy and Linus watching the rain through the window. Lucy says to Linus, “What if rained so much that it flooded the whole world?” Linus promptly said, “It won’t.” Lucy said, “How do you know that?” Linus said, “God promised us it wouldn’t in Gen 9. After the flood, he gave us the rainbow as a promise that it never happen again.” Lucy now relieved says, “Linus, you have taken a great load off my mind.” Linus replies, “sound theology will do that.”
  • We need sound theological teaching today. Jesus is our promised messiah and He was the greatest theologian, and we need His Word to penetrate our lives. 
  • In verse 31, many believed that Jesus was the promised One. Although, not sure of exactly what that meant, they could only equate Jesus with miracles. If Jesus performs miracles, then He must be the Christ. Sound familiar? We are at times in this same state of mind. We believe in Jesus as long as he performs. We must be careful since throughout the Bible, miracles happened for a specific purpose, therefore, if we are going to base our belief of the Jesus the Promised One only on what we see Him do, we are going to be disappointed. He has done all that he can do. There is nothing left for Him to perform on our behalf. He can if he chooses to, but since He has already done the impossible by making it possible, then lets stick with what the truth of the Scriptures say.
  • The verses say in 32-36, that Jesus will go to a place that we cannot go or find Him. His alluding to the Cross left people stunned or confused. They were only thinking with their regular minds and not with their spiritual minds. Jesus was always in a spiritual state, so we must believe Him and know that He will never lead us in the wrong direction.

Illustration—Many of us that are married made promises during our wedding vows. We promised to love, cherish, encourage, provide, and the list goes on and on. But one of the greatest promises that we made and seem to break is the promise to be there for our spouses in the good times and in the bad times; in sickness and in health. What ends up happening is that we might not have really believed what we were saying, so when the challenge came into the marriage, the promise was broken. We serve a God who has promised us that He would fight for us to the end, that He would never leave us, and that He would never forget us. He is not like man, He doesn’t break His promises. If you are hear today, and have had your promises broken, God says I can heal you from all your heartaches. I will be there for you as I have promised. 

Application—The Bible is full of God’s promises. Do you believe them?

  • Jesus the One and Only—verses 37-44
  • Jesus announces His Deity to the crowd at the best time possible, during the final procession of the 8 day celebration. Anyone can come to me and have your thirst quenched. Jesus was offering His Messiahship to the world. 
  • This particular passage is so important because as the Festival of Tabernacles, there was a drawing of water from the pool of Siloam, in which the passage from Isaiah 12:3 was quoted, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” 
  • Now the passage has come to life. Jesus was not just God’s provision for thirsty people who wandered around in the wilderness, as they were celebrated, but He was the eternal spring of water from the well that they claimed they believed.
  • Jesus then states in verse 38, if you would believe in Him, He would give you this eternal living waster. No more rituals, no more traditions, but the real living water manifested through you in the power of the Holy Spirit. 
  • Even through the offering of life everlasting, people still were unsure as we read in the remaining verses (40-44)
  • You see, Jesus offering is still available as if He were standing here today in this very room, and some will still say, that’s nice. I am glad for you Jesus. You are so kind to offer. 
  • Don’t leave here today saying Jesus you are a good prophet, or Jesus you are a great teacher. Leave here today saying, “Jesus, you are the Christ!”

Application—If you want to experience God in your own personal life we must believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only. Do you believe that today?

Conclusion—Jesus the Christ has come, Jesus the Christ has risen, and Jesus the  Christ will come again. He is the Truth without exception, He is the Promised One from the Beginning, and He is the One and the Only Christ. There will not be another Messiah. Accept the Word of God today so that you can live your life for God and those within your sphere of influence can come to know and understand Him as their personal Lord and Savior.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized