Sunday, January 14, 2018

Just Jesus

Matthew 16:13-18
What is your focus for this year in church, in ministry, in your personal walk with the Lord? How you answer one question can set the stage for your focus. Who do you say that Jesus is?
I. Jesus Is the Priority of His Church.  Matt. 16:13a
Where” Jesus taught his disciples is often as telling as “what” Jesus taught his disciples
The disciples gave Jesus the low down on all the conspiracy theories that were floating around Israel.
·       John the Baptist preached repentance.
·       Elijah was a prophet of miracles
·       Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet” because he cared so much for people.
The sad truth is, what people say about who Jesus is becomes the foundation for what their church is built upon.
The Church is the place where Jesus is glorified.
The Place Where Jesus Builds His Church…
·       Will be drawn to living in holiness, abiding in His Word.
·       Will experience His power.
·       Will love and honor Him.
The disciple’s acknowledgements of Jesus’ deity had been emotional responses to physical miracles.
People make decisions based upon circumstance.
True conversion is not based on some emotion or event. 
II. Jesus Prevails Through His Church.  Matt. 16:18
The forces of death and darkness cannot prevail against or conquer the Church.
We are part of the same tribe called the Church.
·       We are dedicated to the least of these.
·       We worship with abandon and go after a relationship with Jesus.
·       We refuse to see the lost as unworthy of grace.

The person who is rock-solid and not shaken in this life and on into eternity will be the one who says, Jesus, it’s You.”

Great Commission

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:16-20

Lets focus today on verses 16 and 17 where some of the disciples doubted.  We don’t often see those verses included with the Great commission, but there they are.  I’ve always found it amazing that some of them could doubt after everything they’d experienced. But sometimes we see people doubting even after seeing the hand of God.

After a long fight with her disease, Shanti was near death.  She had been to the doctor repeatedly.  She had even been to every Hindu temple in the area, giving money to the priests so they could do the proper rituals to heal her.  Shanti’s doctor told her family that it was time to focus on making her comfortable rather than seeking a cure.  One of her neighbors, Sanjeeve, who is a local pastor, asked if he could pray for her in the name of Jesus.  Shanti and her family were desperate, and later shocked when Sanjeeve made what sounded like a ridiculous claim. Sanjeeve said that if Shanti came to his church meeting that his church would pray for her and she would be healed in 15 minutes.  She was doubtful, but had nothing to lose.  And it happened just as Sanjeeve said; she was healed completely in 15 minutes. 

I met Shanti a few months later and she told me how Jesus is powerful, but he’s not the main God. That’s Shiva. So, she put a statue of Jesus right next to her other idols. Sanjeeve shared the Gospel again and again with her and showed how she needed to repent and believe in Jesus alone.  Yet, even with all she saw, she wasn’t willing to follow Jesus.  I always thought that when people see God’s power through Christ, they will 100% of the time repent and believe, but the same sun that melts ice also hardens clay.    

Lord, help those who see God moving to be open to the truth of the Gospel.

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